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Category: Personal

Apr 14 2017

Why I am passionate about community activism

NOTE: This post needs edited.  If you would like to be an editor, please send me a message or an email at  Thank you!


I’ve always believed that the value of family is fundamental.  That’s what love is.  Family.  A fundamental unity or connection.  That is the most important thing to me.  FAMILY IS EVERYTHING!  That’s why love is God.  I am struggling to write this letter explaining my passion and dedication to community activism because it literally means EVERYTHING to me.  It is my core purpose in life– seeking solutions for the challenges we face and implementing change to lessen the pain and challenge involved in growing up and becoming independent.  I’ve felt very ashamed, worthless, and alone throughout most of my life.  It began in my early childhood when my family would argue and I began feeling different.  I remember when I was about 11 or 12 years old telling my mom that I felt like an alien trapped in a humans body.  That was the only way I knew to express my sense of disconnection.  I realize now that it was a result of language and judgement.

Early on, I had trouble feeling like I could truly express myself using words.  A hug was more satisfying and I loved sitting next to my mom for hours and hanging out or talking or watching tv.  I felt most comfortable sleeping in her bed with her on nights while my fther was out of town working.  He is an accounting professor with university and while we lived in Austin, he took a position at the University of Illinois.  He commuted back and forth from Sunday through Thursday.  I missed him during that time because I loved working on projects with my dad.  I loved it when he’d teach me things and we’d play games together.  It was hard when he was away more than half the time.

I like to question things and learn how they work and I don’t mind taking risks– I feel they are critical for a person to actually live.  I am curious by nature and I believe curiosity and creativity go hand in hand.  I want to understand how things work and why.  I am a compassionate person and my empathy is all-consuming.  The work that I do often brings me to tears as I want to be successful and use my experience to prevent anyone else from having to go through what my family and I have.  It’s unnecessary suffering

My greatest desire is to feel united with all else.  Starting with my mom, I’ve felt a deeply profound sense of connection or entanglement with others.  A union which has become separated and yearns to become whole again.  A lot of it has to do with the words we say and judgements we make.  As an adolescent, I really began questioning what is consciousness.  How does it interface with physical reality, or the body, and is it consistent for everyone?  I became intrigued by things like quantum mechanics and relativity, philosophy, cognitive science and anthropology.  The list goes on and I felt like every topic had a set of clues to learn from and give a better understanding of myself and the universe– or God if you choose to call it that.  I love looking at the beauty in nature and the stars…

When I was 13, I started smoking pot and I was intrigued with its ability to change my consciousness.  I had lost interest in Christianity, and sought truth through nature and science,  Not long after that I tried LSD and I liked that it allowed me just to laugh at myself rather than being so critical all the time like I had learned from my teachers and my parents.  Authority figures always seemed so judgemental of the weird eccentric style I felt comfortable expressing myself with.  I love bright colors and weird music and I’ve always felt more connection to others by appreciating our differences.  I see beauty in flaws.  My uniqueness made me feel valuable.  While my family had always wanted me to be and act normal, I  always knew I was different and it seemed wrong to not acknowledge that.  Conflict seemed to grow and grow all based around judgements and beliefs and I always associated my struggle with being myself and the approval of my parents.  Much of it was based on my drug use– My mom and dad didn’t want me to use drugs because they’re illegal.  It seemed so silly and arbitrary to discriminate this one plant because it altered perception.  Teachers alter perception.  Plus, it didn’t make me feel lazy like some people said.  I felt different, but in a good way– more creative, fresh ideas and novelty.

I liked to goof around, and test things out, investigate the source of things and explore, and be creative… so at 13, I was trying to understand “who am I” when I was introduced to marijuana.

Here is a PLANT that is ILLEGAL but WHY?  I’m curious! 🙂 It made me feel different and allowed me to think outside of the beliefs, or limits, my parents had instilled in me.  That had value to me, meanwhile my dad told me money doesn’t grow on trees and I need to get a job.  I needed money to buy pot and so I did what Teddy Roosevelt said to do- “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” -TDR
Before long, I was printing fake money and trading it for pot.  It seemed so simple and harmless; $20,000 later and the secret service came knocking.  They confiscated my father’s computer and I never again felt like I belonged to this society.  I withdrew more and more over the next several years; finding myself in increasing trouble and powerless, I sought other ways of life and became interested in studying the diverse cultures of the world.
I dislike conflict and I began feeling like I was in a battle with the world.  My perception of humans became very dualistic and it seemed to me(based on my relationship with my parents) that conflict was the fundamental aspect of every relationship.  I found it easier to isolate and before long, heroin became my source of relief.
By 19, I had found opiates and heroin.  I had lost all respect and concern for myself and was stealing to support my habit.  That increased my level of shame and guilt and this became a vicious cycle.  Before I was 20 years old, I had lost my sense of connection to the people I needed most and had increasing trouble with the law.  I didn’t care about anything because I didn’t care about myself.  I accepted that I would never be ‘normal’ and this allowed me to justify they things I was doing.  I was caught entering people’s homes in the night looking for small things to steal to support my habit.  I was terrified of withdrawal and avoided it at all costs.  I wanted comfort and could find that nowhere else than the pain killing effects of opiates.
I spent those 2.5 years in prison reading and studying algebra and calculus.  I found a job working for the college coordinator and began tutoring students preparing for the GED and teaching a small math class.  I felt appreciated for the first tome and that was amazing.  I knew I had a mission to accomplish by sharing my pain and challenges with the world.  My strongest desire is to help people and I felt like none of my experiences were for waste.  My own pain and struggle seemed the best experiences I could get.  If only change were as easy as I had hoped.
I struggled with heroin for about 10 years before I finally found the strength to quit.  I tried everything, rehab, AA, NA, counseling, anti-depressants– I just could find no relief and my life was a constant battle.  I learned to hate myself and through my process of growth that has occurred since I hit my bottom, I finally was able to begin accepting myself and my past choices.  I learned to forgive myself, and to love myself.  My parents had always said they loved me, yet I felt constant judgement and disappointment from them.  I believe love is unconditional and when I was finally able to forgive myself and accept myself, I knew it was my duty to use all of my pain and experience to help others struggling with those same issues.  I wanted to prevent anyone from having to feel so alone and worthless and empty.  I felt by writing a memoir, I could share my story.  I had been inspired and encouraged by reading memoirs of others who had gotten through addiction.  I had spent my life feeling hopeless so this came as a major relief.
I still had many years of pain and sometimes overwhelming challenges.  Those old feelings can sometimes resurface and drag me down but I have grown so much, I don’t give up when something is important to me.  I accepted that I was here to change how our culture deals with and drug use/abuse and crime.  My parents think I’m crazy and I wish I could feel like we are on the same team, but I sometimes wonder if that is possible.  I used to feel I was on a team by myself.  Finding other people with the same level of dedication to seeking solutions for the challenges we undergo.  I realized challenge as a path to growth and found value in it.  As I learned to love and accept myself, I felt that love and acceptance for everything.  I had truly found my purpose and joined an organization of people much like me who have found the greatest satisfaction in life is helping others and offering my experience so that hopefully no other child has to experience that level of pain and isolation.
I began writing a memoir and journaling.  This helped me make sense of much of my thoughts and experiences and as I began sharing my writings with others, I was surprised how many people identified with those same thoughts and feelings that has so severely crippled me.  My insights seemed to assist others in their process and I had my first sense of achievement.  I’ve met some of the most amazing snd inspiring people through this process and I’ve found so much hope.
I used to lie about so much because I was ashamed or felt hopeless.  I decided those lies were only hurting myself.  I had to find the strength to let go of my guilt and shame so that I can freely express my past without judgement.  I have no greater purpose in life and I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity.

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Oct 25 2012

Short Truths of Love and Life

During life, remember:

Honesty is happiness.  Master it!  Lies, delusions and game playing injure one’s integrity and values.

Decisiveness with integrity is fundamental.

Always forgive, and make reparations for mistakes.  Whats slack and useless is restored with clear and swift correction.

On knowing myself: I love myself because life is beauty and wonder.
Open minds open doors.

On my failures: There is no way for me to say I’m sorry to all the people I’ve hurt in my life that could possibly be enough.  I love you more than words!
hugz 🙂

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Sep 16 2012



For: Gregory Dietrich
DOB: 3/8/1981 3:21:00 AM
Ascendant: Capricorn
Sun sign: Pisces
Moon sign: Aries
Mars sign: Pisces
Mercury sign: Aquarius
Venus sign: Pisces

How others see you, Your Ascendant
With your take-charge personality, you’re a born leader. Your developed sense of responsibility, your patience, and your driving ambition make you the one who steps up to the plate in a crisis and more often than not knocks it out of the park.
If you strike out on your first attempt, this only makes you more determined. And with your Capricorn Ascendant, you will not give up.
You like traditions—especially ones you start yourself. And if anyone doubts your sense of humor, they either lack that quality themselves or they’ve simply not been paying attention. Many professional comedians employ Capricorn’s dry wit and impeccable timing.

Your Ego – Your Sun Sign
The last sign in the Zodiac, you’ve seen it all. So if you view the world through rose-colored spectacles, it’s because you’ve learned it looks better that way.
Sensitive to what others are feeling, you have a kind of knowing. Whether through precognitive dreams or just a feeling, you’re intuitive to the point of being psychic. So when you tell people not to travel on a certain day, they should stay home.
With your Sun in Pisces, you’re gifted in creative endeavors. So if your lack of worldly ambition means you never headline at Carnegie Hall, hang your collection at the Museum of Modern Art, or win the Pulitzer, it won’t be for lack of talent.

Your Personality – Your Moon Sign
Spontaneous and courageous, you live in the now and go after what you want with gusto!
Your Aries Moon gives you the self-confidence and the boldness that will land you that corner office or top position in your chosen field, which by the way will be chosen by you and nobody else. You achieve what others are afraid to go after.
You don’t fret and worry about the consequences of your actions. Consequences? What consequences? To you they’re just more opportunities for moving ahead.
Channel that fiery Aries energy and you’ll accomplish all those dreams you’re so passionate about. And anyone who can’t stand the heat should just stay out of your kitchen!

Your Intellect and Communication Style – Mercury
Ideas come to you more quickly than you can catch them, much less act on them.
Inventive and ahead of your time, your Mercury in Aquarius makes you somewhat controversial: you shake things up, rebel against the establishment. But you’re a rebel with a cause. A humanitarian through and through, you help those who but for you might not have a voice.
Your strong intuition makes you an excellent judge of character, and you don’t judge others by what position they hold but by what they’re like on the inside.
Interesting, witty, insightful, you’ll make an excellent public speaker or leader, inspiring others to take up your righteous cause.

Your Relationships, Beauty, and Creativity – Venus
Nobody does it better. Love, that is. You’ve got them all beat because you elevate love to a mystical experience. Your love is like you: very, very deep.
Though you can certainly enjoy the more prosaic aspects of love, such as Valentine’s Day and romantic proposals, you want more. You want to merge with your partner in some unseen realm that we all long for deep in our hearts. You want to transcend the ordinary.
But feint heart never won anyone with Venus in Pisces, for you rarely initiate a romantic partnership. Though you are kind and loving by nature, you keep your romantic feelings to yourself until you know it’s safe to reveal them.

Your Passion, Drive, and Pursuits – Mars
Nobody dreams better than you! You intuit your way through this world and look inward for guidance.
Your rich imagination and extraordinary creativity may pull you toward the arts. With your extraordinary sensitivity and intuition you may even become a psychic. Whatever it is, you’ll know it when you see it.
You seek a spiritual connection with a mate, and you may actually fall in love with someone’s ideals.
Lovely and sublime, compassionate and tender, you may find many who want to be near you. But seewith your own soul–not with another’s needs or ulterior motives–and when a soul mate comes along, you’ll know it when you see it.

Life Changing
Gregory, the above was just a small taste of what I can tell you. But at a time like this, you also want answers about your future. It’s depressing to spend so much time not knowing if what you want to happen will happen. Worse yet, not doing what you could to make it happen.
You are a person who has many great things yet to come into their life. What I have to tell you will turn your life into the life you want – bringing you the things you deserve. What I tell you will be the most important information you will ever receive.
Keep in mind that the path to happiness is more than just monetary riches. Think about a life in which you awaken each morning to greet the day with a smile because you KNOW good things will happen to you! Picture yourself experiencing such a day in which all your spiritual and emotional traffic lights are green, allowing you to sail through the day with no roadblocks!
Imagine yourself walking into a room and automatically being the focal point of attention because your serenity has become so attractive to others. Furthermore, picture yourself being able to WEATHER DIFFICULT TIMES WITH EASE because you know that better days are just around the corner!

Thank you !

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Aug 15 2012

Science Is Sure: Smart People Love Drugs

Science Is Sure: Smart People Love DrugsWith over 40 years of research to support their findings, a team of British scientists was slightly surprised to learn that people with higher IQs are much more prone to drug use. “It’s counterintuitive,” says lead author James White. “It’s not what we thought we would find.” And it’s not for lack of trying either.

The Cardiff University team consulted data from 8,000 people in the 1970 British Cohort Study, a group of human lab rats born in the same week in April 1970 and surveyed approximately once every five years about a broad host of topics. The results found that subjects that tested above average on IQ tests at age 5 were twice as likely to have done hard drugs within the past year, when asked at age 30. The smart kids weren’t just smoking pot, either; the numbers suggest that they prefer cocaine and ecstasy. White doesn’t know exactly what caused the difference but he has a good guess. “The likely mechanism is openness to experience,” he writes, “and, I think, it’s also this idea of having an educated view of risk as well.”

This is hardly the first time scientists have connected high IQ with drug use. Last year, evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa tracked a trend similar to that in the Cardiff study and also found that people with higher IQs were more likely to use drugs. He even took it a step further and offered a hypothesis of why. Kanazawa says that smarter people are attracted to “evolutionary novelties” like chemically processed drugs:

People — scientists and civilians alike — often associate intelligence with positive life outcomes. The fact that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume alcohol, tobacco, and psychoactive drugs tampers this universally positive view of intelligence and intelligent individuals. Intelligent people don’t always do the right thing, only the evolutionarily novel thing.

Kanazawa’s theory would also support the latest findings. Because they require some basic, cocaine and ecstasy are evolutionarily novel in a way that marijuana is not. The good news for you smart people, however, is that even if you’re more likely to try drugs, you’re also more likely to kick the addiction faster.

PS: If you’re reading this and happen to have a high IQ, don’t freak out and do drugs. It’s really dangerous. Seriously, go watch Trainspotting or one of those scary new Darren Aronofsky commercials, if you’re not convinced.

via Science Is Sure: Smart People Love Drugs – Yahoo! News.

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Aug 15 2012

Stop Killing the Burmese Muslims!

burmeseBurma has a population 75 million with the Muslim population being just 0.7 million. The Burmese Muslims have been under this affliction after 1962 when the Army usurped the power in Burma. It all started on 3rd June 2012 when 11 innocent Muslims were killed by the Burmese Army and the Buddhist mobs after bringing them down from a bus. A vehement protest was carried out in the Muslim majority province of Arakan, but the Protestants fell victims to the tyranny of the mobs and the army.

Trying to elude capture and an imminent killing; Burmese Muslims thronged to the Bangladeshi border, but all they met was dismay. The Government of Bangladesh refused to offer them asylum.

Over 500 Muslim villages have been incinerated hither-to. Thousands have been exterminated. The persecution of the Burmese Muslims at the hands of the Buddhist mobs is at its full swing. Yet all the human rights organizations have maintained a criminal silence up till now. Has the Muslim world become so callous that they remain undeterred by such genocide?

This is not a new thing or an unprecedented massacre. Muslims have been a subject to such hostility even before. If we go through the
 annals of history we come to the very tenable conclusion that Muslims were always on the suffering side. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. It doesn’t allow its followers to lay-waste any other tenet. This leaves behind a big question mark. Why are the followers of such a peaceful religion being oppressed from time to time?  

The fear stricken faces of the poor Burmese Muslims really cuts one apart. The glimpse of their bruised bodies is a heart rending spectacle. Where is the UN now? Why isn’t the International media highlighting this issue? Why are the competitive authorities of the Muslim world procrastinating?

Stop killing the Burmese Muslims. JI did a meritorious job by staging rallies against this brutality. The government of Pakistan should
 raise a voice in favor of the poor Burmese Muslims at the international forum. The whole Muslim world should join hands to get the poor Burmese out of their distress and misery.

In lieu of launching into a tirade against the killings, something should be done on the ground. If we don’t help out our brothers there then we are equally responsible for their bloodshed. We won’t be able to satisfy our conscience, and the abrasive cries of the Burmese Muslims will keep on pinching us throughout our lives.

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Aug 13 2012

My Cosmic Profile * Tarot, Astrology, Numerology & I-Ching

Your Cosmic Profile :: :: Tarot, Astrology, Numerology & I-Ching.

Your Cosmic Profile

Gregory Paul Dietrich
Born: March 8, 1981
3:20 AM  Austin, TX, USA

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Your Sun Sign:


Sun 17° Pisces 43′

Element: Water     Key Planet: Neptune

Motto: “Reality is just a shared illusion.”
Greatest Strength: Your compassion for those in need
Possible Weakness: Confusion can put you at a disadvantage

Fish appear to be individuals, but have you ever seen a school of them swimming together? They act as one. Each is part of a greater whole. And you Pisces Fish are more aware of your interdependency than any other sign. It’s as if you live in an ocean and the spirit that flows through you is like the one ocean that flows through all fishes. The symbol of the Fish is also the symbol of Christianity, the predominant religion during the past two thousand years — also known to astrologers as the “Age of Pisces.”

Your Moon Sign:


Moon 14° Aries 31′

Element: Fire     Key Planet: Mars

Motto: “Feel now, figure it out later!”
Greatest Strength: Your willingness to let go of the past
Possible Weakness: Staying cool under pressure

Emotions rise hot and fast, but can fall just as quickly because you live so much in the present. The intensity of the moment can carry you to great heights or depths, but you’re not likely to stay in either extreme for very long. When you’re done, you’re done. As a fire sign, Aries isn’t a particularly reflective place for the Moon. You’re not one to talk much about your emotional processes. You just have them, then move on. In fact, discussing your feelings and justifying or explaining them to others infringes upon your need for independence. You may get bored easily, requiring fresh challenges to maintain a high level of interest, which is why you can be so good at emergency situations where your spontaneity and rapid responses work so well.

Your Rising Sign:


Ascendant 12° Capricorn 55′

Element: Earth     Key Planet: Saturn

Motto: “The buck stops here.”
Greatest Strength: Taking on the tough jobs
Possible Weakness: Not being tender with yourself

Capricorn Rising means you may wear a serious expression on your face. It’s not that you can’t have fun, because you certainly know how to play. But business comes first since you probably have had a strong sense of responsibility your entire life. Whenever you’re involved, you feel like it’s up to you to ensure a favorable outcome. This usually goes along with being well-organized, and even if you’re not into details, you have a good sense of strategy. You don’t generally open up to people right away because it’s important to know where you stand first. It’s not that you’re necessarily trying to control what they’re doing, but you certainly want total control over yourself. Fortunately, though, you’re practical enough to know when it’s best to give ground.

Your Chinese Sign:

The Rooster

Mantra: I am proud of who I am.

Efficient and intelligent, Roosters love to show off their talents. They want to be the center of attention but at the same time are very generous to their friends and loved ones. They appear outwardly very strong-willed and energetic but are actually full of fear and worries on the inside. Committed to themselves, Roosters are hypercritical of everything and everyone, especially if they are not getting enough respect from the other animals on the farm. They can be inflexible and compulsive, with beliefs and opinions that tend toward fanaticism.

Your Tarot Card:

The Empress

Motto: May the Goddess be with you!
Prime Number: 3
Power Planet: Venus

More for The Empress
Look Up the Meaning of Your Card
Get Your Complete Tarot Card Profile

Your Celtic Tree:

Ash Tree

Celtic touchstones for Ash:

Color: Green
Gemstone: Coral
Flower: Wood Anemone
Animal: Seal, Sea Horse, Seagull
Celestial Body: Neptune


More for Ash:
Get Your Complete Celtic Astrology Report

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Aug 12 2012

Loving Myself!

I never realized how much learning to love myself through lots and lots of hardship and heartache, would culminate in my life exceeding any dreams I ever had for myself! Thank you sooooo much to all the people who believed in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself!  Thank you also to all the people who didn’t believe in me, and all the people who hurt me along the way.  You’ve inspired me and taught me more than you could ever take from me.  They say the best revenge is living a good life.  Ha!  There is a special place reserved in my heart for you all!!! Life is amazing! =)

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Aug 08 2012


I’ve come to realize that when I wake up in the mornings, my mind is zooming and I require some type of relaxation exercise, meditation, medical marijuana, a beer, a massage, etc. to slow it down. A hug or a smiling face would be ideal, but I live by myself. =( I really want to get a dog, because more than anything, I just want to feel unconditionally loved!

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Jul 19 2012


Dear self:
Help me be selfless in a selfish world.
Help me find peace within chaos.
Help me act with generosity when others act with greed.
Help me to refrain from judgement.
Help me stay ambitious when those around me are lazy.
Help me find courage to face fear.
Help me practice honesty in a world full of lies.
Help me see hope through despair.
Help me be humble while surrounded by arrogance.
Help me forgive and and let go of resentment.
Help me to love in a world full of hate.
Help me let go despite my urge to control.
Help me accept the word just the way it is.
Help me be the best that I can be.
Help me see the light beyond this darkness.

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Jul 16 2012

i need a masage!

my back hrts!!

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Jul 15 2012

My life


I really don’t think I’m a bad person, but I know I’ve made some very bad choices in life and done some horrible things. I have to admit, most of those incidents involved either my being under the influence of drugs, or in an effort to obtain drugs or alcohol. A few were spontaneous acts, random mistakes. At this point in my life, I am motivated towards change and believe that only by documenting and confessing my past mistakes can I truly wash the wreckage of them from my past.

I’d like to understand myself and to be understood. I wasn’t born a misfit and I wasn’t raised to do ‘bad’ things. Quite the contrary. My mom and dad are upstanding people, educators who work hard and follow the rules. They’ve always taught me to think before I act, make good decisions, and correct my mistakes. I’m not sure how I so wrongly interpreted those lessons. Looking back, I suppose I can see the progression from bad to worse, hindsight is 20/20, right? But I never imagined how bad things would become before they’d start getting better.

I began writing the manuscript for this memoir on my 28th birthday. I can’t say I celebrated 28 because I was sitting in a jail awaiting judgment on a probation violation. I expected to spend 6 months behind bars on that occasion, but because of my decisions and a shoddy justice system in this country, I was release 20 days before my 31st birthday. I’ll pick up where I began on my 28th birthday, March 8th, 2009.


Chapter 1

I don’t think there were really signs growing up that I would become a drug addicted criminal. At least not until I started using drugs at the age of 13. I was always a bit of a trouble maker and class clown- nothing serious, but I remember quite a few times my teachers in elementary school would call home to discuss my behavior with my mom and dad. I was always a thrill junkie, enjoying anything that is forbidden or dangerous. Maybe thats one reason I so easily gave into peer pressure when I was first introduced to marijuana.

I suppose I’ve always been a little bit eccentric, both in my thoughts and my behavior. I can’t say that I’ve ever really felt I fit in. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, I’ve just always felt so analytical about life, people, and situations(not to mention myself) that it has been hard to feel like an active participant instead of an objective observer. I remember explaining to my mom at about 10 years old, as feeling like an alien trapped in a human’s body.

I honestly can’t say where this prevailing attitude came from, but I realize that it has played a huge role in the development of my personality. I should also mention that personality, and its components have been a perplexing interest of mine, an obsession even, for my entire life. I’ve spent an awful lot of time considering the development of personality, ego, and how consciousness interfaces with the physical body(know in psychology as the mind-body problem). One of my first realizations regarding these issues is that no one person ‘owns’ their personality. No one is really all that unique. We are more like a construct made of the countless influences inflicted upon us by our experience. We are all biological entities that are essentially programmed by the culture, social class, neighborhood, friends, and family we are surrounded by.

But I digress. I know my first experience with pot was as much out of peer pressure as out of sheer curiosity, but the more I used, the more I questioned the conventions of society. I’m sure much of that was also caused by my entrance into puberty and adolescence(I was 13). This questioning of conventions was one of the factors that made drugs appealing to me. It might be refereed to as ‘thinking outside the box.’ Not to mention that having been drunk a few times already, I felt like pot was less inebriating, and thus, I reasoned, more benign(safer/better) than alcohol. 

When I was about six years old, we moved from Lakewood to Jester Estates. It was a short move actually less than two miles away. Lakewood is a small neighborhood in Northwest Austin and Jester is adjacent and up on a hill. Jester was a nice and growing neighborhood, quickly expanding and enveloping the surrounding forests.

Being the adventurous kid that I was, I loved living in Jester. I’d spend hours roaming the hillsides, building forts, and enjoying nature. On the off chance that I got bored exploring the forests. I ventured into construction sites of houses being rapidly built, always another source of amusement.

I had a love for a sense of adventure and I was a fiend for danger. I see now that my first addiction was to adrenaline. I liked doing anything that could get me hurt or in trouble. It was always best when I would just barely escape unscathed.

By the end of seventh grade, I was smoking pot several times a week and had taken LSD several times. I don’t think I was truly an addict yet, but that would surely change during the summer between seventh and eight grade.

Austin’s weather in the summer is usually dry and hot. Not particularly the most comfortable weather for enjoying the outdoors. The kids I hung around with in Jester were, for the most part, trouble makers. Actually, for some reason, although it was a relatively nice and affluent neighborhood, it seemed to produce a high percentage of trouble makers. Maybe it was something in the water.

One of my closest friends, Brooke, lived about half a mile away. Brooke had an older brother named Reece, who was my sister’s age. I think it seemed cool to hang around older kids, but, I also felt more similar to Reece than I did to Brooke. Brooke was a little wild for my taste and had a habit of getting into more serious trouble and often fights. Nonetheless, I spent a lot of time over at Brooke and Reece’s house. Both of their parents worked long hours so I was a safe, unsupervised place to hang out and smoke pot.

Sometime during that year my dad and a college were offered a book deal to write a text book. He was given an advance which he used to purchase a color printer and a color scanner. In 1994, there were still fairly expensive and uncommon items to be found in a home office.

I liked playing around with his new gear and quickly was showing my dad how to use it. As a test of its quality, I tried scanning and printing a dollar bill and ended up printing the back side upside down. Nonetheless, it was pretty cool and gave my 13 year old mind some ideas.

A few days later, Brooke was over at my house and I dug that experiment out of the trash to show him. He was impressed and thought it would be funny to play a prank on his brother. I agreed. We decided to print up a five and get both sides upright. This time it came out. I threw it in my pocket and we jumped on our bikes and headed down the street.

Our prank worked. Not only did we fool Reece and his friends, we impressed them, Jay, one of Reece’s good friends and another kid from the neighborhood had a proposition for me. Could I print off a supply of twenties and trade them for some pot? This wasn’t really anything to thing about. In fact, how could I refuse?

Two days later, I had a few hundred dollars in fake bills and we were rewarded with a free half ounce of pot. For a 13 year old, this was encouraging and motivation. Every day I saw Reece or his friends they were requesting more fake bills. Over the next month and a half, I worked my way up to printing 100 at a time. I didn’t know where all those bills were going and I didn’t care. For the first time in my life, I felt important…in demand.

And so things continue. Over the next month and a half, I printed bills once or twice a week whenever more were needed. I really didn’t concern myself with getting caught because I was never the one spending em, but on July 4th, 1994, the inevitable happened.

Brooke and I had spent the night before tripping on acid. His parents were out of town for the holiday, so we had the house to ourselves. Sometime around noon, Brooke and I were sitting in the living room clearing the cobwebs from our minds when we heard a knock at the door. Brooke was extremely reluctant about answering it because our bodies were still exhausted from the night before. He got up and I followed him to the front of the house. Out through the glass stood a man in a suit, late 40’s to early 50′. Brooke stepped out on the front porch to talk to him and I sat down on the stairs to watch. I could hear him ask about Reece.

It was pretty much an open and shut case. I did it and they found me. But due to the lack of juvenile federal criminals, there don’t exist any federal juvenile detention centers. Therefore I would pretty much be let of the hook. I was asked a plethora of questions and given some interesting details. I learned that over $20,000 of my fake currency had passed and found its way into banks. I learned there were five different serial numbers used on the bills, equaling five different serial numbers used on the bills, equaling five different counts of counterfeiting. I learned that had I been an adult I would have faced 44 years of prison time.

The detectives wanted to know how I came up with the idea to print money. They wanted to know if I was selling it and what I was charging. I lied. I said that it was my idea initially, but that I was being pressured by the older kids to continue and receiving nothing in return. They wanted to know how much I was printing at a time and if I was cutting it myself or leaving it uncut on the page. Again I lied… I was leaving it uncut.

I never had to appear in court or before a judge. I assume it was decided I had learned my lesson and wouldn’t do it again. I was told I needed to stay out of trouble for two years and the case would be sealed. My dad would be able to retrieve his computer equipment at the end of the investigation. I got lucky. My family was relieved.

At the time I didn’t realize how lucky I really was. Things pretty much went back to normal for the rest of the summer. In August, I went with Brooke and his family to the Bahamas. That experience was like a turning point in my life. I believe that is why I truly became an addict.

Before going to the islands, my drug habit consumed me only a few days a week. I enjoyed getting high, but I could pretty much take it or leave it. 

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Jul 05 2012

Ibogaine Treatment

I arrived yesterday in Rosarito Beach, Mexico for a new type of therapy.  It utilizes a substance called Ibogaine which is derived from the root bark of an African shrub and has proven to give the user, in just one or two sessions, a dramatic change in perspective and insight into themselves.  I am under the care of Dr. Martin Polenco and so far, this experience has been amazing! I have achieved so much in such a short period of time, yet I still have a long way to grow.

It’s nice to be able to appreciate life again… thank you Dr. Martin, Johnny, Sandra, Sulema, Jose, Lisa, Deanne, everyone who has made this experience better than I could have imagined!

My first step, visit-



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Jun 16 2012

remember to slow down sometimes

This was the view from a spot I found to meditate while exploring this woods this morning. I’m reminding myself I need to relax more.

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May 14 2012

Closed off from life

Communication is challenging because words are full of ambiguity. Preconceived ideas and prejudice easily cloud our perception of things.

We spend a lot of time hiding things from people around us. For much of my life, I was afraid of being judged, and ashamed of myself for my past decisions. Basically, I constantly judged myself. I was paralyzed with fear so I closed myself off from everyone.

Do you ever feel trapped behind a language barrier… or that your words are “lost in translation”?

Working to reconnect with people is a daily challenge, but this is the only way to share the new appreciation and perspective I’ve gained for life along this journey.  I found what it means to love, because I learned to love myself.  From that has blossomed a compassion for life that reminds me that everything is good.  Everything is beauty.  Perception is flawed.  We are all one.


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