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October 22, 2019

In fact, on that birthday weekend—when I was just entering my mid-thirties—I was still smoking cigarettes and adhering to a daily regimen of prescription medications that included: Paxil, Xanax, Metoprolol, Lisinopril, and Hydrochlorothiazide (an SSRI, benzodiazepine, beta blocker, ACE inhibitor, and diuretic). Now in my forties, I don’t take any prescription medications, and while it wasn’t an easy, breezy journey to get off of those pills (I actually suffered...

June 21, 2019

Now, in my defense I was dealing with some pretty heavy stress and sickness at the time I gave my wife that lame answer. After nearly a decade and a half of daily SSRI and benzodiazepine use, I’d quit those “antianxiety” medications and had subsequently been consumed by the modern mystery illness known as prescription drug withdrawal. I couldn’t sleep, eat, or go to the bathroom properly for many months, and I would be afflicted by many strange physical and men...

February 5, 2019

A Good Friday afternoon on South Beach is altogether different from a Good Friday afternoon back home in Wisconsin: That much became clear rather quickly as my wife and I set our towels and tote bags down on the febrile sand near the Fifth Street lifeguard stand. For starters, the sun was shining brilliantly, a stark contrast to the midwestern cold and gray that often lends further solemnness to the Holy Week holiday built around Jesus’ crucifixion. And then th...

December 20, 2018

“Facing difficulties is inevitable. Learning from them is optional.” That is a quote from an American pastor and author by the name of John C. Maxwell. Now, at the age of forty-one, I can recognize the wisdom in that quote, and I would like to add the following: “Most of us wouldn’t choose to relive the most difficult days of our lives, but neither would we choose to return the knowledge that we now posses because of them.” The prescription drug withdrawal that...

March 28, 2018

Nearly two years before I was even born—on January 1, 1975—a man stepped onto the sands of Miami Beach to take the first steps of a now-legendary journey. The resolution he had in mind was almost simple at the time: He would run eight miles every day for an entire year. There would be no days off: not for fatigue, not for injury, not for severe weather, sickness, or family emergency.

More than four decades later, more than 126,000 miles later, that man still has...

January 18, 2018

I spent the first hours of 2018 on my hands and knees. I was rosy cheeked and a bit shaky. I was fumbling for answers and direction, wondering what had happened; wondering how I’d get out of a confusing mess.

No, I wasn’t drunkenly attempting to dig my car out of a snow-filled ditch. That actually happened on a different New Year’s Eve in another lifetime—a teenage lifetime that was usually awash in passion and emotion but occasionally lacking in solid reasoning...