"Not Dying" with Tim Calpin

July 24, 2023 Joe Van Wie / Tim Calpin Season 3 Episode 58
"Not Dying" with Tim Calpin
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"Not Dying" with Tim Calpin
Jul 24, 2023 Season 3 Episode 58
Joe Van Wie / Tim Calpin

Title: "Not Dying" with Tim Calpin

In this episode of Season 3, Episode 58, Joe Van Wie interviews Tim Calpin, a man who went missing for eight months and was at times presumed dead. Tim shares his harrowing experience of living in Kensington, Pennsylvania, a town often associated with opioid-use-disorder, where people are sadly viewed as zombies.

Tim discusses his return from the streets of Philadelphia and reflects on why he sought refuge in a place known for its struggles with addiction. Despite his unbelievable creative talent, skill, and kindness, Tim found himself in this challenging environment, leading to questions about the human mind and the impact of addiction on individuals and communities.

The conversation delves into the importance of awareness and being open to one's experiences, even in difficult circumstances. Tim's journey prompts a discussion about resilience and the ability to embrace what is, rather than what ought to be.

Before his time in Kensington, Tim graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Marketing and Business Management. He worked as an assistant to the executive producer at the comedy central show "South Park," where he honed his pitching, research, and marketing skills. Later, he pursued a successful career as a Freelance Writer and Screenwriter, writing feature-length film scripts for major studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount, Lionsgate, and YFG. This included his first feature film "Assassination of a High School President"

πŸ“’ **Announcement!** πŸ“’. We want to introduce our new 24-hour, 7-days-a-week hotline for crisis or substance use treatment. Whether you are seeking help for the first time or are an alum in need of immediate assistance, our team is here for you around the clock. πŸ“ž **Call 1-800-HELP-120 anytime, day or night.** #ScrantonRecovery #ScrantonRecovery #ScrantonRecovery Fellowship House
As a treatment center, Fellowship House offers both residential and outpatient treatment services to
Discussions on addiction and recovery. We interview clinicians/researchers, legislators, and individ

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Title: "Not Dying" with Tim Calpin

In this episode of Season 3, Episode 58, Joe Van Wie interviews Tim Calpin, a man who went missing for eight months and was at times presumed dead. Tim shares his harrowing experience of living in Kensington, Pennsylvania, a town often associated with opioid-use-disorder, where people are sadly viewed as zombies.

Tim discusses his return from the streets of Philadelphia and reflects on why he sought refuge in a place known for its struggles with addiction. Despite his unbelievable creative talent, skill, and kindness, Tim found himself in this challenging environment, leading to questions about the human mind and the impact of addiction on individuals and communities.

The conversation delves into the importance of awareness and being open to one's experiences, even in difficult circumstances. Tim's journey prompts a discussion about resilience and the ability to embrace what is, rather than what ought to be.

Before his time in Kensington, Tim graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University with a B.A. in Marketing and Business Management. He worked as an assistant to the executive producer at the comedy central show "South Park," where he honed his pitching, research, and marketing skills. Later, he pursued a successful career as a Freelance Writer and Screenwriter, writing feature-length film scripts for major studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount, Lionsgate, and YFG. This included his first feature film "Assassination of a High School President"

πŸ“’ **Announcement!** πŸ“’. We want to introduce our new 24-hour, 7-days-a-week hotline for crisis or substance use treatment. Whether you are seeking help for the first time or are an alum in need of immediate assistance, our team is here for you around the clock. πŸ“ž **Call 1-800-HELP-120 anytime, day or night.** #ScrantonRecovery #ScrantonRecovery #ScrantonRecovery Fellowship House
As a treatment center, Fellowship House offers both residential and outpatient treatment services to
Discussions on addiction and recovery. We interview clinicians/researchers, legislators, and individ

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Stop by our Apple Podcast and drop a Review!

Support The Show

Joe Van Wie  0:03  
Hello, and thanks again for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe van wie V. Today's guest is a friend and a second cousin. She's a big deal and today's guest is Tim Calvin. Tim kelp, a graduated summa cum laude, Bachelors of Arts, marketing, business management, Syracuse University. Tim then started his professional career at South Park. Michelle, Los Angeles, California, Assistant to the executive producer, writers assistant was from September 2004 to December 2006. While they're at the research, development of the show, storylines scripts, system and creation of promotional materials, TV spots, merchandise general office duties. After leaving there in 2006, Tim was a freelance writer 2007 to 20. I don't know if anyone understands how difficult that is. But we talked about that how difficult it is just to move to California and stay in California on the Eastern Seaboard. But now to do it as a screenwriter. This is like winning the Powerball if you can make an effective career out of this, and Timmy did. He wrote and developed in that time feature length films scripts for Warner Brothers, Paramount Lionsgate your YARI Film Group, including the independent film assassination of a high school president. It starred Bruce Willis and Misha Park. It was Timmies first film that he shot in New Jersey beach. He also wrote and developed television pilots for studios, production companies Fox Comedy Central, an animated series, titled cops uncovered. Afterwards, Timmy spent the next decade developing serious skills in SEO, app development, social media branding content copy from here to Philadelphia. Working for pepperjam channel eight, just drive media, Merck Pharmaceuticals, GSC digital marketing, Doylestown, so wide range of skills that aren't really fluff. I also had the good fortune of doing a couple of things with Timmy we we've shot a lot of short films together, paying for commercials. And we collaborated on a project that was called the Pennsylvania film school where we got to teach crash courses at this point Cultural Center, and we'll see what the hell we do independent filmmakers, just raw skills and budgeting, how to shoot your first feature film, we had a blast doing that Tim like myself is struggled with substance use disorder, in and out of a various amount of post epic communities. And the last year of his life has been really hard and the most transformative. But eight months ago, I I came home and I found myself upstairs on the computer posting a picture of Tim, a Facebook. It was a really hesitant to do it, because it's just the last thing you want to do when someone's missing is put the picture on Facebook. There's just thoughts going on in your head and my my overreacting or shaming him does this commit him not to reach out. It's, it's awful. It's just not as easy as posting someone's picture. And I've done this before where the person was dead. And you find them days later, after Holy shit, friends walking dead. And I posted the picture with along with loving and caring family members and other friends. I just thought holy, he's fucking dead. In terms of the podcast today, and I'm able to spend the last four weeks with them. It has been amazing to see a person discover so much about themselves in a short, short period of time that created so much pain and despair for them and put them in a position where they thought they had one choice is to disappear for eight months and we're gonna talk about that today. And to see someone suffer the consequences or legal system that is just punishing and overwhelming and just looks just unfair when you're paying consequences fruit flag processing primes are broken. on probation prime truly having an addiction that's trying to skirt responsibility, but it was tough. That story has a much brighter ending. And we could talk about that today. So let's meet Tim Calvin.

Tim Calpin  5:18  
There's a good chance.

Joe Van Wie  5:19  
It's a it's a strange guy.

Tim Calpin  5:20  
Now. Most chairs I'm not okay with this is this is good.

Joe Van Wie  5:26  
It's a chair of antiquity. It's from Iran. That you're an Iranian. It came from the Caspian Sea,

Tim Calpin  5:34  
the Shahs chair to Greenwich. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  5:37  
Shan Shan Dorst. It was a chair that represented liberty and free ideals in Iran.

Tim Calpin  5:46  
I liked that my elbows are a pie. I think that's what it is. I'm saying like, it's Yeah, your elbows should should actually often be just below shoulder height. And in the normal American western style chair, they've got it all fucked

Joe Van Wie  5:59  
up. No, if you look at that chair, it's a chair that was actually borrowed by Rome. Ah, so the empire of Rome knew where they had their choice of chairs through the Mesopotamia. And what did they choose? Look at that? That's an Iranian chair.

Tim Calpin  6:15  
Yeah. We're gonna get derailed this this episode. So first, I want to make sure we talked about not dying, because that's the title. That's before we even had content. It was the pre title. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  6:28  
I always title afterwards, but I didn't think there was anything else that could be. You're not debt.

Tim Calpin  6:34  
So all of all the what are they talking about? Tim's not he's not that. Yeah, it's Joe Kane just sent me a picture of a fortune. And it essentially said the same thing. Like, yeah, the payment is to be alive, or just the improbability of being lost. So you can

Joe Van Wie  6:54  
even take the position of the pain of existence. I think you went somewhere that pain is enjoyable. Now, just the fact that, you know, pain is an earmark that oh, I'm still alive. Yeah, yeah. Can you take that position with suffering? No. Is your Yeah, sure. Well,

Tim Calpin  7:10  
in the moment, I mean, you you know what it's like to have anxiety obsession. I guess that's what I would call pain. You know what I mean? Like, not not physical suffering, suffering. Right. Okay. So right. So we'll take it from there. And that is, that that's sort of the overwhelming thing that goes on with me. Yeah, I can appreciate it. Sure. You know, like, I see it as as valuable, you know, now, now that like, I don't, now that I see that it's not the only thing. It's not like the real thing. It's just, you know, it's just what's what happens in your mind. So, but here, let's before we get to read, because we're gonna, we're gonna get so fucking derailed the whole time. Because what I wanted to talk about after that was hardcore history, which is when other people tried to appropriate the Roman centurion, which means you can have this conversation afterward. Because no one could do it. No one No one could do what Rome did with the soldier. And that that occurs that occurs throughout history with the you know,

Joe Van Wie  8:13  
there's many reasons on those. Yeah, for that. Well, what I believe and understand that was, it's it's the culture comes from the foundation culture, of Rome being farmers. Yeah. And the ideology of this farmer that can now unite to protect that that plot of land, which was Rome. The training for being that farmer was unilateral with being soldier it was just always immersed in the culture, they will that's

Tim Calpin  8:44  
what it is, it was birthed out of culture. You're born into right

Joe Van Wie  8:50  
there's no difference between the citizen and the soldier when Rome was born. Yeah. And you know, the house the way the house is in gender, it was just all structured around a military might that just grew what almost seems humble, they didn't start overtly like hey, we're military just started as we're overtly fierce, and you can't take this now we're gonna take other areas to even secure less threats,

Tim Calpin  9:19  
right? We need to be at the center of another area. Yeah. This that's, that's timelines

Joe Van Wie  9:24  
house. Gaius. We talked about Rome a bunch of times here. You can't talk about enough. I mean, I think Rome still seems more culturally sophisticated than the United States of how you can't. You would they were so immersed in it. There's no way to separate it unless there's other the ingroup was so large. Yeah. Yeah, it's weird. So it's an unending topic. It is, but to clear the air you're safe and sound.

Tim Calpin  9:56  
This is a bullet and this isn't a pocket. It's a bullet. You So yeah, I bet I'd been missing. So about the non time. I don't know if you remember this, but there was a time I think you were dropping me off at rehab. I think we were drinking from the same bottle of vodka and you said was don't die. Like it was a pre It was sort of like a pre step one. It was a very base. Like if you think about the steps like you're on, you have to be on the floor. Like you have to be alive. Yeah. And yeah, I it's the one piece of advice. I suppose I found

Joe Van Wie  10:30  
out about that. That was that was the end of the summer. I feel like yes, I remember. The hypocrisy. I felt. I was in no.

Tim Calpin  10:41  
Oh, yeah, that's how I brought but no,

Joe Van Wie  10:43  
but I remember driving you off, because I'm like, your scenario was far more advanced at the point where I just started drinking again. And I'm like, I wasn't hiding it from view I don't like there's so many friends you could lie to there's so few that if you do, man, you're crossing your preferably the Rubicon. There's no turning back.

Tim Calpin  11:05  
I think I think internally you know that you know what I mean? I think that's a fucked me up so much was that I didn't, I wasn't lying to the people that I was closest with. But I kept everything hidden. You know what I mean? Like there was, there was so much shame at this, I guess this will segue nicely into, you know, into me being down in Kensington. Because that's, and to be honest, that's a good I don't know if I've ever heard anyone on on this show, discuss that sort of thing, you know, but like, I've been to Skid Row in LA, I've been to MacArthur Park, and I've been to some other open air drug markets. And I just think it's, it's a really interesting thing that people sort of, you know, they know, like a curse, you know, they have a sense of what goes on, or they see something on YouTube and Oh, my God, it's it's horrific to where the wire or the exactly so they'll Hamsterdam Right. Right. And, but, but I sat, I just sat on so much shame, you know, like, like, and then then it kept compounding. So there was the shame of blowing up my life in Los Angeles, right? And I was thinking a lot about this as I was driving, I picked up Dunkin Donuts. Like, think about oh, like, what would we talk about, you know, there's, there's so much that you and I could talk about, especially but like, so, so all that is sitting there, and it's the whole time, like, from probably 2017 2018 on, I was like projecting this front of like, you know, things are all right. And, um, you know, like, yeah, a confident, capable person. And everybody could see beyond that, which was like, I, I'd never taken a look at, you know, the loss. And, you know, like, all the stuff that I had been ashamed of, I could go on and on. Right, so like,

Joe Van Wie  12:43  
Well, I'm just curious, just to set a marker here. Okay. How does a guy from Greenwich who, who, by all accounts and any observation, moved out to LA, and is now having, you know, a really promising screenwriting career, which is not only extremely hard, it's extremely hard to move to California from the East Coast and be able to live there longer than a year, it's rarely done. I mean, take a look at your friends that are in California, at any age, any generation, it's really hard to stay there. Yeah. And you went there to write, which is like, quadruple the hardness and your breaking through. And then you just said you were at Skid Row. I mean, that's, that's a really big leap. And for me, knowing you, some of it seems almost not I'm not I'm not gonna say manufactured you, we have the same illness. But the the temptation to start going there instead of you went there with money initially. Yeah. You thought you were an observer you were looking for.

Tim Calpin  13:51  
I don't know if I ever felt like like I deserved or that that was ever real. You know what I mean? Like, I don't want to shoot like an esoteric. Yeah. i By the age of 27, I woke up every morning I drank, man, you know what I mean? Like that's and maybe that's I was late stage alcoholic, and maybe some of that's natural, but I had a lot of other stuff going on, you know. And I wasn't happy. And I felt like a phony. And I, I only I only really pursued it like, like looking back I only really pursued it out of some sense of like having some kind of worth, you know, yeah. Like I really liked coming home and saying, Oh, I've got this movie in production. And I'm doing this and I'm doing that you know what I mean? That was more important. And then beyond that, I mean, drinking was more important. You didn't even know that.

Joe Van Wie  14:40  
Well, you were still humble. I want it to promote promote you more than you want it to promote

Tim Calpin  14:45  
yourself. Yeah. Because that's, that's what it is. And so we're gonna get so derailed that in hindsight, now I can see how that has value. You know what I mean? Like I get I get people that have that same thing. Like I'll talk to other guys who don't understand design. honesty or you know like like joking like he's he's a pretty direct like What You See Is What You Get yeah and I am not a What You See Is What You Get guy you know and now I am in this moment i Right now I am and I've had like a different experience thanks to thanks to being down there thanks to thanks to really becoming base but like that like like getting that's what Kensington did Kensington said, or the universe rather said, if we're jumping all over, like keep me in line. That's fine. Because we'll get a timeline if that's if that's interesting to people. I don't do it. Yeah, so what it said was like, you can pretend to fucking be any way you want. You can, you can act any way you want. You can do all these things, you can get a job, you can have money, you cannot have money, you can date this girl, you cannot date this girl. But we like we know what the fuck is up with you. So now we're gonna have your circumstances match the way you feel. And you're gonna live in the fucking gutter dude, and have nothing and blow all your fucking money and all your safety. I have no contact with anybody that loves you. And like, let's see what happens then. You know, and when you get back to not dying, I mean, I'm, like, Joe, I'm so worried about saying this stuff. Because I know people are gonna, like, my brother's gonna listen to it. But like, this is a truth that they probably know that that that I delude myself into thinking they don't which is the intention was never to come home, the intention was to disappear completely. And to and that's, that's what happens to people who are we'll call them chronic relapses, but people who are unwilling to get honest about like, what the fuck is going on with them? Because that's what happened, you know? And once I was there it was it was real honest, man. Real honest. I wrote a note. I wrote a long letter. I was so sick. I mean, just you can hear the emotion in my voice. I can't believe that, that that. That's where it took me. Do you know what I mean? Like I can believe? Is that your phone? Wow. Let's take the call and take the call.

Joe Van Wie  16:53  
It's my sister. What are you doing? Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Tim Calpin  17:01  
So So at any rate, go back, go back to that. I don't know if that's ever anything I wanted. And I loved something that's, that's part of my amends now is getting back in touch with like, the people that I was friends with, like, you know, maybe not the serious relationship. We'll call it a serious relationship, even though it's just like an insane person. But you know, Murph, like my buddies from out there, you know, like they want to, they want to see how I'm doing. Like, I denied myself that and I denied them this friendship because like, I couldn't look at who I was, I couldn't look at who I wasn't what I done. You know, my writing partner, Pete people I knew who have success, and I'm like, oh, like, they must think I'm such a loser. You know, oh, like all this insanity. The value of it is, it's like gold now. Like, like, not just in the sense that, like, I have things to talk about, or write about, like, I can always do that. But I see people and I can and i right away. I'm like, That's it. You know, like, if you've if you've been if you can put nine months together, go back, blow your life up and do that for 10 years. Like I know what's going on? Yeah. Do you know what I'm saying? Like, has it because that's that was the that's my firsthand experience was it was never been able to take a look at it. And it's, it's only a matter of time, before we get back to this idea of time where it's like, there is no you imagine going down the maze of your mind into the labyrinth of your mind and just like and saying, Okay, I'm gonna now I'm gonna walk back out, like you won't walk back out, you'll say, No, I'm gonna give up. You know,

Joe Van Wie  18:33  
it's unrecognizable. And I tasted that. I know, not wanting to exist. Yeah. alienating myself, being completely confused of how I perceive all my relationships. And you said something. As one of the first indications of suffering and pain that you experience from addiction, which is there's many things is that it's pre addiction, and it's social. It doesn't exist without people. And this is completely a problem for mammals. Yeah. You said imposter syndrome. Well, imposters don't exist if you're there's no other people in your life. No, there's no such thing. So there's this constant dialogue and narrative that's going on in a person's head who experiences that? That isn't real? Yeah, it's pretty presuming that you know, the thoughts and perceptions of others in this circle that No, you're the imposter. It's not you thinking you're the imposter? How you think you're the imposter is through other people's voices. I could if

Tim Calpin  19:34  
you assume you know everything that the other people in your life and they'll

Joe Van Wie  19:38  
find out and also Ergo I'm, I'm an impostor, but it's manufactured from this idea that you're, you're hearing like almost broad thought broadcasting was coming to me. They know I saw the way they looked at me. And that's something that is really distinct. I think to people that have substance use disorder that I relate to because I take in a lot of information. And I think anyone who's had neglect trauma, or some kind of bonding style that is mute in inhibits the full personality maybe this person should have had that's more could embrace intimacy at a natural level that sustains like a quality of life. If that's muted. I think I take in so much data at a speed through this lens that like, you don't need to, like there's no sovereignty, like to you, like, other people's thoughts must be about me, right? This this self centeredness of childhood continues. Yeah, because you're hurt. Yeah. So if someone's upset, it's obviously me. They know what I did. They could I could tell by the way they look at me, they really know what I think about myself. Yeah. This precedes drinking. So what I where I want to start on the timeline, what did alcohol do to you, and what was the problem before.

Tim Calpin  21:05  
So as soon as you brought this up, my mind goes to like, to two places immediately. The first is, and you know, this will give like a really brief background. So my dad was was an alcoholic and an addict. He was an amazing guy, but you know, like, he was an alcoholic, you know, and he left him and my mom divorced when I was like, five, I remember a little bit of that. My mom had a, she was in a tough spot, man, you know, and like, she pulled it together and like started to raise us. But what you're talking about sort of, you know, people, what's the cliche in a never felt comfortable in my own skin. When I walked around the halls of my high school, I felt like other people had read, you know, the manual, and I didn't, and whatever that is, i Those are good shorthand ways of saying what what we're trying to get, right. Yeah. So I started going to school, and I'm kind of fat because I'm already like overeating, right? And I have these big, thick glasses. And I feel this way. But I start telling myself stories. When I come home, I don't want my mom to be upset. So I start telling her stories. It's when I tell my story. This is right. This is how I started. I used to tell her like, she would be like, how was school? And I would say it was great. You know, we played kickball, and I kicked her home fucking home run. Yeah. And all the kids pick me up on their shoulders. And like, as I'm telling it, like

Joe Van Wie  22:22  
your max. Yeah.

Tim Calpin  22:25  
Yeah. Exactly. I think maybe that's why Rushmore is such an appeal. You know? Because everybody's are like a Walter Mitty effect, you know? And that's what I was before I knew what any of those things were. I was a storyteller. Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  22:36  
the opening scene? Yeah, solve the math problem.

Tim Calpin  22:39  
So and I remember how good it felt to sort of think like, oh, maybe that could be real, you know, or this is almost as good as having a fulfilling you know, you know, thing going on there. So the other one was, I went from public school in fifth grade to St. Paul's. And so I met you was the first time I met you don't remember this either. But you're missing into a sake, I want you the bathroom, you're standing on safe passing into it.

Joe Van Wie  23:02  
Just it's how I felt.

Tim Calpin  23:05  
And that I was drawn to I mean, I remember thinking in the back of my mind, yeah, like that's, that's what I'm, I'm thinking about. So anyway, go to the school all these kids knew each other. And these kids would later become my great friends like the best friends I had in life. So I show up in gym class, like one of the first fucking days everyone's got blue shorts and a blue shirt, St. Paul's, you know, like Crusaders. And my mom sent me with my 40 Niners like the visual, like I think back on it, I was like, I really was different. Like, yeah, so I'm wearing red sweatpants and a red sweatshirt. And you know, of course we go into change and my buddy I'll I'll call him up my buddy Loftus starts fucking with me. And, and again, today, he's one of my best friends. But I love I mean, me and this guy are so tight. Like, I wish I could call him right now. So, but he starts fucking with me because I look like you know, like, Yeah, I'm not I don't fit in your whatever. Gym Class. Exactly. Right. So what happened was, I'm not going to tell you exactly what I said. Because it's kind of off color. But I made this joke. And in that moment, I compromised myself because I felt bad about it. Yeah, I made this joke. That was it was like, I made him think that something had happened. Right and, and, but I remembered right away. I was like, This is how you do it. This is how you adapt to people on their heels. Put them on their heels. You like be funny, because I was always good with that. Be funny. And assimilate whatever you got to do was

Joe Van Wie  24:34  
dangerous from that joke to like, yeah. Oh, there

Tim Calpin  24:37  
was always that Sure. I mean, like there was always good passive way to Yeah, Mark, Tara and I hung out with like, with tea and bow and like we maybe not, we were considered, you know, like Trump, like I'm not gonna say danger, but we're considered you know, troublemakers.

Joe Van Wie  24:52  
I thought you were nice boys.

Tim Calpin  24:53  
Well, we I mean, you guys were super fucked out.

Joe Van Wie  25:00  
Okay, you got an earring? But yeah, but

Tim Calpin  25:02  
I mean, just the level of antics was, you know, like we all smoked. Eventually we drank but you guys were like, into violence and yeah, like we sometimes we would destroy things we were teamsters but yeah, I mean, you guys are like that's like that's what I consider like the the sharks and the Jets kind of thing. So So at any rate, that that's my experience with alcoholism before I ever picked up, right, so like now I'm pretending to be somebody that I'm not, I don't feel alright. And that, that that is that at its base level, I hope that's what people get from from it. And I was like, that's what alcoholism is, you know, and I felt those ways. Like, I could give you 1000 examples prior to that, you know, like, I kissed a girl in preschool and she didn't like me. And, you know, I think I think the emotional reaction was not what another What a fucking earth person or whatever, person who's not an addict would have. But when I drank the first time I drank was, I can't I can never remember it was one of two times either my stepsister had a party, but it was the same experience. My stepsister had a party at her house at their house, and I did a beer bong. And, again, like, I felt accepted. I felt good. But but that shit was a revelation to me, you know, like alcohol right away was?

Joe Van Wie  26:13  
Was this the first time you were a neighborhood? Yeah. And well, the

Tim Calpin  26:16  
first time I drank I got any bread. Yeah. So it was either that or I was at teas house, and we drank VO and Rolling Rock and his and what is 13 37/7? Grade? Maybe sixth grade? Sure. But I think seventh grade. You know, and it made me it made me feel the way that I thought other people felt, you know, maybe like all these it's hard not to describe it without that shorthand that people use. You know what I mean? Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  26:44  
we're fortunate to get such dramatic bonding with the drug or alcohol because we're around 12 Step. recovery groups, you and I both for probably like the last three decades now. You hear this story often, but why isn't everyone have the story? Because life is really can be it's difficult for many everybody, why do some just not come out as an alcoholic? And you and I probably have already tormented ourselves about that we will have other people. Sure. But that's it. Like that's the alcoholic i i resound with there's something really complex happening. It's just enough. Lowered amount of dopamine, the emotional bonding is there. Social Anxiety is

Tim Calpin  27:34  
just a rat. And that alone, Joe is like a it's like scratching off a lottery ticket hitting 10 grand, you know, I mean, like, so your

Joe Van Wie  27:41  
resiliency becomes an outside agent exam. I'll be alcohol like now. I'm fine.

Tim Calpin  27:47  
Yeah. Yeah. And so all those things are happening. And you have no idea. I mean, you're down. You're in the woods drinking? Yeah, yeah. And then that later would happen with with opiates. The first opiate I took was uphill, I took oxy from, let's say, family member. So you know, and I didn't have it. But then when I started using dope much later that that that revelation happened again, where it was like, oh my god, like, because drinking the dirt by the age of 27, or 20, drinking it become a very serious issue. Like I had a ton of anxiety. Like I said, I woke up and drank every day, all day, it was starting to really have an effect on my life and my career on my relationships. And I kind of in the back of my mind knew, like your thoughts. Well, let's

Joe Van Wie  28:30  
unpack that too. Like, like the how fluid an addiction could be. I think people confuses people to because it's called alcoholism. But yeah, better known as substance use disorder. This takes a huge investment of time, social time, and alcohol is a really volatile drug to use at 27. Now to get the same feelings and what it would relieve when you're younger. Now you're investing 12 hours, your body is crippled for the next three days, that I'm not even talking about the anti narcotics yet. Yeah. So you get this time of a 14 hour investment of a binge drinking, which has a diminished return and a loss of three days of work, social emotional, answering the phone, to find an opiate, in the midst of that not have a serious physical injury. And then it bonds what you that what you were about to describe so profoundly, is the opiates working in a much more proficient and you know, a better return. That's a pain to receive pain, and you're not a fucking masseuse for 14 days,

Tim Calpin  29:43  
if you can make a switch. And so my drinking was was daily I mean, I woke up and drank all day, every day. Once in a while, I could put like a day or two together but it was just like a, like a pan, like a 24 hours

Joe Van Wie  29:54  
or desire to curb this without thinking you had to do a full Treatment of rehab Alcoholics Anonymous, any conventional way to enter recovery? Was there something in your mind thinking? I'm going to wake up and have agency and I'll find a different way to get relief smoke pot take opiates, was there ever that going on

Tim Calpin  30:16  
now there? There was, there was never an option. Like when I look back, you know? And I don't want to just say drinking but but but killing any kind of fear anxiety. Do you mean like killing all that stuff? Yeah, was always that the mandate like that was always the thing. And I would wake up sometimes so spun out because that was the only thing that I cared about. I don't even think at that age, I took a breath to say, what's happening, you know, like, there's no, I was always just really like, I don't know,

Joe Van Wie  30:52  
I think that's what perplexes people that have a conscious agency that loves someone that's doing this and maybe rationally they could know okay, they it's producing something there's a value happening in exchange in light of all the consequences let's just break this relationship. And what they don't know is now there's been such a deficit of that treating anxiety all the other ailments that I feel mentally which I relate to profoundly when you take that away they there is no retreat or relief from it. It's not like you can get well really immediately like some miracle of a saint now you're in it's just It's intolerable to be conscious because there's no way for me to not think I might next thought I my next emotion there is no right your escape from it. I'm trapped your brain

Tim Calpin  31:45  
the way I think it is like you're a solid state human beings I mean, there's no separation like you are, you are sometimes like you can you can pull away like here's here's, you know, alcoholic thinking, here's addictive thinking, here's me, and I did I was a solid state guy for a long fucking time. Yeah. And I just ran like, like, my mind ran so fast, and I just did whatever the fuck it told me that's

Joe Van Wie  32:05  
crazy. Well, that's, it's a great description of an ego. It's oversimplified. But it's the idea that your ego that position when you're in your ego, this is a position of view that's solid that says, I'll never change this is who I've always been who I always will be. And this is the illusion of ego. That's really dangerous. Yeah, that a person. There's this observer that will never be developed. Like it's always this position. There's a Tim that's watching me get better, but I know the real Tim's just watching it happen. It's freakish

Tim Calpin  32:37  
it is yeah. Well, and let's let's do like a little sub to that. I mean, that that is the baby beauty the brilliance of, of things like of like mindfulness and Alcoholics Anonymous, which is this idea that you know, you don't have to you don't have you, you don't have to live as a slave to your programming. You know what I mean? Like you're programmed a certain way we get it like you grow up your parents are a long way you live in America, you know, I mean, like maybe you get bullied, whatever the fuck it is, and then it's like very, very few people get the opportunity to remove themselves from that and look at it and look at it you know, from like, you're saying from an outside Vantage and say, Alright, take a breath. You know, do I really want to be in a relationship with this person? You know, like, and you hear that stuff people married like 20 years now like I didn't I didn't know I was married to you know exactly being awake. Which is beautiful like to be free to be awake is

Joe Van Wie  33:31  
woke Yeah, it's it's a shame that became so toxic have a word or politicized but the idea the ancient idea of being awake precedes like, Judeo Christian. I always like that Alcoholics Anonymous choose that word word for the 12 step. Now having an awakening under the premise you are asleep, or what are you asleep to you think you're who you are? Yeah, this is a huge lie. This is beyond and far more meaningful than cocaine use. What's really going on as you tricked your you've hypnotized yourself this is a dance between culture the circumstances you emerge in your dad being an alcoholic mind we don't pick these things like I had a great podcast

Tim Calpin  34:19  
just like he just like they didn't pick it you

Joe Van Wie  34:21  
know, there's no free will and this This is absurd. To wake up to the idea that you don't have agency is power.

Tim Calpin  34:29  
Like that gives you a couple of kids now it's like okay, well then how do I do it and

Joe Van Wie  34:32  
who's thinking these thoughts? Right, I'm not choosing them they emerge right there's this

Tim Calpin  34:36  
this some people will call it I won't even say it but we'll be initials are icy, right? Or like the idea of, you know, divinity, or, you know, goodness that lives within you know, it's there. It's in everybody, you know, and maybe it's maybe I'm, maybe we don't say goodness, but yours but like a separate entity that can do Yeah, look at,

Joe Van Wie  35:01  
it's hard to say good or evil, it seems like it, you know, they're not relevant. Like once you kind of go past these, these, the ideas of them, they only exist through a conscious agent. But if you go further, you said something that's programming and all this stuff, this precedes something, if you're awake, what precedes it is awareness. Awareness has no personality. Now, it's not a position from the ego. And it's really, if you get there a couple times, something liberating and terrifying could happen, depending on the individual is that there is no self. And this drops out like I I've always kind of, I have my patterns, but there's something that's aware of them. It's not intent. It's weird. I got that from acid or psilocybin, but I couldn't maintain it or articulate it. But now from you know, if I have a daily formal practice for three years, I realized meditating allows me to see how much of the day I am asleep. It's probably 95%. That's

Tim Calpin  36:04  
cool. Because what I mean, that's the that's our board. Like, that's the mat. I know, you got your brain like that's what else?

Joe Van Wie  36:12  
Well, the breakdown. Yeah, exactly. And the software's culture, and the culture, you know, is transient and temporal. And we happen to be in a really cool time to be alive and download some weird shit about 10,000 years of ideas are floating and all of our heads I wouldn't want to live any other time if you got to choose from the past. They all sound like a nightmare to me if you really dig deep. Rome being one of them.

Tim Calpin  36:37  
Well right to be in war and have to suffer at the hands. Yeah, it's like I'd much rather be shot. Give me Hulu, give me all that shit. I'll take like, entertain me. I don't care. Like, I am unabashedly ready to be entertained right now. We just got, we just got derailed there. So it's

Joe Van Wie  37:02  
fine. This is about derailment. What can you give me a generalized kind of a description? How would you summarize previous attempts to sobriety? And not only those previous attempts, what those attempts left in your brain as a narrative for you to get sober? What lies became true, it's in your head to say, I'm running off, and I'm disappearing for eight months? Yeah. How do you summarize your previous attempts bringing you to a point where you are committed to that plan? Said to try one more time?

Tim Calpin  37:37  
Yeah. So that assumes the the idea that there was maybe there is a plan going on subconsciously, that you know, about, like, I liked how you and I were talking about, like hoarding the money. And you're, I mean, like, desperately subconsciously, just like saving up for that you're building

Joe Van Wie  37:53  
a pyramid. So

Tim Calpin  37:56  
so after, after I after I left LA and I was like, Okay, it's over there. You know, I mean, like, it's, it's done, like, I'm fucked up. There's something you know, and I knew that you had been so renouveau have been sober. I knew, you know, work for some people. This is this is how all all explained the first go, right? Because then after that, it's just it just varying varying versions is very iterations. Like, there's no there's no like, other story. There's no other story to dishonesty. Anybody who has a chronic relapse problem, like has one of three problems, either they're being fucking dishonest about something, and that's probably the vast majority of it's way too simple. It's so simple true to they have a mental health issue that that that comorbidities underlying disorder that prevents them from you know, engaging in we'll call it recovery. Right. And that

Joe Van Wie  38:48  
is severe as schizoaffective disorder right yeah. I polar events so you're also disorder I

Tim Calpin  38:55  
think. Deficit a order Sure. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  38:57  
I you know, I It's hard to separate my ATD from my addiction. Yeah, they seem to have treated each like Yeah. My addiction treated both conditions.

Tim Calpin  39:09  
Sure. Yeah. Well asked you so subs, let's say it this way substance use in my mind, the way I look at it my mind addiction and mental health are playing fucking ping pong. Yeah, like, you know, I mean, like, it's and you one does have to treat both, you know, simultaneously you know, but yeah, you can't do it unless you're unless you're sober and like you have a program Yeah, the third one is an inability to integrate into into a group A and A whatever you want to call it, you know, mean, like some kind of group because you can't do it on your own, you know. But most of its dishonesty, so here was my dishonesty. I kept convincing myself that what, like my way was the right way. So I went to AAA and I went with you. I went with these guys, and I met everybody. And I was I was well spoken. I picked up the language real quick. I remembered meeting dumpster dumpster boots right and that dumpster Bruce and I was like, okay, like, I get it, you do this stuff, and then you can be a millionaire. You know, I mean, like, like, or like, I wanted my old life back like I was so tied to that identity. Someone who has like a self esteem shame, like that brand of alcoholic will always clamor for the things that made him feel fucking good. Cuz, you know, like, like, I got it. Like, I can't drink. You know, I mean, until until the day that I did, but I needed all that stuff back. And I definitely didn't talk about that. I wasn't hard

Joe Van Wie  40:32  
to you don't even know if it's happening. But but it wasn't

Tim Calpin  40:35  
for a long time. I kept judging myself and saying like, you're a you're a bad person to get Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And like, why can't you get this AAA was a means for me to get my own ship back, you know, it was to have some level of success so I can have some kind of some kind of self worth. It's pretty

Joe Van Wie  40:52  
sensible to other people, though. Like you're judging yourself on a maybe even over extreme Catholic lenses that we deserve nothing. But I know that feeling seeing someone like dumpster Bruce or someone who's really, I mean, just ascend it to a life that just seems unexpected from where they came from. It's like, oh, that's the back door. I can't go through the door. The squares do. I don't fit in it. Yeah, well, I can go to the bar. There's another entrance. There's

Tim Calpin  41:19  
another one says, Yeah, and it's all it consists of as me, you know, sounding clever. Once a day, raise my hand say something that fucking to

Joe Van Wie  41:27  
be celebrated to, which is crazy. Like, I

Tim Calpin  41:30  
tell people to sound like, like, go ahead, raise your Go ahead, raise your hand at a meeting. You know what I mean? Say something great, but like, it doesn't mean shit. You know, I hate to say it, but what matters is is is how you live your life. And if you can change, you know, especially for someone like me, or you Joe, that's like, real fucking sick dude. Like real sick, has based his life on, on ideas and concepts that work to a certain degree, you know, but like to get a job, present someone that that you are not, so that you can get the things that you want. And that's that's to sit here and look at it, like in reverse to go back. Insane. Completely insane. So then what happened is,

Joe Van Wie  42:09  
it's American.

Tim Calpin  42:10  
And it really is, I mean, that really, that's, that's sort of it,

Joe Van Wie  42:13  
ya know, it's,

Tim Calpin  42:14  
we're all Ray Kroc.

Joe Van Wie  42:17  
I have one life, and I always felt I was behind. So I would put the hustle, I would put ideas that would stretch the truth, because I just thought that was that was creativity.

Tim Calpin  42:27  
Sure. So yeah, and it made you feel good and made you feel, you know, like, there's nothing wrong with with admitting like, you know, I want to feel like somebody you know, like, I want to feel, especially when it's lacking, like, inherently lacking. That's what that's another big part of being an addict is like, you kind of inherently lack that. It's the value that other people have just from being a human being.

Joe Van Wie  42:48  
I tried to visit it every morning, and you realize that there it controls a lot of my motives. And it's not, it can't hide as easily these last three years. I've never been sober as a 40 year old. I've never had the same rituals. It's it gets uncomfortable, quick when I realized, Oh, is that what I'm doing? I'm like, Fuck, yeah. I tricked myself again. Like, yeah, there's fear still there. I'm scratching at like, what do you do? Yeah, that's why I'm friends with you and other people. Because it's like, take it easy. We're all we're all broken. Once you know about it, you help somebody?

Tim Calpin  43:26  
Yeah. Yeah. And we were talking about this the other day, too. There, there is so much humility and having, you know, like, having a life of, of what other people would consider, you know, failure or dysfunction, or whatever, they'll call me if to me, it's insanity. You know, like, I live that way. And I continue to have the same idea, which is I got to get out there and do something so that people will accept me and notice me and care about me. And people would always do this because I want to speak to people like this to people say, you can't Why can't you see you're such a great guy how many times I'll tell you, when you can't see you're such a great guy and you could do this and I would think it doesn't fucking mean anything to me. Unless I have XYZ and that was you know, it could be money it was mostly it was prestige. Mostly it was like So you like Like, like, like the outside we can look at like writer Tim or like, yeah, oh, like, you know, someone hears you work on South Park. Even if it was just as a Brazilian it's like, oh, okay, here's this thing that people value and it's like, that's not that's not me. That's an anybody know,

Joe Van Wie  44:31  
it's so temporal, but like, you are describing something really distinct and a lot of people have this normal your you've defined where the goal is this this line that will always change so it's not even stable, but you've This is where the end zone is. That's where I'll give myself permission to be happy. When I get this done, and then when that gets done, why why didn't that happen after you sold the scrip? You had Bruce Willis in your movie you're getting from Greenridge Yeah, who was telling himself all these things? That wasn't enough? This they'll know that this happened by accident. I'm gonna make another foot like this fucking crazy. I mean, I can see it happening. And I love Java like, but I can't see that myself, but I could see it and you because, you know, you're like a mirror like we are. And I was like, Man, I could see is still and I'm like, is this ambition like just don't stop? I couldn't tell. But I could see it because we're we're close and I do the same thing. I still do it sober. Yeah, I'll be happy when I do this or my family. My will love me if I do this. I'm not there yet. This is just obscene and absurd. Yeah, not recognizing the only intrinsic, intrinsic thing that's real, and will only be ever real is sitting right here talking to you. I can't go beyond this room. Now like this will be recorded. But like, there's there's nothing happening beyond this. What is what is exactly happening? I've always been uncomfortable in that exact space. Being there, it was like, oh my god, what is this?

Tim Calpin  46:11  
Okay, I'm gonna go back to what you said before because like, that's, that's something that all it's one of like a handful of things that I'll remind myself or I'll try to tell myself but that it's those three words. It's never it's never enough. It's it wouldn't, it wouldn't like it. Because you hear the stories about like, look, look at Bourdain hangs himself. Thanks, Chris Cornell. You know, these guys are like, it's it's never there's never enough. It's the insatiable mind. You know, I mean, like the insatiable soul, like the Hungry Ghosts, all that stuff, which is to say like, it's, it's never enough because there was never anything to get in the first place. Like, it's just a hunger for the sake of it being there. Yeah, and you need to so it's just an intrinsic longing that you have to

Joe Van Wie  46:57  
give context to anyone listening to hungry ghost is it's a referral to an idea of a suffering soul demon in the wheel of the eightfold path for Buddhism. And the Hungry Ghost aptly was the title of Gabor Matta ace book in the realm of hungry ghosts. But I don't think anything symbolizes addiction better than a hungry ghost. What it is, is this huge belly little pot creature roaming around with about a two inch mouse who can no he can. He's got his access to eating constantly. We can never fill that stomach. Yeah. And that's from about what would you say? Sanskrit 8000 years ago. Like you you're gonna know. Better than Yeah, it's like, holy shit. But yeah, man.

Tim Calpin  47:47  
It's never I mean, there's never enough booze or drugs or money or success, or cinnamon toast crunch. Like, there's never going to fucking be enough for some people. And what you got to do is you got to quit like in WarGames, like, you got it. You gotta quit playing the game.

Joe Van Wie  48:03  
So you're let's, let's let's catch up to this narrative your, your take off? Yeah, so it's worried about you? Can you lie on this trip? Are you getting somewhere? Oh,

Tim Calpin  48:15  
yeah, dude. Yeah, and let's, let's not let's not paint Kensington or you know, just the just life in general the life of a drug addict? For what it's not because there is some beauty and yeah, yeah, actually community, a community a community but there's a community because what you have is you have good hearted people you have beautiful people who are a bit like you know, they say abandon yourself to God in the in the abandoned to narcotics man a bit like just completely abandoned to to be in asleep and just haven't and haven't quit comfort because it's a lifestyle now, you know, like, the way and you can't blame, you know, a city or a country or the or Big Pharma. Like, I refuse to blame that, you know, it's it was probably inevitable to have these things happen. You know, like once drugs and booze were there. There were always guys who rode the rails and drank sterno you know, because you because you you can subsist and be that, you know, but that's the real tragedy. It's the same as when I went to jail dude. Like I went to jail. I was so self consumed for so long. I've been to jail a bunch of times. So self consumed for so long. And one day I was standing up on the tear looking down, like I get I'll get emotional like this too. And I just saw a what like just a waste of ad guys. Do you know what I mean? Like all drug addicts, maybe maybe four or five real criminals. You know what I mean? All drug addicts all mental or mental health is a huge thing in jail. You know what I mean? Like I know you talked to Blake and but like it's, to me it's it's so tragic. It's a really it's really heartbreaking. You know, like really communicative sight word. Yeah. And to know that I am someone like who is vastly more privileged than other people like that, that to me, I've I let go a lot of shame and guilt man because like that help

Joe Van Wie  50:12  
in a spiritual way. And because here's what can

Tim Calpin  50:15  
happen to like, even now, people aren't gonna learn even now, right? Like, like someone I'm talking to someone the other day they have their first DUI, they are worried they're gonna go to jail. Like, and they have a fucking drinking problem. They don't know it, but they have a fucking serious drinking problem. Like I like I'm good with that. Like, I know what to say to you, you know, I mean, like, that's, to me, that's like a candy corn. Like that's, that's a that's a piece of cake. But but there are, there are things that we can do to affect change in the criminal justice system. And around a place like Kensington and a lot of people do it. A lot of people are already doing it. But you gotta imagine like, like, there's there's another book kowski on there's an you I mean, like there's, there's just brilliant people down there that are lost and sadly like I had a way out because I know people and my family cares enough about me and I fuckin educated and white and all that other stuff. You know, but, man, it's, it's, it's I feel like I was there for a reason to for real, you know, like, like, I'll never regret lament any single danger I fucking hated hated it. Being in there hated being in Kensington. But you can't, you can't put a price on and you're like, Fuck Los Angeles, fuck me, like felt like fuck all that stuff compared to like, getting to know somebody that's like that, you know, it's like getting to know abroad. Like, it's like, I wouldn't trade my mother for anything, anything, like any level of success or proceed, you can say I'm good. Like, like, whatever. Because it's, you're talking about 10,000 people, you know, like, like, just and like, I can see faces of like, you know, like, I lived in a car with these people, you know, I mean, yeah. But just a shame. You know? Into No, there is there is you can't take out a level of accountability to you know what I mean? Because that that's, that's, that's something that I fell back on quite a bit. You know, like, a long time ago, somebody should have like, slapped me in the face and said, like, listen to like, you know what the answer is like quit Quit fucking around because like, now you're starting to affect people. Now your fate now your family. It's hard.

Joe Van Wie  52:32  
It's not like you're always thinking that way either. I'm not. I don't think anyone's skirt accountability. People are hurt being punished because they're hurt. And what they're doing with the hurt is trying to treat it. Crimes petty crimes could come with this. We're not talking about serious pathologies of people, being predators, earning specifically other human right, I know exactly what you're talking about. And it's hard. There's a romantic derangement in me that I felt personally, it was my moral obligation to keep my brain inebriated because I didn't think it was broken all the time. I thought I saw truths other people that life's cruel. Life's a joke. It's obscene ethic. There's a faith narrative that's going to work come clean in the wash with this like you're, you somehow have privileged to what ought or what exists beyond this plain versus what is what I'm actually reading in the paper. How the fuck are you not using drugs? Right? How do you tolerate this would have sane and sober mind, I think that makes you dangerous and human. I don't want to be around. That's how I guess what I would tell myself throughout the day to you know, spend three days on answering my phone not being in contact with anyone and be tripping my balls off somewhere.

Tim Calpin  53:55  
Yeah, it's soon as you say that, I think you know, everybody knows that the dice are loaded. Everybody knows that the captain lied. And to a certain degree I do believe that about system still you don't I mean, in certain certain people are bad like we know that yeah,

Joe Van Wie  54:08  
I have to reconcile my my cynicism could be sober too. And Bruce always told me that my sponsor, you know, well, cynics can get sober and they don't have to lose you don't have to pick up pom poms

Tim Calpin  54:21  
now Absolutely.

Joe Van Wie  54:23  
What I was missing the I gotta say these quotes

Tim Calpin  54:27  
well and it's it's important to be more than reality so that if you know if you want to change something or you want you know, like you don't know where you stand, you know, like, you can't you can't the guy who the guy who cheats on his wife or the you know what I mean? The guy who's embezzling you know like, these are these clear cut things of like, you're you're fucking up dude like

Joe Van Wie  54:45  
no my sobriety and I see yours. It's walking the line that I want it to there's I don't want to cave for certain things. I don't want the shadow. To need to get nourished which I did 14 years of sobriety. I would find other ways to increase dopamine. And then they came at the expense of not only harming myself they've now starting to affect others. I want to identify those things I don't want to live a separate people I want one God exists. I see that new. And what combats what I that kind of package cynicism, or even a BUKOVSKY kind of appeal and lens I could approach things with and feel that cynic growing in me how I view religion or any organization. Yeah, anything that's too organized. So fuck this. What I do is I realize that's not the problem. This is the theater, I could play a part and I can be opposed to it, but I can't let myself believe the cure to my discomfort is pleasure. Now that that there is truth that I don't never was able to grasp and keep it as part of my core operation. Yep. Your pain and discomfort isn't cured by pleasure. Now, like it's just not

Tim Calpin  55:56  
and in fact, it's it's, it's it's probably the thing with the most value in my life, you know?

Joe Van Wie  56:00  

Tim Calpin  56:03  
Well, oh, so So here's, here's what happened, right? So I have this I have this situation where I think I'm gonna go to prison. Basically, this is how this is how I relapsed. I ran into someone who I knew was getting hired a Wawa. This is how this this thing started.

Joe Van Wie  56:19  
Actually, no, because I had we had a detective.

Tim Calpin  56:22  
Sure, sure. Probably detective was

Joe Van Wie  56:25  
a week behind you at every turn.

Tim Calpin  56:29  
Following the trail, yeah.

Joe Van Wie  56:31  
Crushed smokes eatin chips in a car looking

Tim Calpin  56:33  
around. Yeah. Crazy. So. And something happened. I don't want to I want to get specific with Sure. So I haven't. And I thought that, you know, the cops are coming in now. Now. I'm done. You know, like, all this stuff that I've done is sort of long.

Joe Van Wie  56:49  
And these aren't crimes. These are crimes of addiction.

Tim Calpin  56:53  
Sure, sure. Do. I know and you can, you can let's go on us justice. After my crimes are they're hilarious. If anything, like we've got inhalants charges, we we've got to get a segment one time. So I'm just going to while you look that up, I'm gonna keep going. So I go. And again, it's this thing of like, there's no, there's no plan, there's just there's just impulse and compost, you know, and so I'm doing it. And I fell into it. And I had money. So I'm like living at this hotel, and I'm getting high every day. And here's what happened. So I had told my brother, I was going to be the godfather to his to his son, Owen, who's now too. And so this dates coming up, you know, I mean, like, it's, I've started, I went out and very late is almost a year ago today to late July. And this date is like, burned into my brain, September 29. Like, I'll never forget it, because it's coming up. It's coming up. And that was, I had been around and like I, I had been honest enough with myself where I was like, This is who I am, like, I'm supposed to be here for this kid. Like, I'm supposed to show up and be this kid's godfather. And it kept coming and kept coming. And the day came and went, and I was like it's over. Like, um, I have no interest in coming back. And I didn't and you know what I mean? And I didn't, I didn't. It's so selfish and so self indulgent to not think about, because I'm going to, I'm going to flip it, you know, I'm going to tell you like what happened. So I did, I was abandoned, you know, when I went down. And this is what I was trying to say before there is an allure to a place like Kensington to like you can hold up and there's everything you want. And you can you know, you can be comfortable all day, every day and there's like a place to stay. You don't need money, you can live off samples. We should do a whole show where it's like, this is what really goes on, you know, because it's it's a lifestyle,

Joe Van Wie  58:46  
I think misunderstood.

Tim Calpin  58:49  
It's vastly misunderstood. You know, it's, it's, um,

Joe Van Wie  58:53  
I think people have a version of what they see in their head is like almost akin to Robocop to

Tim Calpin  58:58  
Yeah, like a dystopian sort of

Joe Van Wie  59:01  
aid where they're all doing new. Like, this is the entire neighborhood. Yeah. And it's,

Tim Calpin  59:05  
it's not it. No, it is. Because you have to imagine I mean, like, look at the vast majority society people are good, you know, yeah, some people are bad, but most people are all right. Yeah. It's a pair. And and that was the same thing there. You know, same thing with drug dealers. So some drug dealers are alright, you know, some dealers are bad. Like, I like some guys will put a gun in your face for no reason. You know what I mean? But, so this, this happens, and this goes on, and then Thanksgiving comes and Christmas comes in. I'm just like, I'm just lost to it. Right. And I still really don't know how, how I got out of there. I know. I know what happened in a blackout. And like, you know, that'll that'll be my own thing to always hold on to and say like, you know, maybe the universe spat me out. You know, even though I was doing, I was doing the best I could to, you know? So and I'm in therapy now too, right? So like, going through all this stuff. It's like these are all such maladaptive. Ways of staying safe, of like getting a feel, you know what I mean? Like shutting your brain down, like, using it inhaling using dope drinking to your blackout, it's just shutting your fucking brain. That's it. That's fucking sad. That is so it is so sad to me to think that like, that's where I was at where like I just, I, every hour, every two hours, I just had to shut my brain down, you know, like, that's not being a human being so and that's what addiction will take you there. Like, if nobody hears anything else will hear that, like, you know. So anyway, I have this moment, we'll call it we're not going to call it divine intervention, universal intervention, atomic intervention. And so I get out, you know, like I like I'm pulled out of this by it by forces that are not myself, right. And so I'm, I'm living off a little bit of gratitude, like just altra anxious, like just freaking out every day. And then, you know, I see you and bow and that was really good. And like, I'm starting to come clean about stuff and I felt a little different. Like once that that was a bad kick to man. Like, God bless people who I've kicked in County, but like kick in fentanyl was a bad so it was painful

Joe Van Wie  1:01:04  
for 30 days. Yeah. You were in my car for an hour. And in oxygen, like was in my hand while I was driving. And the next 30 days was revolutionary. Yeah. Two weeks was still tough. A month later, I'm like, holy shit. Like, I started to see Tim's there. I thought you were done. Man.

Tim Calpin  1:01:25  
I started I started anyway, it was like, I literally like these things are literally happening to me. Because I'm, you know, I think I'm smart or whatever. Like, they're like, I had to learn to walk. Yeah, I mean, like, I couldn't get out of bed. And then I spent two days like walking. Yeah, it was.

Joe Van Wie  1:01:41  
You had to go to your first Yeah, I remember that ghoulish, but

Tim Calpin  1:01:45  
no, my, my blood pressure was at some Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  1:01:48  
they wouldn't take you in the treatment center. We're gonna go to

Tim Calpin  1:01:50  
Yeah. And so and we, let's fast forward because I want to tell you what happened. So like, and like, I'm gonna try not to. Alright, so like, sitting on all this stuff, doing the same thing, keeping it hidden, not being able to talk about it, right? All the shame because now it's like, now you've got years and years of relapse. So it's like, okay, now now I'm ashamed of Sure. Blowing up a life and a career and then I blown up a couple of cents then. And on top of that, now, I'm a guy who goes to fucking jail. And you know what I mean? Like, and just all this stuff keeps on keeps on it just gets so much harder to without, without, like, a radical changes get so much harder to get to get clean. And so yeah, because that stuff, that's, to me, that's killer. Like that. The shame and the the self worth is just, it's it will eat a person alive. And you've seen it like, I could give you 20 names of people who died from shame, not addiction. Yeah, no, that's too ashamed to talk about what was going on. So I'm like, at this long term treatment center, and my nephew's community comes up the brother of Owen, who I was supposed to be his godfather, and I'm shitting my pants because I gotta go. And I tell myself this story. Like, like, like, I'm not telling anybody that I'm telling myself the story, but it's like, you know, my family thinks I'm too far gone. They think this is just another version, another iteration of Tim you know, pretend to be sober and then go in and fucking everything up. And so I go, and I think my nephew is going to be weird. I think it's going to be this awkward thing. And he's like, 12 and he's like, a real sweet kid. He's like, real emotional, real bright. Like he comes up and like hugs me

he he's like, this is my uncle Tim. Oh my god. So it was like that one moment like, just let it all go. You know what I mean? Like, it was like, Oh, that just gonna be

like, all that shame was gone. Like, like the universe lifted like this kid took it from me and like, you know what I mean? And it allowed me to really like get better. You know, like, and I don't know if other people are going to be able to have like, such a sudden thing I didn't think I was ever going to have any kind of sudden you know, change or a situation like that. But it helps because it because then what happens is like if you're someone who who relapses who has a history who like you know, people know your bullshit, then you gotta go show face and like even even little things like that can be devastating to people, you know? But now it's good. It's good to embrace it's good. It's good to be an insane person, man, like, real like, it really feels great to be one of the worst alcoholics and like, and that to me, that's a point of pride. Because it's like, if I can get better than like other people are going to be, let's define

Joe Van Wie  1:05:04  
what a worst alcoholic is. And what I, what I see. And I know it's true, is it's a person that is an artist and in their sense of creativity to the world, in their mind, mind and world is so sensitive. They don't think they can bear it, like and you have a gift to write, and express yourself multiple to the ways that could give you a chance to find there's no lie, there's no shame, you don't need anyone's permission to change it's a story. So the gift of that pain that you keep describing and being able to be in jail and next to people that we thought You thought you only knew what their lives were about, even from our our position of addiction is because you're so sensitive and so empathetic your empathy if not controlled can kill you. Like most people don't like to say that that but it's true.

Tim Calpin  1:06:06  
You have to be able to have some kind of rain on your emotions, man. Like that's

Joe Van Wie  1:06:10  
I'm seeing you have sovereignty and the ability that you could go in a direction that's really meaningful, you know, FLSA that you and I have 35 years to live. It's alright. Jeans, decent jeans, right? Yeah, we'll see.

Tim Calpin  1:06:26  
I guess we can. Yeah.

Joe Van Wie  1:06:30  
Where are you gonna spend that time what is meaningful now that you've you've had the taste of all that glitters and illusion in Hollywood, having fun living a life of Bohemians getting even corporate gigs that were like, What the fuck? How'd you get that job? Money and like

Tim Calpin  1:06:52  
that I would trip over that shit too. And I'd be like, wow, like,

Joe Van Wie  1:06:56  
but here's the good you know, people, you know, life. Here's what addiction is. It's not being able to have the sense that you could be yourself. And it's so painful that you can have pain now. I see a resiliency in you in the last six months. That is so I don't know, it creates such a sense of security of for me that I think you're gonna be okay. You're my friend. Yeah. And yeah, and that's why we're doing this today was that man, you have a lot to say about this. This is this is the the show, we're in it. Like there is no life. We're warming up for it. We're in the middle of it. And you you you're about to live a full life that's gonna be exciting now.

Tim Calpin  1:07:40  
Yeah, yeah. And that's that, you know, listening to your shows and listening to other people's shows like that's the best part of it. There's there's some value in talking about addiction, you know, or about, you know, policy or however winning because obviously, all that stuff needs needs to be talked about, whatever but if you're really going to talk to the guy or the girl like yeah, you gotta know you gotta you gotta know because it's

Joe Van Wie  1:08:09  
well there's there's there's a tide, language changes, positions, change it, but intelligence increases we have smarter ways to talk about it. We see in some of these smart things. I don't think people would like to admit this, but it's pushing the linebacker will like so what makes us more intelligence, we find out how little we do control about our own nature, our minds. But we're we could be responsible for it. I'm not saying that there's accountability, and we could wake up. But that's the intelligent part about it. The other thing is there's this tide of animosity it even for people don't have substance use disorder. The pain is so overwhelming. And their indulgences look so unfair. It's easy to create a boogeyman out of addiction. Yeah. When you see a whole city, and I don't want to see that happen, because it's insane. It's inhuman to take that position and you don't understand what the problem is.

Tim Calpin  1:09:04  
You don't I mean, that's that's as long as short as you are. And some people are willfully ignorant of it. You know,

Joe Van Wie  1:09:13  
what, it's too painful for them to to stretch the frontal lobe that much to let it the position is more of their personality that doesn't allow them to have information that could hurt them, or challenge them or challenge with it. Yeah, it's too difficult for certain people to be wrong. Yeah. I love being wrong because a it means I'm alive and life still interesting.

Tim Calpin  1:09:34  
Yeah. And you people have the ability you have whether or not you know it, you have the ability to change your mind. I mean,

Joe Van Wie  1:09:42  
to me, you're gonna have to come back now that we're working.

Tim Calpin  1:09:45  
I mean, we only scratched the surface on this. We I want to do a full

Joe Van Wie  1:09:49  
Kensington tap, and we'll do it down there. Why not? We'll get shot this well. Well, over best.

Tim Calpin  1:09:57  
I clearly have a gun.

Joe Van Wie  1:09:58  
Yeah, we're are armed liberals. Well, now you're gonna have to come back to partner. There's another thing yeah, there's a lot of

Tim Calpin  1:10:09  
this was also quite serious I thought if we run the risk of

Joe Van Wie  1:10:14  

Tim Calpin  1:10:17  
just like what I was going to do with sage maybe we should just do a full like shot for shot remake of the Michael Angeletti episode. Just observe as we just say the things that he said the

Joe Van Wie  1:10:28  
script archy I want to write him back I love he's a great He's sharp. He's fun. He's so kind. He does a lot of good stuff. Yeah, he's he's, he's the real deal. Yeah. Well, and ends on a good note. I gotta find a bio to read for you. I gotta make Wow.

Tim Calpin  1:10:48  
You should write up I immediately I was like, I need to control what this Yeah,

Joe Van Wie  1:10:51  
I'm gonna make some stuff up. Well, I say you the writer of South Park, and they're like, What about Trey Parker? Like, I don't know who that is?

Tim Calpin  1:10:59  
Yeah, that guy's a fucking junkie.

Joe Van Wie  1:11:03  
Well, thanks for listening. Yeah. I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better to find us on all or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google, podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober doesn't mean you're right.

Transcribed by

Introduction to today’s guest.
Pain is an earmark of being alive.
Keeping everything hidden in Los Angeles.
What you see is what you get.
The first indication of addiction.
Bonding with drugs and alcohol
Awareness has no personality.
How would you summarize your previous attempts at sobriety?
The only intrinsic thing that is ever-real.
It's never enough. The hungry ghost.
Cynics can get sober?
The day came and went, and he didn't want to come back
The allure of Kensington