Chapter 6: as wicked

For years I believe I was doom for a life of surfering and pain. For real, was a feeling that I couldn’t enjoy life, and if I did I would be punished. Everything that gave me joy was going to be the end of the world. Like, everything was my fault. Heavy metal thought me that the easy way out, ending life, was not an option. 

Yes, it’s true, the feeling was that I was wicked. Like in my dreams is it was always there,  demons faces saying I couldn’t enjoy life. I didn’t know what those demons were until I picked up the guitar to play at 39 years old. Not only that, it only started to make sense on my 40th birthday! That’s when I realized I was battling my own existence.

At age of 39 is when I told my wife, I wanted to be the one who stays home with the kids and learn music. Not only because I didn’t want to work. I mean I don’t want to work, because the truth I can’t have a boss. I think from all the bosses that I had, there is a very few that I didn’t say fuck off. Me out there is a menace to society. It’s true, cause I have an attitude and I know how to use it, like the guy from office space.  The scene where the guy from office space,  says fuck off and got promoted actually happened in my life a few times. Or that scene with George Costanza, when he does everything the opposite way. Anyways,  I said I want to stay home and say fuck you to the Pope and rock. I also wanted to stay home mostly because Luke is as sensitive, if not more than I am, and now Amber. She is also super sensitive. 

Scaping hell (depression) is about learning about my sensitivity and using, and as I do that I want to teach my kids how to use their strength in life, after all my sensitivity is my strength. This way the story won’t repeat itself. The crazy thing is as a sensitive person I became very angry inside due to not exploring my sensitivity,  and swallowing my feelings. Didn’t look like I was an angry person because like the movie Anger Management he says there are 2 kinds of people: the one who explodes and the one who listened quietly day after day. Well, I am/was the one who listened day after day. Felt like I was grounded for 33 years.

Hell and fire was spawned to be released and that’s when the other day I made the video of saying fuck you to the Pope. As I released all this anger in form of art I noticed that things actually started to workout in my life, and the paranoia is gone. Things are no longer heavy and the energy is flowing. Not only that, by doing this, it creates a positive effect in the people around me, my family. Maybe not the devoted catholics since my story make them uncomfortable, but it’s what they say, life begins at the end of the confort zone.

Now I planned to release my first kids song in portuguese this week, however since we are moving (we got a house, see how choosing love/joy things workout?), I decided to wait and record the video in the new house. I believe this will have a much deeper meaning. Because the reality is, on January 20th,  Saint Sebastian day the Padron of my hometown (Rio de Janeiro,  Brasil) we bought our first home. That day was when the world turned around for me, that day was the day I realized I was not doomed, and I finally found my place under the sun. Yeah, I escaped hell, and it felt like a slapt in the face of destiny. Well, maybe not a slapt, but more like a mooning to destiny. I always loved mooning LOL. 

Punkaste,

Rirou

Chapter 12: the thin line between love and hate.

I must confess I am loving 2020 because my life started to make sense, and as I said I found my why. I always believed in crisis, I mean crisis bring the best out of us. Because there is no way around it, you have to face it in order to survive. That is why I truly believe crisis brings in the best in us, we have to change, there is no escape.

During my healing process that includes lots of music, skateboarding, singing, guitar/bass playing and my monthly therapy sessions I realized that Religion is the biggest bully of all times at least with me. That is what my book is really about. I love the topic spirituality/existance but I hate religion because put most people in a box, a depressive box of unworthiness. That why for me in that topic there is a thin line between love and hate. Spirituality is about love and unity, however what religion teaches is hate and separation. Unfortunately I never had a chance to say my side of the story, I was shut off by Religion and that cause me a great amount of pain and anger.

Now, did you know that my best iron man ever was racing with anger released in a positive way. That was the race I did against my brothers. I love them but I hate the fact that I was smaller and got beat up all the time. However, in an ironman race we are all equal, and that day my goal was simple: to beat them in the race with as much as spare time as possible. Yeah, I used all my anger to a good thing, to have the performance of my life, a performance that made my career boom as an athlete and coach. What’s best is that was during the race and nobody got hurt, well maybe egos got hurt,but that is ok. I felt relief but took me awhile to understand why that was my best race.

Now when it comes to religion I have been bully for 40 years, I tried many times to approach and have conversations. Real deep meaningful conversations, but I was never received with an open heart. Which sounds crazy, because it should be the opposite. Up to 2020 I had hopes in 2 Religions, not to join but to listen. The 1st was spirtism and the 2nd new age type of thing. However 2020 showed me different again. Around June 2020, in an instagram live where it was a new age subject I said something about rock and roll I was received with an really weird vibe. A judgmental one, so I was ok, for that reason I am out. Then yesterday I made a comment in a famous YouTube channel about spiritism, and I was received the same way, with the same judgmental vibe. It was weird because in both times I came from a loving place being true to myself, making a true statement and in a polite manner. Once again I was received in a judgmental way.

One thing I learned is that with bullies you have to fight back, but in a smart way. Religion have been bullying me for years. They didn’t even stop to hear me, they took my voice and I got in trouble for it. Now I need to make my voice heard for my own healing and for that I am telling my story, a book that Religion will try to burn. Now what do I do with all that anger built? Do the same thing that I did in the ironman against my brothers, use my anger to build good. That is when Rock-it-ology was born.

The name Rock-it-ology came from the song Rock-it from Motörhead. The lyrics says it all, Rock and Roll saved my soul and Lemmy’s got it. Inspired on that was what made want to share the story and use my anger to something good and since life is like an ironman race. I will let it out in this life, cause I am not carring this for the next one. What you do in this life echoes in the eternity so I will fight the evil forces of religion, and remind kids about unity (love). Think about it, I will leave an story with true conisidences, like a prophecy, with music to wake up the inner child feeling (inner punk). This way just like in this iron maiden song, when is my time to go heart will die and my soul will fly forever. Truth is you can burn a book but you can’t shut a thinking mind. Genius or insane? I now think I am a genius, or I am the fallen angel and I am here accomplishing my mission.

Now is a matter of time, of Religion going down, I mean kids just need to be remmeber of who they are and what they came here for. They will shape the world the way they want too and kids are naturally born punks. Like I said is not about me, is about my kids and the world I am leaving for them. I won’t lie the older you get are harder it is due the baggage, but it’s possible. You just need to be willing to get out of the matrix. Meanwhile I will keep fighting back because I won’t sell my soul. The truth is the more I do it, the better and more loving Dad I become, because heals me and allow me to fully presents with my kids and less time between the walls of unworthiness.

They will shape the world the way they want too and kids are naturally born punks. Like I said is not about me, is about my kids and the world I am leaving for them.

For me it all make sense now, is all about Roots and Attitude (thanks Sepultura). The roots here are going within, however going within means going to your darkness and that is painful as fuck, but very rewarding. Attitude is punk, meaning facing your demons. Just remember light needs darkness to shine, is all connected and its all about balance!

Punkaste,

Rirou

One of my favorite songs from Motorhead

When a person turns to wrong, is it a want to be, belong?
Part of things at any cost, at what price a life is lost At what point do we begin, fighter spirit a will to win
But what makes a man decide, take the wrong or righteous road There’s a thin line between love and hate
Wider divide that you can see between good and bad
There’s a grey place between black and white
But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes We all like to put the blame on society these days
But what kind of good or bad a new generation brings Sometimes take just more than that to survive be good at heart
There is evil in some of us no matter what will never change I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever
Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever Just a few small tears between someone happy and one sad
Just a thin line drawn between being a genius or insane At what age begin to learn of which way out we will turn
There’s a long and winding road and the trail is there to burn There’s a thin line between love and hate
Wider divide that you can see between good and bad
There’s a grey place between black and white
But everyone does have the right to choose the path that he takes I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever
Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever I will hope, my soul will fly, so I will live forever
Heart will die, my soul will fly, and I will live forever The thin line between love and hateThe thin line between love and hate

Chapter 10: Now what?

Do you know the greatest difficulty of depression? Is to be seen. When I first starting doing therapy I didn’t know how big of a shit I was in. I knew it was big, but no idea it was that big. That is what she said by the way.

Here is the thing, what makes us humans is our emotions and our ability to feel it and express. When I first started therapy I knew something was wrong, and hearing that I was depressed meant nothing, because I was emotionally numb. Therefore, I need to learn how to feel and learn my emotions again. Once I did that I started to understand how big the shit was.

Once I accepted that I was depressed I realized that it was about my existence, my feelings. Just like the song walking contradiction; “I have no belief but I believe I am walking contradiction and I have no right.” That is how it felt, like I had no right to feel how I felt, not even if was causing me harm. Now what makes it harder is when you finally accept and tell people you were depressed most people think is bullshit. They think that because is something invisible and in my case I was a good actor pretending everything was fine. Kind of like on that movie Anger Management with Adam Sandler.

Now the opposite of Anger is Joy and there is nothing more fun than learn and play these songs. I believe that feelings are our super power as humans, because they guide us and life is how you feel. So, now that I got my power back I can say “Don’t fuck with my feelings”. Learning how to sing, play, write (blog and book), write punk songs for kids is such a big metaphor for me, like I am gaining really gaining my super powers back (voice). That feels really good, like I can finally love myself and rise out of the depression that I was in for a long time. Like the Religious heaven boring and all the same and what is worst, in a bad neighborhood since you need to go through the gates of heaven.

Now is time to raise hell because isn’t a bad place, and now that I got my power back nobody messes with my feelings, neither with my kids feelings. Not even God (per Religion), because the truth is people might never understand how music makes me feel, the same way on how marijuana doesn’t numb my feelings it just amplifies, the same way music does. Now, I don’t give a shit of what people think. However, I do care about children that is why is important to teach them not to sell their soul.

Punkaste,

Rirou

Listen up here, I’ll make it quite clear
I’m gonna put some boogie in your ear
Shake and bop, don’t you stop
Dance like a maniac until you drop I don’t mind, I don’t mind
I can run a razor right up your spine
What are you waiting for?
What do you think you were created for? Show us, you care, show us you dare
You don’t know what happened if you weren’t there Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Voodoo medicine, cast my spell
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Play that guitar just like ringin’ a bell Take it or leave it Going for broke, rock ’til you choke
It don’t matter if you drink or smoke
Speak through the beat, get up on your feet
Sweating like a hound dog, white as a sheetDon’t you be scared, don’t you be scared
Everybody terrified, it don’t seem fair
What are you waiting for?
What do you think you were creating for Out of your seat, blind in the heat
Do the nasty boogie mama, stomp your feet Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Go back to zero, take a pill and get well
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Be a good soldier and die where you fell Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Go on out and boogie ’cause you never can tell Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
Be a good soldier and die where you fell
Born to raise hell, born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well

Chapter 6: “I have no belief, but I believe I am walking contradiction…”

Well, we that was how we started our NICU journey. Looking back at my life I could clearly see that I went to 2 big transformations which all of them had a piece of spirituality. The first one was a mental transformation back in 2003 when I decided to start fighting depression, and I started yoga back then. The second one was a body transformation that started back in 2012, that is when I started receiving Reiki. When we got pregnant my spiritual awakening just grew exponentially. In every transformation I went through things get pretty intense at first, specially if is a radical one. They get intense because you need to destroy the old in order to build the new. To be honest, that is the only way to do, otherwise you will never change. If you wanna change you need to be Roots and Radical.

In the NICU the feelings were raw an intense, that push all your limits above and beyond. Those are real human emotions and super intense, you literally go from 0 to 100 is seconds. Anyways, for me, inclusion starts at home, so my wife and I pretty much moved into the room that the hospital provide for families that lived far: The Conine House. And that is where we lived for the next 84 days, after all we are a family, we are all in this together. My mother-in-law stayed at home with Bolt (our dog) that did not leave Luke’s room until we were back home 84 days later. Honestly, he only left to go outside and then back to his room. Crazy!

During the NICU time I heard all kind of things from Doctors. I was scared and confused, but somehow I knew in my heart that Luke was okay. I was so overwhelmed with everything around me. So, I had to slow down. I started to meditate even more, specially next to Luke with lots of mental talks with him. I started to receive Reiki every time I could, and I started to go to Reiki circles in the hospital (super cool that the hospital have a Reiki Circle). I also restarted practicing yoga own my own in the Conine house in the early AM before crossing the street to see Luke wake up. My goal was to be strong spiritually so I could help Luke, and be there for him. I told Luke I couldn’t stay there 24/7 there, but I left the Chewbacca mask next to his bed, so he knew he was not alone.

With time everything started to make sense to me. Honestly, the way it felt was when Luke was born he came with so much light that it blind me for awhile. That being said, as the days went by in the NICU I started to see again but much much more clearly, and things started to make sense, and it was really ironic. Once I heard that irony is the face of God, and as I look to my life is pure irony, like I am literally walking in contradiction. You doubt? let me tell you:

  1. I was a sensitive boy that cried a lot, but at the same time I love heavy metal. I heard my entire life, how I could be so zen and listen to metal?
  2. I am metal head that loves punk rock, usually those 2 don’t match. I hear all the time, you are a punk that likes slayer?Yeah, I fucking love slayer! I also love the dark side of things, because they are real and raw.
  3. I feel I have a really strong spirituality, (intuition, deja-vu etc). I honestly feel that the universe and I have a super strong connection (its a huge story). Truth being said, up to now my feelings were 99.9% of the time right, it’s just hard to trust them because of what I learned. Yet, I don’t believe in God because I hate religion (Religion is simply exclusive, like a box or an aquarium). However, I believe in the Force, the life force that bind us together because for me it’s all connected.
  4. I was a pro athlete that didn’t want to take performance enhancing drugs (I always like weed but weed is not a drug). Yeah, don’t pretend you don’t know, 90% or more of the athletes take something. Even amateurs. Anyways, I was racing for me, because I had a purpose for doing 18 fucking ironmans. I was facing one demon at the time on those races, and that is when I learned that the dark side is your friend. I always loved the dark side, and as a punk I love to face them. After all I love challenging the status quo, like I was born for that!
  5. I always said that hell was a good place. I mean, think about it: Tons of beer, weed, rock and roll for eternity? Where do I sign up? and I think most of my friends will be there, so hell here I go!
  6. In school I didn’t want to cheat, and I didn’t like to study either. That is why I flunk 3 times. I am not perfect, I did cheat a few times but mostly on group work, where some of my friends saved me. But in general, I did try to take responsibility for my grades. In the triathlon was the same, I didn’t want to cheat, where 70% of the athletes did cheat. I honestly rather finish last than cheat, again I had a reason why I was doing those races. Physical pain helps with emotional pain.
  7. Now 2 triathletes have a son with muscle weakness, how ironically beautiful this is? I mean, who better than 2 triathletes, to parent a kid like Luke?

For me being a Dad is accepting a Soul that is coming, and that soul is coming for spiritual growth, meaning we are all perfectly imperfect and life is a challenging school. Therefore, the way I see it is I got the son that I need for my spiritual growth and Luke have the parents that will help his spiritual growth, same thing with my daughter that is coming soon (we are at 32 weeks today). My biggest fear in the NICU was how I was going to teach Luke about acceptance, if I haven’t accepted myself. Meaning, I dealt with depression for a reason, and now it was time to heal.

Punkaste,

Rirou

Chapter 5 – I’ve got another confession to make…

I’m no fool… yeah that is from a Foo Fighters song, title best of you. Foo fighters was the most heard band during Luke’s pregnancy in the house. The truth is Luke came with illuminating the best side of me, however that is a side that I have never really shown. In fact, that is the side that I hid for a long time for numerous reason, and the biggest factor of my depression: my spirituality. However, I am far from being religious, in fact, in that sense I am very very PUNK! And no, is not Luke from the bible, is from Luke Skywalker (Star Wars), but I think I prefer Luke SkyRocker like a friend of mine told me. Anyways, Luke lighten up that side of me like the Tatooine sun.

After Luke was transfer to Joe DiMaggio Children’s hospital at midnight, my wife stayed in the hospital with her Mom and I went home try to sleep. By coincidence my middle brother was in USA for work from Brasil, so he stayed with me. We woke up early the next day and went to Joe DiMaggio, and as I was going in to the hospital I had at least 3 deja-vus. I was still confused, but it really felt that I already knew, and in fact felt like I already knew that place even though I have never been in that hospital before.

Got in the NICU the nurse explained to me all the test and what was the plan. I was able to change Luke’s diaper for the first time, and I told Luke what was going on. I also, started to play with him like he was doing chest press since we knew it he was not moving much. That is when I stopped to look the sticker in the incubator and guess when that incubator was clean? My birthday 2 weeks ago. For me, that was no coincidence, it felt like it was written in the stars.

The social worker asked me if I wanted any spiritual practice for Luke, so I requested Reiki since I always believe in energy, and energy do not lie. For my surprise they had a Reiki master in the hospital. Meantime we were waiting for the Doctor discharge my wife in the other hospital. The hardest part of all that was to explain to my wife everything that was going on and the fact that we gonna arrive home without a Luke for now until we know more. That is extremely fucking hard.

For me, when you decide to become a parent your are actually bringing a soul to the world, and each soul have a personal challenge. Why? is life and life is challenging. Luke was no different, he has his own personal challenge like every other soul in this planet (we are all perfectly imperfect), and in my view, my job as a parent is to empower that soul to achieve their personal challenge. That being said, I told my wife: “The answer for all of this will not be in the realm, and I believe we choose our parents, therefore Luke choose us for a reason, there is no coincidence” and I also show her this video:

That was the begging of the 84 days in the NICU…

Punkaste,

Rirou

Foo Fighters song:

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