You know when you meet someone, and instantly just feel you’ll have a connection with them forever?
Yeah, that wasn’t the case with Tim… he was fine – average, really. Kind of bland personality, real monotone sounding, not funny at all. But then he started really ingratiating himself into the Judd Apatow culture, recalling quotable moments at the right time, and then we clicked.
Also, none of that is true, except for the Apatow part – he can quote This Is The End, also It’s Always Sunny and probably infinite other shows and movies. Ooh, Workaholics – “I haven’t seen movies.”
He’s genuinely one of my favorite people.
I worked with him for however many years (who cares) and we’d go on trips together, selling the shit out of our company in Vegas, or California, or Nashville (when he and his now wife, Kristin helped me deal with my disgusting rolled ankle).
Tim is the type of person who will either offer you the most insightful advice in the world or be your best hype man if you need to bitch about every bad thing that’s ever happened to you. I could go on and talk about his intelligence but I’m gonna pass because I’m done gassing him up.
Naturally, I asked him to chat with me…
“I don’t know what I want it to be about yet,” I said, “I just know I need to interview you.”
And so, we scheduled a time.
Allow me to set the scene.
It was the day I got my hair done, so it looked real nice – back to brown, no frizz, volume on point. Get it, girl.
“Can you hear me?” he asked, looking down at his phone that I imagine sat in his cup holder, or maybe a phone holder, because those exist for cars now, I just don’t have one.
Sunglasses – black – maybe Prada? Definitely not Oakley
Shirt – a light jade green tee
Hair – light and well kempt
Facial hair – a sprinkle of stubble
After a few curse words about the internet deciding to take a smoke break, we exchanged pleasantries, and then he yelled at me for recording our conversation… “ooh, can you see all of my chins?” he pulled his face backwards to emphasize his normal fucking jawline.
“Yeah, I’m recording this, bro… do you think I talk to people for an hour and just remember everything they said?” I prodded. Clearly, he hasn’t read my blog and I’m hurt. Also, I made no comment about his chin, but sign up here for my exclusive offerings on Only Fans for a screenshot.
He informed me he had a laser hair removal appointment coming up, so we’d have to knock it out quickly, or afterwards, on his way home. Of course, with that, we talked about the benefits of laser hair removal treatment (highly recommend) before he confirmed his low tolerance for physical pain and high threshold for mental and emotional pain.
Which carries us seamlessly into our conversation about Tim’s tumultuous relationship with drugs and alcohol.
“Walk me through what life was like for young Timmy, outside of thinking ‘out of bounds’ was ‘out of bounce,’” I started.
“Yeah, words are hard,” he laughed, “but no, life was actually perfect… until I was three and my two sisters came along… because really up until that moment, the world revolved around me, which is exactly how I liked it.”
He continued, “no but in all seriousness, it was tough. I wasn’t just getting a sister, I was getting two sisters – twins – who would get all the attention because they’re cute babies, and that was not okay. It’s not like I have any horrible memories of my childhood,” he adjusted his seatbelt and looked down, “however, I’m in therapy, and I’ll tell what I think is a funny story from when I was a kid, and he’ll point out how sad it is.”
“Like what?” I interjected, “can you give me an example?”
He took a notable breath in, “yeah, we just went over this actually. On my first day of kindergarten, my mother drops me off at the front door like 15 minutes early and leaves, as any parent would, and I don’t know you’re supposed to just go on the playground, which all the other kids were doing – you’d think that would’ve tipped me off – so I go to my classroom and try to open the door, which is locked, so I sit down and cry, then someone sees me and opens it, so then I get to sit at my desk and cry there instead of on the floor,” he recounted with ease.
“So I was telling this to my therapist, kind of making fun of myself for being an idiot little kid, and he pointed out the profound sadness that I not only didn’t want to be alone, but I didn’t have the same playbook for life that all the other kids seemed to have, just knowing what to do,” he offered.
“I assume then, you don’t actually find those kinds of situations funny, your brain just filters everything immediately and puts a comedic spin on it,” I stated inquisitively, also taking his personality into account.
“Well yeah, showing anything other than joy or humor in the household I grew up in was unacceptable and would be met with punishment,” he said, quickly clarifying that the punishment was never severe or physical, just that the emotional anguish experienced shouldn’t be shared because it wouldn’t bring joy to the family.
“Are you able to share what a punishment could’ve looked like?” I asked.
“Yeah, it’d just be getting iced out. I was just this little kid dying for attention and love, and for someone to tell me I’m important, because I no longer felt that way,” he asserted.
*hugs for young Timmy*
I asked about school, whether he made up his mind, that since he didn’t have the playbook, that he’d just be an outcast, because frankly, I could not picture him as a Steven Glansberg type.
“No, I was always great at acting good and looking good and doing the right thing, all of which I learned from people around me. I’d be like, ‘oh this kid is getting good grades and the teacher likes him, let me do that,’” he described.
He implemented this strategy with all aspects of his life, and by his own omission, had no idea what he actually wanted or what actually made him happy.
“Seriously, I was so unsure of myself, I couldn’t even tell if I liked a girl until I’d bring her around my friends and they’d be like, ‘oh yeah, she’s hot,’ and then I’d have permission to like her.”
“So, I think a lot of people experience that throughout their youth, but then they get older and start to learn about themselves and become more comfortable with their own opinions,” I surmised, continuing “but I know you started drinking early on, so you probably didn’t have the ability to find yourself…”
He agreed, because he always agrees with me… no, he agreed, stating he didn’t understand what he wanted or what his opinions were until he was 30.
“I wasn’t concerned about what my style was or what I wanted to be… I literally spent all my time focused on getting loaded – all day, every day,” he used his right hand to chop down the air. Tim has v expressive hands.
“And really, anyone who didn’t want to experience that all the time was fucking insane to me,” he concluded.
I asked him to recall the first time he drank, knowing the story, but needing it fresh in my brain.
“I just got drunk with a bunch of friends and the next day, I was like, ‘umm, let’s definitely do that again’ and everyone got weird and said no because we had school the next day and I was like, ‘uh, do you guys not remember? Did I have a different experience?’… sure enough, turns out I did.”
“Were you actually drinking or using every single day?” I asked, slightly impressed, considering the commitment that takes.
He confirmed it was something every day.
“I mean, I was in high school, I didn’t have a lot of money, it was hard to get booze, so basically I just smoked weed and then I’d get as any many pills as I could from a friend that got his wisdom teeth pulled or whatever… just trying to get loaded all the time.”
From his estimation, outside of the occasional baseball tournament, he used just about every day, for about fifteen years.
“Okay… so maybe you weren’t able to find yourself, but did you have any shame about living that way?” I asked, recalling the waves of indignity I would feel for decisions I made throughout high school.
“No, because I started running with a crew that did the same shit,” he used his hands to express what a crew looks like (I can’t describe it), “so it all became very normal.”
“I also lived a double life, which is part of the hustle, right? If I continue to be a straight A student and do well in athletics, then no one’s gonna suspect anything, so it served me very well to keep that up, while maintaining a relationship with my Mormon or Christian girlfriend,” he explained, kind of making fun of himself, but also not judging himself.
“Alright, so at what point were you making sketchy-ass choices that forced you to realize, ‘yeah, maybe this isn’t the thing a good person would do?’” I swung my head back and forth and squinted my right eye.
“Yeah, that inner voice people talk about… it wasn’t there,” he shrugged, “I knew the difference between right and wrong, but I didn’t have belief in a higher power,” he laughed… or more like chuckled (I dislike that word, but I hate ‘giggled’ more), “seriously, my favorite verse was this line from an Eminem song where he’s like, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘get fucked up now because where we’re going, it doesn’t matter,’” he wittingly mocked himself.
With many things then, the reason for change was consequences. His girlfriend and parents sat him down and said if he didn’t stop, they would leave him, and therein lies Tim’s first time in rehab.
“I imagine you made up your mind, you would go to treatment and appease them, with every intention of using once you got out…” I suggested.
“Oh, 100%, like everything else in my life, I did it for other people. I had the plan to go in for 30 days, hit the reset button, and then come back and do my thing. And the people at the treatment center could see it, and they tried everything they could, but ultimately, I lacked the one thing everyone needs to complete a successful treatment – willingness,” he smiled and shrugged.
He went on to explain that he would steal a bottle from the store, get drunk in treatment, and accept dirty chips at AA meetings where he would spew off the importance of sobriety. All part of his mastering the double life.
I asked Tim how many treatment centers he’d been to; he told there were numerous short-term detoxes and four long-term treatment stays. None of it stuck until one day, it did. As cliché as that sounds. He called his sister and said he was serious this time – and he got the help he needed and has been perfect ever since.
No… that’s not quite right.
He did have another relapse after dating someone real manipulative which is when he would come to the office wearing a full on Eminem wardrobe – I’m talking baggy gray sweatpants like 8 sizes too big, an oversized hoodie, and a black beanie… let that visual soak in.
And here is where we got cut off in the interview – because Cox internet blows.
“It’s fine,” I thought… “I took notes – I’ll be able to piece this together.”
The only things I seem to have written down were “I don’t know – need help” and “finally worked the steps.”
I do know he let himself cry, and took the time to follow direction – he went to one meeting, then another, then another, and actually worked the 12-steps, making every effort to get better and be better because ‘there’s a guarantee the drug path does not lead to happiness, while there’s a chance… even if small, that following the steps and working a program can lead to a life of fulfillment,’ his sponsor said. Or maybe it was just a random guy… someone said it.
So, as I type, I’m desperately hoping my dear, dear friend who’s been sober for 5 years, 11 months, and 1 day, finishes this from his perspective, talking about the peace he has found while navigating sobriety with a wife (love you, Kristin) and two kids.
Tim…? Can I hand the mic over to you?
Update – ladies and gents, we’ve got some voice memos to work with because our boy came THROUGH.
I asked him to start with life as a dad…
“So, I have these two daughters; one’s gonna be eight, the other’s going to be five, tomorrow,” he stated as the murmur of NFL Red Zone hummed in the background. “And it’s been really easy to be a dad to girls, but with my son, who’s now 2.5, I would have bouts of rage,” he emphasized rage, explaining he would get so angry sometimes, he would see red.
“One day, him and his sister Emma were playing and he smacked her in the head with a play hammer, and in the moment I acted like I should have, with sanity… but I still felt so viscerally mad and out of control hours later, well after his sister forgot what happened, that I knew I needed to talk to someone about whatever the fuck was going on.”
Tim explained that he didn’t want to have those feelings of anger towards his son (could you imagine a parent being like, ‘umm, yes, love this fury for my child?’… actually, yes, some people are sick, never mind) so he sought out therapy because, thank God, he’s self-aware.
“You want to know how you were parented?” he asked, “look at how you parent…”
He made sure to inform us his parents did they best they could with him; things were just done differently in the 80’s and 90’s.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do better, in every aspect, whether that’s financially or emotionally, and the more I can observe myself, the more I can identify how to improve myself, because every time I used to screw up, I’d throw up my hands and be like, ‘okay cool, so I’m a piece of shit that’ll never do better.’”
I CAN RELATE.
“Now, I can show my kids how to fix things and what to do when we fall short of our own standards,” he expressed earnestly.
To wrap up, I asked Mr. Besch… eghh, Mr. Besch sounds fucked. Just Besch. Whatever – I asked him to spell out his routine now, because I know he gets up at 4 AM and really makes it a priority to care for himself.
“Most mornings, I wake up at 4 to do 20 minutes of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading,” he started, and I heard a Domino’s commercial buzz by…
Quick pause – rank the top pizza places because it’s definitely Dominos at 1, Pizza Hut – 2, Little Caesar’s – 3, and Papa John’s – LAST – their sauce is NOT IT.
“I do the spiritual readings as a point of taking instruction. The book tells me that I need to start and end my day with that, so when I do it correctly, I can actually sleep well, and I’ll have more good days than bad,” he explained.
“I used to wake up and be like, ‘okay, if x, y, and z happens, then I’ll be good’ and I would constantly pin my happiness on people or circumstances I had no control over which is a super, super fun way to live,” I could sense his eye roll.
He implements this routine five days a week. Five days of the week, his life is consistent and disciplined, and then on Saturdays and Sundays, arguably when it’s the most important, because he’s with his wife and kids, he sleeps in… because he actually is a piece of shit.
No, of course not. Anyone that wakes up at 4 in the morning to take care of themselves is most certainly not a piece of shit.
He’s just human, and according to my estimation, we’re all fallible – except maybe Jeff Bezos – I think that guy has discovered a way to stay awake 24 hours a day, every day.
Sincerely, though, guys, here’s my little commercial that you can fast forward through if you so choose…
If you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, talk to someone about it – 2020 is fucking tough for just about everyone, and isolation depression is real. As of September, online alcohol sales went up 262% compared to 2019… we’re all trying to cope however we can. Reach out to me if you need help finding treatment, or if you just want to vent; I’m a really good sounding board. Or, you can reach out to Tim directly at 480… oh wait, no, that’s not a thing we can share with the internet.
That said, if Tim’s story does resonate with you want to talk to someone, let me know and I’ll arrange a chat… even if you just want to ask where he got his oversized sweats because who isn’t living in sweats these days?
Tim, I love you, friend, thanks for sharing, and the happiest birthday to my fellow Sagittarius, Emma.