Hello all. Well, this is weird. I'm sharing a story with you that I've (mostly) kept to myself for over a decade. I finished writing "Shadow Man" over ten years ago, but due to the launch of "Paranormal State," I put this on the back burner. After finishing "State," this was to be my next project. But life stuff got in the way. I didn't know it yet, but I was about to go on a five year journey into personal exploration. Not all of it was good. But, some good came out of it. The release of this book is going to be my major goal for this year.
One of the upsides to admitting I'm a (recovering) addict have been the messages I've received from other recovering addicts. The need to process and talk about what I've been through is great. During my first week in rehab at Oaks Recovery, I rarely spoke. It took a few people there to push me to get that ball rolling. Fast forward to the now, post-jail and post-rehab, the desire to talk things out during this self-examination period is greater than it was before. Maybe this is normal. I don't know. I've made attempts to get clean before. But this time is most definitely different.
I have wanted to make a blog post here since I got out of rehab. But I found myself asking, "where do I start?" It's not that I have nothing to say. My mind is about to explode with ideas, thoughts, fears, shame, guilt, anger, etc.
But, I'm just trying to figure out ME right now. Whatever that means.
I'm not in the mood to write something epic. I don't want to think about certain things. Sometimes I just want the day to pass by. Other times, I'm feeling myself coming to.
I really can't describe it. Not yet, anyways.
So for now, I'll throw out a few things I thought about today...
I wear a necklace that was given to me by a man named Charles Gibson. It belonged to his mother. He passed away March 2013. He showed me what unconditional love was. He spent his last two months of his life with me, trying to get me to stand back up. At times I'm so angry with myself because I feel I disappointed him. But lately, through the passing haze, I can hear him, plain as day saying, "my dear boy, have I taught you NOTHING? I... love you... and not in a funny way. Your ears...mmm... they're too small.... your nose... mmm... too big... but I love you. You are loved."
I'm a hopeless romantic and when I care about someone it hurts way too much, which is why I have generally been so closed off. To avoid hurt. There, I finally admitted it. Yay, 12 Steps.
I'm a recovering drug addict. Most of of you guys have heard that by now. But no, I didn't abuse illicit drugs while investigating cases or while doing "Paranormal State." I did struggle with pain pills during the second-half of the final season of "State." Someone recently asked me if I think things would've been different with me staying on "State" longer had I not struggled with prescription use. Maybe. But I was also really, really exhausted that final season. I was executive producing and also investigating the cases.
Yeah, I believe dark forces tried to take me down. So what? I'm not going to blame it all on that, though. I am still responsible for my actions. There are a lot of interesting parallels or similarities (even just metaphorically) one can find when it comes to addiction and possession. No, I don't think I was literally possessed by a demon. Sometimes, when I lie awake in bed at night, I do think about some very disturbing things that occurred or happened around me. It's something I'm trying to process and figure out.
I did get involved with some very dark things. In time, I'll open up about them. I think it's right to come out and talk about it. To warn people and perhaps give them some things to think about.
I don't wan't to disappoint people again.
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen a post or two (or dozens) about "Paranormal Twitch." The most common response is usually, "what is a paranormal twitch?" People have asked if it's a new piece of paranormal equipment or some kind of dance (I suppose it's being confused with twerk. And I assure you, it has nothing to do with twerking). It's actually a live online channel dedicated to paranormal gaming.
Sometime after I had hip surgery, in June, a colleague of mine, Gracie, along with Serg, suggested an idea called Twitch. I kept mispronouncing the name, so if you're not familiar with Twitch, don't feel bad. I'm probably the most uneducated person out there when it comes to games and online gaming. Serg had even heard of Twitch.
Evening everyone. Every week, I plan to answer some of the most commonly asked questions sent to me. Here is one that I get quite a lot:
"I'm sure you get messages all the time and I hope you're doing well with your health and I wish you the very best in life and future endeavors!! Do you and the PRS crew have any plans to get the show back on tv? I miss your show! You all worked together so well and made me believe of the afterlife, good and bad! Good luck Ryan, I hope to see you back on tv very soon.."
Yes, I appeared on the "Maury" show. The producers were great and accommodating. They asked me to come on a few times after but I was never able to make it work due to scheduling. But in the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd upload it here for you all to watch... just in time for Halloween!
Here's a blast from the past. In 2003, I met George Lutz at our annual conference, UNIV-CON. He is, of course, the man who lived in the Amityville house and fled after 28 days. It later inspired a book, "The Amityville Horror" and two films based off of it (one in 1977, then a remake in 2005). Back in my journalism days, I was a freelance writer. In 2004, knowing that they were remaking "Amityville," I asked if I could interview him about the process.
All of us go through what St. John of the Cross calls "The Dark Night Of The Soul." It's known by many other names. Mid-life crisis, life changes, etc. Whether it's leaving a job after years or ending a marriage, these changes are hard. Sometimes they're embraced with optimism. But most of the times, ending a job, friendship or relationship, even when it's for the best, comes with fear, sadness, guilt, depression and anger.
I remember when my mother quit her job working as a CPA for another CPA. For as long as I could remember, she built herself up to earn her CPA certification, but over time, she was unhappy working for someone else. In 2005, she decided to leave her job and start her own business. She was terrified. I was scared for her. From afar, I had faith she was doing what she felt was right. But from her end, she still had three underage children, a husband, a house and one child in college to support. She knew the risks of starting her own business, but it doesn't make it any less scary. In 2005, I too, was going through my own change. I was due to graduate. Due to some very intense paranormal cases where we were working with the Catholic Church, I ended up having to temporarily drop out of college. There was fear on how I would come up with the finances to resume my education. My family, already giving me five years of supporting my college career, were strained. I was scared. I was also angry at myself for failing all my classes that semester (which forced me to drop out, so the grades wouldn't count). Did I have a valid reason? It depends on who you ask. I knew I couldn't abandon the families we were helping, who were experiencing life-or-death situations. My parents didn't understand and to this day I don't expect them to.
Some time ago, never mind exactly when, I was sitting with a psychologist who was a prominent member of the American Psychological Association. I was surprised by her visit, because I have had to battle against the close-mindedness of some psychologists and academics for as long as I can remember. It should be noted, however, that after "Paranormal State" aired, I started receiving e-mails on a regular basis from scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical/scientific professionals who were believers in paranormal research. They feared, however, being open about their beliefs because they believed it would cost them their job.
This psychologist, on the other hand, wasn't concerned about any of that. In fact, she acknowledged that there is a stigma, or a prejudice, within the scientific community against anyone who believed in the possibility of supernatural phenomenon. I argued with her - and she agreed - that there are more in the field who believe than don't. If only more of them would come out about it, I argued. But she had something else on her mind.
It started off by her asking me, "what do you do, exactly, when you investigate these claims?" I was a bit puzzled. After all, she sought me out, so in theory she must've seen my show or at least Google'd me. Nevertheless, I tried to explain to her what I did as best as I could.