Hollywood Rant

Wreckage of My Past

There are occasions in life when no really means no.   I am not really the kind of guy who accepts no for an answer but occasionally I hear the word No and I can’t possibly ignore the implications.

When I first got sober I had to make endless amends to many people.  I had to address the wreckage of my past.  It is not always easy to hear an apology so I rarely use the word sorry.  When I had to make amends to people I had hurt whilst using drugs and alcohol I started any apology with these words:  “I was wrong.”  I was wrong to have stolen from you, I was wrong to have lied to you, I was wrong to have deceived you etc. etc.

Some people were simply no longer around to make amends to or some I had made so angry that they could never hear even one word from me let alone an apology so I made, what we call, a living amends, which meant that whatever I had done to the aggrieved I would never do again to another person.  That if I had cheated I would not cheat.  If I had stolen I would not steal.

Obviously they, the other, would not care either way if I cheated or stole ever again but my commitment to the living amends meant that I never need bring more people to the same sad conclusion about me.  This may seem obvious to you but to a selfish, self obsessed addict this is not obvious at all.

I am in an odd mood today.  I am happy but I am expecting the worst.  I am sure about my path but too lazy to take the next step.

Insanely busy day yesterday.  Climbed Runyon.  Popped over to see Amanda and Kay.  Saw Sean over in Malibu at his farm.  Had lunch with Mel.  Drove home, CRAWLED home on the congested 10 Freeway and then couldn’t, for the life of me, find parking so parked illegally.  I was just desperate to get under a hot shower.  Thankfully, I did not get another parking ticket.

Had delicious dinner last night at Osteria Mozza.  Actually, it was an OK dinner but the company was great.   The food was expensive and poorly executed.  I sent the first course back because it was literally inedible.  Bad food made better with inspiring conversation.   I left my phone in the car so when I got back there were lovely text messages to read.

I slept long and hard.

This morning had very long, shitty conversation with HSBC in the UK.  Really bad.  Then, on the way to Runyon, my friend JP called me to make a reservation for him at a restaurant he couldn’t get into but apparently I can.    Made me feel like a glorified personal assistant.  Had long, very long (but delightful) conversation with Philippa about my June trip back home to the UK.  I really can’t wait to get home for a little while.

The NO came after that.  It was so definite and clear but rather than it rattling me I simply asked to get my own needs met and handed the whole caboose and caboodle over to God.


10 replies on “Wreckage of My Past”

Duncan, this blog entry really spoke to me, and I want to thank you for your eloquence. I am a recently self-realized codependent. And my mantra is currently “Let go and let God.” Not an easy task.

I just wanted to recognize your journey and honor you for it. You’re an idol to me.

Life is so much better when you can say no to something and stick to it. Good for you!

From what you’ve written before about your difficult past, it wouldn’t be unusual to expect the worst. However, I hope you can try to not expect ANYTHING, and just know that you DESERVE the best, and that the past need not define the future’s outcome even though it will influence your orientation toward perceiving. What will happen, will happen. Do the right thing, for no reason other than because it is how you should honor your own inherent worth. If you are open and present, you will be most ready to deal.

(I’m posting about my journey from showbiz into health care work.)

“No” is sometimes the hardest word to hear. Many times it is the word we most need to hear, or to say. Good for you for recognizing when you heard it!

I continue to pray for you– for happiness, health, peace, serenity and most of all, sobriety. God bless you, Duncan.

And some times No is a subtle way of making us take a different life path. When my youngest daughter was 5 she wanted a pony, she prayed for it every night. Then she stopped asking me everyday, and I had to ask her why. She looked at me and said simply, I asked G-d and he said no.
Since then i have thought perhaps No isnt such a bad thing, when things dont turn out, perhaps its G-d saying No, this isnt what I want for you.
And D, i really do wish you would write a movie, a book, anything, reading your blog surpasses most anything i have read or seen.I am sure most of your readers would agree. You are so on the right path, you seem happier, less..scattered?
Have a good weekend, and have some ice cream {ice cream always makes life good}

Qu’est-ce qu’un homme re¤ volte¤ ? Un homme qui dit non. What is a rebel? A man who says no.

-Camus, Albert
L’Homme re¤ v olte¤
I called you….no answer

Mozza has the worst service of any restaurant I’ve ever been to in LA. It was as if they tried to have shitty service.

Learing to say No has been a toughie for me in recovery. How many times did I say yes when I really meant no? I can be such a people pleaser, but like any habit, it takes a bit of time to have it feel ok.
I have a few people in my life that would no more want to see me than a man in the moon, so I too have to make living amends. I hope to see them face to face someday, but it’s not in my hands, when it’s time…

Duncan.. we must dine next to each other daily. HA.

Hungry Cat.. frites/crab legs/pommeray mustard sauce.. a glass of champagne….

Hip Hip for little dogs.. Mine woke me at 5 am today by growling relentlessly ( a scottie).. Forcing me to look through the french doors to see my neighbor’s house in 30 ft. flames. Ten minutes later the fireman arrived and had it out. ( real time btw).. so for every ” What’s that girl? There’s a fire in the barn?” I am thankful for little dogs. 🙂


Bad bank. Bad, bad bank. 😉 I was going to write that I see you, Sir Duncan, slaying that nasty dragon of a bank when you go to the UK but I decided to reframe the scenario and see you being The Bank Whisperer. Yes, that’s better. You will coax and razzle dazzle that miscreant of a bank into eating out of your hand. If you say “Jump”, the only question you’ll get will be “How high?”. 🙂 I’m hearing “All Things Bright And Beautiful” playing in my head.

I hope that your happy mood remained and that whatever bad that you were expecting, didn’t materialize. There’s a copyrighted phrase that I really like that says “Thoughts Become Things… choose the good ones.” (TUT’s Adventurers Club) I think that sometimes your inner dialog needs a good editor. 😉 Dr. Amen, author of “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life”, talks about ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and how to squash them. Or if you’re a Buddhist, you can thank them for whatever use your mind has made of them and tell them to pack their little bags and hit the road. 🙂 Tell yourself good things and good things manifest. It’s hard & scary sometimes, but it works. And it gets better with practice.



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