The cult of self-help is bullshit. You are fine.

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 I started to realize I had a problem while I was standing in line at Walgreens waiting for a prescription for my dick.
I’m anticipating the fulfillment of that medical prescription and woman behind the counter informs me that they didn’t fill that one.
“Wait, what?!” I ask, in total disbelief.
It’s for Sildenafil.
I’m panicking because I want to have sex with my then-girlfriend at the time, but I get stressed and anxious because it’s new to me and surprise!
Your dick won’t work when it detects a tiger in the room.
So, these pills have become the magical solution to all of my fucking problems (pun intended).
And instead of figuring out what’s behind that mental glitch, I resort to taking pills like a True Red-Blooded American.
So, I’m out and I’m panicking.
“They prescribed Viagra 100mg,” the lady behind the counter says, as she points the monitor in my direction and I want to break it and I want to punch her.
It’s over $300 for, like, 20 pills.
The Sildenafil is, like, $60 for 90 of them.
This is already embarrassing enough.
There’s a line of what feels like 1,000 angry people forming behind me.
People can hear our conversation.
They’re awaiting prescriptions for things that are actually important for their survival.
Not for their sex lives.
“Can’t you just fill the generic ones…?” I ask.
“No, we can’t do that. Not unless it’s prescribed. That’s illegal.“
What a fucking bitch, I think, even though it’s not her fault.
The doctor’s office is closed.
I’m fucked.
I leave, frantic, and infuriated.
All of my self-worth wrapped up in my fucking dick.
When I got home, I started Googling:
Easy ways to reduce anxiety during sex.
How to ensure you maintain an erection during sex.
Dealing with performance anxiety…?
Down the rabbit hole I continue to go, further and further.
My mind a total cluster-fuck of different thoughts and ideas.
I would rather be doing almost anything but worrying about this shit, but I only have a few hours until it’s sex o’clock and I don’t want to disappoint.
I’m looking up books, hacks, resources.
Everything I can get my hands on.
I won’t have enough time to consume all of this, but some of it?
I buy a short audio program for, I don’t know, $39.
It’s a woman talking in that contrived, meditative tone. She stutters.
She’s imperfect, too.
“Imagine you’re in a maze, and the woman of your dreams is on the other side.”
It’s shitty.
But I start doing that.
Moments later, I’m jerking off. What the fuck am I doing?! I think.
I have a fucking problem, I finally admit to myself.
I have a fucking problem.

Self-help and a list of don’ts.

Don’t drink caffeine, he writes.
Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, I think.
That’s the first bullet-point in his dumb fucking article.
And I start to imagine the hypothetical murder-suicide that would occur if I ever met him in the real-world.
He seems like a nice enough guy.
Like, I’d get along with him if my first impression hadn’t been so tainted.
(And the honest answer is that I’m sure most of that resentment stems from the fact that he’s more popular than me on the Internet.)
He has a family, I’m sure.
The byline would read:
World-renowned life-coach murdered by a spiteful millennial in his 3rd vacation home.
The heinous act committed a time-squandering, caffeine, and alcohol imbibing cave-dweller.
It was, much to the readership of the two-time Ironman winner’s dismay, the only act of hate that Mike Kilcoyne’s ever successfully carried out.
More and more, it seems like the world of self-help has become rife with lists of don’ts. (I’ve written a lot of those lists, too. Don’t worry.)
Don’t masturbate, and especially not to porn.
I read, as I swipe over to my incognito porn window and scroll down a few more videos on PornHub. I’m studying them, for research.
Don’t leave your house unless you’ve meticulously planned out the next five years of your life.
Five years?! I think. I’ve jacked off three times today out of boredom.
Don’t complain.
Don’t complain?! Do you know how shitty the weather in Denver has been for the past few days?! How little sleep I got last night? How tired and achy I feel right now?!
Read 12 books a day. Don’t be a parasite.
And I’m stewing with anger at this point, because everything that article’s listed, I do.
I’m a piece of shit, according to this no-name fuck-face on the Internet.
Weeks later, I’m hanging over my toilet-bowl in my tiny apartment with my arms wrapped around it like a loved one who I haven’t seen in a long time.
And I’m yakking into the toilet bowl.
I’m jamming my fingers deep down my esophagus to force the last remains of the gyro I ate two hours ago out. That and the poison I’d been imbibing since 6 p.m. into the shitty toilet water below me.
Don’t drink alcohol, he writes.
I look down and bits and chunks of lamb and salad are floating around in the salad-water below me.
How to stop making regretful decisions with alcohol and start living like a king, I think to myself.
Yeah, I’ll start working on that article tomorrow, I think.
And then I fall asleep on the bathroom floor.

You don’t need this shit.

“What if there’s actually nothing wrong with you?” he asks me and I touch my forehead and feel the oil that’s been piling up on my temples.
There are blackheads forming there, too, I think.
Now I’m thinking about my blackheads and how my face are imperfect and how the next girl who sees me will immediately look at my forehead and lose interest.
She’ll think I’m a monster.
My friend acts as an informal muse and I usually listen to everything that he says but sometimes I’m too caught up in my own thoughts.
He thinks the world of self-help is bullshit, too.
The only difference between people who make it in the world of self-help and those who don’t is that the people who make it are more persistent.
They’re relentless.
They’re obnoxious.
And they clog up my Medium feed. Derivative bullshit from English PhDs who spent 23 hours pretending to be homeless in Laguna Beach.
With an emergency AirBnB in their back pocket just in case. You know, just in case the night gets rough.
(That person who I am writing about in this scenario is me, also.)
And now, we want to fix you.
The issue with the world of self-help is that it’s designed to make you think that you’re broken.
That there’s something wrong with you.
That you’re a piece of shit because you don’t wake up at 6 a.m. like a crazed sociopath. And then work for 16-hours a day at peak productivity never once looking at your phone.
Or looking at porn.
Or drinking alcohol.
That if you don’t do these 3 things every morning, someone will murder you in your sleep. Someone who’s more successful than you. They’ll get the last laugh. Every. Fucking. Time.
And if you lived your life like a normal person that peak energy coach wouldn’t have a fucking job.
Neither would Tony Robbins.
That manipulative piece of shit.
Maybe you have a strange, incestual relationship with your brother, but nobody actually gives a shit.
You’re doing fine.

The most imperfect you’ll ever feel.

The email read, “I tried to kill myself recently,” and it went out to about 2,000 people including a few of my good friends.
“Are you okay, dude?” one of them asks me, over the phone.
“Yeah, why?”
“That email you just sent out…” and I could feel most of the blood rush from my face.
Because even though I knew it was a stupid fucking thing to send out I sent it anyway.
Maybe I’m an attention-whore and this was my way to get attention from a bunch of anonymous people, but I still felt like a total fucking hack.
Jesus Christ, I thought.
If the world of self-help strives for perfection and peak humanity and credibility, then I’d lost every bit I ever had.
Nobody could trust me anymore.
Not my friends, not my readers.
And my flaws are deep and vast and obvious.
I’ll spell out a handful of them for you here:
  • I often treat women more as objects of affection than as actual people. (Which is ironic because I have a close relationship with my mom and a sister, but I’m just as fucked up as anyone.)
  • I’m secretly a lazy piece of shit and I hate working, which is part of the reason why I avoid having a normal job.
  • I’m a trust-fund baby. That’s why anything that I label as a “hardship” should always be taken with a grain of salt.
  • I’m insecure about my sexuality. I sometimes wonder if I might be gay.
  • I’m super self-conscious about my body even though it’s great. I spend at least a minute or two at night staring at myself with my shirt off in the mirror. It’s fucking strange. I can’t explain the behavior.
  • I’m co-dependent at times and don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, so I’ll quickly latch onto women in a relationship.
  • I have a shitty relationship with my father because I hold grudges.
  • I resent people who are far more successful than me. That motivated this article far more than I’m willing to admit.
And, and I’m a total hypocrite for writing this article, too.
I write ebooks that people give me their email(s) for.
I sell services through my email list, too.
I’ve written listicles because my only qualifications are that I’ve dealt with anxiety before. And depression a handful of times.
Sue me.
Download my fucking ebook.
Or don’t.
You’ll be fine, either way.