Masturbation typically teaches my mind that it is okay to follow my impulses like delicious food to a cartoon character’s floating nose. Which then makes it easier to be enticed by feelings and thoughts of excitement, anger, sexualized lust, greed, pride, stereotyping, embarrassment, and insecurities.

But, I don’t have to be that cartoon character forced by my lust to fill a short-term, dead-end hole that could end up harming me and others in the long run. Instead, I could just sit and breathe calmly as emotions and thoughts thrash about. Then, as I watch them from beginning to end, I can start to realize that they are temporary, they will pass, and they don’t have to control my responses to life…that I can do that for myself.

This isn’t the “easy” option. At least not right away. These emotions, thoughts, and impulses become incredibly tantalizing and manipulative to get their way. But, when actually observing them without shying away from eye contact…when actually facing them without distractions…and, when actually embracing the tempting boredom with courage…then, I realize that these compulsions may be a part of my human experience, but don’t have to be included in my daily actions (and, I can learn so much about me and society’s systemic impact through this brief pause).


I can find fun that isn’t so detrimental to my mental health. I can find activities that aren’t all about me. I can find meaning in being present, warm, and vulnerable with others. And, I can nurture my physical needs to survive. I just need more time.

And, there is so much time that I spend getting obsessively stuck within my vices…my numbing binges…and, my impulsive behavior. All of which creates stress…guilt…emptiness…depression…anxiety…loneliness…and a lack of control.

When I take back that time…when I find my influence over my responses again…I can create…calm…relaxation…fun…meaning…and love.

“You don’t have to be lonely alone”

About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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