Hi, I’m Mike and it has been 64 days since my last Joe Rogan. I’m standing here before you today, because I know you, I know where you’ve been, and I can say that there is hope. I can see it in your faces: you’re thinking, this guy doesn’t know shit, he has no idea of the depths of despair I have been through trying to kick Joe Rogan. Friends, let me share my story.

It all started a couple of years ago when my wife went to visit her mother for a week. I was alone in the house, unemployed, and drinking heavily. I thought, woo hoo, vacation time! I was sitting in the kitchen drinking beer one morning, flipping through YouTube, when something caught my eye. A show called The Joe Rogan Experience. It was called a “podcast.” I remembered Joe Rogan’s face from the television show News Radio, so I clicked on it. Joe Rogan’s latest guest was a guy who had lived in the Alaska wilderness all alone for a year. Holy shit! I pressed “play” on my phone and sat there drinking and listening for three hours, not realizing my life would never be the same.

There were several hundred backlogged Joe Rogan shows. For a week, I jumped out of bed, went to the store, bought beer, and listened to three or four Joe Rogans all day. When my wife would text me from her mother’s, I would get annoyed that she interrupted Joe Rogan. Joe Rogan was like sweet nectar flooding my insides. I thought, where has Joe Rogan been all my life? Joe Rogan filled that hole in my soul. I can see by your nods, friends, that you know what I’m talking about.

My wife finally came home from her mother’s and this put a damper on my Joe Rogan habit. But I was sly and shifty and I found my ways. I would say “I’m going to the gym.” Joe Rogan talked a lot about going to the gym, you see, so he gave me the idea. But I wouldn’t really go to the gym. I would drive to a nearby parking lot and sit and listen to Joe Rogan while drinking my beer. I simply could not get enough of Joe Rogan. It was like he and his guests were speaking directly to me. They connected to me more than any television program ever did, more than Malcolm in the Middle or Everybody Loves Raymond. They connected to me more than Rush Limbaugh or NPR. Way more! I had read some authors who had seemed to connect to me in a similar way, but nothing like Joe Rogan. I forgot about Bukowski, Henry Miller, Socrates, all those dull dummies.

My wife sensed something funny was going on, but she didn’t make a big fuss. The bad times had not come yet. This went on for a few weeks. Then one day I discovered that I had listened to all of the Joe Rogan available. Even his oldies, where he’s sitting in some crappy room and he’s got all his hair. Then I started listening to some of my favorites over again. I started wearing headphones connected to my phone everywhere I went. I listened to Joe Rogan all the time, except while sleeping. My wife kept asking me when I was going to find a job, so I went out “job hunting.” I thought, why do I need a job? Joe Rogan doesn’t have a job and he’s doing great.

I stopped watering the plants. I stopped making love with my wife. Then I stopped bathing and doing basic grooming. One time I was driving, listening to Joe Rogan and drinking beer, and I got pulled over and got a DUI. They took me in and held me for a few hours until they let me call my wife to come pick me up. I cried all the way home, cursing Joe Rogan. I had to pay $3,000 in fines, lost my driver’s license for a year, and had to undergo therapy. The therapist kept concentrating on my drinking. She would not listen to me about the dangers of Joe Rogan. In fact, she had never even heard of Joe Rogan. I was not supposed to drink and I had to piss in a cup every week when I went to see the therapist. One day, I pissed dirty. Back to the judge! He was not a kind judge. He said I was “incorrigible.” I tried to tell him it was because of Joe Rogan, but he just said, “Son, you’re going to jail.”

I spent three months in county lockup. Three months without Joe Rogan. Several of my fellow inmates were Joe Rogan addicts, too, and we talked about it. Remember when Joe Rogan smoked pot with Elon Musk? What about when Joe Rogan talked to Mike Tyson! Joe Rogan is a legit martial artist! He’s a badass, man! Joe Rogan hunts his own elk! God damned, how we all wanted to be Joe Rogan, free as Joe Rogan, rich as Joe Rogan, sitting around shooting the shit and smoking pot and drinking whiskey and making money doing it. Some of my fellow inmates were looking at much more time than I was, and when I was released, it was emotional. There were tears. Say hi to Joe Rogan for us, they said. As if I could really say hi to Joe Rogan, as if we were friends or something. I wish!

I had to take a cab home because I couldn’t get hold of my wife on the jail phone. I told the driver to stop at a store and I bought some beer. My cell phone had a dead battery so I couldn’t listen to Joe Rogan, but the driver told me Joe Rogan had some good shows recently. I almost smacked him when he started telling me about one. Don’t ruin it for me!

At home, the house was locked. I found the spare key and went in. There was a note on the table from my wife:

“I’ve gone to stay with my mother. I will not be coming back. You and Joe Rogan will be happier if I’m not around.”

I didn’t have time to feel too bad about that. I charged my phone up and looked for Joe Rogan. I found, to my chagrin, that Joe Rogan had changed platforms. He was now on Spotify instead of YouTube. I felt betrayed and lost, but I adjusted. I watched him on Spotify, getting free access via Facebook. The audio wasn’t as good, and the screen was smaller. But it was still Joe Rogan, my old buddy, my “brother from another mother.” I caught up on three months of shows in four days, sitting at the kitchen table drinking beer. I was back home.

When the last Joe Rogan ended, I had a panic attack. I had to buy some vodka just to calm down and get my wits about me. I searched all the podcasts for an alternative, but found nothing. Brett Weinstein? Fuck that guy. Joey Diaz? I liked Joey Diaz when he was on Joe Rogan, but not on his own. Joe Rogan was the glue. Joe Rogan was the lubricant. Joe Rogan was the hub of the wheel. Joe Rogan was the goddamned center of the goddamned universe.

While waiting for Joe Rogan’s next show, I spent my days drinking beer and arguing with people on Joe Rogan’s Twitter. None of these idiots understood Joe Rogan like I did. They were a bunch of Johnny-come-latelys, losers, fanboys. Most of them were just trying to ride Joe Rogan’s coat tails. Many of them thought they were going to be the next Joe Rogan. And some of them even contradicted Joe Rogan, they found fault with his ideas, which I thought completely out of line and obviously insane. I understood why Joe Rogan never hung around and chatted with the commenters on Twitter. Joe Rogan knew what was up. “Post and ghost,” Joe Rogan always said about Twitter. Wise man.

My hours and days became excruciating. Joe Rogan did a lot of interviews, but sometimes he went two or three days without uploading one. I would wake up shaky and nauseous, hardly able to handle my phone. If I didn’t see a new Joe Rogan, my poor heart sank. My funds had dried up, too, so I had to sit on the corner sidewalk and beg change for beer. I didn’t pay the rent and one day I came home and could not open the door. I took a shit on the front porch and walked away with my phone. When the phone got turned off, I spent most of my time at the library, listening to Joe Rogan on the computer with headphones. Sometimes I would laugh too loud and the librarians would get nasty. Then they finally kicked me out for good. They blamed it on the fact that I was drinking whiskey in the library, but I know it was because they just didn’t like Joe Rogan.

After that, I just wandered around, begging money and drinking. I thought, what happened to my life? I thought, this never happened to Joe Rogan. I would ask passersby if they had listened to him lately. I wanted them to tell me about him, what he’d been up to, how the search for extraterrestrial life was going, how the eternal fight against Critical Race Theory was going, how the UFC was doing. But most people just ignored me and hurried away. Most people are calloused and hardened and have withered, blackened souls.

Time ceased to exist for me. There was no meaning in my life. Without Joe Rogan, I was nothing. I was less than nothing. One day I blacked out lying on the sidewalk. I vaguely remember the ambulance, the lights and sirens. I woke up in the hospital with tubes in my face. My first thought, I swear to you friends, was Joe Rogan.

The doctors told me if I drank again I would die. They had no clue that my real problem was Joe Rogan. Some of the doctors even knew of Joe Rogan. They called him “somewhat entertaining.” Doctors are some of the stupidest people on the planet.

My mother sent me money for a bus ticket and I went to her house, where I now live in her basement. It has been a hard ride. I had to swear to my mother that I would not listen to Joe Rogan while I lived under her roof. She even called him a “white nationalist.” We had some real screaming matches over it, but I finally relented. She gives me money for beer and cigarettes and she makes pot roast on Sundays. It’s a good life, though somewhat pale in contrast to my former life. I still haven’t talked to my wife. It’s been 64 days now since I’ve heard Joe Rogan, except in my dreams. Sometimes, I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I know this struggle will never end until death. And that’s just something I have to deal with.

This has been my story, friends. Take of it what you will, but always remember you are not alone. There is hope if you take it one day at a time. There are gardening shows to watch on YouTube, and shows that will teach you how to make cement flower pots out of old egg containers. I’m not saying it’s easy. Quitting Joe Rogan was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Every day now I think of all the people I screwed over while in the depths of Joe Rogan depravity. I reach out to the ones I can, and I ask them to forgive me. Sometimes they do. My wife still won’t talk to me, but I’ll give her some time. I thank the Lord and my blessed mother for saving me from doom. I urge you to stay strong and believe in yourselves, my friends.

Thanks for listening. And God Bless.