Waiting at Vet

Hi, everybody.

Title is pretty self-explanatory. I’m at the vet. Both dogs getting juiced up with their yearly shots so I decided to write to you lot. Hopefully they’re drowsy the rest of the day, right? I could use a break from their energy.

So what’s on the agenda today? BOXING! And fixing up a boxing club that’s been in the community for 43 years. It’s a tremendous place run by one of the best men you could possibly meet. He’s run this club for FORTY THREE years. And it’s all been free for inner city kids to come box and compete out of there. You hear that? 43 years of service to community. All to help, not for money. Pretty damn cool.

Combat sports are cool. The community is even cooler. You would think we’re all jerks who want to beat everyone up, but it’s quite the opposite. Now put us in a ring with someone and yeah, we want to beat that person up. But I’ve never seen a more helpful and inclusive community than the boxing community here where I live.

I’m excited to go down there and paint some more, bullshit with the coaches, and give my boxers hell for messing up on the trim.

Today’s another busy day, but another good busy day. I’m excited for today. I hope you are, too. If you aren’t, think about volunteering some of your time. It’s never a wasteful act.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Hell of a Day

Hi, everybody.

I have to make this quick. Also, I can’t really look at the screen while I type. I’m actually in the middle of a meeting. This meeting is from 9 AM – 5 PM over the next two weeks, so I’ll give myself a break for a quick blog today. Don’t feel too bad about it.

Let’s talk about yesterday real quick. Hell of a day. Did I tell you lot that I got my female boxer matched up? I think I did yesterday. I might fight on the same card. Who really knows right now.

Also, my dogs busted their heads through my living room windows during a meeting with my VP of Sales at this company. Super awesome. Glass everywhere. Dogs were fine. I freaked out. Yelled. Felt guilt after my dogs looked scared. Apologized. Gave treats. Retreated.

Then I reached out with anger but my support system (Pops) noticed I was reaching out with frustration and stress. He let me go to the gym to get some boxing in while he came over and fixed up my patch job. He told me he’ll have the windows fixed my Saturday. The man is a miracle worker. I’d be lost without him, honestly – well, for the most part. At least with household chores.

I really do need to start paying more attention to this “Boot Camp” (orientation) for work. I’m glad I took the chance to write to you lot. Have a fantastic day. OH! And if you’re graduating soon, congratulations!

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Lessons Learned in Florida

Hi, everybody.

In about 45 minutes I hop on a plane back to the Midwest. I was supposed to be out here till tomorrow, but I decided it was best for me to head back a tad bit early. Need to recalibrate.

While I was here, I learned more about my mind. Well, my mind learned more about itself. Now I’m just confusing myself. Let’s move on.

So what did I learn? Let’s start with the negatives, and I only call them negatives because I’m too tired to think of a better way to describe them.

I am too dependent on cannabis for my anxiety and sleep. I need to take initiative there and slow down, but it’s another internal struggle for me. I’ve never been told to limit my medications or to drop dosages on the anti-depressant and anxiety medication. The back of my mind asks, “What if this is the best medication for you?”.

I wonder that quite a bit. The benefits I receive from cannabis are extremely helpful. Yes, in an ideal world for myself, no substance would be needed. But I’m not at that point yet. And from what I’ve learned/further reinforced from this trip is I do need to admit to some dependency with the substance. I’m a former addict. If anyone knows dependency, it’s this guy. I don’t plan on quitting, but it’s never good to travel and realize how important it is for your sleep and well-being. And it shouldn’t be. The first night I slept in Florida, I woke up 4-5 times in a heap of sweat, battling nightmares, ugly things from my childhood. It wasn’t fun and I’m quite honestly exhausted due to my poor sleep over the past few days.

But here’s the positive. I’ve established I struggle the first couple of days when I’m without cannabis. That’s something I’m now aware of and something I can work on. That’s a positive. And a challenge.

My tension with my parents is still at an all-time high, which bothers me more than you would think. I kick myself daily for the first way I treat my parents at times, but it’s pointless to kick myself. Being aware of this and keeping it present in my mind is what I need to do moving forward if I want to enable change within myself. Understanding that is a positive. Also another challenge.

I’ve further reinforced my need for communication. Silence isn’t my friend right now. A goal of mine now? Embrace the silence. Understanding silence can be a positive. Also another challenge.

So here I am in concourse D, writing to you lot. Making sure I put this down in writing so the challenges are real, so they aren’t forgotten. That’s a positive. Writing makes things real for me.

But I’ve been through plenty of challenges in my life and I’ve kept growing as a person. Yeah, sure, I lack in a lot of basics like finance and handyman work, but I make up for it with my understanding of myself and understanding of others. There’s different types of smart. Using what you’re best at can be so very important for your life and those you surround yourself with.

I wasn’t adding anything positive to my family’s trip, so I took the initiative to leave early. Do I feel a bit of regret? Yeah, of course. Am I happy I had the guts to do it? Yeah, because it was not only beneficial for me, but for my loving and understanding family. My darkness shouldn’t impact their time away.

I love my mother and father very much. I teared up a bit typing that. I hope they know I’m truly attempting to become a better person, a better son each and every day. Sometimes it’s evident, sometimes it looks as if I’m moving backwards.

But I’m not. All of this is part of my growth. Any hardships you’re facing, whether internal or external, should be considered a part of your growth. Letting them become obstacles can be detrimental to your mental health. Look at them as challenges. Look at them the way I am right now: This is part of learning about myself, which will be an ever-present process in my life. And it will be for you, too.

I’m happy to head home. However, I’m even more excited for my next trip because I’ve increased what I know about myself. I’ve understood what I need to do to help myself (and in turn, help those around me) in the situations I mentioned above. I’m happy with myself. I hope you’re happy with yourself today. You should be.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

A Quick Change

Hi, everybody.

Anxiety is a son of a bitch. If you read my last post, you know I’m on vacation and not having the bestest of times. Yes, I know bestest isn’t a word. Let’s stay on task.

I was having a shitty time. Still wish I was home enjoying my routine, but I’m OK now.

This brings us back to multiple posts when I mentioned inevitable change. Here it is. Right now. And it happened quickly.

You can always count on change even when you feel like you can’t count on yourself. But you can always count on yourself, too. Don’t forget that. I almost do every day. But guess what happens? Change.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

I Did It

Hi, everybody.

Welp, I did it. You read that right. I officially put in my two-week resignation letter this morning with my boss. This is a company I’ve been at for three years and really helped me grow into the person I am today. I am very grateful for my time there.

However, I am so, so very excited to move on to a new challenge. My dearest friend told me a week or two back, “It seems like you’re the smartest guy at the table at the company and that’s never a good thing.”

He was right. It really hit home. It pushed me to take that final leap and trust in myself at a new company with a new challenge. A place where I will be the dumbest at the table again. Can’t fuckin’ wait. TEACH ME ALL THE THINGS!

I’ve been passively searching for a job for the past year. I’ve probably applied, no lie, at over 200 places. I’ve done, again no lie, over 100 interviews in the past year. Received a few offers but none felt right. I waited. I trusted my judgment. I asked others what they thought, the people I trust. My support system. Then things changed. I started actively hunting for a new job. Big difference. It was one of my main focuses, and guess what? It paid off. Literally and figuratively.

I wouldn’t have been able to take this leap if I didn’t believe in myself. I always tell you lot everything comes from you, and it’s true. But I wouldn’t be here today without the fantastic friends and family I have, the ones pushing me forward. None of their words and advice mean shit if I don’t look within myself and understand that everything, every decision, needs to be made by me when dealing with my own life. But again, a support system can’t go unnoticed. So thanks Pops, dear friend (you know who you are), and all the other people in my life that have no clue about this blog.

Oh, and thank you. You reading this blog has such a positive impact on me and my mental health, and I hope it does some of the same for you.

KEEP PUSHIN, BABY!

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Quarantine Boredom

Hey, everyone.

My mood’s dropped significantly over the past few days. Luckily, I’m let out of the house here in… four days. Almost there.

I’m trying to will myself to do things I need to do, or want to do, during this quarantine, but I can’t seem to muster up enough will. How do I will will? Is that a thing? Brain feels like mush.

I hope all of you are out there enjoying life and making new memories. I’ll be back out there soon enough.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Bar Thoughts

Hi, everybody.

I’m at my favorite bar right now. Given that I don’t have a “home” at the moment, I’ve been a bit more frequent. Wonderful staff, food, friends, etc.. I guess this could be called a home, eh?

There’s many problems with alcohol but us, the mentally ill, the depressed, well… the main problem with alcohol for us is the fact it’s a depressant. Sucks it’s such a social thing to do, doesn’t it?

Anyway, this is just another “write to write”. I’m quite indifferent today but I have slight anger in my heart. Can’t figure out why, & today I decided to let myself not question too many things.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Pops

This post is dedicated to my father. He’s one of the very few people with knowledge of this blog, so he’ll most likely read it. I hope he does. He deserves to read what makes him such a… perfect Pops.

Pops hasn’t had it easy. Everything I’ve been through, he’s been through + the other things that I’ve put him through. I really don’t know how he does it. Let me explain.

Pops had quite a few misfortunate events occur in his adult life (understatement of the century). I’m sure he had plenty as a kid, but I haven’t asked much. I probably should one day. Throughout adulthood, though, he hasn’t had it easy. His first-born son passed away at the age of nine. He tells me of times after my brother passed, times where he couldn’t sleep. Where he’d wake up after intense nightmares about the loss of his son. Where his anxiety spiked through the roof & he’d pace. I can’t even imagine how tough things were for him during that time.

His wife, my mother, suffered a brain aneurysm in her early 40’s, only about seven or so years after they lost their son. This changed mostly everything about my mother, outside of her knack for always giving unconditional love. Pops stayed at the hospital almost every night when my mother was in the ICU & as she recovered. I believe it was three to four months before my mother was released from the hospital. I think he was there almost every day, & slept on a cot next to her almost every night. Praying for her. Being there for her. Showing unconditional love through each tear & each breath. Again, I can’t even imagine.

Yes, I was going through this stuff, too, but I was young. I didn’t fully understand the magnitude of these traumatic events, but my Pops wasn’t as lucky. In fact, I don’t know if he’s ever had an ounce of luck in his life, but the man just keeps going. Again, I can’t even imagine.

After all of this, you’d expect things to get easier. They didn’t. My mother had to learn how to walk again, how to talk again, how to really do anything again. Who was there through it all? Who showed up each time she needed help, love, or both? My Pops.

It didn’t stop there. His mother & my grandmother, started to suffer from dementia, & he was once again the person in charge. How did he handle it? Well, just like he’s handled everything in life. Through love, patience, & most importantly for him, faith. His faith is something that I can’t quite grasp, but boy am I happy he has it. During this time he was also struggling with me, an early 20’s kid causing needless trouble & couldn’t save a penny if he glued it to his forehead. What did he do in that situation? He helped. He didn’t have to, but he did. Concurrently, he was losing his job. Think about that for a second: He was losing his job but still put my mother & me in front of himself, along with somehow managing the loss of his own mother. How he handled everything with the prospect of losing his job, the only income my family had, is beyond me. Again, I can’t imagine.

When his sister passed, who was in charge of handling the funeral, who had to drive 17 or so hours to & from our state to her state a few times? Pops did. Were there capable people down where my aunt lived that could’ve handled the situation? Probably, but Pops is Pops. He lives to help. He lives to impact others in a positive way. He lives the way everyone should live. That Golden Rule you hear about? He’s perfected it.

I struggled hard today. Very hard. What happened next? I bet you can guess.

Pops dropped everything he was doing at work & drove to my house, where we talked for hours about everything from my problems, to solutions, to leadership. We really covered a lot of ground, but I didn’t even notice what was going on. Why? Because Pops was being Pops. Loving, caring, & always listening. I can’t tell you lot how much that means to me. I wouldn’t still be here today without my Pops in my corner. My mother wouldn’t be here if my Pops wasn’t in her corner. Who knows how many other people he’s impacted this way, but I bet it’s not exclusive to us. The man is a machine of kindness and compassion.

You know what I think about sometimes? How quickly I would run away from these situations. I’ve talked to countless people about it. He’s been through so much. So much shit tossed not just in his general direction, but directly at his face. However, nothing stops him from being Pops. Why? Faith. Again, I want to have that, but I can’t imagine.

This is off the cuff. I felt the need to write about him right as he walked out the door to drive the hour or so back to his house. He’s coming over tomorrow morning to help me get the house ready to sell. Can you believe that? He just spent five or so hours listening to me cry, listening to me complain about everything in life, & listening to me cuss at almost every pause in my sentences. Yet he’s still coming back tomorrow. Is Pops even real? Now that I’m typing this, I’m starting to think he’s an alien or some type of robot – maybe he is that machine made of kindness & compassion. I just can’t imagine how he does all of this for the people in his life.

I’m a very lucky son. Yes, my Pops & I have had our fair share of butting heads (one time we put a hole through the hallway wall when I was kid, but that was my fault – most everything we butted heads on was my fault… go figure). However, no matter what I’ve done in my life, & I’ve done some terrible shit, he’s always been in my corner. Always. Just like he’s always been in my mother’s corner & just like he was always in his mother’s corner.

If there’s one person that deserves some type of “legacy”, some type of statue or some shit, it’s my Pops. Not some random president or the first man on Mars (I know that person doesn’t exist yet). That shit doesn’t compare to what he’s done in his life. It truly doesn’t. He’s the most amazing man I’ve met & I’m somehow lucky enough to be his son. He’s talked me off the edge more times than I can count. He’s put in countless hours with my mother & me to make sure we’re doing well. I can’t remember the last time either of us asked him if he’s doing well. Maybe it’s time to return the favor. Actually, it definitely is.

For those of you without father figures that are reading this post, don’t get too down. Just because he’s my Pops doesn’t mean you don’t have someone like this in your life. They don’t have to be your dad. They just have to care about you unconditionally. My Pops does that. He’s done that my whole life & seemingly since the day he met my mother. I wouldn’t know prior to that, but maybe I’ll ask tomorrow morning.

Anyway, I hope he gets a chance to read this. I don’t do a good enough job telling him these type of things. They just never seem to come out – maybe because he always puts me in front of himself. He’s just that selfless.

Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest & author I bring up quite often, says that all men are selfish. Anthony, I respectfully disagree. My Pops is completely selfless & there’s no way anyone could prove otherwise.

Again, I want to stress to you that you have someone in your life like this, too. My Pops isn’t one in a million. I know that. You need to know that. Start to look around you, see who’s really there, see who’s been there for you no matter what. Once you find that person, never take them for granted. They could, & most likely will, save your life.

I wish you well (especially you, Pops). Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Also, I love you, Pops. Thank you for everything. I mean it.

Requesting Advice

I’ve spoken positively, I think, a few times on this blog about psychiatry and therapy. They’ve been good to me at times, but they’ve also made me feel helpless at times.

Today’s another day where I don’t have many thoughts outside of my own filth. Today started with a trip to see my psychiatrist & that visit ended horribly. First, I was seven minutes late, which meant they couldn’t tell me the results of my EEG that I took two weeks ago. That pissed me off. Also, the doctor was eight minutes late so it didn’t make much sense in the first place.

I didn’t handle that well. I blew up, kinda, in typical me fashion. I have so much disgust for how mental health is treated that I sometimes attack those who work in the space. Again, not fine moments for me. I’m always disappointed in myself when I resort to that style of … problem solving? I don’t know.

Anyway, I need your advice. Today I was prescribed two new medications based off a cotton swab test that checks how well your liver is metabolizing the medication. Funny thing is, the medication I was on was metabolizing just fine & it showed in the test results, however, I never felt any better on the meds.

My psychiatrist told me today that he’s here to “prescribe medication” and “there’s not much else I can do” – it really sucks hearing that. It does. I know it’s the truth, but I wish it wasn’t. I have to wait another 30 days to see if these medications do anything, and there’s no telling if they will or not.

So here’s my question(s), and hopefully someone responds with a tidbit of advice. How do you handle negative feelings towards psychiatrists/therapists? How does switching medication impact you? Have you found any other way outside of medication to help yourself have more & more better moments each day?

I just can’t figure it out. And it’s scary to not know. It really is.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Day to Day Change

If you read my post yesterday, you’d know I was in a quite happy-go-lucky mood. I was intent on realizing the life-changing opportunities and/or possibilities for me now & in the future.

Well, things change. They change day to day, as the title reads, but they also change minute to minute, sometimes in even shorter spans than that.

What spurred this change? Well, my emotional instability is a key factor in all of this, but let’s run the tape back to later in the evening of last night and earlier today.

Last night I had a conversation with that new possible companion I wrote about a few posts back that really changed everything for us moving forward. We didn’t click like we were clicking. There was anger for no apparent reason, and surprisingly not from my side. However, she is at a bachelorette party this weekend & drinking quite heavily, but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that we just don’t mesh. Sucks, but yeah. That’s the conclusion of that.

Earlier today, I of course was texting my ex. Earlier in the week we chatted over the phone & she asked a peculiar question, “Have you been seeing anyone?” I of course replied with a kinda, sorta, maybe answer – because that’s the honest truth. I spoke in my last post of letting go of the love and desire I have to be with my ex, but it’s extremely difficult to think of ever creating a connection even close to that again in my lifetime.

Well, going back to the question she asked earlier in the week, she ended up explaining why she asked it. First, she wanted to know if I was screwing anyone. Then she wanted to, at some point, tell me she’s been casually seeing someone. It took quite a bit to get her away from hinting at it & changing that to just telling me the harsh truth. I mean, she’s trying to move on. I get it, I do. Does that make it better? No.

It’s really hard to stomach. It really is. I have to go to a family friend’s house this evening for a dinner & I don’t know how I’ll behave. I’m frightened to be around anyone right now. Hell, I can’t even handle trying to give my dog’s attention right now. To top it off, I have to golf with those same family friends tomorrow morning, so I won’t be staying at my residence this evening. I’ll be in someone else’s bed with these thoughts. I always struggle with that.

Every single day, something changes. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s the exact opposite. Also, sometimes it feels like death. At least that’s what today feels like for me.

I hope you’re having a better day than me. You might be have a worse day than me & if so, I hope you get through it. I hope I get through this. I hope we all get through the struggles we’re faced with in this day to day, always changing life we lead.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.