I’m Not Dead

I hope this is a good idea: I have this thought that talking about mental stress, in any capacity, is a good thing. If I am wrong, I will pull this down.

My thought process is that more conversation about anyone with mental issues will help everyone who deals with them on some level.

I have, for a very long time, dealt with my own mortality. I actually feel guilt for being alive.

Now, that does not imply that I am depressed. I actually feel this way whether I am having a good day or not. I am constantly thinking about how I am squandering aspect of life, even when I am doing everything right. I have released more albums in a period of 10 years than most people will in their entire lives. I have written a book. I do a PodCast, and I have produced a number of songs. I am married to an amazing woman. I have three beautiful dogs, and a cat that is amazing. Even this blog could be seen as an accomplishment, though even on paper, I don’t see it as anything special.

I feel constantly hounded by the fact that I am heavily in debt. Things I do don’t get the attention that I think they should. A large part of that is my examples are ludacris to live up to. I have constant reminders from other YouTube personalities, musicians, and writers who have great success and reach limits unheard of by history.

The biggest component is my health status. I get daily reminders that I am not walking. A close relationship tells me often how my seizures are self inflicted, and I believe it even though I know that they are not.

I am trying, but I feel as though that I have done this all to myself. I then start to feel horrible because there are people (friends and otherwise) who have died before they could do anything eternal. I feel as though the system wasting it’s time on me is for not. I am literally living my life because other people want me to for them.

That is something never talked about: how we don’t get reprise from life. Even on a day off, we have to make sure that we do X and Y for ourselves so we can get back to doing things to “better” humanity. It does not help that, because I am over 30 years old, I have signed a collection of confidentiality agreements to prevent my doctors explaining certain things to family and friends.

Couple this exhaustion from life with my disdain for existence, and I am having a hard time. I AM NOT DEPRESSED, but I am feeling trapped and pulled thin. I make morbid jokes because I find them hilarious. I talk about killing myself, NOT AS A CRY FOR HELP, as a way to express emotions at that time and date.

I tell everyone that I love them, because I genuinely do. I am going to start signing off every PodCast with “I love you” because I don’t hear that being uttered enough.

I know I said that I am taking a break, but I really needed to get that out.

I love you.

I think today is special…

Seven years ago, I opened my eyes after my 20-something day coma.

I say “I think” in the title, because I have been told this from my parents from very soon after I awoke. My friends tell me all sorts of days different from this. I like it being today because it’s easy to remember.

That makes me, by some accounts, seven years old. I think that’s kind of funny, seeing how I just turned 32 on the 12th.

Any-what-its… I recorded and published the next PodCast on my YouTube channel. Give it a listen, tell me I suck!

Yes, it’s posted as a video. There are no visuals. Feel free to just do something else whilst I drone on and on…

Remembrance Day

Today is a day I hold higher than any other day: even my birthday. I only learned recently that it is only recognized by the Commonwealth nations, and I find that sad.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about; Remembrance Day is a day put aside to remember military conflict, primarily the World Wars, but has extended out to any military action over the last 100 or so years. It is a day to remember the sacrifices made, the lives lost, and the peace gained.

The fact that it’s only celebrated by the Commonwealth nations makes me very upset. It is important to remember what we have achieved, both as nations and as people. I feel as though remembering the lives lost has garnered a kind of reverence in regards for life and a collective respect for the potential atrocities of war.

ANY-WHO, I just wanted to kind of explain why this day exists for those who have never heard of it before. I learned recently that it is far more than I imagined, and that makes me upset. Even if you don’t recognize it, for whatever reason, knowing what it is rates as very important: to me, anyway. The only thing that is asked is a moment of silence at 11am today.

TO MAKE IT CLEAR: Remembering the actions of the men and women who give their lives is NOT compliance with the military. I, myself, am very anti-conflict. I still recognize the importance of today because we need to learn about what went wrong in the past to make the future better.

(Tomorrow is my birthday, then starts the usual time off until the next year!)

…now for step two…

The results of the election are out. I am happy T*mp lost, but I feel that some people don’t share my sentiment for why.

I wanted T*mp out, but not to see a huge change in American policy. I think we’ll see one, but it will be mostly superficial. So many of the issues noticed by the populace have been things in place for over a century. Biden, though I honestly do think there will be huge changes, needed to take over T*mp because T*mp was the issue. The way he conducted himself just made it socially acceptable to be a bigot and a liar.

I would love to be proven wrong. Obviously, it is still way too soon to tell exactly what is going to happen. The racist and homophobic moron needed to be ousted. He was dangerous, stupid, buffoon-like, and fascist. I am not even pointing anything new out, and I was very isolated from a majority of his decisions because I don’t even live in the States.

That brings me heavy handed to my next point: well, it’s more a question. Do the States not realize just how poorly the world viewed his policies? Yes, he was just a figurehead, but his actions made that very clear to the rest of the world for the first time in my life. Even Bush Jr. seemed a better leader, and that’s saying something. He decisions were dangerous, he could be pointed at for the deaths that shadow 9/11, and he made stupid allegations when he lost the election that threatened democracy.

I’m not even a huge fan of democracy, but he challenged the populace on their voting tattics, questioned their validity, and seemed geared to make himself a “leader” for another term. The fact that the vote was so close just amplifies how stupid all of this is.

Okay, I’ve lost my point in the midst of my angry rants.

Oh, right! I wanted to say that Biden probably will not illicit huge changes on the ground floor, but his respect on the world stage is already making the difference. T*mp made politics a spectator sport, for lack of a better term. We, internationally, would read headlines to mock the States and the backwards bullshit that came to the forefront. Biden has become immediately famous because his VP is a black woman. Seriously: this is a fact that should not matter. Since it does, we see just how backward the American view on, not just race, but gender really and truly is.

Goddamn, I cannot even finish my paragraph about how I have reclaimed my opinion without going on another angry tangent about how archaic the American system is.

Okay, that’s it. I will now concede my rants and leave my American readers with this:
Your emotional support Canadians are still here, and fuck knows that people from other countries feel the same. Things will change. Kamila sounds amazing on paper, and we have great hopes for the upcoming year. T*mp was a dictator, and Biden sounds like he is going to be much better. The bar for improvement is very low, however. Things will not change overnight. We are here for you.

(Image in regards to Spec Ops: The Line. Fantastic commentary on war, the human psyche, and video games in general.)

Hi there, depression

I recently made a post on FaceBook that instigated some polarising opinions from “I appreciate this” to “you fucking hack”. I now feel obliged to explain my reasoning further.

The initial post read as follows:

Some days, I worry that when people don’t talk about suicide or depression because the feeling is potentially fleeting and they don’t want the stigma of being “that” person following them around

I will now be an over-explaining ass and further dissect what I meant:
I have a couple of friends, myself included, who are afraid of reaching out because what they feel is very much temporary. How can depression be temporary? Well, it cannot. However, sadness can be. You could be overly stressed one day, or feel crushed under the oppressive thumb of reality. You could want to say something about it, then hold back because you don’t want to be a burden, or be forever stigmatized as a sad sack.

This post was not to say that no one should reach out. Quite the opposite. It is simply reminding people to isolate the situation from the person until you know the full story. To reiterate, it could be a bad day. It could be a bad moment. It might be a bad week. It doesn’t always mean that the person is chronically depressed or in need of public sympathy. Quite the opposite: there are occasions where public pressure may push the person over an edge that they may not recover from.

A better way to handle it is to simply acknowledge it. Leave a “like” on their message. If you notice a pattern, then reach out privately. If that doesn’t seem to result in anything, move on to getting a hold of family or friends if you notice an ongoing issue.

Don’t assume that talking will do anything. Don’t gaslight or rehash. Don’t guilt.

There is also a chance that the depressing thought might be simply a song lyric (something I have fallen prey to many times ove). There is also a chance that it was an expression of frustration over one event.

Or: maybe they are depressed. If that is the case, just make it clear that you are willing to listen, but make sure to do so privately. Public expressions could be seen as shaming. Shaming could lead to putting up walls, or worse, sprialing.

Again: a private extension of a branch is often all that the person would want if they want anything.

Of course, every expression of depression is unique. That’s what makes it so hard to deal with. Keep in mind that there are a lot of people out there who do not want people to know that they are actually sad. Again, assume that the person doesn’t want to share their emotions privately. Don’t just jump to “sad post therefore sad person” and keep in mind that there is a large number of people born after the year 1980 who just like sad music.

Here is a link for the depression and addiction resources that I have for the Kingston and South Frontenac region. If you need help and cannot reach out, for whatever reason, please look into this. I am not trained, nor do I have any facts that I need to share. These are all just opinions and the point of view from someone who suffers from mild depression themself. Please, use the link above. Get proper guidance if you are actually worried about someone and don’t know what to do. It’s not a secret that I have failed time and time again.

Serious question…

Just wondering: how many pages would be satisfactory for a novel?

I realize that is a loaded question. Inquiries may arise over how interesting the content is, or does the story miander, but I like to set a realistic goal to strive towards.

Right now, my goal is 100,000 words. That’s roughly 200 pages. I feel pretty confident that I can hit that goal. One of my favourite books (Fight Club) is only 49,962 words. My last book, in its final form, clocked in at 39,130 words. I currently sit just shy of 10,000 in my next work. I set myself a deadline of the end of May to have it completed. I feel this is very possible. I just have not decided if being finished includes editing or not…

I implore you to respond in comments, either on here or my FaceBook page, to tell me what you think is a good length. Am I over-reaching? Under-reaching? Both, somehow?

Metric of age

I have an actual delema that I have faced for the last little while, but I have not voiced it (to my memory). This year, on the twelfth, I turn 32. The last time I flatlined was seven years ago on the twelfth. So, my issue is simple: am I 32? Or should I go by the more morbid timestamp of 7?

I mean, I say morbid, but that implies that I have reservations about that fact. I died. I’m okay. I would say that it’s common, that everyone goes through that. I am not sure that is the case, however. Neither of my parents or my brother have. In fact, I only know of a handful that have the ability to say that they have ever flatlined in their life.

Let’s go over the horribly happy list of me not dying! (keep in mind, this is just what I have been told.)
– I was born not breathing and didn’t for a full minute after being born.
– I apparently died on my way from Brantford to Toronto.
– I died on my birthday when I was in hospital.

Now: should I be more disturbed at this list than I am? No, I don’t think so. I would make a sash and have them as badges if I could. Scream at me for being fucked if you want, but I take a great deal of satisfaction that I have the tenacity to survive all of this. I just feel bad for every person reading this right now: you have to deal with me for a long time.

Now, do I want to push my luck? Do I have a great deal of disrespect for mortality now? Do I view myself as immortal?

No. If anything, I am a bit more paranoid of certain events now.

I wonder if I have literally pushed my body through what I have left. Maybe, next time I won’t wake back up. Or, I’ll reach my final form of a potato? I have no idea.

My external hard drive dropped off my desk today. It died, and all my music was on there. So, that’s approximately one terabyte of audio gone. I am not happy about it, obviously.

It’s not news that I usually hate not having physical forms, but what I don’t advertise is that I have a love for my library of digital audio. There is something nice about having all of the music I enjoy at my fingertips.

As far as I can tell, the files are still there. I just need to bring the device somewhere to have them extracted. So, I guess it’s not all horrible. It’s just inconvenient.

BITCH BITCH WHINE WHINE.

How are you?

Really, I’m fine.

The strangest thing has happened over and over again.

I will post something: a picture, a status, a video. Someone will post a comment asking if I am able to do X now, or if I am “better”, or something to that effect, and imediatly people start telling me that I’m okay and shouldn’t be too down on myself.

I am NOT cursing those people out. I am not shaming them for trying to get ahead of negative thoughts or actions. I am NOT ungreatfull for the kind words that are never rude.

I am mildly worried that people think that I am having a harder time than I really am.

I want to make it as clear as I can: I am okay. I am doing things to improve my life day by day, but I am very aware of what I will never be able to do again. I sustained brain damage thanks to the surgeries to save my life, so I will probably never be able to drive again. As far as walking goes, I am making strides in other parts of my body which prove to me that I have not strengthened the muscles I need to walk yet. Muscles like the ones at the sides of my core, for instance. I did some bending the other day, and noticed the struggles I was having to bring my torso back to centre. I have been doing not–sit-ups since, and have noticed a tonne of new advancements in other areas.

My current mental slippage has little to do with my physical being. A Millenial struggling with the economy, politics, and disability in society? Weird! Never would have figured myself someone with a cause, but here we are. Thirty-almost-two and still figuring out shit.

I have my next PodCast half-scripted, and I hope to record it soon. I also made a huge mistake in my next book, but have since found a way to use it to my advantage (I think…). I hope to have that part all settled in the next month or two. In the meantime, I will just keep myself sane by listening to old favourite songs, watching stupid videos online, and writing my thoughts out to the aether.

Farewell to Freeway

The first live show I ever saw was Farewell to Freeway opening for The Reason. There were other bands, they were also very good, but those two stood out. Not just because they were the headliners, but also because. well, the formed a basis for my taste in music for the early 2000’s.

To be clear, and to flex my independent music knowledge because I’m a pretentious prick, I realize that Farewell to Freeway was initially Sewing With Nancy, and they changed their sound dramaticallly from almost a skate-punk sound to emo in 2000. Hell, Like Home was my introduction to the band roughly two nights before I saw them.

Again, I feel that it must be stated how amazing the whole lineup for the night was. Those two bands stick out for me because I really had no referance for heavier music. The absolute heaviest that I got at that time was Tool’s Lateralus album. If you know that album, saying that it’s not metal is rediculous, but seeing it as heavy is laughable.

If memory serves, Farewell to Freeway (hereby refered to as F2F) started their set with songs from the Between Yesterday and Today album. Still a rather emo-tastic album, but they perfected the sound from that point on.

I was in bliss. They went from being a really solid local-ish band to being something amazing to me. They closed their set with the title track from their, at that time, upcoming album (song here). I am not too man enough to admit that I cried, I thought it so beautiful. Even though I was silly and considered it metal (oh, baby me…), I didn’t dare mosh for fear that I would miss a note.

So, yes, I was floored. The Reason topped off a fantastic night. Ironically, that was the last time they were heavy (that I saw on stage) before they made the jump to a more mainstream sound three years later. (The Reason Meta-ish)(The Reason Pop feat. Sara Quin from Tegan & Sara fame)

Anyway, the reason I write about this album (aside from how instrumental it was in my taste in music) is: even though music has evolved and “improved” since this simple eight track album came out, I still return to it with great anticipation for everything to be okay for the 27 minutes that it takes to make this beautiful journey. If you are a fan of 2000’s emo or anything in the punk world from that time, I am very sure that you will love this piece of 519 history.

Morning Person/Night Owl

I will start this post by exclaiming that all of this will be conjecture and observation. More of an expression of my own experience than fact, so take my words as “fun” rather than actual truth.

I have noticed a discrepancy in the labels of “morning person” and “night owl”. In western society, anyway, we toss those terms around to describe either someone who is good in the morning, or seems to perk up as the day continues. I wonder, however: can you be both?

I am rarely in bed before midnight, and I am usually up around eight in the morning. I usually get the mandatory eight hours of sleep, and I don’t have a nap most days. I am able to stay up later if I am stimulated, so I often get the label of “night owl”. This ignores the fact that I am most productive in the morning, where my evenings are reserved for entertainment and waffling. One could say that I am a “morning person” most days. From simple description, I fall into both categories.

While dwelling on this fact today, I got analyzing categories, in general. Whether they be to define sexuality, or personality types like into- or extrovert.

Society, as a whole, seems determined to place everyone into boxes. I am not immune to this, but I do not use them to judge people. Some people seem to wear them as a badge of sorts: proudly declaring to the world which camp they belong to.

Some things, I do understand. Race, sexuality, gender, disability… these are all things that are discriminated against and identifying as one is not a choice. Taking a stand with a label like this is announcing a kind of political stand in regard to the discrimination faced by these minorities. I do honestly wonder if people who do not belong to one of these categories are jealous in a way. They, therefore, attach themselves to ideas and regiments that are supposed to benefit, for example, introverts.

The other way I have been contemplating is that this is a way to employ people. If you work in a high-interactive environment where your employees are talking to potential customers all day, it is easier to ask if someone is an extrovert as opposed to running down a list of questions to figure out if they would be a decent fit. That, however, doesn’t explain the rampant obsession that goes along with these, seemingly arbitrary, labels.

Like stated in the first line, this was a concept, and far from scientifically backed. If you have insight, leave it in the comments below or on my FaceBook page. I will respond to every one of them, even if they are unrelated and talking about pants.