Depression

I am going to start this of with a warning. I don’t plan on getting too dower or bleak, but this is a very triggering topic for some. If you are someone who has a tendency to get upset by talk of suicide, depression, or the state of the world, consider this a warning and remember that I love you. Call a help-line, talk to a psychiatrist, or get hold of a friend. You can even just leave a comment with a statement as simple as “help” and I will make sure to reach out.

Also, this is not a request for help. This is not a sign of warning, nor is it an answer. It’s more of a series of ideas and questions posed as a blog. I am not an expert, and I do not pretend to be. Again, resources are available if you need them. The one thing I am very passionate about is that talking to someone is, not just a step, the best step. That includes morons, like me, on the internet with too much time on their hands.

Okay. You have been warned. This is the last line that I will post before launching into my thoughts. I promise you that they will be upsetting to someone, and I refuse to be sorry for them.

If you couldn’t tell from that 3 paragraph intro, I have a lot of thoughts on depression, suicide, and mental health in general. Again: I am the furthest thing from a professional, and I have never been diagnosed as depressed. If that is a deal breaker for you, have a good day.

When I say that I have never been diagnosed with depression, I mean that in the most clinical definition. Am I depressed? Almost definitely on paper. The thing that keeps me from confirming the suspicion I have of depression is a sense of irony. It would almost be too perfect if I am depressed because my outlook on life is so bleak. I don’t care what happens after I die; I am dead. I cannot believe in an afterlife no matter how hard I try. I guess one could argue that I lead a hedonistic life, but that term seems too definite to me.

If I refuse to define my life as headonistic, how do I define it?

Well, I would say that I live a life of insecurity and stats. I obsessively watch things like YouTube subscriptions, video view numbers, stats of interactions with Twitter, and fancounts on FaceBook. I will spend the next week obsessing over the engagement that this post receives, as I have with every post I have made to this site over the last five years. The first AND last thing I do in a day is look at book sales, which haven’t shown a single number in three months at this point.

I have tied my worth as a human being to a series of number and engagement ratings. I hide my personality behind paywalls and am constantly disappointed with how poorly I am doing according to the numbers today, as opposed to seeing how they may have increased over the last year. The other day, I noticed that I lost two followers on my Twitter a month ago (the one stat I don’t keep up with) and spent hours re-reading the 40 or so posts I have made since they vanished to see what I might have done wrong. Damn, there is a chance that they were never real people. Alternatively, there is a chance that they WERE real people that realised how pointless Twitter is and disabled their account to go do something cool, like eat a sandwich.

I have a hard time disassociating likes, followers, and view numbers from accomplishment. I should be proud of the fact that I have 10ish releases of music and a book under my belt, but I find myself hung up on how I am very broke, rely on family and friends, and am very broke. Ironically, money is something that I cannot attach myself to. I have had the same Patrons forever. I appreciate them very much, but I don’t plug or push donating to that because I am trying to make stuff without relying on that. Even though I do have three dogs and a cat that would like to be fed.

So far, I know that this post has seemed like waffling. Those opening paragraphs seem like nothing more than fodder to keep the morbid few reading further into this post, but I swear there is a point to all of this. I cannot talk about my own mental shortcomings without defining where my head is at the point.

Back to my point of “who cares what happens after you die?” That is actually something I have been struggling with a lot as of late. Therefor. I have very little regard for life. I cannot find a reason to care about what happens after I die. If my identity gets taken, if my book gets plagiarized, if my unreleased work gets finished by someone else and published under their name: I will be dead and therefore cannot reap any benefit or dismay that it might generate. If anything, I do not have to deal with the fallout and heartbreak of it not going as well as I think it should.

So, if I have this very “selfish” view on life; why keep going? If I am so convinced that there will be no repercussion that I have to deal with, why even risk the heartbreak? I should be willing to take my own life. I should be already dead. I should die quietly and make sure that I go in a quiet manner to make sure that I matter as little in death as I did in life.

One word.
Tomorrow.

I’m curious about what tomorrow brings. I’m curious about what I can accomplish. I’m curious about what my friends will do, and if the things I have (or my friends have) done will matter in the long run.

If you can’t find reason to live, just remember that the reason could be as simple as what the butterfly effect might bring in the next moment.

That might sound stupid, juvenile, or even selfish; but it helps me see tomorrow. Yes; I have a wife that I love very much. Yes; I have my family, friends, and possible prospects in writing. Yes; I have a small collection of people that might read this line. I love all of you very much, and I appreciate you coming to my articles. I know that I have been a bit more rambly as of late, and much less directed. I am sorry for that, but please remember that I appreciate you.

Also music.

this post is not depressing

The idea that “things will always get better” is a lie.

Hear me out.

It’s not a bad thing that things change. Yes, at times it can seem, or even be, daunting. To wallow in a mindset where things could be better is just as debilitating as the event could be.

Take me being in a wheelchair. Yes, it sucks. Yes, the healthcare system has all but failed me. Yes, I do make attempts to get my body back to where it once was. I never think that things could be better, because the idea of better is so damned subjective.

Will I walk again? No one has been able to give me a conclusive reason why not, so I’m going with a softy ‘probably’ for now. Do I want to? Of course I do. That’s why I try to walk everyday, only held back by the brain damaged I sustained that left me epileptic and has caused my muscles to react strangely to stimulus.

Do I really want things to be better?

Better than what? I have gone on rants discussing how I think the term “better” is bloody horrible. To paraphrase: Better than what? If your response was my current condition, then I have good news for you! I have gotten a lot further in some form of recovery! I mean: I still have brain damage and cannot walk on my own, but to dwell on that fact is futile. I’ll walk when I walk, and I won’t stop doing things until it starts to happen. Then, I’m planning on taking a four week nap and punching cute things endlessly.

I play. Of course there is no end to “improvement.” I do prefer that word over ‘better’ because improvement in quantifiable, but I digress.

So, why make the claim that things don’t get better over time? There is a chance that the person wants help instead of just sweeping proclamations. Instead of basically saying “stop bitching for now”, offer a hand. Even just the offer is all people want some times. If they turn it away, calmly and quietly leave the situation. There is a good chance they just need to vent in a semi-public fashion. Like screaming into the night and your neighbour accidentally hears you. FaceBook is just a way that the police will not get involved for public disturbances.

In eventual conclusion: no. I do not think things will get better. You just get used to the situation around you and learn to cope with it. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it means you’re learning! You’re adapting! Just know who you can turn to. There is no shame in asking for help.

Once more for the people in the back:

THERE IS NO SHAME IN ASKING FOR HELP.

I just can’t…

The following is a post that I’m writing while I’m depressed. There is no reason to worry, I just thought I’d get my emotions out unedited and maybe this will explain why I am the way I am. Not for you, dear reader. I hope that it will allow for introspection, and allow me to figure out my brain a bit better.

I have, ever since I saw Amanda Palmer, championed the idea that writing while actually depressed is very difficult. I know that, for me, I become hyper critical.

I mean, I looked at the title for this post for about 25 minuets to decide if it was too flashy for this experiment, or not flashy enough. After all: I am trying to garnish an audience. At the same time, I am trying to avoid clickbait and concern.

The pride that I take in the image I portray is pathetic. Even to me. I want to be seen as strong; as a kind of guide for the people that have been struck down later in life by a disability. I don’t have any credentials, but I think I’m doing an okay job figuring shit out.

I digress. What kind of depressed am I today? Just a melancholy level of morose and leads me to come off as caring more than I should. That sounds almost malicious: I should say that I come off as overly empathetic. The feelings are real, but the delivery seems almost fake. I think, anyway. I could be wrong. I just feel like I am costing through the miasma of life, and I will do almost anything that seems like a good idea to someone.

This is the mood I was in when I started smoking. I had a friend who smoked, thought I came off as disturbed, and tossed me a cigarette to help me calm down. I really would never blame my smoking on someone else, but I want to be truthful in this.

So, yeah. This has been a deconstruction of what my depressed brain thinks. If I post this, it will be unedited from this point on. I have done very little in the mean time, and I think I have done okay. I am saying that without reading everything over, so if I’m wrong, all the better.

One thing I do want to say; I am writing about what goes on in my own head. None of this is a representation of depression in everyone. If you are depressed, or know someone who is depressed, contact someone who is trained on how to help.

Anyway, I feel I have rambled on enough. Something I am finding very hard to do is to leave this “article” alone as a kind of stamp and evolution of my mood. I am sorry if it gets a bit rambly at times. I am sorry if this ending is anti-climatic. I feel silly closing off what I wrote with a paragraph like this. I just need to tell everyone, especially you, that it will all be okay. It may not seem like it, but we’ll all survive this hell. Maybe we won’t be able to do it alone, but there is always someone out there. Even when it’s hard as hell to find someone, they are out there. At the very least, you have me.

The Effects of Long-Term Hospital Stays

*THIS IS ALL FIRST HAND. I DON’T HAVE REFERENCES*

Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, I am going to warn about long-term hospital stays and the effect on the mental wellbeing of the person in question.

Someone who is in hospital for any amount of time may be misdiagnosed as having depression or, in my case, brain damage. The patient can seem distant, gullible, despondent, or just all around wrong. The symptoms can include (but are not limited to) an unbalanced appetite, uncontrollable sadness, anger, sadness, and unwarranted outbursts.

To be blunt, this is not the fault of the individual OR the hospital. That person is used to life being one way, then (in some cases) literally have their independence ripped away from them. They might be used to keeping to themselves, then they have to socialize with specialists, nurses, and other patients. They might have their own regiment, now they have their day dictated to the minuet.

How does one treat them? With delicate understanding and a firm stance. You cannot bully them back to being “themselves”. You have to let them accept what’s going on around them in the hospital, and help them create new neural pathways to accept their surroundings.

Be careful when introducing new meds. Be sure everything in place is necessary. Do NOT be afraid to say that time is all they need. Last thing someone needs in time of emergency is to be on several anti-depressants when they don’t need it.

Please, if you have additional insight or know of better guidlines in how to cope with institutional stays, leave them in the comments. I am sure other people need them, and I would love some additional reading.guidelinesPlease, if you have additional insight or know of better guidlines in how to cope with institutional stays, leave them in the comments. I am sure other people need them, and I would love some additional reading.

I Hope You Are Happy

Okay, you can relax. The updates are done for the year, and you don’t have to look at them again.

Well… unless you want to.

I, myself, have read them over several times already (writing this post on and after April 10) and will several times more to make sure they are right.

Again, the point of them is not to create animosity, to express how meaningless everything is, or to cause pandemonium, but to explore and accept just how amazing the time we have in this life is. I find great peace in knowing these facts do not just apply to me, but every single person on this planet.

One thing I will confess is that the one about how ‘no-one will remember you in two generations no matter what’ is a bit more definitive than I intended. Not to where it’s wrong, however. The internet has done a great job of making sure that everyone and everything will be remembered forever, just maybe not discussed at length anymore. As long as you have a social media account (somewhere), there is a mark that will be available for all time. I still get reminders on FaceBook of a couple of friends who passed away a few years ago whenever their birthdays come around. I am instantly reminded of any times I had with that person. I usually take a moment of silence to reflect on how they changed my life, regardless of how small or large the contribution to my personal narrative was.

On a sick side-note, I immortalized my own rebirth recently, just because I am considering it a very important event in my life. I do not know many people who got the privilege to tell everyone that they didn’t die. I cannot describe just how humbling, yet hilarious, that event was and still is. The importance is probably something I could never put to words. To be honest, the gravity of the situation as a whole was probably lost on me.

Off-topic, but I started a GoFundMe back in April. I have been in the same chair for five years as of July. I have learned a few things about what I want in a new chair and have been informed that I have to pony-up the money myself if I wish for something new/nice.
To be as clear as I can be, the money is for the wheelchair and for this website. Yes, the Patreon helps, but not everyone wants to give monthly. This is a great way to offer money once if you cannot afford monthly.

The goal is huge, but I hope we can achieve it together.

HUGE NEWS!
My wife and I are moving into my parents for a couple of months. I will mot be doing updates for the month of June while I organize parts of my life. Keep posted to the FaceBook page for when I come back. I will post there because I am like that. I’m sorry for the hiccup in my schedule, but I need to focus while life gets back to being sustainable.

My memory (and other rants)

I already forgot what this post is about.

GOODNIGHT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

I play. I only pseudo know what I want to talk about.

Well, here we are! Less than a month off until I start posting mildly depressing things every week! I cannot explain how excited I am. It sounds dower, morose, and mildly strange; I am well aware. I just look forward to it because I get to express things that I think about all-too-often.

In fact, they are horrible (the things I think about), but I forget them as often as I think of them. Just today, I awoke with a great couple of facts in my head to save for next year. As I am writing this, I cannot remember them for the life of me. It’s not that I can’t think of a depressing fact, or two. It’s more the concept that I had a great couple of things to jot down, and they are gone!

How gone are they?!

FUCKING GONE! I need to remember (ironically) to keep a record of this stuff. The one thing that I am fighting with is the idea that I haven’t marked them with a warning. Not that I explicitly talk about suicide or death in a direct fashion, but such things are implied. The last thing I want to to ruin someone.

The rest of the post is just me fighting with the concept, so if you don’t care, you can stop reading.

As stated last week, the purpose is to give someone tools to deal with when life falls apart. So, from that standpoint, I want everyone to read what I have to share. Another part of me does not want to cause depression or anguish. I would argue that a larger part of me wants everyone to find the collection hilarious. My wife does not agree IN THE SLIGHTEST with my perspective. She thinks that I just see the bleak in the world, and fail to explore the brighter moments. I argue that I appreciate the brighter moments BECAUSE I explore the dark.

To travel through life just looking at the pretty things and choosing to ignore the dark gives me the impression that, after a while of doing so, you do not respect how great everything is. Acknowledging the dark and brutal times, even revelling in them, makes the good feel so much better. The trick is, one cannot get entrenched or drowned by the heavier moments, no matter how suffocating life can be.

Maybe that’s why I listen to what I do. Everything is bleak, until you do a little reading and realize that these artist and singers are living a decent life. We tend to fetishize the best parts of life in modern media and ignore the trouble and tribulations that led up to that point. We all know how that person got as huge as they did, but we rarely show the part where their marriage implodes, they file for bankruptcy, go hungry for a while, then catch a lucky wave of success.

Now, with that said, we all watch the train-wreck that ensues. I’m sure that every single person who bothered to get to this point in the rant can name at least one example of what I mean. Whether it be a physical and tangible tragedy, or a metal break. It’s made all the worst because we don’t have context. We just see this idyllic person, “Hero” if you will, become human. They become, SHOCK FACE, one of us. That must be horrible for them!

Now, there are examples where the fall isn’t jarring. There are examples where we hold people on high for what they overcame and continue to fight against. Those tales are not as wildly known, it feels.

…but hey! What do I know? I am just a guy on his keyboard ranting and raving: hoping that someone hears.

HELP THIS BITCH KEEP GOING!

I have started a GoFundMe to raise the money to keep this site alive and to buy a new wheelchair. The Government of Canada is a fickle bitch when it comes to funding for assitive devises, Basically, you need to have a chair so dilapidated that it barely works any longer. After five years of moving and learning, I need to get a new chair. I now have a better idea of what I want. Please consider giving a dollar. Patreon is for mostly monthly upkeep for day to day life where the GoFundMe is going to be just for the chair and this site.

New book idea

I have been working on a new project for a while now. I have a non-traditional idea for my next publication that would make everything more natural for me, but I am still unclear on how it’s going to scan.

I have an idea of compiling my short stories into a print function. I have a few dozen more that I didn’t publish on this site, and I have about a dozen or so that I am currently writing.

The really intriguing part for me will be how next month is received. The plan I have right now is to have a story, then put a fact instead of a title.

My end goal is 100,000 words, so at 1500 words a story, I will have to put almost 100 stories to print. Is that too much? Am I keeping things too short? Should I just stick to what I am doing?

To be clear, I am not going to be pulling the stories already published on this site. I also plan on releasing stories from time to time to keep both Patreons and the public happy. As far as depressing facts go, I can generate literally thousands of them.

I should probably explain why those are important. I think it is equal parts humbling and important to realize just how fragile life and happiness is. I feel it is important to normalize how hideous times can be as a kind of preparation for when (not if) things go sideways. Life is amazing. It can be equal parts beautiful and horrible, and at our darkest it can be next to impossible to see the light. The flip of that is that people tend to forget just how dark things can be, and they get stuck into the sludge when it comes to the forefront.

Art V. Depression

I got the privilege to see Amanda Palmer last night in Toronto. I was a huge fan of the Dresden Dolls years ago, and I have been intrigued by her solo work. It doesn’t help my fan-boying that her husband is Neil Gaiman, who has created some of my favourite worlds in modern fiction.

It was three hours of her telling anecdotes, smashing the keys on a piano, and strumming a ukulele. She explored her past, which included death, feminism, and abortions. It was so carnal, so brutal, so honest, I was enamoured by every word she spoke.

There was (several, but) one thing she said that has, and will always, stick with me. “You can be too depressed to create art.” Initially, I was offended by this notion. My initial reaction was one that I looked into my own artistic endevours and evaluate whether I was actually depressed, or just angry.

What I found at the end of my introspection was that I agreed with her statement, to a point. Depression is very deep. Not always, but it can result in exhaustion, and disasociation with reality. That explains why I have been having a difficult time writing over the last few years. I am nowhere near as angry as I was when I was a teen. Instead, I have been trying to harness my depression and translate that into anger.

My end point is that there will not be an update to asnP on May first. I have actually pulled out “this book doesn’t matter” and am trying to re-write most, if not all, of it. It was super short, and a few of my points were rushed. I hope to have everything done and better before the end of the year.