Don’t Give Up

This is a response to my to the question of Giving Up. I have championed in a few interviews that I have done over the last few years that giving up is harder than not. I was recently asked to explain my perspective by the editor of a blog. I will keep my answer pragmatic and I will avoid bringing spiritual and etherial concepts into it.

I have, in some capacity, tried to kill myself two times in the past. My reasons were always in response to my life getting too hard, and not being able to see some sort of end to the “torture” that I was going through.

To be clear, the reasons I put torture in quotes is because, in retrospect, the trails and tribulations I was experiencing was juvenile and petty. At the time, however, I felt them too strong to ignore and I was having a hard time even leaving my room due to the fear of having to deal with them in any matter.

When I became bound to a wheelchair, I was forced to face my family and friends all trying very hard to keep me alive. They wanted, even needed, to see me succeed. They put all their resources into making sure that I could see tomorrow. This was not regardless of what I wanted, even if it felt like it some days.

After a short time, I noticed that me giving up would destroy them far worse than me continuing to breathe could ever destroy me. I had, by complete accident, become a reason for them to continue. It might not have been entirely true, and it might be selfish for me to think that way. I will concede that I made this leap of logic without consulting anyone around me.

The most shattering thing for my death wish was seeing the pages, literal pages, of goodwill that my friends had written on public forums. For all intents and purposes, I was not a great person. Everyone else was telling me otherwise.

What was my take-away? That if i died, I would be crushing everyone that has ever taken part in my life. Would anyone understand the issues that I face on a daly basis? No, and that is a good thing for them. This should not make me lonely. This should not make me seek isolation or death. I need to keep going to show everyone what can be done. I need to tell my story whenever I get the chance so that no one wonders. I need to explain how my nerves are shot, my brain is damaged, and my body is broken. I need them to see how fantastic everyone else has it and I need to make sure no one else goes through anything similar if it is avoidable.

Is that vain? Maybe. It helps me get through my day, though. It is what I need to keep going. Writing this blog and sharing my perspective is far more cathartic to me than maybe it actually helps anyone else. I write for me. I do research for this blog, and in the mean time I learn far more than what I write. Does that make me an expert? I actually had to force myself to finish that thought without interrupting it because I find the very concept hilarious. Is anyone an expert in fields like these?

Does my bleak outlook help? Maybe. Does art, writing, and music help? Again, maybe. It helps me. It reminds me who I was/am and helps me focus.

Do I actually believe my statement? Very much so. Am I chastising those who couldn’t do it? Very much no. I am saying that I get it. I know life can be overwhelming at times, and I know how bleak life can be. You do not need to suffer from a chronic illness or brain damage to feel hardship. Life is difficult. Anyone who say “can be difficult” is underselling just how crushing day to day can be.

Just remember that someone, somewhere, needs you to see tomorrow. You know that person you haven’t seen in a decade? Yeah, they need you. That guy who just wrote a page worth of bullshit on the internet telling you that it’s okay to feel sad? They need you, too.

Now, in response to those who became disabled later in life and feel like a burden. I get feeling like a burden to your family. You have no way of rectifying such an event, and you never asked to be put into the situation you find yourself in. I get it. I was just starting to gain my independence at 24, and I was stricken down by encephalitis enduced by, what they assume was, meningitis. I had to keep remembering that if my parents did not want to do what they did, they didn’t have to. I had to keep reminding myself that, though it would be caused of them, they did not have to keep doing what they were doing. If I was a true burden, I could have been placed into a home and ignored for the remainder of time. They didn’t, because it would be ridiculous if they did.

Friends and my wife I put into a similar category. I have lost friends. I have disappointed my wife. I have never hid my capabilities, I have also tried to make everything better. I probably exaggerate my disabilities in my mind towards some situations, but I don’t want to be a disappointment later.

I digress.

What I do have to remember is that they would leave if they found me an actual hinderance. My wife would divorce me if I was an actual burden to the household. I cannot work, so I write. I am always trying to cover my expenses for the household.

The point I am trying to make in this ramble is that, you might feel like a burden and that life would be easier without you, but that is wrong. Very wrong. People who you don’t really know might need you.

Oh, you didn’t know? You matter more than you realize.

I love you.

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Update Time!!!

I usually write blog posts by Monday and have short stories lined up for at least a month. For the first time in a long time, I find myself with a totally empty cue. That is not because I am lazy, but because I find myself with too much in my mind to make a coherent post.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. I refuse to leave you hanging for another week while I sort out my personal life and try to find even a stand of something interesting. Therefore, I am writing this! Is that not super exciting? I know you are having a hard time containing your sounds of enthusiasm and glee.

Know what? I’m just going to put the developments that have come, in rapid succession, over the last week.

  1. I found a new way to step! To make it more exciting: I KNOW THAT IT IS THE RIGHT WAY! I have been walking with my knees locked for the last year. I knew it was wrong, but I could make it KIND OF work for the few steps that I needed to complete when using the washroom or going to bed. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS A BEND IN YOUR KNEE WHEN YOU STAND?!?!?!? I did not. It seemed counter-intuitive to me. Why, when you are trying to stand, would you bend your knee? What is this magic?! Then, my wife mocked me for stepping like a pirate who has seen better days and explained the mechanics of the leg further than anyone has explained them in the past. Please keep in mind: she was a parapoligic for about a year and re=learned how to walk herself, so she is allowed to make fun of me. Well, let’s be frank, anyone can make fun of me so long as I know that it is in jest. I digress, I can now take a couple of more steps. Still no where near not needing the chair for open spaces, but things feel a little more comfortable AND I feel less silly. Oh, and my knees no longer feel like they are going to explode out of my flesh. So, I guess that’s a good thing.
  2. AMAZON REJECTED ME! By that, I mean the thing I was trying out. If I want to be paid by Amazon for advertising for them, I have to collect sales in my first “X” days. A fair number of them. In a reality that surprises NO ONE: I didn’t even get clicks for the links that I had made available to the public. I do understand Amazon’s wish the govern this, seeing as they already have thousands of people advertising for them. This increases the importance of devices like Patreon to make sure that I can keep doing this. I love writing, and I am always trying to find new avenues to do it. So far, the short stories are going well, and people seem to enjoy them. At least, they do to my “face.” WHAT A GREAT SEGUE INTO POINT THREE! segue is a stupid word.
  3. Story three is taking a lot longer than I wanted it to. I wanted to write something completely original. Like I mentioned in a recent post, I want to dissect and rewrite an old story idea I had originally come up with over ten years ago. In trying to do that, I have come up with literally HUNDREDS of premisses and intro paragraphs. All of which I get so far, then they fall apart. I have written most of them down in a document so I have them in case I need them later, but I am feeling the heat as I want to have the Patreon supporters their copy in just over a week from today.

So, yeah. See how not one of these points are longer than a few lines? Each would make a good blog entry if I could expand it further than just a few lines. I prefir to keep things at more than just a thought or two, though I do realize how just one thought would make things easier to follow.

DAMN MY MIND. BACK TO THE GRIND.

heh… that rhymed.
And so did that…

I guess I should talk about…

…that thing I did over a week ago. I write these a little bit more than a week ahead usually, so news is delayed.

I should just not time stamp all together.

ANYWAY! Tash and I went to Canada’s Wonderland on August 15th! It was hot, it was a long day, and much was discovered. Mostly, eight hours in the sun without sunscreen is a bad idea: who knew?!

Once we got in the gate (which was a bit longer than anticipated thanks to Tash’s work) we got a map and a coffee and started to sort out the plan for the day. We sat under a tree and our faces dropped when we realized that I needed a special pass that I was unaware of at the time. We knew that there would be some awkward bullshit around me being in a chair and whatnot, but we had to come to that discovery on our own. By this point, we had talked to five or six staff who did not even let on that we needed to go to customer service for a piece of paper.

We did what we needed to. The customer service desk was also the hub for missing children as well as general complaints, so we were number three in line, give or take.

FORTY FIVE FUCKING MINUETS LATER and we finally got in the building for the five minuet thing. I hate people.

Anyway, the first hour passed, and we were on our way. Where? Dragon Fire, of course. We figured that it would be a good introduction for the process around everything to do with the chair.

…and the verdict..?

It was all good. A bit strange: wheelchair users were taken up through the exit so their chair was on the proper side to leave the ride at the end. We got to avoid waiting the queue, but that does not mean that we got to skip the line all together. They would base our load time on the estimated wait time for the line. We might be one circuit faster, but we still waited. At times, we would be behind the gate for thirty minuets. It was entertaining usually to see all the workings of the employees as they scrambled to make sure everything and everyone was safe.

There was only one time that was awkward. The ride we were waiting for broke literally the time before we were to be let on. I mean, shit happens, but it was a bit disheartening.

The bitch of the trip was how uneven the paths were. I pulled the muscle in my shoulder trying to keep myself moving in the desired direction, and Tash almost had to bail on a couple of rides from being exhausted pushing my chair up the ramps.

FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS!

The main point that I wanted to say is that, minus sun burns and sore muscles, being in a wheelchair was not a deterrent for going to Wonderland. If you go, just expect a fuck tonne of work getting from point A to B.

INTERESTING REMINDER!

Almighty Human by Hannah Jordan gets released soon. I hope you like it as much as I do!

I am taking submissions for the following months. Please, e-mail me at jay.garden.1188(at)gmail.com for more into!

…and again: I have to thank my Patreon supporters for making it financially viable to release these every month! Next goal is to make sure I can pay someone to do art for each release, since I cannot do visual art in any capacity.

I talked to someone…

I actually talked to a psychiatrist. Mind you, it was not in the traditional sense. It was through an interesting resource at betterhelp.com where they do sessions anyway that would be beneficial to you.Was it my cup of tea? Well, not fully…

The system they have in place is fantastic. You can either talk to someone through messages or over the phone. I had this fantastic person who was actually engaging for a bit. She was asking valid questions and proded me to open up into areas that I had not explored in a while.

The issue I had with the system is that it was not for me. Not from the sense that it was always available: that part I found very interesting and handy. The issue I ran into was that I forwarded her towards with blog when she started treading over topics that I had written about recently. That would have been fine, except she vanished for hours. In hind sight, she was reading, but to me she just… disappeared.

It was about two days later that I received another message from her saying “I think you sound angry. Care to elaborate?”

Ironically, I was too angry at that statement to politely reply, and I cancelled my account immediately. You see, there is no ‘contact had read’ notification. From my interaction, she just vanished for a day or more. I was disheartened, but relieved at the same time.

The relief comes from a place where I worry that I am more broken than what I know. In the brief conversation that we had, she let me know that I was not. The concern about my internalized anger is something I knew existed, and I have been working in my own way to fix it (which is probably not healthy).

I digress, my point of writing this is to point out to my readers that such a service exists. It is relatively inexpensive, as well. I would recommend that everyone, even if it is just one session, give it a try. The psychologists are all accredited. Yes, it is strange baring yourself to a screen, but at least it is better than spinning in your mind waiting for the next cat video to upload.

Todays recommended buy is from Cat Power. Sun is an interesting release for her, much less blues bases than her other albums, but still maintains that etherial, dream-like sound. Easiest comparison is Norah Jones but more commercial and more drugged-out.

On a side-note: another thank you is in order to Joey and Bree. Your Patreon contributions have cemented ansP releases every month this year

~Patreon & News!

Yes, I am updating on an off day. I am itching to remind you that the first anewsin Publication “Elaine” comes out Sunday! I hope you like it. I am working towards releasing a teaser for the next release, and will make sure to have that ready by August. It is written by my good friend Hannah, and it is very beautiful and dark and just… I LOVE IT SO MUCH! *insert a bunch of gargling noises of approval here*

I have also updated Patreon to have two new tiers. A $3 offer to receive anewsin Publications (from now on referred to as ansp) early, and a $10 tier for bragging rights. So, please check out my Patreon with an open mind and an open heart.

Ableism : Social v. Institutional

I got about 200 words deep into this topic, when I decided to look back at my catalogue to see if I had done something like this before. I had. I feel silly.

One thing that I did not talk about (because I was not faced with it yet) are the fucking cabs in this city.

I, to those who did not realize, used to live in Hamilton. Now, I live in Burlington. You can actually see Hamilton downtown from my living room window if you can look past all the buildings.

It’s behind Ikea.

What I did not and could never expect was how different the cabs were. Regardless of time, Hamilton was there to make sure you had a wheelchair taxi at your disposal. Four AM or four PM, you were covered.

Burlington, on the other hand, almost pretends that people in wheelchairs do not exist after dark. Accessible cabs do not exist after eleven, forcing you just to give up and go to bed.

Stores have wheelchair ramps and doors, but it feels like it is out of obligation. Rooms are never designed to fit a chair, main door theshholds are always too large, and everything is horrible.

But, enough of me wincing on about that. What about political?

There are laws in place to protect people who find themselves, whether acute or not, in a wheelchair. Are they enforced? Fuck no. There are government buildings where automatic doors open the wrong way, there are a plethora of ramps that are to steep, and God Forbid you have multiple disabilities: the job market cannot handle it.

For example, I am paraplegic and epileptic. I have searched for a job. I wold love a job. My body is too unreliable. No, employers cannot discriminate about your disability here. They can find other avenues, however. They can stress the fact that you cannot leave your post until it is time, health condition be damned. They can point out pitfalls in layout and pose the question as “… but that will not be an issue, right?” The point is taken.

I fully admit that I have a limited scope in dealing with this kind of bull. Between knowing that I am the only disabled person in my building and knowing that, no matter how much I really want to, I cannot go back to my old job, my ego is fractured into one-thousand pieces.

….and do not get started on government assistance. I have had a right bitch of a time getting medical coverage for the two medications I need and STILL do not have any coverage.

What really hurts me, and I double checked that other article, is people who knew me before still assuming I could (at least half) do what I could before.

Or people who never knew me before assuming that I am using my disabilities as a kind of crutch.

Oh, there would be a special place in the afterlife for people like that, if one exists.

NOW THAT I HAVE GOTTEN THAT OFF MY CHEST!

anewsin Publishing is having its first release on the first of July. I have updated the Patreon to include an awesome perk that if you donate just $3 a month, you get the upcoming story early! I hope you like it!

No News is Good News?

As the title implies, I have been up to very little this week. Mostly writing, and editing, for my new project.

I am pretty sure that I have the first story (called Elaine) complete to satisfactory. Please, join the Patreon for a subscription, and look into the explanations page if you are an aspiring writer!

Oh: and happy June!

Special thank you to my personal Patrons! With there help, I am able to afford to keep this site up another year!

I have nothing else to report for this update, so I will leave you with an album you need in your life. Die Hexe is by far one of, if not the greatest bands I found through MtM. Give it a listen. Let me know what you think!

UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER!

I have already given up on doing the publication thing the way I was gearing up for. There was just one or two text-based supporters and just one person even signed up for it. Between that and the fact that I could not make the price of signing up lower than a dollar, I decided to shut it down.

This brings good news to everyone, though! I am going to be going ahead with releasing a new story every couple of months! There are more details on my Patreon, but I am going to be posting them here. For now, it will be instead of a regular blog. I have updated my Patreon to include new goals related to that, as well as a goal to help me afford my medication every month.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love you? The people who frequent this site are instrumental in giving me a reason to do something/anything with myself. The Patreon supporters are fantastic as well, for letting me afford to do this. You get love, also!