Soon

In 10 days, my latest publication of You’re Not Dead gets released through Olympia publishers! I am beyond excited. I have paired it down so it’s just the tale of hospital life, I was given over 300 new edits that needed to be made, and I signed a contract that my next book has to be pitched with them!

Okay, the last point was more of a humble brag, but I am very excited!

The book has a new cover, as well! I will not spoil it until I get my copy, mostly because that does not seem fair to me, but I can assure you that it looks pretty! Probably because I didn’t make it this time in 20 min while I waited for water to boil for my fifth cup of coffee.

Anyway, as soon as I get more information, I will be sure to pass it along. Keep your eyes peeled to this site, as I will be posting the new cover once I get the final proofs and whatnot!

Just a reminder that I scrapped my Patreon, and am now using Buy Me a Coffee. It seems like exploitative to ask for donations when I actually produce something as opposed to demanding a kind of subscription. I am prone to go silent for weeks at a time; and, for that, I am incredibly sorry!

oh hai thurr

This is kind of a long overdue introduction to me, because I am an arrogant person who seems to write far too much about myself.

I was born in London, Ontario. Lived in Ingersoll for a number of years. Moved to Cambridge for 20 years starting about the age of 6. I went through elementary school and had little to speak of, as far as doing anything too noteworthy. High school is when things got kind of neat!

I started my own record label when I was 15. It was right after recording my first demo with my first band and I felt that it gave us some credibility. It did not, but I felt special anyway. That was All Cut Up. I was with that band from 2005 to 2009. Over that stretch, I helped in the writing and recording of 4 sessions, including 3 EPs and a full length album. We disbanded, and I joined The Twin (who kind of tricked me). I was supposed to just be doing studio sessions while they figured out the first album. They told me that they were looking for another member. About two months into playing with them, they informed me that I was always intended to be their full drummer.

Three EPs and a few hundred shows later, that chapter closed because I had started to join Chance Procedures. It was just me and two others doing instrumental tracks that carried the burden of keeping attention with nothing but fantastic hooks.

From 2007 onward, I was working at a used record shop. I loved my job, and it exposed me to literal months worth of music that I still love today. I was hired part-time, but slowly I moved my way to being the manager of the Cambridge location.

One night, my parents were concerned about the way I was acting and took me to a hospital. I died two times in the following two weeks. I was in a coma for just shy of a month, and I don’t actually have memories from the middle of Octobre 2013 to February 2014.

I was quadriplegic for the next six months. I moved from Toronto, to Cambridge, to Hamilton. All of those hospitals and no exact diagnosis. I regained movement of my arms shortly after I entered Hamilton, and I was finally able to announce my continued existence to the world.

Since I can no longer play the drums like I used to, I started writing to express myself in some way. I now have a book out (3rd edition not released at the time of writing) and another on the way. I know I glazed over several interesting steps, but I assure you, my book goes further into detail about what I went through.

Any additional questions? Leave a comment somewhere! I’ll do my best to answer!

Actors

I haven’t done the research, mostly because I am unsure how to go about it. This is more observation than anything further.

I was watching Parks & Recreation the other day, and I noticed that one of the actors on that play a character in a wheelchair in Superstore. It came as a shock to me, because he portrays someone using a wheelchair so well in Superstore but he obviously does not use one in real life. That realization got me to do MINOR research, and I noticed that most people in chairs are played by able-bodied people.

I mean, I get it. Depending on the nature of why someone is in a wheelchair could cause insurance to get pulled from most shoots. I am also unsure now if any actors are native wheelchair users.

To be clear, the depictions I have seen have been respectful, for the most part. Probably for the same reason I am writing this as carefully as I can. Cheep-shots and bad representation can get you publically demolished, let alone that it is just mean. I would like to think that most writers know that, or at least have not even thought of being horrible because they aren’t horrible people.

In the event that my observations are correct — that there aren’t many/any people in wheelchairs acting, I am curious if that could change. I have come across a couple deaf actors, and at least one or two blind. Does anyone have any leads or names I could look up?

I should probably place a link to my Patreon here. I have been asked a couple of times this week if I have one. I do, and it helps me pay the amounts I need to keep this site running PLUS helps me eat. If you feel like donating, I would very much appreciate it!

Assumptions

This post might seem like I’m just bitching…

The issue I have been noticing with being disabled is that people expect you to have some sort of grand insight into what social issues there are with being disabled. I have noticed myself being hindered by the idea where not everything I write or vlog about is in relation to me being in a wheelchair, so this post is to people who are in that camp.

The irony of feeling I should be discussing disability issues is the deafness and tragic comedy of the situation.

Okay, that sounds incredibly selfish, so please allow me to put it another way.

I spent 24 years of my life not disabled. I got the meningitis vaccine in high school, and got meningitis anyway. It induced encephalitis, and now I am in a wheelchair and suffer from epilepsy. So, when I start to complain about how “hard life is”, I feel disingenuous. I feel like I am just complaining because my life has hit a road block, and I am worried that my “plight” will take attention away from more important issues. I also feel as though I am far from qualified enough to talk on the social and economic issues at hand.

When someone says that they will not follow or promote my work because it’s not focused enough on disability issues, this is why I find my respect for that person start to drop.

I have lived a great portion of my life under the assumption that I should not let my shortfalls hold me back, and now that I am in a place where my shortfalls have a greater impact, I still hold that advise to a higher regard. Possibly, a higher regard than I should.

My point simply being: if I have a “hot-take” on some social or political issue, I will probably write about it. If I don’t, it either doesn’t impact me or I don’t want to give wrong information. If I am NOT focused enough on things you feel I should be, don’t read my blog. That simple.

this is normal

It turns out that epilepsy is linked to depression. I thought I was just feeling down because, even after seven years of dealing with it, I never quite got okay with being in the wheelchair. My mind also played with the idea that it is because I’m not playing on stage anymore: maybe it’s a kind of withdrawal?

No. As a friend of mine put it, “all this brain stuff effects depression”. See, she also suffers from epilepsy, and has for a very long time I asked her, flat out, if this is “normal” because I knew that, of anyone, she would know.

Actually, I told her my findings and asked her if she felt down and if she could link it to her depression. Well, I asked her all of that in a less rambly way.

I am not using this as a crutch.
I am not putting all past and future actions on this one fact.
I AM looking into it to explain some things I have said to myself. To come up with some sort of reason for things said that I normally would never dream of. This helps me understand and rationalize some of my less-desirable traits that have come to my attention as of late. Not excuse reactions away, but explain why I might say or do something completely out of character.

I feel like I have to express this the most public way I have available to me.

UNFORTUNATELY FOR YOU: that is a blog post.

My reading was from this site, and it really does explain epilepsy and depression in an easy-to-read way.

Reality

I have the strangest bit of writer’s block.

Well, to call it “writer’s block” is a bit of a misnomer. It is more of a crippling wall that I find myself behind.

Okay, let me backup a bit:

I am a fan of writing parts out of order. If I find myself stuck at an important part, I leave it alone for a bit, and move forward. I then go back to the part that I find myself stuck behind and hope that what I have done moving forward has either answered what I am stuck on, or given me an out.

The story I am writing right now involves a bit of physics that does not exist. It involves movement faster than light, which is empirically impossible (as of the writing of this journal) and shows no possibility of being conquered. So, in usual fashion, I started writing further into the story to fill out other ideas.

I wrote over 10,000 words when I hit another wall showing me that I need to, at least, fudge the concept into some kind of in-universe reality. The part that makes it so hard is that I am trying to keep the world that I have built at least KIND OF realistic. It involves science that does not exist: it involves science that we want to exist. This means that I have a lot of information that would not work, and what makes it MORE frustrating is that if I try to use the thing that doesn’t work, people will quickly debunk it and the story becomes tainted.

I know that I am putting too much faith into the reading community. I should just write something and stop worrying if it makes sense. I should just ‘yadda yadda’ the movement thing when it comes up in the future. I should have written something easier.

I is not that brite an’ is no gud at riting.

Unfortunately for me, and my back account, I am an arrogant fucker who wants to create something that warrants respect. I am sick of being the “guy who helps do stuff” and I want to become someone worth a damn.

Speaking of being worth a damn, did you want to be in the thank-you section of the book that I just spent the top portion of this post bitching about? Donate as little as a dollar to my Patreon a month, and that will happen! It also helps me keep this blog going for another year. I mean, it will anyway: the monetary gain just makes it worth it.

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.

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.

…and I’m back.

So that break was not as long or as dire as I thought it was going to be. I moved, yet again, and did not have my computer monitor for a very long time. My dad wanted me to use a TV as a monitor, but I explained to him that the brain damage I have is on my optic nerve and I cannot focus on a screen that big. He understood; and after almost a week of searching through boxes, as well as literally building parts of the house, we found it! Now I can regale you with tales from the parts of Ontario that people don’t even drive through!

I have been holding back a little bit: I still have to finalize some bits for health care, and I alluded to the fact that I have not written anything for the last week. The health care stuff I am in a bit of a holding pattern until tomorrow (the 20th of October) because I have a meeting with a social worker. I want to see if I can figure out some personal stuff before I start sweating the little things I.E. my health. I am greatly excited to see if I can do some sort of non-profit stuff out this way, as I might be the only 30 year old in a wheelchair who hasn’t lost a limb. My unease in saying that dictates how hidden that issue is, and I am very excited to explore and assist where I can.

As far as music and I go, I think we part ways for now. At least until I get a more reliable and faster internet connection. The fact that my upload speed is under 3mb/s is mildly embarrassing. Yes, download speeds are a bit better, but I have scripts and recorded dialogue and audio-fun that I want to share with the world! At least we have something here.