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.

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Pets v. Chair

It is not a secret that I have many pets. My wife and I currently have a Dachshund named Rudy, a Schnauzer named Theo, a Pug named Tina, and a cat named Groot.

Is it easy to take care of animals while in a wheelchair? No. If they decide to run away from me for whatever reason, they can win easily by putting a box between us. I will admit that it is hilarious when they hide under the couch thinking that they won, only for me to lift the couch. Their eyes bug out and they get very docile.

The one thing that is very nice the cat takes full advantage of is that I am always sitting. The cat loves the moving platform in which he gets to sit.

I single out the cat for that last point, but they all love it. He just takes the most advantage of my position.

Issues I have include walking them, but it’s only a minor thing. If they do their business on grass, there are times that I cannot reach it. Luckily, I am usually with my wife and she collects the “gifts” and disposes of them

A Bit Of Light Housekeeping

I updated a link in the interviews page from a YouTube video to the proper web link. I hope that works better for everyone!

At the risk of being hated…

I am writing this paragraph to reiterate that I am, in no capacity, a medical professional. What I wrote below is in the same vein as opinion, and points are speculation at worst, and loose unsubstantiated conversation bits at best. That goes for any medical opinions I have given on this site. There have been many questions regarding my credentials and sources over the years, and I would just like to remind you that I don’t have either.

I am writing this even though there is a great risk of me being labeled more harshly than is necessary. As much as I am going to make this statement in a blunt fashion, the intent is not to offend, but to squash assumptions and set records straight.

I got the meningitis vaccine. If you did not, and got the sickness (and wear that fact as pride), I have little sympathy for you.

I am not saying that I am pro-vaccine. I am far from an anti-vaccer. For instance, I have every shot, but I refuse to get the flu vaccine. I don’t trust it, I get the importance of what they are trying to do, but I cannot see it as necessary right now. Maybe in a few years I will have my mind changed, but for the time being, that is my stance. 

With the meningitis vaccine, I know my position is precarious and seems backwards. It is steeped in half research and questions that no one asked. I realize that I am far from a professional, but hear me out.

Apparently, the vaccine that is given in high schools across Canada is specifically against bacterial menengitis. The assumption is that I was stricken with a viral strain, and the vaccine will not work. Therefore, my attempts to pre-emptively deal with things were thwarted by unfortunate chance. 

What is my point? I just want, maybe even need, to express the importance of mitigating damages. I tried, and was unsuccessful. When I hear someone complaining even though they never tried in the first place, I get very frustrated.

I should not use this platform as a soap box.

I felt like I had to get this out. If you took that risk and didn’t get that shot, that’s okay. I still love you, and I wish you the best of health. If something does go wrong, reacting with surprise is not the proper way to go about things.

That Guy.

(Okay. Last change of this post. You got this.)

Ironic that a post I have scrapped due to being too open and too distant turned out to be a rant on forgiving yourself, but these appear to be the times we live in.

I have spent the last five years battling with the demons that we hoisted upon me when I died.

I read pages, literal pages, of comments talking about what I meant to people throughout the time we knew each other. I was toted as being amazing by someone who, before I came out of the coma, decided that I was no longer worthy of knowing them at all. I have let my wife down just because I am who I am, and she sticks around because apparently I am worth it.

All of these things keep circling in my mind while I try to decide whether I am or not the person I strive to be, or if I am just an avatar cloaking the body of a monster. I have done some horrible things in my 30 years on the earth. Should I keep dwelling on those, or should I accept that I might not be a halfway bad human?

I am very curious if my attachment to what I have done in the past is actually even normal. My mind is stuck on the idea that I, and I alone, realize that I am capable of the dumb-shittery that I have done in the past. I guess, in a way, you can describe me as haunted by my decisions. One thing I will bow to is my arrogance in trying to do this publication bullshit on my own. All of my endeavours in the arts have all been independent. Not by complete choice, but I wonder if because I half know how to do it alone (kind of) I create a kind of false-bravado and tricks me into thinking “I can do it if I just do one more thing oh God I can do it just let me do it this time…”

Fill me in, internet! Tell me if you also experience this loop of self-doubt and self-loathing. Fill me in if you second-guess everything you do, as well! I am in need of vindication that this is normal. I would also like the heads-up if I need to seek a psychiatrist.

Hi! I’m back!

The last two months were some of the most difficult things for me. I found myself wanting to write all the words and give all the news!

I wanted to write, but I refused to not let myself have a break! You probably did notice at least one (or more) pieces of writing, but that was because I was stewing about it and had to get it out!

Otherwise, there was little to report on. There was one personal matter, but I always feel awkward talking about things that heavily impact my life, but also impacts those around me. So, somehow, I kept quiet about it!

I’m proud of me!

ANYWAY! New tier on Patreon that rewards people donating $8+ monthly! If you decide to do this, you get to dictate the major plot points and overall theme of an original story! The first one goes up on the first of next month from the amazing Martha. Mother of Katie, she has always been someone I look up to and highly respect. I just hope she likes what I wrote…

NowIAmDwellingOnThatAndTheAirIsGettingHeavy

ANYWAY!

Updates back to the usual. Thank you for still being there!

SOMETHING I SHOULD EXPLAIN!
I am removing the obligation to release a new ansP every month from the collective Patreon goals. I find it difficult enough to get a piece to a point that I am comfortable enough to release it as it is. I am not going to give myself such strict deadlines. Hopefully, this will keep the stories GOOD as opposed to plentiful.

My relationship with PodCasts

I was on a PodCast. You should listen to it.

I have this thing where I am on a PodCast, listen to it far too much, and figure out areas I wish I had elaborated. It is NEVER on the shoulders of who is producing the vessel because no one knows what I want to shed light onto and I NEVER push in the directions I want to.

What pulls me into this pattern of self destruction and criticism? Why is it that I cannot just be happy with what I am saying? I answer everything I can with clarity and honesty, so the idea of the me not saying something else in the narrative is unfair. If I really want to talk about these things that I feel people need to know, I need to push the conversation in that direction. I need to acknowledge that only I have the power to say what I want to say.

That brings me to why I have this blog. This is the medium where I can put whatever I want down, and the only arm of censorship that I have to worry about is my own and, MAYBE, the police.

I digress. I really wanted to ask if I avoided something accidentally that you wish I spoke about in the PodCast. Leave a note in the comments and I will respond with incredible haste.

I would like to take an opportunity to talk “Tell the Bartender” for having me on, as well as extend a massive thank you to Katherine Heller for having me on her who. I also have to say thank you to Katie Maz for the push to contact Katherine with my story.

~Rather interesting date.

I have been told repeatedly by my parents that this day five years ago was when I first regained consciousness after my coma. Life support was pulled on the 12th. I just thought I would share that bit of information.

To anyone keeping track, this marks five years and eight days since I last died.

I started to write this post hoping that I would come up with some humours take on the whole thing. I guess I am sorry that you are stuck with me a bit longer?

So, my ending will simply be enjoyment of my fourth cup of coffee, cuddling with one of my six animals, and continued pensive waiting for my wife to come home from work. All the while, I will continue muscle training and walking practice.

***

I did a phone interview for Tell the Bartender PodCast. The release for the PodCast is soon, but I will post a reminder for that when it comes to the date in a week.

Condescending

Many things can be taken the wrong way. Maybe you are just telling someone they look nice today, or truthfully saying that things went well. We live in a world where sarcasm and jest has ruined parts of language. This does not even mention context and inflection.

There is one term, however, that will always be condescending regardless of the context it is in.

“Baby steps!”

A term rarely meant in any capacity then that of recognition of accomplishment and a desire to commiserate with an individual, those two worlds illustrate a literal degradation of someones accomplishments.

I got a bit non-plused there. Let me start again.

The term baby steps is almost NEVER okay.In fact, I would only say that I agree with it when the phrase is being used literally or when you have extensive knowledge about what the person is dealing with.

I was talking to a member of the staff here at the apartment the other day.I mentioned how proud I was that I took four steps unassisted the other day. Her reply was “baby steps, right?” I frothed at the mouth as I wheeled from the office. How dare she trivialize what I accomplished?

Maybe I am taking it too far. I cannot release this feeling of my accomplishments being minimized. Baby steps, I realize, are supposed to illustrate that it is a long, argus road. I was proud of those steps! Furthermore, I am stupid proud of the fact that I can move my big toe independently of my other toes.There are so many little things that I am beside myself with a sense of accomplishment about, yet the phrase “baby steps” makes everything seem so much smaller than they might be.

Or, am I putting a bigger weight onto things that are not that exciting?

Am I just pissing into the wind? Or, to use another metaphor, making moutains of mole hills?

Anyway, tomorrow is five years that I have been… in this place? I am not quite sure how to put it: I got placed into my first chair in February 2014, but was basically a motionless ball of flesh before that. Still alive, but barely a footnote on most days. I want to take this moment to thank everyone who has been supportive. I also need to thank people who have refused to change anything for me: they make me strive to be better. I will have proper news for you tomorrow, and tomorrow is actually the aniverrsary of me waking up.

*crying intensifies*

The benefit of having a birthday when I do, is that I can use it as a kind of marker for when I should stop making content and start focusing on the season. Yes: this is my polite way of saying that I will not be making any more posts on this site until the new year.

I will still be putting You’re Not Dead ch. 2 up for December first.

I also promise to write something for Margaret before the new year. She requested an idea for a story that will take some time to research and orchestrate. I will post that in the new year (probably February) and it will be amazing.

I will be updating November twelfth (tomorrow), twentieth and December 25th. I will return January ninth with a recap of the past year. I have ideas for an album review, as well as I need to finish that short story that I was prompted for by Martha. I hope I can make that dream come to reality. I really like what I have in mind.

I love you.

Also, do not forget to take a moment of silence for the fallen soldiers of World War 1 & 2 today. I cannot bring myself to care about most events, but I always make sure to do at least that much.

You’re Not Dead version 2

I have noticed myself having a hard time accepting that people can do obvious things, such as walking. It’s probably just because I have spent damn near a sixth of my life in a wheelchair.

Oh yeah: that’s a thing. I have been in the chair for five years as of the 30th. Well, at least unable to walk. I guess it could be argued that I first used a wheelchair in February when I went to that aquarium in Toronto, and had done nothing by lie in bed for four months.

ANYWAY.

My point is more that, as people get make assumptions towards things I can do, I find myself surprised at what they can do. My wife and I have been apartment searching as of late, and our search has been limited due to steps to the door with no wheelchair access available. I forget that people do not have to be concerned with things like that. I forget that even a flight of stairs that travels up one story of a building is of no consequence to an abled. The threshold can be up a foot because people have knees and are able to get up that no problem.

I have a similar, but not as extreme, issue with the apartment I am in right now. There is a CM-high lip to get into my unit. I am able to get over it no issue usually, but it does create a challenge in the event I am carrying groceries, laundry, or packages.

On the flip-side, so I do not always bitch and complain how hard life is, watching someone who does not use a wheelchair try to do ANYTHING is the funniest thing ever. Everyone knows you push the wheels and propel the wheel, but there is almost always a moment of confusion that casts over faces whenever an able bodied person gets into a wheelchair for the first time.

AND GOD FORBID YOU COAX THEM INTO SOMETHING MORE COMPLICATED!

Anyone who has spent a few hours with me knows that I love to pull wheelies. Just stationary ones, and even then I am far from impressive. I THOUGHT. My dad tried to pull one after fixing my breaks up one day and fell backwards instantly. I had to hide my face because I could not hide the smirk that traveled across my face.

In anewsinPublication news, people who sign up on Patreon before the month is out at $3 or more are promised a copy of the revised and updated You’re Not Dead.
WITH THAT SAID:
I am still working on fixing all the things I placed awkwardly in the pages of that book. I have already added several pages by just explaining things properly. Who knew that if you write things well, they turn out decent?

ANYWAY: Next month I am releasing the first chapter as the ansP release. I will not be sending the Patreons anything until the book is done, and then they will get the book in its entirety.