Monday, April 17, 2023

Getting Older


Good Morning and Happy whatever day it is... Monday, I reckon.  I hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready to tackle this work week.  I am about half prepared for it.  This particular morning was kind of busy for me and that is a good thing.  I like coming to work and having a list of things to do and get them knocked out handily.

Anyhow, I had a bit of alone time this weekend.  When I get that, I get the opportunity to think about a lot of things.  This weekend, it was about getting older.  There are signs now that weren't there in my 30's and most of my 40's.  Most are little things, but that doesn't mean they aren't important.

I used to have a memory.  I could remember everything.  This isn't the case any longer.  For instance, I was hanging some cabinets in the garage this weekend and I lost my tape measure.  (For the record, I think I have 5, but I found one and chose to use that one.)  So yeah, I just lost that bastard and spent the better part of an hour looking for it.  I never left the garage, so I knew it was in there.  At about the end of an hour looking for it, I sat down to retrace my steps.  I felt something in my hip pocket....  You guessed it.  Tape measure.

I can walk into a room and forget why I walked in there.  I can go to the store for one item and then come home with 4 items not including the item I went to the store for.  This can potentially be a game of Russian Roulette if it was the wife that sent me to the store for  laundry detergent and I come home with a new pair of pliers, beer, The National Enquirer and butter.  

These aren't even the things that are starting to worry me.  Pain, just random pain.  In my 20's, nothing hurt, ever.  Rub some dirt on it and walk it off.  In my 30's, my ego was still just large enough that I wouldn't let any pain get me down.  In my early 40's, I started to have a couple "What in the hell is that and why does it hurt" minutes, but they too were fleeting.

Now I am in my mid 50's.  I can (and have) blown my back out sneezing.  I held a cough in and passed out, hitting my head on the toilet (and breaking it) and got a grade 3 concussion... from holding a cough in?  Yeah, that shit is a thing now!  My hands... bastards hurt every day.  They don't look like they hurt.  In fact, if it weren't for the age spots, they look like they are my 30 year old hands.

I'm not as strong as I used to be.  I am far less tolerant of bullshit.  I am way more cynical than I thought I'd be.  I guess paying attention did that.  I can still pay attention, I think.  I'm not as "peopley" as I used to be.  The bar business cured me of that.  Being in a crowd is no longer something I am fond of.  Hate it in fact.  

(Side story)  Back when I was in the bar business, I had one of my doormen walk up to me and say, "Hey boss man, a couple of dudes followed an old guy down stairs and I think there is going to be a problem."  I asked, "How old is the old dude?"  Doorman said, "Like 35 or some shit."  I looked at him and said, "Jack ass!  How old do you think I am?"  He said, "Uhm, I don't know."  I replied, "36 years old and lets go get these guys."  

To his credit, there was a problem.  Turned out that the old guy kicked the shit out of the 2 other guys and we just had to get the ass whooping stopped.  We did.  And for the rest of this door mans employment, I kept reminding him about how old and fragile I was...  JM, if you're reading this, perhaps you can tell the story differently.

Back to what bothers me.  My health is okay but there have been some changes.  Like I mentioned, the memory stuff.  That's actually a blessing in some regards.  Some shit happens that I wish I could forget and sometimes I do.  That is helpful.  

Do you know what is not helpful?  I can sit on my balls now.  Oh yeah, and without warning.  Just plop down and the package is out of whack and I get to sit on one of both of my balls.  Seriously, I thought that was about the end of the line.  Now I have to be mindful as I sit????  Yes, yes I do.

Speaking of balls, why are they so long now?  They used to be in a useful pouch, hanging out where they should, never in the way.  When a 56 year old man goes to sit upon the throne, he has to evaluate the lack of elasticity and the length of the package.  Sometimes, they are going to get wet and the feeling of that is alarming!  Toilet water should never touch them.  Never, but it happens now.  Not on the regular, mind you.  Just enough to keep you guessing and wanting to learn some sailors knots to tie em up and keep em out of the water.

The strength of my gut is the biggest issue.  It used to be, if I had to eat the ass out of a dead skunk, I could do it.  Cast iron stomach.  Nothing affected it except too my whiskey, and you always bounced back after a good puke.  No, this is quite a bit different.

I've always had excellent control of my guts.  I used to think, "Well, I'd better go poop in an hour or so."  Yeah, I could hold a poop for a more reasonable amount of time.  You know, Like on a road trip and you see the "Next Services/Rest Area 30 miles".  Never, ever was an issue.  I could hold it until it was time to release the beast, drop the kids off at the pool or whatever you call it.

Now I have to be cautions about a fart.  Farts used to be funny and now all of a sudden they are serious business!  You totally can fart and shit your pants.  I didn't know that.  I heard stories, but I thought that was people just trying to be funny.  No sir, its a thing.  Sooner or later, you are going to muscle down and try to fart and you are going to royally shit your pants.  Trust me.  It'll happen.

I had a shart experience not too long ago.  Embarrassed?  Hell yeah I was embarrassed and there was nobody around!  Nobody, and you wouldn't even know about it if I hadn't brought it up!  I'm only doing this as a public service announcement.  Your day is coming...  You be sitting there and feel the urge to "blow off a little steam".  It will then hit you that this could be the funniest fart of your life, so you bear down, knuckle up and let her rip!  BLAM!!!!  Shit your pants!!!!  Just like that.  A flash back to your diaper days and you weren't even trying to shit your pants.  It just happened.  Never used to, but now its possible.

I shit my pants so hard that I almost had to enter the Shitness Protection Program.  I mean, I looked into it and had there been a witness or two, the Shitness Protection Program would have been my only hope.

I don't know.  I'm glad that I am getting older.  I made it through my teens when a stiff breeze made me get a boner.  I'll probably get through this too.  And for the record, the phone number to the Shitness Protection Program is 1-800- I SHIT EM.  

You're going to want to keep that number handy.  Put it on your phone, write it on the back of your hand or remember it.

Please take care of yourselves and never trust a fart.  Never.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Fart Juice: Yeah, I have a story about that.


I don't know if I am going to do this story justice.  I am going to offer you this before we get too far down the line.  This happened.  I'm not real proud of it, but its one of those things that if you could have been present, you would have laughed your ass off!  Is it childish?  Yeah it is.  I was probably 11 years old and my sister was about 9.

We used to spend a lot of time out at dad's house in the summer.  Sometimes our step sisters would be there.  That was agony for me.  3 girls against me...  There was nothing I could do that was going to be cool with all 3 girls.  I learned that shit early on.  Me being me and having 3 girls as a captive audience, I was one or two words away from pissing off the whole group!  And, I knew better than to do that.  So what I found in this circumstance was, I had only my little sister present.

If something awful happened, it was a guessing game on who would come out on top by the time the parental units came home.  It was normally her and she had a valuable trick up her sleeve.  On a different occasion, she called dad at work to tell him I was being a shit. We were told not to call dad at work unless one of us died or the house blew up.  Being "daddy's little girl" she knew she could probably get away with it.

So anyways, as the day progressed, we ran out of things to do.  We did have some chores to take care of and they were done.  It was about 115 outside.  We didn't have a pool.  There wasn't even a tree big enough to cast a shadow at the time so were were either outside or inside.  The problem was, if we were together, there was probably going to be an issue.

As I remember it, my sister managed to get control of the TV remote.  It was one of those "first come-first serve" policies that most families children had to negotiate.  So now, she is the TV boss and I felt she was doing a poor job.  I can't remember what she was watching, but no way were a 9 year old girl and an 11 year old boy going to agree on what we should or should not be viewing.

She was kind of proud of herself.  I'll go as far as to say "gloating''... she was gloating at the fact that she was in charge of the T V.  More importantly, she was very proud of herself because she knew how bad this pissed me off!  She picked some bullshit show.  I don't even think she liked it, but I had no choice.

So there we were, watching some bullshit show.  At about the time I figured out what was happening on the show, she changed the channel to something worse.  She looked at me and grinned.  I told her to change it back.  She said no, and picked up the phone.  "Leave me alone or I'll call dad."  That's it.  I'd been called out.  I was had and there wasn't a thing I could do about it and she knew it.  

Again, as soon as it almost got interesting, change the channel.  Click, click, click and every time she changed the channel, she would smirk at me.  She totally knew she was driving me up the wall and I had little to no recourse.  If I objected a little to harshly, she'd be on the phone.

So there I sat.  The longer I sat and the longer this went on, I knew I was going to have to do something.  I didn't know what that something was, but I knew I couldn't beat her up, could not steal the remote or about 30 other things that would have resulted in dad coming home early.

I was trying to come up with something.  My train of thought was, "Do something that she can't prove.  Do something that isn't going to leave a mark or something that is going to make her cry."  That didn't open a whole lot of doors for me.  In the mean time, she'd look at me and smirk.  It was killing me.

The only thing I could think of doing was farting near her.  This was a kid who would gag at herself when she tried to go poop, so when anyone else farted, she'd nearly die.  I kind of crept up next to her and crop dusted her with a "silent but deadly".  No reaction... I was crushed.  I was positive that this would make her run for the hills and relinquish control over the remote, but no dice.

I somehow knew I was on the right track though.  I made her cry before with a fart.  I knew my dad farted.  No way dad was going to murder me over a fart.  No way!  So I sat there scheming and it dawned on me at the perfect moment.

Have you or anyone else you know ever do that fake sneeze thing where they flick a bunch of water on you while faking a sneeze?  Yeah its kind of gross, but it was right up my alley.  I went into the kitchen, just out of her view and got my hands wet.  I was fully prepared to do the fake sneeze but then I realized I had a beast of a fart on deck.  

I came walking back into the room as if nothing was happening.  I had to walk right by her to get back into the living room.  She was glued to the TV so I walked by, cranked my leg up, blew one of the most putrid farts I ever conjured and at the same time flicked water on her.

She jumped!  She screamed!  "Oooooooh, fart juice!!!!" and took off running and gagging.  Me?  I hit the floor.  At this point, I didn't care if dad came home and killed me.  This was an act of brilliance that only comes around once in a lifetime and I seized the moment.  

I was rolling on the floor and laughing hysterically.  She ran to the bathroom to decontaminate.  She really thought somehow, fart juice blew through my jeans and hit her on the arm and shoulder!  That'd be a helluva thing, but its pretty impossible.  (I have decided this by all of the research I have done since.)  I knew that she would be decontaminating for a couple of hours.  I was safe from her calling dad, so I figured I had a 50/50 chance of surviving this attack.

Well, dad came home.  The house was silent.  I think Tara was still in the bathroom or maybe she was crying in her bedroom.  Either way, dad had not been notified and that was a winner for me!

Dad walks in and says, "Howdy son!  How was your day?"  Before I could answer he asked where my sister was.  "I think shes in the bedroom, dad."  He said, "No blow ups or anything?"  I answered, "Well, no.  Not really."

In walks Tara.  She at one point had cried and it was obvious.  It was also obvious that she had taken at least 3 showers.  She stared at me.  If looks could kill, I was a dead man.  Dad looks at me with a familiar look which brought me a good deal of concern.

Dad said, "What happened, honey?"  As she started to tell the story, she began to cry.  Dad rushed her into his bedroom.  Before he shut the door he said, "Ill be talking with you in about 1 minute."

I was caught.  This was it.  I was going to get killed for fart juice!  Its not even a thing!  And it wasn't violent!  Nobody got hurt, so to speak.  I didn't curse...  but I knew this wasn't going to bode well for me.

The one minute mark passed.  Now I am about to shit a brick.  I am hoping and praying that my step mom would show up and cause some kind of a diversion, but she wasn't due home for a couple of hours.

Dad's bedroom door opens and my little sister walked into the living room where I was seated.  Dad had an unfamiliar look on his face and was massaging the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.  He did the "come here thing" with his pointer finger and went back into the room.  

"Dead man walking" I thought.  This was it.  I finally did what it was going to take to get murdered by my own father.  He walked into his walk in closet and started to unbutton his work shirt.  I was standing behind him, strategically out of reach.  His body started slightly jerking.  I thought he was crying or having a seizure for a minute.  He turned around and was laughing his ass off!  I knew not to think I was in the clear yet.

I matched his laughter with a half grin.  He sat down, still laughing.  He said, "What exactly did you do to your sister?"  As his laughter subsides, he starts staring at me.  This was a make or break minute.  I knew that I had to tell the truth so I said, "Well dad, I walked by her, cranked my leg up, farted as hard as I could and splashed water on her at the same time."

He about fell off the chair.  He said, "What in the hell is the matter with you?"  I just kind of shrugged, smiled and laughed a little.  Now the old man stands up and says, "Son, I don't know what caused you to do that.  I don't know where your head was or what made you feel like that was a good idea, but it was funny!  Don't ever do it again.  Were probably going to have to get your sister therapy.  She thinks you farted juice on her."  I laughed.  He laughed.  I apologized to him and as I left he half heartedly kicked me in the ass while saying, "Never again."

To this day, I haven't done that again.  To my sister or anyone else.  I asked my sister for permission to put this out there and she granted it by saying "I'm not convinced that wasn't fart juice.  I am traumatized to this day."

Anyhow, true story and pretty indicative of what kind of a big brother I was.  I made her taste wet cement once.  It's fine.  She lived. Not only did she live, she is really doing well.  Maybe not psychologically, but by appearance alone-she's good and I hope you are too.

Take care, folks.  See you next time.

Friday, November 4, 2022

The Good Old Days


I remember hearing my grandfather talk about "the good old days".  Back then, I had no idea what he was talking about.  I was like 5 or 6 years old the first time I heard him mention them.  I had no life experience to go on.  I mean, I was 5 or 6.  The good old days for me then would have been last Tuesday or something.

Now that I am a good deal older, I too look back on "the good old days".  As we age, I think we all do and I also think it means different things for most of us.  For instance, some may remember the good old days of being days you could sleep through the night and not have to pee 3 times.  Others may remember them as the days of being super active and waking up with no aches or pains.  Still, others may consider the good old days as being able to remember where they sat their car keys down.  

I pee 2 to 3 times a night these days.  I have new aches and pains almost daily.  I have spent an hour looking for my car keys when they were in my left front pocket.  This has nothing to do with the good old days for me.  Nope.  

The good old days for me was when I had my mullet!!!  Hear me out.  I was in my early 20's.  My mullet provided me with superpowers that I had all but forgotten!  I felt a little bit like the red neck man of mystery.  I could day drink all day.  I could night drink all that night.  I could get a phone call the next morning from work because they needed me to cover a shift, and I would handle business with a damned hangover that could kill a science lab cat!  BOOM!!! Superpower shit!

I met the love of my life while having the Power Mullet!  30+ years later, still married, still kicking ass together!  BOOM!  Superpower shit!

I tried to get my wife pregnant after we got married.  Nothing... Do you know why?  I cut my hair, that's why.  No mullet, no babies, baby.  Grew that bad mother lover back and BOOM-BOOM!  Two healthy, happy baby boys!  Superpower shit!

I could break up a fight in the bar, get punched in the face while doing so... BOOM!  That shit didn't even almost hurt!  Superpower shit!

My first pronghorn antelope hunt... my dad was witness to this.  He's not with us any longer and cannot verify but, I bestowed some SUPERPOWER shit on him.  I made an incredible shot on a nice buck.  You know why... the mullet provided me with some unadulterated Superpower shit!!!

I wasn't taking PED's.  I wasn't reading or learning new shit!  I didn't have time for that!  My mullet and I had shit to take care of!  We acted and we reacted all in an attempt to make the world a better place, and it was!

Biggest fish I ever caught... was with my mullet.  Biggest deer and elk I ever harvested... was with my mullet.  Survived a truck jump while hunting antelope with my dad...  while sporting my mullet.  I probably could have been killed 300 times, but the mullet wouldn't let it happen.  We had shit to do!

My mullet was a cloak of invincibility.  For about a 10 year span, me and my mullet were kings!  We were known throughout the land for out philanthropic endeavors.  We slowed global warming.  Todays billionaires came to me and my mullet for advice, and just look at them now!  Those guys are kicking financial ass... thanks to me and my mullet!

I was a more competent friend and a more fierce adversary when I had my mullet.

It's hard to believe that I was once better looking than I am now... I know... but I was with my mullet.

Stronger!  I was stronger with my mullet... That's not true.  I was stronger when I had my head shaved, but the spirit of the mullet ran strong within me!

This is what the good old days are about to me.  I made a major life decision this morning.  The mullet is coming back.  I need it's goodness, wholesomeness and its superpowers now more than anything.  This getting old shit is for the birds and my mullet can help me conquer old age!  I'm sure of it.  It has to be true.

I was way more fucking awesome when I had my mullet.  Look at the evidence I provided!  There is simply no mistaking this fact!  The world was different when I had my mullet.  These are just the facts, folks.  

I guess another way to look at this was, I was younger then.  Way younger.  Better looking too, but maybe that was just a coincidence.  I don't know.

Since I've gotten older and lost the mullet, I've had things go upside down in my life.  Currently I am nursing a back back to health.  I'm doing PT 2 times a week.  I never needed PT back in those days.  Nowadays, I have to worry about shitting my pants when I sneeze.  That didn't used to be a thing, but it is now.  I can walk inside the house, go into the bathroom, forget why I am there, walk back outside and have to take an emergency piss on the other side of the garage because I forgot I had to pee!  Again, used to not be a thing, but it is now.

You know what?  The more I talk about this, the more I realize that I am just becoming an old fart.  My grandfather never had a mullet.  Maybe he was referring to just being young when he mentioned the good old days.  I don't know.

For the record and just in case, I am going to grow the mullet back.  That shit was awesome!  I may grow the mullet back, get into performing magic with a midget cohort and do my best to change the world one tiny midget step at a time.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Another word for the list....


Good morning, good afternoon and or good evening!  I hope all of you are having an enchanting day.  For the first time in a long time, I got a full nights sleep but it wasn't without it's hiccups.  I'll do what I can to make sense of all of this for you.

So, most of you know that I have a list of words that I can't stand.  It's not much of a list as it consists of only 1 word.  I'm betting you remember that word if you know me.  I hope you do because I am going to try to get through this without saying "the word".

There is another word that made the list.  It may be just as disgusting or worse, depending on it's use.  Either way, it's filthy... we all know it, and it didn't strike me as disgusting until yesterday morning.

I tend to sleep with the TV on.  If the house is too quiet, I can't sleep.  I sit there and listen for something to go wrong all night.  Why I do this, I'll never know but its what I do.  So, I have the TV on and am fast asleep.  Oh, I also talk in my sleep.  Sometimes I wake myself up talking.  That's a real treat.  Other times the wife says, "I don't know who you were talking too, but they got an earful and so did I.  Oh, and Adventure Dog apologizes for whatever you were hollering at him for."  

Now, I don't know if this is a real issue.  I've talked in my sleep for as long as I can remember.  Actually, I kind of like this about me, talking shit when I'm asleep.  Apparently I don't do enough of it when I am awake.

Shit, I got off track.  Here we go.  So I'm sound asleep.  I woke myself up talking a time or two but managed to fall back to sleep without any issue.  As I mentioned, the TV is on.  I have learned that there are a few stations that I like that change their programming in the middle of the night.  I might fall asleep watching some shit about history and at 2 am they change the programming to some asshole trying to sell some bullshit knife collections, and the sum bitch is yelling!

This was not the case night before last.  After I woke myself up a couple of times, I checked the TV to be sure I wasn't going to be woken up by the yelling asshole and dozed back off to sleep.  Sometime in the middle of the night, the "new word" comes to me in my sleep.  Crotch...  yep, crotch.  Fucking yuck!  Combine that with the other word "moist crotch" and you've got a big fucking problem.  Crotch alone is bad enough, and this is the first thing that I think about when I wake up.  

"Crotch.... crotch.... crotch..."  I look at my bride who is sleeping peacefully and I begin to wonder if she didn't somehow bring this up while I was sleeping.  She's an angel and she would do that because I do shit like that to her all of the time, but by just looking at her, I knew she was innocent.  So, I begin my morning routine.  Brush my teeth and all I can think about is some nasty ass, swamp ass crotch.  Try and shave, rotten crotch.  Hop in the shower, moist ass, swamp balls, rotten crotch.  Why is this happening to me?

Get out of the shower and dry off.  Apply a little deodorant to the pits and contemplate running the thing over my genitals because now I have a rotten crotch complex.  I don't want my junk sitting around stinking all day, but I am also not going to use my pit deodorant for my junk!  Comb my hair and all of this shit is running through my head.  Why crotch???  Why?  Where did it come from?  I knew the word.  Hell, I've probably used it a dozen or 2 times, but now I find the thing repulsive!

Why do we have to call that area a crotch?  Why not something appealing?  A French word, perhaps.  I don't know.  Villeux Voo....  (I'm pretty sure that's not a word.)  How about something like "pretty" or "wonderful"?  Nobody would ever want to kick you in the pretty where as everyone dreams of kicking someone in the crotch.  

Imagine this mess of an individual, sitting at the end of a skanky bar.  Wasted, smells like piss and bad cheese and is eating cigarette butts out of an ashtray because he thinks it is a basket of peanuts....  That is Crotch, and you immediately want to walk down there, read Crotch the riot act and then just fucking go ape shit on him.  That's Crotch!

So now, this shit is swimming around in my head.  I'm thinking, "I'm so mad at my crotch right now."  I look down at it... sad mess of a thing, just hanging there for no good reason.  It looks like a monkeys thumb wrapped in chicken skin.  Fucking yuck!

I manage to get dressed and as I am about to kiss the wife goodbye, I figure out where this shit all came from.  A commercial comes on.  It's some big headed lady talking about a crotch deodorant, how to apply it and why this stuff is so great!  Her words, not mine... "You take a pearl sized drop of ..... and your rub it between your cheeks..."  My chin hit the floor.  4:45 am and this big headed ninnymuggins as trying to peddle ass perfume!  

Again, her words not mine...."Random tests have proven that using our product over showing alone decreases your crotch odor 100 percent, and it works all day."  Do you understand what that means?  They paid someone to sit around and sniff asses all day, at different intervals... not washed ass, washed ass only, and washed ass with this product on it!  WHAT IN THE FUCK IS GOING ON!  Some people don't want jobs and yet someone applied and got this one!?!

Oh, and what's worse is, this big headed lady has invented a sound effect which she proudly uses for applying this shit to your junk!  Yeah, complete with a sound effect.  "Whuuuu".  There might be a g-h in there.  I don't know.

I hadn't had coffee yet, so this shit is just a swirling around in my head.  I don't know this stinky ass lady but I do know that I hate her fucking guts!

What in the world is anyone doing, walking around and sniffin ass?  What is anyone doing walking around with a stinky ass?  Don't you clean that thing?  I mean, a little soap, a little water and a little scrub-a-dub-dub....  We've made it as a species until day before yesterday without taint paint or whatever you want to call this shit.

And this isn't even the worst of it.  Nope.  I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few items.  I walk around the corner and find some shit called "Nut Glaze" on the shelf!  This shit is in the middle of the store, not in the frigging self care isle!  Right there in all of its glory.  Like making your nuts shiny is going to pretty the situation up....

I give.  I just give up.  Can we not use the word Crotch?  That's all I'm asking.  Can we not use that word on TV and in public?  

Now I feel like I need a shower.  Fucking gross.

Friday, September 16, 2022

"What do I do if a bear shits on my porch?''


Hey, good morning!  Happy Friday!  I hope your coffee is hot and in abundance.  I know I am going to need a lot of it.  Didn't sleep so good last night and it looks as if a few of my friends were in the same boat.  Is this part of getting old?  I don't know, that's why I am asking.

That brings me to this.  Now, for those of you who really know me, you could say and probably would  say that I can be a bit of a smart ass.  I've tried to clean that up a bit with little or no success, but at least I try to be mindful when I speak.  That doesn't always work either.

The other day, I had one of the caretakers on property tell me that they had bear sign all around the house and property that he looks after.  To me, that isn't so surprising.  I've been in this neck of the woods for at least 33 years, maybe longer.  But, we do get bears around here.

As he and I discussed this situation, another caretaker came in and caught a part of the conversation.  He looked on with interest but then quickly excused himself.  Anyhow, the guy I was initially talking to excused himself and I went about emailing my bosses to let them know that we do indeed have bears on property.  (This is in an effort to inform those who have little or no experience in bear habitat."

As the morning progresses, I am sitting here doing my job and I get a call from the the other guy who came in during the bear conversation.  He properly and professionally let me know who he was and quickly got to the meat of the situation.  

"What do I do if a bear shits on my porch?"  I paused.  I had to.  I owed it to myself.  Someone was talking to me in a professional capacity and I do get asked questions like this on the regular.  The answer deserves a modicum of professionalism, but gawd damn if I wasn't fighting off a case of the "can't help its".

What does that statement even mean?  I mean, its bear shit!  You're kind of limited on what you are going to do with a steaming pile of bear shit.  Believe me, I came up with dozens of smart ass comments. None of them helpful, by the way, but they are still options. Please see below...

"Gift it to a friend."

"Water it and see if it grows."

"Name it and start a college fund for it."

"Sprinkle it on toast."

"Bring it inside since its getting cold out."

"Knit it a scarf."

It's bear shit!  You've got 2 valid options and 1 of them isn't as good as the other one.  Pick it up or leave it there.  That's it.  What if it was duck shit?  Do we have to go through this again?  Dog shit, moose shit, deer shit, horse shit, cow shit, human shit...  Fucking get rid of it!

"Put a leash on it and walk it around the cul-de-sac" is what I ended up suggesting.  Complete silence on the other end.  I regretted it the moment I said it.  I chuckled a little and said, "That was a joke.  I'm a funny guy, sometimes.  I mean, who would walk a shit around the neighborhood, right?"  Still silence...

"Are you still there?" I asked.  His reply:  "Why would I do that?"  I laughed and said, "Uh, you wouldn't.  You'd pick it up and dispose of it."  His replay... "In the trash or do I flush it?"  I couldn't help myself at this point.  I said, "Well, I guess a 3rd option would be to give the bear a set of keys to the house and teach him to shit in the toilet."

He finally figured out that I was messing with him.  He laughed, I laughed.  "Put a leash on it..." he said and cracked up.  When he quit laughing he said, "You made my day, man.  Thanks for that."

Who knew you could make someones day by telling them hypothetical things you could do with bear shit?  I guess we all do now.

Okay kids, I have work to do.  Someone has a mouse turd that needs a talking too, I'm sure.  I hope everyone has a great weekend.  Do something fun and be safe.

Until next time......


Thursday, September 1, 2022

Mental Health Issues:


How are you doing?  That's a pretty easy question to answer, isn't it?  We answer that question at least a dozen times a day.  The most common answer to that question is either "fine" or "well".  Truthfully, that is not aways the case.  It is the easiest way into and out of the conversation that a lot of us either don't want to have or don't really want to know the answer to.

I've answered that question thousands of times in my 55 years on this planet.  And for decades, I was flat out lying about it.  I wasn't fine or well.  The fact of the matter is, I was pretty fucked up.  I didn't know this at the time, but I had been battling depression and anxiety since childhood.  There were many factors that came into play.  I'm not too for sure how comfortable I am about going into all of the gory details.  Perhaps, once I let loose here, I will become more willing to elaborate.

I'd like to start with this.  Since being diagnosed and subsequently treated for depression and anxiety, I learned a few things about them.  One thing I learned is, everybody's situation is different.  We can either relate to another individual's situation or we can't, but what they are feeling is absolutely real.  Another thing I learned is, none of this is a competiton. 

As humans, we tend to compare things.  What may have been a walk in the park for you or I could be the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak.  And perhaps it isn't just one thing that caused the depression or anxiety but rather a series of events that went untreated and the trauma manifested as depression and anxiety.

A third thing I learned is, nobody afflicted with mental health issues is walking around with a big ass stamp on their forehead notifying the general public that one is afflicted with any mental health issues.  I'm no doctor.  I won't pretend to be.  I'm guessing that there are dozens of different diagnoses and I am guessing that there just as many ways to treat these illnesses.

The 4th thing I learned about mental health issues is, most of the cases go undetected/undiagnosed for various reasons.  

What I'd like to do is to open a dialog about mental health issues.  I know how personal these things can be.  I'd like to be able to let afflicted individuals know that it is okay to seek professional help.  It is also okay to talk to a friend or, you can talk to me.  I will do what I can to help you find the help you need.  I would also like to say that it isn't necessary to struggle with this trauma.

We as humans have the ability to just suppress all of the shit that happens to us, and try to move along.  Trauma after undealt with trauma, we keep plugging away and eventually something pops.  This "pop" is as different as all of the different trauma that helped cause the mental illness.

Again, these trauma are not comparable.  They are however very real.  If something happened to you and it is affecting the rest of your life, it is an issue and it is very real!  Nobody gets to take that away from you.  Nobody gets to discount what happened to you and at the same time, your trauma nor the depression has to be your identity!

Before I go any further, I would like to clarify that I am not a doctor or a clinician.  I am not qualified to diagnose or treat any diseases.  I am however a person whose been battling this shit for as long as I can remember.  It's been brutal but I have found some peace and I want that very same thing for every person out there.

Okay, now I am warming up a little bit so let us get to the meat of the sitatuation.  I'll do what I can to stay on point.  Please remember that I am 55 years of age, and trying to write all of my history on this blog would be nearly impossible.  I am going to start with being diagnosed...

Getting diagnosed was one of the hardest things I ever did.  I did it easily 20 years before I actually did anything towards getting help.  I guess I am kind of a hard learner and I had to get everything about as fucked up as it could be before I got help.  I put my life, my family and marriage on the line before I pulled my head out of my ass, manned up and sought professional help.  Statistics show that a lot of us do that.  As it turns out, we aren't too special in those regards.

So, trying to get the balls to actually stepping up and doing something about this...  My wife and I had more than a couple of discussions about depression and how it might be affecting me.  She could tell something was amiss and the easiest and most straight forward way of getting to the bottom of anything is to have a discussion.  Like I said, we had a few discussions before I finally decided to go see our family physician.

I chose this avenue as my ice breaker because I had a good report with my doctor.  I called and made an appointment and only briefly suggested that it had anything to do with my mental health.  For one reason or another, the receptionist scheduled my appointment as the last one on one of my days off.

I wandered into the office waiting room and took a seat.  Nobody else was around.  The nurse came out and invited me back.  She asked me what was going on and I just said, "I don't feel right".  She took my blood pressure, listened to my lungs... all of the regular stuff they do and told me that the doctor would be in to see me.

Doc walks in, shakes my hand and said, "What's going on?"  I tell him that I thought that I was depressed but I didn't know why.  I discussed that I had recently lost my father and before that I lost my grandfather on my maternal side.  He suggested that those are valid reasons for a guy to find himself depressed.  I said, "Don't we just process this shit and get over it?"  He said a couple of things.  The first was, "Is anything that easy?" and "Chances are that there are many things that caused this."

We talked for a few more minutes and he suggested that I take this quiz.  He handed me this multiple choice test, just like the ones we used to take in elementary school.  His instructions were, "Be as honest as you can with these questions, and take your time."

I ripped through the quiz quickly.  He took the quiz and excused himself for a couple of minutes.  When he came back into the examination room, he had a differnt look on his face.  More somber than I had ever seen him look before.  He sat down in front of me on his stool and said, "Brice, you scored a 90% on this quiz, and that isn't good.  This test shows that you are "clinically depressed".  That scared the shit out of me.  I thought I was off to the psyche ward where they would dope me up and throw away the key.  (By the way, nowadays my diagnosis is something like "severe depression disorder w/ anxiety.)

I looked at him and said, "Now what?"  We discussed a game plan which was going to include an antidepressant and speaking to a therapist, when I got more comfortable.  We agreed on the path that we were going to take and off the drug store I went.

Seeing the doctor took a little sting out of things.  He assured me that I was not "psycho", that sometimes "things pile up" and that we often need help getting out of the weeds.  I liked that better than saying I was fucked up... but I was fucked up.  I started taking the antidepressant and that too took just a little bit of the edge off of things.  And as I normally do, I stopped with furthering my treatment.  I just kept taking the pills and assumed all of my shit would just go away.

It doesn't work that way.

I kept taking the antidepressant. Through the years we adjusted the amount I was taking but I neglected to follow up with a mental health professional.  And, although the meds relieved a little bit of the pressure, other things were happening that I was not properly dealing with.  (I refer to this as the shit heap.)

I had a shit heap.  Now I was adding to the shit heap.  It was easier to just toss another load on to the top of the heap than it was to effectively deal with these things.  Some, even most of these things were out of my control.  That was part of the issue,I would later learn... but that is why I just kind of tossed them on top of the pile.  (out right lies, broken promises and no way to really hold anyone accountable were some of the things that went into the heap.)

By this time, my little family began to grow.  With that, more things.  More stress.  If you're a parent, you know.  Now, my past... my work, my family, myself and the shit heap were the things that I needed to take care of.  I concentrated on my family and my job.  I was married to my job as well and even early on with my career, there were issues.  I knew something was wrong.  I couldn't see it, but I could feel it in my gut.  Maybe previous experiences were trying to turn a light on for me.  I don't know.  Naturally, this too added to the heap.

A second child was introduced into my little world.  I figured we already had the family starter kit, might as well round it out.  Life was good.  On paper, I was living the dream.  A wife, a couple of kids, a house with a white picket fence.  All of that was great.  And I was still packing around an untreated mental illness.  This was the least of my worries.

I ended up losing my maternal grandfather.  I learned more about life from this man than I did from any other person.  He was my go to guy for all things.  There never was any judgement, just support and advice.  Did I ever let him down?  I'm positive of that, but he was there to teach me how to right the ship.  Now that's gone.  I didn't feel "alone" so to speak.  I did still have my dad, but his and my relationship was almost always contentious.  (There is a lot more to this relationship than I am not going to get into now.  You'll just have to trust me.)  He and I struggled to have anything that resembled a normal relationship.  Truthfully, we were far from that but he was my dad.  I loved him and needed him.

Shortly after this, my dad died.  Despite our on again/off again relationship, I needed him.  I needed him professionally (since I worked for him) and I needed him personally.  I had 1000 questions that I had been meaning to ask him, and now I couldn't.

Depression started getting real thick and dark.  I began drinking more than I should.  I wasn't eating right.  One bad habit lead to another.  Depression was fueling it all.  And it got real bad when I went to the doctors office for a regular check up.

My blood work all came back upside down.  Good cholesterol was bad, bad cholesterol was bad.  I was deficient in many minerals.  I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  I had ballooned to 365lbs.  My blood pressure was upside down.  I knew things were awful.  My doctor sat me down and said, "You keep paying your bill and I will keep givng you the best medical advice money can buy.  That's my job as your physician and I want to help you.  But I can't do everything.  You have got to do something or you'll end up dead."

Yeah, he was that blunt.  And you'd think that a guy in my situation would straighten up and get to work.  Not yet.  Now was about the first time that I had a whole snap shot of the shit heap.  This thing was massive, complied of dozens upon dozens of little problems.  Looking at the heap, I just figured that there was nothing I could do at this point.  What's scary is, I didn't really care.

I didn't want to leave my wife and kids alone. Suicide wasn't an option.  I couldn't do that, but I reached a point where I didnt know if I had the ability to get out of the way of a vehicle traveling in my lane. That is surely the road I was on, but I also didn't have the energy or focus to address any of this.  The heap was insurmountable.  My thinking... "Fuck it" and I kept plugging along.

Deeper down the rabbit hole I went.  I'm not for sure that I can paint an accurate picture here.  You've got the shit heap to look at.  I was exhausted.  I was exhausted of playing like everything was okay.  I am talking physically exhausted.  It's a giant drain to pretend that things are okay when they really aren't.  Helpless... Hopeless...Restless... and to almost everyone I knew, things appeared normal.

Work began to be an issue.  I was getting in trouble for things that I didn't even do.  Getting chewed out at work was pretty regular and far too often there were private discussions in the office about how easily replaced all of us were...  I knew that didn't apply to "everyone".  It was directed at me.  I had a list of broken promises to reassure myself that this was headed in the wrong direction.  There were more "promises' that were in line to be broken.  I was the only guy keeping his word, and this shit started immediately after my dad died.


There were 2 reasons I moved to Wyoming.  #1 was to try to build the relationship I wanted to have with my dad.  The other was numerous promises about the future.  All I had to do was come up here and learn the family business from the ground up.  

As I anticipated, my dad and I started to have a couple small issues.  Just regular disagreements on a personal level, not professional.  Professionally, I was wired pretty tight when I got to Wyoming, or so I felt.  I knew how to work hard.  I was a good listener and I was a team player.  Whenever any barback or doorman called in sick, I would be at the bar in a moments notice.  So professionally, things were fine.

The first fall, my dad wanted to build a barn for his horses.  He asked for my help and obviously it had to be done around my work schedule.  Every day for a couple of weeks I was working at the bar and then hand digging the footers for the barn.  Again, I had no problem with that.  Working with the old man presented some challenges but for the most part, it was fine.

I had 2 consecutive days off on the schedule.  I asked if I could take one to go fishing.  The old man agreed.  The morning that I was going to go fishing unraveled in a way that I never saw coming.  I don't know what was going on in my dad's mind...  I woke up, walked to the garage and grabbed my fishing gear and my ice chest.  I fired up the truck and went inside the house to grab a sandwich and a 6 pack.  As I came out of the house, my dad was walking towards me.  His color was off...  he didn't look like himself.  As he approached wearing his carpenters belt/bags, he grabbed a hammer and told me to "get my ass on the working end of a shovel".

He was pissed off!  He was talking through gritted teeth and walking towards me with that hammer in his hands.  I knew that I wasn't going to let him assualt me with a hammer.  I didn't even know if it was going to come to that, but it sure as hell looked like it.  I told him, "Drop that fucking hammer.  If you want to talk or fight, we can do that but you don't get to act like you're going to hit me with a hammer."  He kept coming.  I grabbed my pistol off of the seat of my truck.  I said, "Go ahead and fucking try me and see what happens."

My mind was racing through the roll-o-dex of things my dad and I had fought over in the past.  It just kept spinning and in the mean time, I was trying to figure out what in the fuck brought all of this on.  24 hours ago, we had an agreement.  Now he wants to come at me with a hammer?  Things that I had totally forgotten about were flashing right before my eyes.  I was reliving all of them in fast forward.

I was sick to my stomach.  I thought I was going to have to shoot him.  No frigging way was I going to get my ass kicked with a hammer.  Especially not by him.  This was my dad, and if we couldn't have a simple discussion or even an argument without the threat of violence, what did we have?  (Can you imagine the thought of having to shoot your own father?  I'm disgusted by that and everything about it.)

His demeanor changed.  I don't know if he came to his senses or what.  He lowered the hammer, turned and walked towards the barn.  I followed him, asking him what in the hell was the matter...  He looked at me and said, "Just go fishing."  

This was my first opportunity to hit the road and leave Jackson. I wanted too.  I also wanted a relationship with my dad.  No way was I ever going to be able to forget this.  Would this happen again?  When?  I didn't know.  The next year or two, things got better.  I was out of his hair and personal space.  I had moved in with my girlfriend (soon to be wife).  

There were a couple of opportunities for me to leave after we got married.  I won't get into those details here...  they involve other people and I am not going to drag them into this.  

I was managing the bar by now.  All of the promises kept coming my way.  I don't know if this was his and his business partners way of keeping me around or what.  I began to feel as if I was being bullshitted.  The promises, no matter how plentiful or no matter who they came from just started to smell like bullshit.  I could taste it and since I could taste it, I couldn't help but stand up for myself again.

After he and I got into it face to face, I came home and told the wife that we were going to sell all of our shit and get the fuck out of here.  It didn't really catch her off guard.  She was kind of involved at this point, but I won't get into those details here.  She was like, "Okay, what are we doing?  Where are we going?"  I told her "I'm tired of being fucked with and now he was fuckng with you and the kids...  Ain't gonna happen."

Someone organized a meeting.  Before the meeting, and I found this out way after the fact, my dad called and apologized to my wife and asked for forgiveness and begged her to not allow me to pack up and move.  I quit trusting my gut and decided to stick around.  I didn't see the manipulation.  It was there and it bothered me, but I didn't see it as manipulation.

Our relationship improved.  I don't know how or why but I am grateful.  One thing for sure was, I was never, ever going to forget these 2 events.  I started to become hypervigilant with him and business in general.  I was going to try to keep our relationship close but I was also going to call the shots.  I was still young.  I figured that I could go anywhere and do anything for a living.  Any place else would be more affordable and I was confident that I could find a job with a comparable wage.  

Shortly after this, I had my first blow out with my dad's business partner.  Ugly?  Oh yeah.  Plenty fucking ugly.  I refer to this as the "baseball bat chat".  Use your imagination.  He was irate.  Considering the circumstances, I understand the anger.  It was a bad deal but there was no way that he could be that mad at me.  Nonetheless, there we were.

Another incident happened not long after this.  I told my family that I was going to quit.  I told my dad that I was done.  He gave me a week off to think about it.  I imagine he and his partner talked about this.  And again, for some dumb reason, I decided to stick it out after more promises.

I would later regret every opportunity I had to leave.  To me, I kept looking like an asshole in front of my wife and kids.  Its like I wouldn't be resepcted by them for not being able to make a decision and stick with it.  I thought I was looking like "all talk and no action" to them.  This was about the time that my mental health started to come unglued.


So now, my father died.  Dynamics at the bar changed immediately.  I didn't know what was happening between my step mother and the partners, but I was being treated differently.  These little discussions about how easily any of us could be replaced started happening. 

They erased every promise ever made by simply saying, "There are no promises..."  

The partner and I got into a beef.  Our second.  This guy tunred into someone that seemed so foreign to me.  We used to go hunting together, fishing together and now this... basically telling me that there are no promises and that I could be replaced in a second.  Just like that... after all my years of dedication, I could be replaced just that quick?

What got me most about this was his talks about how important "family' is, and I was included in this "family".  My family was included in this "family'.  I realized that I was being manipulated and used.  During this fight, I quit.  I told him that I was done and he was done talking to me like that.  I'd had enough.

His wife contacted me.  She said she didn't want me to quit and that she didn't know what was going on but insisted that I take a week and just relax.  

It was about the 2nd or 3rd day off and the partner showed up at the house.  I thought he was going to want to have a "hammer chat" like my dad did.  Instead, I saw another side of this guy.  Softer than the good side.  He apologized, told me to take as much time as I needed and that he wanted me back at the bar.  I thanked him for stopping by and told him that I had to think about it.

Yeah, I went back.  For years, I was promised that this place was going to be the only job that I would ever have to have.  The joint would be mine one day.  Of course that looked great to me.  It was what I was focused on.  It was the American Dream for me... and I worked for it.

I kept thinking about the staff...  I kept thinking about the promises, even though I knew they were hollow.  I kept thinking that if I walked away from this, it would be the final nail in my coffin.  I felt "trapped" and I kind of think that they knew that.  

So, now let me put this all back into persepctive.  This was about when my physical health started to go to hell.  I was packing on the pounds, eating shit food whenever I could and drinking way too much, way too often.  A buddy of mine kept uring me to get into the gym.  Another buddy kept getting on my about getting into the gym.  I got into the gym, started making progress.

I went to see a dietician.  I started to see the doctor on a more regular basis because checking in with him was the only thing that felt good.  I'd drop 10 lbs or so between visits.  Everntually, I lost over 100lbs.  I was feeling good about that.  

I had more good days than off days, but my off days were more dark.  Kinks at work started to show up again between the business partners and myself.  My stepmother was having issues as well.  I felt as if they were trying to push me out of the way... then perhaps she (my stepmother) would follow.

I had a couple of hours in the gym a day.  I was dedicated to at least this.  This was my religion and my wife did everything she could to make sure this could happen.  I think she was somewhat surprised by what was happening.  To me, I found relief in the fact that my physical health was now in check.  

Work or should I say interaction with the partners was leaving a sour taste in my mouth.  There was nothing positive at this point.  It was all negative.  The shit heap turned into the mess that it had become and it was also ever present.  My gut was telling me one thing and my mind was telling me the other.  I fought with trying to appear normal, like I had my shit together, but I didn't.  The energy I blew at the gym was my saving grace.  After I'd lift for a couple of hours and listen to heavy metal, I didn't have the energy to think about some of the shit that I classified as petty.

My daily routine would be to wake up, help get this kids ready and send them down the road.  Catch a nap, iron my work shirt, do some chores and then hit the gym.  I was in the gym for about 2 hours a day.  That was my time.  Nobody got to interrupt that.  It was were I felt best.

On this one particular day, I worked out real hard.  Walked back into the locker room and noticed that I had 3 missed calls.  That was pretty unusual.  It was the partner... and he was pissed!  The first message was mostly unintelligible but he was literally screaming at the top of his lungs.  The second call I was able to make a little sense out of it.  

It was the off season.  We had off season entertainment which was typically of lesser quality than we usually had.  Don't get me wrong, we showcased a lot of local talent and most were good but some weren't.  For years, that's just the way it went.  Now all of a sudden, he is pissed.  He wasn't even in town and somehow (i know how) he found out that we had a bad night, business wise.  

We had a talk about a year prior after having a bad band.  It wasn't as much as them being bad, they were just rude and inconsiderate.  He told me that I could fire the band if we had a similar circumstance.

Well, this wasn't that.  This was different.  It was just slow.  It was slow all over town and he is yelling about how bad he heard the band sucked and that I was supposed to fire them and call the talkent agent and get a new one.

The thing is, he hired this band outside of the talent agent.  He was responsible for the band, and they just werent that bad.  Calling this talent agent and chewing his ass was barking up the wrong tree.

The third message was just more bullshit and he told me that he "didn't pay my cell phone bill so that I could not be in contact with him, whenever he needed".  That was my que....  I knew this was going to end poorly.  I sat there for a second before I hopped in the shower.  I tried to form a reasonable response for when I called him back.  By the time I got out of the shower, it was go time...  

I called him back when I got outside of the gym.  From the start, he was blaming me for shit that he did.  I told him that he couldn't do that.  Naturally that made things worse and my temperature kept rising.  As he was yelling at me, I yelled back and I dared him to meet me at the bar.  I told him that I quit and that I would sit and wait for him to personally hand him the keys.

I was going to kill him.  I couldn't think of anything else.  I have no doubt that if he would have shown up, I'd be writing this from a jail cell.  

I remember hanging up.  I called the wife and said, "Ill be home soon.  I just quit and I am going to kill this fucking guy."  Upon my wifes suggestion, I called to inform my step mom.  She met me at the bar and tried to talk me out of it.  I was shaking.  I wanted to see this guy so fucking bad.  Nobody had ever talked to me this way... Nobody that I ever had any respect for nor anyone who ever had any respect for me.  20 years of my life were given up to this joint and to these people, and all for nothing....  I knew this was how it was going to be since my dad died.

More ugly shit happened in the aftermath, but my step mom wouldn't quit trying to pound into my head how important it was that I not do anything that I would regret.  "He's old.  There is nothing in this for you, Brice.  You can't hurt this old man...."  I wanted to more than anything else.  We managed to have a meeting after this, and it went just as you might think.  I wanted this guy to try to touch me.  I was going to fuck him up.  Not only for this most recent thing, but the lies, the manipulation, the bullshit, for every person who I got in a fight for while protecting his shit...  it was going to be ugly, but we never got that far.

Getting out of there was the best thing that I could have done.  Timing sucked.  I ended up finding another gig, but it wasn't paying the bills.  We were living off of credit cards.  The debt I once had was nothing compared to what we were accruing.  I had side gigs which I had to dedicate more time to.

I was done mentally.  Exhausted, frustrated, confused about everything.  Mad at everything.  Mad at everybody.  

Then I hit rock bottom...  I did the one thing I will always regret and never forgive myself for.  Killing this dude would have been far easier to forgive myself for.  I won't go into details, but its fucked up.

Now, I don't even know myself anymore.  I knew I had to go get help if I was going to try to live anything resembling a normal life.  I knew it was going to be hard.  I knew I was going to have to tell the truth about everything to a therapist and pretty much anyone that had the time to listen.  I know how lucky I am to have had my wife and kids stick it out.  They could have left... turn the tides and I may have left, but she stuck by me.  I owed her this.  I owed my kids this and I finally felt as if I had to get something done.


I really didn't know what "fucked up" was until this point.  I turned into a guy that I didn't know and certainly a guy that I didn't want to be.  Like an addict, I had to get to rock bottom and man, I was lower than whale shit at this point.

I was so full of anxiety.  I had no idea what was going to happen.  I was mad... mostly at myself for letting things get this far out of line.  I was mad for the damage I caused my family.  I didn't know if they would be able to forgive me.  It didn't seem realistic, but here we were.

I was seeing 2 therapists once a week.  One to try to tighten up the family and the other to get to the bottom of my issues.  We managed to work through the first therapist.  In the mean time, the two therapists were communicating and trying to get me in the right lane.

Every visit to the therapist started out the same way.  I'd tell the story, the whole story of my life from start to finish.  The more I talked, the angrier I got.  

Stress?  Holy shit....  Un-fucking-believable stress and I brought it upon myself.

I showed up at the therapist office for my meeting.  I said, "If you make me tell this story one more fucking time, I'm going to explode!"  She looked at me and clamly explained what she was trying to get to.  I didn't understand what she was trying to say or do.  I was about to just give up.  I felt hopeless. 

After months of therapy, I was still mad, still holding on to the anger.  The therapist asked, "Why Are you holding on to this anger?''  I said, "Its my fuel... I'll never let anyone fuck me over again.  I will not ever be fucked over again."  She rephrased the question.  "What are you getting from holding on to this anger?"  The word "Nothing" came out of my mouth, without even thinking about it and I literally felt this giant burden lifted from my shoulders.  The shit heap was gone.  I sat there with this dumbfounded look on my face in complete silence.  The look on the therapists face said it all....  I asked, "Did you just feel that?"  She said, "You certainly did."  My life began to change right then.

I was far from out of the woods.  I had a lot of work to do with my family (which was most important) and then continued work on myself.  I started reading a self help book a week and would tell the therapist about it.  She finally asked me to knock that off and just work on the things that I knew I had to take care of.  She told me that she wasn't going to set an appointment for the following week.  She went as far as to tell me, "I think we've gotten to the point where I can let you work on your own.  Keep my card and call if you ever need a tune up."

This was about 11-12 years ago.  

Do I still suffer with depression?  I wouldn't say that I suffer much anymore.  What I have has been identified.  What was making me feel awful and now has an identity.  A name and a face, if you will.  I learned a few things that allow me to live my life and limit the amount of time that I feel depressed.  Some things, even trivial things used to bother me for days, weeks and sometimes months.  Now I have an off day.  I've learned a few things that allow me to identify and process what I am feeling and I now  have the ability to get that all squared away in a timely fashion... thankfully!

(I've heard so many people say, "I was depressed once."  I don't believe that is accurate.  Depressed, probably not but sad or grieving?  I'd buy that.  Sadness and grieving are just different animals.  These things tend to pass with a bit of time.  Depression is always there and all too often, we don't know what it is that causes this.  Sometimes its a chemical imbalance... a series of events that we didn't properly deal with and sometimes its a combination of a lot of things, but it doesn't go away on its own.)

(I've also heard people say, "What do you have to be depressed about?"  This was probably the most insensitive thing I ever heard one of my friends say to me.  He wasn't trying to offend me.  I think he was envious of what he believed my life to be like.  I was married to the woman I love.  I had kids that I loved.  I had a "good" job.  I had a house with the white picket fence....  On the outside, it looked as if I was living the American dream, or so he thought.  On the inside, not so much.  When I heard him say that, I just sat back and listened.  "I can't even find a girlfriend worth sticking around for.  I pay rent, not a mortgage.  I have bills out the ass."  

Apparently what he didn't notice was, I too had bills out the ass.  I had a mortgage.  I had insurance bills.  I had car payments.  My job wasn't as wonderful as he thought it was, and I had a thousand other things that were fucking with me every single day!"

Something that I feel is real important to say here is this.  Nobody has the right to compare your life to theirs.  They don't know YOUR life.  All they know is what they can see.  The things that happened to me may be a walk in the park compared to the stuff you've been through.  These things are mine... they are my baggage and if I don't know how to properly digest them and put them away for good, they will sit and bother me for ever or until I learn how to process them.  Ill never forget these things.  You can't unring a bell.  But I am better qualified to deal with these things now.

I don't know why we try to compare trauma or why we try to compare our lives to other peoples lives.  Its one of the biggest disservices we can do.  We cannot control other things.  We can however control how we react to things.  It might take a long time to learn this lesson.  It did for me.  For some damned reason, I thought I had to be in control of everything.  I'm guessing that there are hundreds of variables daily that I have no control over, and that used to bother the shit out of me!  Then I learned that some of these things don't even make a list of priorities of things to worry about and that I could control how I reacted and then effectively dealt with them.

And for the record, there are a lot of things that contributed to my depression that I did not mention.  They are things that are very personal.  In a face to face meeting, I would probably bring them up, but on here, I feel as if they are too personal.

In closing, I will say this.  There is help avaiable for you if you are struggling with your mental health.  There are many options and a good therapist can get you on the road to feeling a lot better.  Don't be afraid to reach out to a friend, or me for that matter.  

You're not a pussy for talking about your problems.  You're injured, and its not like a broken bone.  We can't put a cast on whats going on inside, but we can look at it and find a way to digest it, then accept it and then put it in the past.  And, its hard... but if you're like me, once you "set the beast free" you won't be able to stop talking about it, once you make that initial break through.

The help is there.  Please, please reach out.  Suffering in silence is unnecessary.  Its also unproductive and it gets in the way of celebrating all of life's little victories.  Talk to someone...  It was far easier for me to talk to a stranger (therapist) than it was someone I know.  There is no judgement.  Nobody is going to judge you.  

I wish everyone who reads this the best in life.  You do deserve it and you can have it if you work for it.  It is the most rewarding thing I've ever done and I'd like for you to be able to enjoy that too.

Best wishes!


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Different Road:


Hey!  How is everyone doing? Me, I'm doing fine.  Normally when I get on this thing, I am either making fun or someone, some thing or even myself.  I wanted to go a different direction and at the same time give anyone interested in "The Book" an update.

Let us start with "The Book".  "The Book" is still in the works.  I have encountered a couple of issues while writing "The Book".  The biggest issue is formatting.  As it turns out, I am not much of a writer but I have had so much encouragement from some of you guys.  A couple of you have said, "That is the appeal of you writing a book.  Maybe you're not a great writer but you are a good story teller and you are funny."  For those of you who have encouraged me and have offered support, thanks a bunch.  I really mean it and I can't tell you how important your support really is.

The thing with this book is, it revolves around my time in the bar business.  With nearly 20 years of walking the plank, I have had so many hilarious things happen that they should be shared.  This type of stuff would really strike home, I think, with anyone who has worked in the hospitality industry or general customer service industry.

Some of the problems have to do with people being named, how they may take their representation and me getting the shit sued out of me.  I don't need that and I am not in the business of putting a negative spotlight on anyone. I think we all do a good dnough job of that with ourselves and it's just really not my cup of tea unless you are a particularly nefarious asshole.  Then I'd be happy to talk shit about you.

Another problem is continuity.  I can tell these stories as I remember them, and I have doezens that come to mind instantly.  The problem lies with writing them down and being able to continue to write.  I've searched the internet far and wide to find some help with this.  Almost all of the advice I found is "keep writing, regardless of the topic" and "write about the things you know".  

Back to the continuity issue.  I can write a quick story.  I'm confident in that.  Here's the kicker though.  Stories have a beginning and an end.  In my soup sandwich of a fucking brain, it seems as if I need to write this compilation of short stories in order.  I can't do that.  It just seems wrong and I can't get around it yet.  Don't get me wrong, I am continuing to write but when a story hits me, I grind it out and walk away.  I have to because the next story is not in order.  A friend asked, "Why does that matter?"  The answer is, I don't know but it matters in my head. I spend more time writing stories as they hit me, leave names out (which I think kind of kills the story in some situations) and end up frustrated with what I've done.  Is it writers block?  I don't know, but it is a hell of a thing.

Now, back to the "write about what you know" thing.  Yeah, I know the bar business pretty well.  I wouldn't say that I am an expert because I learned something new every week.  One thing that I do know and am passionate about is mental illness.

Mental illness still has a stigma attached to it.  Many stigmas, in fact and it seems like we can't get out of our own way in order to open the dialog and make more progress.  Thankfully we are headed in the right direction but I feel as if we are crwaling along on a snails pace.

We can do better and I want to help.  I'm willing to tell my history dealing with my own mental health in an attempt to make people more comfortable with their own issues, perhaps leading them to get the help they need.

In closing, I'd like to tell anyone suffering that you are not alone and there is help.  There are also at least one set of ears open to hear about your struggles.  Know this.  The struggle is real and there are qualified professionals that can help you find your way through the maze of mental illness.  Please reach out.

Thanks for your time and I'll see you soon with something else.