You know how sometimes you sleep on your hair wrong and it gets pulled in the wrong direction or something long enough that when you wake up your scalp hurts in that area? I hate that.
I also hate when people leave their dogs outside for long periods of time while they bark and whine at the door, cars parked haphazardly across two parking spaces, and those stupid memes on Facebook that say things like "I bet I won't get even one share" - but right now? Mostly the hair thing.
After having survived the infamous bed head incident this morning, I picked up my car from the garage and discovered my bill to be half the estimated cost. Drastic improvement already. Next step, keep the momentum rolling.
Here's to hoping that this is the greatest tribulation I'll be facing on my Tuesday.
A song for the follicly antagonized: The Beatles "Something".
First official walk of 2018.
Time to bring out the music, slip on the red converse, and exorcise some winter demons.
Just waiting for Mother Nature to bring her green to the celebration.
A song while we wait: Barenaked Ladies "Enid".
A graphic designer, an illustrator, and me. Out and about in the sun for an open house tour of local artists. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Thanks for letting me tag along Janet and James.
Ugh. Morning. Early. Stupid adulting.
In a determined attempt at mind over matter, I have decided to relabel my panic attacks as pancake attacks. Admittedly, there will be a risk of weight gain involved, but if successful, I won't care. Other potential challenges include a strain on budget due to purchase of large quantities of batter and frequent laundry runs to tackle what I have already termed "pocket syrup syndrome", a side-effect of remaining adequately supplied while on the road. All to be outweighed by the reduction in stress an irritability.
I feel calmer already and full enough to take a nap.
Sweet, sweet, sing-song: Carpenters "Close To You".
During the night, I woke and felt like I'd been drinking (quite heavily) before going to sleep. I was convinced I'd be facing a hangover come morning, so I changed my alarm from six a.m. to eight as a preemptive measure to mitigate the impact. When I woke again, I realized I'd been dreaming and hadn't had anything to drink at all.
I still feel like shit but it's a normal, everyday kind of shit and not a hangover level kind of shit, so in a bizarre sort of fashion, I actually started my day thankful for something. It's all good in the hood. Or, as a white, 46 year old male with no defensible claim to a life situation and an environment which Collins Dictionary defines as representing "a lower class housing where minorities, immigrants and the poor live. Mostly attributed to African Americans and government housing known as the projects", it's all good in the Old Navy hoodie.
And yes, that is pre-shower bedhead and a toaster oven in the background. I am both unkempt and low-tech so I like to think I'm hardcore in my own questionable fashion.
Just got to ride the Hump Day, Wednesday wave, baby. Ride the wave.
A sober yet super tune: Gowan "Strange Animal".
I've been working hard to be more positive lately. I really have. I've been lining up contract work and budgeting things to get me through the next few months, and I'm close to making it happen. I have some potential timing challenges with payments from clients lining up but I'm not dwelling on it. I've been confident things will come together and for the first time in a while, things will be a little more secure, at least for the immediate future.
One to shimmie to: Willie Nelson "On The Road Again".
Should have known better, I suppose. Took my car in for a much overdue $95 wheel alignment, came out with a $1,200 quote and a car they were concerned about me driving home for fear of the front end collapsing to the ground at the first bump in the road.
One to shimmie to: Willie Nelson "On The Road Again".
I struggled to wake up to my six am alarm so I told myself I had accomplished so much yesterday I could go back to sleep until seven. I knew that wasn't true and started to refute it, but then I said "Shhh, shhh. It's OK." and passed out. I can be so gullible and manipulative at the same time. I'm a very complex person. A very tired and complex person.
A simple ditty: Buddy Holly "Everyday".
I think a great way to feed my fragile ego would be to acquire an Amazon Echo and occasionally yell out things like "Alexa, make us some toast." Then I'd stand at the counter all smug-like and smile as I buttered each slice, picturing her sulking away in the Cloud like an over-hyped brick of simulated intelligence, keenly aware of her physical limitations. The fact she couldn't partake of the freshly prepared, warm, toasty goodness would only serve to further my deftly orchestrated sense of false superiority and as a bonus, cater to my guilty pleasure of not having to share.
I can't afford to purchase an Echo at the moment and my toaster is broken so I'm having cereal for breakfast, but I know inside I'll be laughing to myself all day and muttering things like "Oh yah".
It's probably best I'm broke because I'm sure Alexa would only end up ruining things by reminding me how I need to get out more.
A song for the artificially bold: Gino Vanelli "Black Cars".
I love a well written verse. Something smart. Something that conveys a concept or emotion without sacrificing depth through the blunt use of straightforward, obvious language.
Rather, it slips into your consciousness like a whisper and settles in deep - a truth you've always carried but never recognized was there until someone shone a light on it. One of my favourite examples is from a song called Murder In The City by The Avett Brothers...
"Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name"
This afternoon I added a new one to my collection. This one is from Fortunate Ones and their song, Steady As She Goes...
"Take what you can, she said
Let the rest go up in flames
We'll be all right I bet
It's the faces in the frames that kept the house up anyways"
And what makes it all even better? They're from Newfoundland.
I want to share some words of hard earned wisdom; Be responsible and always monitor your medication. Making sure you take it regularly isn't enough and you can't rely solely on what you're told at the pharmacy. Mistakes can be made and situations can be misunderstood, but you are responsible for what you introduce into your body. That is not to say mistakes shouldn't be made, or situations shouldn't be misunderstood, or trusted professionals such as your doctor or pharmacist shouldn't be held accountable for their actions, it's just to say, in the end, it's your life and and no one has more responsibility for it than you.
It's January 31, 2018 - Bell Let's Talk Day. So let's talk. Or to be more accurate, as this is an article and not a live interaction, I'll type and you read. You can talk amongst yourselves once it's over.
I had originally planned to publish this article last Saturday (even took the accompanying photo that morning), but in the end, I couldn't bring myself to follow through. I thought having previously conquered my reservations about sharing my experiences with bipolar depression, I was prepared to share again, but when it came time to talk about my anxiety and mania, I found myself overwhelmed by the prospect and keenly sensitive to the risks involved. The risk of alienating friends and family who might decide I require too much attention, am too complicated, or am too weak. The risk of losing opportunities and income from employers who can't understand my experiences or feel I'm incapable of performing my duties. The risk of not being trusted or viewed as dependable, of having my every decision questioned, my opinions discounted, or my contributions ignored.
Life has been shitty for me for a long time.
Depression, instead of giving me a break for any length of time, chose instead to be an obnoxious guest, crashing on my couch and putting the empty box of Froot Loops back in the cupboard without telling me before I went grocery shopping.
This essay was published on The Mighty on September 25, 2017.
As someone struggling with depression, there are many lies I tell myself to get through each day. I tell myself that I believe things will get better. I tell myself that I believe life is worth living. I tell myself that I believe someday I will be happy. All these lies I tell myself in the hope they will eventually ring true and I will come to believe them. But there are some lies I tell myself without even being aware, and it wasn't until the suicide of Robin Williams that I discovered I had been telling myself the greatest lie of all.
A slightly modified version of this essay, titled "When Robin Williams Died, I Realized the Greatest Lie Depression Had Told Me" was published on The Mighty as well as Yahoo! Lifestyle on August 10, 2017.
For eight years I ran my own business while dealing with the challenges and stressors that came with it. Panic attacks had become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence and I lived my life like I was only half a step ahead of a charging boulder. For a time, I even convinced myself that this irrational, all-encompassing fear was what spurred my drive to succeed, but instead of propelling me closer to the finish line, I found myself dropping further and further behind with each new challenge - each setback taking me longer to recover. I was failing both mentally and physically and I realized that the life I had been enduring, not living, was no longer working for me.
A slightly modified version of this essay, titled "5 Tips for Living With 'High-Functioning' Bipolar Disorder" was published on The Mighty on July 25, 2017.
Today I called my Dad to wish him a happy Father's Day and for the first time ever, I told him out loud that I loved him.
His response was simply, "You too." I took it as a good start as we had never been able to cross that threshold before and whether it was something he was not ready to commit to or I had just caught him by surprise, at least his response was not an awkward silence I would have to reflect on later.