Saturday, April 20, 2019

Starting Over

Hi All,

Sorry for the silence. The past few months have seen me battle my depression a lot more than I would have liked. I do have some good news in that my father's estate is now officially closed. It's been over a year that I've had to deal with courts and lawyers and it feels amazing to be free of all of it.

Now, I can focus on me and taking better care of myself. I admit I haven't been doing too well in that department since my dad died but the universe decided to step in and help me out in recent weeks.

Musically, I tend to listen to classic rock, hard rock and metal or anyone rocking a guitar but as of late I rediscovered Eminem.  I was baking cookies while I let my CD jukebox shuffle through albums. I had forgotten I had an Eminem CD loaded in it and while I'm loading cookies into the oven, the opening lines to "The Real Slim Shady" come blaring through. It's been YEARS since I heard this song and actually remembered most of the words as I sang along. It made me smile and laugh.

I took my CD player off shuffle and listened to the entire Curtain Call CD. You know how you get a song stuck in your head and it just plays over and over? That is what happened to me. I had Eminem lyrics running through my head for days!

As I mentioned, my depression has been hitting me a lot harder than normal as of late. I battle it on my own, no meds, just deal with it and keep going. I do speak to someone every other week so I do have a resource to go to but I mainly do it on my own.  Listening to Eminem has brought me out of my funk a bit. My depression will never go away but I was feeling more like my normal self. It's hard to believe the Curtain Call CD came out in 2005.

After listening to the CD for two weeks, I finally decided to branch out and see what Eminem has been doing these days. Boy, have I missed a lot! I am almost caught up though as I had to catch up on everything since 2005.  That's when I learned about his own struggle with addiction and depression.
We've all gotten older and I had forgotten that I am only a year older than Eminem. I've been bouncing between Relapse, Recovery and the Marshall Mathers LP2. I've got four other CDs to listen to yet.

Listening to the Recovery CD has been difficult for me at times and comforting too. Eminem gave voice to so many things that I have felt or experienced myself. I could relate on many levels. My last suicide attempt was 26 years ago but the past couple of months has tested my head space. I've battled for a long time not to go back to that dark place. I live in a dark place but where suicidal thoughts reside is a lot darker.

I realized that I'm exhausted from dealing with everything regarding my dad's estate and given the upheaval of dealing with my dad dying, having to leave my childhood home which I lived in for 43 years and see it demolished to moving into a new place, 2018 was tough. The battle has been tough and I desperately would like a breather. Eminem has been the relief I've needed.

Listening to Eminem has been a blessing as I feel like I'm resetting myself. I'm feeling good again and more stable than I have been in months. A new chapter in my life is here and the fact that it's Eminem that's helping me start it is interesting. He's the last musical artist that I had expected to be diving into to help me through this rough patch but given my twisted sense of humor, he's the perfect person to help me get back to being me.

I saw online that he received his chip for 11 years of sobriety. I'm sincerely happy for him. I'm sure some days are better than others for him but I'm glad he's doing well.  Some days are better than others for me too and Eminem's music has helped me cope and heal some of the hurt I've been carrying the past year. He's been a nice reminder that my depression doesn't own me, I own it.

With that in mind, I'm leaving you with Eminem's Not Afraid.

Rock on!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Dysthymic Writer

Hi All,

I have renamed my blog to The Dysthymic Writer because that is who I am. It's not all that I am but it's a part of me and I've decided to stake a claim to it.

As you all know, I write and have published three books. I have been a yearly participant in NaNoWriMo since 2005.  I write in a journal everyday and my mind constantly comes up with ideas. However, there is one thing that shows up in my books and that is usually a character that has depression.

I have dysthymia and although it has been renamed in recent years to persistent depressive disorder (PDD), I am still calling it dysthymia. It's one form of depression hardly any articles are written about.  To throw in the fun on my dysthymia, I'm all also high-functioning. In a nutshell, I get out of bed in the morning and go to work. There are different types of depression and none of them are fun.

I'm sure you're wondering what is dysthymia. Some would call a mood disorder but moods tend to shift and dysthymia is chronic.  People with dysthymia think depression is part of their character, that its normal to be in the funk all the time and to be honest, that's how it is.

Long ago, long ago when I was a teenager on her way to college, I had a four year span where not only was I depressed but I wanted to end the pain. In a four year period, I tried to end my life seven times. Twenty-six years later after my last attempt I'm still here.

The depression has stayed but the suicidal thoughts have not. I did get a wake up call after my last attempt and did see the world differently and moved to a new level of depression.  Where I am now and to be honest, being where I am now is far superior to where I used to be.

Do I ever think about suicide? Sure. I don't think about it with intent but think about it in trying to understand why I went there. What pain was I carrying that led me to death's door? Turns out I was carrying a lot and I still carry a lot, but now I have the tools to look at my inner self and my outer self and try to understand.

Please forgive me as this post has runaway from where I wanted it to go.  I'm still me. I'm writing, working on my craft projects and sharing tips with you and music. My depression doesn't define me but some days I'm okay if it does. It's who I am but it's not all of me.

Today, I offer this - to simply be a good parent to yourself. If you need a break from the world. Take one. Go sit in a park and watch squirrels or go hiking or sit near a lake. Whatever you do, take time for you and ignore the world that is calling and texting you. Forget Facebook and Twitter and for 15 minutes or a whole day take care of you. The rest of the world can wait.

Rock on!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Coming Back to Normal

My last blog post was December 2, 2017. The day after that posting my father passed away.  I had been talking to him, he was alert and walking around and then ten minutes later he was gone. Between July 2016 and December 2017, I lost both of my parents and the family dog.

Come May 2018 I'd say good-bye to the house. A place I called home for 43 years. Unfortunately, I couldn't take everything with me to my new place and had to leave so much behind.

To say 2018 has been stressful is an understatement.  I'm not completely settled in my new home yet which does not feel like a home at all. Admittedly, I feel like I'm house sitting or staying in a big hotel room that has one room filled with boxes.

I am slowly putting my life back together and with that I will be trying to be better about posting on a more regular basis.

Today's musical choice is a song from a singer named Del Reeves. He was real popular during my dad's younger days.  When I was younger my parents played music all the time and as I was packing up the house and going through my parents albums I remembered them playing this when I was very young.

So enjoy folks.  A country song when country was country.

Rock On!

One more video for today.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hello, December!

The craziness of NaNoWriMo has come to an end.  I was not sure if I would hit the goal of 50,000 words by November 30th but I was lucky and finished up on November 22nd. I'd like to say congratulations to everyone who participated whether you hit your goal or not.

What I wrote this year is not destined to be worked on more and turned into a book. Some years I know that what I wrote deserves an extended life and I begin to edit it.  Some years I know that a story I wrote does not get an extended life. This years story is not so lucky.

Things have been busy as I had to retire the dishwasher and install a new one. I am not done cleaning up the yard and putting items away for winter. The weather has been a bit of a roller coaster as it's been pretty mild most days.

I am not doing well in my Hockey Fantasy League but I wasn't expecting much to begin with. It's my first time being part of a league and the whole fantasy world. It's one thing to do March Madness and pick teams but the hockey has required a lot of my attention. There are only eight teams in the group I'm with and in last place. I do have to say that I'm tied for last with two others.

I have won two weeks back-to-back, almost won last week but I was beat by a lousy 10 points. This week I have a 30 point lead going into the final two days of the week so I'm hoping I can pull out a miracle win this week as the person I'm up against is in first place.

My team doesn't have a lot of star players on it as I went for more consistent players and ones whose names I actually recognized.  My knowledge of today's hockey world is slightly limited but it turns out I recognize more name than I thought. Just don't ask me to name the team they are on.

The Commissioner of my league introduced me to the rest of the group as a die-hard Chicago Blackhawks fan. I found that funny as I would not call myself a die-hard.  Do I watch games? Sure. Can I name more than one player? Yup. Do I know how to pronounce Captain Jonathan Toews' last name correctly? Yup.

I do own two Blackhawks t-shirts, one is a regular shirt and the other an Andrew Shaw shirt. I owned if for two months and then they traded him to Montreal. Bummer.

As the weather turns colder for some of us and retreat indoors, writing is a good activity to occupy one's time.  I hope that I have that luxury as this time of year my writing falls off a bit. Once I make it through the holidays I should have more time.

That's it for me.

Rock on!

Monday, November 6, 2017

NaNoWriMo is here!

Hi All,

The website is getting little changes made here and there. When things settle down a bit I hope to add more information.

NaNoWriMo has begun and unfortunately I am not off to a good start.  The goal is always to aim between 15,000 and 25,000 words.  If a huge chuck of the 50,000 word goal can be done in the first weekend it allows you to relax a bit for the rest of the month.

I have had that approach for the past 10 years and this year I finished the weekend with 10,000 words. Not where I wanted to be but I also didn't have the luxury of doing more than that as my time was spent dealing with work.

My job ends each day at 4 p.m. It does not follow me home. My work laptop stays at work and my weekends are free.  I am an hourly employee so anything over 40 hours requires approval and is overtime.  Something that my boss will not approve.  So anytime I work  more than 40 I have to compensate by taking time off early on another day.

This weekend I was asked to do software testing after we migrated several applications to new servers.  I spent five hours doing this over the course of the weekend.  The upside was that I was able to leave work early today and will probably do so tomorrow or one of the other days this week.

For NaNoWriMo this year I am not writing a traditional story like I normally do but an observational piece of the nutty things people do like walking into a glass door because they had their head down looking at their cell phone.  I have a list of topics already but not enough to get me to the 50,000 words. I knew that I didn't have enough but I will come up with it. I always do.

I hope those of you that are doing NaNoWriMo are doing well in the first six days of this crazy affair. It is a little nutty to write 50,000 words in 30 days but it is doable. I've done it for 10 years so I have no doubt that by the end of the month I will have done it again and so will all of you.

Next week I have tickets to see Joe Bonamassa for a third time.  As much as I like Joe's music and often play it when I'm writing, my schedule at the moment may prevent me from going.  If I miss his concert I won't be too upset by it.  The two times I've seen Joe have been unforgettable.  You really do have to see him live to realize how good he is. The videos on YouTube are good to watch but there's nothing like seeing him live. If you get the chance to see Joe in concert you will not be disappointed.

These days I've been working on my radio station so I haven't had a chance to listen to a lot of new music but the other night while software testing I had Seth MacFarlane's "In Full Swing" album playing in the background. It made software testing tolerable at 12:30 in the morning. It was the right type of music to have playing.

I own three other Seth MacFarlane's album that are really good if you need music in the background to work on a project.  I've listened to Seth while writing, cooking, laundry, cleaning the bathroom and working on various craft projects.

I'm going to share a song from his album with you all as a special treat.

Rock on!