Content Warning!

This blog on occasion addresses depression, death, suicide and other sensitive themes. Continue at your own discretion in reading the content.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Choices & Good Things

 I began reading a book a couple of weeks ago, by a Ph.D. about depression and suicide. I won't mention the book simply because I just started reading it and given it's academic writing style, it takes time to digest.  The author wrote how suicide is not a choice we actually make. That it's made for us. 

I found this to be interesting. The author suggested that suicide is not something we decide we're going to do, it just happens. He noted that suicide happens when we have exceeded our coping-mechanism abilities. The pain is too much and whether we realize it or not, suicide releases us from that pain.

Speaking from my own experiences, thinking back to my teenage years, I don't know when suicide crept into my brain, when it took up residence and began to invade my mind. I don't know what prompted me to want to end my life. That suicide was a solution.  I think it would be fair of me to say that it grew organically. Clearly there were some external factors that contributed to my depression, 

I was never cognizant that I was depressed or suicidal. Never entered my mind. I knew something was wrong, that something had to be wrong with me, but I couldn't name it or describe it. Something was simply "off", but I had no reference to share, and no one ever asked how I was. No one showed a bit of interest or concern for my well-being. I appeared to be a normal teenager but internally I was not normal. Are any of us?

My mental wheels are turning with every sentence in this book. It's a slow read. Academic books are not what I call "fun" reading but I'll get through this book one way or another. 

The past few weeks have a been a rollercoaster of sadness and joy.  My uncle (by marriage) passed away at the end of May. My aunt, who is like a second mom to me, is doing okay but the long distance is tough. I try and call once a week and send her cards every two.

Although, I miss my uncle and was upset with his passing. Thankfully, there were other things to keep me balanced. Things that made me laugh or remind me to keep going. To forge ahead even though I don't know my destination. 

There was plenty of skateboarding content to keep me sane.  Not everyone enjoys skateboarding or gets it. I watch it but I can't name tricks even though I've seen them plenty of times. I think if I actually did skate, trick names would come a lot easier.

Over the past few weeks, we saw Battle at the Berrics 12 come to a year-long conclusion.  COVID-19 really made it go on for longer than anyone thought. Honestly, I enjoyed watching games of skate played every Saturday. It gave me something to look forward too. I was bummed that Luan Oliveira didn't make it to the finals but there is no denying how good of a skater he is.  I wish Johnny Giger had advanced as well but maybe next time around.  If you are curious as to who won, you can watch the final three matches over at Caffeine. You will not find it on The Berrics YouTube channel, but all the games played before finals night can be found there. There were some really good matches!!

Tony Hawk and Jason Ellis keep kicking out awesome shows for their Hawk vs. Wolf podcast. They had Colin McKay on recently and it was great to hear him tell stories. I often thought he was left out of vert discussions or being interviewed so this was a welcome surprise as I was always curious about him. Not to mention Tony and Jason's chemistry to keep me laughing.

Bucky Lasek had a Project Brat car update with his daughter. That was cool. Why Bucky thought he could outrun the Brat I'm not sure, but it was fun to watch. I'm willing to bet that had he been on his skateboard, he might have won the race. 

Besides skateboarding, I watched seasons 1 and 2 of The Orville again. It's what I needed and while doing all of that, I managed to make two more door wreaths. Helps keep my hands busy. 

I have rambled a lot in this post and so I will leave you today with a classic from the band, Chicago. Their 1971 hit - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Rock on!

~Maynard




Saturday, May 28, 2022

Crossroads

This post is a rant. After a long week at work, and many months of thinking about it, I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to be here. The interesting thing about not wanting to be here, there are no thoughts of killing myself. Makes me wonder what kind of scheme my inner saboteur is up to and why haven't I figured it out.

I am tired, exhausted, burnt out, drained from 30 years since my last attempt and dealing with life, dealing with my dysthymia and battling every day to not go to the dark place where suicide takes over my life and plunges me into extreme darkness. I vowed I'd never go back to the days of wanting to kill myself and yet I am at a crossroad inflicted upon me by the back-to-back deaths of my parents, leaving a home I lived in nearly my whole life, the damn pandemic and adjusting to a world where the only person who seems to give a shit about me is...me. I have people who care about me, I think.  I make an effort to reach out and stay connected, but the response is crickets a lot of the time.

In a really wacked out world, if Tony Hawk or Bucky Lasek or any skateboarder for that matter said, "I care, you matter to me." I'd probably laugh but at the same time a part of me would welcome it. At least, I'd know I was seen, that even a damn stranger thought me worthy enough to acknowledge my existence. The chances of Tony or Bucky knowing of my existence is zilch but maybe that's okay. I don't need their validation but maybe I do. 

What contributions have I made to society? Not a whole lot I suppose.  As much as I've tried to make a difference, I probably haven't. For all the donations I've made over the years to various organizations has my kindness made a difference? Has it??

No wonder I'm grumpy.

No wonder I'm tired.

No wonder I don't want to be here.

Don't worry folks, I have no intention of offing myself. I simply don't want to be here. I'm tired of being tired. I'm exhausted from trying to do good things to feed my inner self and the external world and not seeing it help.

There is no proof that my existence has made a difference. If I died right now, not a big deal, no one would care. Life goes on.

If there is an afterlife, one thing is certain, I wouldn't want to be there either.

Your music treat for today is Shinedown - How Did You Love. Enjoy!

Rock on!

~Maynard



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Broken

 As a writer, I often delve into my mind and the world around me for ideas. I have hit a bit of a dry spell as my muse seems to be on vacation. Admittedly, it's well-earned. My daily journal writing has been non-existent as well. This blog has been my only outlet and at times, my brain pops an idea on what to write but then the moment my fingers hit the keyboard that idea vanishes. 

Between my dysthymia and my exploration of understanding it and my inner self, I travel to dark destinations and work through the stuff people fear to admit or see when they look in the mirror. I've done this so much in my life that I can't hide. I cannot ignore or pretend I didn't think a certain thought or dark idea. 

Moments of happiness are very fleeting for me. As much I would like to be happy, it's a chore for me to be that way. Sure, I can watch a comedy special or a movie and laugh for an hour or two but after it's done, I'm back to my baseline of my normal life, my normal world of feeling lost and uncertain of what my exact purpose is on this planet.

The place I am right now, is a place that people would numb themselves with drugs or alcohol. I have been fortunate to not fall that way. Each step is painful but not in the physical sense. There are moments where I am okay and then in a moment, a wave falls hard over me, drowning me in darkness and as quick as it came in, it frees me, allowing me to breathe again. 

With the death of my parents, moving out of the only place I knew as home, the pandemic and working from home, I feel...broken. I am broken and don't know how to fix this feeling. I'm doing my best to keep writing, to find moments of laughter, to delve into new crafts, writing letters and sending cards to friends, doing good deeds from my laptop, sending all the good I can out into the world even though I don't feel good inside. I am broken.

I have been broken for a long, long time but had found a place where I was at peace with my broken self.  We lived amicably for years. These days, I struggle to find the common ground I once had with this part of myself.

What is my purpose? Why am I even here? I feel lost. I lack motivation. I don't really care about much these days. Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? If so, it sucks.

I have to think, not necessarily believe, that a mid-life crisis might come later, but I do have to think that my issue with feeling broken and lost, will resolve itself. Until I figure it out, not knowing if I actually will, I'll continue to send cards to my friends, do my crafts and continue to watch Jonny Giger skate videos, and any other videos or movies that put a smile on my face. 

I will end this post with a song from Jonthan Roy, I'm not familiar with his music but found this video traveling down the YT rabbit hole. Take care of yourselves and indulge in something fun. You owe it to yourself. 

Rock on!

~Maynard


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

Have you ever taken an online quiz? If so, then you know how they can be funny and sometimes right on the money depending on what kind of quiz.  I recently took a quiz to find out if I have dysthymia and of course, the result was I have it and then it suggested I contact a mental health professional. At the bottom of the results page, was another quiz I could take – “Are you suicidal?” 

The quiz was 10 questions and at the end it told me I needed to contact a mental health professional right away and call the suicide hotline.  I will admit that I chuckled a bit. Even though I had answered “no” to “Are you thinking of suicide?” and another question, I was amazed that it still recommended what it did.

I have taken plenty of online quizzes and some of them are quite laughable. The thing is you shouldn’t rely on any quiz for a diagnosis. There are too many shades of gray to contend with when dealing with any condition you may have.  For example, the suicide quiz I took.  Yes, I exhibit all the signs of someone who is suicidal but I’m not. I’ve been to that place and know what it feels like. It is plausible that being suicidal has changed for me through the years.  It may no longer resemble the state I knew it to be 30 years ago.

I can assure you I am not suicidal. I don’t have those thoughts.  A quiz cannot fully tell me who I am or my mental, physical, emotional or spiritual state. A quiz from a psychologist, psychiatrist or anyone who has the appropriate certification would have more merit.  Still, they would have to know me in order to give an accurate assessment.  As people, we have to learn to trust ourselves too.

I may exhibit all the signs of someone who is suicidal, but it doesn’t mean that I am. I know what signs to look for if I was. I’ve made 7 suicide attempts in my life and I’m still here. I think I’d know if I was suicidal. It would be odd to be suicidal and not know it. Is that even possible? Hmm…something to ponder a bit on and something to ask my mental health professional when I speak with him tomorrow.

I apologize for the rambling post. We all need moments where we ramble because somewhere in the rambling a gem of wisdom will come forth...or not.

For your musical treat, enjoy this gem from 1988 or somewhere thereabout from The Traveling Wilburys - End of the Line. The members were Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, George Harrison, and Bob Dylan. 

Rock on!

~Maynard



Monday, April 25, 2022

Walking Did Not Change A Thing

 Another day is coming to a close.  For the past three days I've been getting more exercise now that the weather is nicer. I've been walking more than I have in months, trying to get into a routine of at the very least walking 10 minutes. It's not much but it's something and I'm outside, listening to music while I do.

One of the things they say to combat dysthymia is to get exercise as it will make you feel better. After three days, I don't feel better. If anything, I feel worse. For most of the day I had a headache due to a change in weather as it looked like we were going to get rain but never did.

I've even been drinking more water and eating more salads with the goal of getting to a better place mentally and physically, but I feel worse. It's a vicious cycle of wanting to do better things for myself but feeling like crap afterwards and eventually it will lead me to stop trying...again. Ugh.

Other than this battle, I accomplished after a month, organizing my DVD and CD collection into nice leather binders to sit on my bookcase in my office.  It's looks so much nicer now. I have a lot of books that I should probably say good-bye to and give to goodwill or something but haven't figured out if that's what I would like to do.

One of my other accomplishments was arranging to have someone take measurements and then install screen doors for my balcony doors. At the store they told me it would take 8 weeks for everything to happen. I'm waiting for the company to call me to schedule a time for them to come take door measurements. If I knew enough about installing a door, I'd do it myself as I know how to wield a screwdriver and a drill but if I left this project to myself, it would never get done.

I should feel good at how productive I've been over the past couple of days even though my motivation to do things is really low. Even typing this post is hard to do but I'm making myself do it. At least I can say I did something.  If you believe all the self-help books out there and countless videos, acknowledging even the smallest of accomplishments allegedly will help get you on the right track to feeling better.  Can I debunk that? I have tried such things and it hasn't changed a darn thing. Call me Miss Sour Puss.  

I could go on a long rant about the atrocity that was skateboarding at the recent X-Games, but it was so hideous I don't think it warrants me writing about it. I find their "live scoring" infuriating as there were no actual scores given. It's more like "live ranking".  Don't get me started on the announcers either. When you're an announcer and you remark "That was an amazing trick!", indeed, it was an amazing trick but what the hell was it????   TELL ME!!

Time to close this post out on an upbeat note. I stumbled across this little gem, that I haven't heard in ages. Get your groove on folks and enjoy Chic - Good Times.

Rock on!

~Maynard