Content Warning!

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

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Unexpected Flood

 I apologize for my silence. I have been busy with an unexpected rush of Christmas gifts to send out and in recent weeks, was hit with an unexpected flood of emotions.

I was in my storage cage in my building, shuffling things around when I noticed part of a box had somehow gotten wet.  It was in one spot and so I opened the box which contained items that had belonged to my mom and dad.  Items that were returned to me by the funeral home after then had been cremated. One of the items in the box was a hat that my dad always wore.  Somehow it had gotten wet, I have no clue how. The hat had turned moldy, and I needed to throw it away.  

I walked to the trash house and felt the tears coming but I pushed them back as I stood in front of the trash bin. I knew I couldn't keep the hat, but it hurt to throw it away. The moment I made it back inside my apartment, the tears came hard.  What happened was unexpected. I didn't expect throwing his hat away would trigger me like that.  They say time heals, but it would seem five years isn't enough to heal this kind of loss. 

On October 14th is my death day. A day where I honor myself but this year, I didn't honor myself in a way I thought I would. This year marked the 30th anniversary of my last suicide attempt.  No small feat considering not everyone gets a second chance or in my case seven. 

I had planned to donate to a non-profit which I always do every year to honor myself and Sean. For some reason, when I sat down to write a letter, it didn't flow. Something was off and I set the letter aside, never to touch it again as I threw it away a few days later.

I don't know what's going on with me as I can't even find excitement for NaNoWriMo which starts in a few days. I love to write but the thought of writing seems daunting. More than anything, I'd like to go to a mountain top and just scream over and over.  Scream out the anger, scream out the frustration, scream out the pain, just scream until I have screamed everything out of me. 

All I can do is take care of myself. It is something I want for all of you too. The permission to do what is needed to be in a good place. Something that makes you feel okay.

Today's musical treat is one I discovered by going down the YouTube rabbit hole. I have no idea how I found this cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" by Linkin Park. Enjoy.

Rock on!


Saturday, September 17, 2022

With September Comes Change

 NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and typically I would have a solid idea and outline now. This year I'm way behind in my planning. I finally have an idea. I have been flushing it out and can approach my idea from two different viewpoints. Which viewpoint I pick I don't know at this time but will figure it out in the coming weeks as I have to do some research for the story I wish to weave.

Autumn marks a time in my life when I retreat in reflection, mourn my past self and mourn Sean. Some years are better than others regarding my overall mood. I am hoping that this year, things won't be so bad on the emotional front but if it isn't, I know how to take care of myself to weather the storm so to speak.

Earlier this week I started walking every other morning because I realized I wasn't walking enough.  They say that walking is supposed to help you if you are depressed.  I used to walk every day to and from work and I don't know if walking every really made me feel better.

Writing in a journal, listening to music, meditating, and volunteering are some of things one can do to allegedly feel better. I listen to music all the time, I used to journal write every day for years and I honestly don't think it made any real difference to my mood. I started some of the above back up again, only time will tell if it does make a difference.

In the world of skateboarding, nothing is going on. HA! Just kidding. Plenty is always going on. Jonny Giger is doing some cool flip tricks; I discovered MTB Hardline which I had no idea about along with something called the Red Bull District Ride. I like BMX when I see it at X-Games, so this stuff was something different.  I missed a large portion of it but what I did watch was pretty darn cool.

Enjoy today's musical treat of 'September' Earth, Wind & Fire.

Rock on!


Monday, August 29, 2022

We Could All Use a Little Mr. Rogers

 "If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health" - Fred Rogers

YouTube works in strange ways as a video popped up of people reviewing snippets from episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The people viewing the video lived outside the US and did not know who Mr. Rogers was. I watched the video and then another video popped up that I had seen before.

The world is in such chaos, but we could all use a bit of Mr. Rogers in our lives. I watched Mr. Rogers all the time as a kid. One cannot forget him changing into his red sweater and changing his shoes. Indeed, the world could use Mr. Rogers, he is sorely missed. This is a link to a May 1969 video where Mr. Rogers appears before the U.S. Commerce Committee to get funding for public television. I cannot explain why it made me cry but it did.

I am currently on vacation this week as work has been super exhausting. I am glad to be away from it. I can focus on me this week and other things such as prepping for NaNoWriMo. I have no idea what to write this year. I have a couple of ideas but not sure. I think this will be my last year of doing it as I will hit the 1-million-word mark. That's a lot of writing!

Mentally I am tired, beaten down by an invisible opponent who is really good at trash-talking me. I have been chipping away at the book I am reading on depression. It has gotten me thinking. We say that depression is "not normal" but what if it is normal? If everyone allegedly has at least one depressive episode in their life, then would we consider that normal?

And what is normal exactly? Are the people who define normal qualified to dictate what's normal? I know, this is one of those mind burners. I don't have an answer. I don't know if I will think of one either. It's okay if I don't.

Okay folks. I'm out of here. For some reason I'm on a Huey Lewis & The New kick so enjoy "Hip to Be Square" as your music treat.

Rock on!


Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pulling Back from the Brink

Days filled with frustrations, sorrow and tears; these are days that I should fear because the pain that I carry rises to the surface. It consumes me. The darkness swarms wildly, the world out of control as I try to find something to make it stop. No matter how much I want the mental storm to stop, it stops when it wants to, not because I beg it to.

When the thoughts in my brain turn into a wrathful thunderstorm, I struggle to find comfort, to find safety and to find a good memory to hold onto to keep me from going over the edge. The pain of depression pushes people to a place they don't want to go.  How much we can endure is different from person to person. We all have a tolerance level. 

I have had more days than I like where the darkness pushes me hard to a place I don't want to go. I resist if I can but some days, I have no choice but to submit and let it steamroll me. I am burnt-out from work and have been feeling exhausted for some time, it's not a good combination when you need to battle a dark invisible force. Yes, it turns out one needs to pick their battles.  

Scouring YouTube has been a bit helpful and finding things to watch that make me laugh.  Even things I've watched a thousand times before has helped me keep going. I cannot lie though. I am tired, exhausted and struggle some days more than others in finding comfort. When it comes to parenting myself, I could use improvement.

Fall fast approaches. It signals a time of year for which I mourn and reminisce, I retreat into myself and am more vulnerable. If I am vulnerable now, how much more will I be in a few weeks? I have vacation coming up in two weeks which will allow me a chance to catch my breath.

For now, I will battle on and I know all of you will too. We will find our ways to carry on.

Today's musical treat is 'Calling All Angels' from Train. It blows my mind that this song came out in 2013. Seems like it was more recent.  Funny how time plays with you.

Rock on!


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Rollercoaster Never Stops

There are days where a song can speak to you on multiple levels.  You don't know why but each word, each note, the melody itself or a particular instrument moves you. Your inner world simply responds. The song is saying things you need to hear. 

I was going through my CD collection and popped in my Sam Cooke CD. I hadn't listened to it in a long time and the mood I was in seemed right.  When 'A Change Is Gonna Come' came on the sound of the strings and Sam's voice put me in a different place.

I felt like I should have been in a home library, record playing, a fire roaring in the fireplace, while I sat in a chair casually drinking a bourbon while swaying to the music. Simply getting lost in the arrangement. It's such a strange image given that I don't have a home library, a fireplace or drink bourbon. In all honestly, I don't drink at all.

My mood and mental thoughts have had me riding the rollercoaster. There are moments where I am okay and other moments where I am not and wish I had someone to hug in that moment. Life can be tiring at times.  I keep moving forward whether I want to or not.

Last week, I had a friend come over for dinner and relayed a conversation I had with someone else and how I picked up on the fact that things I said caused a bit of worry.  I never mean to worry anyone, but I have learned that society kinds of make those that are struggling feel guilty for struggling.  I had to assure both of my friends that I was okay even if I wasn't okay.

I recently learned that part of why I feel lost is that I never fully mourned my dad's passing. I didn't really have the time to do so because life required so much of me. I didn't mourn but kind of half-assed it. The other discovery I learned had to do with moving. When I moved from the house I had lived in for 43 years to my new place a part of me got left behind. A part of me never made the move.

I'm still working through that and what I mean by that. For as long as I lived in that house, I have no memories. I have memories but nothing that evokes strong emotions. Something to chew on.

Today, I leave you with Sam Cooke's 'A Change Is Gonna Come' as your musical treat. 

Rock on!


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

On the Upbeat

Today has been a rollercoaster of a day. I did cry for a bit. I felt better to have a moment to let all the stuff inside out. Thankfully, I'm not one of those that need a pint of ice cream to drown my sorrows. cream does sound good right about now.  A nice pint of black raspberry ice cream would do nicely.

I cried a few tears and trudged through work like usual. 

I did have some upbeat moments when I learned Bucky Lasek has uploaded a new video to his BuckYeah channel.  It's been an awesome week for him. He hit 50K subscribers on his channel and did an interview on The Nine Club with Chris Roberts.  I am patiently waiting for a Colin McKay interview.

I saw Jonny Giger posted a new video of a trick that seems to be stumping people in what the name of the trick is. I watched the video. It looked like an impossible but maybe nollie something with a flip? HA HA. I'm not a skater. I have no idea. Looks neat to me. If you feel like giving a guess, I'm sure Jonny would welcome a comment.

Skateboarding gave me an oomph in the mood department and then I stumbled upon a song from the Go Go's that was released in 1981. I would have been ten years old. I love music and it's surprising that I know most of the lyrics to this song after all this time.

I leave you with a short post today as I managed to get a bit of reprieve from the darkness. Gray skies are better than dark stormy skies. Enjoy the musical treat of 'Our Lips Are Sealed' from the Go-Go's. Turn it up and be silly for this one.

Rock on!


Monday, August 1, 2022

Broken Pieces is All That I Am

I admit the battle within me rages on. I have been feeling beaten down, exhausted and wondering why I am still here. I have no motivation. I acknowledge I have to go get my mail or take out the trash but the motivation to put on my shoes and walk outside is pretty non-existent.

I find motivation in going grocery shopping which is interesting since most people hate doing it. I enjoy going in the early morning hours and making my way through the store without being rushed. It's a leisurely stroll.  I do hate the self-checkout because it requires me to pack my own stuff.  I have motivation to shop but whatever motivation I have is killed by the self-checkout register. 

I have been feeling lost for a long time. I struggle with being here on this planet. I see no reason to stay. In all honesty, I have no reason to stay. Both of my parents are dead, I have no siblings, and I am not close to any extended family because I hardly ever saw them growing up as they live across country. All through the pandemic not a single one of my friends called or emailed to check in on me. No one ever does.

I manage to get up out of bed and go to work which is becoming harder to deal with.  I swear people don't know how to problem-solve or figure shit out. Seriously, has the whole world turned stupid? People are so lazy at work that they can't bother to read a guide or watch a video and educate themself. They'd rather go get an immediate answer...and that answer usually lies with me. Ugh. 

I am burnt out from work. Honestly, way past burnt out. I was supposed to take two weeks off back in 2020 but that got canned due to a new hire in my department who decided to start the week of my break. I couldn't go on vacation as there would be no one to train her how to do her job. Let me be clear, the department is made up of two people - me and her. So yeah, kind of have to train her. I have taken breaks, but I need an extended one for sure.

Watching skateboarding still lifts me up and the recent X-Games was a wonderful diversion for me and my brain even though I am in pain. Not physically but emotionally, mentally...I am weighed down. I am exhausted and ready to go and yet, I get up every day and go to work and play video games, watch TV (thank you AMC for showing Caddyshack) and go down the hall once a week to hang out with friends. I read, work on crafts but it does not sustain me like it once did. Even listening to music seems dull. Music that normally would get me feeling good seems lifeless and bland.

I did have a friend and a co-worker come over recently for dinner which was nice but did nothing to really recharge me or change my motivation except to dust, vacuum and power wash my kitchen.

I don't care and yet I care. It's a cycle for sure and at some point, I have to run into a square or a triangle.  I need to run in some other direction.  I'll gladly take a parallelogram. What a nice change of scenery that would be. Did I just use a geometry reference? That's surprising consider how horrible I am at math.

See folks, even when down in the dumps I can somehow manage to make a funny. It's not a good one but it's decent enough to crack a smile. I'll take it!

Today, I leave you with a musical treat from Apocalyptica - actually a double feature! Enjoy 'Not Strong Enough" featuring Brent Smith and 'Broken Pieces' featuring Lacey.

Rock On!


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 Jonny 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!


Saturday, May 28, 2022


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 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!


Sunday, May 15, 2022


 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!


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!


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!


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Hardship of Reconciliation

I'm not sure where to begin with this post. I was doing okay and then out of nowhere my mood took a large swing into the realm of sadness. I was watching videos online and laughing and then in a matter of moments when I walked to my kitchen, I went from feeling upbeat to wanting to fall to the floor and cry. These swings happen all the time to me without much notice on my part. It's part of my life but today, for some reason I noticed the swing. 

I have been preoccupied with a thought, a memory, and trying to understand a stranger. A person who I do not know was being interviewed on a podcast. They spoke of a friend, a friend who meant the world to them who committed a horrific crime. The friend turned themselves in to authorities and admitted they had murdered a young woman. 

The thing is you may never truly reconcile it. I went through this with a friend of mine, but they didn't murder anyone. This friend had his flaws, but he was a good friend. He was there for me at a time when no one else gave a damn. He was there for me in my most desperate moment of darkness. I was vulnerable and deeply broken but he protected me. 

Years after helping me out, he was accused of allegedly raping his then girlfriend's younger sister. This shook me hard. I was confused. How could the man who saved me, who gave me a reason to carry on and live do something like this? This didn't match the friend I knew.  This friend was never questioned, no arrest, no nothing. For years, I wondered - did he or didn't he do this? Was he capable of doing this?

It was a constant back and forth and I would never learn the truth as he died several years later. His girlfriend at the time was also my friend, but she wouldn't talk to me about what allegedly happened. I had questions but no answers. No one had answers for me. 

I've tried to reconcile this for myself through the years, but I came to the conclusion that I will never be able to do so completely. I acknowledge that this friend wasn't the most perfect person on the planet.  The best I can do is acknowledge that he wasn't perfect, but what he may or may not have done does not completely wipe out what he did for me.

What he did for me matters. After all these years I honor our friendship, I have fond memories of him. How can I hate the man who helped me in my darkest of times? I can't. I remember and honor the friend I knew. My memories of him are a lot different from everyone else's who paint him as a sick, vile person that should have been burned at the stake for his alleged crime.

Getting back to the guy in the interview, I don't know him, but throughout the three-hour interview he spoke of several of his friends, many of whom have tragically died through the years. This man has experienced a lot of horrific events in losing so many friends to car accidents, suicide, cancer, the list went on. These people meant the world to him, helped him out when they could. There was a fondness and appreciation for all of them. 

It makes me wonder if this guy, much like myself, has had a hard time reconciling the friend he knows vs. the friend who murdered a person. I'm sure he struggles with this and maybe in order for him to cope, he chooses to remember the good person he knew.  He clearly acknowledged that his friend did a horrible thing but the way he spoke indicated to me there was a lot of pain there. It hurt to talk about his friend in this way. 

The criticism of this guy has been harsh online and while my situation with my friend is no way close in comparison, I simply think the online community needs to show some understanding. A young woman was murdered, which is horrible, but I think the level of hate is a bit overboard. The part about his friend was a 5-minute part out of a three-hour interview which had so many inspiring moments. Mind you the interview was about this guy and his life, not his friend which is what everyone is focusing on.

He had so many challenges and yet somehow, worked through it all to have a very creative career and work with some amazing people. I doubt the online community will have any compassion for this guy or try and understand what he has gone through all these years. For me, I can't help but try and understand where he may be coming from based on my own life experiences.  I could be completely wrong in my thinking of the situation too. It's just another instance where I won't get answers to my questions.

Writing this all out and sharing with you has been helpful. My mood is a little better now and I don't feel the urge to cry so much anymore. I still feel down but I'm in a better place than I was over an hour ago.

Today I leave you with the Skylar Grey song, 'Falling Apart' which is how I felt at the start of this post.

Rock on!


Monday, April 11, 2022

When Darkness Walks with You

I have been on a rollercoaster of thoughts this past week which is no real surprise as my brain never really quiets down. I was subjected to another video at work about stress and trauma. I'm waiting for the video on depression and suicide to show up next. The video was 20 minutes long and the story told was one I've heard plenty of times.

The only part that resonated with me was about legacy giving. They mentioned in the video to do good work for another continues their legacy. I have heard of this as thoughtful giving too. This part in the video made me automatically think of my friend Sean who I honor every year since his passing.  In recent years, I have made an effort to acknowledge him when his death date rolls around. I donate or create something and pass it on.  I never knew what I was doing had an actual name, it was just me honoring him in my own way.

Another part of the video talked about making a gratitude list each day. I have read about it and tried it but was horrible at actually doing it. It was a struggle for me to think of things, even though I only needed three. In the work video, getting up out of bed was something they put on the gratitude list. I don't know about any of you but that felt like a cheat. It would rank right next to making brownies. Is brushing your teeth something to put on a gratitude list? I feel if you are going to do a gratitude list the items should be a little more substantial. They should move you, impact you on some level but that's just me. Perhaps, I am being too critical. 

As the week has gone on, thoughts have come and gone about my life with dysthymia. It's a dark place but there is light. I am a slice of Swiss cheese. There are holes where the light shines through. The beams of light that shine into the darkness give me brief moments of joy when they hit me just right. They are rare and depending on the size of the hole determines how long the joy might last.

There are so many ways I could describe my dysthymia. I can tell you what it's like but no description I give ever seems to be enough because there are so many ways to describe it. None of the descriptions I give are wrong, each and every one of them is accurate. 

My dysthymia is the passenger in the car I drive, it's the ship I sail into port, it's a boat that looks for the safety of a lighthouse, it's the train I ride, it's an entity all on its own, it's a darkened forest, a pit, a void, it's soggy, heavy coat I take off...I could go on. There are plenty of metaphors to describe it.

I started rewatching the TV show 'Dexter'. He mentions the dark passenger. It got me thinking that the passenger is always there. My dysthymia is always there. Sometimes it's prominent, it purposely lets me know it's there and other times I'm able to shoo it away for a bit of time.

When I was standing in my kitchen today, I felt like I wasn't alone, that someone was standing with me. There was no one else around and I realized what I was sensing was my dark companion. If anyone were to see me, they'd see only me and yet I was not by myself.  I have no idea if there is a term for this experience. It's certainly not the first time this has happened to me I am aware of the part of me that hides behind the mask of daily life. I know how to put on a smile and be chipper and fake it for the world when my internal world is heavy and dark. You don't know what's going on because I don't let you see it.

We all hide in some way and after listening to two of my favorite podcasts today (Hawk vs. Wolf and The Nine Club with Chris Roberts), watching some amazing new Jonny Giger clips and catching up on Battle at the Berrics 12 games of skate, the dark passenger left me alone.  Taking in everything I listened to and watched, I realized that I simply need to continue with my writing, keep sending out cards to my friends, to no longer hide the things I enjoy because the rest of the world thinks it's lame. I need to give myself permission to be - me. I realized too that just because Sean passed away in November, it doesn't mean I can't honor him during other times of the year. I can honor his legacy any time I want.

Be well everyone and enjoy the special treat today of two songs today. I hadn't heard either song until today so enjoy Daughtry's "Heavy Is The Crown" and Linkin Park "Breaking The Habit."

Rock on!


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Taking Time

Day three of my long weekend will come to a close soon. I took time off of work to take care of me. My brain needed the rest, I needed the rest. I was lazy to an extent. I did do some cleaning, cooked a pork roast in my slow cocker, did normal housekeeping duties which I have to admit - suck. I have no motivation to do much of anything so the fact I spent an hour doing any kind of cleaning was remarkable.

I did get outdoors and go for a nice walk which I hadn't done in months, I did spend time in front of my spirit cabinet, put on some Celtic music, lit a few candles and sat for a bit. I can't meditate to save my life because my brain does not shut off. The best I can do is lessen the chatter. 

I try to focus on the flame of the candle but after a while, my brain starts to rev up again. I figure less chatter is a reasonable ask of my brain. Not sure how I'd feel if it was silent. To be honest, I hate silence. I require music or the TV on in the background in order to function. Absolute silence makes me edgy. Give me tunes and I'm fine. 

I connected with a piece of music sung by Sheila Chandra - Lament of McCrimmon/Song of the Banshee from one of my Celtic compilation CDs. I hadn't listened to the CD for a number of years and forgot about the song. When the song came on, it resonated so deeply with me. Certain notes vibrated and it was good. I don't know if there is such a thing as musical cleanse, but it felt like I had one and rid myself of some yuck and felt a little more centered.

While my dysthymia does wreak havoc with me daily, there are moments where it takes a time out for me, even if only for 10 minutes or so. I can't say that during these moments I am suddenly filled with happiness. It doesn't work like that.  In these moments, I just am. I catch my breath before I hop back on the negativity train again. 

While I managed to go for a walk, clean up some clutter and do a bit of pseudo meditation, I did find music and videos that made me feel appreciative of things. I even felt a bit inspired to try something out with my video camera, an idea I've been tinkering with. If I can keep the motivation going or percolate with the idea more, it may see the light of day.

Taking time away from work to spend it on myself is always a good thing. My brain needs to switch gears from time to time, it just needs to turn off work mode and all the crap that comes with being in work mode. My brain enjoys lazy mode even. 

As part of being in lazy mode, I found a song from Greg Holden that got my foot tapping. I'm not overly familiar with his music but he did contribute music to the TV show - Sons of Anarchy which I had watched years ago. 

Take care, all and as usual...

Rock on!


Thursday, March 24, 2022

When The World Wants You to Hear a Message

There are days where the world is trying to get my attention. I may not see it on day one, so the world tries again. Today was not one of those days. The first message arrived during a meeting at work where a presentation was given on anxiety and stress. I listened but at the same time checked out. After the presentation, we were led through a YouTube guided meditation. We're still working remotely so I didn't have to worry about my co-workers seeing my giant eye roll. 

The reason I checked out is because it's information I've heard all before. I have my coping mechanisms. I have my ways to take care of me. By no means am I perfect at this, but I try. My brain does not shut off. It runs constantly. I know all about anxiety and stress. No matter what I know or do it doesn't magically make everything disappear. 

I know why I checked out on the presentation and the meditation because those tools don't work for me. The thing most people don't understand is that while a tool to cope worked one day, it doesn't mean it will work the next day, month, year. You have to adjust over time. Meditation, medication, yoga, walking and other tools don't work for everyone. I can't meditate the way you should. I have to do it in my own way, and it works for me. I wouldn't exactly call it meditation but I'm able to take the chatter in my head and redirect my thoughts elsewhere and slow it down. The other reason why I checked out of the meditation is because it's work and guided meditations feels like something you do after work, not during it. Not only that but I got shit to do, that's why it's called work.

The first message came at work, the second message from the world popped up when I accessed the YouTube app through my TV and one of the recommendations was a video by Jonny Giger (I'm all in on carpet laser flips)! The video was called 'Pro Skater Talks About His Anxiety Disorder". Naturally, I clicked and watched the 11-minute video of Jonny opening up and telling his story. He admitted that he tries to keep his personal life personal. Understandable. Not everything needs to be shared with the world. You have to keep some things to yourself. He felt it was time to share.

We all have stories to share, and those stories get told when we are ready to share. I didn't open up about my 7 suicide attempts and my depression until 13 years after my seventh attempt.  It was another two years before I learned I have dysthymia. Suicide is a tough subject and back then you simply didn't talk about it. You hid it. I dealt with everything by myself. I learned to hide it well. Opening up and telling your story takes strength from inside to do and an incredible amount of trust. When you open up you are extremely vulnerable, you run the risk of people abandoning you and the potential is there for far worse.

After Jonny's video, the next message arrived. It was a musical one. The world was surely messing with me today as a recommendation for "Unwell" a song from Matchbox Twenty came up. I admit I wasn't sure if I knew the song. I have heard of Matchbox Twenty but not familiar with their music.  I clicked on the song but did not recognize it until the chorus.

Indeed, I'm not crazy. I simply have dysthymia. 

One day we will all tell our stories without fear or shame. To those that have come forth, like Jonny - thank you. Your stories are important to share. Not only for yourself, but for those that have yet to come forth. 

Be well and take care of yourselves. And yes, Matchbox Twenty is the musical treat for today.

Rock on!


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Game of Bob & New Music

While the weather is slowly getting nicer, I very much hate the days we get rain. The barometric pressure before the rain comes changes and gives me headaches. As if my allergies weren't enough, I have to deal with this on top of it. I'll be happy when the weather is more consistent.

Weather does play a part in how I feel. When October comes and the days turn a little darker, and the skies stormy I get rather reflection and sad. The rain brings me down, the skies gray, it's depressing for me. There is beauty in it at times, but it does make me want to stay in bed.

Staying in bed is something I did this morning and it felt good. Too good really. I eventually did roll out of bed and took stock of my pile of books to read, the various craft projects I've started but haven't finished. The feeling of dread washing over me with the thought of going back to work tomorrow. I really don't want to go to work tomorrow. Thankfully, I have a couple of days off coming up soon.

I have a few ideas percolating for writing ideas and projects. I have more research to do and figure out if it's something worth pursuing. In digging around I found a Bob Burnquist video I had seen but not the version I found.  It put a smile on my face. Then again, watching Bob skate always does.  

I share with you a video called 'Game of Bob' where someone put the theme song to 'Game of Thrones' to Bob's skate video. I'm familiar with the song but have never watched the show. I know. I must be the only person who never has watched the show. 

Sometimes going down the YouTube rabbit hole can yield some interesting finds, especially when I'm looking for music. I found several artists that seemed promising in checking out further, so I made list.  I did find a band called Eluveitie who are a Swiss folk metal band. I found a song called 'De Ruef vo de Bärge" which I believe when translated means "Call of the Mountains". I did find the English version of the song but to be honest I like the Swiss-German version better. I can't understand a darn word and that's okay. You can still connect to a song without knowing the words. Obviously, knowing the words helps but I won't be singing in Swiss-German anytime soon. 

Be well, everyone and be a little adventurous and find new music, or videos on how to do something or click on something that has you interested. There are little gems everywhere if you look.

Rock on!


Saturday, March 12, 2022

Find Joy in the Little Things

Having dysthymia makes finding joy hard to do. You have a constant cloud of gloom over your head and as much as you try to find that ray of sunshine, some days it's just impossible to even get a glimpse. Lack of motivation, low energy and a mind that rolls wildly into a bad neighborhood.

The pandemic has taken a toll on me mentally and every day is an exhausting battle to not let myself slip into the darkest parts of myself. Dysthymia is always with me, lingering around me, waiting for the right time to jump me from behind and wrestle me to the ground. It is very tiring.

I feel cut off from the world in ways that I don't like. My creativity is blocked a bit and my ability to do nice things for people, to channel doing worthwhile things has been a challenge. I want to do something like support skateboarders.  Unfortunately, the way I want to help them seems to be out of reach. My pathways blocked.  It's like I'm knocking on doors, looking for a path to channel my want to help but the doors remained closed.

I mentioned Jonny Giger in my last post and want to support him but the path to support him in a way that I want, is not available. I want to contribute more than $5 to him. I can see the creativity and drive he has to make good content and share his love of skateboarding. It's in his videos that I am finding a bit of joy.  

His videos bring a smile, a giggle and sometimes a laugh. I find myself internally cheering for him when he lands a trick and even when he misses. I can't help but marvel in the way he works out a trick and puts everything together. At first glance, it may not seem impressive but when he puts the trick into slow motion, that's when the beauty of the trick comes alive. In a split second, the board will flip, his feet guiding it as he flies through the air and gently lands on his board to roll away.  It may be two minutes or maybe a whole video, but it's a welcome distraction to the negative thoughts in my head, a break from the feeling of dread and worthlessness that at times overpowers me.

Finding the little things that bring joy can make all the difference. We don't need giant massive things to bring us joy, the little things can do that.  Sometimes the little joys in life, leave the biggest mark on us.

I'm leaving you with a bit of joy from one of Jonny Giger's videos. He was working on the 'mystery flip' but took a break to share some skating at the park.  My favorite part is at the seven-minute mark. It's conveniently in slow motion. The way he gets into the trick is darn impressive to me and I don't even skate!

If you are struggling, I hope you find something that brings you joy, no matter how little it is. I discovered a guitar player while going down the YouTube rabbit hole and thought I'd share him with you. His name is Estas Tonne and the song is called "Perception". This song would be great to skate to - I think. Funny thing about this video, it was filmed in Zurich, Switzerland!  

Rock on!


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Resilience & Perseverance

Having dysthymia can be a pain in the butt. Some days it's hard to stay motivated but I manage to find a way. I manage to find ways to keep going, to move forward even when it may seem I'm standing still. The last few years have been very hard. I've managed to find ways to cope even when I think I can't.

I have been told I am resilient multiple times because I am ever working on myself and understanding my dysthymia. I work on using the tools I have or discovering ones I didn't know I had. That was the case of my revelation about skateboarding. When I was at my lowest point during the pandemic, on the verge of a mental break, my mind dug deep, and skateboarding came to the forefront. Along with skateboarding came BMX and FMX but skateboarding has stuck around. My mind dug deep and found something that brought me joy.

Skateboarders are a good reminder about having resilience and perseverance with things. Watching a skateboarder try a trick over and over, maybe trying for hours, days or weeks. They bail but get right back up and try again. The cycle keeps going. 

When I find myself in moments of giving up on something, I think about how skateboarders keep trying. I know it may sound odd to hear that but it's true. It's not just what a skateboarder does, the skater themselves play a role in it too.  There is artistry, athleticism, beauty and creativity. So many things come out of skateboarding and watching a skater.  

I realized that I'm drawn to certain skaters because there is something about them and the way they skate that speaks to me on a deeper level. It's the same thing I have with guitar players. They play the guitar in such a way that it speaks to a deeper part of me. I simply understand and connect.

I like when I find new skaters that I may not be familiar with or heard of, such is the case with Jonny Giger from Switzerland. I have no idea how I discovered Jonny and am a little late to the party because he's been skating for a long time.  He started his YouTube channel back in 2011, so yeah, I'm way late to the party but I'm glad I found it!

He's removed the mystery around learning tricks, showing the viewer that it can take hours or days to learn a trick. It makes me appreciate skateboarding even more. It's not that I was clueless to the amount of work that goes into learning a trick, I think it makes me appreciate all the skaters I like even more. Watching Jonny show try after try, sometimes upwards of 800 attempts or more is a great reminder to keep at something, to not give up which circles back to my dysthymia.

Let's be honest, having chronic depression sucks and finding motivation to keep at something can be painfully hard. A simple task like vacuuming my living room can be extremely daunting. It takes all of 5 minutes but getting myself to do it can be a battle.

If you've made it this far in my rambling, I suggest you check out anyone of Jonny's videos where he's learning a trick. When you feel you need a kick in the pants to keep going, watching one of his videos should do the trick or maybe it won't. It happens. I'm glad that I discovered Jonny because he's now on my list of favorite skaters. 

As a side bonus, I found a piece of music from an artist I didn't know about called LostBrother. I haven't started diving into the artist yet, but the one piece of music Jonny used in a video, was really cool. It made me think of Joe Bonamassa with a bit of Johnny Cash and Gary Moore to it. It's got nice tone and the vibe is awesome. Perfect for a skateboard video.

Enjoy LostBrother's "Jonny Giger's Flatground Track". Yes, that's the name of the track! It's the same song used in Jonny's Giger's Flatground Project video which I have posted below.

Rock on!


Sunday, January 30, 2022

A New Year, Where Are We Going?

A new year is here. I have been lax in writing the past few months as things got busy. Plus, my dysthymia was kicking me pretty good in November and into December while I worked on NaNoWriMo.  I did complete NaNoWriMo. The streak in still alive in meeting the 50,000-word goal in 30 days.  I have decided that once I hit 1 million words, I'll stop doing it. 

I was going through my music collection and found a Hal Ketcham CD.  When I worked as a radio announcer for a country music station fresh out of college, I learned about him. I put the CD on and for whatever reason when "Stay Forever" came on I thought of myself when I was in college and then thought of Sean. It's an odd association because nothing from my days playing country music after college was ever linked to anyone I went to college with.  

If anything, when it comes to song association, especially with Sean, it's a Pink Floyd song that admittedly, was not his song or mine during our college years. The association came after college, it came after I learned of his passing. When I hear "Wish You Were Here", I think of Sean. The think is, Pink Floyd was not a band he'd listen to. They were more in my wheelhouse than his.  

My music collection has been slowly growing.  I hope that I expand it and find new artists this coming year. Last year, I didn't buy a whole lot.  As the new year is here, I don't know what lies ahead.  I didn't make any resolutions. I think that was smart on my part after listening to my friends say they bought a $900/year gym membership and have gone only once.  Yikes!

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't make a resolution like that even though I could use a visit to the gym. I'll wait for the nice weather instead.

Take care everyone.  Enjoy, Pink Floyd, well technically, David Gilmour. 

Rock on!