Content Warning!

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

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!