Community

Since I have a boring job and abundant free time, I do a lot of thinking. Recently, I came to the conclusion that a sense of community is so important to your mental health.

I work at a townie liquor store that is visited by a vast assortment of blue collar workers, hipsters, and outlaw bikers who open-carry firearms and have “cop killer” face tattoos. These people, as different as they may seem, all have one thing in common: where they’re from. They all support their community, and the people in it. I’ve had multiple people drop me off food, or slide me some reefer, or coffee, or offer to give me job references, or just shoot the shit with me to pass the time. They all interact with each other, and offer to help each other as needed. I think that’s so neccessary in a world where I can look at YouTube videos of people rioting and killing each other. I have a sick fascination with comment sections: I like to see humanity at its most base. Years of reading hateful comments and watching people get killed on camera have probably made me the jaded asshole I am today, but recently I’ve started to think that I might’ve been wrong. I spend too much time absorbing content online, and not enough time talking to real people.

I get why Stan communities form. Everyone wants to feel like they belong. Everyone wants to feel like their voice matters, even when it doesn’t. The problem with these online communities is that they’re so disconnected from real people and real life that they forget how real life works. If the people who troll Instagram models tried that shit with the bartender at the biker bar down the street, that person would be shot before they finished patting themselves on the back for being “edgy”. That same person would be a hero in their community.

Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve never belonged anywhere, but I’m surprised on the effect that being part of a community has on me. I offered to help one of my customers do his taxes because he was stressed out about making money in a foreign country, and when I told him that that’s just a quick Foreign Income Exclusion form, he was so thankful, I could literally see the weight lifted off his shoulders. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know I hate people, so this was a surprising revelation for me. I’m not used to feeling good, and helping this guy made me feel good for a change. That same guy came in a few days ago, saw that I needed a coffee, bought me my favorite Italian roast blend from the hipster shop down the street, and when I tried to pay him, he refused. I’m really not used to that kind of thing, so at first I felt awkward, and that turned to anger for a brief moment, but that anger quickly dissipated and turned into gratitude.

I think that most of the people who are involved with these radical movements are just looking for a community to accept them. Sure, they may be awful pieces of shit who deserve to be alone, but deep down, they just want to belong somewhere, and I understand that now. This might seem like an obvious observation of the human experience, but fuck off, I’m still learning how to be a person.

Just One of Those Days

I’ve taken a bit of a break from writing recently because I don’t think I have anything interesting left to say. I still feel that way, but that’s probably because my brain doesn’t work right, and has taken a beating from 17 years of microdosing amphetamines in the name of “treatment” This is just my way of trying to communicate better, because I’ve heard that I’m not great at that.

I feel numb most of the time. I’ve been more active in my investments lately. Recently, I made more than a weeks pay in one day, and the shitty part is: I didn’t feel anything. I just looked at other investment opportunities, and went about my day like nothing happened. What the fuck is so wrong with me that I can’t take even a minute to feel any pride in my accomplishments?

I tell myself “It’s just one of those days, it’ll be over soon, and I’ll wake up tomorrow and feel different.” It works, for the most part, but I still feel like I’ve peaked, and that my life will only get worse from here on. Objectively, I know I’m smart, that I’ve achieved things that matter, but there’s also this nagging part of my brain that looks deeper into things and realizes that no matter how much I talk myself up, I won’t ever really feel like I deserve the things I’ve been given, even if I do. Maybe that’s why I feel the need to work myself to death in order to prove to myself that I’m worthy of the life I live.

The Real World

Now that we’ve given up on the whole “pandemic” thing, I’m really not ready to go back to the way things were. I liked the way things were in March 2020: I had time off for the first time in years, I had an excuse to not talk to people or leave my house, I had the greatest gift of all: time.

Now that all that is over, I miss not having people come up to me in public and asking me questions about shit I don’t care about. No, I don’t want to sign your petition. No, I don’t want to donate to your fundraiser that definitely isn’t just an upper-class way to beg for money. No, I don’t care that you’ve seen me in other places and want to talk to me about them. I enjoyed being a crotchety old man that didn’t engage with anyone, and it’s a shame to see that stop being acceptable.

I work at a dusty liquor store that closes late, so I’ve met some interesting people, to say the least. Compared to Dunks, this place is a much better work environment, but the customers are much crazier. I had a guy come in and trap me in a conversation about how much he hates dogs, and how he would kill one if it came close to him. What do you even say to that? “Word, I definitely feel that killing a dog that just wants to love you is a rational response.” People like that are why I want the ‘Rona to finish what it started. I guarantee that guy isn’t vaccinated.

A New Leaf

I’m not the same man I was in 2020: I’m not 2 bad days away from sticking a shotgun in my mouth, I’m eating healthy, I’m kinda sober, and I’m a morning person now, it’s crazy.

I had a good week for the first time in forever. It was crazy, everything seemed to work out for me. I got a 91 on my accounting midterm, I bodied my Fed Tax test, and I finally felt comfortable at work. Everything seemed to work out.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to let people know that I’m ok, but I also feel the need to record the fact that for a brief moment in time, everything didn’t suck, and that all the times I told myself “It’ll get better” weren’t just lies I had to tell myself to keep existing.

I’ve been making music lately. Not anything I’d ever share, but it’s something that started to allow me to express myself through another medium, which I think is super important. I really hate that feeling where you have all this creative energy, and no outlet to remove it, and that usually ends up manifesting in more destructive ways. I don’t know how often I’ll be back because I really don’t have anything else to say, but if I do, you’ll know.

Tears of a Clown

It’s kind of wild to watch yourself lose control. It’s like being trapped in a sound-proof glass box while someone else controls your body; you see yourself say and do all these things that you hate, and no matter how hard you punch and kick and yell at the box, you can’t break out of it and stop yourself.

I haven’t worn pants since Sunday. I haven’t eaten much, and I definitely haven’t gone outside. Sometimes I don’t do anything but sit in bed and stare at the wall, hoping that I’ll fall asleep, and that today will be over.

It’s getting worse. Usually I can fight it off, but I’m getting tired now. I know that I should stop drinking, that I should find a job, that I should work out like I used to, that I should reach out to my friends and see if they’re okay, even if I’m not. I know I should do all of these things, but I can’t for some reason. It’s like my car is out of gas, and the nearest gas station is 20 miles away, and I’ve got to crawl there.

I really just want to pretend I’m okay. My mom told me the other day that she feels pain when I’m hurt, even from small things. I don’t have the heart to hurt her by telling her how miserable I am. My parents are amazing, they’ve given me every advantage they could, they’ve loved me even though I’ve been a piece of shit, and they deserve to live the rest of their lives in happiness.

I want to be better. I want to make my family and friends proud, but I don’t know if I can. My friends haven’t noticed that I’m slowly losing my mind, but I’ve worked very hard to keep it that way. I don’t want them to worry about me, and I definitely don’t want them to tell my parents, there’s already enough pain in the world today, I don’t want to add any more to it.

Today, I Wrote About Nothing

I haven’t been posting for a while for a very simple reason: I don’t have anything left to say.

There are thousands and thousands of people who do exactly what I do, and I have enough self-awareness to realize that bitching about my problems on the internet isn’t a good look, so I’ve backed off a bit recently.

What the fuck have I even said here? I’ve had maybe 3 good ideas in the last half-decade, and one of them is already being done by people more capable than I am.

I’m trying to be more honest with people, which is hard because I’m kind of a piece of shit. I don’t really understand the whole “personal boundaries” thing, so I’ll make a really awful joke that I think is funny, but in reality, I would get the shit smacked out of me if I were anyone else. It’s hard to judge the situations where I can just be wild sarcastic and move on, and the situations where I need to actually be nice to this person so that I don’t make things worse for myself. I wonder what my life would be like if I could actually maintain relationships, and wasn’t terrified of the outside world.

This is starting to get all boo-hooey and gross, so I’ll just end it here.

Mental Tripwire

Every once in awhile, I have a moment of profound clarity, or so I think. I realized that two words I wrote while taking the Browns to the Superbowl may have been the smartest thing I’ve written on this page. I’m refering to my previous post, where I say that money isn’t the root of all evil, fear is. Those last two words, seemingly plucked from thin air while taking an egregious bowel movement, have been running through my head all day.

Fear is the root of all evil, but it’s also the root of all sadness, guilt, and insecurity. Fear makes you think that you’re not good enough, and then bombards you with reasons to believe it. If fear was a person, it would be Grima Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings.

“Your friends don’t really like you, they just feel bad for you.”

Fear changes people. It makes them think the worst of other people, and themselves. It makes you think that everything you’ve worked for is a second away from shattering and leaving you with nothing. That power makes people do terrible things. I’m trying to be more empathetic, so whenever I see someone who can be considered evil, I just picture a cornered animal- terrified, hurt, with nothing to lose. I know some people are just dicks, or think they are on the right side of history, or whatever, but I think most evil people are just scared.

If the personification of my fear was right in front of me, I’d beat the brakes off of that smarmy bastard. Fear has robbed me of so many things; potential jobs, relationships, friends, hobbies, my self-confidence, and it probably contributes to the deep pit of depression I have to crawl out of every day. I’ve definitely succumbed to it, and as much as I hate to admit it, it has definitely changed me as a person. I used to like meeting new people. I used to be fearless and talk to pretty girls way out of my league at bars. I used to not white-knuckle the steering wheel whenever I drove. All of that is gone now, and I have fear to thank for it. Thanks a lot, asshole.

I don’t know how to overcome my fear, it’s like I’m at Helm’s Deep looking at the army of Isengard creeping closer, and I know that it will overwhelm me and kill everything I love. I just finished watching the Extended Edition, so I’m probably going to throw in a lot of Lord of the Rings references for the next few weeks.

I know that there is medication that can clear up whatever fear I have, but the more I research these medications, the more I realize that 1) benzodiazepines are awful, and I’d rather not take them, 2) I’m crazy, but I might not be crazy enough to need (additional) medication and 3) Xanax is for Golf Moms and SoundCloud rappers, and I am neither. I guess I’m going to have to nut up and make a concentrated effort to change, which is funny because I have ADHD, and can barely concentrate on anything.

Fuck The Civil War

First of all, fuck all of those HeHaw Outlaw assholes who are trying to intimidate people who don’t think the same way they do. We used to go to war with dipshits like them, but now there are GoFundMe’s supporting them. Now, I’m not that smart, but even I can see that these mullets with assault rifles would get fucking slaughtered by actual soldiers who can run a mile without having to lay down after.

Personally, I don’t know if I could pull the trigger on a fellow countryman. I may want to pistol whip you, and knock the stupid out of you, but I think putting a bullet between your eyes isn’t the way to go. I have complete faith in my countrymen, I really don’t think we’re all that different when it comes down to it. I keep reading the comments on news articles, and it’s shocking to see the awful, disgusting opinions of the people who comment. I really think they must be horribly depressed individuals who’s only joy in life is to piss off as many people as possible in order to get that fleeting dopamine kick that keeps them from hanging themselves. I know I have the urge to piss people off from time to time, usually when I’m having one of those days where I’m desperate to feel anything, regardless of the effect it has on others.

I’m trying to be more positive and hopeful, and to make some changes in my life. It’s a huge pain in the ass. It’s not fun to look inside yourself, and hate what you see, but it does give you some motivation to better yourself. I hope that after the whole ‘Rona crisis is over, more people snap out of their bullshit and realize that they have to change their ways if they want to be happy. Or maybe they won’t.

Limbo

There is something special about the time between 12 and 4am. It’s like the world stands still, and everything is in limbo. I get my best work done during this time, I don’t know what it is about limbo, but it crystallizes my thoughts, and gives me a different perspective on life. Since the ‘Rona struck, I’ve been staying in my house and trying to ignore the constant suffering that seems to have bled into every aspect of life in 2020. At first, I thought that I would adapt, and thrive, but that isn’t the case anymore.

In order to keep from losing my mind even more, I’ve started looking for ways to get out of my head, which for the front half of the year meant mixing bourbon with more bourbon, and writing whatever came to mind. This worked for awhile, but like all things, the usefulness faded over time until I looked at that fucking blinking pixel I hate so much, and had nothing to say. As the weather got warmer, and my insomnia got worse, I needed to find ways to tire myself out. This is where I discovered limbo. It all started one night when I was having one of those days that turn into one of those nights, that turn into that delightful feeling where you stare at the clock at 3am and count down the hours, minutes, and seconds before you have to wake up and be a person again. Obviously, my ” Go to Sleep” cocktail of 20mg of melatonin, a 100mg edible, 6oz of Eagle Rare, and a Zzzquil wasn’t working. At around 3:30, I had an idea: get up and go for a jog. Now, since it was the dead of night, and I’m a degenerate, I figured it’d be fun to roll a joint for my jog, so I did, and after a half-mile and a gram, my eyes started to feel the much-needed embrace of sleep.

This went on for a few days in a row, until I realized that while I was trying to beat my brain into submission, some interesting things came out. First and foremost, I had to make a playlist that encapsulates how I felt, because life is so much better with a soundtrack. After making a 4-hour long “‘Rona Radio” playlist, I started thinking about why people are afraid of the dark. I think it’s because they are afraid of what’s out there, and as I walked around my safe upper-middle class neighborhood, I started thinking about how many people are ruled by the fear of the unknown. I know I definitely am, but the more I walk around at night, surrounded by bears and coyotes and God knows what else, I started to become less afraid. After a few more weeks of nightly walks, I became more comfortable walking around at night than during the day.

As quarantine continued, I started to look forward to these night walks, they were a stable, crystallizing moment of my day where I could think clearly for a change. I think there is something beautiful about night time: it’s incredibly peaceful to be able to walk around by myself and not be bothered by anyone, to have complete silence in a world where everything is so loud all the time.

I’ve been thinking about why this time is so special to me, and I think I can finally put it into words: this is where time stands still. Since most people are asleep, it seems like time freezes, which gives me time to stop and think. I need that now more than ever, and since I’ve had crazy bad sleep problems for a long time, I’m already up, so it fits together very nicely.

On Escaping

I’ve always been obsessed with escaping life. I don’t think I’m built to handle this world, so I look for ways to make it more tolerable. I like to think that I can exist without society, but deep down, I know that’s bullshit. I need all the distractions, but I can definitely live without all the people involved with those distractions. Unfortunately, they’re kind of a package deal, so I’m stuck dealing with them.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’ve recently gotten back on my meds, and that life is starting to turn around for me, albeit in the slightest sense of the word. I’m still struggling to keep it together though, I feel like I’m trapped in a box, and that there is no escape, so why bother trying? I think that escapism is common in people with ADHD; for the most part, they are outsiders looking in, and after a while, that shit gets old, so it’s easier to avoid society all together. I know that I’m not built to live in conjunction with neurotypicals, as much as I desperately want to.

This is where escapism comes in: I know that I’m weird, I know that I don’t fit in, I know that people talk shit about me behind my back. I couldn’t care less about that though, being weird makes me stick out from all these boring-“I’m just trying to live my best life”- looking-ass people. My “best life” isn’t my best life: it’s hard work and discipline, it’s saying “no” to getting blitzed and watching Family Feud on a Tuesday night, because I have Analytics homework, and the professor was rude to me, so I have to get an “A” in the class to show my professor that they were wrong in thinking that I’m a moron, because I have a huge ego. This is one of my many glaring character flaws: I’m incredibly competitive, and will throw everything I’ve got at anyone I deem an opponent. Due to this wonderful personality quirk, I tend to focus my energy on things that aren’t productive uses of my time. For example, I used to run track in high school, and one of the coaches criticized my start off the blocks, so I spent hours making sure my start was perfect, just so I could shove it in their face. I know I’m petty, and vindictive, and whole bunch of other shitty things, which is why I try to escape that as much as possible.

I feel like one of those anime characters that goes off into the forest for years to hone their skills, but instead of becoming a stronger ninja or whatever, I just get more awkward, and I lose whatever social skills I had before. I idolize people like Justin Vernon, Henry David Thoreau, Kevin Parker, Prince, Mac Miller, and (sadly) Kanye West because they exhibit everything I’ve ever wanted out of the creative process: I want to be able to create no matter what, I don’t want anyone else fucking up my vibes and ruining my work by telling me what to do. Does that make me selfish? Fuck yes it does. I’m trying to make more personal content, because I want to be able to let people into my mind, but it’s super hard when I realize that someday someone I know might discover this blog, or I might get drunk and send a link to one of my friends because I wrote something I’m proud of, and feel the need to brag about it.

Truthfully, I’m terrified that someone I know will read this blog, I’ve been more honest here than I have anywhere else, mostly because shouting at the void is much better than shouting at people who say they care about you. I desperately want to separate my writing from myself, but I don’t know how. It’s much harder to lie in my writing, mostly because I think that writing is the purest form of communication between myself and my fucked up brain. Part of me thinks that I want to make good content that people connect to, but I know that’s not true.