Due to contractual obligations, I have to try and keep these blog posts at least weekly, so here I am. And what does a person talk about in blog posts? I dunno, a variety of items, I imagine, including personal “journal” entries. So I’m going to spend this entry talking about some experiences regarding the past 5 years, and my continuing up and down battle with depression. Seems a fitting a post as any, considering we’re on the verge of New Year 2022, which is rather unbelievable. Also, I’ve been listening to the new Tori Amos album OCEAN TO OCEAN, if that means anything.
Five years prior comes hot off the heels of a devastating break-up of a relationship that had lasted 5 years. This coincided with my decision to close the business I had been running over the past few years as well, due to the fact my heart wasn’t in it anymore. So I lost the business that I loved, and the woman that I loved, over the course of 2015/16. Time eventually showed me, both were for the best. No regrets, though it was an immensely painful experience.
Found a new job doing clerical work, 3rd shift, it was OK and lasted for a couple of years. Things were far from perfect, but I was keeping busy with work and making art and performing with a couple area bands and musician friends. Drinking too much? Why, yes! And then it all ended, as things often do, and I found myself between jobs, with no band-mates or friends, and still single in 2018. There were a couple of short term relationships which ended as abruptly as they began, but I really wasn’t looking for anything anymore in terms of romance.
And then it found me. A girl half my age that was somehow infatuated through social media, and through flattery (and the fact that her parents liked me) she convinced me to move with her out of state, start a new life, and get engaged. I knew it was a stupid decision, but the possibilities were too enticing to ignore, and I knew it was probably a once in a lifetime experience. So I, over the course of months, moved all of my belongings to be with her and her family in St. Louis. It was fun while it lasted, though exhausting.
Then, things started turning rotten, as they always seem apt to do. Got a job which was physically killing me with 12+ hour shifts and 48 hour weeks, literally almost broke my back in a work accident, and the young lady I was with completely shifted her bi-polar personality at the drop of a dime. The warning signs were there from the start, and I came to find out that it was all a classic and textbook case of sociopathic narcissism. I was in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship for the first time in my life. It was the first, and last time, I’ll ever be engaged. Again, it ended for the best, and I wish her the best.
In any other situation, I wouldn’t have allowed it to hurt me (or to even happen in the first place), but due to the fact that I was in a “new life”, 500 miles away from “home” and having to deal with not only her, but her entire family, I found myself in a very sticky situation to say the least. The writing was on the wall, so I rented a Uhaul, packed up all my shit (and my cats) and moved back to Indianapolis on April Fool’s Day, 2019. I moved back in with my parents hoping it a temporary situation, but my father was ill. He had just been given 6 months to live.
Within six weeks of me moving back to the city, my father died in our home, suddenly, and in our arms. I was close to my father, and it’s something that still haunts me, though his health had been deteriorating for at least a decade. I was working a shitty and somewhat degrading job that didn’t pay anything, and my level of depression flared up greater than at any other time previously in my life. The kind of depression and thoughts that actually start to scare you. The car died. Was then jobless and without transportation for last half of 2019. Did I mention I was also dealing with an incredibly painful wisdom tooth that needed removed during this entire period?
So yes, I was in a very bad place. Looking for work, a neighbor recommended a place just right up the street and within walking distance. It took more than a month to get the background check finished up etc etc, but in February of 2020 I found myself employed in a position with the best pay and benefits of my entire life. I felt very blessed and this seemed to be a turning point of positive things finally coming my way.
And then Covid hit. And while I was thankful for employment, it quickly became a factor of daily temperature checks, mandatory masks for 8+ hour shifts, and constant reminders to wash our hands and keep our distance from coworkers because we were all deadly infectious. Not to mention the weekly emails reminding us of how terrible Covid is, and coworkers who just could not shut up about their rather extreme political beliefs and how scary Covid was. Covid and political division made what might have otherwise been a good job, turn into a bit of a prison atmosphere, with inmates who were running the asylum. I could have remained unemployed during this period and made almost the same amount of money.
So, as an “essential worker”, I tried to make the best of it and focused on building up a Facebook group that was trying to expose all the bullshit that was going on, and ask questions. It was politically neutral and didn’t support either candidate, and over the course of 2020 the page hit 10,000 likes. Then, on my birthday in 2021, no less, Facebook unpublished the page out of what they deemed to be “repeat community standard violations”, even though the “violations” were complete bullshit. So, while I know it’s only a stupid Facebook page, it seemed like everything I had worked toward in 2020, on a creative front of self expression, was just deleted for no reason, as I got a 3 month ban from posting.
So what did I do in retaliation? I started 3 new websites and a new podcast which can’t be banned, or deleted, as well as 2 new social media pages. And still employed, these websites and the podcast is what I’ve been focused on in 2021. Yet, over the course of this year, I’ve grown to hate my job and feel trapped. I am thankful for the financial opportunity it has provided over the past couple of years, but there is nowhere for me to go in this position, and my physical and mental health is deteriorating not only as a result of the job, but of reality in general. The constant bombardment of bullshit, corporate culture, and the feeling that everything you do means absolutely nothing.
So I find myself somewhat miserable in my job situation, and somewhat miserable in my creative life, and those are two things which definitely should not be added together. Complete and total frustration, not to the point of giving up, but definitely to the point of reevaluating not only my work situation, but life in general. And doing it all completely and utterly alone. While I love my seven cats, they aren’t necessarily good when it comes to communication. They don’t know how to speak English and I only know a few words of cat.
I’m thankful, I’m blessed, but I’m also severely depressed, anxious, and frustrated. The past 5 years kinda feels like getting kicked repeatedly in the balls, while still having to pretend to be a normal human being in order to keep a job or fit into any social situation. Everything I do, just feels like I’m talking to myself and only educating myself through research and articles and podcasts, etc. And that’s fine, and that’s good. But it’s also frustrating as shit. A whole lot of work, for little reward. And let the Bigfoot kicks to the nut-sack continue.
Was there a point to this blog post? Not really, as I stated, I am contractually obligated to post at least once a week from now on. On this day of thanks, I guess the point is, you can be both thankful for your job and hate your job. And be thankful for your life, but hate this human reality. You can be glad that you are engaging in creative efforts, but also see how utterly pointless it all seems. Will I keep pushing forward? Yes. But I’m at a complete and total reevaluation of what the fuck it is I’m actually doing with my life. Anyone who thinks they have it all figured out are either liars, or scoundrels, or both.
Day at a time...