Another Year Older, But Not A Second Wiser

As I sit here being a stereotypical writer in my local Starbucks while I enjoy my free birthday drink as I agonize over every word, my mind wanders over the last year.

A cherry mocha frap with an extra shot if you’re wondering.

It’s been a weird year for sure. It seems like it flew by, but at the same time, it seemed to drag on forever. While Shannon has been furiously working toward finishing her master’s degree, I’ve done absolutely nothing. 

The fact that I’ve long struggled with my mental health is no secret. For years I’ve been adamant that while I struggle with anxiety, I am not depressed. Every time I would ask my doctor for something to take the edge off of my anxiety, he has tried prescribing me antidepressants. I would argue, sometimes angrily that I’m not depressed, just anxious.

Well folks. After getting absolutely nothing productive done over the last year, I decided it was finally time to face facts. My name is Justin, and I suffer from depression. 

Now I want to make one thing perfectly clear. When I say I suffer from depression, I do not have suicidal thoughts or anything like that. I haven’t had one of those since high-school. Even then, I think they were more environmentally motivated than a result of my depression.

My form of depression was much more subtle. I would wake up in the afternoon (night shift worker) and sit there doing absolutely nothing until it was time to go to work where, again, I would do absolutely nothing. Luckily, my job doesn’t require much of me beyond being there and awake. Still, the whole point of taking this job was to give me time to write. Instead, I would sit in front of my computer browsing the internet and watching Netflix on my phone until it was time to go home. 

Other days, I would feel the overwhelming urge to cry for no reason. I would just be sitting there in my usual stupor when suddenly I would feel the tears welling up for absolutely no reason. I wasn’t thinking about anything particularly sad. It was just raw emotion welling up inside me. When this would happen, an inner voice would tell me it’s because I hadn’t written anything in months.

Still, I would sit there telling myself to go write something with absolutely no motivation to actually do so.

Worst of all, it was starting to effect my relationship. I found myself getting irritable for absolutely no reason. I found myself lying about how much writing I’d gotten done out of shame and embarrassment. Shannon has always been so supportive of my writing and I felt like I was letting her down.  

I finally decided it was time to do something about it. At the beginning of this year, I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss options and I’m proud to say that I think I’m finally on my way to recovery.

Now I’m not going to try to claim I’ve completely kicked my problem, but I’m at the point where the new meds should be taking full effect and every day, I feel a bit more motivated.

Forget the video I did at the beginning of the year. I’m considering today the start of my personal new year and for once, I’m feeling positive about it. I can’t promise I’ll start blogging regularly, but I’ll hopefully see you again soon. Wish me luck.

P.S. Since I just turned 42, I’m still waiting for the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything.

Nothing yet.

Fiction Friday: The Mongers, Part 4. Now On Patreon

Part 4 is now on my Patreon page. It’s only a dollar for the whole month. Check it out here.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/21424192

Or wait a week, and I’ll post it here. I could really use the support.

Sorry. No Posts This Week

Hey guys. I’m really sorry about this, but I’ve already missed What’s Up Wednesday. There won’t be a Flash Fiction Friday either. I have a pinched nerve in my back and I’m having trouble concentrating on anything but the pain. Hopefully I’ll be back to work next week. Send your healing energy my way. I really need it.

Not Another Lame New Year’s Resolution

First things first. As the title says, this isn’t some lame new year’s resolution I have no intention of keeping. I don’t believe in them. The timing is purely coincidental. Consider this my letter of intent.

I have failed you. I haven’t written much since early October. For once I at least have a good reason. At the beginning of October, I took a trip back to my home state of California. Ostensibly, to visit friends and family. But I had a higher purpose. I wanted to bathe myself in my beloved Pacific Ocean and let it recharge me. As for that part, it was a successful mission. I felt refreshed and ready to take on the world. Sadly, all that energy was soon taken from me as my appendix chose that moment to burst and put me in the hospital. Then came the complications which I won’t go into.

I’m not going to lie to you and claim I couldn’t do any writing because of it. I did write some. Unfortunately, I just didn’t really feel up to doing much other than recuperating and wallowing in self pity and worry over medical bills as I fought my way through the infection.

By the time I did feel somewhat back to normal, we were well into the holiday season and I let my old friend procrastination talk me into putting off any writing until after the holidays. Now that the holiday season is over, (No, I don’t count New Year’s Eve.) I have run out of excuses. It’s time to get back to work. It’s time to turn this hobby into a real career.

That being said, here is my pledge. First and foremost, I will write every day. This includes weekends. Some days it may not be much, but I will write at least some. Secondly, I will update this blog on a regular basis. I haven’t decided how often just yet. It probably won’t be daily. Truth be told, I just don’t have that much to talk about on a daily basis. It will probably be weekly or perhaps twice a week. Of course, if I have something to talk about I might post an occasional bonus update. Lastly, I am hoping to occasionally put up some free short fiction. I have come to realize that although I tell you I am a writer, most of you have never read anything I have written other than this blog.

Now I want to ask you for a favor. I need you to keep me honest. If you notice I haven’t posted anything new for quite some time, please call me on it. Sometimes I need someone to crack the whip on me.

Image

Which One Of You Did It?

Okay, confess. Which one of you did it? Who was it? Who put the jinx on me? Over the weekend the heater in my house went out, then the heater in my mother’s house went out, then the heater in my car went out. Now my refrigerator is making funny noises. I know things break but come on, all at once?

Other than everything I own falling apart around my ears, things have been good. Writing is, well, progressing. Still haven’t come up with an idea for a screenplay yet. Let me rephrase that. Haven’t come up with a GOOD idea for a screenplay. At least nothing that hasn’t been done a million times before. I’m working on a short. Once it’s done I have to decide whether to try to publish it or put it up here. I know I’ve been promising you original stuff for a long time now. What do you think?

Image

Oh Magoo, You’ve Done It Again

Yes, this is what you think it is, another apology post. I know I said I planned to update at least five times a day. Unfortunately the really real meatspace world must take precedent from time to time.

I won’t bother with excuses. Yes, things have been hectic lately but there’s no reason I couldn’t have taken a few minutes out of my life to shoot a quick hello to my loyal readers. The truth is, I’ve just been lazy lately. This is my first step toward recovery. So whaddya say? Forgive me?

In other news, I’m tinkering with yet another new writing project. Well, I guess you could say I’m in the pre-tinkering phase. It’s been years since I’ve done it, but I used to love writing screenplays. I wasn’t ever much good at them but I had fun with them and isn’t what life is all about? I don’t have a story in mind yet, but I picked up the latest edition of Final Draft and am currently playing with it. 

No, I’m not giving up the novel or the short stories I keep promising you and not delivering. I will still be working on them, this is just another thing I want to do. Blame it on an undiagnosed case of ADD. Notice I left the H out of that. Nobody could ever accuse me of being hyperactive. Hopefully I can find a way to divide my time between all my projects and more importantly, keep myself from getting confused as to which character belongs in which story. 

Anyway, that’s all for today. Hopefully I won’t be lazy tomorrow and will talk to you again then.

Image

Thoughts On The Oscars

I love the Academy Awards. Every year it’s the one awards show I absolutely have to watch. I watch others but the Oscars are my Superbowl. Maybe it’s because I still have hope of someday standing on that stage and accepting an award for best original screenplay. There was a time when I was all set to move to Hollywood to write screenplays with an eye toward monster making as a fallback. Unfortunately, as John Lennon sang; “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Overall, I thought Seth MacFarlane did a wonderful job as host. I did feel the “We saw your boobs” bit was a bit much. Don’t get me wrong, I know that’s his style of humor and I usually enjoy it. In fact, I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me laugh. However, and I know this probably makes me sound like a prude, it just felt out of place at an event like the Oscars. I have always felt the Oscars were a somewhat classy event. We are bombarded with toilet humor everywhere else. Can we just have one event where we keep things classy? I know Mr. MacFarlane is capable of being classy and actually quite enjoyed his other numbers. Overall I liked him and hope he returns next year with just a bit of polish.

As for the winners, I must admit I can’t speak much to that. Truth be told, I was rooting for one film to take everything but I can’t complain too much considering that rather than see any others, I went to see Les Miserables three times. What can I say, I’m a straight man that loves musical theater. I grew up in a theater family and while I haven’t had the opportunity to see this particular play on stage, I thought it was done very well.

And now, I’m probably going to offend some of you. I was very disappointed at the best picture award. Again, I’m not talking about the winner. Argo may be a great movie and I look forward to seeing it on video. What disappointed me was the appearance of Michelle Obama to present the award. Again, I try not to get political on this blog and this isn’t about politics. I would have been equally disappointed had Laura Bush done the same thing. I just don’t believe politicians and those around them should be made into celebrities. More importantly, the whole thing just felt forced and out of place. I suppose I’m just not a fan of politicians in general and feel they should be behind the scenes instead of constantly in our faces. (Yes I realize the first lady isn’t technically a politician but it’s close enough.)

83rd Academy Awards¨ Press Kit Images

Why The Valentine’s Hate?

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a very happy Valentine’s day. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, I’m sending you my love.

Now that that’s out of the way I have a question for the single people. Why so much hate for Valentine’s day? Is it really that bad? I spent many many years single and it just never bothered me. The only difference from most other days was the knowledge that my friends that were in relationships wouldn’t be able to come over for a beer. It never even occurred to me to begrudge them that one day.

Maybe it’s because Valentine’s day just isn’t that big of a deal to me even when i am in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, my girlfriend will be getting the usual flowers and candy and such. Because of our work schedules we will have to wait until the weekend to do dinner but still, we will do something. It’s just that I try to make her feel special every day so it’s not so important that I go crazy on V day.

So I suppose my message is this; If you’re in a relationship, try to show your loved one they’re special every day so there’s not so much pressure on this one day. If you’re not, why not show the most important person how much you love them? Yourself. That’s right, go crazy. Eat what you want, pamper yourself, watch that T.V. show you’d never admit to any one you watch without guilt. After all, you can’t love someone else until you love yourself. Besides, chances are you don’t show yourself how much you love you nearly as much as you should.

P.S. Sorry about the lack of posts this week. Monday and Tuesday were pure laziness that I blame on my birthday having been on Monday. Yesterday however was a different story. I wrote a post and thought I uploaded it, but when I checked this morning it was gone. It’s probably for the best anyway. It was mostly me whining about how much my birthday sucked, mainly because of my job. Point taken, no whining or the gods will delete my posts.