It's been quite some time since I posted anything. Well, sometimes life throws a lot of shit at you all at once, and you have to figure out how to deal with it. At the end of June I lost my job. Right after that I was diagnosed with asthma, turns out I've had it my whole life and didn't even know it. I always just thought I got winded easily, or that I was simply out of shape and needed to exercise more. It's gotten worse as I'm getting older. In my younger days I would just power through it and ignore the fact that I couldn't catch my breath. Such is the advantage of youth I suppose. In the more recent days, (last 10 years or so) I would simply blame myself for being lazy, not exercising enough, being weak, or worthless. Such is the mindset of someone suffering from severe depression.
Now, when I started this blog, I had only one rule. I would write for me, unflinchingly, unapologetically me. I write to entertain myself, and if someone else is entertained in the process, then that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I think this the only way to keep things honest. Sometimes I write simply because it is cathartic, and this is one of those times. I understand if you don't read any further than this.
In late 1998, I was fired from my dream job. It was the job I was meant to do in this life, it's what I was built for. I was fired (technically laid off, but who are we fooling?), and it destroyed my soul. I don't mean to be mellow dramatic, but I need to stress that this event was to be a major turning point in my life, to the point that I actually identify my life as taking place in two parts, everything before, and everything after.
I didn't pursue this career after this happened, maybe I should have, but you know what they say about hindsight. Instead I just kind of wallowed around, doing odd computer related jobs, not really having any direction or goals. In mid 2000, (remember the Y2K scare? ahhh good times) I started see spots in my vision, broke out in hives, started having weird chest pains (asthma?), dizzy spells. Then I had a complete emotional meltdown. I was really worried, and went to see a my doctor. After a battery of tests, (we never tested my lung capacity) she informed me that I was suffering from severe depression, and I needed to get help. She insisted that I take sick leave from my job, and start on some medication to try to get me levelled out. I was flat broke and had no health coverage. I couldn't afford the medication. Not only that, I was young and foolish, I didn't believe in "depression." Such a bullshit concept. If you are feeling depressed, you just need to suck it up, stop being a little bitch, and get on with it.
Fast forward 11 years. I've left a trail of sorrow and destruction in my wake as I stumble aimlessly through life. My tattered life in shambles. I've done more damage to myself than I ever thought I could, not to mention the collateral damage I have likely done to all the people that have come in and out of my life in those last 11 years. You have no idea how sorry I am for that. I was in ruin, heath wise, financially, emotionally. No education, suicidal. Getting very close to the edge. I guess I didn't "get on with it" very well.
Then I was saved, by of all things, a comic I read on the Internet, I don't even know who made it.
This is it.
I read this comic and broke down completely. It forced me to realize something. Depression is a very real, and very serious thing. This is important. Only now that I've crawled out of my rut did I realize how deep it really was. I feel lucky though in some ways, so often people go their entire lives with out getting various mental illness diagnosed. It seems it is not prioritized like any regular physical illness, and not diagnosed or treated. Contrast that with asthma for example. There is a very simple test to determine if you have it, and a very well know treatment, who doesn't know what an asthma puffer is? Mental illness? No definitive tests, no definitive treatments. To the point that some people, me included at the time, don't even think they are a real thing.
So in November of 2011, I went to see a doctor. We started a treatment. I'm OK now, I'm really OK. I have asthma, I lost my job, my kidneys are a mess, but I now have the strength to deal with it. Also, there are all kinds of really good things in my life, they lend me any extra strength I need.
There's no need to carefully hide my pain from everybody anymore, a skill that I became exceedingly good at. There's none there to hide. I have apologized to myself, and I even forgave myself. On top of all that, I recently took my very first full lung full of air in my entire life, and it was awesome! I suppose even a respiratory disease can have it's upside.
I guess all I'm really trying to say is: I fucking LOVE oxygen!