Thursday, April 28, 2005

Getting kicked in the nuts.

Not that I actually expect anyone to still check this old corner of cyberspace, but I need to vent damn it.

I got a letter today from my disability insurance, letting me know that as of August 2005, I will no longer be recieving any disability. I knew something was fishy when they changed the disposition of my claim last year to "Mental Health". Apparently, mental health claims are only eligible for twenty-four months of coverage. After that, fuck 'em I guess?

Anyway, I don't know if I believe this is a mental disability or not, but the fact that my symptoms have changed leads me to believe that maybe it is. Honestly though, it's weird that I have been thinking lately of what I really want to do with myself, professionally speaking anyway.

I have to be careful with thinking too much however, as I am my own worst enemy. I could think something sounds great, only to find out that I hate it in application, or that I just plain suck at it. Another danger, is trying to take on more than I can handle at this point in my life. I mean, fuck, I am in the middle of a divorce, I haven't worked in two years, and I live in my parents basement. (Oh dear god the stereotype that I fit into.) That's alot of stuff to deal with, and I don't know what I could handle on top of it. As of right now, I am taking it slow, and praying for direction.

An option that has been stirring around in my head for a while now, is that I could finally just go get a damned degree in counseling, or psychology, and work as a counselor again. I have been told many times, from many different sources that doing so might be good for me. Hell, every professional head-shrinker I have seen in the last few years has said I should go to college and become a counselor. My biggest concern I suppose, is failure. I am not the smartest man on earth, and while I have good instincts, and a great deal of common sense when I choose to listen to it, I am not what I would call "book smart".
Put me into a room with a patient, and I can usually find some sort of answer with them to help with the problems they are having.
Put me in a classroom, and ask me how I did it, and I couldn't tell you.

I follow basically, all the principles of counseling naturally when in that situation, but I couldn't name them if asked. I have a talent for helping people get to crux of a problem, and finding solutions that are applicable in real life. I do not have any academic talent, ADHD, and bi-polar disorder are bitches for that. I am not saying that I don't think I could excel in this field, on the contrary, this is something I know I am good at. I just don't know if I am "college material". Anyway, if you read this, THANKS!


Monday, April 18, 2005

I am going to be wearing Bambi damnit!

I was sitting around this weekend, doing some online browsing for my upcoming living history event, and I came across a wonderful website for buying tanned deerskin. Littlesunshine has some of the best deals on undyed chemically tanned deerskins that I have seen. I ordered the forty dollar top of the pallet special, and that should give between 80-100 square feet of deer leather. Some of it will be garment grade, some craft grade. It really doesn't matter though.

I will be wearing Bambi this year. And probably Bambi's extended family too.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Life happens. Like it or not.

Wow. The last few months have been one eye opening experience after another.

To start things out, my wife and I of nearly five years have separated. The divorce papers are on their way, and I for one am happy they are. It isn't easy to explain, or understand, but I know that she and I are not compatible in any way. There are many reasons for this, none of which are going to be posted here. I will only say this; Our relationship was formed while I was an active alcoholic, and that is the person she seems to want me to be. I am incapable of being that person now, because he was nothing. A smoke screen to cover my fears. I was everything to all people, and nothing to myself, and I never even realized it.

Today I am someone.

I haven't touched alcohol in what will be four years come June. For the first one year, ten months or so, I was fairly happy, and reasonably successful. I had a job I loved, I attended AA meetings regularly, and I felt a close relationship with a God of my understanding.
That all sounds great, until you realize that I made the number one fundamental error in recovery. I wasn't completely honest. I tried, I really did, but something inside of me could not face the things I had done, or the fact that I was nothing more than a social, emotional chameleon. So I half-assed my way throught the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and felt pretty good.

Until something went wrong.

In May of 2003, I started having these episodes of syncope. Syncope is the technical term for falling unconcious. I would pass out, causing injury to myself, and limiting my ability to perform any meaningful tasks without the fear of the next attack. I can't drive, I can't carry or lift anything, and I feared doing anything without companionship.
When this started, all the chinks in my armor were not only exposed, but I was stabbed repeatedly by life. Doctor after doctor, after expert, after expert could not explain what was wrong with me. My medical bills got to the point where we were forced to file bankruptcy. I was forced to not only ask for help from everyone, but to truly rely on people for things most of you take for granted. This led me down a very dark path in my life. I have always suffered from bi-polar disorder, but this sent me into a depression unlike anything I had ever experienced from the day after it started, until just this February, when I was asked to move out by my soon to be ex-wife. I pray that I never have to feel that way again.

At first I didn't recognize the signs of my addiction picking at my weakness. I was convinced that going to meetings would do NOTHING for me. I just knew that God was to blame for my problems, and so I turned away from God. It was subtle at first, but my entire spiritual existence faded into nothing. It was so easy for that to happen, because I had built my spiritual existence in half-measures, and self-loathing. I was sure that as soon as someone figured out what was wrong with me, that I would be fine again. That last part at least was true.

Being a good alcoholic, I started to blame everything around me for my misery. The reality though, was that I had nothing inside of me. No desire to feel better, no self-respect, or self-esteem. I felt that only by pushing everything away from me could I be ok. I don't know my reasoning on this at the time, but I could hazard a guess today. I would guess that inside my twisted from of reality, if I kept everything at bay, I couldn't be hurt by anything or anyone.

My wife, who I truly love, was the closest person to me. I found ways to make her distance herself from me. I didn't realize it at the time of course, but in hindsight, it's easy to see my side of things. Remember however, that there are two people involved in a relationship, and while I take full responsibility for my bullshit, I do not take full responsibility for the divorce. Having said that, I can only wonder why it is that up until the last time we spoke (which, if I have anything to do with it will be the last time), my soon-to-be ex-wife, was trying to convince me of her superheroics in trying to keep us together. Well, that's not completely true, but I don't want to be a mind reader....what the hell....I think that by trying to convince me of how hard she tried, she is in turn absolving herself of any guilt she may be feeling over her side of things.
But it doesn't even matter. I couldn't be with her again at this point in my life, even if she wanted to be. So if it wasn't her asking for the divorce, it would be me.

I am running on and on here, because this mostly just free-form expression. Most of that was about where I was, now, let me share the good parts.

I am officially eating my words about God. ( Stupid serenity )
I am regularly attending meetings. ( Yay team )
I have reworked the first nine steps of AA to the very best of my ability, and have been as fearless, honest, and thorough as I can possibly be. ( Thank you to those of you who have given me the much needed kick in my ass, and shoulder to cry on)
I still love my wife, but not in any sort of romantic way. Yes, I get angry at her, and yes I feel hurt and lonely at times, but I truly wish her nothing but good-fortune, success, and hope she finds some way to be as happy as she deserves to be.
I am at peace with myself 90% of the time. I don't feel the need to impress, show-up, or put down anyone. I am happy to be discovering who I really am, and Ithink he is going to be a pretty ok kind of guy.

I want to end this with a message to anyone out there who happens upon this, and has recently started attending AA or NA or whateverA meetings. It is a simple, spiritual program that is laid out before you, opportunities for the sunshine of the spirit await you. Do not cheat yourself like I did for so long. There is no better advice I can give you than this; Be honest. Be open-minded. Be willing to do whatever is necessary to relieve yourself of your misery.
If you want it back later, it is always there waiting for you.