Monday December 2nd

So it’s been awhile since my last post, hope all had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

I’m going to veer off my usual type of post, I’m gonna wax philosophical in a way.

If anyone actually reads my blog you’ll know that 2 months ago we had to put down a most beloved dog named Lady. She (to my wife and I) was simply the best dog ever. She wasn’t perfect, but she WAS perfect for us. I’m going to get personal for a minute. I loved this dog from day one, she came to us at 7 weeks old and gave us 5 amazing years of her loyalty, goofiness, temperament and unceasing never failing love for us. If we’d go away and leave her with friends or family she would pine for us the entire time, she was very special to us. To the personal part. About 4 or so years ago my wife became pregnant and we were so thrilled that this was happening! Holy shit I’m gonna be a dad! Well, it wasn’t meant to be, the pregnancy was ectopic meaning that the fertilized egg never made it out of the fallopian tube. This required a surgical procedure to terminate the pregnancy due to the fact that if left alone would kill my wife. This obviously hit us hard as it would anybody, but, as it does life goes on and so do we. In turn everything in us that we would have given to our child went to Lady. I think it’s obvious that I am not talking about toys or any sort of tangible things. I’m referring to all our concern, affection and love. Time passed and we had moved on thinking maybe kids aren’t for us but kept the idea open for future discussions. We were happy with our family as it was and we were content with our lives.

A few years had passed and my Instagram and Facebook posts were literally only of the dog lol. I can’t remember exactly when but the subject of starting a family resurfaced, with caution. I was leery considering what had happened before but excited at the prospect of having a son or daughter. We decided that we should talk to a fertility specialist.

Before we went ahead with the fertility treatment another surgery looked. I honestly can’t remember why the procedure was necessary but while the doctor was in there she saw that one of her fallopian tubes had twisted so severely that it killed the attached ovary. The thing was just gone, not a piece of it left, she said that her body probably absorbed it. Even after all that we went ahead with the IVF process, twice. Oh and she had to have procedures after each round of IVF to remove the failed attempts. After all this she told me that she just couldn’t do it anymore and didn’t want to try anymore. After everything she went through there was no way I was gonna fight her on it, her health is much too important to me to risk anymore harm to her.

Time passes again and at this point had turned the page. We we happy with our lives the way it was and had accepted the fact that we wouldn’t have kids. So again Lady became the recipient of even more love and affection. Fast forward to October 2nd when we lost our precious Lady, fuck you cancer. About 3 weeks ago my wife comes home and tells me out of the blue that she’s pregnant! Holy shit! We didn’t know how to react given our experiences.

Here’s where I get philosophical. The doctor puts the time of conception within a day or 2 of Lady’s death. Someone once told me that dogs will hang on until they know that their masters will be ok. She knew, I’m convinced of it. She knew that we’d be sad but that happy things were ahead of us. A life for a life.

I’m happy to say that she is still pregnant and everything is going well so far. Another random thing happened, my dad’s best friend contacted me out of the blue and tells me that he has my great grandfathers cane and he wanted me to have it. To me it just seems weird that my wife gets pregnant seemingly as a parting gift from a beloved friend. Now a family heirloom surfaces that I can maybe pass on to my child. It just feels like forces that I can’t explain or comprehend are working to help us, for the first time in a long time I’m optimistic about the road ahead.

Thanks for listening, talk to you all later.

Saturday November 2nd

Hey there, it’s been a long time since I posted last. The last 6 weeks have been very hard on my wife and I. We lost our dog Lady. Her picture is on my page, isn’t she fucking gorgeous? Her death has been a hard hit for both of us emotionally. Ever since we found out that we couldn’t have children she became everything to us. We had already raised her from a 7 week old puppy. She WAS our baby. She was also a big source of emotional comfort for both of us. She was with us through 2 miscarriages and deaths in the family and my many hospitalizations for physical and mental ailments. She really was the best and actually as I’m writing this I’m realizing that, at least so far, this is the first day since she died that I haven’t cried. If I keep writing about her I WILL start crying though, Lady isn’t the main subject today, maybe indirectly.

I haven’t been taking great care of myself lately, even before we lost Lady. Her death has made things worse obviously but I’d already been slipping back in to old habits. I wasn’t exercising, eating like shit and smoking weed again.

Right before the first of the month I decided to fundraise for the Movember cause. Part of it is that I pledge to walk or run so many miles by the end of the month. This has helped me kickstart, hopefully, getting back in to shape. Movember focuses on mental health awareness, specifically for men. A lot or most undiagnosed cases of depression are in men and as someone who has mental health issues and has lost a father to suicide, it’s a worthy cause in my opinion. I decided while I was taking my walk that I would post today. It’s fall here in New England, my favorite time of year. I always love it when the leaves change. Anyways, while walking I was thinking about life and how shitty it has been lately. While I’m thinking this I realized that even though things are dark right now doesn’t mean they always will be. Being out in nature and seeing the beauty out here has I hope helped to tweak my perspective. It’s time to try and start healing and getting back to my much healthier routine. Lady lived to make us happy, that’s all she cared about. She knew when we were hurting and always tried to help. Even when she was minutes from death in the hospital about to be euthanized all she did was keep coming to me and nuzzling my face to comfort me. She was very special (now I’m crying) to us. That being said, when would hate to think that we were sad and hurting. Since she’s not here to comfort me I must remember her. She wouldn’t want me to give up or quit. This all may sound stupid to some people, some would say it’s just a dog. She was more than that to me end of story.

So anyways, I’m hoping to get back on track, we’ll see. Thanks for listening.

Friday October 4th

Nothing in my world will be the same anymore. I’m scared where the road leads us now. In the matter of a week we went from beautiful healthy pup to a dead one. Please don’t read this and roll your eyes, or say who cares it’s just a dog. She was not JUST a dog.

My wife and I were the extremely proud owners of a beautiful American bulldog. She came to us when she was only 7 weeks old. We’ve raised her as our own child basically. In the intervening years since she came to us we found out that we’re not able to have children of our own, that being said our pets become more than that. They’re the center of our life, Lady especially. In her 5 years on earth we have molded our lives around Lady, she was everything. I want to shut myself away, seriously life doesn’t seem worth it anymore. My wife and I have been broken by this, neither one of us can look at anything in this house without bawling our eyes out. I don’t want to get dressed or leave the house, I’ve never felt like this. At least not since my dads suicide. You can’t compare the two I guess but at least as of right now, this is worse. This just isn’t fucking fair. She was the sweetest creature in the world and the way it ended for her is just wrong. She was in so much pain in the end and we didn’t even know that she was sick until it was too late. How could this happen?!?!?! She was fucking fine!! One day she started to refuse food and a week later she’s dead!! Why!!!!!!

I’m sure this seems overly dramatic but I don’t know what to do anymore. My mornings revolved around her, our plans always revolved around her. She was at the center of everything and now nothing seems right anymore. Colors don’t seem as bright, food doesn’t taste right, there’s no joy left in anything right now. Another piece of me is gone forever. She was so very special to me, even at the end when she was surrounded by her favorite humans she kept coming to me and licking my face. It’s like she was saying goodbye or something. No one could have communicated to her what was going on, she just knew and was actually trying to comfort us. She was the best friend I’ll ever have and I just want to die.

My wife and I will move on from this I hope. We’ll find a way forward I hope. We must keep going although at the moment that doesn’t seem possible.

Thursday September 12th

I’ve been blogging for awhile now and although it’s been cathartic for me to write down and express some of the things that I go through day to day I feel like I need to try and reach a wider audience otherwise I can’t really help anyone. To those of you that have actually read my posts you know that I focus alot on my day to day struggles and triumphs as they relate to mental health issues. I feel that as a normal-ish blue collar regular guy my experiences might help others like me with their own struggles and hopefully help them to feel like they are not alone in this. My hope is that I can help people, even if I only reach one person out there I have succeeded.

Just now I have made a Facebook page with the same title as my personal blog in the hopes that I can reach a wider audience. Unless I did something wrong setting this Facebook page up, I hope to stay anonymous. That may not be possible if I hope to reach a wider audience, we’ll see.

So, if there IS anyone who reads this blog please visit my Facebook page and please spread the word.

As always, thanks for listening talk to you all later.

Friday August 30th

As long as I can remember, long before I knew anything about bipolar or depression I have had a hard time controlling my temper. I would just fly off the handle with the slightest provocation. That part of my personality has always been one of my biggest struggles.

Yesterday got off to a rough start at work and my temper was immediately tested. I have to say that I’m actually pretty proud of myself. There was definitely a time where the situation would have sent me into a blind rage. There was a situation where a coworker stuck their nose into my business and it got under my skin, but, I just walked away where years ago I probably would have screamed in their face and made a scene probably getting myself fired. A little while later I’m in the mailroom area and the same coworker is there, I just ignore her and walk around where she is standing. As soon as she sees me she throws her arms up in the air and starts trying to jump out of the way from me like I’m gonna attack her or something. This woman, in my opinion, was definitely trying to provoke me. Why? I don’t know. I’ve been told that I can look mean when I’m pissed off, maybe that’s true. Regardless of whether or not I looked mean I don’t feel like her behavior was necessary. A few minutes later, don’t ask me how, I dropped my phone into a 5 gallon bucket of water. What the fuck. By now I’m so fucking angry I’m shaking. I did the only thing I could think of, I called my wife. She remains to this day the only person that can calm me down when I’m like that. God bless her.

The day did get better from there. I left work early to go to the last Patriots preseason game with some friends which was a very welcome distraction.

Looking back on yesterday I’m definitely proud of how I handled myself. I’m not sure if it’s the therapy, meds etc. Or, if it’s that I’m older and more mature but there was a time where I would have made things so much worse for myself. The anger would ultimately have led me to a horrible depression. Again, another thank you to my wife. I’ve spoken in previous posts about the importance of a solid support structure. She has always been so loving, supporting and above all patient with me. I am a very lucky man. Unfortunately not everyone has someone like that in their lives. I’m not being dramatic when I say that without her my life would have turned out completely different. My mental health struggles may have taken the better of me, I may have ended up taking my own life or living in a psych ward or something or homeless.

Anyways, back to my point. For anyone, not just those of us with mental health issues, support is important. It just may be slightly more important for us. If you know someone who struggles, reach out to them, listen to them. Let them know that they’re not alone. If you struggle and feel like you are alone I hope you can find the strength to reach out yourself and talk to somebody before things get worse.

The point of this blog is simply to help people. Help people who struggle like I do, or help people who have friends or loved ones that struggle ways to help them. That’s all that this is about. I’m not sure how wide of an audience I’m reaching, I’m not sure anyone even reads this, but, I am going to keep writing in the hopes that I could possibly help even one person.

That’s all for now, talk to you all later.

Friday August 23rd

Hey there everybody, happy Friday. Today is my wife’s birthday, and just like every year I start to think about our lives together so far. This year is no different, but I want to illustrate how she’s affected my life from a mental health perspective.

We have been together for 16 years, for a lot of those years she had many reasons to pick up and go. I was not an easy person to love for a long time and I really don’t know how or why she did it. The only answer I can come up with is that she always saw more on me than I saw in myself.

She came into my life only a few years removed from my fathers suicide, during which I was a hardcore addict. Countless times I lied to her about where I was and what I was doing, knowing full well that she knew exactly what I was up to. All the times I spent money that should have gone to bills or groceries. She stuck with me anyways. After those days were over my mental health problems started to surface and I know her life became even more difficult at times. From my angry outbursts to my crippling depression. There was a point that she was one of the only people that I hadn’t driven away. I look back on this and it makes me smile. I smile because I realize exactly how lucky I really am to have her.

Years later and I have come a long way, the mental health stuff is still there, but, I have learned to manage it a little better. One thing that has made more of a difference than all the meds, all the counseling etc is her support. She stuck with me and held me up all these years. I can honestly say that I don’t know if I’d even be alive without her love and support.

As an individual putting in the time with therapy and taking your meds everyday don’t matter, in my experience, as much as having that love and support at home. So if anyone actually reads this and has their own issues with mental health, remember to keep the ones that love and support you close. You can’t help yourself without them.

That’s all for today, thanks for listening.

Monday August 19th

What’s going on everyone? It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, but, I’m back at it.

There are a couple things that I’d like to talk about. I’m trying to get used to an adjustment in my medications. Not sure if it’s for that reason but I’ve had some bouts of insomnia in the last week. It could be due to the fact that I’ve lost some weight in a short period of time and am feeling week. When I have time off of work I can’t stay awake during the day which leads to being up all night, taking some seroquel to help me sleep which makes me wicked groggy all the next day. Other than that, things have been good. My wife, best friend and my nephews went to Boston comic con on Saturday and had a fucking blast. Added some sweet pop figures to my collection but just like last year I spent all my cash before getting to the tattoo stand haha. The wife and I also added some excellent art work to our collection. My nephews who are 13 and 9 experienced their first comic con experience, I can’t wait until next year. Always a good time. The only thing that sucked was that I had been dealing with a diverticulitis flare up the week preceding the event. My youngest nephew was stressing me out a little which added to the pain. Still dealing with that but handling it. We have conditioning week at krav maga which precedes stripe test the following week so I have to make sure I’m fit enough to get to class.

Saturday night after dropping off the boys and going home to change, I went back to my sisters to watch the UFC pay per view with her and her boyfriend. I gotta tell you, I really WANT to like this guy but after Saturday I have to conclude that he’s a fucking douche nozzle. I’m not sure what she sees in him. Her ex husband moved on so damn quick and she’s been alone for several years. At this point I feel like she’d rather be with an ass hat who shows some interest rather than being alone. This mother fucker not once but twice made overly sexual innuendos to her right in front of me. Not fucking cool guy, it took all my strength not to rag doll this mother fucker on the spot.

Even though it was an aggravating experience on Saturday evening I have to say that I’m actually impressed with myself. A few years ago there would have been an incident. I’m not saying that I would have hit him, but, I would definitely have made a scene. Sometimes in all of this going to the psychiatrist and going to therapy and taking my meds you may wonder “is any of this actually helping?” It’s nice to have these occasional reminders that you’re doing something right.

Amongst all these other things I’ve made the decision to give sobriety a shot. I have in recent years given up alchohol and what seems like a lifetime ago, cocaine. For roughly 23 years I have been smoking pot, every day. It wasn’t until I spoke to my psychiatrist recently that I realized HOW I have been using it. Obviously it starts out innocent enough, hanging with friends, getting baked. I realized that over the years I’ve stopped actually enjoying it. It’s just been something that I’ve leaned on. I have been using it to self medicate in recent years and it can kind of get in the way of what I’m trying to accomplish in regard to my mental health. Yes, it helps with anxiety which I have in spades. The downshot being that it is so fleeting that I would smoke ALL DAY EVERY DAY. I need to let it go and let the meds do their job. Another reason being that next month I go for a neuro psychological test which my psychiatrist has been wanting me to do for awhile. She told me that if it turns out that I have ADD or ADHD or something that weed can be really harmful mixed with those types of meds. Another reason being that my insurance won’t cover the testing unless I’m completely sober for at least 8 weeks. During the intervening time the fog has lifted so to speak and I’ve been able to contemplate the matter more rationally. So hopefully it will help me down the line.

Also we may be fostering a pup soon, our American bulldog fur baby needs a friend badly.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Talk to you all later.