May 292001

I’m going to take some time here to spread around some thanks. This particular little essay is going to be geared for specific people, and may not hold much interest for those of you who are not mentioned. I would also like to say that if I do not mention you here, it does not mean that I love or cherish your friendship any less than those mentioned below. I just need to take a moment and acknowledge a few people in particular.

Eve – The girl I never had a crush on in high school. It’s funny how proudly you wear that title. What is especially odd is that you are the one girl from high school that I am still very close to. I often wonder if the two have anything in common. You inspire me to try new things. To push the envelope of normality and see what lies on the other side of the looking glass. You even help me keep from feeling like an ass when I’m doing so (and comfortable int he knowledge that if I DO look like an ass, at least I’m not alone).

George – We don’t often discuss things like “feelings,” you and I. I mean, we talk about how we feel about other people (particularly how much we loathe them), but when it comes down to us things tend to go unsaid. You’ve been there for me, though. When I was down and things looked really bleak, you came along and made me remember that I had friends who were really looking forward to having me around. That meant so much. Some people might scoff at the fact that we have a fairly regular schedule of hanging out together, but to me it feels like spending time with family. Just something you are supposed to do. You, more than anyone, make me comfortable in my “geekness,” and what’s more you help me reel it in when I start to go over the edge.

Linda – I am mentioning you in your very own paragraph intentionally. I think that far too often you get mentioned only as part of the “George AND Linda” statement. Of course, that IS how I met you. And that IS how our friendship began. You are, however, as equally important to me as George is, and I value your friendship as much as his. I love to make you laugh, because you have such a natural, easy laugh. That’s a gift, and if you never lose it you’ll have an entire life of making those around you happier. Even those who are convinced you are going to Hell.

Brooks – You inspired me to excel in my career, and you gave me the motivation I needed to do so. By telling me that not only could I do what I’m doing, but that I could do it well, you have me the fuel I needed to finally get a career that I could not only be happy with, but that I could live comfortably in. You also inspire me as a Father. Not by any of your actions per se, but by your enthusiasm about my being a good Father to Alex. You’ve been there so many times to tell me how good a job I was doing, and to keep on that path. Your admiration of my parenting skills has often been a rock when I was wondering if I was doing a good job with my kids.

Ranney – You inspire the artist in me. Even if I don’t actually do anything about it, you make me remember that it’s within me, and that it would take very little to tap it and bring it out. You also make me look beyond what I consider to by my normal realm of entertainment. You dare me to look at something new and challenge me to not get into a rut of the same old routine. You also give me someone to be a fanboy to, because one day I know with out a doubt that I’ll get to say “ranney? Hell, child…I knew that man back in the day…”

Susan – What can I say about someone who so frequently does wonders to my self-esteem and does it without ever putting her tongue in her cheek. When you tell me what a sexy man I am, I know you mean it and you aren’t just telling me to make me feel better. It’s so very comforting to see you, because you are always so genuinely happy when you see a friend. It’s nice to know that there is someone out there that can get so much joy from just saying hello.

Well, I could continue down the list, but the individuals above have made some very real and significant impacts on my life recently, and I wanted to take the time to thank them. To paraphrase Jack Nicoholson from “As Good As It Gets,” you all make me want to be a better person. You are my muses, and my life is a little more special because you are in it.

And that’s enough for the love fest…We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

May 092001

There are times when I look deep within myself and I ask “Why do you even care?” Tonight is one of those times. I’m depressed. This seems to be happening to me often lately. My ex used to accuse me of being bipolar, so while I was sitting here tonight feeling mopey I decided to look the condition up. Here is what WebMD had to say.

Bipolar disorder results in pathological mood swings from mania to depression, with a tendency to recur and remit spontaneously. Either the manic or the depressive episodes can predominate and produce few mood swings, or the patterns of mood swings may be cyclic. In bipolar disorder (manic), the manic phase is the current or most recent phase of the illness. The manic phase is characterized by elation, hyperactivity, over-involvement in activities, inflated self-esteem, a tendency to be easily distracted, and little need for sleep. The manic episodes may last from several days to months. In the depressive phase there is inertia, loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, sadness, and a risk of suicide. In either phase, there is frequently a dependence on alcohol or other substances of abuse. The disorder appears between the ages of 15 and 25 and affects men and women equally. The cause is unknown, but hereditary and psychological factors may play a role. The incidence is higher in relatives of people with bipolar disorders.

Sadly, I am not so sure she is wrong. I seem to have been in a high point for the last few months. Boundless energy. Undying optimism. The knowledge that everything was going well and going to continue to get better. In the last week or so I’ve watched all of that come crashing down around me. Not in any real sense, but mentally. I feel defeated. I feel hopeless. I feel like I’m wasting my time even attempting to better my life.

What’s worse is that this is all making me want to drink. Badly. I haven’t touched alcohol in almost a year, but not because of any sort of drinking problem. Because of a skin condition that I have that is irritated by alcohol. I’ve always avoided serious drinking on a regular basis, though, because my father was an alcoholic. So in times like this when I start really CRAVING a drink I get worried that the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree on that one.

Christ, sometimes I feel like such a fucking mess. What’s worse is that I feel bad telling anyone about it. I feel like I am dumping my problems on them, or that I am going to be perceived as only saying something to get attention or sympathy. I should probably see a psychiatrist, but right now I really can’t afford it. I just had that confirmed today.

Oh, yeah. Another bright note to my day. I got my divorce paperwork in the mail today. There I held in my hands a stack of papers nullifying the last five years of my life. “Sign on the dotted line, son, and I’ll make all your problems go away.” I hate the fact that I’m getting divorced. I FUCKING HATE IT. No matter how many times I tell myself that the marriage was a sham. No matter how much better off I am without her. I still hate it. It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

I was a good husband. I’ll never stop believing that. I did everything I could, and for nothing. In the end, I was replaced by someone who was more exciting than me.

Well kids, I’m off to Never-Never Land to try and find my Happy Thoughts, because right now I can’t fly, and I can’t fight, and I certainly can’t crow.