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Author: Subject: Why Pyro is on Vacation

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posted on 8-12-2014 at 05:44 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Why Pyro is on Vacation

It's been 24 hours since the death of Robin Williams, and I'm still numb from how to respond. It's a strange feeling, and this post might be my only public reaction. It's just as well that it will be one of many posts that will buried in a Facebook feed... though in hindsight, I should mirror this to a certain message board as well.

If Williams's death has done anything in the past day, then it's triggered an amazing discussion in pretty much every forum that I've seen. On and CNN, two publications that probably couldn't be further apart on subjects, there are now articles on the front page today as writers try to come to grips with depression, not as an abstract thought exercise, but as a direct story from personal experience. The point being driven home is that those suffering from depression should seek help, because they are not alone.

It's a lovely sentiment, one that most likely should be accepted as truth. But at the end of the day, no matter how many people kill themselves to escape whatever demons happen to be chasing them, there is still a massive stigma about mental illness that casts a shadow over any long-term discussion. That shadow, whatever its reason for existing, obfuscates the details of each individual case. Although there are patterns in how people become depressed, it's like any other illness: the devil is in the details, which makes some people easier or harder to help.

One common thread is that depressed people almost always blame themselves. They feel that their own depression makes them fundamentally broken. This can be compounded however: every depressed person has, at one point, asked for the help. When depression is in its infancy, or when another bout of it rears its ugly head, we know something doesn't quite feel right. And we do ask for help, usually from the people who are absolutely closest to us, those who we regard as friends and family.

What happens when those people reject us? What message does it send when those we trust with a sign that we are on the verge of self-destruction dismiss us? Even if we manage to get through that bout of depression, what do we do when another bout strikes? To whom do we turn?

I have always lived my public life as an extension of my private life. I respect those who try to keep the two separate, but I'm not talented enough as a writer to keep a mask on for that long. I have tried to be blunt with some people when a bout of depression strikes; I have also tried to hint around it. In all cases, what I have received is resounding dismissal.

�You need to cheer up.�

�You're an adult now, you shouldn't have these feelings.�

�I can't relate to you, so there just must be problem with you.�

�You are ruining my mood with your sadness and I don't want to discuss this.�

�You are just crying for attention.�

�Stop having a pity-party; you know your positives and you're just ignoring them.�

�Just get over it.�

It's made me paranoid and scared to seek help from anyone. The devil is in the details: and my devil is that I project the worst traits of humanity onto every single one of its members. Everyone has to be that uncaring! Everyone has to be that dismissive! Everyone knows how to handle life better than me! My conclusion: it's just not worth bringing it up when I'm struck with depression.

When it's the darkest, when the demons cast a shadow so large and so penetrating that it feels like my shoulders take on the weight of my entire past, I cannot see that there are others like me. I cannot hear the voices that tell me to get help. I cannot understand why I, an aspiring writer who has questionable talent with a YouTube channel that has practically no audience, am worth any sort of time.

It creates a catch-22: the only time I feel worth it enough to seek out those who can help me is when I'm feeling lucid and have other things to focus on. Yet when I'm at my darkest, I can assure you that even the best psychologist or therapist or whatever would be unable to reach me. When I'm at my darkest, *I* can't even reach me. All I feel, all I think, all I remember is crushing failure of the things I've tried to do to better my life, and so-called friends who would prefer that I keep my mouth shut and don't ruin their perfect lives and wonderful moods with my own sorrow.

Even the person who I perhaps trust the most in the world has recently advised me to tone it down. It's no secret that I'm trying to look for a new job, and this person has advised that I don't mention depression or any other problems at all, at least not publicly. Employers are scared to higher someone who might have mental problems, so I shouldn't voice my depression in any forum since that could destroy my chances at a career change.

In other words: keep quiet about depression, or bad things will happen.

I'm in a fog; I feel drunk, even though I've not had any alcohol in a couple months. Where do I turn when putting myself out there, as I am now, runs a high risk of negative reaction? Where do I turn when I can't hear the voices of those who say they can or will help me? When religion has failed me, when close friends don't want to hear it, when employers do a Facebook search on every applicant, when I can't afford an therapist, when I don't trust that any effort is even worth it?

My dream job is hiring; I'm not even bothering applying. I already have a reputation there that, for as good as work that I do, I have a bad attitude for reasons I simply, honestly don't understand. I have come to the point that I believe, however true or untrue, that all the mistakes and failures of my past have added up to a ruined life. I'm nearly 32: I don't have the time to turn it around.

I won't give up, necessarily. I keep trying to get my book published, I keep working on my YouTube channel, I keep searching for new jobs. However, I have absolutely no hope that any good will come to pass for me. I want to work through that; I want to see myself how others see me. But all I really see are those who I regard as friends (even �best friends�) who tell me that my ideologies and my opinions of myself are simply wrong. I just need to work harder, be stronger, draw on some invisible well of willpower to succeed, like it's just that simple. And in their minds, there is no room for any difference: either they are right, or I am doing something wrong. And either way, it's my fault for being sad, so I just need to get over it.

I need to keep quiet about my depression, or bad things will happen. People I trust will leave my life. I must stay quiet. I must not be honest about what's in my head. I must be quiet.

Yet when a celebrity like Robin Williams commits suicide, especially one as arguably talented as he, suddenly we're not supposed to stay quiet anymore... at least until the next headline appears and we forget about it. Then we should stay quiet once more, lest we upset our friends or family, since they don't want to deal with us.

Or perhaps that's simply my unique experience: the devil is in the details. My devil is that I don't feel I have anywhere to turn. Even if I did, unlike Williams, I have no discernible successes to feel like it's worth pursuing treatment. Or maybe if I did, it wouldn't matter anyway, as apparently in his case.

I have found that burying myself in my work is my only option. If I'm supposed to stay quiet or risk ending friendships, then I should stay quiet. When the shadow is at its darkest, I must find something to hold my attention as firmly as possible. I must do whatever I can to ignore the demons and keep working, because if I have free time, I inevitably remember my failures and my problems. I must continue solitary work and I must stay quiet.

Pardon me; I'm finishing up a video game strategy guide.

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The Great One

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posted on 8-12-2014 at 06:24 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I am sorry to hear what you are dealing with and if I may offer some advice, apply for your dream job. If it is your dream job then just try and see what happens. I have seen office politics derail many careers, but new people come in all the time that don't know the history, and you could get lucky and get the person who looks at the work first. No matter what happens, good luck in all your future endeavors, (sorry I had to).

Second, if you want another person to talk to, and you don't think you have any one to turn to, send me a message and I will give you my number. I will leave it up to you.

ETA: I showed this to my wife and she also suffers from depression and insomnia, and she said she is also willing to talk to you since she would have an idea on where you are coming from.

[Edited on 8-12-2014 by OOMike]

2017 where Nazis are defended and being against Fascism is a bad thing.

Prejudices are rarely overcome by argument; not being founded in reason they cannot be destroyed by logic � Tryon Edwards

Never let the facts interfere with a good rant.

The only OO columnist that has never written a column.

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Man of a Thousand Holds

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posted on 8-13-2014 at 07:48 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
My wife battles depression and it's gotten very severe on a few occasions. I have a few close friends that battle with it as well.

If I'm supposed to stay quiet or risk ending friendships, then I should stay quiet.

This might be the saddest sentence you wrote. I know when I'm feeling stressed or depressed face time with friends talking it out really helps. It's true for someone who battles "real" depression as well, not just my woe is me fleeting feelings. I have a friends who's been hospitalized in the past for it, he's coming over friday night after the kids go to bed. I'm guessing it will be 2 hours of him talking through all the stuff going on in his life while we smoke stogies and rather than being a risk to end our friendship, it will bring us closer.

I push my wife to go to all the events she gets invited to because I can see how a night with friends over cocktails that I can't afford helps center her.

I hope you have friends who wouldn't be so cavalier towards your problems. We all them to some degree and verbalizing them is quite cathartic. Especially if you're all enjoying a Nat Sherman.

The "B" is for Bargain!

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posted on 8-14-2014 at 09:26 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Originally posted by OOMike
I am sorry to hear what you are dealing with and if I may offer some advice, apply for your dream job. If it is your dream job then just try and see what happens. I have seen office politics derail many careers, but new people come in all the time that don't know the history, and you could get lucky and get the person who looks at the work first.

[Edited on 8-12-2014 by OOMike]

This 1000x's

I'm sorry to hear that you're going through some hard times, I love reading your recaps and look forward to someday seeing them again. For now though take as much time as you need to find the happiness that you deserve.

"The North Cafeteria, named after Admiral William North, is located in the western portion of East Hall, gateway to the western half of North Hall, which is named, not after William North, but for its position above the South Wall. It is the most contested and confusing battlefield on Greendale�s campus, next to the English Memorial Spanish Center, named after English Memorial, a Portuguese sailor that discovered Greendale while looking for a fountain that cured syphilis."

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posted on 8-18-2014 at 12:53 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote

I can give you the same words of sympathy that the others have given. I also enjoy reading your recaps. I don't get the chance to watch either show very often so the recaps keep me up to date on what's happening on the TV shows for WWE.

I can say, 32 is not too old to turn things around. 7 years ago, I was diagnosed with delayed onset post traumatic stress disorder due to childhood events. 6 years ago I was let go from a job I enjoyed due to trumped up harassment charges. I could have gone downhill from there. I was 38 at the time. Instead, I went to the local community college. 6 years later, I have an Associate of Arts, an Associate of Liberal Studies, a Certificate of General Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Public History and I'm now a school year away from getting my Master of Liberal Arts degree, and planning to follow that up with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I still have bad days, in fact, the last two days I've had one anxiety attack and almost two more.

The point is, it's never too late to turn things around. Apply for the dream job. If you don't get it, you don't get it. If you get it, then you've got your dream job.

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posted on 8-19-2014 at 02:24 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Hey all, thanks for the support. I mean it from the bottom of my heart. Like I said, I appreciate the chance to be able to talk about it, although I wish the circumstance to do so had been much less tragic.

In general, I don't want to make things about me. In my research, I found that a lot of people who suffer depression don't talk about it for many different reasons. A common reason is that someone who suffers it don't want to be a burden on others, and they tend to be more emotionally sensitive to the outside world. I feel like it's self-serving (perhaps to a fault) that I would discuss something like this while much greater problems exist in the world, like what's going on in Ferguson right now. Compared to that, my problems are irrelevant.

But then, part of me also understands that just because there are starving kids in Africa doesn't mean I don't get hungry... or just because a part of the nation is trouncing basic civil rights doesn't mean I can magically blink away my depression or whatever and put everything in perfect perspective. (Good lord, wouldn't that be an awesome superpower.)

For what it's worth, I should clarify a couple things concerning the OP, especially since it's confusing the hell out of me, which is adding to my problems.

My �dream job� (defined as a conventional career) is with IGN Entertainment. I already have a foot in the door due to being a freelance writer for them. They're currently hiring, but I have a reputation that I have a bad attitude, or at least �need to work on my attitude,� whatever that means. They won't tell me exactly what the problem is, perhaps because of lawsuit possibilities, I suppose. Regardless of why, it's enough that 10 years of experience with the company and supposedly �good� work isn't enough to counter it.

But, that's fine, because lately, I'm starting to wonder if I even want to keep working there as a freelancer. I'm really, really tired... when I get a project from them, I end up working 90-hour weeks. I've been working 90 hours per week for at least the last three or four weeks, when counting IGN, Walmart, my YouTube channel, and Online Onslaught. Granted, a lot of that work is �easy� and involves sitting and writing. So it's not like I'm physically wiped out. Hell, physically, I'm probably as healthy as I've been in a decade, since I'm eating better and losing fat.

However, there is some damage being done to my mind. My girlfriend pointed out to me that for the past few weeks, I'm having a really hard time remembering our conversations. I've mixed up a lot of words. I started doing that with my live show I did last Sunday, in fact; it wasn't quite an embarrassment, but I was incoherent in several places just because I couldn't remember my vocabulary. I'm losing my edge. It's taking me longer to form sentences, whether speaking or writing.

This pressure can't be helping my depression or whatever it is. However, I'm stuck: neither Walmart nor IGN pay me enough to survive, so I think I need both. I've been trying to apply for other jobs, but my most likely target requires a drivers license, which I lack. I'm working on THAT at least: I've got my learners permit but I still need someone to teach me. I've got a couple friends doing so, but it still requires time.

And I don't have that time. I'm working my ass off to try to do everything I need to do to survive. I don't have time to relax or take vacation because I'm paycheck-to-paycheck and I can't cut any more luxuries without endangering my jobs. (I can't stop buying video games since that jeopardizes my YouTube and IGN income, for example, which are both profitable at the moment.) On top of all that, my REAL �dream job� would be to make a living off my fiction. I've finished a book, but I'm getting help to send letters to publishing agents because I don't have the time to do it myself. And more to the point, I don't have anywhere near the amount of time or money I need to seek the help I need.

The worst part is the dichotomy between whether I even deserve it. I've been e-mailing someone who I trust more than anyone else about my troubles. Like I told him:

I shouldn't, by all accounts, give a shit about a driver's license. In my current mood, I should delete my book and say "fuck it" and give in to Walmart without trying to better myself. But I don't. I proudly have my learners permit. I'm still looking for jobs. I'm still trying to get out.

But I have zero faith I will.

I've read about depression. And I've been in some much, much darker places. I know how easy it is to just say "the world hates me!" and crawl into a hole and do nothing, do absolutely nothing to help the situation. I know about blaming God or fate or whatever and just giving up and saying it's all the world's fault. But I'm not there. I'm not blaming the world, and I'm not blaming God, and I'm not even blaming Walmart. I see my stress, I see that it mainly comes from a lack of time, and I've lately VERY SERIOUSLY considered stepping away from IGN. If I step away from IGN, it would only be to recapture the time, since doing my YouTube stuff takes so long. The channel can take anywhere from 15 to 30 hours a week of work, on top of 30-ish hours of work from Walmart. IGN gets all the remaining time, and it's too much. Something needs to give.

Instead, I continue to fight, I continue to work. And even when discussing stepping away from my dream company that I've been a part of for nearly a decade, I'm thinking with my head, not my heart. If I walk away from IGN, it's due to time/cost management, nothing more. $500 per project is great but it doesn't pay my bills, and while the lack of IGN's income will temporarily hurt me, it would relieve a LOT of my time burden. I honestly think it might be my best option, but I won't make any decisions on that front until this project is done.

So I continue to think logically, I continue to try to look at everything with a level head and with reason in the forefront. But yet I still dream and daydream of self-inflicted violence, I still hate myself, I still have no faith, I still have no hope, I still fight even though I'm completely certain I've already lost.

How fucked up is that? How fucked am I? If I'm going to fight, why can't I take the position that I am worth fighting for? That my future is worth fighting for? Or if I've lost all hope, then why don't I wallow in that and let it come to me? Why do I have to walk this fucking line between despising every fiber of my being and life in general, yet still fight on anyway? How does that make any goddamn sense?

Why do I keep writing the book and editing it and submitting it if I'm completely convinced it will always fail? Why do I keep trying?

I don't understand, in my heart of hearts, why I continue to fight for a better tomorrow when I'm completely convinced it will never come. I don't understand it. And sometimes, that drives me more crazy than anything else... the not-knowing about how my brain works or my future.

All I know is, right now, I'm stressed beyond belief, just about as bad (if not worse) than when I was in college. And making it worse is that I don't know if it's the good stress that helps me focus and succeed with my book or whatever, or the bad stress that simply wears me down. Either way, I'm literally past the breaking point. Because even though I continue to fight for bettering my life, I also don't have the hope or the faith that any of it matters, and I would not care if I die tonight. I fight, even though I don't care about myself. I don't get it.

Sometimes I wonder why others are concerned about me when I no longer care about myself. I just hope I've done some good while I've been here, and that I continue to do good, until I can finally just let go entirely.

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The Rowdy One

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posted on 8-22-2014 at 06:01 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Pyro, to answer your question, you do deserve good things and you do deserve to get through this. I'm currently in school to become a counselor, and although I can't live in your shoes and understand the pain you're going through, I certainly empathize and feel it with you.

It's unfortunate that mental illness has such a stigma, and that's just a reflection of how society does not understand it. A person wouldn't say to someone with a burst appendix "get over it", but depression is just as uncontrollable as something like that. But because other people are ignorant about mental illness does not mean that there's anything wrong with you because you're suffering from depression. The 'you' is different than your condition.

I certainly hope that you accept help when it is given to you, and professional therapists are trained to work with the very thoughts that you've been expressing on here. They often work on sliding scales or even free of charge in certain situations. Yes, there is that unspoken stigma to receiving counseling, but again that's indicative of a lack of understanding rather than truth, and nobody has to know - counselors are bound to confidentiality.

I hope this helps. No matter what, know that there are people pulling for you and wanting you to get through this difficult time. I can't speak for anybody else, but I know I am.

[Edited on 8-22-2014 by denverpunk]

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posted on 12-30-2014 at 07:07 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm reading a lot of stuff from Pyro that really hits home with me; I honestly can't remember a time when I WASN'T depressed. I wish I had the time to spell out my own story (hopefully I'll do that in the near future).

I was on the antidepressant Zoloft for a while, but I had to go off it simply because I changed jobs and didn't have health insurance, so I couldn't afford it. I've heard varying stories about how medication can help matters or make it worse; that makes me hesitant to check into meds again. Toward the end of my time taking Zoloft, I wasn't feeling much of a difference in my mental state.

The worst part is that I've let my health go to hell with terrible eating habits and horrible slacking with regards to housekeeping. It'll take me forever to catch up on dusting and sweeping up my house. More recently, it's begun to affect my health as I've been hospitalized twice in the past year with bronchitis. I hadn't been in the hospital since I had an eye surgery in grade school and now I'm in my 30s.

On top of that, there are so many little problems in my house that I just never get around to getting fixed, partially because my finances are in bad shape...I overused my credit card a few years ago and I'm still paying for it. Now I have medical bills on top of that.

I keep telling myself that things will get better once I get past certain financial milestones. My car insurance finally went down in the spring after a few old speeding tickets dropped off my record, but then the first hospital stay happened and I had to start making payments for that. My car will finally be paid off in June so that'll help long as my car stays in one piece.

At any rate, there's so much stacked up in my head that it's hard to keep things straight. I don't get enough sleep; I became a night owl for a long time, partially since a previous radio job had me on graveyard shifts for an extended period of time. Now I'm stuck on the late-to-bed/early-to-rise pattern and that's added up to an eternally-weary state of mind and body.

My current job is okay(and a much shorter commute than my previous two jobs), but I feel like I could do better somehow. I have a bachelor's degree in mass communications but that doesn't feel like it means too much nowadays; I've thought about going back to school but I don't know what I'd study. (Accounting maybe? Was always good with math.) I like writing and blog pretty regularly but I don't know how I could make money off that (my blog is even called "Non-Profit Journalism"). Radio was fun while it lasted, but it seems to be a dying job field.

A lot of this was random, but I felt like putting it out there. Pyro's post struck a chord with me since I've been going through a lot of the same stuff.

RIP My Friend Mark, 1991-2016

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posted on 1-1-2015 at 02:15 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I would have responded faster, PB, but I wanted to actually think through my response.

I'm not sure if this advice will pertain to you, since we all handle depression and depression-like symptoms differently, but for me, I always do feel better knowing that I'm not the only one out there suffering. That's not to say I wish it on anyone; I know what it feels like, and it sucks hard. I would rather have illnesses or physical ailments than any damage to my self-aware mind. But as you said, your story and mine have far more similarities than differences. If you ever want to talk, or even just to vent, e-mail me [[email protected]]. If you prefer talking, you can call me. If you send me an e-mail, I'll provide you my phone number.

Something has changed for me in the past six months since I wrote the OP, and the change isn't necessarily for the better. I have this odd sensation that I've given up. I don't think I necessarily have, but I said in the OP and follow-up posts, I continue to fight for my book even though I'm 100% convinced that it'll never happen for me. And I fight 100% for my YouTube channel even though I'm 100% convinced I've already leveled out any "fame" or money I'd ever receive from it.

For me, it goes beyond understanding that I'm trying to be creative in an overly saturated field. I understand on an intellectual level that my book and YouTube channel are just one work each in respective fields of thousands or hundred of thousands of competitors. So the numbers are already against me. That part I cannot change.

But what I had been able to change, up until about two months ago, is my attitude about it. If I strongly believed in biorhythms, I'd be saying that most of my days are "down days," where I'm feeling tired and pessimistic; but even in my lowest days, I usually felt creatively strong. At least strong enough to take my laptop to work and write or edit my books at lunch, or strong enough to record more videos for channel.

However, in the last month or so, something changed. I feel different. I feel like I've fully, 100% accepted that I'm just not that talented. That the book isn't that good, that whatever commentary I do on videos isn't that good, that my comedy isn't funny, that my drama isn't that gripping, that I am one of millions who think they can write, but who has little actual talent.

My left brain and right brain are at odds. I know I'm technically a better writer than, say, Snooki. She's now a best-selling author, but she at least had a platform for her book. That is, she was already stupid-famous, and anything she does has a built-in audience. It's the same reason Kim Kardashian's naked butt can cause a ruckus even though there's more porn on the Internet than... well, than anything. Kardashian already has an insane following, so anything she does will bring in money or fame that wouldn't be given to someone more anonymous.

So if I don't have a platform for my book or channel, then I have to rely on raw talent. And clearly, I am not that talented. I've said in another thread that I wanted to take over Online Onslaught when Rick retires, but even with OO, I finally see that I'm not worthy. I don't have his analytic mind, so if he did give me the keys to the castle, the site would likely just resemble a mark blathering with all the qualifications of someone who just saw his first match. OO's audience would crumble since it wouldn't have a unique draw or reason to stick around.

With all this realization, you would think I'm feeling sorry for myself... but I don't. I have, at some level, finally accepted that I am simply not good enough to ever make fame or money from anything creative I do. I don't necessarily want to be one of those who needs that kind of validation; I'd like to be the equivalent of an indie musician who only plays small gigs because he does it for the music and doesn't give two shits about being signed by a label. I want to be that. But that's not how I work, and I recognize that, for whatever reason, I need the validation of being liked and my works enjoyed. I don't write for an audience of one.

I'm not saying that this realization has cured me; far from it. I look at my life, my dead-end job, my meaningless degree (that cost me a bitch-ton of debt), my degrading health, my degrading environment (since I don't keep up on housework either), and I just see my past, present, and future all rolled into one. I want to do better, and I'm trying to seek out better jobs, but goddamn, I just don't feel it anymore. And I feel my desire to fight slipping away faster than it had been. Maybe this is how most people settle into mundane lives, but it doesn't take them this long to realize that fighting for their dream is a waste of time.

It's so weird... in the past year, I had an epiphany that my relationship with my book borders on romantic, which is fucking literally insane. (Daughtry's "It's Not Over" is pretty much my feelings to my first book as I try to get it published, assuming he's singing about an inanimate soulless creative work instead of some chick.) I had this passion, hunger, and constant desire to write and edit it, and get it as good as I could make it.

But not now. Something broke. And that lack of passion is bleeding into my other works. Even at OO, I'm trying far less to be clever or funny in recaps; I can see the difference in recaps I've written in the past month than the first half of 2014. Something has changed... and I just don't care about myself anymore. I see the future, where I feel it's just another 40 or so years of this bullshit until I can finally die, since my "curse" seems to be good health and a fairly strong body. It would have been torture every fucking second if I had my passion for the book still, since I would still be fighting. But not now.

I don't know, man. I don't any answers, since if I did, I'd try to enact them myself. Maybe I just have to get back on a routine of writing, but I don't know. Other than OO and IGN, I just don't care about it anymore. I'm out of fight, and it's one that no one else can help me with.

But if I can help your fight, I want to do it. I may not feel I have worth anymore, but I don't project that onto the rest of humanity. And if helping you (or anyone) gives my life a little worth, then maybe I'll start to come back around. So I'm always a phone call or e-mail away if you need me. Bullshit like this is easier if people like us can face it together.

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posted on 1-1-2015 at 05:05 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote

I know that other people have it rough as well...heck, I saw several of my own family members go through tough times in 2014.

I'm probably at the same point you are: That I just hit a wall motivationally. I feel like I can't try to advance my life until I get my finances in order, and that's a milestone that keeps moving farther away. I only have the one job and I don't know if I'd have it in me to get another one. I'm lucky I can pick up overtime on occasion.

I'm not nearly as motivated with my standup comedy these days, even with a new club in my area that's only a ten-minute drive away(as opposed to driving a half-hour into St. Louis for any other area show). The closest I have to a "credit" is the fact that I opened for Dustin Diamond a few months ago...something that doesn't sound as cool nowadays. I entered a comedy contest at the new club and didn't make it out of the first round...the competition was tough and I know the people that did advance were worthy, but I still felt let down.

Who knows where my career is headed. I switched my major in college from computer science to mass communications...even if I'd stuck with computers, that knowledge would be obsolete nowadays. Now I stand as someone with a bachelor's degree in communications who really isn't THAT good with talking to people. I've thought about going back to school but don't know what to study...maybe accounting since I was always good with math? I went to broadcasting school and worked at a radio station for about nine years, but that was a dead-end job and now I don't know if I want to get back into radio or not.

As far as your case goes, I think it is important to talk to someone about your issues and try to get help, regardless of how much you feel your own life is worth. The thought that "I don't matter" has run through my head more times than I can count and that sucks. One of the biggest things that weighs on a depressed person is the mindset that every other person is "doing okay". Some just hide their problems and pain better.

I used to do the column-writing and recapping thing, just not so much any more. I probably hit some sort of Sean Shannon threshhold(no offense to Sean) where I got tired of having to justify my likes/dislikes in wrestling. Sometimes you just like or don't like someone and it's hard to explain. Heck, it's like trying to explain the appeal of wrestling in general to someone who just doesn't, dare I say, "get it".

Just rambling here. My e-mail is [email protected].

RIP My Friend Mark, 1991-2016

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