Christmas Wish 2014

How did I think to ask Santa for this? I could make a fortune renting this out to people who desperately need it.

Or do the humane thing and just do it for free.

Meh, either way it still beats actually going outside to shovel the walk.

Just take my money already, please.

POGO – Upular (Rynecologist Helium Rework)

Something to help with that Wednesday lull. The week’s almost over!

Four Blades and Some Nivea

In 2012 I started shaving my head. I wish I could say I shaved my head for solidarity with a friend who was going through cancer treatments or that I lost my bet that the LA Kings wouldn’t win the Stanley Cup or that I failed at fire-juggling, but I did it for vanity. I am a vain, vain man. Long before I started my crusade against the gluten industry, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Alopecia is when your body doesn’t recognize hair as hair and causes it not to grow and creates bald patches. Occasionally I would have some flare-ups and I would use a steroid lotion to restart hair growth. This was my pattern until I graduated college and lost my health insurance. After that, it became very expensive to keep regrowing my hair. Late in 2011 I was losing my hair in larger and larger patches, and it was staying out for longer periods, too. Towards the end of May in 2012 I was missing about 45 percent of my hair and I could no cover it. I gave in and decided to shave it all off. I went to my hairdresser where she shaved off the remaining clumps and I went home to shave off the rest of it with lady’s leg razor. Seriously, those things are a godsend when it comes to going over the awkward contours of a head. I was now bald and proud. Hell, I even went out and bought some new hats so I wouldn’t burn my scalp in the summer sun. I started to rely more on my confidence and personality because, let’s face it, I couldn’t fall back on my blond-ginger roots to get me out of trouble. It was a pretty speculator summer and autumn. I started experimenting with my hair growth again toward the beginning of winter and discovered that most of it had grown back in the bald patches. I could grow out my hair out again. For almost all of 2013, I had my hair back in some very interesting and awkward hairstyles, but it was my hair from natural growth – no steroids or creams to induce it. That was until late in the fall when I had a resurgence of alopecia and the patches got bigger and bigger. I had to shave my head again after readjusting to having hair. This looked like it was going to be my new cycle. I started a new ritual of shaving my head weekly, which has now gone on a year. I kept it clean with my beard and changed my appearance from bald with a beard to completely shaven to a bald head with a mustache (with or without sideburns), it didn’t matter, I just wanted to keep changing my limited look. However, I was getting frustrated that no new hair had grown in the several months following my weekly ritual shearing. I went to a new dermatologist for suggestions and treatment. She put me a cream that just had to be left on for 30 minutes and washed off after applying it to the scalp. That was back in September and now in a few short months I’m already seeing hair growth and feeling a lot more optimistic about my scalp health. For the first time in nearly a year, I have hair in new places on my scalp and it’s only getting better. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to get a haircut, which sounds like a bizarre aspiration for a 26-year-old, but I really wanna be warm this winter.

Sweet dreams, kiddo.

I had a dream last night.

In this dream, I had new-found superpowers that I was still adjusting to. While I was visiting my grandparents with some relatives this psychopath a la the Winter Soldier decides to come after me.

I was scared. I tried hiding in the house, yelling at him to just go and leave me alone.

Instead, he ruins my grandma’s car and calls for cronies. He tried getting in the house, so my uncle and I slam the door on his hand and I take a sledgehammer to his protruding fingers. He runs away like a scared kitten. His backup eventually comes and leaves with him.

I try recollecting myself when a helicopter comes through the neighborhood chasing what I thought was the getaway car. So, I leave my grandparent’s house and go to a hero’s academy/museum.

I start talking to my mentor when suddenly an explosion shakes the building; my nemesis with his goons  are attacking the innocent in the museum.

I rush into action going from the back to the front of the building (and some how see all the duplicate heroes on permanent smoke break) while my teammates try to overpower. I show up, kill their battle robot while me and a teammate subdue the remaining three.

We capture them and my teammate, who’s a psychic, discovers they were under an evil spell. We dispel the curse only to discover they’re harmless humanoids and an alien who are begging for their lives, thinking they’re off the hook.

With a blinding light in my eyes, I decide that they can’t be trusted because if they fall again, they’ll go on another rampage destroying and harming more innocent people. I slice the green alien into bits, vaporize the red one into dust and torture my nemesis with lights beaming out of his mouth and eyes before his head explodes.

Then, I woke up in a warm sweat.

I say it was one of my stranger dreams, but I’ve had weirder ones. The superpowers were new and nice touch from my subconscious. Maybe next time I’ll actually let them live.

 

What I’ve Learned from My Depression (Final Entry)

This is the final entry in the series. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. Part Five. Part Six.

“Time To Move On”

I don’t have any advice or insight regarding this part. I’ve accepted that I need to move on (I’m sure she has too for herself), but I have a terrible track record when it comes to dating and romance. While I wish it were easy for me to just go out, hit on any woman I was interested in, have the night end in sex and/or a relationship, but I’m just not that guy. I’ve tried being that guy in my younger years and I was terrible at it. I think I knew that wasn’t me. However, I was so deadest on creating barricades and labyrinths for people to work through that I would come off as callous and awkward when really I’m just awkward. I honestly have no idea what to say for this section because your time to move on will come, but it depends on how much effort you’re really willing to put into it. I didn’t care about moving on until I felt like I was losing so much control of my life that I needed something to feel normal again. It’s just important to move forward and remember what made those nights special in the first place. It was the love and affection you felt towards one another that led to conversations about the future and fantasizing about life would be like outside of your town. The lazy nights spent watching horror movies and the days spent entertaining one another. The good mornings and good nights via texts that made each day better than the last. The inside jokes that made you blush when trying to explain it to someone else. The way you two slept entwined in the sheets hoping you would never have to leave that comfort… But sadly, you only have those memories left. Those memories will ignite your passion again and one day you’ll find someone to share those same sensations and feelings.

What I’ve Learned from My Depression (Part Six)

This is part of an ongoing series. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four. Part Five.

However, People Do Want What’s Best For You

If there’s one feeling I know better than anything else in the world, it’s isolation. As I mentioned in other posts, I’m really good at it, but that’s not a skill I’m proud of. I think maybe I was Bruce Banner in another life, but I digress from the point. I forged a lot of good online friendships with a fair share of people and while they had the same derivative response of “don’t worry, it gets better” (the one thing you don’t say to someone with depression) I could tell that they cared and really wanted me to get better for myself. However, do the overwhelming nature of my anxiety billowing down, I wasn’t able to get myself to “normal” for months. That’s the sad reality of when you’re by yourself yet surround by people: they all want what’s best for you, but you can’t see that in the mist of your depression.

Don’t Hold Out

Even though she said “I’m not opposed to reconnecting, but it won’t be for a while” the phrase “a while” is incredibly convoluted and vague. It’s almost impossible to determine what a while really is. In my old business, “a while” could range from a few minutes to a few days to a few weeks. And when does it become appropriate to restart this talk? After the holidays or before you get those new puppies? When? You have to decide if that’s a talk you want to have and if it’s something you want to pursue. Even though I wanted to talk to her every day, I never found a good enough reason to start a conversation or find one that would make me seem like I was doing better when I wasn’t. I didn’t need to be “that” guy trying to make things happen when they weren’t going to be any different from the last time around. No one needs that chaos in their life.

Clichés Are There For A Reason

There are three things I hate: terrorists, clichés and gluten free bread in that order. Terrorists for obvious reasons, gluten free bread is terrible and crumbly, and clichés just rehash the same one line and message multiple times. However, I learned during my tenure in the deep dark cavern of depression that clichés as inspirational messages and typographical posters do help the healing process. Even simple messages and quotes, no matter how often you see or hear them, can help you feel better about your situation. I didn’t have any particular quote or passage that I loved reading when I was feeling particularly vulnerable, but going through Tumblr tags and seeing what others had posted or reblogged helped ease that grief a bit. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to see me through to the next day.

Big Hero Wallpapers

So, I get bored and I decided to make some Big Hero 6 wallpapers. I just made Baymax because I haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t know about the other characters. Enjoy!  

What I’ve Learned from My Depression (Part Five)

This is part of an ongoing series. Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.

Find A Favorite CD Because That’s Going To Be Your New Best Friend

Everyone has their favorite break-up song and their favorite album to listen to while they’re depressed. I got into fun.’s Some Nights and Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange right around the same time during the first few months of 2013 a.k.a. my re-formative months. Fun. let my quasi-emotional side come out in a swirl of ballads and anthems, while Frank Ocean wrote more poetic and melodic jams that allowed me to enjoy those moments of desire without feeling like I was backsliding. They were crucial in helping me cope without her and reconstruct my some of my romantic ideology. A good album will do wonders for the remnants of your soul.

Keep Your Photos And Saved Messages, But Don’t Romanticize Everything

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get nostalgic on old photos and saved text messages. I did and it was nice just to think about old times and uncomplicated everything was before the ship went down. Seeing how your relationship evolved into what it was when it was its peak and going over pictures from the special moments for you two was a nice way to remember how it used to be before you realized she was a Shark and you’re a Jet, and well, let’s face it: those are pretty terrible gang names. But in seriousness, I was finding myself remembering the good times and trying to remember them in different ways, until I would immerse myself in that reality. I was disconnected from time and speak so frequently about something that happened months ago like it was last week. I wasn’t doing myself any favors by indulging in nostalgia that frequently. I found a balance between indulgence and restraint, but it takes time and people to get you back to normal.

No One Will Have The Answer You’re Looking For

There’s a theory that people never really talk to you about their problems for your opinion; you’re just a sounding board while they babble on and eventually solve the issue themselves. People just like to hear themselves talk until you can chime in and make them feel inadequate about everything. I used to do it all the time. I would rave and fume about something foolish until I looped around the solution I was trying to find in the first place. I would normally get some clichéd response, but occasionally the people I would chat with would have something productive to add to the conversation, but I would ignore it because I’m arrogant and stubborn.

 

What I’ve Learned from My Depression (Part Four)

This is part of an ongoing series. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

Be Wary Of Online Addiction

I spent so much time on Buzzfeed and Tumblr, I should’ve been given a content editor credit for their websites. I currently have three full folders of Buzzfeed links on my iPad and almost 7,000 likes on Tumblr. I haven’t revisited any of these likes or links, but I know they’re important to me because I took the time to read and rate them, and save them for future reference when I need or want to. I may have taken that addiction too far at work when I started using only those websites as reference tools for content. I did get a lot of good stuff from them, but I felt like I was cheating my mind of letting other websites invade and put their own crazy ideas into my suggestive mind. While I was spending a lot of time online, nothing decent was coming from it.

Hell, Be Wary Of Any Addiction

I have an addictive personality. I didn’t know it until I was 22 and I would immerse myself in media to distract myself from the people and places around me. It explains an awful lot of lost hours online and in books about nothing to try and understand the world at large. For me it was television shows that were readily available for me to stream and some in cases had a vast mythos that would let me get lost in content for hours. It was a way to escape without putting in the commitment to move forward. It got to the point where we (my family and friends) were completely okay with letting me get lost in something in trivial just as long as it wasn’t something involving my ex.

Self-Mutilation Crosses Your Mind

I don’t have a history of self-mutilation. The only scars I have on my body are ones that were accidentally etched into my skin during my childhood and my tattoos. During my lowest points I would occasionally go to the kitchen with headphones on, blaring something overly emotional and earnest while mentally replaying old dates and just hold a knife. I would never do anything with it, but somehow just holding that much destructive power in such a small piece of metal comforted me, and the idea of slicing my skin into a mosaic of flesh and scars would wash over me. It felt like the perfect way to cap my shitty existence, until the song would change I would snap myself out of it. That’s a chilling experience that happened more times than I care to admit, but don’t give into it. Those scars won’t heal how you want them to and you’ll have too much explaining to do.

What I’ve Learned from My Depression (Part Three)

This part of an ongoing series. Part One. Part Two.

Porn Will Not Fill The Void

Sorry, Charlie but that vaguely, similar looking female that kind of looks like your ex is just going to cause you shame and remorse as soon as you’re done blowing your jizz nose. I know that analogy is disgusting and a bit uncivilized, but most people watch pornography in some way shape or form. While some months were better than others, I had a porn problem. I wasn’t watching it at work or in public and I kept it pretty under wraps, but the frequency and length that I was partaking in that perverse pleasure was distressing. I almost put the parental controls on just so I could use the Internet without going to a dirty site. Eventually I disgusted myself so much that I refocused that energy into doing something more productive rather than seeing how many naughty pictures I could save my iPad before anyone noticed.

On That Note: Don’t Backslide Into Bad Habits

This one was tough for me because I wasn’t sure what my bad habits were. What felt like indulgent pleasures that I would partake in once a month or so became a daily activity for me. No matter how much I thought I was improving, I was still falling back into old habits. It’s tough to drudge yourself out of them, too. Once you start yourself on a better path, you need to stay on it despite what that low-tone voice is saying in the back of your head. That voice is secretly the sin of sloth trying to prevent you from doing anything productive. He’s slowing convincing you that what you’re doing is normal and okay, even though you know it’s wrong and counter-intuitive. That bastard used to win against me all the time, until I finally took a bottle of vodka down his throat. That one worked surprisingly well.

Your Motivation Will Ebb and Flow

The problem with the ebb and flow spectrum is that with depression (especially when it’s untreated), you tend to stay more on the ebb side. Even when you have the flow to get things done, you’ll work for a few hours and then scurry yourself back to your cave to stay out of the public’s eye. Even if you have a semi-productive day, it still won’t feel like enough because you’re letting yourself down at every at turn. Especially if you spend all day online comparing your situation to everyone else’s and not on what’s important for you. I was caught in comparing every minute detail of my life with people from college who I hadn’t spoken to in years and that was one of my biggest problems.

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