When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Saturday, June 28, 2008


I was at Geek Central and just wanted to post some fond Convention highlights which reminded me that I was happy;The guy to the left is that guy I posted about a few months ago who conversated with me over pizza during the NY Con geek get together and I wasn't on meds yet and didn't go to the bar afterwards, but then again neither did he. But later he turned up on a podcast I like and shouted me out. One hell of a nice guy. And cute too, right? :p He drove to the con from here in NY like I did, and circulated, meeting people, shaking hands, hanging out. And it's funny, I had my group who I hung out with, and he did too, but he would find his way to us and he and I had great conversations. I complimented him on the way he made friends and he said that it was not as easy as it looks. Then I noticed his fingernails--every one of them nibbled away to the quick. Isn't that something? Everyone's experience is different, I guess. Big props to him that he faces his fears and plows through to happiness. and again, you can't ignore the cute!

The guy in the Hulk shirt is the maker (1/2) of the Charlie Brown vid. Check out MY guns, Gyuss! And mah sexy bellah!!

And here is the face I make when I ... have fun. LOL!

Buckle Up!!!

You cannot believe it. But it's real.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So... How 'Bout Them Mets?

Sorry. Sorry sorry sorry. This post will have precisely nothing to do with the Mets. Or any sports at all. Unless you consider this volleying back and forth of my emotions a sport.

In the last few days GrimJester and MFTD have given me two plans to leave my day job and stretch out and attempt to turn my night job into a fulltime gig. So I'm getting that wanderlust again.

When This Redeemable Life gets stagnant (not the blog but the actual article in question --the life) then I get the urge to pick up and scoot. Last year I didn't feel like I should go a'wandering because I was exiled to George's basement and paying no rent and so should've been saving a ton of money (even though I wasn't) instead of going anywhere. But I DID pay off all my creditors and eliminated that debt. But then the car accident advented (the first one) and I needed to buy a new car. And that was when George gave me my walking papers. I've gone by his house a few times during the last year (fortuitously missing him) and saw that the "putting the house for sale" excuse was a total lie. He probably saw me buying a new car a got insulted that I was freeloading off him--although that's exactly what he offered for me to do. I guess if a bloke is doing badly, you feel more charitable than if a bloke is doing well. But trust and believe--I am more grateful to George for kicking me out than I am to him for taking me in. HAHA! It's TRUE!

So the move back to New York scratched that wanderlust itch last year. Now ... I'm getting it again. Moving is like I'm actually doing something constructive in my life. And the sense of putting the past behind me, or at least, the sense of dropping a pile of responsibility is a heady one. It's like coming out of a chrysalis and flying free.

It could very well be a poor replacement for changing my life with a relationship, but let's face it. That's just not going to happen to me. I'm on meds, and now I'm happy not trying anymore. It's such a hassle. Maybe not for you, dear reader, but it is for me. It's just who I am. As a therapist, I get the chance to interact with the most intimate details of the lives of human beings and make a difference in their lives for the better. That is full of relationship satisfaction. And I get paid for it. With a potential of making a LOT of it (money). Thereby being able to buy all the comicbooks I want. And take as many trips as I want. And I think that's just going to be me. No fuss, no muss.

So I want to quit my day job, sell off my car, (even if at a loss), to get rid of the payments and insurance costs and the gas prices and the bridge toll (40.00 a week), and take on more clients at the counseling center to become a full time therapist.

But mostly, I want to scratch this itch. And watch Doctor Who. And read blogs, answer e-mail, and post on comicbooks blogs and make adventure audios.

And be happy.

I wanna be happy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Post-Vacation Blues

The bad news is that I forgot my camera for the trip.

The good news is that everyone else remembered theirs and are geeks, so they are posted at Geek Central. Warning, in them you will see a very happy, very social Alan. More on that later. Also in the pics is one of that guy I met back at the New York geek gathering, when he and I both declined going to the bar, and I thought I missed my chance for friendship with him, but he shouted me out on a podcast later on.

None of them know about this blog, so they don't know what was swimming around in my head during my trip, which was mostly "Oh my God. How glad am I that I'm on these meds?"

The meds have honestly, actually made a change in the quality of my life. Things that I wanted to do, I did. There were comic creators that I walked up to and started conversations with. People that I promised online to come check out--I actually went and checked them out. In comic book panels (auditorium rooms where the comic creators address the audience) at question-asking time, I actually asked a question. And when it came to meeting my geek friends whom I only knew from typed words at Geek Central -- I got my hug from every one of them.

The first guy I met was the creator of the Hey Ya, Charlie Brown vid (STILL located at the bottom of this page). Normally, I'd be shaking, afraid to death. But not this time (Dawn, it really WAS Worst Case Scenario Man's corpse you discovered!!) When my geek buddy crossed the street, towering over me, I said "Give me my hug!" (for I had warned them that they would have to do so ahead of time.) From that point on, it was golden. All weekend.

When you follow the link to the thread that has the pics of the weekend, you'll also find that my fellow geeks had the same experience. They felt the miles dissolve and love took their place. These guys say things in the thread that I dare to say, such as, "I love you, man." This was one of the reasons I listened to their podcast. They're married geeks (yeah, these blokes are not yer father's geeks) and they aren't afraid to show emotion for one another. They say what's on their minds, and show love for whoever they want to show love to. And you'll find a lot of them shared their love for me, and described me in ways that I want to be described. That was because I was who I wanted to be this weekend. I was social, and honest, and happy, and not afraid.

And they showed me such love. And I showed it right back! And it was glorious! These guys are my brothers. They took me in, just like you guys do. Miles and miles between us all, but the love is strong and right here in our hearts. It's a beautiful thing.

And of course, I'm aching for more of it.

So here is a treat for you all. Being geeks, one of the brethren made a video. Like to see it, here it go!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pre-Vacation Blues

If one more of my day job clients has a problem, I'm sure I'm going to go postal.


But I'm so ready to get in my car and drive south that I can taste the Waffle House grits & sausage already.

It's been crazy this last week--literally, given my profession. Daytime clients punching staff in the nose and nighttime clients nearly losing their life and vitality to drugs and alcohol. And get this, I opened up one workday to taking clients at the NY center, and within a week, it filled up to having SEVEN of them. That's SEVEN in ONE DAY in addition to the TWO PER NIGHT Mon-Thurs. It's really making me think that I could let go of the dayjob and do therapy at the center full-time.

That would actually be my dream come true. Work in New York, live in New York, and get rid of my car, car insurance, car payments, and the need to find parking constantly. Plus it would pay me a nice amonut of money, and I wouldn't have to work more than 30 hours a week.

The only drawbacks is no insurance benefits (unless I find a carrier) and I have to pay my own taxes, plus the flow of clients are not guaranteed. Somehow, I think those things are surmountable.

Let me just go on my vacations (this weekend and next month) and take a few breaths before I consider this again, because right now--oh my. It sounds good.

I promise to take pics. :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vacation, June '08

For an idea as to what I'm doing to improve my mood/situation, this podcast has 4 of the 5 main guys I'm going to be hanging out with down at the comics convention next weekend. I'll be staying in a hotel room with the first two guys that you hear when you follow the link, plus one other guy (the sleepwalker that they joke about). Also, one of these guys is the one I told you about who did the "Hey Ya, Charlie Brown" video. Within the first 10 minutes you get the idea of who they are, and you get to hear them mention me.

So you see, sometimes I'm bummed, but more often these days, I'm taking the bull by its horns and kicking it in the nuts. That's right, I said NUTS!! (Lookit me, all masculine an' vulgar! I might even drink some alcohol next week. WOO!)

And to warm it up, look what I found over at Tera's blog!!
The text from "bizarremedia" explains this stuff comes from VHS tapes made in 1995. There's a whole series of his outtakes called "Roving Reporter Etiquette." I LOVE how he switches from "sterile news reporter" to "skeeved out brotha" in 0.5! LOL! And yes, we can all do it. LOL!!!!!

And now one of a much more popular TV personality...

And our own darling Sue Simmons here in the biggest, most sophisticated city in the world;

"Party on, Garth!
Party on, Wayne!"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You Know, I Don't Believe I Like This At All

My mood from yesterday won't go away. Damn it, I feel so pissy.

Yesterday I put in a call to MFTD to get some phone love in the absence of a good hug. I said to him, "Validate me." He commenced to trying to fix me instead of just freaking hugging me. Then of course he had to hang up so he could go work one of his many jobs, thereby pulling in his three figure salary (combined with his lovely wife's of course) so they can maintain their standard of living in Connecticut by the bay, and he said he'd call me back, but has he? Nooooo.

And why should he--I'm just a whiny, needy little bitch who he's tired of going round and round with on this pathetic little merry-go-round that I call My Redeemable Life.

And am I jealous of him? Hells yes, I'm jealous. I'm jealous of everybody. And I'm so effing mad about that that I feel evil right now. DAMMIT!

I don't like this! I don't like this!!


People, pay no attention to the crazy little man in the cage. Enjoy your lives. You deserve to.

I'll be fine eventually. Or not. What the hell ever.

I need an increase in my meds.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What The Meds Are *Not* Doing ...

... I find they aren't taking away a lonely pang. I must confess, I know about SSRIs but not everything about them. I don't know which chemical in my brain or body that the meds effect except the name "serotonin". And even then I know it has something to do with feeling good, and I certainly do feel better. I'm not as weighed down.

But I am still alone. And I do still feel the absence of dear people that I want to be with. And while I'm not as hesitant to pick up the phone and call folks, I still have the same questions in my head about the act of calling. Will they be annoyed that I called? Will they be too busy to talk to me? Will I contact them too often and will they come to dread seeing my number/name on their identifier? When I consider that the answer to any of those questions may be "Yes," I don't feel the same terror at that prospect. It doesn't make me feel diminshed or worthless anymore. I guess feeling better physically & emotionally helps me be a little quicker on the defense mechanisms--a little more able to tell myself that I'm an okay guy with a lot to offer.

But the fact remains as well that I'm a needy, okay guy with a lot to offer. I'm a forty-something guy who misses the company of distant friends and the central attention and comfort of a significant human being. The meds are not erasing the fact that I just need a good hug.

I have to find a way to get a good hug. :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Whirlwind

In response to the comments of the last post, Tera, I have learned quite well. I'm paying for the services, so they have to step to me correctly. If not, I am going to let them know this. :-D

Scott, it was the whirlwind that I used to fear. Or maybe something nameless. Just a general "Oh No, I'd Better Not"-ness of life. Whatever that was, it's been keeping me back for decades. For me it didn't just end at a service counter. It's a miracle that I have had jobs, any girlfriends, or made any major changes at all.

I mean, I guess I can afford to give myself some credit where it's due. I have fought through a lot of fear and have successfully carried out a lot of life decisions. Before I started blogging, I didn't have a lot of people in my corner. There was MFTD, but precious little else. I'd already effectively left my religion, so all those supports were gone. But I did do things.

Yet, I look back and I see a succession of flops. All the women I've left. All the jobs I've burned through. I once had a job that pays me more than I make now, which was visiting at-risk youth in their homes, assessing their needs, and supervising counselors. I abandoned it because the fear of visiting these unknown places and facing unknown challenges grew to the point of phobia. That was when I first lived in NYC. When I stopped that job, I lost the ability to afford to stay in NY, and thus my eviction. When I look back on the original blogposts of that job, it's clear to see the anxiety creeping up on me. I had put it in writing. I soldiered on. I was using the blog to slog it out. But obviously, it was not enough.

Even the job I have right now--guess what? I've had it for 2 1/2 years, and I've already burned through all my personal/sick time. I have zero hours. I didn't spend them all on car accidents, let me tell you. I spent them on late arrivals at the job, and days I didn't feel good enough to even go to work. I've posted on some of those days. I called them "Playing Hooky," while most of the people I work with are being penalized for having too much sick time and never having used them. NEVER USING SICK TIME?!!? Unimaginable to me to believe that people could work five days a week, 4.3 weeks a month, 12 months a year, year after year without taking off anything but the holidays. Unfathomable.

Why did I wait so long to get treatment? By its sheer definition, I had/have a disorder. There were literally days in my life that I couldn't function. And if not days, then crucial hours at the least. Hours that threw me off game for the rest of the day.

Bah. Blub blub blub. Done now. Future's ahead. I've gotten treatment. I'm not just a "morning person" now. I'm a "functioning person."

That's alright with me.

So let's end on a laugh, shall we?

Look what I found. There's a series of this lil' dude...

Unexpected Benefits 2

Insomnia? I'll see the prescribing doc on the 13th and we'll see what's what. But I like waking up early and staying up. I like the opportunity to go to the gym. On both Monday and Tuesday I've had people asking me if I lost weight. On Mon I was wearing loose clothing and Tues I was wearing a polo shirt (with my guns flashing, lol--mind you, I'm no Q, but...).

I also found a new aspect of benefits from the meds. On my way home from the counseling center last night I grabbed two hot dogs and a drink from Gray's Papaya on 72nd & Broadway. For the drink I chose the coconut "surprise". The surprise was that it was like taking a sip from the collection bin of a wood chipper. Too much coconut flakes! It was disgusting! And the liquid content tasted like coconut-soaked water. Now, maybe that was perfectly normal for that drink, but it wasn't what I expected.

So I turned right around and told the man I didn't like it, and that I'd take a Pina Colada instead. Yes, after I sipped it--twice--while walking out of the store. I turned right back around and asked for a replacement. I actually said, "This doesn't work for me."

What's the big benefit, you ask? People, I


do that.

I've never done it in my life. If I walk away, or drive from the drive-thru dissastisfied, I just gripe and cuss alone, then either gag it down, or throw it away. It occurs to me to ask for a correction, but I never really want to follow through. Once I did it over the phone when hanging out with my Westchester crew when it came to a phone-in order, but face-to-face? No WAY. I've done it at the bank when my money was acting funny and my change was strange, but I was trembling with near-psychotic rage at the time and I'm sure the teller was ready to hit her little red button at the sight of me, but on the whole--no.

Yet last night, it just seemed like the natural way to handle what I was not satisfied with. I wasn't angry and I wasn't nasty to the man. I just had no problem reapproaching him to correct a problem.

If I can do that, I think I can do a lot more! Like go to a club!

There's a bar party scheduled for Saturday night after a geek event, and I've already planned to go. I'm not going to drink, because I just don't, but if there's an opportunity to dance--dammit, I'm going to dance! Because I just want to!

By the way, about the missed med on Monday--this morning I had a hard time getting up. I went to sleep at about 11:00pm, and I lay in the bed until about 6:30am, then putzed around on the computer until 7:20. That was my routine before the meds, and sometimes I putzed longer than that. Then I wind up huffing out of the door at about 9ish. I don't want to go back to that. I like having the energy and motivation to get up and out by 6:30a! So I dutifully took my med this morning (and I did so yesterday morning. Thus it seems it takes two days for a missed med to have effect.)

And THAT'S one to grow on!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Unexpected Benefits

No, not the Stimulus Check.

The meds. They've made me a morning person. Ever since the first few days, I've been going to bed at about 10:30, but it doesn't hurt my feelings in the least bit to go out at 10:00 or even 9:30. My eyes pop wide open at about 1:30AM and I lay there wondering if I'll be up for the rest of the night. I might surf a bit, check out the doings at Geek Central, then use the facilities and head bac to bed. When 5:00 Am rolls around, up I jump and I stay awake.

So this morning I went back to the gym. It's the first time since the car accident. I've also committed to the day job that I'll work from 8AM to 4PM, and that I'll work from Sunday to Thurs, giving me Fri & Sat off. This allows me the legitimate right to be at the counseling center by 5:30 on Mons - Thurs (with a lot of minutes to spare) and start the sessions by 6:00. I've limited my caseload to two clients per day, unless it's a Friday, in which I can do all day if necessary. Friday I can wake up whenever I want to (although it's still early), Saturdays are all mine, and Sunday after the day job is all mine too without rushing. It feels like three days off.

So life feels more manageable. Dawn found Worst-Case Scenario Man's corpse up in Connecticut, which is promising. I happen to know a little something about archvillains, but I will take this reprieve gladly.

And again, I'm not feeling the weight of my aloneness. I'm not even worrying about the prospect of staying this way. I don't get the usual twist of misery when I consider all others' successes. This is good and bad. Good in that I could use a little less misery. Bad in that it may keep me complacently alone.

Still I think if I increase my social life and just enjoy my moments, then maybe someone will appear and maybe someone won't. It's all a bit of "meh" right now. I have a trip to Charlotte, NC coming up near the end of the month where there will be a big meeting of my geeks from Geek Central, and I plan on abandoning all responsibility for that weekend. I'm going to hole up in a hotel room with three other guys (one of which will be the "Hey Ya, Charlie Brown" co-creator) and sleep on the floor, and watch them get drunk, and talk comics and movies and Doctor Who and probably sex (knowing guys) and laugh and laugh and laugh.

And this just in--I ran out of the apartment so fast today that I forgot to take my med! Oh well. I won't forget tomorrow.