I Can People, Too!

That’s it. I am absconding with the word “peopling” or “to people”. Usually, one uses this word in reference to adding a population to an area. Whether it’s God filling the Earth with humans, or creating a colony in a new place. I’d like to add a new definition:

People: [pee-puh l] v. 1. successfully interacting with other human beings in a predictable manner. 2. appearing in a socially acceptable manner at a gathering or party. 3. to clearly communicate needs and desires between two persons. 4. to traverse a sensitive interpersonal situation without causing undo offense.

I have a hell of a time peopling some days. Usually it’s because I’m super anxious about how people are judging me. I start trying too hard. Because I’m focusing so hard on being a good people-er, I miss the important stuff, like dates, or numbers. Of course, those details become critical later in the conversation, proving to everyone that I’m absolutely terrible at peopling. At most parties I feel like:

Image: Rory Bristol

Image: Rory Bristol

The awkwardness compounds over every mistake. I feel more and more pressure to people properly, until I’m standing there with a fake smile on my face, nodding to show I’m paying attention, and awkwardly walking away as soon as nobody is looking at me directly. If someone asks where I’m going, I just say, “I wanted to see what’s going on over there.”

Some days, I feel successful if I make a phone call, and the other person doesn’t think I’m a broken robot. Other days, I’m glad if I didn’t walk into the room with my dick out. It takes all kinds of days, right?

Today, I’m celebrating ordering my birthday cake without feeling like a complete idiot. I did get an odd look when I asked for a My Little Pony cookie cake with pink icing reading, “Happy birthday, Rory the Awesome!” After the clerk took it all down, I realized that he thought the cake was for a girl named Rory. Here I was preparing myself to explain that I do, in fact, like MLP, and that “the Awesome” was a title added to my name by someone else, and this guy is just like, “Sounds good!”

OFF THE HOOK, Y’ALL!

I’m going to mark this day in my diary, because I feel awesome. That is all. Go about your peopling, or your people-hood, or whatever.

Posted in Anxiety, Daily Update, Mental Illness | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Code Monkey

"Monkey-typing" by New York Zoological Society - Public Domain

“Monkey-typing” by New York Zoological Society – Public Domain

Sorry for the earworm, but seriously. My yesterday revolved around cleaning and coding. The coding part is for a programming class to learn how to design Minecraft servers. I want to create an interactive place for me and the kids to play with different rules and stuff, all while never having to worry about griefers and trolls. Most servers also have pay-to-win options, or features you cannot access without buying passes, or participating in forums for the server.

I spent hours watching tutorials and following directions. It was interesting, boring, exciting, and a little underwhelming as well. There was so much to keep track of. I’m actually learning Java, and I don’t have to worry too much about it being perfect. If there are errors, they are mine, and nobody else has to point them out.

As you can see, I had a normal day. No crying, no anger, no anxiety medicine. Just a calm day. I call that progress.

P.S. Now I have that fucking song stuck in my head, again! 

P.P.S. [Edit] Got it out, thank God for Britney Spears!

Posted in Coping Skills, Daily Update | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How Many F*cks?

Image: Rory Bristol

Image: Rory Bristol

Everybody manages their energy in different ways, right? Some people subscribe to the spoon theory, and others just schedule themselves really, really well. Not me. I have a pile of fucks, and they run out.

Today, I have no fucks. I don’t have the fucks to be nice to the neighbors. I don’t have the fucks to match my socks. I don’t have the fucks to evenly spread the butter on my toast. Everything is “good enough” or it is left undone completely.

I don’t even have the fucks to care about whether this post is completely shit. Sorry if it is, I still love you, I just don’t care if this one’s a little shitty.

I kinda wish I had a +2 Shirt of Fucks, but if I owned a shirt like that, I could only wear it when I was completely out of fucks, all Allie Brosh style.

I give so few fucks that my lack of fucks is, in fact, a +2 Shirt of Fucks, and fuck you if you don’t like it.

It’s one of those days. Yeah.

 

 

P.S. Did you know “Fuck” can be pretty much any part of a sentence?

Fucking Fuckers Fucking Fuck Fucking Fucks, Fucker.

P.P.S. Also, if you look at the word fuck long enough, it no longer looks like *fuck*, and instead looks about as sensical as this post.

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A Wake and a Funeral

Reaching the Skies by ThisWolfWalksAlone on deviantART (CC BY 3.0)

Reaching the Skies by ThisWolfWalksAlone on deviantART (CC BY 3.0)

This last weekend was a blur to me.

Jenny and I hosted the wake, and had dozens of folks show. We played games to honor George, and had pizza, wings, cola, and other noms. I met his brothers, his sister, and his father. George was greatly loved, and people loved celebrating his life by playing his favorite games.

The funeral service was beautiful and sad. People from all over North America had come to see George off, and to share their memories and how they loved George. I was honored with the chance to speak, and I held in tears as I bragged on him mercilessly.

This entire last week has been filled with joy, appreciation, and love. George filled a lot of hearts full of love and kindness, and even people who only met him a few times knew that he was safe and wouldn’t judge anyone.

I’m sorry I didn’t post over the weekend. It was a long 48 hours, and I couldn’t bring myself to write anything, because I was so sleepy, sad, and lost.

There are no words to describe George, and no way to explain the loss of George. But I can say this.

There is no hole in my heart. Instead, there is a vault placed in my heart, and it is full of the love George gave me. I am stronger for having known him, and I am forever changed by his love.

As for you, dear reader, know that you are loved. Know that you aren’t alone. Know that you are worth it. You have my humblest of thanks for your support, comments, emails, and digital hugs. You improve my life every time you see my posts.  Thank you.

Posted in Daily Update, Death | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing Your Pain – The Dumping Circles

I’ve long since learned, and try to live by a simple rule. When in pain, grief, fear, or frailty, there are only a couple of rules for being a good human. I call it the Dumping Circles Rule. When someone has died, for example, there is an order of who gets to dump sadness on whom. Because of current events, I’ll use George’s passing as the example here.

Dumping Circles

It starts in the middle, with Family. Family should always be allowed to dump out, and should never be dumped on. If you are not family, you do not get to say, “I can’t handle this,” or, “This is just too hard,”  or, “It’s not just about you,” to the family. Ever. End of story. The only things that should go “in” are compassion, support, respect, and honor.

The next circle is Close Friends. This isn’t about people who know someone a little bit. This is the circle of people who know all of the deceased’s fears, illness, weaknesses, and passions. Friends are the people you trust so much that you’d die for them. Friends are the kick in the ass you need when you aren’t looking hard enough for a new job. Family gets to dump on Friends. Friends do not get to dump on Family. It’s the responsibility of the Friends to comfort the family if they can, and bring support from others even closer to the Family.

The next section is for less close Friends, and Friends of the Family. These are people who knew the deceased, but not everything about them. This circle knew their schedules, and their birthdays. They knew what the deceased liked on their pizza, and saw them on a regular basis. These people may have known the deceased a long time, or a little. These people don’t know about daily struggles, or successes of the day-to-day. This circles gets to dump out to the next level, and help in their own ways.

The last section is for everyone else. If you knew each other by name, or you attended some of the same parties or restaurants, this is your circle. This circle lacks knowledge of hobbies, diet, birth dates, religious preferences, and/or passions. This is not a bad place to be. It’s just a guideline for who to cry with, or who to support.

Now, none of this negates your experience. Whether you had a short but powerful bond, or you knew the deceased your whole life, you can’t compare pain. I’m not saying you should minimize your emotions, or make them less. What I’m saying is:

Know your audience.

If you think you might be dumping in, then stop. Bring the conversation back to them, and maintain your composure if you can. If you can’t handle it, greet the person in the inner circle, wish them your best, and then find an appropriate shoulder to soak with tears.

To George’s family: If you feel like I’m dumping in, tell me. This blog isn’t for dumping in. It’s for sharing my experiences as honestly and plainly as possible. It is not in any way meant to affect you negatively. I cannot fathom the depth of your loss, the memories now changed, and the pain of losing a lifetime partner and friend. I am always at your service, and send my love, respect, and prayers with you. But I can’t leave this experience off. Terminally Intelligent has become one of my most powerful coping mechanisms. I can only hope you understand.

Posted in Coping Skills, Daily Update, Death | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Too Real

Apathy Dude

Image: Rory Bristol

I thought it was supposed to feel like it isn’t real. I hear people say that it doesn’t feel real to them when someone dies… I don’t get it. I wake up several times a night, with no idea why I’m upset. The it hits me: George is dead. I return to restless sleep. I wake up: George is dead. Repeat. Repeat. Needless to say, I had a restless night.

I can’t stop thinking about it. Not that I’m trying to. It’s just that every time I get lost in my work, or relax, or literally five minutes goes by, someone calls, or texts, or emails me. People looking for answers I can’t give them. People hoping that I’ll be strong, or help them understand. I don’t have answers, and I feel powerless and lost.

People keep saying things like, “I know it’s not as bad for me as it is for (Rory, Jenny, George’s family, etc.), and I cannot say this enough: Grief is not a scale. There is no comparison. If I thought anyone had the rights to all the grief, I would have never mentioned it once. The loss of George is overwhelming for George’s family. I cannot fathom their thoughts, their pain, or their loss. But there’s no metric for this.

I want to say to all of my readers, friends, and family: I am not alone. I am not the only one with pain. I find solace in the voices crying out. I want to cry out back:

You aren’t alone, and your feelings are perfectly valid.

It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to feel lost. It’s okay to not know what to do, or what to say. We don’t know either. This is a total nightmare for everyone. Feel your feelings, be honest with yourself, and be honest with those you love. Your feelings are valid. And I realize as I type this that my feelings are valid too.

I’m going to go cry in my room, hiding from my kids while my snot and tears soak into my wife’s shirt. This sucks.

Posted in Coping Skills, Daily Update, Death | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Best Friend Just Died

Dispair Dude Death

I don’ t even know where to begin. At therapy yesterday, I received a message from George‘s mother, asking that I swing by and check on him. This isn’t an unusual request. He’s long since accepted that I would just show up sometimes to make sure he was okay. My therapist’s office was about, I dunno, a block and a half from his house, so I said “sure” and went over.

I knocked on the door. I called into his (slightly open) window. I got no answer. I knocked for another few minutes, and finally realized that knocking wasn’t going to do it. His car was there. His roommates’ cars weren’t. I really wanted to just go in. But, of course, there are trespassing laws and stuff, and I’m not on a come-on-in basis with his roommates. So, I did the only rational (and most responsible) decision possible. I called the police, and requested a wellness check.

In case you don’t know, a wellness check is when an officer (or a few of them) go into a person’s home without a warrant because of justifiable belief that the person who should invite them in, well, can’t. I answered a bunch of questions about when he had been seen last, about his recent personal and professional life, and then they went in. It turns out, one of the roommates was home, but didn’t hear me knocking over his video games. 100% understandable, and I am not being sarcastic, that’s a thing, and it’s totally valid. #HermitLife

The roommate invited us in. The officers knocked on George’s bedroom door, called out, etc. No answer. They went in, saw him in bed, and called out some more. I looked in. He looked like he was sleeping. He was laying in his bed, looking just like he always does when he’s asleep. Except he wasn’t breathing.

The officers had the roommate and me leave the house, and we talked with a lot of officers and a detective, and stuff happened. They were kind, professional, and were seriously the nicest folks on the planet. I think I may bake them cookies, and that’s not a joke.

An officer drove me to George’s parents’ home, and I had the saddest honor of my life. I broke the news to them in person. For the rest…. Well, I’m going to leave that alone. Not my story to tell.

What I came here to say is this: Call you mother. Tell her you love her. I am going to today, and that’s not something I normally do, for a variety of reasons. *cough, cough* Call your friends. George was not an old guy. He was not even middle-aged. He just died. Don’t assume everyone knows you love them. Tell them, goddammit.

Goodbye George. I wipe a tear from my eyes as I type this, but I love you, and always will.

Posted in Death, Depression, Mental Illness | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments