Hey Kids! Remember Me?!

Yeah. Me neither.

There’s been a lot happening in my life since the last update. First, I spiraled into a world of hurt and depression and anxiety to the point where I wanted to end my life. The dark times were longer, the up times were shorter and dimmer, and I honestly thought that this was it.
Then I saw Dr. Patel. He’s the psychologist at the clinic where I see my therapist. My friend works there and arranged a meeting. Dr. Patel was very thorough with his questions about me and my depression. He asked me if I’d taken anything before and I replied yes and it nearly killed me. He prescribed venlafaxine and I’ve been taking it since April.

That first two weeks was, well, I didn’t know life could be like that. I had no idea how many thoughts, negative thoughts, were going through my head at all hours until they stopped. For the first time in my life there was silence. Blissful, long sought silence. I still got depressed, but instead of lasting weeks or a month or more, it was about two days of sadness and self pity. Then I pulled myself out of it.

The next meeting with Dr. Patel went well. He asked about the depression and I explained how short the bouts were now.
“That’s fantastic! What if I told you we could get rid of those two days?”
I jumped at it.
We upped my dosage from 37.5 to 75. I haven’t been depressed in a month and it’s been amazing. I haven’t had anxiety in a month and it’s wonderful. Sadness? REAL sadness? Like the sadness of losing my father? Yeah. That’s still there, but that’s legitimate sadness. That huge lump of self hatred I’ve been carrying my whole life? Mostly gone. All that’s left are habits and old thought patterns to be disrupted.

So all that being said, I guess I’m back to blogging to chronicle the process of healing and about the things I fill my life with now.

It’s good to be back.

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Fighting Back

I’ve been staring at this text box for about ten minutes now. I’d written most of a blog post once already, but I deleted it. It was a dark, depressing, and negative thing that gave voice to my inner turmoil. The problem is that it was all a lie. Not in the “I’m going to purposely mislead people” kind of way. This was a “This is how I see the world right now and it’s not correct” kind of thing. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system and deleted it, it’s time to fight back.

You see, I’ve had depression knocking on my door a lot in the last few months. It’s been giving me shit-colored glasses to look through and a horrible way to think. The last time I went to therapy, Byron gave me some fantastic tools to use against it. While it hasn’t destroyed my depression, it has allowed me to securely board the door up so it can’t get in as easily.

Case in point. My previous blog post was a negative little rant about how promoting myself at shows never seemed to do any good and my readership actually DROPS after I go to a show. In my mind these were accepted facts and nothing was going to dislodge them. Well, except for actually looking at my numbers on the comics. There’s no downward trend. There’s been a slight increase. You see, the first thing I need to remember is that depression lies. It lies a lot.

All of these thoughts boil down to one thing. A victim mindset. Of course horrible things happen to me. I’m a victim. They’ll always happen to me. Poor me. Look at me getting shit on by the universe. See all the bad things that happen to me. It’ll always happen so pity me.  You know what though? All that’s bull crap. Bad things happen. The point is to deal with it and move beyond it. To be not a victim or a survivor, but a person who can move on. And that’s what I’m trying to do now. I refuse to be a victim.

It’s amazing just how prevalent that mindset is, too. It’s a way to not be responsible for myself. Well this happened because I have “Kota-Powers”. I do this because of my mom and that makes it ok. Depression. All of it is an excuse on some level. I have to be responsible for myself. I may be responsible TO other people, but I’m only responsible FOR myself and I have to get to work on that more. And I am.

It’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to happen over night. It probably isn’t even going to happen in 2015, but I’m going to damn well lay the groundwork and start building a new me.

This is what it looks like when you fight back.

Paranormality

I’ve probably written about this before, but since I was a wee nip I’ve been interested in the paranormal. I’ve studied most of the major fields of paranormal research over the years including UFO’s, cryptids, hauntings, and things that defy classification like teleportation and people that appeared out of no where. I don’t honestly believe in most of this stuff any more but I’m still fascinated by it. It is our modern society’s folklore and has taken the place of elves, witches, and bogey men.

My interest in the paranormal has sort of waned since the internet made it all more mainstream, but I still have all this data floating around in my head. From the Kecksburg UFO to the Green Children of Woolpit, it’s all still here. I even find the occasional new bit of info I didn’t know about like the Black Knight satellite that has supposedly orbited the Earth for 13,000 years. The question arises though. What do I do with all this?

That’s where Mailbox Rocketship comes in. Mostly the series is about a group of friends in high school, but it takes place in a world where all of these things are fact. Springheeled Jack will be making an appearance. Bigfoot might show up. The current page even features Black Knight over one of the Poles. I’m even finding a way to work in outdated scientific concepts like the Odic Force and Elan Vitale in as scientific fact.

So what does all this mean and what’s the point I’m trying to get at? NOTHING you learn in your life is ever useless and there’s no such a thing as wasted time. It’ll all come in handy somewhere down the road. Even stuff like 1973 Pascagoula Abduction.

A Blind Spot the size of “The Simpsons”

Hi. I’m Kevin Hayman. You might remember me from such blogs as “Why Trees are the Devil” and “No! Screw YOU!”

About ten years ago I stopped watching The Simpsons. I think it was the episode where they went to Africa and a giraffe was hiding in a prairie dog hole where I realized that they’d gone way off the rails. I stopped watching the new episodes, our local stations stopped playing it in syndication, and the show faded from my mind.

This week, FXX started the Simpsons Marathon and I’ve been watching when I’m home. Several things jumped out at me. First, the early seasons were far more cartoony in motion and expression. Second, the show was as funny as I hoped it was. Third, my writing was influence so much by The Simpsons that I’m surprised Matt Groening, Bill Oakley, and Josh Weinstein haven’t shown up at my house to beat me senseless.

It really sort of boggles my mind. I watched the show for years every time it was on. I can tell you numerous shows Troy McClure starred in. I still yell “I’ve had it with you people holding me back! I’m going to Clown College!” at random (and inappropriate) times. The show isn’t just an influence. It’s in my genes somewhere. It’s a part of my lizard comedy writing brain. And yet, I never list it as an influence on me and that bothers me. I think part of the reason is the way I felt so betrayed by the show. I felt like it let me down when it went down hill. I realize the people that make the show owe me nothing, but it’s hard to watch someone you love suffer like that. So what did I do? I left. Not only did I leave, I blocked it all out on some level because it hurt to much to look back.

So now here we are all these years later and the wounds have healed. I can open the shoe box full of photos of the good times and I can laugh again. I can appreciate what me and The Simpsons had and I can proudly say that I was heavily influenced in my comedy writing by the show. Now if you’ll leave the room, I’d like to be alone with the sandwich for a minute.
*Are you gonna eat it?

Yes.

Float

I feel the dread and despair creeping in at the edges of my mind. I know it’s loneliness and quiet getting to me. Above it though, I float. I feel a calmness that is hard to describe. A feeling of peace. Things are bad, but something in life always is. I’ve weathered many, many storms in the last thirty years and there will be more.
I simply float. Stay above it.
Watch the dark things moving in the depths. Feel the currents push me. But I float above it all. I don’t know my destination. I don’t know my course. I watch the surroundings change.
And I float.

Christmas Past

Memories. I always look back at this time of year and and I can see the Christmases that came before. I remember the food, the warmth, the joy my mom always had at this time of year. I remember the gifts, the excitement, the antici. . .pation. And that’s the best part, isn’t it?

Christmas and getting all the gifts are great and all, but it’s really the waiting that’s the best part. Staring at the presents under the tree. Or maybe your family did it like we used to? Maybe there were no presents and then all of a sudden there they were in the morning in the living room. I always remember working myself into a frenzy by bedtime on Christmas Eve waiting for presents and that’s really the best part. The next day you’d have them and they’d become something you owned but for that one night ANYTHING could be waiting for you. Like Schrodinger’s present as it were. Christmas Eve was always better than Christmas day to me.

One of the strangest and best memories I have from this time of year was back in Vicksburg. It was 1984, I think. My folks had helped by a three wheeled bike thing for Mr. Sit who ran a little grocery store and made deliveries. They threw a Christmas party at the house with punch and tons of food and I loved it. I’d never had that much fun in that house. After a while I remember my mom sent me into the living room to watch TV because I was getting really hyper. Being around people did that to me. So there I was watching TV and Automan was on. I was obsessed with robots and Tron and Star Wars and then Christmas being the next day? Man. Best. Christmas. Ever.

So yeah. Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a good one.

The Most Frightening Dream I’ve Ever Had

personalbannerI wish I could say this is about that time I read Call of Cthulhu and had the “artists’ dream” but it isn’t. It’s shockingly similar though and from a time well before I’d ever heard of the likes of H.P. Lovecraft or Stephen King. It was 1981 and I was five years old. I don’t remember anything of the night before but I remember waking up terrified and confused. It would stay with me my whole life and when explained all the way through it’s terribly, terribly stupid.

I remember we were at my grandmother’s house in Pulaski, Mississippi at night and headed back to Vicksburg. It was myself, my sister, and a group of her friends. I remember wearing a yellow raincoat. I remember it very well because it was too hot, too large, and uncomfortable from my sweat on the lining. I know the “grown ups” were talking. The sun had set but there was still a pink glow to the eastern sky. That should have been the first clue something was wrong. One of her friends, Carla,  was jumping up and down in the yard but in slow motion while everything else moved at speed. I was starting to get nervous when the pink in the sky vanished. We heard a low sort of thud. A crashing sound. And sound like the foot of a god striking the earth for the first time. Humanity’s reckoning had come. I don’t remember passing through the space between the porch and the front yard but that’s where we were. I was holding my sister’s hand and all of us were staring into the dark sky over the trees. All I could hear was my own breathing echoing against the raincoat and the occasional crashing sound. My sister squeezed my hand. Her friend Suzette whispered “It’s the end of the world”. A shadow walked in the darkness. I hate to borrow from Lovecraft, but a mountain walked. It moved against the night sky, a darkness blacker than the void. A silhouette that inspired a terror in my I can not explain but was immediately recognizable.
It was Smokey the Bear.
He was taller than a mountain and bent on the destruction of all humanity.
Years later I would read “The Call of Cthulhu” and find it more disturbing than anything I’d ever read because I was terrified of a giant Smokey the Bear.