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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Preemptive Mental Con Crud

So tomorrow I’ll be at the Mississippi Comic Con for two days which means today I’m more depressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m sad, grumpy, and angry, and well, way too many emotions to list including angrosity and sadination. I don’t really know why this happens before comic related events but it does. Let’s take a look at it together and maybe I can start to figure this thing out.

First.
I’m going to be surrounded by some terribly talented artist like Steve Scott, Steve Butler, Geoffrey Gwin, and Mitch Bird. Then there’s me. My goofy, angular and round characters that aren’t quite anime and aren’t quite western. My stories about metaphysical drama around a guy on a scooter. My high school comic about the personifications of abstract concepts. The guy trying to push long form story surrounded by pin-ups and amazing professionals. It’s a little bit of jealousy. It’s mostly feeling less. I feel out of place and like someone threw me a bone by letting me be there. I keep expecting the con people to come up and say “I’m sorry, Mr. Hayman. There was a terribly mistake. You’re not really SUPPOSED to be here. We need you to pack up and go home. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
I know they’re not, but on some level I’d feel this massive relief if they did. I could just pack up and go home and stop embarrassing myself.

Second.
I know, not think, but KNOW that I’m not going to make any sales at any event I go to and if I do, my mind will turn those sales into pity and make me resent them. I realize that this makes about as much sense as covering a mountain in Nutella and then roller skating down it, but there we are. That’s the way my mind works and that’s how depression works in a nutshell. All of your little victories become meaningless and are just veiled insults. In the end you find yourself wanting to crawl under something and crying.  You can’t win. Not because of other people or fate or the Universe or God.
I can’t win because I won’t let myself win. I will always be the guy that came in last no matter what reallly happened.

Third.
No one actually wants to see me. People act like they’re please to see me but it’s a thin layer of nicety over a mountain of “Oh GOD. THIS guy again. Maybe they’ll move me.” My evidence for this, and every other point on this list, is nonexistent. This isn’t confined to events either though. This is how I think people see me most of the time. I don’t get out of the house much any more and see people because I’ve convinced myself that they don’t WANT to see me. Why would they? It’s me. I’m the guy who shows up, tells the same stories and joke over and over and then makes everyone feel bad by the end of the night. Who’d want to hang out with that guy?
Am I really like this? I don’t honestly know. I can’t see outside of myself like I used to. I’m stuck riding around in this truck and there’s no mirrors.

So what have we learned?
We’ve learned that I have some serious issues still confronting me all these years later. We’ve learned that there’s no actual basis for any of this but I still believe it. What we’ve also learned is that despite all this I’m going to the con anyway and I’m going to try and have a good time. Expect an after action report next week and hopefully from a me with a clearer head. See you guys on the flipside.

And Now the Serious Stuff

I’ve spent the last month trying to fill the hole in my life left by my father. It’s not happening of course, but I’m trying. There’s a lot of anger. Anger that he’s gone. Anger that none of my friends are him. Anger at myself for not being there when he died. It’s the kind of directionless anger that can’t possibly do me any good.

There’s regret. There are so many things that I wish I’d asked him about or told him about. Things I wish I’d said. Not the important things, I actually got to say those, but every little thing left unsaid builds up into this horrible ache. This insatiable need to tell him something and knowing that I never can.

Then there’s just plain old sadness. I walk into the house and want so much to see that face looking back at me from his chair. I want to hear him call me and tell me something dumb because now none of it’s dumb. I want to hear him say how dumb Chumlee on Pawn Stars is. I just want one last hug.

The thing that really sends me into a fit of weeping though is that last night I saw him. He was out of it. So out of it he wasn’t aware of much of anything, I told him I’d see him the next day. I kissed him on the forehead and told him I loved him. The last thing he said to me, the last thing he ever said, was a mumbled “I love you too.”

Costumes

Every year my friend Scott throws a Halloween party and we all dress up in costumes and have a good time. I try my darnedest every year to have something good to wear. This year, not so much.

With my dad’s situation I haven’t given a costume much thought and with the party this Saturday I’ve sort of run out of time to find something. In previous years I’ve gone as Torgo (Manos: The Hands of Fate), Bob Ross (Happy little trees!), Mario (with a friend as Luigi), Indiana Jones (I’d lost weight), Joel Robinson (MST3k with a homemade Tom Servo), the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker), Ford Prefect (TV version), and last year I went as Agent Phil Coulson.

Since I’ve got no time or idea it looks like I’m going as Joel again. This time I won’t have a Servo since he got destroyed by cats, but I’ll try and get a Gizmonic hard hat. I’d really rather do something new, but I’m seriously short on time.

I am taking suggestions for next year though.

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.

Back to the Hospital

So last Tuesday I was woken up at 6:30 in the morning by my dad. About 30 minutes early but nothing new or unexpected. He’d been having some breathing trouble the previous week and the doctor had put him on a nebulizer and an inhaler. It all seemed to be working well. That morning? Not so much. He couldn’t breath at all hardly. I spent about thirty minutes arguing with him on whether he needed going to the hospital. I say arguing. It was really me pleading and him shaking his head. He always seems to get like that at his sickest. I was sobbing by the end of it and he finally relented. I called the home care nurse.

The spent fifteen minutes trying to reach the nurse on call but couldn’t. I called the ambulance. The loaded him up and gave him three breathing treatments on the way to the ER. When they loaded him up his blood oxygen level was at 62%. Not good. Obviously. I followed them to the local hospital and by the time we got there he was more or less back in his right mind. They did work on him in one of the ER rooms for about two hours.  During a lull in the action he thanked me for getting him to the hospital. I said he should listen to me next time.
“You didn’t hear me complain!”
“Yes I did.”
I proceeded to tell him about the argument and the sobbing and what not. He didn’t remember any of it. I’m not surprised. He was really out of it. He apologized. After the two hours they moved him to ICU where he was for about three days. He’s been in a room since Thursday and hopefully he’ll come home today or tomorrow. He’s doing so much better.

The thing that I find interesting and horrifying about all this is how every time he gets in an impaired mental state he automatically doesn’t want to go to the hospital. This happened back in November when he went in and nearly died. I don’t know why that is and it scares me. The idea that he’d get in such a bad state and then just sort of want to die like that. It makes me worry that the same thing may happen to me eventually. It makes me realize that I don’t want to live alone.

Maybe there will be happier stuff to report next week.