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Sunday, May 27, 2012

11 Days Out, and Stuff Reconsidered

Well, here I am coming onto the tail end of several days of actual work.  So much to update on and actually think about.

The playlist CD on the Office deck (one of the older Offices, not my favorite now) is pretty bad so it's iTunes time.  "Show Me" by Ronnie Wood is playing; I have two versions of this; another by Johnny Winter.  This one's good; sometimes I wonder about Ron's choice of song material for his solo stuff, but it's alright.

Anyway..."Gonna Try" from Big Audio Dynamite is next...okay...

Well, I am now something like 11 days out from taking my anti-depressants.  It had been suggested (strongly) to me that 12 years of being on Zoloft (even a small dose) is not a good thing, and that it may have compressed more than just my maniacal and self-destructive ways.

Before Zoloft, I can tell you my depression was a fucking rollercoaster ride, and not one that was any fun.  I am not lying when I tell you that I have had four major depressive periods in my life when suicide was a way out that seriously considered, and at one point even planned.

It's that fucking bad.  Anyway...the stuff has been good for me, and I'm not saying that because the drug companies are giving me money, though I think they should.  It acted as a compressor; my highs and lows were cut out, and I lived within the space remaining.

It worked well; for the better part of those 12 years, I was stable, much more calm, and more effective at a lot of things.  My anxiety issues last year just led my doctor to double my dose.

I trusted her judgement.

"Pick Up the Peace," the Who...Now I'm in deeper...hmmm...

Well, that worked in the short-term, because it cooled things down, but then I felt a terrible loss of energy.  Too much.  Not fucking good.

So I finally just decided to go off it; cold turkey is the only way I quit smoking, so I had little choice I felt.

"Spade," the BPA w/Martha Wainwright...weird song.

The comedown has not been too bad...some peaks and valleys to it, some moments of mild panic, but nothing I could not recognize and figure out.  My friend Dawn has tipped to a supplement, which I don't have with me, so I can't tell you all that's in it.  But I think it might be better than that other stuff.

If ever you get a chance, watch Stephen Fry's documentary, "The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive."  It will blow your mind.  I am not bipolar or manic, but I have some of the traits.  I saw myself in a lot of that, and also I'm quite glad I did not have the terrible flight off the cliff that some have (like one mentioned in there) ain't fun.

Will this change my being?  Probably; but I just can't say whether it will be good or not.  I would, as Richard Dreyfus said in the doc. about Lithium, that he's just about "not taking it."

I need to be that way with the Big Z.  I'd like to just about not be using the stuff...if ever again.  It's like bumming a smoke every now and again from my bass player Dan, but not buying and sucking 'em down every couple hours or whatever.

"Warm Regards," Steve Vai...from Fire Garden.  

Musicwise, it's been considered that I might be a better player if I'm off the stuff.  Don't know about that, yet.  I do feel a little more creative on the fretboard than I have been at writing lyrics.  

The Dharma Fools musical direction is changing a little; Dan and I still write on occasion and work on ideas, but we need a full band again.  Finding people interested has been surprisingly hard. terms of other related things, I have to wonder if my deeper plunges into my psyche are going to bear any fruit.  At least in the short-term.  The long-term is more my interest right now.

My mind issues also are again traveling back in time to my earlier life; I have specific thoughts about when my life took a turn.  I often say this, with no joke; the last time I felt happy, was when I was about eleven.

"Snowblind," Black Sabbath.  No I've never been that, but I would not have been surprised if I went that way.

My life changed radically before that, several years before only I didn't know that.  Then at the appointed age, I went out of being a kid and into adolescence with no clue of much of anything.  I had no idea what was going on, and why my life became episodes of bad choices, ill-advised mistakes and an inability to recognize what was before me.

Gets better as you get older; you slow down more, and you become more circumspect (is that the right word?); with that comes more things.

With the brain, comes the body, but usually that goes first.  The body they say, is something you first repair, and the mind will follow that.  Well, I'm in better physical shape than I have been in many years.  I really do feel great; but my knees continue to trouble me.  Pain from the left one especially; not enough to consider meds or anything, but I wonder what else is happening there.

And considering my health insurance sucks balls, well...can't do much but wear my brace and keep it stretched.

Here's a question for you:  when do you think your childhood ended?  Or...did you ever have one?

**Think about that**

I know I did, and some of it was good.  Then I lost my youth, but there were occasional spots where the fog lifted and I could be a kid again.  Not many, though.

A lot of people I know well, I don't think, ever really were kids.  We were under adverse circumstances, many of us; I wonder if we sometimes act as we do as adults because we didn't have a childhood.

"Jubilee Train," the Blasters.  Not a bad song, but I don't particularly care for this one.  Do admit Dave Alvin's guitar licks are slippery good.'s really interesting to see some people still behaving like they're 16, or 18 or 21...for life.  No matter how old they get, they still act like they're forever young and never will die.

There also is the emotional aspect of those who never grow up.  Look at the public figures of people who act like they're stuck in junior high school; they never change, never grow up, and still act like insufferable brats.

Something stopped their growth.  Heavy stuff; abuse, drug use, alcoholism, fuck know what else.  I wonder when I stopped.

Axl Rose is quoted as saying that he stopped developing at the age of two, because of what he believes was sexual abuse at the hands of his father.  Paraphrasing, he said, "When people say Axl is a screaming two-year-old, they're right."

That's scary.

"Open Your Eyes," Bottle Rockets.

There's nothing that says you can't grow yourself; most of us don't.

I know that things are changing in my life, but I'm damned if I do know where they will go.  

Now, here's a a Buddhist and a Wiccan, Joy is an important matter.  Now, what is that?

What is Joy?  To you; you know the things that give you real joy, not just fleeting happiness.

I remember reading somewhere about letting oneself enjoy oneself.  Life does not have to be work; you can do some stuff, small stuff that gives you joy in the moment, and if you keep it, you can carry on with any fucking thing you want.

The important matter is:  YOU must decide what these things are, YOURSELF.

Do not let a spouse, a parent, a girlfriend, a preacher or whomever do it.  They might be able to suggest something, but you must make the decision on that.

"Wolf Dance," Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters.  Now we're talking...deep blues...nice stuff.

So yeah...we all have stuff in our closets that need to come out, and I hope to do that on Mem. Day.

That day does not always resonate for me the way it does most others.  I have personal reasons why that's not a good day, but that is something I'm putting in the past and saying, fuck it.

Now, how about the work thing...I will have had ten or eleven straight days of work, which is the first I've had in a long, long time.  My sleep patterns were fucked, getting up at 1:30 in the am for a lot of it, but I could do that shift without much difficulty.  I did overnights for many years, and the night owl thing does have its value.

Still job hunting, and to be honest not liking the look of the market.  It has still got some opportunities out there, but I don't like where many of them are.  If I have to move, that might be a new experience, one I've studiously avoided.

Now...the writing thing.  "Time the Healer" got a week off, and I returned to editing yesterday.  More ideas and additions; this is going to be a long process and a long job to get it right but I can live with that.

I need to keep pushing the others to get stuff done, because we need to go forward.

Move forward, that's all there is to it, really.  I recently discussed with a friend about how she felt she never was a kid.  A lot of us at our age feel our live is half over, or just plain over.  

I don't believe that.  I'm 46 years old, pushing 47.  Now that I've made some physical changes, I don't feel like an old man any more.  I'm not a kid, sure; I don't act like a 19-year-old college partier, those days are long gone.  I'm still alive, and I feel about like I should at this age.  Not going soft, neither am I becoming conservative or boring or stupid in my "old age."  

My development is a work in progress; none of us are perfect, though to hear preachers and politicians say it, you'd think they were.  And we're supposed to hew to that?  I think not.

We all have to keep learning, keep growing; if we don't we die and we're a shell.  I see so many people like that, and I hate seeing it.  I hate seeing people give up, and act like it's over, or that they're fine the way they are and don't have to change a thing, because that's scary.

"The Valley of Unrest."  Lou Reed's The Raven...I do not remember the name of the woman who does the reading, but it's pretty cool.

So I have more to do...I will write on, and I'll play music, and I'll stay in this crazy radio business, because these are the things I want to do, and am meant to.

I made this last's pretty funny.


I know, that's bloody pretentious, and I don't think Poe actually wrote it like that...or did he?

"Texas," Mike Stern is, yeah, look at that little graphic up there.  I made this last night, mostly as a joke, but now if you really look at it, that's my life.  At least one part of it.

I didn't realize what I had made until I took a close look at it.  The world is open to it is to every fucking one of us.

WE Rule OUR World; fuck, yes we do.

I am aware that some people will never approve of me.  Some will never understand why I do the things I do, and why I don't do this, why I won't do that, why, why, why, fucking why.  Or why not.

Speaking of living in boxes:  I strongly deny that I live in one, though I've been accused of it.  I just do things the way I do them; sure, I do need to change it up now and again, but one must be reasonably practical about a bunch of this.

We do what we have to; but sometimes we don't even do what we want, because we think we can't.  

Look at all the crazy shit I've written and done over the years; it's waiting to be read and heard, and it will happen.  I just would like to be alive long enough to enjoy some of the reactions people will have.  That would be my joy, more than anything else.

OK...I have shit to do...enjoy your weekend, and find some joy in it.


  1. Damn that was quite a post! I got off the antidepressants last summer and it was liberating, although I do find that I cry very easily. I'm an extremely emotional person. The drugs helped curb that. I did a blog post about detoxing from it, I think in August of last year.

    Not sure when I felt like my childhood ended...I guess at the end of 6th grade. It was off to junior high at the new, and very big/confusing, high school building. No more recess, the words 'college prep' started being used more and more...

  2. Live On, love :o) May your joy overflow beyond your wildest imaginings.

  3. oh, and, hey... LOVED the "what I really do" thing! heeee!