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This post could also be called: How A Book Saved My Life.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t just the cat. It was also ArtPunk, and through him, Chris Hardwick.

During my lowest times of depression, ArtPunk kept telling me to listen to an audiobook by Chris Hardwick, and I kept blowing him off with things like “I’ve never heard of him, so how can he help me?” (which was the STUPIDEST thought ever) and “I can’t listen to audiobooks and get anything out of them” (which was wrong).

Then I started my new job. And I needed something to listen to while working besides pandora. Music was beginning to bore me. That’s when I thought about the audiobook he mentioned and thought “Meh, what the heck? It’s worth a listen.” And the next few days were amazing.

As I listened to this book, called The Nerdist Way, it really sank into my head and hit me deep inside. It was probably one of  the best decisions I’ve ever made about a book. It literally changed my outlook on life. I was laughing along with it and really analyzing myself and my thoughts. It really made me think about the way I’ve handled things in my life. And the day I finished it was absolutely amazing.

I left work that day feeling like I could take on the world. And maybe win. I was so incredibly happy and felt like things were finally going my way. For the first time in a long time, I felt like everything was going to be ok and I was going to make it. I realized that things would eventually get better. I learned to enjoy the good things while they last, but without stressing about when they’re going to end. I learned to enjoy my burrito. I resolved to not take the easy way out. All because of this book.

The Nerdist Way is a phenomenal book that saved my life and all nerds and geeks should read it. Chris Hardwick and his humor really hit home for me and I think it will for many others who grew up awkward and socially inept, and even those who didn’t. He talks about making a character tome to keep track of your achievements and goals. It serves as a motivator and is kind of like D&D. ArtPunk and I are starting ours together.

Also, you should listen to his podcast, The Nerdist, free on iTunes. It’s full of humor and it’s “amaze-balls”. I listen to it at work and I’m on episode 50 already. He even does live versions of the podcast for audiences around the country, one of which I am attending THIS VERY NIGHT in DC. With ArtPunk. Cuz he’s awesome. I’m hoping to get our books signed by Hardwick tonight. Funny story about that too: I bought him the hardback copy of The Nerdist Way for Christmas and he bought me one too. Best present exchange ever. Then I gave him a graph paper moleskine notebook for his birthday for his character tome. I have a matching one that’s lined. The biggest geeks.

So yes the cat saved my life while I was deep in depression, but it was also ArtPunk and Chris Hardwick. I realize that I may have glossed over ArtPunk’s involvement in my recent life in my last post, but I was in a very bad place right then. Hating the holidays and all. But he really was there for me and tried to help me through all of it. I just wasn’t too receptive of his help. Which I regret. He’s been through a lot of crap with me ever since we met in freshman year of college, and I am unabashedly grateful for it. I just don’t know how to show him that all the time. Which makes me seem like a jerk occasionally. But he understands, because we’re both not the best socially and he knows I don’t say everything I should. And sometimes I say a lot of things I shouldn’t.

But anyway, I’m really excited to see Chris Hardwick in person tonight. I doubt I’ll get a hug like I did from Schaffer when I saw him in DC, but it’ll still be awesome. And I will enjoy that burrito. So much.

Chris Hardwick. ArtPunk. I heart you.

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It’s been awhile. I’ve failed at the PostAWeek thing. I’ve failed a lot this year. And others have failed me.

October 6 – lost my job. Brutally. They didn’t give me a good answer as to why. Just a lame “you don’t have the skills and experience we require”, a severance agreement to sign, and a failed attempt to transfer my work computer files over to my server. There was little to no sympathy from the person I needed it from the most. But that’s to be expected and will make sense in the next paragraph.

November 4/5 (late night/early morning) – Irish broke up with me. Another brutal blow. Spurred by AngryGinger, who had the best of intentions to see his friends happy. I get that, though it didn’t exactly help us be happy. And now I will always “remember, remember the 5th of November” as that day. The day I lost everything. Again. The day I had to find a way back into AngryGinger’s locked house to get my glasses so I could drive home at 7am after not sleeping at all, but just crying for 6 hours. The day I twisted my ankle horribly in those stupid 4 inch heel boots while trying to find the back porch to try the sliding door to get inside. The day I again got no sympathy from those closest to me.

I don’t know if it helped him be happy, but it sure didn’t work for me. I was suddenly very much alone. And fragile. And there were at least 2 weeks with daily breakdowns, crying, yelling, anger, more crying, emptiness, and general misery. The breakdowns slowed to a few times per week, and have now abated to about twice per week.

This whole situation, including the job loss, the heartbreak, and the lack of a proper support system, succeeded in setting off my latent depression and suicidal tendencies. I was struggling everyday to even function. I wouldn’t get out of bed until after noon, would cry uncontrollably for hours, and started staying up until 4am, doing nothing at all. I constantly considered the possibilities before me. The easy solution became very appealing. With the only thought against it being, who would take care of Thomas? I’ve never had something depend on me for life. And I couldn’t do that to him. Somehow I could deal with upsetting the very few people who would really feel pain by it, but I couldn’t let Thomas become homeless again, or die in a shelter, or be raised by someone who isn’t good enough. That amuses me in a very morbid way. But still, it’s funny to think that the cat saved my life. He kept me from doing the unmentionable. So I thank him for that. Especially because things have slightly improved.

December 6 – started a new job. Not perfect, but it’s a good atmosphere, good people, great commute, and easy work.

December 9 – realized I love my job, causing my first positive manic state in a long, long time. It didn’t last long though.

December 15 – tried to reach out and open myself up to someone, and was instead torn apart, heartbroken, and then resolved not to do it again. And found that I’m definitely not ready for anything at all. Even if it seems safe.

December 16 – went to a doctor. Now I’m back on the medication. Hopefully this will help with the depression. We’ll see in a few weeks or so.

I haven’t had the energy to do anything over the last few months. Especially in the last several weeks. Hence the lack of posting. Hopefully this will be the renewal of my blogging and I’ll get back into it. One can only hope.

I’ve been avoiding writing this post because I knew what it would mean. It’d be admitting that this has all happened. Admitting that I am alone, now more than ever. That no matter what I do, and how good my life is going, something is going to come along and fuck it all up. That I can’t stop the inevitable and to try is futile, painful, and just makes it worse for everyone in the end. That enjoying the moment is all well and good, but it comes with the knowledge that there will be bad to outweigh that good, eventually. Basically that life sucks and I need to get used to having my heart broken and being disappointed and alone. But also that I need to see what I have, when I have it, and before it’s gone – but not to hold onto it too tightly, because it’ll just shrink from my affections and run away, leaving me more alone and confused than I can imagine.

Things need to change. Hopefully the new year will bring that for me.

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