Creativity Lost and Found

I have been afforded a unique opportunity to explore a “world” that had been dormant for a long time, as you can see by my fiction of late. This new spark has brought life a new color and added a smile to my face. At the same time as this creativity spurns new life, it reminds me of the last time I ventured down this avenue of thought.

Jax and I started a blog called “Ruptured Worlds” many years ago, and we planned to bring our two imaginations together and unite the fantasy worlds we had each created. She had a deep and rich world full of dimensions, languages and fantastic creatures, and I too had a setting that was deep and immersive. That was something I really still love about her, is that she is a wild dreamer. Her creativity was compelling, and I still do not regret any of the money I invested in helping her realize her potential. We wanted to create a fantasy story in sort of a living way, where posts on the blog advance the plot and document the narrative over time.

Not everything worked out the way I wanted, and I think this Ruptured Worlds thing was one of the last things we ever spoke about. She lost a lot of her content when we split, but none of it had been documented on the blog as we never wrote a single post. I didn’t have anything more than a “coming soon” sort of blurb to our non existent audience. It makes me sad to think that world she created never had a chance to be realized and shared. This is one of many regrets. However, my own imaginative enterprise is marching ahead with a new infusion of interest.

I have often times refused to take credit for “coming up” with this world, as I dreamed it all in such vivid clarity. All was made apparent to me, at least, the primary mechanic of the “universe.” This reality is different, and loaded with heritage, history and strife.  When I awoke, I documented my experiences, and began to fill in the details. I soon thereafter spiraled into mania and went on a two day 72 page tear where I didn’t sleep and constantly obsessed. I have recently discovered the document I created at the peak of my illness. I originally composed it in 2004 and it is loaded with emotional sadness and loneliness of a profound variety. This universe, or reality, has grown over the years, and players have been added to the story. I have also turned this world in to (now) 3 D&D campaigns. The one I am running now is by far the best iteration of the universe. I have a deep and engrossing story and a compelling plot which will drive the engine of creativity forward.

This new campaign brings up memories of Jen too, as she was the star character in the first D&D game in this universe. She and I were entwining by then and the narrative they all crafted takes me down a road of thinking about the memories we made. There were some good times in there, albeit, far outweighed. It’s the same sort of feeling I get for Jax: there is a fondness for that beautiful moment where our minds were playing together, contrasted with all the damage we later inflicted upon each other. Would those campaigns and moments had as much potency if not for those women I loved being wrapped up in them? I contend that the emotional gravitas of the story was amplified by the feelings I had, but not the source of them. I have an unending well of enthusiasm for this reality, and I greatly enjoy any chance to openly recreate there. With or without female companionship.

This is a good chance for me to be solemn and thankful. I am glad for the loves I have had and the good memories we shared. Those rare moments where I felt truly and unconditionally understood. I have come to a sort of peace with my past in that sense, otherwise visiting The Realm would be a painful excursion. For me, I can relish the now, while celebrating what there is to from our pasts. I regret, yes, and I’m sure that’s a mutual thing. I don’t have to wear my mistakes on my sleeve, but I do need to be aware of them (as I have said countless times). Negative emotions, grudges and anger all drain down what little energy I have available to keep my boat upright. Some people have no problem holding on to anger. It tears me apart and destroys me over time, like holding radioactive waste in my hand. So I gave up on that. The free energy I have now can go toward things like helping the disadvantaged and the severely mentally ill. I have the freedom to create an an environment unencumbered by anger and pain. The world is wide open blog. We are missing out on taking in the good if we are only focusing on the bad.

In this new dawn of creativity found, I still take the time to look back with fondness at all that has been. Memories stained with pain, but there are still fibers of that moment that are not lost. There is always something to be gained and some way to grow. Don’t let a catastrophe pass by without changing something about yourself. Bad things do happen, but so do beautiful things. I choose to look through the filter of someone who forgives and has forgiven himself. I choose to create, not destroy.

 

Advertisements

Exit Stage Left

I know a great deal of this blog has been a narrative of my journey towards partnership. Starting with Jax and all that followed since the blog was re-established, I have had nothing but failure. My own doing? Yeah, a lot of it was, truly and I accept my responsibility for that. I have also been afforded a great deal of time to be introspective after my last encounter with relationships. This moment, here and now in my adult life, I have come to a clear understanding about myself. I have mentioned this earlier, but I do believe it to be more true now than ever. I need to be alone, for my own safety, and the emotional safety of others. I have fully come to understand that as things stand now, I am not at all ready to embark on a partnership, and I know for certain I never want a family. I have seen what relationships are, and hoped for what they could be. I am very sure that the instability that most people can cope with in their partnerships jeopardizes my mental stability. I can’t manage my own mental health and be constantly worried, anxious, walking on eggshells to avoid conflict. I have never had equality, unconditional love, or respect. Maybe that’s because I never earned any of those things, but I’m definitely not he best judge of that.

Regardless of where the blame falls, I seem incapable of producing a healthy relationship. I have give it plenty of tries and have no more tolerance for failure. At this point, I need to get used to the idea of being happy regardless of love or partnership. I need to be able to by happy in my life and not looking around for more. I’m living with my amazing parents now, and helping take to load off my mom for my dad’s care. I’m part of a family unit again, and that feels good. We all love each other, unconditional. They have saved me from disaster on multiple occasions, and now is my chance to give back to them. I’m with them now, as they get older and need more help. My sister will be there too when we move, so It’s not going to be all me or anything. I am genuinely glad to be entering this time in my life. I want to help, I need it. I use that to build meaning in my life again with accomplishments I can look back at and feel proud of. I need to feel like I am helping, that I’m giving back to my world rather than sucking he essence out of it.

I’m feeling bolstered in my confidence about my life direction lately. I have integrated into a new home, with change and prosperity on the horizon. I won’t give my time and energy to a mindless corporate entity, but will endeavor to help someone who is less well off than I am and help them build confidence and feel understood. I hope you all too find wisdom in your introspection, as I have. I see what will help keep me healthy and what will not. I see now where I have made a misstep, and where I need to be more careful in the future. I’m not closing the door blog, but I used to give a great deal of energy to finding someone. That energy is going towards improving my mental health now, and forwarding my new life with my family. I think that’s a much more useful application of my resources, don’t you?

Story 4: By Sea

It was dawn on the calm and temperate waters of the Trader’s Bay. The Merciful’s Jeshan Shifter was crouched on a short platform projected over the port side of the ship. He was clasping a vein of Stream in his hand firmly, held over the deep ocean and the vein disappeared far underwater once it was outside of his control. Atop the mast, the Bessan scouting in the Crow’s Nest was silent and watching the horizon through his hand lens. The sun’s light was beginning to fill the sky with an orange glow as the deck bell rang out one chime and a sailor yelled “Ahead full speed!”

 

The Jeshan held the Stream constantly while on duty and maintained a branch of it to grow up the mast, within range of the Bessan. This task alone required a fundamental commitment of mental energy, not to mention his additional responsibilities and requirements. The two Shifters fell into their morning duties and the Jeshan opened the water and pulled the ship through it with the power of the Stream. Soon, the sails were flush with a wind that was being empowered by the Bessan in the Nest and the vessel raced through the water of the Bay with unnatural quickness. The Jeshan, sprayed with hissing water as he parted the low swell to ease the passage of the bow, felt the Stream tugging on him to be released back to its natural place on the floor of the Bay. He had to keep his mind focused on holding it or else it would snap away and he would not be able to retrieve it again. If the Stream was to return to where it would normally be on the seafloor, it would be too far away to call back. The ship would need to return to shallower water under its own power so that the Stream could be grabbed again. Aware of those things, the Jeshan continued concentrating and passed the wooden ship through the sea with haste as the Merciful patrolled on the open Bay.

 

Their ship was a member of the Blue Fleet, an extension of the Last Knights of Realm. They operated an elite peacekeeping armada on the middle and east Bay to stifle some of the flagrant criminality and piracy. Their home port is located at Naruna, but they also have well-established presences at Cheed, Greenwall Port and Teayl. It was essential for the land and sea to both be secure in the free and independent region of the Fold, as this too was a part of their Old Way. They and their seafaring counterparts in the south (the Royal Navy of Realm), patrol the waters of the Trader’s Bay and secure it from rampant danger.

 

The mast alarm of the Merciful rang out as the ship raced through the open sea. “Column of smoke, zero nine zero!” He shouted, pointing over the starboard side to the distant horizon with his hand lens. The Jeshan turned due east but saw nothing. Clearly scouting not being his strongest skill.

“Make your heading zero nine zero.” The Captain on the bridge said, and the ship turned. “Ahead flanking speed!”

 

The call went out and the Jeshan Shifter poured his energy into parting the waves for the ship to slide through smoothly to its target. The Bessan blasted the wind into the sails and accelerated the ship with a torrent of air. The Merciful raced across the Bay to the column of smoke with remarkable alacrity. Once their ship got close, they could see what remained of the burned passenger vessel slowly sinking into the sea. The Merciful slowed and began to rescue those already in the water. They took the crew and passengers they saved below deck as the stranded ship sank. The sailors confirmed they had been viciously attacked and boarded by a much smaller, faster ship which flew a black flag and may have had a Shifter helping them.

 

The sailors hurried about climbing the mast again and setting the rigging for fast travel. Men darted about on different jobs, all working to bring the ship to readiness. Having come to a complete stop to collect survivors from the attacked vessel, the Merciful turned itself about.

“Mast sighted bearing zero nine zero!” The Bessan signaled down from the Nest while holding the Stream.

“Bessan!” The Captain shouted from the deck. “Is that them?”

The Bessan in the Crow’s Nest could feel the Stream being tugged in the direction of the ship, but he could not see anything more. “That one probably has a Shifter on board!”

“Understood.” The Captain said. A Shifter at sea is a dangerous weapon, not to be abused.  “Let’s hunt these pirates down!” The Captain shouted, and his crew let out a hearty roar in agreement.

 

As the pirates sailed out into the open eastern ocean, the Merciful began her chase. The Blue Fleet vessel lurched forward, then gathered speed rapidly as the Shifters and crew labored. The Jeshan Shifter held the Stream firmly and concentrated as the crew unfurled the sails. He opened the path for the ship to be guided through with little resistance. The Bessan churned the wind fiercely as the wood groaned against the strain and the Merciful surged towards the horizon.

 

From the Crow’s Nest of the pirate ship, the lookouts spotted the Merciful coming up from the west and gaining speed rapidly. He sounded the alarm and men began to scramble about the deck of the ship readying themselves for potential combat. Some of the sailors took their bows and their quivers and lined up on the sides of the ship, igniting their torches; hoping to get a chance to set their enemy ablaze.

The pirate Captain looked wildly up at the sailor in the Nest. “Blue Fleet?”

The sailor nodded.

“Scum,” He grunted angrily to himself. “We’ll show these Knights how we do things in the Trader’s Bay! We will not run today men! It’s them, or us!” A great cheer went up amongst the crusty criminals. The pirate Jeshan Shifter turned their small vessel about and the men at the helm began to charge straight at the Merciful. The pirate Captain had a smile on his face which grew larger as the two ships settled into headings would bring them hull to hull. He pulled his fancy Captain’s hat lower on his head and stared forward menacingly. The Jeshan could not bring the ship close to the same speed as the Merciful, but could ease its journey through the water while the wind carried it, and at least that was in their favor.

 

“They are charging us Captain!” A deckhand of the Merciful at the bow shouted.

“Good.” The Captain said confidently. “This should be over quickly.”

He looked up at the Crow’s Nest and shouted, “do they have a Shifter?”

“Yes,” the Bessan said. “One Jeshan. On the port side.”

“Okay then.” The Captain looked out across the deck with steel in his gaze. “All hands to battle positions, and ahead ramming speed! Prepare for starboard side attack! We turn on my orders! They have a Jeshan so men, be ready!”

 

The pirate Captain’s grin was changing to a snarl as the Merciful continued on a collision heading at ramming speed. He noticed the distance between the two ships was closing rapidly.  The pirate Captain then entertained the possibility that this might be his very last mistake at sea. I will break this man. He thought to himself in a bold sort of delusion.

He turned to face his crew and bellowed, “Notch your arrows sea rats and prepare to fire starboard side! Turn the ship to port on my signal! Let’s burn these fools! Ready the oil at the railing! Drench them in burning death!”

 

“Prepare yourself for what they may do Jeshan and react,” the Captain of the Merciful shouted. “Bessan, once we pull broadside, light them up. All hands brace! Hard to port!”

 

The Merciful broke from its ramming course and so did the pirate ship, just as they began to come perilously close to colliding. The Bessan in the Nest struck his flint and ignited some frayed paper as he huddled with the Stream in his hand. Both vessels turned and exposed their starboard flanks to each other for a few moments as he rapidly created a small fire in his palm. The Bessan stood up as the ships came broadside and channeled the raw power of his ethereal elemental mastery. The archers on the enemy ship fired a volley of arrows with perfect placement and timing, while they readied the hot oil to be launched on their next pass. The Bessan unleashed his fire into the air between the two ships at the same time in a violent, expanding blast wave. He cast forth a scalding arc of devouring death which incinerated the arrows before they found their targets. The colossal burst of flames lashed the pirate ship, burning men on the rails, who died instantly or fell overboard screaming. The oil ignited and exploded in a devastating, concussive blast. The starboard deck was gone and the hull had been breached. Fire was spreading all over the ship as flung oil set the sails ablaze. Men were cast about in the blast, pulverized by splintered wood and many more threw themselves in the water to escape burning to death. The power of the ignited oil had blown the pirate Captain’s hat overboard, which he took as a bad sign.

 

The Jeshan on the pirate ship acted quickly and splashed water up and over the starboard side and the sails, but the damage was done. The ship did not sink, but it could not escape and now coasted away from the Merciful helplessly. Its sails were little more than singed tatters and many of the crew were dead or no longer aboard. The opportunity to strike back was fading rapidly for the pirate Jeshan and with what he had left of his strength, he blasted the stern and rudder of the Merciful with a column of displaced water. The powerful blast split the hull below the sealine and shattered the rudder and the Merciful pivoted away, wounded and hobbling.

 

The ship was rapidly taking on water in the lower stern hold as sailors ran up from below decks to deliver the news. “We have enough time to abandon ship sir” one of the deck crew said. The captain looked forward at the closing distance between his ship and the pirates’.

“How much time?” He said.

“Five minutes or less before the stern is underwater sir.”

“Ahead full.” The Captain leaned forward. “Move to the ship to firing position. Jeshan, you snap that ship in two on my order.”

 

The indignant and crisped remaining crew of the pirate ship took to the stern of their crippled vessel and fired more arrows as the Merciful as their enemy coasted within range. The pirate Captain on the deck of his charred ship rallied his men to fight. “Stand with me and we will take that ship right now!” He screamed desperately, having become less inspiring since he lost his hat. The Captain truly had nothing left to lose as he shouted, “give them a volley men!” To what was left of his crew.

 

“We are within range Captain!” The Bessan in the Nest shouted.

The Captain of the Merciful turned to the Jeshan on the port side of the ship, “do it!”

 

The Jeshan used his power to whip the Stream in his hand across the surface of the water like a white hot rope of raw energy which sizzled and hissed as it raced towards the pirate ship. The Stream collided with the hull, which disemboweled the ship in a ferocious blast that sent splintered wood fragments flying out in all directions. Water rapidly poured into the gaping chasm amidships and it sank violently, folding into two sections.  Archers on the rapidly listing stern deck continued to fire on the Merciful, but soon fell into the sea, unable to hold on. Within a matter of moments, the pirate vessel had vanished beneath the surface of the Trader’s Bay.

 

The Merciful itself listed heavily as the stern of the ship sank. The Jeshan worked quickly to mend the broken hull and repair the wood so the Merciful no longer took on water. They were disabled for the foreseeable future and it was going to take them many hours to empty the lower sections of the ship. They would have no rudder as they limped to port in Teayl because that was something even a Shifter could not repair at sea.

 

The Merciful rounded up the survivors who were swimming in the water where the pirate ship went down and shackled them below decks in the bow to be taken back to the port. They did not locate the pirate Shifter once the ship had sunk, but the Captain was confident the danger was over.  “All hands stand down,”  he shouted, marveling at the fine hat his men had given him that they pulled out of the wreckage. “We sail for Teayl where these criminals will be brought to justice. You all performed admirably today. We are going to be rotating in new duties this afternoon until we empty the hold of seawater. Let’s work together and get ourselves ready to sail as soon as possible.”

 

The Jeshan used what was left of his stamina just to hold onto the Stream as his duty relief came in to take over and the crew of the ship started to form a line to pass buckets. He handed the Stream vein to the second Jeshan, who would assist in the removal of the water from the hold as well. The Bessan in the Crow’s Nest was also relieved of duty and would need to rest before he could render his Shifting again.

 

As they came back to their quarters, the Jeshan looked out of his cabin window at the sun now climbing high into the sky and the midday hour nearly upon them. Just another day on the Trader’s Bay. He thought to himself.

A Decision Made

I had been living in a world of ambiguity, unsure as to what direction I would be headed. I didn’t know if I should continue to be true to my workplace or to march ahead with my life helping the mentally ill. I needed clarity and things were coming to a head.

As of this moment, my independent life is over. I am living in my parent’s living room for the next 7 months. We are all, as I have stated in previous posts, moving north in July 2018. I had hoped to be working and saving money during that time, but instead I have sued my workplace for discrimination. That process has moved forward to the point of a formal demand letter. I did not know what my future was going to be and perhaps I still don’t. However, I do have some clarity that I want to spend my time helping people and getting back in touch with my peers. I have been a cog in the corporate machine before, and I reject that as a meaningful contribution. I want meaning. I NEED to be doing something that has an impact. I’ve solved problems for customers, yes. It is not the same as picking someone up off the floor and helping them walk again.

I do believe the lawsuit will be settled out of court. The money I receive should be comparable to what I would have made if I still worked most of next year. I hope that I can be kept occupied by my new direction. I need a formal, professional, helpful relationship to engage with. Life has been a scramble with me moving out, and the dust is beginning to settle. I feel like I am headed in the right direction, but there is still quite a bit to be done. Today I have my interview with NAMI at 4. I am very excited to meet them and express my enthusiasm for the opportunity.

I am definitely in a fiction place rather than non fiction. I am rebooting The Realm for my friends and running a d20 game. First one I’ve run in maybe 10 years. I’ve always been down to run games, I just never had the spark. I seem to have found that now, at least, which has spurned a beautiful creative process. I have written a great deal of fiction, none of which is in any sort of final state. I will however post my most polished turd for you to gawk at. Creative input requested!

As the days go on, the future resolves itself further. I’m encouraged by the progress I’ve made and glad to have something fun to ponder about. The story  have in mind for them is QUITE compelling. Dramatic. Inspiring. Own horn. Tooted.

Rebuilding Phase

Hello again Blog,

I am having a difficult time coping with my reality-in-transition. Fundamentally, my recovery during the last 4 years has been based on having an occupation and regimented structure to prevent me from becoming depressed and relapsing. I needed something to commit to, and invest in, to further my success along the path of being mentally stable. Unfortunately, due to the nature of my reality at the moment, I am forced to start over as thought it were day 1 out of the hospital.

I spent the first week arguably in a state of torpor. I accomplished nothing, and I was, more or less, getting over the shock of having had a psychotic break aka sulking. I then started re-implementing some ground-level responsibilities. I Made sure I got out of bed every day. Step 1.  Then I took it one further and got in to the shower. The next day I gathered up my laundry and picked some shit up. I have compartmentalized my progress as to not overload myself with a burden I can’t fully comprehend, but not so little that I might be deflated for lack of visible sign of progress. This is my reconstruction. I needed to set up my own schedule, as I was not going to be driving to the office again. I gave myself tasks and set objectives out that needed to be met. Why? Pride, pure and simple: my personal antidote to depression.

Being depressed sucks, and I don’t like the way I feel when I am in that place or any number of other bad places. I avoid going there if at all possible, though often it is not. Nevertheless I still believe that if there is ANYTHING proactive one can do to help ease the burden of sorrow, one should take advantage of that. Personally, I finds pride to be a good remedy to feeling depressed or self-deprecating. I tend to counter bad thoughts with pure action; a demonstrative of (hopefully) positive thought become reality. I give no life to my depressed thoughts, but instead, show it that, time and time again, I will act on my positive feelings and execute things in my life that will raise me up rather than tear me down. It’s hard enough trying to live a normal life with the burden I carry, let alone if I can’t even adequately defend myself from my mental illness.

We all have ways to cope. Personally, I cope via elevation. I find ways out of the hole, since being down there is not any fun at all. Life is a wide open door, with lots and lots of possibilities, even for someone like me. We get so mired in our distorted perspectives of reality that we don’t see how beautiful we are and what we still have yet to give to the world. Even the most severely tortured soul deserves a chance to reconcile and get pointed forward. Optimism is what we lack, just in principle if not truly comprehended. I don’t anticipate it is easy to be optimistic about anything when one is depressed, but that is the perfect time to implement some form of structure to reality. I don’t ever trust my judgement or make big decisoons when I am depressed, ever, anymore. I learned the hard way, and maybe we all did at some point. Then, when we are sane again, and feeling hopeful about life, we write ourselves a little message for the next time we get depressed. Like a little postcard from the future when things will be different, and I won’t feel depressed, because I was doing just fine when i wrote this to myself. Go a step further and leave yourself some action items to take care of to settle acute symptoms and get yourself grounded. I took a class here in town from Recovery Innovations International called WRAP, and during that class, we created our Emergency Action Plans. Mine is still up on the main menu, and has been there for a while (probably could use some updating). I developed those words so that I wouldn’t make the wrong decision when I was at my most vulnerable and depressed state.

I still struggle with all of this, day by day, but I hold on to the concept of optimism even if I don’t truly commit to it emotionally and spiritually. The structure gives me hope that steps forward make a difference, and that’s precisely what I intend to keep on doing. Hopefully this mess with my workplace gets figured out before I have to file suit over it, but we shall see. An update for next post, to be sure.

Possible Resolution

I’m not going to write much right now, but it is relevant to note that tomorrow I’m talking to my work to (hopefully) work out the details of my accommodation request. Its either going to be a very good thing or a big huge hassle. It would not be fun to have to march down the lawsuit road with these guys, so I’m really thinking they would like to avoid that as much as I would. Sometime tomorrow morning I should know whether or not I will be able to work the rest of the week.

I’m pretty anxious about this and just trying to take it easy this evening. I’ll keep you posted.

Return to Center

Hi blog. I know it’s been several months since I checked in, and there is a sprawling narrative behind the reasoning involved. The story I have to tell is one of great struggle to exist and sustain in society, and how difficult that is for someone who is severely mentally ill. I have dealt with deep depression, and psychotic/manic rage. I still feel a great deal of hope for my future, but anxiety is crushing me down with spun versions of a darker reality. I hope to be able to expose the last few months to you, and together we can see how the circumstances of my life caused my downfall, and eventual return to center.

About a month before I stopped blogging, the environment at work was becoming acutely toxic. I was hated, loathed even by a solid 2/3 of the people I was supposed to be coaching. It was becoming apparent that my position had no real authority, and would not be validated with any, so no one had any cause to listen to my recommendations because they knew no harm would come to them if they did not. Things had been going on this way for a year or more, and I was just becoming aware that there was no respect for me with a lot of the people that needed to see me as an instructor. Or, at least someone that had to listen to. Instead, the agents acted out against me by messing with my things at my desk, or making areas messy that I had taken the responsibility to clean. They would also use the hangouts chat to gossip about undoing thew work I was doing and how I was, essentially, a prick for asking them to not do something that directly made my job harder.

I had a meeting with my boss after I basically had a mini-meltdown at work. The main thing they wanted me to do was treat the disdain of my subordinates like “water off a duck’s back.” I agreed at the time, sensing that if this was their suggestion for how someone mentally ill should cope with a hostile work environment, I don’t want to even enter a discussion about it. I swallowed my thoughts and moved on, promptly going psychotic the following week trying to do what they asked me to do. You see, I’m not able to just let things roll off the ol’ carapace. Everything gets in, because I’m sponging up emotional vibrations, facial expressions and body language 100% of the time no matter if I want to or not. When I’m in a room with a dozen people that really don’t like me at all, that shit is like radioactivity breaking apart my DNA a little at a time, every second of the day. It was an unsustainable agony that lead to a truly scary moment of murderous psychotic rage while I was alone in my truck.

After some time away, I came to a conclusion that working remotely, as I had done in the past, would be an immediate remedy to the environmental duress I had suffered previously. The remote anonymity and even video conferences are not hostile encounters with agitated people in the same room as I am. I’m in my safe space, and I still get to see them and communicate with them. This seemed like a no-brainer since I have traditionally been far more productive on days where I have been allowed to work from home in the past. I asked for accommodation under the ADA so I could continue to work and be productive for them with a slight adjustment to my needs.

Dealing with HR has been frustrating, since they have no interest in asking me for any specifics on how I will need to be accommodated, and continually postpone acceptance of a return date as well as the specifics of what I was asking for. I’m now basically down to my last few uncommitted dollars, and I need to get back to work so I can start making money again. Then they disabled my email account at work, so I started to get suspicious that maybe they were just hoping I’d give up or something.

To be honest, I might have if not for a step I took a while ago to change the direction I wanted to take my life. I’ve been here on this blog advocating repeatedly for participation in society regardless of mental illness or disability. If you want to be productive, nothing should stand in the way of you being able to do that. I had a chance to work 40 hours a week because of my stability, but nothing is permanent with mental illness. I slid downhill for months. I stayed away from this blog for longer than I ever have before, which I knew was not a good thing. I was becoming depressed, and I felt like I was giving my daily energy to a company that was never going to appreciate who I am or what I have to offer. What was I doing with my life? Making money to pay the bills, but to what end? Saving $50 a month? For what?

I began to understand that unless I am making a difference in someone’s life with the knowledge and skills I have, I am not going to be happy. I need to affect change, and the best way I could think to do that was to start with the one thing I have truly done well with in my time: mental illness. I have a lot of real societal, intellectual and emotional success being a severely mentally ill person, and maybe I could be an inspiring force in someone’s life who also may struggle with it as I have. I went back to my old clinic, the one that raised me up from the mud of post suicidal depression 4 years ago and got me shambling forward again. I went back and started taking classes before my meltdown at work, and I had already decided then that when we all move away next summer to Sacramento,  I was going to start my life over as a peer-to-peer mental health advocate. I don’t care about income, or possessions. I just want to be out there making a difference in someone’s life, being there for a person who is down and thinking dark thoughts, and always a smiling face that appreciates the unique value we all have regardless of circumstance. I’m a step-forward kinda guy, and If I can help people get their heads out of the past and focused on what they have yet to accomplish, I think I would truly be at a place in my life I cold be proud of. I’m not happy about being a cogwheel in the massive machine of corporate greed. I want a life with meaning. I’ve fucked up so badly to (nearly) this point, and I want to give back for all the things I could have done better, and will do better now that I have learned from my mistakes.

I’ve been out of work for a while and at this point, I’ve started the formal legal process of bringing suit against my workplace for discrimination on grounds of disability. My goal here would be to get my company to recognize that they need to take me seriously and respect my rights as a disabled person or there will be consequences. I will not be pushed off or brushed aside. I would like to come back and continue to work for them until next summer, but if they keep walking down the road they are on, they’ll be sued for lost wages and damages.

People of the internets who are disabled and face unjust or inhumane practices from their workplaces: you are protected and you have rights. Don’t let them step on you, especially given how hard you had to have worked to get into a job and hold it. They don’t understand your struggle and they never will unless you hit them in the jaw with the motherfucking gavel of justice!

I don’t know what’s coming for me, but I continue to go to my groups at the clinic and I am enrolled to be certified for Peer Employment Training so I can be a P2P counselor no matter where I go. Do something in your life that makes this world a better place for us all. Things are so absurdly fucked up right now… everywhere. We need to all be helping each other. I want to do my part so I can feel good about who I am, and what I did with my life. I need to know I really did try to do the right thing, and that all I ever wanted was what was fair. I encourage you to do the same in your own respect, and find a path to self-worth that becomes a fire that will not go out.

I promise to be more regular again, for myself and to keep you all appraised of my literal quest for social justice.