It’s strange how productive I can be when I’m at risk of being bored. I can’t remember the last time I was bored because of anything other than a symptom of my sickness. Since being off work, I’ve done as much work on myself as I have this little podcast network of mine. After discovering that a certain therapist wasn’t for me, I ran down the self-help road and have had surprisingly positive results. I’ve realized that I’ve been lying to myself about who I am, placating myself and my beliefs in the aim of not “upsetting” the system. I’ve been pretending that as a professional, my conscience and morals don’t come into play. I’ve been keeping myself down, and though some of this has to do with medication, it’s easy for me to see what caused my breakdown, in hindsight.
I’m currently taking a break from editing episode two of Fat Dog. What started as an idea just to be a complimenting video has been flipped on it’s face, and I think that it’s what it’s truly meant to be. My puppets are too cool to let them sit around collecting dust. On Sunday, we record yet another Semi-Awesome Podcast, a show that I’ve come to love dearly. Not only is an excuse to schedule hang out time with Fudge, it’s really fun to edit. I worry about the output of all of this once I go back to work, but for now, why not focus on both of these shows being as strong as they can be? This is the job I want.
As much positivity as I feel because of the Fat Dog Network, it’s no match at times for the disease I have. Today is an up day, I’m trying to stay focused on that fact—it’s not an anomaly, or a freak occurrence, it’s the medication working again. What I’ve learned is that I need to harness these good days into an engine to perpetuate them. A big issue I have on days like this, is that I want to prolong the single good day I’m having. Left unchecked, I would probably stay up until at least four o’clock in the morning. That would effectively squash the possibility of a good morning tomorrow. I’d sleep through it. Mornings are the key to my days, and they’re where I come alive.
It’s what I never realized for the brunt of my twenties; mornings are required for me. The human spirit has been trained to raise with the sun, and the feeling of depression when I wake up in the afternoon is no more than the feeling of being left behind. When I was working for the mascot company, I would regularly go to work at five o’clock in the morning. I’d make, or pick up some breakfast, and go sit in an office and write. Those posts, all of that writing is sitting on a drive I call Devon, they formed the first iteration of the Fat Dog Blog, and paint a portrait of how different I was in 2015.
Regardless of how different I am as a person, it was there in that office that I learned the value of engagement at sunrise. I can imagine that it would feel the same if I exercised my body, but activating my mind for an hour on my own ideas seemed to unlock my potential for the rest of the day. The Fat Dog Network has served as my “job away from job” while I’m on stress leave. Just thinking about it helps relieve the panic attacks that come from nowhere, it gives me a reason to go to bed early. It gives me something to get dressed for in the morning. It keeps me from wearing pyjamas all day and forces me to interface with other people in a collaborative manner. Finally, after almost a month of literary impotence, I’m able to both read and write again.
It’s not for lack of trying though. It’s just every time I sat down to write, anger and hate would flow through me. I lacked perspective on my feelings, and it showed. For three pages, it showed. The last time I wrote anything in that word file, I ended it with “this is going to read like a manifesto with the way I’m keeping up.” That couldn’t be more the truth. It’s a hate filled document, a needed, but ultimately fruitless effort. The only good that word file is going to do for me is disappear from my recycling bin.
I’m starting to feel more balanced. I’m starting to put a higher priority on taking care of myself over all, which is something I’ve never done. I’m not just talking about eating and resting, I’m talking about my environment, and not having to deal with things that I shouldn’t. Things like toxic people; I’ve had my kid gloves on for a long time with the people around me, and I’ve been backed into spots I’d prefer not to be because of it. I understand there are assholes everywhere, but there’s also things that are clear right/wrong situations, and I have to stop holding my tongue in them. Otherwise, I’ll just end up here again.
The Joel that spoke up against shady moves by teachers in school, the Joel that has quit jobs because of the way management spoke to employees and for substandard pay in the face of effort and training, the Joel that has no problem or fear of speaking his truth is buried somewhere in here. Beneath all the complacency and desire to please, there is a man of conviction that grew from a feisty boi. I’ve just gotta let him out again.