Good-Bye 2015, and Good Riddance

We are standing on the cusp of a new year.

2015 is hopefully the end of a string of bad years.

I’ve made bad decisions.

I’ve forgiven, when I shouldn’t have.

I stuck with it, when I should have walked.

My intentions were noble.  I was working towards The Greater Good.

But in the end,  I was sucked dry and discarded.

It took years of therapy,  but I finally saw it.

I had to see myself as important too.

If I didn’t,  I would end up being consumed.

This is not a New Years Resolution,  this is simply my new reality.

I will continue to act with Kindness, Wisdom, and Compassion.

I will continue to seek to make a world a better place, through these actions,   and through my ability to make people laugh.

But,  keep in mind one thing…

My name is David Rothbauer.

When the chips are down,  and the feces hits the fan,  you can count on me to step up and lend a hand.

But….

Fuck with me at your peril.

Happy New Year!  (no, I really mean it!)

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Dear Santa

Hi Santa;

It has been a very long time since I’ve written to you.

I hope I didn’t offend you in last letter when I questioned the fact that you insisted that instead of milk that we leave beer with the traditional offering.   I may have been a bit blunt in my pointing out that your favorite beer happened to be the same as my dad’s.   Black Label.

I had recently noticed that restaurants were selling “Imported Beers” and found it unlikely that Black Label was available at the North Pole.

So, uh, sorry about that.

All that being said,  I hope you get this.   I don’t know what sort of internet is available at the North Pole,  but maybe your phone will download this when you transition through more civilized locations.

Santa,  its been a tough year.  Not just for me,  but for millions of people around the world.

At this point, I believe its customary for the letter writer to point out how good they’ve been all year.

Santa,  I’ve been a good boy all year!!!

LMAO….once you stop laughing you’ll realize I was being sarcastic.

I’m going to ask for something anyway….but it is more of a global thing.

Santa,  with all the shit that has happened in the world,  I’ve noticed something….

Since 9/11,  it seemed that every time people who happened to be Muslim did something wrong,  social media feeds,  and forum posts were wall to wall hate for all Muslims.

That’s not all.

In 2001 very few people would speak up when someone vilified gays and lesbians.

Almost no one would speak up in defence of those society marginalized.  I’m talking about the homeless,  the addicted and the mentally ill.

The world seemed bereft of compassion.

I think that started to change in the past year or so.

Even in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks people who complained about Islam,  and wanted to punish all Muslims,  even those fleeing the inhumane hell that was once Syria,  were shouted down.

Not by one or two,  but by the majority!

For homophobes it got so bad that they started complaining that their ignorant hatred was actually a majority opinion,  but people were afraid of speaking up out of fear of being bullied by “bleeding heart Liberal bullies”.

I honestly believe that society is becoming more compassionate.   That people see that homelessness and addiction is not the problem,  but a symptom of the problem.

More and more people are seeing that the way we treat social welfare makes poverty nearly impossible to escape.

Santa,  I know that even with your mastery of quantum mechanics that you couldn’t have done all that.

But,  if you help move it along in any way I’d really like that.

It would make the world a better place.

Oh,  and Santa,  if it turns out I’m wrong,  and this is just some delusional fantasy….I’m good with that.

Thanks Santa,   have a safe flight.

If you do make it to my place,  as soon as you get in,  get the fridge….you’ll find some sausage in there.    If the dogs haven’t cornered you before that,  just throw them a couple of links and you’ll be fine!

 

 

 

 

I am Adrift and in Need of Rescue

I was planning on writing something else tonight, but I will save that for later.

Going into my 50th Christmas I find myself in one of the darkest, bleakest periods of my life.

I can’t go into details,  but I am going into week 4 of “Sick Leave”.   I’ve had the one thing that gave my life purpose and meaning stripped away from me,  through no fault of my own.

My days blend together,  each one the same as before with few exceptions.

Without the distraction of work, and socializing with my friends there life has become pretty grey.

There is one bright spot here though,  and that is that I’m recognizing my tendency to hide when things get bad.

With the help of my psychiatrist, Dr. N.,  and some very good friends I’m finding it easier to recognize behaviours that are less than helpful.

And,  I’m finding it easier to talk about them.

Up until recently there was no way in hell I would let anyone know that I was hurting.   It would have to be truly bad for me to even hint that I was in trouble,  let alone ask for help.

The headline of this blog is something that I’ve wanted to say so many times in the past.

The reasons I didn’t are all my own.

There are a few reasons for this neurotic way I deal with depression and stress.

Most of my adult life,  I was the one who came to the rescue.  I was a medic.

Back then I had coping mechanisms…friends, alcohol and terrible, terrible karaoke.

There is also a part of me that is terrified of being vulnerable.  As I type that I realize the irony.  Not asking for help for fear of being seen as vulnerable, actually increases the vulnerability.

So,  after years of battling depression I find that my social skills are lacking.

I withdraw from socializing because I don’t want to bother people with my bullshit,  so I’ve lost the ability to make small talk,  or have a “normal” conversation about “stuff”.

The result of this of course is that its harder to find people to socialize with,  and build those friendships where someone will call bullshit when I say that I’m fine when I’m not.

The bright spot in this quagmire is that I’ve been unable to hide it.  Dr N commented during my appointment the other day that it was the first time in the 4 or 5 years I’ve been seeing him that I actually looked depressed.

I say bright spot, because other people have noticed and have offered support.  Invitations for coffee or a shoulder should I need one.

Thank you so much all of you for that.

Now to the bit that still kind of terrifies me….I’m going to ask for help, directly…

Please know that accepting help is new to me.   I fight every day to keep from “going dark” and avoiding everyone and everything.

So,  if you’re inclined to reach out, please don’t let me run and hide…because I might.

Thanks everyone…I’m going to hit “Post” on this before I chicken out.