Through Danzig Colored Glasses

I'm the brooding type. I've never seen the world through rose colored glasses, at least in my adult life. The glasses I use could better be described as Danzig colored (Misfits era of course). I guess that's often a part of being - please forgive me for using this term - woke. It's absolutely impossible for me, in most circumstances, to ignore the flippant bullshit and ignorance on full display in an alarming amount of people's moment to moment actions and interests. I imagine a doctor might say I have a smidge of clinical depression and throw Xanax at me. Not a fan of taking more pharmaceuticals than I medically have to, but don't think I haven't considered it. I generally self medicate with booze, weed, yoga and long walks. In past, even more flawed versions of me, moderation wasn't something I could even spell without choking on my own hypocrisy. Any recognizable sign of the omnipresent sadness that lurks in the darkest corners of my psyche had me reaching for something to dull the synapses immediately. To be honest, it still does - only the current version of me won't allow the same old self destruction to take it's position in my muscle memory and run wild. I still drink like a bartender who has to be mindful about not imbibing every single day, even when I want to (I usually want to). But there is a sense of preservation and a deep appreciation for clear-headedness I've developed, and it guides my decision making before contempt, fear and loathing is able to take over. My weed intake has sharply declined over the past few years as well. What used to last me a week or two at the most, now lasts months. I'm a cheap date these days.

Sativa used to be my jam. I loved the pep it put in my step. Somewhere along the line though, Sativa started causing me to have crippling anxiety, occasional cold sweats and vertigo - that when combined mimic a severe low blood sugar reaction. So Indica it is, or a heavy-leaning Indica hybrid at the very least. But I prefer the pure Indo - counter-intuitive to what I use it for, but it does the job. I can no longer smoke before I eat and fully hydrate, and rarely do I smoke during the daytime hours anymore - even during this quarantine. As a California resident, this puts me in a heavy minority. However, I am a true believer in the medicinal qualities of cannabis and I don't even consider it a drug. It's medicine, and it's versatility is basically unlimited. Luckily, I live in a state where that versatility is on full display. One of these days, when I'm getting paid again, I'll be able to reap the benefits of my location. The dispensaries out here are going to really feel the economic stimulus when those checks start rolling in, that's for sure.

That brings me back to my original thought process. Depression, and the maintenance of it. I'm driving my partner absolutely nuts with all the brooding. Her superpower is the ability to brush shit off and forget about it, and to know in her heart that things will turn out ok. I do not share that devil magic and I have to work very hard to overcome what I've found is an unfortunate natural state for me to be in. I've never in my grown life been a rainbows and lollipops kind of person, always more guarded and lo-fi. I'm painfully self-aware at all times, and that includes being conscious of the cynicism that informs how I interact with the world around me at any given moment. Basically, if your Instagram feed is full of big, dumb smiles and endless good times with captions extolling virtues akin to "live, laugh, love" - I probably think you're completely full of shit, your social media personality is a farce and you're running from the same demons I am. One thing I am good at is reading a room and I can smell bullshit from miles away. The issue lies within the deep seeded contempt I simply cannot get over when I smell that bullshit. And oh, the amount of bullshit we're all dealing with in the age of Covid is pervasive! We all know the depths humanity is capable of sinking to, so I won't focus on that. But when it's already a daily challenge for me not to be guided by darkness, it's even more so during this quarantine.

For me, it's not about the lack of personal interaction and party opportunities. I do miss those things greatly, don't get me wrong, but I also LOVE laying low and being by myself and/or Netflixing with my girlfriend. It's more about the lack of finances in my bank account, causing a lack of maneuverability that makes me tremendously uncomfortable. I was never good at saving money until Sarah sat me down and forced me to be a grown up by outlining and adhering to a budget (that shit works, who'd a thought?). But the money I did manage to save last year all went into a very expensive move across the country. When I got here, I had a really good job with the best salary and benefits ever bestowed to me in my professional life, so I wasn't too worried about the state of my bank account because I knew I would be just fine after a few paychecks. Then, as we all know, the other shoe dropped. I was furloughed without pay after three weeks on the job and immediately thrown into what is nothing short of financial ruin. This isn't unique to just me, I am very aware of that, but the way it all happened - the absolutely fucked timing of everything - sent me into a spiral of negativity that tests the patience of my strong and powerful girlfriend every single day. I'm already a person who assumes most intentions are bad intentions (not my best quality), but add the weight of not being financially sound and completely reliant on my partner for literal survival to that, and you might see how I could run into a few problems maintaining my mental health. It's been an issue, and I've promised Sarah that I would try harder to not be such a damn drag.

She's suggested waking up and writing things down that I am grateful for, so my days start with positivity instead of dread and angst. This doesn't jive with my sensibilities (here's that cynicism I spoke of), but I did at least manage to internalize a few gratitudes when I woke the past two mornings. I will say that I believe it may have helped, if even just slightly. Perhaps it was the simple awareness that my mood directly effects her overall happiness and ability to get through the same murk I'm trying to get through, but I'm willing to try a lot of different things in order to find some sort of baseline non-sadness. I have to be intentional when it comes to not complaining. I'm an expressive individual and there isn't much of a filter. I don't have a poker face. I have to maintain my awareness of these things and try VERY HARD not to fall into patterns of negativity. Both of us are fire signs, and Sarah is as direct and sharp as a person gets. I am as sensitive and emo as a person gets, and I fight regular everyday fire with dragon fire straight from ancient Valyria. If I feel unheard, I get reactive and super pissed. Never violently or anything remotely similar, but enough to fan the already hot flames and have to take a knee so I can breathe it out. Usually I just put on my shoes, hate every lace I have to tie, and take a walk. I always come back with a more level and reasonable head. It's not easy hearing how your shortcomings and behaviors are bullshit and you have to fucking suck it up and not be such a bitch, even when that's true. My emo ass especially can't wrap itself around the idea that my visceral reactions to this unbelievably fucked situation are anything less than warranted, but truthfully speaking - they aren't. Not at the volume of a tightly packed, whiskey soaked Fister show, and not if I want to continue growing as a person. Not if I want to continue having a strong, thriving relationship. My dark little psychological habits have ruined past relationships and I am intent on that not happening this time. Sarah is worth that effort, and so is my happiness. I'm too old to let my inner teenage punk rocker be my tour guide. Maybe Xanax isn't such a bad idea. LOL.

With that, it's time for a walk. Today we are going to stroll through the piles of money they made into wide, beautiful sidewalks in Beverly Hills. It's sunny and 75 degrees today in the City of Angels and I am grateful.

The song I have attached today is from the fiercest doom metal band dwelling in the shadows of Mordor. One of my favorite shirts is a Fister shirt and I highly recommend catching a show once the world decides we can do such things again. For now, Devil horns up and may darkness prevail (as long as you leave room for the light).

Fister - "Life is Shit and Soon it Will be Over"


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