I always knew I was different. When I was a teenager I was afraid to go to the counter at McDonalds and place an order for fear I would get it wrong or they would laugh at me. Humor became the perfect mask. If I could make people laugh they would not see my faults. I fell in love with radio. That “mystery man” behind the mic that would talk to me, I wanted, and got, that life. Although I was very successful I was running from an illness and eventually I crashed in February of 2011.
I have OCD, am bi-polar, suffer from depression and severe social anxiety disorder. I have been in therapy for nine years and my doctor saved my life. Depression is not just “being in a bad mood.” It’s a feeling of all other options running out and desperation. It makes suicide seem logical (as illogical as that may seem). So how did I do my job, be successful at it, and hide it from everyone? It started with alcohol. It gave me the courage to walk in a room, size people up, and own it. At an event I would continue to drink to feed the monster that wanted to come out. When that wasn’t enough I turned to drugs. Self medicating was the way I solved my problems before I found help. I was never a druggie in high school or college or in my early adult life but I can honestly say I became an addict. I have learned that addiction is a terrible disease and through the help of my therapist he has taught me how to control it and not let it control me.
I also found out that it’s okay to be scared. I don’t have all the answers to the tribulations we face in life but in 2015 I was in a coma for six days because I almost let that monster inside of me win. That was rock bottom for me. For the past seven years I have concentrated on fixing myself. For some reason God has let me survive to fulfill a specific mission that I have yet to discover. I have been blessed to actually see what awaits us. That first night in my coma the doctors were sure I would not see the morning. I truly am someone that got a second chance and that, among other reasons, is why I have decided to go home to Cleveland. It is my sincere hope that others that may have these feelings know they are not alone. My mom says I tell everyone everything and have no filter. She is correct but no one can appreciate the success without tasting the failure. Every new day is a blessing and there is no guarantee. Thank you for reading this and remember “never give up.”
I used to be a yeller. I would yell at just about everyone and everything. Someone would disagree with me and I would raise my voice. Someone would yell at me and I would be sure to yell back. Someone would cut me off in traffic and I would be sure to yell in anger (now I just flip them off). Recently I had an epiphany: yelling really affects your credibility.
There are three good reasons not to yell:
It takes too much energy. I look at energy as fuel in your tank and yelling just burns too much gas.
If someone yells at you and you take a deep breath, pause and respond with “I’m sorry I didn’t realize what you were saying because you were yelling.” That makes them look like what they truly are; an asshole.
Yelling leads to anger. Think of all the times you made bad decisions in your life. Chances are it was preceded by you yelling and then followed by making a bad judgment. The only exception I can think of is years ago doing too many shots of patron and waking up to see two female tundra twins making ham sandwiches in my kitchen while passing a crack pipe.
When is the last time that yelling lead to a positive result? Yelling at a loved one makes you feel bad afterwards. Yelling at your spouse or better half usually leads to a slap in the face or at the very least a slamming of a door. Yelling at a cop will never get you out of a ticket and yelling at a water park while making balloon animals and wearing clown makeup will get you arrested. Perhaps the latter was not the best example.
Life is too short. Realize there are a lot of stupid people in this world and try laughing at them instead of yelling at them. I may not be the smartest person in the world but it’s amazing how people will suddenly view you as a superior intellectual just because you don’t react to adversity by raising your voice. So this week try to remain calm, cool and collected or I may just have to yell at you.
I have stated in the past at how disappointed I am in the world today. No one is nice anymore. No one says “please” or “thank you” or holds the door open for the other person. Something happened today that has stayed with me all day and hopefully will for quite some time.
I had a minor accident on the Harley over the weekend and there was some minor damage done to my pride and joy. I only take my bike to one place, Nicky D’s, so I rode it there and dropped it off this morning. Since the shop is six miles from my house I needed to arrange for a ride home so the plan was Mom would drive to get me on her lunch break from work. To make it easy on mom I told her to meet me at the CVS nearby but this entailed that I walk from Nicky D’s to CVS. The distance was maybe a quarter of a mile but I was wearing long pants and it was about eighty-two degrees so by the time I got to CVS I looked like a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”
I found a bench in front of the store, sat down and called mom. As usual I was early and she told me she would leave work in about a half hour which translates into me sitting in the direct sun for about another forty-five minutes.
I could feel the sunlight hit me directly and make me sweat like Johnny Manziel at last call. I knew that if a producer for “The Bachelor” walked by I would not be invited to be on the show. I started to smell like someone who should be behind the wheel of a Yellow Cab. Then a very strange thing happened that left me stunned and speechless.
An elderly woman, probably early eighties, stopped in front of me and said “Would you like an iced tea I just bought?” I respectfully declined but was stunned by her offer as it was something I had not seen in such a long time: unselfishness and kindness. She didn’t know me. She didn’t know what I was about yet she put that all aside and was willing to make a sacrifice for someone she didn’t even know. Isn’t that the way we are supposed to live life on a daily basis?
I may have declined her kind offer of a drink today but what she gave me meant so much more than just a quench of thirst. She restored my faith in mankind.
My last relationship ended 10-23-11. I told myself that day I was gonna go a year without dating. That time line is now over three years and counting and I really kind of like it. I used to be very co-dependant. I couldn’t even keep up with who I was with or who would be next. I didn’t really “know me” and, quite frankly, I was wasting the time of a lot of really kind and intelligent women. I needed to find out about me. What makes me tick? What are my faults? How can I improve?
I’m an only child. Left the house at 18 and got into radio full-time at 21. I have lived in Wichita, Grand Rapids, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Cleveland and now West Palm Beach. I say what’s on my mind and not necessarily what people wanna hear. I have a 4 bedroom 2 ½ bath house but have not slept in my bed in over three years. I sleep on the couch and the TV has to be on 24 hours a day. The only other rooms I use are the kitchen and my office that has three computers. I have five televisions in the house. I am a news and sports junkie. The only alcohol I drink anymore is beer and that only happens twice a week at the most. I have a Harley Road King Classic that I have invested 42K on. I don’t own a suit. I think my mother is the greatest woman I have ever met–although she does know how to drive me nuts. As I figure out what to do with the rest of my life I exist in my boxers and my boxers alone.
My psychiatrist tells me I am “the most honest patient he has ever met.” He has been in practice for 28 years. I’m pretty sure that’s a compliment. I’m a Libertarian but I don’t like to argue about politics. Inform yourself about the issues and THEN go and vote. I have zero tolerance for stupid voters…actually you can expand that to “stupid people.” I’m not sure about what religion is “right” but I know there is a Supreme Being. I don’t mind saying “I really don’t like Pat Robertson.” I don’t have any children and am amazed and impressed by those that do and do it well. We all make mistakes but it’s truly the way we ever learn.
So back to why I don’t date…..it has forced me to take a look at myself. I have learned and changed so much in the past three years I only wish I did it sooner….like maybe when I was ten but I was too involved in climbing trees and playing baseball.