Please, Men. Please.

Hey, fellas, it’s me. How about we sit for a little while and have a talk?

Ladies, you’re welcome to listen in, but this is really for the guys.

When I saw the headline yesterday about the death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss at the age of 40, I was shocked. I was floored. I just couldn’t believe it.

Then, when I read that it was a death by suicide, my heart just broke.

Here was another guy who appeared to have it all: a great wife and family, a successful career, the love and respect of his peers and countless fans.

And nobody knew about the battle he was secretly fighting. Until, ultimately, he lost.

His wife, Allison Holker Boss, with whom Stephen had just days ago celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary, issued a statement which said, in part, “Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him. He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans.”

His former boss, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, said about him, “tWitch was pure love and light. He was my family, and I loved him with all my heart.”

The online tributes to “tWitch” have been flooding in from various people in the entertainment industry, expressing complete shock and sadness over the loss of someone so universally loved.

Many of these tributes have included an urging to reach out to people in your life, because you never know what someone is going through.

So, this is me reaching out to all you guys out there.

I know men are expected to be strong, tough, self-sufficient. We can handle anything. We don’t need anyone’s help. Whatever is bothering us, we can deal with it.

Admitting we can’t causes us shame. It means we’re weak, inadequate, that we’re not real men.

So we just kill ourselves, instead. More than 38,000 of us in the USA just last year.

You see that, guys? Thirty…eight…thousand.

I lost an uncle to suicide, in August, 1985.

I myself have thought about it more than once. Even came close to doing it one afternoon. Fortunately, I didn’t go through with it.

Instead, I called a counselor I was seeing at the time, and told him I needed to come talk to him right away. And he said, okay.

So, I’m familiar with how it feels, in that moment of desperation, when you’re certain there is no other solution. That utter hopelessness that almost crushes you under its weight. That convinces you that everyone would just be better off without you around.

I’ve been there, gentlemen. And in that moment, I reached out for help.

So please, please, listen to me, men:

If you find yourself at this point in your life, if you’re battling a demon (or demons) that only you know about, if you’re seriously thinking about suicide…

I beg of you, tell someone!

Whatever you’re going through, I promise you, you don’t have to do it alone.

Asking for help does not mean you’re weak. It does not make you less of a man. If anything, it makes you more of one.

There are plenty of veterans who have asked for help. There are plenty of athletes who have asked for it. You gonna tell me any of them are weak, that they’re not really men?

This, knights in shining armor, is just too big and mean a dragon to try and slay by yourself. Trust me.

Listen, I know it’s out there, the public stigma surrounding suicide. Nobody wants to talk about it; everyone just wants to ignore it.

Well, guess what, y’all: It’s widely considered a public health crisis. Worldwide. We ignore it at our peril.

Help is available, guys. In the US, call 988, or go to https://988lifeline.org/ right now.

Live outside the US? Look here for additional resources from other countries. ‘Cause it ain’t just American men who need help, you know?

Get help, gentlemen. I guarantee you, all Stephen Boss’ family wants for Christmas is to have him back with them. Give your family the gift of yourself.

Alive.

(And please, everyone, be kind to each other. You really don’t know what someone else is going through.)

Live For Today (Because Tomorrow Will Suck)


It’s probably the depression talking, but I tell you, the future looks just so bleak to me anymore. To wit:

No matter who gets elected in November (please, Joe!), this country is so deeply, bitterly, hopelessly divided, I see no chance for reconciliation. In fact, I think sometimes it might come to war.

The coronavirus keeps on infecting, and killing, lots of people, especially here in the States, in no small part to the selfishness and ignorance of so many people who simply can’t be bothered with it.

Climate change is happening all around us, and time is running out to do something about it, and I’m not optimistic about us Americans doing our part. Again, selfishness and ignorance; also, arrogance.

(And I feel so sorry for the children who will inherit all this $#!t.)

On a more personal level, I’m at the age where more of the people I’ve known and loved all my life will be passing on, and I can’t bear to think of saying goodbye. To say nothing of whatever ailments await me the older I get.

You see why I don’t write so often these days? I’m just Mister Sunshine, right?

I know I shouldn’t be this way. I just have a hard time finding anything to look forward to these days. So I just figure I need to take each day as it comes, and see if I can extract anything good from it.

Sorry to bring you down, folks. Maybe next time, more cheerful. Like I said, the depression probably has a little too much of my mind lately.

Still Driving Four Years Later

Well, well…

Just got a reminder from WordPress about my blog’s four-year anniversary. Can’t believe it’s already been that long. Can’t believe people are still reading it after that long! But I’m very glad you are.

Thank all of you who have stopped in somewhere along my journey to read what’s going on in my scrambled egg of a mind. I hope you haven’t found it boring. I’ve tried to entertain, to educate, to point my fellow depression sufferers out there to some help, just to share what I think, for whatever it’s worth.

I’ll be honest: lately I’ve had thoughts of giving this writing thing up, because it’s been so freakin’ hard to come up with anything. My depression affects my concentration, and my inner critic gets pretty critical when I try to write something, so it’s two against one a lot of the time.

But I guess I’ll stay after it for awhile longer. Mainly cause I like the attention.

Thanks again, everyone. Blessings on you, and please stay safe.

 

 

 

What’s On My Mind

I haven’t written about my depression in a while, so for you new followers and visitors, let me bring you up to speed:

I was diagnosed with clinical depression several years ago. I was angry all the time, but I didn’t realize that was an outward manifestation of depression in men, until a therapist told me. And then, once I learned more about its symptoms, I thought, “WOW, I check a lot of these boxes!”

Didn’t mean I was crazy, mind you; that’s an old stigma that needs to be buried forever. Nobody with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other mental illness is a crazy person. He (or she) just lacks the necessary mental faculties, for any number of reasons, to safely navigate this life.

Anyway, with the help of a couple of good therapists and some medication, I’m doing better.

For the most part. There are still a few dark days, even fewer really dark days, and a lot of days of just, meh. But, without the medicine, I know I’d be worse.

The important thing is, I got help. If you think you may need help, too, please ask for it. Depression is a beast, and you’re likely not going to beat it on your own. I know us guys especially are reluctant to talk to anyone about things of this nature.

We just go kill ourselves, instead.

Let’s not let it come to that,okay? Help is available; here is a great place to go to find it.

If you want to learn more of my story, read my post from July 2016, “The .05 Cubic Foot Cell.” See if you identify.

I wish you well.