Facing depression, self esteem and our inner demons- THE RAT

Every once in a while I decide to take on a more serious topic. This week on the podcast I am sure to be discussing PiewDiePie and the mass shooting in New Zealand. However, before I get to that I wanted to take a look at some personal issues I have always faced in my own personal life regarding self esteem and depression. This is something I think most people can relate to. I am only now starting to get to the point in my life where I can sort things out. I hope that if someone were to read this article it might help them reflect on their own lives.

I want to put something into perspective. Why do I struggle so much with connecting to other people? What makes it so damn difficult for me to learn names to go with the endless sea of faces? Read below to get a little insight into the twisted mind that is cluttered with a spider’s web of confusion and frustration.

Let me start with stating I am currently 36-years-old as of the time of this writing. I have lived in more than 36 towns or cities over the years. I attended almost half that many schools growing up. I have moved damn near every year of my life either to a new town, new house or some other major change has occurred. Last year alone I move three times.

At 36 years of age I have already had more than 40 jobs over the span of my life. I began work at age 12. I started as a kid shoveling snow, mowing lawns, racking leaves and helping pull weeds in gardens of elderly individuals in the neighborhood. I also threw newspapers at people’s porches and in the summer I worked in the corn field for the farmers. I sat down recently once, more than a decade ago, to count the number of places I have lived, jobs I have worked and schools I attended. That as a decade ago and I was already over 35 jobs worked, 28 towns and twice that many houses. I forget how many schools it was because that was before college. Speaking of college, I attended 4four years of university. I attended three different colleges over that time. There have been times I was juggling two, or more, jobs at a time. So when I tell people I have a hard time remembering where I was in June of 2017 I can assure you it’s not because of drugs or alcohol.

Speaking of vices let’s put those on the table. I do not drink alcohol. I will have a drink but it is very rare. I have consumed literally, I checked, no more than what would be the equivalent of a 24 pack of 12 oz cans of beer. I have had maybe fewer than 12 total shots of hard liquor and less than 20 beers in my entire life. Alcohol is not an issue. I have smoked no more than what would amount to half, at best, a pack of cigarettes spread out over at least 20 or more years of trying to give it a shot. Vaping and chew I have at zero experience with save for second hand smoke and accidentally taking a drink from a soda can some asshole spit his chew into that one time.

What about sex? I am a devout Christian. I have remained fully celibate my entire life. Fully is not a stretch. I avoid situations where I might be compromised. I have never even been to a strip club and the extent of my exposure to pornography, outside brief nudity in slasher films, is being at a party with friends who had the videos playing on their computer. I have glanced at some out of curiosity before moving into a mind of withdrawal. I recuse myself from those situations that would tempt me into digging deeper.

None of this is to say I am perfect. Ha, far from it. Listen to my podcast and it takes no more than the intro before I am dropping the infamous F-bomb. I have lost my temper and engaged in, mostly defensive, physical violence. I say mostly. I was defending my sisters honor that one time I caught a former friend jumping out of her bedroom window. That was aggressive in nature but the cops sided with  me so there was no arrest. Punches were thrown I cannot lie but charges were not filed. In fact I have never been arrested in my entire life. I have been questioned. I have been detained. I have been interviewed. But I have never been charged with a crime. Not that I have committed any crimes either, aside from skirmishes the local law enforcement chose to chalk up to a learning experience in being a man.

If you asked some of the ultra-right wing religious folks in my life I am a vile person because I watch hard R-rated gory horror films, listen to graphic gangsta rap and so-called Satanic Heavy Metal rock music. I am not perfect by any means. I had a friend introduce me to file sharing. There is a certain gray area in the law regarding some things, especially digital backups and time shifting, but I dabbled in the gray areas a until I got a muddy then cleansed myself off. I do, however, dig unashamedly into the world of roms and emulation.

What is the point of this, what is it a confession or soul searching? Honestly I don’t know. I realized today in my examination of my self why I have such a hard time taking the time to get to know people. Not to mention I have severe social anxiety and next to little self esteem.

I have other vices, if you will, secrets I keep to my self. My own skeletons I hide in the closet where they shall stay until Judgement day I suppose. I was raised baptist for the most part. Although even that is a stretch. You see I have attended likely as many churches as I have lived in towns because, well every time we moved I had to find a new church.

I am currently in the process of becoming Catholic. That is to say I have begun attending the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. I have been given permission to begin the process of coming into the church at the upcoming Easter Vigil. A part of what has drawn me to make this life altering change of direction is in fact my longing for something that has a real deep history. The Catholic faith goes directly back 2000 years as an established religion and several thousand more as an off shoot of the more ancient Judaism. I don’t use my religion to judge others or attack people I disagree with. In fact, doing just that goes against all Christian teaching regardless of which denomination a person adheres to. The truth is we’re told not to judge instead to love our enemies. I can say many of the so-called Christians who don’t share in that value are probably not true followers of the teachings of the Christ who they claim to follow. Turn the other cheek hardly sounds the same as some of the hatred people spew online.

The other stuff, the darker stuff that lurks in the hearts of the sinful man, well that’s why I need to attend Christs’s church. I want to shed my evil self and make every effort to become a better person, while simultaneously loving everyone and letting them live their lives in accordance with their own convictions.