Woe is me

What does it feel like to have someone worry about you? Ask you how you’re doing once in a while? “You seem sad, what’s on your mind?”

Did I ever have that? Or has it just been so long that it feels to have always been non-existent? I will always have that from my parents. But honestly, I don’t need that type of support from my parents. They wouldn’t know how to help me with my current state of emotions.

This is the self-pity world I’ve created for myself.

My children will and always will be our main priority. Their sensitivity, emotions, health, and overall well-being is more important than anyone else in my life. They are young boys with big sensitive hearts and deserve every ounce of positive energy this universe has to offer. My wife has her support system. Her friends and coworkers are always there to check up on her, especially now that her husband is such an emotional wreck, they are there to see how she is doing. And that truly is wonderful that she has that, she needs that, she deserves that. The other people in her life are going to heaven for being there for her. As for me, I have me. Of course she loves me and supports me, that doesn’t go unrecognized. But to really look into my soul every now and then, that is something that I wish I had here. I receive constant unconditional love from my children. That type of love cannot even be explained. The way a child looks at their mom and dad like we have all the answers to the universe is such an inspiring and magical feeling, and I am blessed for it. But they are 5 and 8 years old. They’re too young and naive to even begin to have a clue to what has been going on with their daddy. There will eventually come a day when they find out that I don’t have all the answers. That I am not the superhero they believe me to be. That I am human just like them. Children this age do not know what bipolar is. That being said, I need another adult in my life to check up on me once in a while. Not my biased parents who will blame everyone for my struggles while denying that mental-illness is a thing. I love them both, but they can’t help me. As a matter of fact, although they mean well and their heart may be in the right place, they would just cause me to have even more anxiety. Back when all I would think about was death and what it would look like to everyone if I had expired my own life, how would it effect my parents? It would absolutely devastate them to the point of absolute inner chaos. It would devastate them to the point of impossibilities. They wouldn’t be able to handle it. In my fantasies, I imagined myself adding to the note, emphasizing that they do not need to worry about me. Do not feel sorry about not being here to protect me. I am a grown man, my adolescence came and went a long time ago. My passing should be easier to process. You’ve protected me when I needed protection. You’ve passed the torch over to me. You’ve seen me grown into a man and you did a really great job. Now you no longer need to worry. You will be sad, but don’t be scared. It’s ok. Really.

That was how my sick fantasies would play out in my head. But I feel the need to clarify that I am NOT suicidal. I know I’m painting this horrific picture for you, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. I don’t need this to be passed over to my therapist or the cops. I do not need an unnecessary 5150. I am safe and the people around me are safe.

All I’m saying is that I am in desperate need to be someone’s concern. If I had that type of support system, to be checked up on, perhaps I would have less self-loathing days and more optimism, like the way I used to be. I used to be awesome. I had a million friends. People would often go to me so I can uplift their spirit. I used to be a fucking rockstar. Where the hell did that guy go? The guy with the calm eyes and peaceful smile who knew all the right answers. I truly did have the key to the universe. I am crying out for recognition, nothing more, nothing less. I need to be reminded that I matter.

“The stars can’t shine without darkness”

Music saves

When they first announced the lineup to Kaaboo I thought “meh, it isn’t really that good”. But I wanted to go anyway simply because I love going to festivals. That’s it. Kaaboo is something that every San Diegan goes to, and I wanted to be a part of that this year. This would be the third Kaaboo that’s happened since we first moved to San Diego in July of 2017. It’s been a San Diego thing for years. but I’ve never heard of it until moving out here. I wanted to go my first year out here, I think the headliners to all three days were the Chili Peppers, Weezer, and Tom Petty. I’ve never seen Tom Petty before, and the fact that he was playing on the beach 20 minutes away from my house was pretty awesome. I ended up not going because as I mentioned in my previous post titled “the rest of my life”, I don’t have any friends here in SD. My friends all live 3,000 miles away, I’ll get to them a little later. So I don’t have any friends, my wife is my only friend here. At the time, she couldn’t go to Kaaboo with me because we had just moved to San Diego 2 months prior, and she had to work that weekend anyway. So I skipped it. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if Tom Petty hadn’t died a month later. Oh well, guess I’ll never get to seem him live.

I don’t remember who played last years lineup other than the Foo Fighters, but they were enough to get me to go. I love that band. But same thing, she had to work and I don’t have friends. I’ve gone to plenty of shows in smaller venues by myself many times, that doesn’t bother me. But an outdoor festival isn’t something I do by myself. So I skipped it yet again. I was driving Uber that weekend, and man was it a tease to be driving everyone to the festival.

So I was determined to go this year no matter what, before they even announced the lineup. All I wanted was for my wife to go with me. I miss doing things like this with her. Once they announced the lineup, I was somewhat disappointed, but wanted to go anyway. After much persuasion, I was finally able to get her to agree to do this with me.

Kaaboo is like a mini Coachella in the sense that it’s they type of festival where the girls who attend start planning out their outfits 2 weeks in advance, they take selfies of themselves in the mirror days before the event to see which pose they like the best, and the guys who attend workout extra hard at the gym so the tank tops they wear look really good on them. Of course I’m being an asshole right now, but that’s essentially the image of the Kaaboo attendees.

She told me that this would be her weekend to work, but she can probably switch with someone. I said ok, but EVERYONE she works with is going to need off for this concert. It’ll be a tough one.

That was Kaaboo, I want to talk about now about a different festival lineup that was announced weeks after we bought passes for stupid Kaaboo. A festival that makes so much more sense for me to go to. A festival where outfits are not planned out weeks in advance. A festival where you would get made fun of so bad if you walked in with a selfie-stick. A festival with the type of music that not only gave me an identity 2 decades ago, but saved my life on mutual occasions everytime life felt like it was about to come crashing down. Riot Fest ’19. Riot Fest has always been good, but the 2019 lineup is something special. Something really special.

My friends, my only friends, my TRUE friends who’ve I had in my life since 1996, my friends who still live on the east coast, my friends who I miss a little more everyday. THEY are going to this three day festival held at Douglas Park in Chicago. When I saw this lineup, happening on the SAME weekend as Kaaboo by the way, uplifted my already fucked depression. I then looked at stupid Kaaboo and punched myself in the balls really really hard. I was already committed to Kaaboo, or was I? I go home and I tell my wife about Riot Fest, hoping she would have a solution. She didn’t at first. She stated the obvious, we’re already committed to Kaaboo, we have tickets for this thing. I said that there is nothing we can’t sell as far as th biggest event in San Diego. So we posted the tickets on sale, and not even 6 hours later we had someone interested in the tickets.

Problem sovled 👍 We’re going to Riot Fest!

Fights to Chicago are under $200, which is crazy cheap. We know a ton of people who are going, so we’re going to rent a big Airbnb house. It’ll be such an amazing time. But what really made this all better for me was that Bonnie wanted to go, and she actually seemed to be really excited about it too.

With everything that I’ve been going through lately. All of the struggles I’ve been facing, THIS is what I need more than anything right now. This type of music saved me in my past. Well I’ve been facing the most challenging time in my entire life. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ll understand what I mean by that. And the best part is that my old New Jersey friends are going. Now this is all cool and dandy, but I was soooo excited about my wife being excited about going. She normally doesn’t care about these things as much as I do, but the fact that she was looking forward to it is just amazing. I needed to do this with her. I need to be reminded of all the good times we used to have. This music, this scene, THIS is what is real. I need her to do this with me. I need to have a spiritual experience by being in the middle of a giant field with 30,000 punk rock fans with her by my side. This was going to be a huge step in my progress.

This morning when she came in at 8:30 from working all night she said “I have bad news, I can’t go to riot fest”. The feeling of disappointment I had was numbing.

As I figured, there are about 6 of her coworkers going to Kaaboo, so there is no way she can get off. The people she works with all seem like fun people, so I immediately I started thinking that IF she was off, she would probably have a better time with them at Kaaboo anyway since she’s pretty much a local now, and locals go to Kaaboo? But truthfully, she would go with me to Chicago if she could, but she can’t and it is what it is at this point. She has to work and that is super important.

I don’t know if she said this to try and make me feel better about her not being able to go, but she said that she doesn’t care about music as much as I do. She said that I would most likely get annoyed because she would be bored and not care about seeing the Decendents or Avail with me. I told her that it isn’t so much about the music, it’s more about being there in the moment with me. An escape. A vacation. A weekend with some of our old friends. Something different for a change.

She wants me to go on without her, but I can’t. I just don’t want to go now. I lost interest. I don’t want to do anything now. Depression works in mysterious ways LOL. I really needed this weekend with her. I know she feels bad because of how much this meant to me, but there is nothing we can do about it at this point. Her mom even agreed to come watch the kids for us that weekend, but I don’t want her to come now. I’ll stay with the kids so Bonnie can go to work.

Just to clarify, I am not upset with her or her work. I am just disappointed at the way the situation turned out. It is what it is. I was just longing for something real and meaningful since I have been so fucking goddamn lost with myself in this world.


The rest of my life

Born and raised in the swamps of New Jersey… the garden state… the arm pit of America, I will be the first one in line to stand up and defend my beautiful home when someone puts it down. From 1 day old to 27 years old, I’ve hung my hat from the Exit 98 sign over looking the Garden State Parkway. On a breezy day, if you listen closely you may be able to hear the sound of my soul blowing in the wind across the Point Pleasant Boardwalk. The Jersey Shore. A place where NO ONE from any other state will say “hey kids, how about a family vacation to New Jersey”, well, other than maybe New York. It’s a place of over-priced access to any beach, big wild hearts, Bruce, and pretty Jersey girls.

Now don’t think for a second that I’m making this out to sound like it’s a place for everyone, because it isn’t. My wife absolutely loathes New Jersey. She wanted out a long time ago. And aside from her, there were absolutely many other people who were looking for a way out as well, for multiple reasons. We may be in agreement that it truly is beautiful as far as the scenery, but all they see is the canvas right in front of them, they don’t see the beauty that carries on way beyond the painting, right down to it’s roots where it stems from. And that’s totally fine to be in disagreement there. But for others, or for most I should say, it’s almost as if it’s a cult. When I hear someone say “you have to be from jersey to understand” I cringe. I don’t know what it is about that statement, but I hate it, it’s annoying. But honestly, it’s so true, you really do have to be from there to see it’s charm.

Porkroll egg and cheese on a hard roll from Bagel Bin for breakfast, Surf Taco for lunch, two plain slices at Pasquales Pizzeria for dinner. Then at some point you wanna meet up with your friends. Back then, some had cell phones, some didn’t. But we didn’t really need a phone. There was always at least one of us in a group who had a phone, so if we were looking for someone or if someone was looking for us, we would just check with the one with the phone. But phone or no phone, we would all start meeting up at the same bench on the boardwalk one by one, usually around 9 or so. That’s where we would all end up every night. That was our place. We would loiter in the same spot on the boards for 4-5 hours. Somewhere in between we would split up, some would go to arcade, some would walk onto the beach, some (definitely me) would go to Chippy’s French Fries for a giant cup of greasy overpriced fries with gravy on the side. I would walk to that bench with a tub of fries like a 4 tear old with a tub of ice cream. And that gravy… so good. If it were a Friday or Saturday night, we’d wait for the people to leave Jenks (club) and we’d sit there and watch the dudes fight with their girlfriends, bro’s fighting with other bro’s, people throwing up, girls with their makeup smeared from crying all night. Oh it was a horrific site to see, but we would laugh and laugh. Then right around 2am or so, we’d leave the boardwalk and head to the Ocean Queen Diner where they almost ALWAYS had 3 tables pushed together waiting for us. At times there would literally be like 20 of us. We’d sit there with our coffee and talk about the night, for hours. Usually after our 8 or 9th cup of coffee, or until they’d kick us out, most of us would call it a night. I would usually leave with a very small crew, like 4 or 5 of us, we’d take one car, leaving the others at the diner, and head back towards the beach to watch the sunrise.

I miss those days. But all they are to me now are good memories of a life I once lived. At 20, 21, 22, it was perfectly normal to have an adventure like that every night. Now at 38 years old, even if I still lived in NJ I obviously wouldn’t be able to do that. I grew up. We all grow up. You can’t stop age no matter how hard you try. No matter how badly you wish you could stay the same age forever, that isn’t reality. Life keeps on going, and the only way to be ready for it is to embrace the inevitable.

I was married in June of ’08, and four months later I would leave New Jersey forever. Of course at the time I didn’t know it would be forever. We left the state for work. Bonnie was a new nurse who had just graduated from jersey city university, and she took her first job down south in North Carolina. I was stoked to live in another state, I just took it as a new adventure, and I love adventure. It’s a new unfamiliar place with different people with a different culture. It was exciting.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

After about 2 years there, I started to get homesick. And by the 9th year, I was way past homesick and I started to feel a new emotion that I never quite felt before. Depression. As I mentioned before, my wife loathes New Jersey. And as I pushed and pushed, I just couldn’t reach her. There was no way she would ever go back, she’d leave me before she went back to that place.

It eventually dawned on me that it really wouldn’t be fair for her to live in a place where she would be unhappy just for me. And I think it was around this time that she realized that it isn’t fair for me to live in a place where I’ll be unhappy, at least that’s what I like to believe.

Once we got to San Diego, I was finally able to see the light side of life again. I felt different, like I had been reborn. My soul still moves with the wind on a breezy day in New Jersey, my soul will never leave, but my heart followed me from NJ. But something followed me from North Carolina. Something dark, something dangerous. Something ugly and violent. Something that is responsible for over 800,000 deaths a year world wide. Depression. It followed me out here and I didn’t even know it. It followed me out here like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. Only this time it was as big as King Kong, and it had me in the palm of his hand. My theory is that I held it in for too long in North Carolina, it filled up like a balloon. And once I got out here it was too late, it had popped. If you hold in your thoughts and feelings long enough, you’ll eventually explode. That is why it is so important to talk to someone. You should always get professional help no matter what, unfortunately I waited too long… but it’s always helpful if you have a friend to talk to, someone who you’re comfortable being completely vulnerable with, someone who understands you. Just a friend, that’s it. I’ve had the same friends since high school. They would do anything for me if I were in a crisis. But my crisis happened and I was too afraid to reach out to them. I guess maybe it’s because I’ve been away for so long that I slowly began losing touch with them over the years. They have families of their own and I just really didn’t want to interfere with their lives. The last time we were together, like really together as best friends, we were much younger. We all have our own stuff happening and that is why I didn’t want to reach out to them. I may be wrong about this, but it’s my assumption that maybe perhaps I spent too many years away from NJ. At the time I had no idea that I would end up the way I am now. Right now, my only friend is my wife. And I’ve pushed her away. Or at least that is what my mind keeps telling me. I love her so much, but I don’t think she looks at me the same way she used to. She is my only friend and if I ever lose her, I’m fucked. I am emotionally fucked and I couldn’t handle it.

Wow. So I’ve been working on this post since 2:30 this afternoon with many pauses in between. It was supposed to be a happy post about New Jersey and I couldn’t wait to finish it to show it off. But in the middle of my writing, it took a wrong turn. That’s how quickly my mood changes. Its embarrassing. I don’t want to edit it now because I’ve spent too much time on this, plus I need to get my emotions out and set them lose. Let’s see if I can change this around.

San Diego was supposed to change our lives, and it did. But not the way we’ve imagined, at least for me. I’m trying so hard to rebuild my faith in this world but it’s so hard. I hurt. I need to constantly be reminded by my wife that she’s still in love with me, and that’s exhausting on her part. Another thing I realized about myself is that my ONLY trigger is her. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, what I mean is that when it feels like I’m losing her, that’s when my depression and mania sets in. Nothing else in this world is a problem to me, I don’t have any other triggers. But it all starts with my asshole of a brain. These damn thoughts and worries. It’s my fault and I don’t want it to be my fault.

Recently, she suggested that I go back and spend a few weeks in NJ. But honestly, I don’t want to anymore. Every time I go back to visit it looks different. I hardly recognize it and it sure as shit doesn’t recognize me anymore either. I became a stranger in the place I got my name from. It just isn’t the place I remember. I don’t feel that charm anymore. I don’t feel anything when I think of NJ. I’m just lost.

You know, when I first had the idea of becoming a blogger, I wanted to use my mental health as a way to possibly help others. But I just turned this into a journal instead. Releasing all of my struggles to a world of people who don’t even know who I am. But it still helps. I may not have my friends near by to talk to, so I use this as a way to get it all out. I was writing in a notebook, but it just felt like I was talking to myself.

It’s still a work in progress, and I WILL turn this around. I may be lost, and I may not be as happy as I once was, but I don’t ever want to leave San Diego. My happiness is somewhere to be found, and it starts within my family. Family is everything to me. Triston, little Ari, and of course my wife Bonnie. These are the people who keep me alive. The ones that give me the fuel I need to keep going. I must keep going.

I fell asleep last Saturday

Underneath polluted skies

I walked alone on those Jersey nights, and I

Saw the boardwalk start to fall

The emptiness starts to drown

The quiet corners of this town, and I…

Late last night, I made my plans

It was the only thing I felt I could do

Said goodbye to my best friend

Sometimes there’s no one left to tell you the truth

It’s gonna kill me… the rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s hard to face all of my past mistakes

It’s gonna kill me for the rest of my life

This is my all time low

Somehow it feels so familiar

Somehow it seems so familiar

I feel like letting go

And every second that goes by

I’m screaming out for a second try

Said goodbye to my best friend

Sometimes there’s no one left to tell you the truth

It’s gonna kill me… the rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s hard to face all of my past mistakes

I’ve got to live with them the rest of my life

This is the mess I’ve made

These are the words I can’t erase

This is my life support shutting down for the final time

And it twists like a blade

And it kills me for the rest of my life

If you won’t forgive me

The rest of my life

Let me apologize while I’m still alive

I know it’s time to face all of my past mistakes

It’s gonna kill me for the rest of my life…

☠️❤️ Less Than Jake ❤️☠️