Today’s the day!

My Lover is in the Air as I compose this post. I’ll see him in like eleven hours and I couldn’t possibly be more excited. It’s been a rough nine weeks without him, but my animals and human friends have been really awesome and supportive and I’m grateful beyond words for them. 

I’m not sure what else I can tell you aside from the fact that I’m glowing and profoundly relieved to have my Baby coming home. I’ve tried my best to be strong and keep myself composed but it has been a difficult summer. I’m still a bit stressed about the dead season on the beach coming soon. Got to find myself something to fill in the gaps with.

Not much else is happening. I had an excellent little birthday party at the pub with ten friends so that was good fun. Got some Iron Maiden socks and two Maiden shirts ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve killed damn near the whole summer. A few more hours isn’t shit ๐Ÿ˜‰

Love-

Thom

On being enough

Yep, this is gonna be one of those heavy deeply introspective Planet Berserk posts. Since I began this blog I have made no secret of the fact that I am mentally ill. It’s been a recurring theme of my writing, as it’s something I have a bit of experience and knowledge of. I do this blog because it helps me better understand and grasp what’s going on in my head. I’ve done it for a minute or two now and have some readers, which to me is great if you get something out of it. 

Anyhow, I hate to be a guy who constantly pisses and moans about everything under the sun. I do my best to avoid shit like that because it doesn’t help anyone really. With this said, if I write about the stuff I’m dealing with, I can at least get some outside inside perspective. A crude way of phrasing it but whatever. The ability to pick apart my own words from a distance is both crucial and precious to me. It helps me dial down my ego and be somewhat more… clinical I guess you could call it. Plus putting it on a blog that’s public enables without a mandate the possibility of genuine outside aka another person perspective. Perhaps I’m overthinking it but that IS what I do. 

Some days it feels like the deck is stacked against me. I do my best. I hurt a lot physically and mentally and I try my damnedest to be whatever ‘enough’ is. Strong enough, smart enough, hard working enough, I don’t know….. I just always feel like I’m not doing enough or far along enough or…I have no idea honestly. I know it’s my brain being all bipolarish but being self aware doesn’t just make everything better. It just makes your analysis better in my view. 

I’ve made a living with my body my whole life and now it’s revolting against me in the form of moderately active Rheumatoid Arthritis. The methotrexate and Enbrel are certainly helping but I guess my point of mentioning it is that it’s one more thing to deal with on top of being mentally interesting. There’s side effects from the meds, plus having a physically intense job, plus the creeping depression that is always harder to control than mania. I never go full manic on my meds. I get depressed a lot though. 

Everyone in my family has achieved something, all I’ve done is survive badly. At least this is the kind of stuff that creeps into my thoughts when I’m feeling sad. I chronically suffer from being down on myself. I know it’s stupid but it’s a hard habit to break myself of. RA also has a tendency to amplify depression, or so I’ve read. Of course flaring joints don’t have much of a mood improvement effect. 

I do the best I can. I get up and go to work. I try my hardest to keep up with everything life throws at me. Some days at my job I feel weak as all hell and I hurt all over and my wrists and knuckles are swollen and I go in the beer cooler and fucking sob for a minute. Only a minute though. Not getting paid to lose my shit here ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s been hard on me this summer. All the while I’ve basically been the walking undead. I’ve been fine at work throughout the last two months, but privately I’ve been a fucking hot mess. Hysterical at times. I’m maxed out on my antidepressant that I had cut in half six months previous. I’ve been gradually getting better about giving myself a break and relaxing, but the first six weeks were pure hell.

In spite of all this, I actually feel like I’m enough today. I put in a solid day of work, made some money and had a pretty good time doing it. My baby comes home in less than two days. I’ve never been with anyone so supportive and encouraging and it’s pretty awesome. He helps me believe in myself and I believe in him. We’re just a couple of hard working guys with serious health issues that do our best to hold one another up. That’s what love should be, at least that’s what I think. I know I’m enough for him ๐Ÿ™‚

Again, I try not to bitch about my job or my health issues or whatever. I know lots of folks have it worse. I just have to get it out of my head to where I can see it. As I mentioned, this blog being public doesn’t serve any other purpose than giving outsiders a portal into my war. 

Anything else? I had a wonderful birthday party a few days ago. I’m thirty-five now. Got two Iron Maiden shirts and a pair of Iron Maiden socks too! I also switched to methotrexate injections this week which has helped significantly with side effects. 

Hope you enjoyed this disjointed head spew. Time to recuperate and prepare for Sunday breakfast shift.

Regards-

Thom

Adventures in Lunacy

What else would you expect from me? Seriously, my Summer started off bland and miserable but things are steadily getting more interesting and less morose. As the day of my Man’s return flight creeps closer my heart gets a bit lighter and more pleasant. I’m still a bit weepy day to day but it’s getting better. What can I say? I’m more than a bit emotionally and sexually frustrated. That pent up horny will drive a bitch crazy, trust me. Anyhow, all my weak attempts at repartee aside I’ll throw out a few recent highlights:

Work is going pretty well. I’ve been doing my best with my Server training. Still got a ways to go but it’s going well. It’s a chance to make better money and less physical labor so I decided for the sake of my joints I HAD to give it a shot. My boss told me he would like to have me bus and barback two days and serve three. I think it’s a good development and I’m going to keep at it. 

My health issues are… my health issues as usual, nothing terribly earth shattering. I’m strained and I have been since my lover left town. I’ve frequently thought to myself that if the Bipolar stuff doesn’t get me the RA stuff probably will. That said the RA is currently responding well to the combination of weekly methotrexate pills and Enbrel injections. I’m actually going to do my injection after I finish this post. Perhaps I’ll turn it into a hilarious live stream. Think of it: FLORIDA MAN PUNCTURES SELF WITH BIOTECH ๐Ÿ˜‰ All joking aside I’m having some mild aches today but I think it’s because I’m due for both of the meds. Work is still going to mess with my joints as a Server  but not to the same degree as Barbacking. Mentally I’m hanging in there. My brain has kind of made peace with being out of sorts. I’m doing a lot better than I was the first six weeks. I still cry every day for at least a few minutes because I miss him terribly or I’m just stressed out at the time. Hard to stay on point with so many elements and variables. 

My Birthday is in a week. Going to the local Irish Pub with a group of friends. I hope against hope that I get a Iron Maiden T-shirt with tour dates but if not I’ll just have to freaking buy one ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be alright. Sometimes it feels like I’m playing with a stacked deck but I just keep trying to make the best of it all. I’m in a diminished state and have been for quite a while. But I only have fifteen more days to go until my heart returns. I can freaking do this. 

That’s all for now.

-Thom

General (A)musingsย 

I’ve just been trying to find a little peace the last few weeks. Here are some of the recent issues/happenings here @ the Planet:

1. Methotrexate. This medication is a freaking punch in the gut. I’ve come to refer to it as my weekly flu. If I take it around 2 pm as I’m wrapping up work I have time to finish work and get home before it really kicks in. But by Six or Seven PM I’m starting to feel considerably less right. Not exactly throwing up sick, more like unbelievably weak and horrible brain fog. I thought I had a pretty good handle on this med but I had a rough time with last week’s dose. I felt relatively alright and decided to go to Publix for something to cook for dinner. I got a bad episode of the brain fog and fatigue as I was walking through the store. The person checking me out asked me if I was okay. After I spent way too long walking in circles confused and looking lost and sick. I was so embarrassed by this. The people at the downtown Publix are really nice and were just looking out but I just felt like such a fucking brainless twit which I hate. I’ve noticed a significant decline in symptoms since starting the higher dose of methotrexate but the stuff is so damn rough. Sometimes I get really sad because I want to do something fun but I have to sit at home by myself and feel like freaking death on what’s supposed to be my damn day off.  Apologies for being so dramatic but I’m really frustrated by this and not sure if it’s worth it or not.  The hilarious thing is that right after I wrote the last few paragraphs this week’s methotrexate dose was relatively mild. How about that? Life will go to any length to prove me wrong.

2. Shannon no home. This (still) makes me feel lost and adrift. I mean, I didn’t get to see a lot of him when he was here with him working overnight, but I could still crack the bedroom door and watch him sleep like a freaking Angel. Things are beginning to look up. Only two and a half weeks until he gets home. I’ve been doing my best to be strong. The nights stretch on for ages and drive me absolutely mad with desperate longing. However, there is plenty of hope in there as well. He calls or texts me every day and it always lifts up my weathered Spirit. The time seems to be passing more quickly than the first six weeks did. As the days creep away my twisted little heart swells with anticipation of my lover’s return. I always somehow knew when I was with women that it just felt awkward and uncomfortable. The sex was great but emotionally it just wasn’t what I was after. I never married a woman because I had to know what it was like to love another man. Having found my Darling makes me feel like I’m the luckiest dumb fuck on the face of the earth. He completes me in a way no-one else ever has. He’s kind, nurturing and more than just a bit weird. He brings out facets of my personality I had led myself to believe were no more. I like to think of it as my inner light or something. A kind, gentle and deeply affectionate and passionate energy I seem to radiate around him. This probably sounds like ridiculous disgusting couple shit but I’m merely trying to articulate what he makes me feel like. If I wanted to sum it up to a single statement it would be: Shannon brings out the best in me. 

3. My gnawing doubt about myself as an artist and performer. This is a sticky one. I’ve been outside the loop long enough that I feel like my modest skills are not really enough to stand on or market myself with. My boyfriend would disagree of course, and perhaps he’s right. It’s just that my confidence is a little screwed up. I know that I need to get back to my theatre life which I terribly miss. Maybe I’ll sing again some day. I just don’t know.

4.As far as work, I’m preparing myself for the unknown. I was talking to my boss while I was unloading a bus tub full of dishes. He says to me ‘So Thom, are you excited about next week?’. I pause for a moment and reply ‘What happens next week?’. Him: ‘Oh, maybe I should let Dan tell you.’. Me: ‘Am I in trouble?’ Him ‘No, quite the opposite. You begin Server training next week.’ I was surprised but said ‘Okay, cool.’. I’m excited about the earning potential and am going to do my best with it. We shall see. 

That’s about it for now. Counting down the days and trying to not go completely mad ๐Ÿ˜‰

Adios-

Thom

Of malaise and persistence…

Things have been rougher than usual the last month. As  I compose this post  I find myself back in a state of relative peace. I’ve only regained my footing in the last five days. The Iron Maiden show gave me a much needed boost as the three weeks leading up to it were pure depressive hell.

I was fine at , say my job. That kept me plenty busy. It’s just the down time that’s been eating at me. I never know what in the hell to do with myself. I mean, I haven’t become a total house ape. I go for a good long bicycle ride fairly regularly and try to get out and do stuff with friends. It is difficult though with so many conflicting schedules and whatnot.

RA-wise  I’m continuing a trend for the better. I’ve been off the steroids for over two weeks and  I’m trying to keep it up. Since the methotrexate was raised I’ve noticed a reduction in  symptoms overall. Which is damn good because taking the stuff is harsh enough that I’d really feel cheated if it weren’t freaking effective. It plus the Enbrel seems like a pretty potent combination.  Last injection was a real Bear though. I think  I went too deep and muscled it. Most painful shot I’ve ever given myself. I started growl-screaming halfway through. My leg was sore at work all day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Between RA and being Bipolar it kind of feels like  I never really get to relax. I mean, I shouldn’t make it sound like  I have it that bad. I’m still strong enough to work and  I’m going to try to make something of myself. If only  I could figure out what. I really have no idea what I’d be good at. Anyhow, the meds are doing me pretty well at present. The steroids were really throwing me off kilter for a while and  I’m happy to be off of them. 

Two days from today will make a month my Lover has been gone. Also, another month until he returns so yay for halfway there.I was hysterically depressed for the first three weeks but Iron Maiden plus time with my friends helped get my ass back among the living. It was an incredible experience. Obviously lots of tracks from The Book of Souls as it’s TBOS tour but also a ton of classics including:

Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, The Trooper, Powerslave, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden,  The Number of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years.

Lots of fascinating people watching and my Buddy Justin came with me. His ticket was my birthday gift to him and we had an absolute blast. Went to a Killer Pizza place and had a little pre show meal then it was off to The Amalie Arena to see Metal’s Finest. They were top notch and sounded positively amazing. Pure professionals.

So yeah, I’m hanging in there. Got myself some great memories and my Holy Pilgrimage to see my backpatch band is complete. To anyone who may be reading, all I want for my birthday is an Iron Maiden T-shirt or two (available on the official Iron Maiden website)with North American tour dates on the back as  I was too strapped to buy one at the show ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hey, don’t hate me for trying. I’m just a happy crazy person who just achieved a major Bucket List goal ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s about all  I have for now except a photo from the Iron Maiden facebook page. My Buddy Justin and  I are in the upper midsection below the right spotlight. 

Until we meet again,

Thom

Of distance and longing

To say  I’m having a rough time of late would be quite fair. The usual physical and mental troubles plus the fact of my Darling Man being in Alaska for two months. I’m almost two weeks in and my public face is still pretty good, though it has been wearing on me something fierce. I’m going to work, taking care of our Dog and two Cats and just going through the day to day motions. At some point every day when  I’m alone (usually when I get home from work)  I curl up in our bed and start sobbing. It passes quickly enough, but every day without fail since he left.

I’ve been flirting with escapism, wanting to delete this blog, my facebook, my myrateam.com account and I haven’t done so. Why? Because I know it’ll not really accomplish anything outside of worrying people. I realize that a lot of people care about me but when  I get in a depressed state  I just want to shut out everything under and including the Sun. I know that that’s when  I need to reach out and  I’m slowly getting better about this.

Apparently RA can cause or exacerbate depression. I read this and  I’m like ‘Oh joy.’. I have to at this point stress that I am mostly alright, just having a rough go of things. My joint issues have if anything gotten more pronounced in the last year but they haven’t stopped me yet. I am especially fortunate to have discovered myrateam.com , it’s a really good resource for people with RA. It’s nice to have a place where  I can vent among people in the same situation who  can relate and offer insights and or encouragement. 

So yeah, I’m not going anywhere, as this blog is a major stabilizing factor in my life. I’m hanging in there. I’m in the weeds, and  I hurt. Sometimes terribly. I try not to be that flaky person always bitching and moaning about something be it physical or mental. But if this blog was intended for anything it’s precisely this. More than anything it’s for me to help with sorting myself out. I tend to be a person who suffers privately but  I’m trying to get more open with other people about what  I think and feel. Because sometimes people want to help me. What’s more, sometimes I want to let them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I promise to keep doing my best. 93

-Thom

Muh Summer

It’s right around the corner. The humidity is spiking in grand Florida fashion as I prepare myself to go see Iron Maiden in June. That along with turning thirty-five are the main points of interest so far. 

On the home front I’m bracing myself for two lonely months without my Lover Man. He got a lead in a Play in Alaska. I would have liked to join him but  I simply couldn’t scrape together the funds. Also, I feel like it’ll be best for our animals having one of us here.

Rheumatologically the battle continues unabated. In spite of a year of various meds my Vectra DA score (Disease Activity) more than doubled since last year when  I was first diagnosed with RA. I’m trying to remind myself that this number doesn’t reflect the increase in my methotrexate which I’m sure is helping. 

Sometimes I’ll have a few days straight of my joints being relatively calm and painless. It’s easy to underestimate how capricious and erratic my body can be. I’ll start feeling strong and cocky but the swelling always returns and slaps me back into my place. Still, overall I think I’m showing some recent improvement and am optimistic that incorporating a gluten and sugar free diet will give me even more edge. My first diet attempt crashed and burned but  I plan to give it another go while my Man is in AK.

So yeah, the summer is pretty wide open. I am sure as shit not just being a house ape the whole damn time. I’m gonna miss the living fuck out of Him ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

That’s about all for now. I find this is a useful protip to give oneself from time to time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Be well-

Thom