Matt With MS

I am uninspiring, fairly lazy, living in denial, and think I'm having the time of my life 90% of the time. Let's change that.

Category: relationships

Grudges: Letting Go


The philosopher, and neurologist, Sam Harris once said something along the lines of “pride and guilt, neither have any value for you.”  

This resonated with me. Both are feelings that can be seen to lead people to be better, to do the right things.  But, overall, they’re just two emotional responses to things that happened in the past. And more times than not, these feelings are based on ego and shame, and are not worth pursuing.   Also, pride and guilt were the two most constant states of mind in my life for the last 30 years.

Getting over how I felt about the past has always been a bigger part of my struggle, more so than even the fear of the future when you have MS.   I’ve thought about these things a ton, and tried numerous times to embrace mindfulness any way I could. Since my early twenties, and through my time after MS diagnosis, I’ve been able to achieve things professionally, and have spent 60-70% of my time loving life.  I also spent the other 30-40% of the time being miserable, feeling alone and desperate for some sort of big sweeping change. I constantly swing through the bipolar-esque high of a promotion, a move, or a new relationship, and then watch it slowly unravel towards miserable depression. I’m sick of this trend.  

I think I may have an answer.  And it all starts with grudges.  Old bosses and coworkers, things with my family, old friends, and old relationships all can bring out anger, resentment, and even hurt my ego immensely.  

Holding on to these things can make you feel “better” than others, or even help you move past something that bothers you.  Fuck that.

Grudges in my life made me draw lines and take stances that cut people out of my life.  They enabled me to tell myself that someone had wronged me, or that I was more right, or such a great guy for still caring about someone that did something that hurt me before.  

Again, fuck that.  

I am letting go.  I am choosing to not be mad at anyone.  I firmly believe that free will is a made up concept that doesn’t take into account things like; neurology, behavioral psychology, or evolutionary psychology.  So, why am I holding on to feelings (good and bad) from the past?

I don’t know the meaning of life, but I’m sure it’s not “being right” or cutting off people, or judging others, or being “better” than anyone.

I am choosing to enjoy this ride, and to try and do it in a more healthy way than I have in the past.  Friends make mistakes, and I’ve made them too, but if I do care about these people, than I have to forgive, forget and judge people on their now and truly experience life.  

Does this mean getting walked all over or falling for the same shit again?  Nope, but to me it means experiencing the now and experiencing relationships without asking what I’m getting out of it, or wondering where it leads.  

Life is too short to not love every minute of it, and life is too meaningful to not want to experience every feeling, moment, and minute for all that they are worth (good or bad).  

The last 9 months I was living in Los Angeles, having moved away from the one place I’ve ever felt at home.  For 7 months I hated LA, I hated being alone, and I hated what I was feeling every single day. The last two I first got excited about new possibilities, and then was just open to new things and getting to know some of the people I’d met.  I made some mistakes, but things moved forward steadily until I officially moved back to the Bay Area, and started the most exciting professional endeavor in my life.

As excited as I am to be back in the bay, see new friends, and move forward professionally, I think I’m also excited to finally use what I learned in a depressive state and to start to make changes in my mentality to move forward.  

If you were in my life at some point, there’s a good chance I care about you.  I look forward to the next time we talk, as I’ll be doing it from a new starting point.  One where no one has to “earn” anything from me, and one where I’m actively trying to listen and learn from you.

Grudges, built up feelings from the past, and slights to your ego do nothing for the future, and the future is defined by what you do in the moment.  

Maybe, I’ve started to get this Mindfulness thing down.  I’ll find out if so every single moment moving forward.  


Do something.

MS sucks, plain and simple. It magnifies things that never bothered you. It makes you doubt everything you’ve ever thought. It makes you take risks, avoid challenges, run from real connections and people you care about and makes you overly emotional over things that may not have even made you flinch before.

Yesterday my left arm didn’t work from the elbow down. A few weeks ago my right leg felt asleep all day and then my ankle hurt for 3 days afterward for no reason. Today I stopped hearing out of my left ear for a while. I can’t catch keys when someone throws them to me. I get dizzy and feel like I’m going to fall over naked and scare the shit out of my roommate every time I step in the shower.

A few months ago, in Europe, I felt like I tore my Achilles tendon, and had to cut my vacation to go to the emergency room in Germany.   I was scared that I would be in surgery and within two days I was walking normally again. I didn’t have any other major issues the next ten days in Europe, but I did own a set of crutches that hopefully someone can use in Germany or Amsterdam at some point.

Reading makes me fall asleep. Looking at a computer screen gives me a headache. Sitting for a long time makes my legs fall asleep. Good thing I’m a recruiter that has to be on a computer for at least half the day.

Everyone has trouble getting out of bed. Getting out of bed is normally not a fun thing to do. But, I have to grab the wall next to my bed and pull myself out of it to steady myself as I stand. My legs and arms feel like jelly for about 20 minutes to an hour every morning. Sometimes the joints ache, sometimes my nerves shoot pain up and down my arms and legs.

Every once in a while I feel like my lower ribs and back muscles are caught in a vice grip. To call this the “MS hug” is a cruel irony, because it feels like being grabbed by a heavyweight wrestler trying to crush the breath out of you.

Cognitively I can’t look at a phone number and remember it 10 seconds later. I’m a person who memorized every stat of Don Mattingly’s baseball career at the age of 8 off just looking at his baseball cards for a few minutes.   I forget everyone’s name, and call girls I date a meaningful ex’s name here and then. I’m a recruiter, I remember people for a living. A day with 5-10 tasks is a mess. Just planning out how I will attack them, and remembering what I need to do is exhausting.

Emotionally I’m a wreck. I fluctuate from thankful that this disease made me take chances and make the biggest move of my life to California, to full of dread thinking that I won’t ever have a future that I care about.

Alcohol helps the pain. It helps make things fun. But, then you drink too much; to add a hangover after every weekend on top of the normal things is to start off a week staring at exhaustion.

I love people.   I love being in pubic and living in cities. But I can’t hear in crowds. Being around more than 2-3 people in a conversation is exhausting yet again.

I wonder if every girl I date is someone I want to spend a long time with, as to not waste time that could be spent elsewhere. As soon as I start to really like someone, I start to wonder if I’d even want to burden her with my future.

This leads to meaningless hook ups. It leads to me being that person that doesn’t call people back at times. It leads to me over valuing any relationship I care about and not being able to have that “just fun” period that every romantic relationship deserves.

Money doesn’t matter, because what’s a bad decision at this point? I look at the money going into my 401k, and think about the trips I could take with that right now. I think the only reason I do invest anything is to placate my image that I show to my true friends.

No one understands. Not even me.  There is no finality. There is no plan. There is nothing but guilt when you feel good. When you act like a jackass, you don’t just feel bad for hurting the people that care about you, but you feel guilty because there are some people that were 100% responsible after they were diagnosed, and they’re in wheelchairs.

I don’t know if I’m a good person anymore because it’s who I am, or because it helps me get people to like me. When bad things happen to other people it can roll right by you with no effect, and I don’t have the empathy I once did. Caring what everyone thinks about me has always been a problem in my life, but now it’s becoming the opposite. A chronic disease diagnosis will change the lens through which you live life.

And still, I don’t have it that bad. Not even close. My MS is steady. It doesn’t get much worse from day to day. I feel good sometimes. I felt pretty great when I was super healthy last year to kick off 2016.

Getting involved and interacting with other people with MS is a painful struggle. I can’t see it. It overwhelms me with guilt. You have guilt, for bitching about anything, when you see how much worse it is for others.

But, overall, a lot of this guilt is magnified by the look on someone’s face and the tone of their voice when you comment on how you feel.   People don’t know how to understand or how to react to chronic diseases. They look at you with either disbelief, because you look fine, or judgment, because they know that you’re not being healthy. They talk with sadness in their voice, because they feel bad for you, or they sometimes speak with a dread, because they have their own shit to deal with, and no one wants to hear a sob story.

Then you realize that me avoiding others with MS, especially the ones worse off than myself, makes me this last group.   I’m the one that can’t understand their situation. I’m the one that’s not listening, that’s not able to act normal around them.

I avoid talking to family because I like the image of me doing perfectly, traveling around the world, living this extremely exciting life that I’ve put together for myself.   I don’t want to brag about this life. I don’t want to downplay it and let them know that the reason you do it with no regrets is because you don’t know how long you’ll be able to do it. That you, honestly, don’t think you’ll ever meet another person that makes you feel that you would want to spend decades with them in your life, and that even if you did, you know that the same fear, the same lack of confidence in your own future may very well doom that relationship too.

This isn’t a sob story. I will fully admit it’s aimed at gathering some sympathy, but not for me. I’ve lived the best four years of my life since the day I was diagnosed with MS. And that is NOT hyperbole or something I’m saying to make myself feel better. The sympathy I want is for other people. Don’t assume you know what anyone is going through. Don’t judge others off of your snap assessments. Talk to people. Listen when people complain, and try to have empathy for their situation. Most importantly, if you are in a good situation, help out others any way you can.

Donate time, donate things you own, donate money. Be the person a few people can count on. Be the person that cares about the well-being of people you barely know. Be the change in the areas that you think need it.

In less than 3 weeks, I will be holding my annual fundraiser.   This year we’re raising funds for cancer and for MS. Cancer is something that has affected my friends and family more than any other disease. MS is the single most influential thing in my life.

I can’t help the loved ones you’ve all lost, or I’ve lost. And, I don’t care about helping myself. I’m fine. I do this to help everyone else. I do this to make one mother, daughter, father, friend, or grandchildren have more time with their family member as we improve cancer care.   I do this because I want to have one person that struggles to get by each day, but sticks with physical therapy finally hear the news that the doctors can reverse the effects of MS. Yes, I do this to feel better about myself a little bit, but I’m doing this and will continue because this makes me feel alive.

If you’re near SF, please come to my fundraiser and have a great time. Come to the MS Walk with me. In October, come do Muckfest with me, I promise it’s fun as hell. If you’re elsewhere, donate to something. A few dollars, whatever you can give, would go a long, long way. Find events near you, and go help out. But most importantly, do what I’m doing, and fight to not lose your humanity. Fight to keep seeing the beauty in the darkness, to keep feeling alive at both ends of the spectrum. Keep caring, keep listening, and keep trying to make one person’s life better each day of yours.

Fundraiser Event:

MS Donation Page:

Cancer Donation Page:

Thank you, all.  I appreciate everything more than I can express.

4 years in, 2017


“One new, active lesion.”

Those words stung more than I thought they would, more than they probably should.  I felt that sick feeling, that I haven’t felt in about 4 years, since I was first diagnosed with MS, deep in my stomach.

I don’t know why this hit so hard.  I have had 2 fairly obvious MS episodes in the last 2 months, and I knew that I had stopped taking Tecfidera in February and not started back up until October.  I knew that MS wasn’t going to go away, and that it will probably get worse over the rest of my life.  I knew that I was and am lucky, and don’t have an extremely severe case of this horrible disease.   I was expecting worse news yesterday, to be honest, and if you had told me going in that I would hear what I heard from my doctor, I probably would have been happy with that news.

But, for some reason, I left the UCSF MS Clinic, drove straight home, skipping my work happy hour that I could have attended, and sat numb on my couch for a bit.

Today, I woke up feeling pretty shitty, almost similar to how I felt a few months ago, when one of the most meaningful, yet sporadic, relationships of my life came to an official end. I felt like there wasn’t hope, and that I didn’t want to get out of bed.  My aches were magnified, my fatigue apparent at 7am, even though I fell asleep before 10PM last night.  The hope I’d talked myself into for 2017, based around my job, and my plans for my personal life was gone.

I think the problem with chronic illness, that I haven’t figured out how to deal with, is the loss of hope.  The idea that bad times are coming, and you have to be mentally prepared to never feel great again is always in the back of your head.  When times are going well, or when I drum up motivation, I can stare MS down and tell it to “fuck off” easily.  “I’m going to beat you, and I’m living an awesome life despite you,” I say when I think about this stupid disease.

When times go bad, when you go through a breakup, when work sucks, when you have money issues, this changes rapidly.  MS is the monster at the end of every tunnel.  It’s the thing in the back of my head terrifying me, when I meet a girl that I start to like.  It’s the thing pushing me to say ‘fuck it’ and do something stupid.  It’s the thing that creeps into every decision I think about for what I want in the future.

Do I want kids?  The answer was always no, but in the last two years I did.  Now, I’m not sure if that was situational. Would you want to parent in a wheelchair?  Do I want to live in another country for a bit?  Yes, but what about healthcare?  How does that work?  Do I want to travel as much as I am?  Yes, because for how long can I do it in the future?  Do I save money?  Yes, because you’ll need it, but maybe not, because what if this goes bad?  Do I want to quit smoking?  Definitely, because this will go horrible if I don’t, but…. why care?

It bleeds into relationships, making me passive and afraid with any women I end up liking, afraid to ruin my ‘last chance.’   With friends, you find yourself wanting to be around people that don’t let you wallow, or feel bad for yourself.  That is until you start to feel bad for yourself, and then you get mad at people that don’t understand, that push you when you need to  just give up for a bit.

It bleeds into your own self worth.  You wonder why you are so lazy and you wonder if all of this is in your brain.  You wonder if you are taking advantage of the disease when you feel tired and back out of doing something you should be doing.   You look in the mirror and wonder if you’ll ever get to live the life you dreamed of, whatever that may end up being.  When you’re a practical person, who lives and unpractical life, you can easily look at the odds of what your future may end up being, and it’s not a bright and cheery image.

So when I was sitting the doctor’s office, I wasn’t thinking, “You stopped medication, you gave up the healthy lifestyle from the first few months of the year, and you quit trying to fight MS, and went back into denial.  These MRI results are actually really uplifting.  The doctor said my brain size isn’t shrinking, which is a sign of the more rapid/chronic MS progression.  This is the wake up call you need, without having it be as horrible as it can be.”

I was thinking, “You idiot, you just made this worse, again.  Wait, the doctor said ‘yet’ when he was talking about my lack of chronic damage or brain shrinkage, does that mean it’s definitely coming?  He just said you have a lot of damage, and that’s not going away.  Did I create most of that when I took a year to get diagnosed, and then another year to get on medication?  Stop this, you asshole, you just went 3 years not taking this absolutely seriously and are still walking and in relatively good shape.  Balance, vision, hearing issues that you have are nothing compared to some other people that DID EVERYTHING RIGHT after their diagnosis, you don’t deserve to be OK.”

2016 was a shitty year if you look at it with the mentality of the person that sat in the doctor’s office yesterday.

2016 was a fantastic year if you look at it with clear eyes and the positive attitude that I need to hold on to.

2017 will be a horrible year, if I am that person that drove home and sat silently on my couch last night.

2017 can be another amazing year, if I just experience it and let it happen.

You’re a happy person, you love life.  Go do it.  Fuck MS, but love MW.  That’s the goal for the new year.  No bullshit resolutions, no bullshit talks about hoping I can do something.  My life is pretty great, it should be even better.  The thing holding it back from being  exceptional isn’t MS, some woman, or anything else.  It is, and always has been Matt Walker.  It’s time to realize how to care about him.


Up (to where, from where?)

The last few times I’ve found myself staring at my macbook, wanted to write, or more likely, needing to write, I’ve been in a pretty dark place.  2016 was supposed to be THE year.  The year that I finally had it.  That elusive idea of contentment, or overall happiness.

I came into the new year looking at the prospects of health that I actually wanted, building a relationship with a woman that I actually could see a future with, contributing at a job that I loved day in and day out, all while living in a city that felt like my place.  Travel was on the horizon, my career looked like, just that, a career.

A breakup, some down times at work.  Then stumbles.  Then darkness.  Then fear.  Then lost.

Then a few months of scrambling.  Sprinting mentally from worry to plan, from plan to feeling, from self judgement to understanding that would leave before you could acknowledge the certainty of your thoughts.  Physical scrambling as well; moving from place to place, and traveling without regard.  Just trying to experience new and exciting because it was the only way you could feel positive.

The same travel that was exciting in January, became a necessity in the Spring.  The experiences were in no way tainted, if anything, my lack of worry or fear for any sort of future lead to experiencing everything I could.

But the running wasn’t just a cheap metaphor, I was actually getting away from anything that mattered.  I’d drink to have fun, and then keep going after everyone stopped, unless I’d find a lost soul in my situation that could keep the train moving forward and downward.  I’d travel to a new city because sitting in my living room lead to a racing mind.  The thoughts you’d sit with would be depressing in the moment, and would lead to horrific anxiety about the future.

Nothing mattered, nothing was more upsetting, nothing was that exciting.  For someone who lives life in the extremes of emotion, this is the worst place.  It’s not like you are stable and leveled out at the top of contentment.  You hover in a place much lower, as if you were rappelling with a rope that’s too short to reach all the way down to rock bottom.

Outwardly you try.  You try to smile and laugh.  You find hilarity in life, and sarcastic dark humor envelops your mindset, as that is the only way you can find joy.  You still make people around you have fun, but the toll on those closest to you is harshest.  They have to hear the same things, about the same shitty parts of your job, the same worries about your health, and the same questions around your heartbreak.

You try to do small healthy things.  Build them up and it will be better.  Do one more thing a day, and it will change things.  Then you have something good happen at your job.  Then you meet someone new who intrigues you, a romantic spark is lit in a cave that you thought was sealed.  That doesn’t work but you remember how feeling alive doesn’t just mean feeling the side of emotions built up with despair and pain, and you remember how ecstatic you can be.

You figure out that things weren’t all what you thought.  that that happiness you felt wasn’t an illusion.  Things really were that good in your life.  Things can be that way again.

Then you realize you’re not there yet, and it’s going to take some work to get back.  You realize that this has been the cycle of your life for the past 15 years, pretty much since you’ve been an “adult.”

In those times, you would take the feeling you have right now, that feeling of excitement, and actual planning for the good things that can be on their way and embrace it with open arms.   Only after those plans didn’t work out, and eventually things turned south, you would look at this as shocking.  How did this turn?  Why am I here again?

This time though, you think, “why not enjoy the ride up?”  Why not try to just get a little higher at the top, and then hold on to a little of what helps you get there?  Why not enjoy it now, and enjoy it tomorrow, as opposed to expecting to enjoy a future that may never come?

When you have no idea where you’re going, it’s scary.  But, that’s also where everyone is in life.  When you have no idea where you’re coming from, though, and how you got to places you’ve already been; well that, is just confusing and somewhere no one wants to be.

Where will you be tomorrow?  Next year?  Whenever?  You don’t know, but you know where you are right now.  How about enjoying that?



Life if not a TV Show

Over the past two weeks I’ve been watching every episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” my first ever CBS sitcom, and a show that I don’t love, hate how closely it seems to a bad version of Scrubs and Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but have tolerated.

By tolerated, I mean delusion-ally drew contrasts and similarities to my own situation in life for the past few years.  There’s the connections, the things that, in the moment, seem emotionally hard to even think about because I’ve been there.  There’s the differences, which are quickly forgotten because of some douchey line that you’ve said to a girl that the main character just said himself!

There’s the storyline, late 20’s / early 30’s group of friends hanging out, getting into hijinks and pushing through life, with the main character, Ted, showing the horrible, random, and ultimately depressing push through dating the wrong people on the way to his soul mate which makes it all worth it.

The problem is these things aren’t real.  They’re characters, and stories, and while they are based on real life, and the ideas of real people, television shows romanticize things, and can tell a sad story in 22 minutes, next week being able to turn the page and make things funny, or happy, or touching with ease.

Life doesn’t do that.  You may have 3-4 moments in life when you can take the bull by the horns and tell someone what you really know.  What you really want, and what is the scariest thing to ever say out loud, knowing that the other person may not react how you hope.  Those things happen in TV shows, and sometimes it’s love.  Sometimes, it’s a mutual understanding that helps the character move on, and realize that this isn’t the right time and place for this to happen in the plot.

In real life, sometimes, you hear what you always wanted to hear, realizing a few hours, days, weeks, or god forbid, years later that you weren’t right.  You didn’t love this person, you didn’t want to say that one thing to a parent or friend.  Sometimes, they say exactly what you knew they would say, and you realize you said it too late, or too early.  That you knew what was coming and maybe you just wanted to be able to say it so that you said it out loud, when you’re looking back depressed weeks later.

In real life, people move in, and out, of your life constantly, some through the finality of death that you, maybe, never get fully over.  Some are in out over a period of time, and then in firmly for a longer one.  Others, are in and out and then never seen again.  In real life, you may never get that chance with the girl, and you may fuck it up brutally without learning any lesson whatsoever.

In real life some bad decisions aren’t lessons, they are just horrible decisions that will affect you at another point in your life, or that you may never deal with the consequences for.  In real life sadness sucks, and you tell yourself and your friends that you like that, because it makes the happy times so much better.  In real life you only mean that some times.  There are others where it is the worst, and you aren’t OK, but have to put on the strong face for yourself and those that actually care about you.

In real life seeing the crazy girl you dated break down isn’t remotely funny.  While looking back, there are some stories that make you laugh, but most of them are about how stupid you are, not how horrible it was to see someone you cared about “hate you.”   In real life, you either write that person off forever, because you tell yourself that they were nuts, and were horrible for you, but also realize that they changed your life immensely, and brought value in as much as they tore you down.

In real life, you don’t sit around like Ross having a good time while Rachael is one of the friends, you are tormented by it, and just wish that things could be different, until they are.

In real life, disease sucks, and the current events of the people you care about gets dark at times.  Yes, there’s light, and a lot of good, but TV rarely nails how bad the bad is, when it’s someone you would do anything for, but can’t, including yourself, going through these bad things.

In real life no one cares when you are faltering, and honestly, they shouldn’t because it won’t matter until you do yourself.  In real life, you watch TV to get as close to reality as possible, while wanting a glazed over version that provides a lesson, or heart-warm, or hilarity.

In real life, the TV seasons end, and it’s on to another show, which can be as different as Game of Thrones is to Downton Abby.   In real life, you have to confront the issues that are coming at you, even if some of them are unfixable, unchangeable.

In real life, the guy getting the girl turns into horrific divorce, or even complacency over decades that drags at your soul when you look back with regrets in the future.

But, in real life you do have control over some of your own actions.  You don’t call that ex up because you realize that the times you’ve done it it has been unfair to you and to her.  You don’t keep wallowing because you just tire of it, and move on to something new.  You fixate on your job, on fitness, on a sports team, or on some new person you date.  You ruin some if, you fix some other things.  You realize that a quote you picked in the high school yearbook, with about 30 seconds of thought, is more meaningful to you now than ever. “Success is not forever, and failure is not fatal.”

In real life the stories that are already written, are viewed differently when you look back, dependent on where you are that moment in time.  There is no chance to change what is written, or put out a directors cut so to speak, but you view events of the past through a different lens.

If real life, when the show is over you have to move on.  You have to start to write your next episode, even if you’re not ready.   Or sometimes you can stop, and pause to watch 9 seasons of an above average CBS sitcom for a week, but where does that get you?

What’s the point?

As I looked back through the last two years of my life on this blog, I can literally see the cycle.  I get down, I work back, I feel good, I spiral.  I feel low, I don’t write anything for a while, I start to feel good, things get great, as soon as anything takes a turn I start to post on here, and in the next few months it’s going downhill.

I’ve lived life more in the last 3 years than I ever have.  I’ve done things I never would have, for good or bad, at any other point in my life.

I think I’ve learned a lot.  I think I’ve solidified my beliefs.  I think I know who I want to be, but I’m not sure who I am.  It’s this uncertainty that rules the spiral of life.  I wonder if my happiness is real when it comes, I wonder if my sadness if justified when it’s surrounding me.  I wonder when I’m going to take a turn either way at all times.

I can’t look back at my life and feel bad, I just can’t.  I’ve gotten to do some amazing things, and I get to live through some unrealistic experiences.  I am proud that I’ve done a lot of the things I’ve done, and I’m ashamed and guilty a lot less for some of the bad things I’ve done.

I just wish I could some sort of balance going.  I want to change some basic parts of my life, I want to not let “fuck it” become my motto, when it’s just a thought that’s good for coping with the bad.  I want to push forward with more that I’m proud of.

I won’t do any of this if I keep fluctuating from anxious bewilderment at the way I think, to confusion around how I got where I am in a situation.  I’ve found myself looking out at sunsets, landscapes, and even just situations and smiling more and more, yet that feeling of dread and sadness is in my stomach every morning when I wake up.  I think I appreciate the good times and beauty in life so much more because I know the bad ones and the ugly.  I know the feeling of uncontrollable darkness, so any glimpse of light is something to cherish.

I don’t know if anyone that knows me really knows how my thinking is processed.  Everyone has their mind race.  Everyone is worried or anxious at times.  I’m not sure everyone jumps from thought to thought the way I do.  I’m not bragging, it’s not a good thing.  My mind is racing from morning to night.  Numbing myself with anything from stupid entertainment to alcohol and drugs is the only things that slow it down.  Or so I say.  Or so I think.  But is that the case?

I’m not so sure.  In the beginning of the year, I did the whole 30 diet and about 45 days of pretty healthy living.  At one point in that period I was “doing great.”  My mind was at ease, my life was on track, and my thoughts were clearer.  But was this true, even?  I did healthier things that’s for sure, but I spent needless money on clothes and other shit I didn’t need.  I didn’t take care of my car situation even though I had no excuse.  I let my medicine prescription lag and ran out of my MS medication (which I haven’t restarted since).  This was the “best” me I’d been in years.  I did all this, but felt great.  I was able to not worry about any of this, and be happy and productive at work.

I did everything because I used distractions to what’s important.  I was focused on a doomed relationship that was in its balanced/happy period.  I let that take over my mood.  I let everything ride on that.  I just “knew” that everything would be ok, if I kept that going, because I wouldn’t let me fail, because of her.

When that ended, I gave up on the diet, and just “had fun for the past 4 months.  Where has that gotten me?  While its temped to say back to the same place, there’s also a plethora of experiences that came with it.  I value experiences, maybe because I don’t care about the future so much these days.  I have always been able to say “fuck it” to the future’s terror, but have never been good at moving beyond the past.

I still think about every person I ever cared about in dating, not that there’s a lot of them, and I still cling to the feelings of shame that I had when I was in my early 20’s because I’d messed up and wouldn’t hit my goals in life.  I still regard my family as something I either want to be proud of me, or want to forget exists so that I can just be me.  This mentality is bad and good, not just bad.  It leads to me being a decent friend and able to remember things from the past and act on them in the future with relationships.  It makes me a hopeless romantic, and while sometimes a douche, a pretty tolerable one.  It makes me care about how I got here, and realize that a lot of people helped me on my way.   It makes me not really blame anyone else for their actions against, or affecting, me.

That blame falls squarely in my own head.   I think some people think that I have no guilt for my actions at times, and think I deflect a lot.  Trust me, I don’t.  It sits firmly in there, screaming every day.  It’s what makes me not mad when a relationship is over, because “I didn’t deserve her anyway.”  It makes me deserve MS.  It makes me a shithead for not taking the absolute care of myself.  It puts the truth in my voice when I say that I know I will get cancer from smoking, almost as if I want it, or deserve it at the very least.

It’s what I have to figure out.  That statement, alone, is probably a fallacy.  Figuring this all out is something that is so far from achievable for me, that I need to stop trying for that.  I’m not going to understand that way I think, I’m not going to understand why I feel the way I do, at times.  I’m not going to understand why people are so different, yet so alike, that it’s scary.  I’m not going to wake up one day, and believe in some miraculous meaning of life.  I’m not going to turn a corner and do any of these things.

I’m, also, not going to do anything to myself, or give up entirely.  I never will, I know that now.  I’m not going to lose all of the parts of me that actually make me good, as I haven’t yet.  I’m not going to lose the fact that I still look SoMa’s craziest homeless people in the eye, almost on accident as horrible as that sounds, because there was and is a person in there.   My first instinct is to help people when I see distress, I’ve gotten “better” at ignoring that instinct at times.  I don’t think I’ll lose that as “good” as I get at being a dickhead.

I’m going to be here.  I’m going to change and grow, until the day I finally do die.  I’m going to die too, that’s something else I know.  I’m ok with that.

There’s no self call to action, there’s no moral of this post.  There just “is.”   There’s not anything I want to come out of this.  There’s just me getting it out there.  Me putting my thoughts on paper, and sending my emotions out in to the digital abyss.

There’s just it… at the end of the day, as many friend as I have, and as many people that I love and care about, and that do the same for me, doesn’t matter.

Because you’re always ending you days in your own head, and there all you have is yourself.   Figure that one out.





What do I want?

I want to be happy. I saw what that was a few weeks ago. I felt like there was nothing in the world that could take me down.

I started to do things I’ve put off for months or years, that needed to be done. I would wake up every morning, turn off my alarm, and get right in the shower.

I looked forward to conversations with friends who were feeling down. I knew I could help brighten their day, and wanted to have that chance.

I looked at my job and my career and was proud. I was excited to take on new challenges and my desk, email, and calendar were easy to organize.

I took vitamins and my MS meds every morning and every night. I would get tired of sitting inside and just go for a walk. I would look at the sunset and smile.

The cool air at night, and even rain seemed nice. I didn’t long for the warm to come back, and was happy walking to work from Bart with a stiff breeze in my face.

I looked at MS and wanted to help others win, to help the people worse off than me find a cure for them, not so much for me, because I was feeling fine.

I would look in the mirror and see my weight loss and be excited to lose more, and happy at what I’d accomplished.

Getting done work meant I would head home, and cook dinner. I was excited to try new recipes.

I would fall asleep, early, because I was tired. I would usually be texting or playing some stupid game on my phone, in bed, and sleep would just ease in.

Now I can’t sleep. I wake up 3 times a night, with a feeling of anxiety in my stomach.

I look in the mirror and see what else needs to change and just get tired thinking about the work I have to put in.

I hate being alone, anywhere, and want to be around people at all times, but then when I am, I don’t want to keep talking about bad shit, and I want to leave.

Any plans in my future seem like effort. They seem like something that will just take too much energy to do.

I think about cooking and even ordering food and decide that I don’t want to do that until I get to point where I just need to eat. Food’s not that appetizing anyway.

I get to work and the computer screen hurts my head. Staring at it makes me feel like I have so much stuff to put in order, and I’m so behind.

I throw my clothes on the ground until they pile up too high, then I put them in laundry bags until I get to the point where I need to wear something so bad I have to clean them, or pay like 80 bucks to get a washing service to do it.

I listen to my friends problems and try to relate but end up just coming back to my own issues again and again, feeling selfish, but uncontrollable at the same time.

I forget to take my vitamins every day, sometimes taking them when I get home, sometimes not; same thing with the meds.

I wake up with a shriek, and instantly want to go back to sleep. Usually this is around 5:30-6am so I change my alarm to a little later, but when I roll back over, I can’t fall asleep. I can’t think clearly. I just worry.

I have a feeling I haven’t had in a long, long, time. Just a general uncomfortable feeling that makes me feel like things aren’t right anywhere I am.

I want to be in public, but I don’t want to talk to people. I see the look of care my friends have when I say something sad, and that feeling hurts me. I don’t want to be around sad people, I feed off the energy of everyone I’m around. But, I’m the one making that feeling exist.

What changed? There’s the easiest answer; I was falling in love and that person decided they weren’t feeling the same way. That throws anyone for a loop. I mean if you asked people why they were sad, I would guess relationships, or lack there of, would be high on that list.

But, while I agree that this is a big factor in how I’m feeling right now, a few of the weeks when I was feeling my greatest were when I was starting to realize this relationship was in trouble.

I could, at that point, look at it and say, “if this is for real, it will work.”   I could look in the mirror and feel like another relationship would come along if this didn’t work.

While I told myself all of this, a few things changed as well.

I started smoking every now and then. I started drinking more and more, I stopped eating healthy, and I stopped exercising.

I started it off having a blast every time I went out. By this last weekend, I was back to where I’ve been way too much in the last 3 years of my life. Sitting at a friend’s house drinking, and trying to not feel anything.

I think it’s easy to point to the relationship falling apart making me want to drink and feel better.

I don’t know if that’s the direction I’d go, though.   Maybe it’s me losing my healthy streak, and losing all of the good things I was doing for myself, that put me in a position where I can’t weather a sad turn in my life.

Maybe, I know now, that my MS symptoms are much more containable if I try to be healthy.   I know that trying to drink to forget it only worsens my constant battle with depression, that’s lasted the last 10 years off and on.

Maybe, I know that dealing with my issues, makes them go away. That sounds simple, I know.

Maybe, I am realizing that my life is changing, and what I want in my life is so much different than I thought before.

Maybe I’m realizing that my approach towards the future has been off for a long, long time, and just now I’m realizing I need to improve that to finally achieve what I want for myself.

Maybe I’m realizing, that while I tried really hard to put myself in the best position for this to work, the last few months, I also did it for her, and not for me. That’s never going to work out in the long run. Maybe I’m realizing that as much as I was crazy about her, for about 90 percent of her, there was still that last 10 percent that was off.  Maybe she saw that 10 percent in me, or in us, and knew it wasn’t there.

Maybe I’m realizing that I’m going to do this again, with someone else. Maybe that person will make me feel the same way. But If that feeling is saving me from feeling like I do right now, and have, off and on, for the last few years, there will be no chance for that relationship either.

Maybe I realize that a lot of the things I did in this relationship, were out of fear. Fear that she wouldn’t think I stacked up and was “good enough.”

Maybe I’m realizing that that fear, and that feeling, is never going to lead to anything healthy for me again. Maybe I realize that if I choose to not change a lot of the ways I think and live, I will keep reliving this, over and over.

Hopefully I realize soon; that isn’t a choice I can allow myself to make.