Hello. My name is Nick…

Hi Folks.

Disclaimer: Normally i write all my blogs in a separate word processing suite and edit them and ponder them and then post. Today, i am just gonna freeball it and we shall see how it goes.

I don’t like breaking promises or creating false hope, but sometimes that is how it goes. When last i wrote i expected to finish a serialized piece on relationships and self discovery as well as complete the John Muir Trail video. Neither of those things happened.

I went to do some dog-sitting with Mickey and Max and despite their loveliness I started to get very depressed again. A few days into my small-ish pity party, i got some bad news from my adopted hometown Richmond VA. One of my buds and mentors, the fellow i apprenticed with to learn how to lay tile, committed suicide by hanging. Yah, he hung himself.

I was shocked and confused and hurt and angry. I spent a day on the phone with various friends, making sure other out of town folks knew and sharing memories and feelings with others. Over a few days there was a huge outpouring of various kinds on the facebooks, and lots of it was crap. There were many people that had not said a kind word about this guy in a decade talking about what a tragedy it was and how awesome he was and how much he will be missed – and that really pissed me off. Later, as i looked back, maybe there were a few attention whores out there, but probably this was people trying to find their own way to deal with grief and shock and in many cases guilt.

This was a difficult human being. He was brilliant, a master craftsman, and a guy who could build or fix anything inanimate. But he was also not the most gifted at interpersonal relationships and communication. Like many tradesman i know, he was a recovering alcoholic and had lifelong battles with depression. Over the past few years, it was obvious that his mental health was deteriorating. He went on and off the wagon again a few times. He wrote more and more bizarre things on the internet, and was difficult to get ahold of in person. Sometimes i would try to visit him when i returned to Richmond, and other times i avoided him and spent time with people who are easier to get along with. I think lots of people had a similar arc in the past few years of doing a little bit of reaching out and a lot more of avoiding or ignoring him. And i believe that is where the feelings of guilt come in. I don’t feel responsible in any way, but i do wonder if i could have done anything to make a difference.

The anger is harder to comprehend. I am angry at him for giving up. I am angry at him for choosing hanging (though i don’t know that any method would be easier to tolerate). I am angry at the outpouring of what feels to me like fake false crap from “mourners”. I am angry at myself for feeling that way about other people’s reactions. I am angry at me for being angry. And i am angry because i am terrified – because of how similar we are in so many ways.

I have felt myself slipping mentally since December. I have taken a few minor steps to try and get a handle on things, but i made no serious commitment and took no decisive actions. I have even avoided several things that i know are good for me including finishing the piece i started months ago on relationships. I have had the backstory part finished for at least 5 weeks, i just got stuck on the conclusion – the “so what” – the “what have you learned” parts.

And off and on since December, i have not done very well with controlling my drinking. I spent wasted a few more days at the bottom of a bottle after hearing the news about my friend and then i realized that it was time to suck it up. I don’t know what all my problems are, and i don’t know how to fix all the ones that i do recognize, but there is one that affects all the others. I have not said these words in a long long time, but here ya go.

Hi, my name is Nick and i am an alcoholic. It has been 11 and a half days since my last drink and today i want to be sober and live more than i want to get drunk and hide. Thanks for letting me share.

11 thoughts on “Hello. My name is Nick…”

  1. Feeling heavy, and yet lifted – and very glad to hear from you. You are not alone. Much love and respect – always. ~Your Aubbit

  2. You rock for taking action. And typing those words is some major action. Call if you need anything. I’ll be thinking about you.

    • You should do it more often. Use the writing to help you process the loss and your recovery. I think writing about the hard stuff helps one understand the hard stuff.

  3. Nick, It’s Marie, from VVR? Remember me? I’ve been reading your blog since you mentioned it last summer. I really look forward to your posts. Sometimes it feels like you and I are wearing the same skin. Keep it up friend.

  4. Nick, I’m sorry for your pain. I had a friend commit suicide via shotgun on Thanksgiving, leaving three little girls behind. Like you, anger was/is the most troublesome emotion to wrap my brain around, and it was seasoned with guilt. I am proud of you for reflecting and taking a stand for yourself. Sharing this with everyone is both bold and smart, cause we all love you. May you find peace, my brother.

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