Back and Ahead

I was strapped for ideas on what to write. The last week has been, erm, interesting. I had a particularly eye-opening but emotionally intense therapy session and I’ve been dealing with some financial stuff due to some poor decisions I made. All in all, it’s left me more or less where I’m used to being: right back at the beginning.

I needed something to write about. Something to keep my mind off of things. I reached out to someone that means a lot to me and she suggest I write a letter to myself five years ago, and myself five years in the future. So. Sorry. This blog is going to be a bit self-indulgent.

Five years ago.

Jered. You sad, silly bastard. This is a pretty dark time for you, I know. You’re not in a good place emotionally, nor professionally, but that’s okay. Baby, you’re going to bounce back, I promise you. You’re going to fall in love again; she wasn’t kind to your feelings and you didn’t know how to handle your own feelings again. You will find other women who leave an amazing impact on your life, and it’s going to…

Well, it’s going to end bad, too. Every time. You’re kind of shitty in relationships, to be honest, and you keep picking women who aren’t fair to your emotions, either. It’s a bad mix. You’re bad at it. Be patient, kid, and have more faith in yourself and know when someone’s using you. You won’t,  of course, but you should.

Still, this woman will stick with you for years, deep in your heart. She has affected you. But she isn’t the first and she won’t be the last, and you should write about that love and that hurt, because someone somewhere will resonate with it, and if nothing else, there will be a record of what you lived, loved and experienced.

You’re going to recover from this. Not only that, but when you’re at your lowest, feeling your worst, when you’re loneliest and feeling the most shitty, you’re going to write your first book. Yeah! It’s going to be long as hell, and it’s not going to sell for shit, but you’re going to write the shit out of it. Men and women from 18-60 will read and enjoy it. You’re going to write two more and finish the trilogy. You’ll have written a trilogy of epic novels that are enjoyed and talked about. You did that. You made that.

Life is fucking hard, kid. But I’m writing this from the future, yeah? Which means we have survived. We’ve lived through it. The hurt, the heartbreak, losing our adopted parents, losing our loved ones…we never lost our friends. We never lost ourself, though the best parts may have been tucked back away for a while. You have endured so much and you’ll endure a shitload more. You’ve got this. You have this. Write about it.

Five years from now.

I thought I’d be married by my age. I thought I’d have maybe a kid by now, have my shit together and a job that actually feels rewarding. I don’t. I don’t know who I am exactly now, but I hope you have a better grip on that.

I don’t want you to be lonely, man. I hope you’ve found a way to manage your mental instabilities so that your emotions don’t dictate the way you act so much. If you’ve found someone who can love and work with you despite that, then great, but I hope sometime between now and when you are, you put yourself first for once and get help and help yourself be better.

Don’t be discouraged by writing. However small the audience might be, you’re providing an escape for people. You’re leaving the world a better place behind. I worked my ass off for this, future me. You better not take it for granted.

I want to be you, older Jered. I want to breathe this air and fall in love and be heartbroken and have momentous sex and write more books. I want to be a guy who feels everything, but is better able to manage those feelings. Can you be proud of your reflection, future me? You better be. Because present me is struggling and angry and hurt and if future me doesn’t get somewhere better, present me is going to kick his fucking ass.

Yours Truly,
Much Love,

-K. Jered Mayer

P.S. Just tell her you fucking like her and see where her head’s at, you asshole. This goes for both of you.

The Importance of Talking About Suicide

When I started this blog, it was right around the time the Suicide Prevention Awareness charity walk was happening. I wanted to write about it because it’s a topic that means a lot to me. I have lost friends and a god-brother to suicide and it’s suicidal depression is something I wrestled with for years. I decided against it. I wanted to start with posts that were generally light-hearted. I wanted to talk about writing and talk about me and gain a bunch of followers before I got into the deep stuff.

I found out tonight that a friend of mine took his own life a couple days ago. He was one of the most hilarious and genuinely empathetic people I’ve ever met. He offered support and kind words and jokes to whoever needed them. We spent many long nights running riffs that lasted hours. This was a complete shock, but then these things usually are.

These feelings are not cut and dry. It’s not as simple as getting medication (and many medications run the risk of making it worse or creating a sense of apathy so appallingly potent that feeling nothing becomes worse than feeling bad). It’s not as easy as going outside or finding a hobby. It’s not even as easy as talking to someone, but it’s a good start.

And some people going through these issues have a hard time expressing the feelings they’re having. I did. I felt like I was imposing on my friends or that they would view me with pity or think less of me. It’s hard to see that there are people who care about you and genuinely just want to help. And a lot of times it is all too easy to hide those feelings in public. If you’re not familiar with depression, I cannot put it any better words than Hyperbole and a Half did HERE and HERE.

I implore you to read both of those because it is so easy to get the wrong idea about what those feelings entail and it’s important to have a better understanding so that you can relate to your friends going through it or, if you’re going through it yourself, to know you’re not alone.

It is easy to want to give up. I spent so many nights wishing I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. I made mental pro and con lists. I cried when no one was looking because I felt alone and useless and talentless.

But I wasn’t. I never was alone. It took years and several very stubborn friends to help. It took a lot of introspection and an actual near death experience but I started to see through it and get better. And I still get depressed and down on myself, but I know there is light in this world and I know that I can do right by others and be there for others when they need someone. I found a purpose for myself. I didn’t do it alone and it wasn’t easy, but once I found it, it helped.

So many people don’t get that opportunity and it’s because so many others don’t know how to recognize the signs or how to be there when they do.

To those that have dealt or are dealing with suicidal thoughts: please don’t fucking do it. Don’t hurt yourself. You might not know how much your kind words and your smiles and your jokes and your company means to people, but people care about you. And it might not always be the people who should or who you want to, but I promise you that the kindness you show others leads to a ripple effect. Every time you smile at someone,  you’re letting them know the world is more beautiful than you think. When you tell someone it’s going to be okay, you’re giving them strength.

Believe it. Believe in this world and yourself. You are never as alone as it feels and there is always something around the corner worth holding on for. You are loved and you would be horribly missed. Please be patient and please be hopeful.

And if things seem so desperate that you need someone to talk to, someone to listen, call this number: 1-800-273-8255

They are there to listen. They don’t know you and won’t judge. They just want to help you and remind you how amazing you are.

You have a purpose and you will find it. You’re someone’s reason to get through the day. I have faith in you.

Bless you and please take care.