An open letter to my doctors

In 2016 there were 20,000 deaths attributed to Opioids. Funny thing about that stat. If someone dies to a heroin overdose but has an opioid in their system, they count the person in both categories. There were 15,000 deaths attributed to Heroin. Another interesting stat. There were 45,000 deaths that same year attributed to suicide. People with chronic pain are twice as likely to commit suicide than someone without chronic pain. Which means to say… had 30,000 of those people had access to Opioids, there’s a good chance many of them would still be alive. Now we are telling people with chronic pain that they should remain in chronic pain because some idiots overdosed… do you think the suicide rate will go down or up due to this decision?

People have overdosed on things for decades… that’s not going to stop just because you make opioids harder to come by…. I mean a key point here is that 15,000 people died in 2016 due to Heroin. Is heroin legal somehow? What doctor is prescribing Heroin? People are dying from it nearly as much as from Opioids yet, it’s harder to come by even now than opioids.

The worry that as I get older I will need pain relief more and using it now will desensitize me to the point where it isn’t useful in 15 years. This begs the question… how will I get to 15 years without it?

If you really don’t want me to have opioids, then find me a real alternative. Not this Lyrica and Tylonel crap, that I’m sorry if you people think actually was going to work, you need to go back to school because I could have told you otherwise (and have). Why hasn’t CBD oil been put on the table? What about PAMs? Are any drug companies looking for human guinea pigs for pain drug experiments? If there truly is no other drug besides tylonel and opioids for pain, then we really need to go the route of opioids because that is the only option.

I agree that doctors need to be more careful about who they give opioids to and why. But it’s darn right irresponsible to force a chronic pain patient into pain. Moreover, it’s just mean. I don’t know what I have done to wrong you, but whatever it was, I sincerely apologize for it. I would not wish this sort of pain on anyone I have ever met, I must have done something woefully wrong to warrant this backlash.

Please stop punishing me for what others did with Opioids… it isn’t right. You are causing me a severe amount of pain, and I just can’t take it anymore. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now. I am begging you… help me.

On Blogging Life

In the past month, I have gotten into a place where I am contemplating a lot of things in my life. I will be honest, I have not been in a good place. In this reflection I have been asking who am I, what am  I doing, am I doing what I love, am I around those I love, how am I using my time, and many more really core questions about how am I living my life. I am not really going to talk about the personal life reflections as much in this post. Instead,  I want to discuss the reflections I have had in regards to this blog, to my youtube channel, and to a few other things that seems somehow related. Of note… this post was originally intended as a single post. I have since decided to split it into three to be released on subsequent days just because I got all wordy.

First the blog… Somehow every 12 to 18 months, I need to remind myself that this thing is here. I always like the idea of the blog, but I often forget about it. And I do recognize that this blog is not well traveled, I am fine with that for most part. I think the height of readership of this blog was when it was far more focused because I was dedicated into one MMO and I was always talking about travels in that MMO. And it makes sense that people would read along to a single topic like that. Since my leaving the MMO scene, the blog too has sort of devolved into a what’s going on in my life and that has both made it uneven for reading and uneven for writing (as I don’t always have stuff to talk publicly about).  Theoretically, I could possibly return to a more themed blog to go along with my youtube channel, and honestly this may be worth a thought if I play a lot of Minecraft for instance, I usually have a lot of thoughts happening on Minecraft, and while a lot of that translates into the videos, there are some thoughts that I don’t express in youtube largely because there isn’t enough time to have more deep thoughts there. Still, I do like that this blog encapsulates more than one minor part of my life. I like that I can come on one day and put up some random piece of poetry that I wrote, or thoughts on Nintendo (which I will NEVER do a Nintendo youtube series unfortunately given how they deal with monetization).

I can’t help but feel like I am definitely failing in not talking about stuff that does correlate to my Youtube life however. For one, there is  a lot of stuff that I think about and even talk about in YouTube videos that probably shouldn’t be talked about there. For instance, more detailed explanations as to why episodes haven’t been happening, technical issues, thoughts I have on the videos going forward and so forth. I like being open and honest about such things but I do think that they sometimes detract from videos. This blog offers a nice outlet for these thoughts without dragging down a video in doing so.

So for this site going forward, I think I want to set a goal for myself, and I want to be careful with goals because I won’t always be successful. But I want to get at least 1 post a month on this site where I talk about whatever. And I want to have at least 1 post every 3 months that somehow pertains to my youtube channel. Whether it is talking about some random fun shit that happened off camera, talking about the decision to LP a game, or some technical issues. I feel like these goals are extremely low and thus, attainable.

The Belt

Great sins I must have made
For the beatings to be paid
My warden most divine
Encases me in solitary
But the punishment fit not the crime
A father’s abuse I need not see
Yet Jesus loves me this I know…
for the bible tells me so.

All Nighter for Old Times Sake

Men are children. It is an unequivocal fact. We display these childlike tendencies in many ways, but really it all comes down to two main categories: Sports and Toys. Sports  is obvious, some guys love watching sports of all varieties and many even continue to play sports. This is a very childlike activity in all reality, hearkening back to little league and bowling leagues. And it comes down to fun, they are fun to watch, they  are fun to play  (at least for some and really I am included in at least watching). The other category is toys. This category can come in all shapes and sizes. Guys with gyms, guys with cars, and yes, guys with games, be it video, board or any other type of game.

And so faced with an impending return to the work environment, last night that I decided to return to the roots of my childhood wonderment and decided to pull an all night Razak have Fun night. A night of game playing, fun foods, movies, and any other fun activities I could think of.  Ok, so childhood isn’t exactly right. I mean I did pull all nighters all the way back to elementary school when Final Fantasy and other video games would capture my interest and make me sneak some hours in the middle of the night playing game (thank you game boy for making it easier!). The all nighter really took fruition in High School and College where parental interference was lowered and rebellious spirit truly ignited. Unfortunately, unlike previous debacles, this one was done alone for the most part, which is slightly sad in some ways, but so is the pains of growing up. It’s a Tuesday, and people have to work! I will say, i would love to do such things again with a group of friends  to mirror sleep overs of my youth, though with jobs and kids, that likely won’t happen anymore lol.

The night started fairly low key. I bought candy in the early afternoon because why wouldn’t candy be involved? After my evening shows I went out to Papa Murphy’s and purchased a couple of pizzas that I could throw in the oven whenever I felt the hanker. And then I played Guild Wars 2 for a bit and  watched iZombie whilst sorting my mail. Really, a normal Tuesday night. I mean just cause I am having a fun night, doesn’t mean I don’t still have work to do!

My plan going forward for the night was to not sit on any one thing too long. When I had done all nighters in the past, it happened largely due to the fact that there were games or people that I got incredibly involved with (not in a romantic sense) and had a good time playing/hanging out. That isn’t entirely  true anymore. I have a few games like GW2 and DIablo 3 and even Minecraft that I enjoyed, but none that I enjoyed so much that could keep me enthralled for the night, and I don’t think I even have any friends that play long hours into the night so that isn’t even a thing anymore.

So, after watching iZombie, I returned to Guild Wars 2 for a couple more hours. And then returning downstairs to start up Legend of Zelda: Windwaker while I threw one of my pizzas in the oven to cook. When the pizza came out, I turned the channel to watch the Late Late Show with James Corden. I like him a lot, but it is on so late I know I will never get to see him much once work starts. And then mid-way through I fell asleep. Yay. I slept for a half hour and decided to try to trudge on. So I started up the reboot of Star Trek (I thought it’d be fun to watch a movie!) and I got another slice of pizza, some dr. pepper and some twizzlers and sat down and watched about an hour of that. I didn’t return to sleep, but I found myself yawning every 5 mintues. It was at this point that I got up and just decided to go to bed.

I don’t know whether the issue was trying to watch TV/movies instead of concentrating on games… If I had started playing Zelda again instead of watching Star Trek, would I have been so sleepy? My couch has the habit of putting me to sleep even under the best circumstances when I sit down and do nothing but watch. I did contemplate switching back to Zelda at the time for just such a logic. But for that one moment in time, I was like.. maybe this isn’t that big of a deal to do. Yeah it is fun. I was super pumped to try and super disappointed that I failed. But at the same time, I have never stayed up all night when I wasn’t enthralled with something. Hell even a few weeks ago when I was all into Diablo 3 I probably could have done it, but now that game seems repetitive to me. Maybe it just wasn’t in the cards. Maybe I’m just too old. I still wish there was an MMO out there that was built for me.

A New Me

Yesterday, I ran into an old friend that I used to work with at the local garden center and meeting up with this guy did a couple of things. First, it scared the living shit out of me. It reminded me of where I used to be (when we worked together), where I am now (unemployed) and where I might be going (employed somewhere new) and every single facet of this scared me. It was like being reminded of how much I enjoyed where I was and how scary the unknown of the future is all in one sitting.

But the more important thing that I got out of it is who am I? This guy always was someone I aspired to be. I saw a bit of myself in him, but a better version of me. Someone who I wanted to be. He was optimistic version, the outgoing version, the nicer version. He was who I want to be but can never figure out how to get there. A good example of who this guy is…. he once got tickets to go see Miley Cyrus in St. Louis, kind of on a whim. Not because he liked Miley Cyrus but more because he was getting sick of Madison (it was winter) and wanted to do something, anything likely. And largely because it would be a story that you could tell later. It is interesting. And that’s who he is. I worked with him maybe 6 months and during that time got a lot of similar stories out of him similar to that and was even part of a couple. He always wanted to do stuff and to make the most out of life, and yes that is something I aspire to as well.

And here I am, what am I doing? I have here an opportunity with my unemployment that honestly I have always wanted. And in this opportunity I have done a lot of gaming, something I do very much enjoy. But is that really what I wanted? Well kind of lol. You hear all the time of people getting laid off and making the most out of that chance, to advance their own personal interests and become a better person in life and I don’t entirely feel like I am doing that right now.

To tie in with this essence of how I am currently feeling… a few years ago I also got similarly inspired by a kickstarter of all things. There was a guy who had previously done a TED talk who was wanting to develop software that could take his TED idea into reality. The idea is to take a 1 second video every day of your life. Be that 1 thing good or bad or somewhere in between. Just take something to remember. And he found in doing that, that he made more of an effort to go out and do things to take that video clip for. If you want more on the idea, you should watch his TED talk, it is pretty cool. I backed the project, loved the idea. And when I got the software, I did it for a couple months (on and off) before I dropped off of it.

Back to this chance meeting with an old acquaintance and I had an epiphany. I need to wake up my  life and start doing new things with it. And to force myself to do these new things I need to record it 1 second style. So my concept is that every single day I think and do something new. Anything. Anything at all. New habit, New movie that I hadn’t seen before, New food I hadn’t eaten before, new TV show, new game, new page written, new schedule, new skill, new language, new project, new job interview, new job, new friend, new attitude, new word, new something. I gotta push myself forward and make myself better. And hopefully I can do it.

Honestly, I can’t even promise myself that I can do something new every day. I certainly can’t do something grand every day. I mean think of it. 365 new things done every single year. I have some things in mind. But there will be days where I will be sick and sleeping all day. What will I find new that day? New cough medicine? Lol. I imagine that things will vary. Some day I will have a big fun event like seeing Miley Cyrus for no reason other than to do it, some days will be going on a walk on a new trail that I had never ventured before. Today, my new thing is starting this idea. An introduction to what may come. It is small, but huge all at the same time. And maybe that is the beauty of it.

3 Weeks Later

For those that may not know, 3 weeks ago was my last day at my job. Ever since that point, I’ve been unemployed and searching for gainful employment. If you want to hear a more immediate description of my termination, you can check it out on youtube, where I talk about it in more detail in one of my Minecraft videos.

This morning, I realized it has been a long time since I have updated my blog, and that it has also been awhile since I really talked about my unemployment. I reference it a lot in my youtube videos, but outside of the initial video, I have wanted to avoid the subject as I felt it was kind of depressing. Logically  to me, it seems to make sense to then talk about it more here, since blogs are supposed to be depressing right?=P

Finding a job has definitely had its ups and downs. I clearly have not found a job as of yet. New hopes come up, old hopes die out. Unfortunately, finding a job in my field revolves around working with recruiting companies. Most companies tend to employ people on a contract to hire basis to allow them to get an idea of if they  want to keep the person long term or not without any negative impact of firing the person. I have dealt with about a dozen agencies in town and every week a new one contacts me. I even have been contacted with an agency out of India which after trying to work with for a few days, I bowed out of the position because the agency was awful. I am still trying to figure out what happened to one particular position that I felt perfect for and was being hyped up by my recruiter but it has been 2 weeks since my recruiter said a word to me. Doesn’t seem good.

Next week, for some reason, I am getting an explosion of interviews and almost none of them are coming from recruiters. Currently have 2 interviews that are direct to hire without the aid of a recruiter to companies that I very much would be interested in working with. One interview is the first interview over the phone, the second is a second interview in person. This is the first in person interview I have had so I am both nervous and excited for the chance. It means that I made a cut past the first 20 down to likely 3 to 5 people and so I feel my chances are way high that I can land this job. I have a third interview that is with a recruiting company for another position and i kind of expect a 4th interview to occur from a different recruiting company. So things are moving along well even if I don’t have anything concrete as of yet.

So what am I doing with my new found time? I am probably not being as productive with this time as I should be. The first week out of employment,  I went gung ho on the youtube channel, deciding to increase the frequency of my videos to twice a day rather than once a day. My theory was that with my extra time I might as well try to grow my channel and more videos means more exposure. That hasn’t turned out as well as I’d hope as the views and subscription numbers have not increased much. This realization that number of videos doesn’t help, coupled with interest in other games has caused me to step back from that. Also, I must admit that my mind isn’t in the greatest places right now. I don’t usually stress out too much about life, but in general I have been very stressed and that has led to difficulty for me in showing myself as having fun. Instead, I have turned to Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 as a way to blow off steam.

I do need to start being more productive around my house, and this is something I realize. My house is generally kind of a mess but it has gotten pretty bad. I used to always blame work as a primary reason that I didn’t have it as clean as I wanted. Well I don’t have that excuse anymore. Now I am just lazy. I have been cleaning little bits every now and then but it isn’t enough and it isn’t actually making a large difference. This last week, I have started getting more restless playing video games all day long. Playing lots of video games the first couple of weeks was great, finally I could sit and relax! But this last week for whatever reason I feel like doing more. So maybe cleaning my house will help with that. I will say in regards to restless video game playing, that generally I have been an MMO  player for the last 20+ years, and though Guild Wars 2 is technically an MMO, I never have really considered it to be one any more than Diablo 3 is. Yeah you can go online and talk to people, but the game seems to be designed to be played alone which means it’s not really an MMO.  Maybe I will go into more of that another time.

Money saving has been a major source of effort for me.  I have begun doing paperwork to go into forbearance with my student loans which will save me $400 a month. I cancelled the DVD portion of my Netflix. I eat smaller meals and less often. I never go out to eat anymore. I’ve increased the amount of items that I sell on eBay to not only get rid of old junk but also get more money. And I’ve put more effort into things like Swagbucks, instagc, Bing Rewards and Perk TV to give me gift cards to purchase things. This last one alone has been a godsend as I early on was able to get a prime pantry package valued at $85 for no cost to me thanks to gift cards which contained food and toilet paper and paper towels. It gave me meals and saved me money. It was great. I am trying to increase Bing and instagc payout right now as a matter of fact. Even if I only get like $100 a month via the rewards programs and ebay, it’s money that I wouldn’t otherwise have, and that stretches out my capability to remain unemployed and looking for a job that matters rather than resorting to moving onto retail or something.

So yeah we are moving onward. i initially wanted to have a job in the beginning of May. I knew that was an unrealistic goal, my friend had the idea that I would have a job mid-May, and that hasn’t happened either. I am fairly hopeful that the current interviews that I am going into will result in something, even if it is a temporary position. And so by that aspect, we are hoping to have a job by the end of May. Am crossing my fingers at least…