A Whole Bunch of Life Stuff…

Normally I’d name this kind of post with a Simpsons quote in the title, but this one has some real stuff in it, so I’m dropping the gimmick just this once.  Here are a number of things I’ve been meaning to write about…

  1. It’s just plain sloppy that I haven’t mentioned on this blog that “*” is now available for FREE (or pay what you want) download at http://derekbrink.bandcamp.com/album/asterisk. Go there and listen to it and download it and tell your friends!
  2. Okay…this one’s serious…  If anyone listens to my podcast and more particularly listened to the episode I did with my friend Jim a couple of weeks ago this won’t be exactly NEW news, but it’s probably worth putting out there in more than one medium.  I recently saw a counselor to work through a few issues.  Basically I’ve been angry for a very long time and I needed to talk to someone about it who doesn’t know me before I eventually–well–turned into my mother and died in my mid 40s.  Got some tools to help with that and it was a beneficial experience, but that’s only part of why I’m writing.
    The part that is particularly interesting is that over the course of our sessions the counselor poked around asking about prior addictions, etc.  As most will know I’ve been open about my decision to quit drinking 5 years ago and smoking 4 years ago. Talking in particular about the drinking the counselor talked to me about the nature of addiction and my reasons for stopping etc. In brief, her assessment was much the same as my own–that my excessive use wasn’t a chemical addiction, but was rather a manifestation of my depression (about which I’ve also been very open). Her words were, “I don’t think we need to talk about your drinking, I think we need to talk about your depression.”
    So what does that mean? Well the long and short of it is that after some additional conversations, I think that if someone offered me a beer, it wouldn’t be “falling off the wagon” if I accepted it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a wagon and I’ve been on it for five years, but I do not think that at this point if someone offered me a glass of wine with a nice meal or a beer at a rock concert it would cause a negative spiral or whatever. Over five years, I’ve developed the discipline to not drink at all–and that same discipline would allow me to stop at ONE.
    Now this doesn’t mean I’m planning on going whole-hog back into buying beer or keeping bourbon in the house. Being that the root of any heavy drinking I’ve done in the past has been my depression, it remains important to purposely limit my access/exposure or continue abstaining entirely. The latter is fine with me.
    One of the major talking points in our meetings was that it likely continues to be a good decision to not drink–there’s nothing wrong with choosing to live in a way that doesn’t hurt you. But now that I better understand the issue…I guess it’s just nice to know that if someone raises a toast, I don’t necessarily just have to stand there like a chump. Even though I might. So…yeah…that was a lot of information to unload all at once. I’d be glad to talk to anyone who has any concerns–believe me I have no intention of making them realities.
  3. Positive news. I’ve been losing some weight. On purpose. Pants are a little loose.  I don’t know if anybody can visibly see it yet…but I do need new pants, so that feels pretty great after years of being a fatass. I’m very interested to see what the Holidays do to me though.
  4. I mentioned the podcast, above. I’m still enjoying doing it. But I do plan on doing it a *little* less frequently. I’m going to switch to only doing the show every other week. It’ll help me out a lot in a lot of ways. I’ll be putting a post up about that on the podcast blog soon, too…so this is just the short version.
  5. In the last week I’ve found myself recording something I didn’t really expect to do. For an upcoming Christmas party, to accompany a video, I’ve recorded a version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Now…as much as I genuinely love that song (it’s one of my all-time favorites), I do think it’s time for a moratorium on covers of it, and that’s why up until now I’ve never done one. But I ended up doing it as a favor and I also ended up really liking my arrangement. I think I’ve got a take on it that’s kind of different from the ones you normally hear.  So…I’m thinking about looking into the copyright costs and maybe releasing it as a single nearer to Christmas. Presently undecided, but I love Leonard Cohen, I love that song, and I’m proud of the work I did on it. It might be nice to have more people than just the one Christmas party hear it…  We’ll see…
  6. Of all of the stuff I’ve written above, I might be most nervous about making this known, due to my superstitious nature… I’ve been documenting my struggle with migraines on this blog (and elsewhere) over the past year to two.  As most will know, the migraines have presented themselves with visual distortions (common to sufferers) and have been weekly if not more frequent than that for an extended period of time.  Well…I haven’t had one for 11 weeks.  Which is a record, by FAR.  The longest I’d previously gone without one since they started was a month.  I’m now almost THREE months in.  I don’t know that I’m out of the woods, but it’s been nice thinking about it less…  The main thing I’ve changed is that I had stopped taking Ibuprofen right before they “went away” (at least for the past several weeks). I’m wondering if I’d just been taking Ibuprofen in such volume for so long, my brain just flipped out?  Who knows?  Migraine science is a guess at best…it’s just been nice to see normally for a couple months!

And those are all the major updates.  I plan to blog more and better soon (that’s part of why I’m dialing back the podcast–I miss doing this).  So hopefully you’ll hear from me sooner than later.

Current Listening:

  • Devin Townsend Project – Ghost
  • Kurt Vile – Bottle It In