Finding Peace

Probably the most surprising feeling to me is contentment. I’ve gone over the prospect of a world where I wake up without being unhappy or hating myself at least twice a day. The fact that such a world exists for other people is difficult to picture. Did I do something wrong when I was younger that lead me to this place? Is it really just all chemical reactions in my brain and if it is, how do I know the real me isn’t being buried by my medications? Trying to figure out whether or not you’re really a negative asshole is a troublesome activity. It usually makes you wallow in self-pity.

It’s been six months since I was diagnosed with dyskeratosis congenita. Part of me thought I was supposed to have one of those life changing experiences where I would suddenly have the urge and motivation to push myself towards a better future. A future where I worked toward the things I wanted, was nicer to everyone and didn’t take every day for granted. After a few weeks that part of me died. I realized that this disease doesn’t change my life anymore than anything else that’s happened to me. I’m not suddenly a new person. If anything, I’m discovering who I have always been, which is someone who is still just as mysterious to me now as I was when I was a teenager.

I’m lonely all the time. I stay inside my apartment all day and play video games until I get bored enough to start watching TV or vice versa. On the rare occasion I do go outside, I spend a lot of my effort convincing my roommate to come with me just so I don’t have to feel so alone. I want to feel like I’m doing something. I don’t write anymore. I don’t talk to most of my friends anymore either. I’ve also noticed that it’s becoming increasingly hard for me to be nice to people. My mind is often muddled up with insults and disgusting thoughts of hatred and anger. Where does it all stem from? Is it because I’m so unhappy that I must make everyone around me as unhappy as I am? Is it because I think I can get away with it?

Self-pity is not something I’m proud of by any means. Repeatedly, I say the same things to myself in hopes of change. They say that actions speak louder than words.

I just wish I knew what actions would help me find peace.

Returning To The Path

Getting back on track can be hard. No matter the situation, having to recalibrate yourself takes a lot of effort and in some cases a lot of tries. I haven’t written in a while and I’m just now starting to get back into the groove of things. Months have gone by where I hadn’t even typed a word for a short story, a game idea or a TV/film script, but even though I wasn’t writing, my mind always pushed out new ideas each day. Now it’s time to focus all my efforts on my work.

I’m excited to get back to writing blog posts because there are so many things I wanted to talk about and rant about, but never got around to and I think that for once I should finish what I started. I’m going to resume the list of my most influential CDs and then I’m going to try to do weekly posts on projects I’m working on so I can show you all the progress I have made on them.

While a blog post once a week might not seem like a lot, I think it will do me good to have a bit of a schedule and some consistency.

Now it’s time for me to retrace my steps and figure out where I left off with my most influential CDs.

See ya soon!

Am I A Volcano?

I find it humorous that I’ve become the one person online I get annoyed with the most, the blogger that never updates. There are countless webcomics that have long been abandoned by their artists and writers with no explanation as to why. This is me reassuring everyone that I’m not dead. This is me telling myself that I’ve still got things to say and safe place to write it all where people may or may not listen. Six months ago I made my last post and so it would be safe to assume that a lot has changed in my life in that time, so here’s the scoop on what has happened to me in the past half a year.

First off, I’ve been debating whether or not to share this information with everyone publicly, but I feel as though it’s healthy for me to express my thoughts on the subject, so here it goes. A few days before my birthday (which is March 2nd, the same as Dr. Seuss) I was diagnosed with a disorder called Dyskeratosis Congenita. DC is a very rare and progressive bone marrow disorder. If you research the disorder online, you will come to find out that there are currently 10 known genes that cause DC, however in some blessed miracle I won the lottery. I have the 11th gene. It’s a slightly surreal feeling knowing that you are the part of history in such a way. As of right now, I seem to be as healthy as I can be, but the disease has many factors that can lead to complications. Studies have shown that a majority of people with the disorder die around the age of 16, so I guess I should be feeling pretty lucky since I just celebrated my 25th birthday last month. Wearing a medical alert necklace has become a standard practice for me now. My own mortality is something I’ve often thought about and feared, but now that I know that I have something as serious as this, everything doesn’t seem as frightening. It’s oddly comforting in a way. It’s like I finally know something about the unknown. I suppose in my mind I view it as narrowing down my possibilities of dying. Even though that may be silly since I could easily get hit by a car tomorrow getting a sandwich from Subway or slip and crack my head open in the shower, I’m still comforted.

I also got into a small car accident in December, moved from my apartment, got hit with tons of medical bills and now I’m moving again. It’s been quite a ride.

Onwards to lighter things, I’ve started plotting out new projects and I’m pretty excited for them. I’ll be making separate posts in the near future for them individually so hopefully you’ll check back in.

Before I sign off, I just want to say that the one thing that’s strange is it just feels like everything has been dormant inside me for so long and I’m just now waking to all of this energy. Maybe it’s the diagnosis, maybe it’s just the timing of everything in my life. Let’s hope this energy sticks around.

My Most Influential CDs: Teenage Graffiti by the Pink Spiders

teenage

Glam rock never died. At least that’s what Matt Friction, Bob Ferrari and Jon Decious decided to prove to people in the mid 2000’s by bringing those elements everyone thought were dead into their own version of power pop and their 70’s/80’s fashion sense.

With most of my favorite CDs/bands, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard them, what I was doing when I first heard them and what song I heard first, but with the Pink Spiders all of that seems to have eluded me. It’s always troubled me a little because I take pride in loving my music and artists. I connect with music in a way that I cannot replicate with anything else in life thus far. However, over the years the Pink Spiders have stayed with me and continued to influence my life and my musical taste. So I’ve tried my best to think that’s what really matters, not remembering where I first heard them. So far, it’s held true.

One thing about the Pink Spiders that I will never forget is the first time I saw the music video for “Little Razorblade” and how wonderfully they blended awful 80’s style effects into a typical pop punk type video. They did everything they could to show that while their songs were catchy and unforgettable so was their band image. They sported black and pink gloves, black and pink guitar straps, pink scarfs, pink mic stands and neon pink t-shirts under their jackets. Trying to be a true modern version of a glam rock band worked in their favor as their music video for “Little Razorblade” got consistent play onĀ Fuse and even landed them on Vans Warped Tour.

The singles on the CD aren’t what drew me to them however. “Little Razorblade”, “Soft Smoke”, “Hollywood Fix”, and “Modern Swinger”, which were on their debut album Hot Pink, were re-recorded for their second album for a cleaner and bigger sound from their low-fi predecessors. While all those songs will never fail to catch me, it was ultimately songs like “Hey Jane” that convinced me that the band had a lot more to offer than just radio hits. As what seems like a depressing song from a majority of the lyrics and the general vibe of it all actually ends up being quite uplifting with lines like “don’t let your life’s income determine your life’s outcome.”

To be honest, I may not listen to this CD as often as I should, but one song off this album gets constant play in my car, especially when I’m pissed off or speeding down the highway with some friends. “Easy Way Out” brings together everything I look for in a song meant to build your adrenaline. It has a guitar solo, a catchy hook and raspy lyrics with a heavy hitting chorus. It sounds like one of those songs you would hear during a house show some random kid decided to throw in their basement while their parents were away as an act of defiance.

The Pink Spiders have come and gone and come back again and with Matt Friction constantly working on new music for his numerous other bands, I don’t think their style will ever truly fade away, but this CD will always be Matt Friction’s greatest piece of work in my mind.

Here are my favorite tracks from the album:

“Modern Swinger”, “Hollywood Fix”, “Back To The Middle”, “Hey Jane”, “Easy Way Out” & “Secret Song”

Moving Forward

It’s been a long time since I’ve started doing something serious about moving forward in my life. The last time was when I moved down to Florida to go to college. That was a little over four years ago and now that I’ve been a college graduate for nearly a year, I’m starting to realize that I’m not happy with where I am in my life and it’s time to find out what the next step is in my life. I don’t know if it’s going to be something in the gaming industry or in the entertainment industry at all, but I don’t want it to be something that makes me as miserable as I’ve been for the past couple months.

I don’t hide things when I have a problem. If I’m upset, it’s a pretty obvious thing. It comes out in my writing, it comes out in my actions and it usually comes out of my mouth. I will say it straight out. The real struggle is finding out how to get past it and figure out how to change things for the better. The first step I’ve taken is leaving the house more often. I don’t like to work from home so I go to a few different places during the week to get my work done and it actually works really well. I need to get to a point where I can get enough work done and be a fully functioning human being. I need to eat everyday which is not something I’m entirely good at doing. I need to get out of my bed before three in the afternoon. There are a bunch of things I need to do. I’ve always had a problem with schedules, it’s just not who I am.

My lease is up at the end of January and I still have no idea where I’m going. Theoretically the options are endless, my job doesn’t keep me tied down to a certain location, but realistically, the money that would be involved in moving to a place like San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle or even just a one bedroom apartment in Florida would be too much for me to handle. I just know that I need to start formulating a plan for my future. Even if it is just where am I going to move at the end of my lease.

I guess it’s just one of those times where I feel stuck in between phases and I’ve been stuck here for a while now. It’s time to press on.

Extra Life 2014

Hey everyone!

I’ve been a gamer since as long as I can remember and this year I’ve decided to participate in Extra Life’s National Game Day of 2014! After years of just playing games for fun, I have now found a way to have fun and help out our local communities!

I’ll be playing a bunch of games on my PS4 for 24 hours straight and it’s all to help raise money for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital; Maine’s only full service children’s hospital.

You can watch me play on my Ustream channel at this link right here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/big-gamers-talk

Here’s a small sample of some of the games I’ll be playing:

  • Infamous: Second Son
  • Destiny
  • Spelunky
  • Octodad: Dadliest Catch
  • Velocity 2X
  • Fez
  • Daylight
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail
  • Pix The Cat
  • Tiny Brains
  • And Many, Many More!

The goal is $500 dollars and every little bit counts and every little bit is also tax deductible. It’s a win-win situation all around! So come watch me play games all day on Saturday, October 25th starting at 9 a.m.!

You can donate by visiting my fundraising page right here: http://extra-life.org/participant/GarrettMartin

Don’t forget to explore Extra Life’s website to find out more about the cause and how you can help out!

Thanks!

Garrett Martin

When It Hits…

It’s been over a week since my last blog post and that makes me pretty upset. Most people who know me probably wouldn’t think much of it, but it’s actually a big deal to me, especially since as of late I’ve been really passionate about keeping this blog active and alive.

But there’s another reason why it’s really important to me.

I don’t like when my anxiety and depression take over me. It makes me absolutely useless. My ability to do simple tasks is stolen from me and I’m left lying on the bed trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong. So I do a lot of things to try to deal with it and unless you have someone in your life who has depression or have depression yourself, you may not fully understand that these few things that I do to try to cope and “fix” myself suddenly become insanely important.

What I do is I try to get myself to the shower. If I can get myself into the shower, that’s almost the ballgame right there. The act of getting out of bed, moving my feet across my room and into the bathroom is my first step of gaining a bit of control again. I’m no longer sinking deeper into my bed sheets or drowning myself under blankets. I’m being active. I’m walking. I’m bathing. I’m drying myself off. I’m putting on clothes. I’m doing a plethora of things. All of which are slowly building me up to getting out of the house and on with my day.

But sometimes I don’t make it to the shower or when I do, I make it there too late. It’s 7:38 PM right now and it’s almost too late. The cut off point for me is when I can no longer go outside and go to a store and talk to people. If I had to be honest and tell the people at my local GameStop that one of the reasons why I’m a regular and talk to them so much is because it is to help keep me sane, I honestly don’t know what their reactions would be, but I’m hoping they’d be supportive. Talking to people and connecting with people helps me fight back and shoot a steady stream of anti-depressant filled bullets into my brain.

I’ve been on medication for years. I’ve been on ones that work and ones that literally have made me want to crash my car into a tree and I thank the people that prevented something like that from happening to me. But medication only does so much. There’s so much more to it than just taking a pill and smiling for the rest of the day. When you grow up with depression and anxiety people tell you all sorts of things that you should start doing to better yourself such as doing something you find fun. It’s not that simple. I love playing video games and I love watching TV shows and I can do those things, but while I’m enjoying it, I’m miserable at the same time. I find that momentary happiness is what tends to keep me alive a lot of the time. The spark of a good conversation. The unexpected joke at the most inopportune moment. Those are just a couple of the moments I need to keep going.

But for me when it hits, it all starts with getting to the shower.