Talking it Out

When the world moves at one million miles per hour, it’s easy to let it take you on a ride and go with the motions. During this holiday break, I did just that and did my best to enjoy my time as it was happening. I went to see a bunch of family, got plans figured out before the big move that Alex and I are going on (which will have already happened by the time this episode goes live) and packed. While all of this was happening, I didn’t have much time to sit back and reflect on how I was feeling throughout and if I was actually happy. In this episode, I talk about what has helped me stay level-headed and calm through this hectic time.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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Giving and the Joy it Brings

It’s that time of the year when everyone has something to be grateful for and most people are spending time with their family. In this episode, I’d like to talk about what makes spending that time with loved ones feel so fulfilling, and how even if you don’t have a traditional family, you can still feel happiness in the world around you.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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The Humbling Experience of Being Bad

In this episode, I kinda ramble about being bad at stuff and how it’s actually awesome. When you find something that you like enough to actually do it, being bad is fun because you can see where others are that have been doing it much longer than you, and you can find communities of people that want to see you do better. When friends and family aren’t interested in the same stuff as you, there’s always an online community that will welcome you with open arms.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

The Battle of Arrogance and Modesty

When I was younger, I was a happy-go-lucky kid. Eventually, once puberty hit like a brick to the face, I defended against the impending doom of awkwardness and depression with being overly arrogant, looking back, generally unlikable. In this episode, I talk about why I acted like I was better than everyone else, how that was wrong, how I ended up swinging in the other direction of abysmal self-esteem and how I got to where I am today.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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The Ultimate Stressor

I believe that for many people, money is the ultimate stressor. Having far too much and far too little lead to their own struggles, and in this episode, I dive into the only one that I can talk about, which is the latter. Bills, loans and employment lead to so many difficult truths and issues that it’s only right to talk about them and the experiences with it. I hope this episode can bring some inner peace to someone who’s going through a rough patch.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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Getting to a Place That You Feel Comfortable

Living with mental illness makes everything harder and one of the primary aspects of life that it affects is your ability to take on new, unfamiliar challenges. This week, I talk about how I had a hard time branching out and tackling new experiences, and how, with time and lots of introspection, I was able to look at the upcoming changes with hope and excitement instead of the dread that I had come to know.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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Making Friends Last Longer than Milk

As I reflect on monumental changes in my life, such as going to and then graduating college and changing jobs more times than I’d like to admit, it’s easy to lose track of who matters to you. The people that you see everyday change, and maintaining contact is easy to forget, so how can you connect with those that you no longer see? That’s what I talk about this week (and will continue trying to figure out for the rest of my life.)

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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Putting Yourself First

Saying no is hard, especially when the consequence of you saying that short word can negatively impact others, but it’s an important lesson to learn. Not only are there people in the world that will capitalize on your kindness, but there are some things in the world that are meant to take advantage of those that are willing to give 110%. In this episode, I talk about how saying no can take the stress off of your shoulders, and how it doesn’t need to be internalized.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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The Scourge of Man

Technology is great… until it’s not. It’s been such a helpful and amazing tool, opening the world to communication that’s never been seen before. The only downside is that, along with all of the good, it also does an impeccable job at making people feel worse about themselves. Let’s talk about how it does that and how I try to fight it’s negative influences.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

Giving Yourself Purpose and Value

Finding a reason to keep pushing forward in life isn’t always easy. Things are hard, people can be hard to deal with, and the weight of all of that on your shoulders can feel like too much. That’s why this week, I talk about finding a reason to exist in everyday life, even when twists and turns of all shapes and sizes will happen to you until the end of time.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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99 Perspectives and You Got ‘Em

This is the worst episode title of all time. Whatever. What’s done is done. Don’t hate me.

When I was younger, I dismissed basically everyone with differing views from me. I didn’t give people the time of day, and when one of the people that I did grow close to said or did something that I didn’t agree with, I cut ties with them and moved on. Since I’ve been able to start making more meaningful relationships and see the world from many different perspectives, my connections with people are closer, and the world has become a kinder, more welcoming place. In this episode, I talk about the transformation, how it happened and how it’s affected me going forward.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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You Can’t Help Everyone and That Sucks. But That’s Okay.

Oh boy, one episode away from 50. That doesn’t really mean much to me, but I guess it’s something. In this almost impressive milestone of an episode, I talk through a few examples of me not being able to help people struggle through their issues because I was too busy with my own, and how I struggle to not blame myself for it everyday.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

Norman Watches The Lion King

This was the first short I wrote for the subreddit, r/lifeofnorman. I hope you enjoy it even if there are some inaccuracies about the movie!

Scott McMufasa

Norman was feeling nostalgic since Disney has been remaking all of their old movies. He goes to his basement and grabs a dust-covered VCR, bringing it upstairs and plugging it in. After messing around with the inputs to see if the TV needs to be on the Component setting or simply channel three, gets it all set up and inserts an old copy of Lion King.

As the movie starts, he’s hit with immense happiness as he sees all of the characters from his childhood on the screen again. He even sings some of the songs with the cartoon animals, remembering only half the words, but singing loudly as if he knew them all.

When the mischievous Scar starts to show his true colors, the happiness inside Norman dies down and is replaced by this unsettling feeling that he doesn’t understand. It’s been so long since Norman has seen the movie that he doesn’t remember how it ends.

The movie draws to its impactful end, and as Scar dangles Mufasa from a high cliff, Norman bites his nails, a nasty habit he outgrew years ago. Scar drops Mufasa to his inevitable death, but before he hits the ground, Norman shoots to his feet and rips the tape from the VCR.

Shaking, Norman thinks to himself, “this movie is too mature for kids.” He puts the tape back in its case and takes the VCR downstairs, no longer feeling nostalgic.

Hot Chocolate, a Dog Blanket and Some Yarn

In this episode, I talk about how finding something to look forward to after a long day can be all you need to turn dread into something hopeful. Who knows, maybe if you can find some excitement in the day, you might even be happy for a little while.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

Norman Eats a Banana

This is from the subreddit, r/lifeofnorman. This post is an original from me.

Scott McBanana

Norman was having a rough day at work and decided that it was time to take his allotted 30-minute, unpaid break. He grabbed his lunchbox from the refrigerator that he shared with his coworkers (that he was nervous to put his food in because of the food thief in the office, but that’s a story for another day) and went to a little bench outside.

He unzipped the black lunchbox’s lid and pulled his turkey, American cheese and lettuce sandwich on wheat out and nibbles at the edges before taking a big bite. He liked the simplistic meal because it didn’t take much time to make the night before and still tasted good. He especially liked that it fit in his reusable Tupperware because he didn’t want to hurt the environment.

Next he ate a strawberry yogurt, which he did quickly because he had spent too much time on his sandwich and was running late. He took his spoon and got all of the yogurt from the inside out, making it as spotless as he could with the rounded edge of a spoon, and then set it back in the lunchbox to recycle when he got home.

Lastly, he pulled out a beautiful yellow banana. He had gotten them because they were $.39 a pound when he saw them at the store and couldn’t pass up the opportunity and cheap fruit. As he was about to pull the peel down from the end that had the stem sticking out, he stopped and pondered something he had heard on Animal Planet some time before. “Apes open bananas from the bottom which removed the strings that most people deal with when they eat the fruit.”

Norman stared at the banana and turned it upside down, looking at the bottom, thinking that to apes it’s the top. He tried to open it but wasn’t sure where to grab it, so he squeezed it as carefully as he could. When the bottom opened up, he saw that he had squished it, but didn’t care as long as the little strings were gone. When he pulled the peels down, the strings didn’t follow and still covered the banana.

Norman laughed to himself, “maybe I’m no smarter than an ape.” If he was younger, he might make the “ooh ooh” sounds that apes make, and maybe scratch his armpits in an exaggerated motion, but knew he had to get back to work. He enjoyed the rest of his banana and got back to his job.

The One You Feed feat. Eric Zimmer

This week, I had the pleasure of talking to Eric Zimmer, host of the podcast “The One You Feed.” We talked about his experience with addiction, addiction in general and then the conversation evolved into a nice talk about life, why we do what we do and how we can help people. Eric is a really cool guy, and if you want to hear more from him, please listen to his podcast.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AcceptableMadness

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

How to End Depression

Do you want the bad news or the good news first? Well, the bad news is that I really don’t see an end to depression. The good news is that I don’t think that’s necessarily bad news. Discovering purpose and figuring out what makes you feel the way that you do could help you combat it, and ultimately fend off all of those pesky suicidal thoughts that you’ve been dealing with.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

Misophonia

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Chatter surrounds me. A few coworkers and customers are enjoying their meals and “still feel.” by half•alive is playing throughout the store again for the third time today, and the thousandth of the month. My banana, which was starting to brown, peeled nicely without leaving any of the strings on the part that I was going to eat. I slid headphones into my ears, drowning out the repetitive lyrics with music that was in a range of volume that shut me off from the outside world, but wouldn’t make me need a hearing age at an early age.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” plays straight into my ear drums, turning the noise around me into a wall of white noise that was impossible to pick out just one sound from.  My thirty-minute lunch never felt long enough, but I closed my eyes to enjoy what little time I had, trying not to think about what mess my coworkers would leave for me when I got back or how exhausted I was from a week of doubles and not enough sleep to justify it.

The music held me in its arms, rocking me back and forth. Working through the first eight-hours of my sixteen-hour shift was the easy part. That’s when I could still justify working for that many hours in a row, because the money was decent (still not where it needed to be to let me live comfortably) and my temper was held under a sheet of steel that had been reinforced the night before. When the first eight wrapped up, my body and mind tried to shut down because of the traditional 40-workweek that I was used to working before I got laid off, but I had to will it to persevere. I needed the money more than I needed sleep or sanity.

A younger couple that was sitting at the table next to me before I sat down stood up and left. The man was wearing a black polo with the words “Halaxion” printed beneath it in bold orange letters and a pair of jeans that looked to be three sizes to small. His shoes were made of what looked like faux leather, and the fakeness of it was confirmed when I saw his gigantic silver “Dolex” watch around his wrist. It was so flamboyantly large that a rapper could have put it on a chain and slung it around their neck, and they’d look less ridiculous.

The woman was dressed in a pink blouse and yoga pants, the attire of a housewife, but I couldn’t pay attention to any of the other details. I was so transfixed on the way that the woman’s ass shook from left to right as she left for the door. Her yoga pants had one similar trait to the jeans that her boyfriend (or whomever she was sitting with) was wearing; they were three sizes too small. She was wearing a red thong with a heart pattern around the parts wide enough to hold them, and they complimented the shapeliness of her body. Distracted as I could be, I tried to look less creepy by keeping my eyes to the ground, knowing that if anyone saw me staring at her I’d look like a perverted dog, and I needed this job too much to blow it on some random woman.

I picked up the book that I had brought to work with me today and opened it to page 179, where I had left off the day before, and started reading. The first sentence came out in a jumbled mess when I read it. First it said, “No one moved,” but I could have sworn there were four words in the sentence. Skimming back, I read it again, this time seeing, “Not a single one of us moved.” I read the next sentence, trying to push forward through the hazy film that was making my vision blurry, but I looked back at the first sentence again. “None of us moved.” it said, for real this time.

My head throbbed. I closed the book, giving up on reading already and looked around the café. The coworkers and customers that were around me had all been replaced by different faces. In the distance, I saw the woman with the heart-covered thong, but I couldn’t seem to focus on her ass anymore. She was too far away, and I was too tired.

Crunch! Beside me, at the table that the couple had been at only moments before, a hefty man, probably no less than 300 pounds, was crinkling a freshly opened bag of chips, searching for his next inanimate victim. Still trying to watch the heart-thong in the distance, my focus was turned to my peripherals, where I studied the rounded features of the man who couldn’t seem to chew with his mouth closed.

Crackle crackle crunch! He had found his next chip from the obnoxious foil bag and threw it into his mouth, crumbs falling over his lap as he Crunched! another chip into his pie hole. He was wearing a t-shirt that could have acted as a parachute for someone half his size, and jean shorts that were so baggy and long that they covered his entire legs. A belt was holding on for dear life under his extruding belly, the last inch of it creeping as it tried it’s best to hold the massive pants up.

I hadn’t noticed that the song had changed from Nirvana and to “Reptilia” by the Strokes because I was so distracted, first by the woman but now by the man sitting next to me. Cringle crackle! He worked hard to fish out another chip from his unneeded snack. Crinkle! Crunch! Without hesitation, he had thrown the chip into his gullet and smacked his lips together repeatedly. I closed my eyes, trying to distract myself from the beast next to me, but the Smack! Smack! Smacking of his lips and tongue made me lose focus on everything but the nuisance next to me. If I didn’t know what the sounds were, you could have convinced me that it was kids jumping into a puddle at a playground. They were wet and, coupled with the crunching of the chips and the crackling of the bag, felt like a personal attack.

Sleep deprivation and never-ending work had worn away the tolerance for annoyance that I had been wearing through for the past two weeks. His Smacks! and Crunches! were exactly the type of inconsiderate thing that I had been waiting for to ruin my patience.

I leaned my cheek on my hand, creating a physical barrier between my peripheral’s and the man and then tried to focus back on my reading. “None of us moved,” it said. “The vampire and his four wights stood separated from the Hunters,” crackle crackle crackle crackle. I took in a deep breath and let it out. “The vampire and his four wights stood-” crackly crackle crunch! Smack! Smack!

I looked over at the man who had opened another bag of chips to dump into his greasy, crumb-covered mouth. Chest hair was peering up above the collar in his damp white t-shirt. This time, I watched him crackle crackle crunch! on another chip, watching how he pushed his tongue out of his mouth and set the chip on it, then pulled it back inside. He searched through the bag with such incompetence that I truthfully questioned whether or not he had ever actually eaten chips before; certainly, never without a bib.

Crumbs coated his lap in a thick layer. It looked like he had just left the beach and was still sandy. Crunch! He Slurped! his fingers, “cleaning” the chip residue from the tips, even though he still had well over half a bag of chips left. I watched with aggravated curiosity as he crackled another chip out of the bag, the Slurp! his fingers again because the spit from the last time he did it made the salt hold even tighter. With a lethargic, clumsy movement, he wiped his damp hands on his shorts, attempting to clean them, but instead getting more salt on his fingers. He licked them again, then Grunted! himself to his feet, wiping the crumbs back to the floor. He sat down, Phewing! all of his exertion out in one breath, then Slurped his fingers again.

Crackle crackle crackle crunch!

“None of us moved,” I read. The vampire –” Crunch!

I looked straight into the man’s sad face, but he didn’t notice the gaze because he was too busy making love to the chips he was eating. My heart was racing, and I felt warm all over as blood carried rage to every inch of my body.

My knuckles turned white as a prepared for the next Crunch! but it never came. Instead, he lifted the back to his mouth and crackle crackle crackled! it. Crumbs poured into his mouth and onto his lap. Smack! His lips reverberated through the café. The sound tickled my ear drums and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight. I held the increase volume button on my phone until I was sure that my ears would bleed, but I could still her all of the sounds that this man was making. I forced myself to my feet, keeping my eyes aimed straight at the ground. The man was wearing a pair of black Fila shoes and an ankle brace on each foot. My ears hurt as I made my way to the bathroom and sat down in the handicap stall. No one else was in the bathroom.

My heart slowed and I turned down the music. The Smack! Crackle! and Crunch! were gone. I still had fifteen minutes left on my break and I intended to use all of them in this stall, where I could calm down from the hell that I had just endured. My eyes closed as I the coolness from the toilet seat regulated my body temperature. A sigh of relief escaped my lips. The bathroom door opened.

Stomping shook the floor, and through the inch crack between the stall and the door, I saw a large body of denim and cheap white cotton Whoosh! passed. For a second I help my breath, hoping that this was just a bad dream, but when the man let out a loud Phew! as he sat down, I knew it was over. His Fila shoes and ankle braces were staring me in the eyes as he Groaned! and Grunted! his way through his bathroom routine.

I hated this man. I had never even talking to the guy before, but all of the sounds that he made felt so inconsiderate to those around him and I couldn’t even imagine a conversation with someone who was that unaware of his surroundings. As silently and considerate as possible, I pushed myself to my feet and flushed the still empty toilet. While washing my hands, the oaf began whistling an unfamiliar string of notes, pausing only to grunt as he tried to expel his excrement, then, before his breath came back to him entirely so he could whistle again, he hummed the same tune a half step down from where he whistled it.

The volume button on my phone clicked again as I could feel the beginnings of tinnitus set into my numb ears. As the volume drowned out my ability to think, I could have sworn that I heard another loud crackle crackle Crunch! from the stall.

Thinking about going back to work for the second eight-hour half of my day made me sick to my stomach, but the idea of being trapped in the same room as that guy was even worse, so I opted to clock back in. I slipped my cut resistant gloves on, then covered them with cheap latex ones and walked to the deli counter to wait on my next customer.

As my eyes were focused on slipping the second pair of gloves over the first, I absent-mindedly said, “I can help whoever’s next.”

In a lazy, low tone, a man said, “that would be me.”

I looked up to see the disgusting swamp monster from the café and bathroom, took a deep breath and said, “what can I get for you?”

He breathed in through his nose with a whistle from an inconvenient placed booger and Smacked! his lips together, using his tongue to clear the remaining chips from behind his teeth and gums before finally speaking. Q

Sleeping with Wolves

Sleep is one of the few constants that can help you out when you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts. It will give you energy to handle the world, make you less irritable, and even help you from getting sick. In this episode, I talk about how I’ve been struggling to get sleep and the ways that I’ve been trying to make up for it.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AcceptableMadness

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg

The Anniversary of a Lifetime

After years of me putting up emotional barriers, subconsciously sabotaging our friendship and generally being terrible, I can officially say that my girlfriend Alex and I have just celebrated out two year anniversary! In this episode, I talk about how Alex and I have gotten to where we are, and how unsexy a story the beginning really was.

I am not a doctor, so do not treat this as therapy or medical advice. I just do this podcast with the hopes that it can help some people.

If you’re interested in other content by me, follow me on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AcceptableMadness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/acceptablemadness/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpiT4JjAzziR-EODaBDPaJg