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

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:

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

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

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

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:

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

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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:

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

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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

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

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:

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

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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:

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

Whale Penises and Taking it Easy

The title says it all. What more do you want from me? Oh… you want a proper description. Fine. This week I talk about a feeling of existential dread and numbness that’s been overtaking my life. It’s not all depressing as there is whale penis talk, but it isn’t the most upbeat episode. I just talk about pushing through the hard times and remaining optimistic for whatever’s coming next.

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

Featured

How Can I Actually Help People?

In this episode, I ask existential questions about why I do what I do, how this podcast can help people and how I can reach more people outside of the podcast. People deal with too many mental health struggles alone and I want to help, but deciding if I’m the type of person to help or not is hard. I just want people to be happy and I want to make the world a better place.

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 Humor Makes Life a Little Easier

A lot of people use humor to cope with different situations, and because of that, some people have developed a range of darkness in their jokes. In this episode, I dive into why people might feel the way that they do when it comes to jokes, and reference prominent stand-up comedians and how they can find comedy in even the darkest of times.

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

Suicide Watch

I wrote this a few weeks ago. It’s a near and dear story for me for personal reasons and I think it appropriately conveys the confusing feelings that each party involved would feel.

Scott McKinney

Jonathan’s phone dinged once. He picked it up to see a text from someone that he hadn’t talked to since his senior year of high school. It said, “do u care if I call you?”

            “Sure. But why?” Jonathon asked, pushing himself to his feet. He was sitting next to his mother watching reruns of Family Feud. He walked to the front porch and sat down on the rough fabric of the outdoor loveseat. Kicking his legs up on the pillars that made up the waist high fence surrounding the porch he awaited the call, pondering what it could be.

            Nicolas responded, “I’ll call you in a minute or two,” then he sent another text that said, “it’s bad news.”

            Jon scrolled through his newsfeed while he waited, trying to figure out what Nicolas wanted to talk to him about, but didn’t want to scare himself by thinking of the possibilities, so he tried not to let his thoughts wander. What he knew for sure was that it had nothing to do with Nicolas’ college education since he had dropped out after one semester and it wouldn’t have to do with Jon’s brother or parents because otherwise, he would have heard it from someone else. He continued to scroll through his newsfeed and tried to contain the anxiety that was tickling his stomach and brain, making his hairs stand tall and his mouth dry.

            “R u ready?” Nicolas sent.

            “Yeah,” Jon replied.

            The second that Jon sent the text, Nicolas was already calling him. Jon held it in his hand and felt the vibrations as he contemplated not answering at all. He took a deep breath and picked up, staying as strong as he could in the uncertain circumstance that he was handed.

            “Hey, what’s up?” Jon said.

            “Sorry about calling so late. I just thought you should know as soon as I found out.”

            “Don’t beat around the bush. What’s up?”

            “Did you know CJ Wilkinson?” he asked after a drawn-out pause.

            “Yeah. I knew him a little bit. My brother knows him better than I did, but I know him.”

            Jon’s throat constricted and he felt his heart jump. Not only did his brother, Devin, know CJ, but they were best friends. They met years ago when they were in second or third grade and they actually hated each other at first, then they got into a pretty big argument that ended in some punches, but soon after they developed a mutual respect for each other, that eventually blossomed into the relationship that they have now. Knowing that the news was bad and about CJ gave Jon tunnel vision as he braced for it.

            “What about him?” Jon asked, since Nicolas hadn’t said anything for a few seconds.

            “He’s dead,” Nicolas said.

            “What do you mean?”

            “He’s dead.”

            “What happened!” Jon yelled, then hushed his voice so his mom didn’t hear him from inside.

            “I don’t think anyone knows for sure yet, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that it was suicide.”

            “Are you serious?” Jon said in a whisper. “How did you find out?”

            “I don’t feel comfortable saying. The news isn’t out yet, but I heard from someone else and felt like you had the right to know.”

            Jon stayed silent and looked up at the stars that shined with the same brilliance that they had every night of his life, but they were mocking him tonight. Nicolas was breathing heavily on the other end of the call, sniffling every few seconds.

            “How are you holding up?” Jon asked.

            “I’m fine I guess,” he said, then sniffled. “I didn’t know him too well either but I was really close to his family. He was a good guy. He didn’t deserve to go so young.”

            “I know he didn’t. Thanks for letting me know. I know it wasn’t easy telling me about this.”

            “I’ll be okay. I just feel bad for his family. I’m going to pray for them after we get off the phone.”

            Usually Jon would make a sarcastic remark about how religion wouldn’t help, but he didn’t have the heart. He just wanted Nicolas to feel better and hoped that the prayers really did work. He really hoped that there was something out there that would make CJ’s family feel better.

            “Thanks for letting me know,” Jon told Nicolas. “I’m gonna let you go. I need to make another call.”

            “Okay. Sorry that I only called to give bad news. I wish it could have been for something a bit happier.”

            “It’s okay. I’m glad I know.”

            “But don’t tell anyone that I’m the one that told you. I don’t know if the Wilkinson’s are ready to make the news public.”

            “I won’t. Have as good a night as you can. Give them my prayers.”

            “You too.”

            Nicolas sniffled one last time and hung up the phone. Jon leaned back, resting in the chair. After a few minutes, he stood up and walked back inside, sitting next to his mom on the couch who was still watching reruns of Family Feud.

            “What was that about?” his mom asked.

            Jon said, “It was Nicolas.”

            “You haven’t talked to him in a while, have you?”

            “No. It’s been a while.”

            “What did he want? You look as white as a ghost.”

            “CJ’s dead.”

            “What!” his mom yelled, muting the TV. “What happened?

            “No one knows for sure yet, but Nicolas said it may have been suicide.”

            “Suicide, really? He always seemed so happy when he came around.”

            “I thought so too,” Jon said. “I guess he was good at covering it up.”

            “Your brother is going to be devastated.”

            “I know. I’m thinking about calling him.”

            “Do you want me to do it?”

            Jon ignored his mom and sent Devin a text saying, “Hey, can I call you for a minute?”

            “Do you want me to do it?” Jon’s mom repeated.

            “No, I can do it.”

            Jon walked back to the porch and sat on the rough fabric of the outdoor loveseat and waited for Devin to respond. Ten minutes later, he responded saying he stepped away but didn’t have long. Jon dialed his number and listened to it ring once, then heard Devin pick up and say, “hello?”

            “Hey man,” Jon said. “I have some bad news for you. Are you at a place that you can take it?”

            “Yeah,” he laughed as his girlfriend mumbled something that Jon couldn’t hear clearly. “I mean, how bad can it be?”

            “Are you sure you’re in a good place to talk?”

            “I’m fine. Stop delaying whatever it is that you need to tell me. Out with it.”

            “Okay. CJ’s dead. I heard that it may have been suicide.” The noise died on the other end of the phone as Devin said something and stepped away from his girlfriend. “I’m sorry. I know this must be really hard for you.”

            There was nothing but silence for a minute before I heard Devin clear his throat and take a breath, then he fell silent again. Jon didn’t know what to say, so he waited, keeping his head clear so as to not assume anything about what Devin was feeling or thinking.

As time progressed, thoughts of how Jon had never experienced this form of grief flooded his head, and maybe that was why he was so comfortable being the one to tell him the bad news. Jon thought to his kindergarten friend who passed of heart complications and to a tragedy that affected his school when he was a freshman and three seniors drove their car into a lake, unable to escape before tragedy befell them. He was too young to understand the pain of loss in kindergarten and was too self-obsessed to understand the loss of the three boys in high school, since he had never met them.

Time passed and the stars continued to mock Jon, who was starting to feel his thoughts bombard his brain. “Should I have been the one to tell him?” he wondered. “Should I have told him in person? Would it have been better for me to let him find out through the grapevine when the family was more ready to make the announcement? Was I acting selfishly by believing he’d handle it better coming from me?” His thoughts spiraled, but the last one to enter his head was, “Is Devin okay?”

“It’s fine. Thanks for letting me know.” Devin hung up without saying another word and Jon was left alone on the porch with only his thoughts and the mocking stars to keep him company. He stood up and leaned against the railing on his porch. He breathed in as deeply as he could and held it in, then when his lungs were going to burst, he let it out.

            The door opened behind him. Jon’s mom stood there, staring at her shrunken son with watery eyes. “Are you okay?” she asked him.

            Jon let out another breath as his lungs were going to cave in and said, “Yeah. I’m fine.”

            “Did you tell Devin?”

            “Yeah.”

            “How did he handle it?”

            “Fine.”

            “Do you want some time alone?”

            “No, I’m okay. I’ll be in in a minute.”

            “Okay.”

She closed the door slowly and quietly as Jon took one last deep breath. He let the air out and walked inside, sitting down next to his mom and watched reruns of Family Feud.

Current Events, Sometimes Knowing Less is More

Staying up to date on what’s happening in the world is important, but so is your own mental health. This week, I talk about how sometimes being up to date can be put on the back burner for a little bit if you need to focus on yourself.

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.

Scott McCultured

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Finding Joy in Everyday Tasks

Welcome to another episode of Acceptable Madness. Thanks for tuning in as I talk about random shit and how it makes me less suicidal. This week, I talk about how I’ve been finding happiness in everyday things. I know you could tell that from the title, but that’s fine. I told you here too and that works.

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

Understanding that Making Mistakes is Okay

This week, I talk about my long history of mistakes, mostly with people, and how I have learned from them to work on future relationships. The short and sweet lesson is, learn from your mistakes, even if that’s as cliché as cliché ‘s come.

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