Archives for posts with tag: Love

Someone tell me how I feel

Today feels full and busy. Feels like I have a million things to do and I only have today to do them. Truth is, the day is light. It’s actually just about a half dozen phone calls to make and then pick up around the house. Easy right?

In my head, there is nothing more terrifying than initiating contact with a company. I used to be a pro at it, but I haven’t had to call anyone for a year. Today I have to call my neurologist, cardiologist, insurance company, and then some incoming calls. The incoming ones aren’t as bad because all I have to do is answer and respond. The ones where I am required to initiate and explain what I need, want, and make sure my meaning isn’t lost is terrifying. They all have to do with my health and I always feel like I am missing something.

I don’t like being a grown up. Not one sodding bit. The bottom line is, I have to deal with these things now. Procrastination only leads to massive panic attacks later. So throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year would see me right. Thanks for stopping by.




Today has been a roller-coaster of feelings and emotions. I have felt lost, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, lied to, found, loved, and forgiven. The topic of God and religion comes up frequently in my life for numerous reasons. Having some friends that are devout Christians and some that are almost militant and relentless atheists. Having family that have pledged lifetime of service to God and others that explore other means of faith and spirituality.

Growing up in Utah, there is a good chance you will be born into religion, or be taught early on through friends that were born into it if you weren’t. You can’t escape religion in this state, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, as with all things, some people can take it too far and spoil the roots of good intentions. Where I find myself lost is in any particular belief. I was born into an LDS (Latter Day Saint [Mormon]) family and baptised at the age of eight. Never questioning anything about it, just going through the motions. My parents were not very strict about it and had liberal views on politics, art, and speech. This is a polite way of saying they cursed, let us watch rated R movies, and fully believed in freedom of choice. Not a common things associated with the LDS stereotype. It made growing up Mormon a very tolerable thing. But in my case it also made me mostly indifferent. Outside of the weekly block of meetings, I didn’t think of church. Didn’t think of God or service or sacrifice or history, but rather focused on toys, music, movies, and girls. Church was a 3 hour a week deal and that was it. It stayed that way my entire life. Not through any shortcomings of parents or leaders, but through my own indifference. My parents both served missions as did my older brother. My parents were married in the Temple as was my brother. These things were and are important to them and I respect it wholly.

Still, I find myself indifferent to the entire situation. I have seen it help families, hurt families, help people, hurt people, and everything in between. I also fully believe that at the core of every religion and belief, is the will to do good and make life better for everyone. The downside to this is the fallible nature of man. We have faults that cause the root and core of good things, turn selfish or evil. I don’t feel betrayed or hurt by my religion at all. I have seen it help many people in my life. I cannot deny that at all. My older brother is a perfect example. He has found love, peace, and a future spreading knowledge of something he believes fully in. He knows what he wants and is totally committed to it. But in my own life, I have never felt good or bad about religion or God or scripture. I have always felt ambivalent and indifferent to the entire thought. I have a few friends that identify as Agnostic and I always found this a little weird. That was, until recently.

My upbringing had me around 99% Mormons and 0.99% other faiths and 0.01% agnostic or atheist. I didn’t meet an atheist until my senior year of high school. Not that more didn’t exist, but it had never been something that was questioned. I believe most Mormons in Utah simply assume everyone else is a Mormon. Maybe this is more true of small towns like Lehi, nestled in the churchy bosom of Utah county. I was invited to dinner at a friends house that I assumed was just like the rest of us. Her dad had a beer at the dinner table and I thought…oh, maybe not. Then he was ballsy enough to bring up religion and started bashing on Joseph Smith (look it up if you don’t know who he is, this isn’t Church history, it’s adn history.). I was taken aback that once he knew I was LDS he would continue his anti-Mormon tirade. I understand the freedom we have to choose what to and not to believe in. Not only do I understand it, I fully respect it. But this was not the forum for religious debate. This was dinner with a friend. Awkward.

Anyway, the point of that story was just to illustrate how queer it was to find out you know someone that didn’t belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a little children’s hymn humour). The older I got, the more agnostics and atheists I knew. Most of them former members that were members only out of tradition or family will. I would ask myself, how could someone that was a member just stop believing? It seemed so strange that someone brought up in the one true faith would later rebel against it. I chalked this up to simple rebellion where they just wanted to be different. The same reason they try alcohol or cigarettes. Just because they were told not to, well, you’ll show them. I stopped regularly attending church over five years ago. I kept telling myself and my family that I believe in the LDS teachings, I just don’t go because of the people. This was definitely a big reason I initially stopped going. I found myself alone in a place where you should feel welcome always. I have never felt welcome at church or church functions. I have always felt looked down upon. A lot of this has to do with my own emotional and social anxieties rather than any rational fear. But it is true that I have always felt more welcomed by people that are ex-members or were never members. The girls I get along with most, the boys that accept me for me, all of them are non-members. My family is excluded from thus generalisation because they have loved me always. It will never change because they are wonderful and accepting people. As for everyone else, I feel constantly judged and shamed for my decisions. As far as I thought, judgement is reserved for God.

So here I find myself, lost. I don’t know what to call myself anymore. I’ve never really been one for labels, but I don’t know if I am LDS anymore. I know I am not atheist as I do believe in some higher power. But what that power is and to what extent it reaches…I don’t know. And until right now, that scared me. I have heard that it’s only when we lose ourselves can we truly be found. If I had to label myself, I suppose I would identify as agnostic. I am not giving up a search for truth and happiness, but I am done looking for approval in places I will never find it. To friends past, present, and future, this may give you a proper insight to why I am how I am. And know that regardless of your spiritual preference, I will love and accept you as long as you can do the same for me. I am fully aware this will cause some loss of friendship. Unfortunately that is an ugly truth of this decision. If you are one that decides to rid me from your life because of this, I wish you nothing but love and happiness in your life. I have found myself in the uncertainty that is life and it’s mysteries. Admitting that to myself and to all of you has lifted a weight I have been carrying for far too long. Whatever your path, belief, or lack thereof, exists, I hope you are happy. If you are not, do yourself a favour and explore other options. Find your happiness. Thanks for stopping by.



Here I am, awake and alone at 3:30 am. Popping hydrocodone due to a very sore back as a result of my recent seizures. As I sit here, I fully comprehend why people get high and watch cartoons. The pill takes it’s effect and I turn on the one and only, Pink Panther. Classic movies and even more classic cartoons. At this particular moment, the panther is chasing a basketball that appears to be possessed. This ball has a mind and the intent to run away. Already adorable and funny, right? Across from the park there is a volleyball tournament taking place where a volleyball decides it too wants to run away. The two balls meet in the park and fall in love and get married. They have children and live happily ever after. What joy! Here I sit alone, a little afraid, and a little sad, and now, hopeful. These two balls of different sports found love in each other despite their differences. How brilliant is that?! Well, I liked it. You don’t have to be so mean about it. Geez.

Other things of note, I have temporarily dropped out of school. With the uncertainty of my health and it’s new complications, I don’t want to risk failing classes due to a lack of attendance as a result of hospital stays. I am going to take this time to focus on health and start again in the spring semester. This decision did not come lightly, but had to be done.

Speaking of health, yesterday I had my MRI. What a queer experience that was. When I was done my dad asked how it went. The best way I could describe it was, I felt like I was being faxed. I was secured in this head restraint (the MRI was specific to my brain) and the conveyor takes me in. It sounds like an ancient 14.4 modem firing up and trying to send me to the matrix. Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill? So 45 minutes later and I was successfully magnetically resonated. The results are being sent to my neurologist and we will know more next week. Also next week, a visit with the heart failure team. Ah the life of a geriatric trapped in the sexy body of a 25 year old Adonis.

The Lortab is continuing to take it’s wonderful effect and I am starting to spell lots of things wrong, so I will end this entry here. I love each and everyone that reads this and I am a lucky boy to have such beautiful people in my life. I will let you know more about my brain as I find out, but until then, thanks for stopping by.



A warning to any readers of this post: this will contain coarse and vulgar language. The last week has been the most unstable times of my life emotionally and I even lost a few days. I will tell you all about it, I am just warning you, you might not like me after reading this.

I am in bed with the most uneasy feeling I can recall in my life’s history. What has caused this unsettling? Bad life decisions disguised as healthy rebellion.

If you know me, or have followed this blog at all, you know that I have heart failure. Being so young, it has been a strange and even scary experience. Though with the support of family, friends, and modern medicine, I am still alive and doing quite well. I post my updates of doctor visits filled with praise for the boy who fought for his life. Things were going up and up. Then, last week it hit me.

I had an echocardiogram nearly 6 months after my first one. My main cardiologist was amazingly hopeful for my progress simply due to appearance. With the weight loss and demeanour of someone that just won the lottery, he was hoping for the best. My last appointment with him he seemed confident I was making a full recovery. The technician spoke to Dr. Miller speculatively about the results. He said ejection fraction at 25%. Normally I wouldn’t put much stock in what anyone other than my doctor said, but Dr. Miller specifically said that this guy knows his stuff.

Being at 25% I am still in failure. Since it has been six months and I have been on maximum doses of medications, the next step is surgery. Heart surgery. Are you kidding? What happened to the progress? Dr. Miller wants to put in a defibrillator to prevent a life threatening arrhythmia that my weakened heart can’t pull itself out of. That’s what kills heart patients. Not slowing to a 0% ejection fraction, but an erratic heartbeat that your heart isn’t strong enough to correct.

My first thought upon hearing this news was “fuck this”. I am not getting heart surgery. Let it kill me. I have spent the last six months being ever so careful and scared of doing anything that would jeopardise my health. Now? Who cares. I have been given a death sentence of an unsure timeframe. My reasons for not wanting surgery are many. First and foremost, I am already $3,000 in just medical debt from this experience. Not to mention the near $8,000 in unsecured credit card debt due to living off of it both while unemployed and employed. Why would I want to add another $10,000 in bills to cover a surgery that I will spend the rest of my disabled shitty life paying off? It doesn’t add up. Secondly, defibrillators aren’t 100%. They could detect failure improperly and take control of your heart when you don’t need it to. I don’t need to keep worrying. I live my life in fear and I hate it. Cut to that night, I had procured some Cabernet Sauvignon and proceeded to drink myself stupid. The next morning I skipped the anti depressants and just popped lorazepam all day. Needless to say, I turned into a sobbing mess and a moron. I called a girl I like and left a 7 minute voicemail consisting of crying, singing, and silence. Then my sister in law comes over and I try to get her to beat me up. I called another girl professing an untrue undying love just so she would know in case anything happened. The next two nights I continued this binge of self-destruction, convincing myself that it was an act of rebellion that was justified. What has living my life alcohol and drug free done? Nothing. So in my petty and fucked up mind I kept on going down. Saturday night I was told half of what I did and Sunday night my sister in law told me the other half. I divulged information that no one needed to know. No reason except for my judgement had been impaired.

So tonight I lay in bed with calm music playing and a tear soaked face wondering what it accomplished. If anything it strengthened a knowledge and resolve to stay off those substances. I don’t have self-control. I have issues and a wonderful genetic history of addicts. Isn’t it funny how we all feel immune to the dangers and warnings of the world? On Tuesday I have a second appointment with Dr. Miller to go over the full results now that he’s had a chance to look at the test. Wednesday I start school and I feel excited and scared. So impatient and unprepared. And now I have told everyone that wants to know, my very stupid actions over the last week.


I have discarded the remaining lorazepam and will find other means of attacking my panic. Meditation, exercise, kitten petting, etc.

To my mother, I sincerely apologise for my defiant words towards you today. I know you know they were said in jest, but I would be lost without your love and support.

To my dad, thank you for helping me with everything you have been able to. Our relationship wasn’t the greatest when I was a kid, but I am happy to call you dad now instead of Russ.

To my siblings, I apologise for all actions and words that have offended you. I am truly grateful for you and terrified of life without you. I will try and be a better brother.

To my extended family, your thoughts and well wishes have meant so much to me. In any form you have chosen to pray or think of me, I can tell you with certainty, it helped.

To my friends, I don’t think I did anything to any of you except to show the monster that lives in me. If you choose to seek asylum from his terrors, I understand. If you choose to stay with me, I will do my best to keep him calm and under control.

To myself, remember to think of these promises and where you would be without them. Don’t forget who you are and what you stand for.

To my heart, I am sorry you are broken. I wish I would have taken better care of you. Even now as you feel like a stone buried deep in my chest, I love you. I hope we can work this out.

To a strangers and passers-by, I hope you find comfort and love in your life. I hope you are happy. And if by some chance you’re not, we can always talk. I’m happy to listen.

Thanks for stopping by.



What a beautiful morning we had today. Utah is full of beauty and this morning was a perfect testament to that. I fell asleep at midnight and was fully awake at 5 am. Kinda sucked, but sleep will constantly evade me. I am done chasing it. 🙂 Today has purpose. Today has feeling. Today has possibilities. I will postulate more on the purported possibilities at a later date. School is fast approaching and I am still super excited. Still looking for work but now with the option of part time only. Last night I sat on the front porch and enjoyed a nectarine and a plum. The evening sky was beautiful and bees were pollenating the lavender. It was a sight and smell that I could not capture but won’t soon forget. I continue my quest to right the wrongs that I am guilty of and hopefully gain some friends back. I spent a lot of time in high school acting like an anti social jerk. That’s because I was an anti social jerk. Now I am just anti social, but with the the hope of progress. Thank you to all the friends that have stayed and even more thanks to those that let me back in. I promise to make it more enjoyable this time ’round. Now enjoy this picture of some birds. Thanks for stopping by.



I think it’s time for another blog for some recommended music. The iPod is on shuffle so I am not sure how long this will be. Maybe you should just enjoy? 😉

Song: Everybody Knows
Artist: Tina Dico
Album: Count To Ten
Beautiful song with great vocals and lyrics.

Song: My Business
Artist: Tina Dico
Album: Count To Ten
Strong woman music makes me happy. What can I say? Must be the strong women in my life.

Song: Kingdom
Artist: Dave Gahan
Album: Hourglass
Is there a God who loves us all?

Song: Naked
Artist: Skip Peri
Album: Naked
Folky country lovin’ stuff.

Song: Lost Verses
Artist: Sun Kil Moon
Album: April
Lo-fi love

Song: Fade Into You
Artist: Mazzy Star
Album: So Tonight That I Might See
I met some awesome people in high school. This song was introduced by some hip kids.

Song: Beautiful Things (Gabriel & Dresden Remix)
Artist: Andain
Album: Beautiful Things
Trance that I found while in Cedar City. Great stuff.

Song: The City Consumes Us
Artist: The Delgados
Album: Universal Audio
Christmas in Cedar city. Leaving my cushy job as an editor to become a whore for an empty living.

Song: Make Your Move
Artist: The Delgados
Album: The Great Eastern
I went on a kick. Beautiful music full of grand memories.

Song: Genius of Love
Artist: Tom Tom Club
Album: Tom Tom Club
It was 5 am and I was watching Totally 80s on VH1 Classic. Same time I discovered Madness. Wow. Great music video.

Song: Idaho
Artist: Nerina Pallot
Album: Fires
The swell of the strings is enough for me.

Song: Everyman
Artist: The Guggenheim Grotto
Album: Happy The Man
Stroll along the pathway and just listen. It’s okay.

Song: A Better Son/Daughter
Artist: Rilo Kiley
Album: The Execution Of All Things
Full of hope, a bit of cursing, strong and proud vocals and musicians.

Music continues to be a part of my everyday life. I think music is a perfect example of how some divine being exists. Thanks for stopping by.






Hello all. This is Jasper. Jasper came to me during my first struggles with health and I would like to introduce him. For the first time since I was born I was going to be spending some time in the hospital overnight. I won’t lie, I was a little scared. All these emotions came over me and I didn’t know quite what to make of them.

When a friend of mine found out I was in the hospital there was no hesitation and she came to visit me. Her name is Katie Southwick. Not only did she come to show her love, concern, and support, she came with comfort. Almost as if she sensed a childlike fear. She brought me Jasper. I am not a stuffed animal collector or person really, but the thought was so touching. I named him after one of my favourite villains in one of my favourite Disney films (101 Dalmatians). I slept with Jasper every night in the hospital and he is still on my bed to this day. Thanks and love to her and her husband Brock. He was sent in with an arsenal of Disney VHS tapes so I could watch the Dalmatians.

The Southwicks are incredible people with beautiful kids. I wish them all the blessings and happiness they could ever ask for. Jasper does too 😉 Thanks for stopping by.