December 24th of 2011 I wrote a post titled WHY 2012 WILL BE BIG. I wrote about my (then) recent diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome and all the arms and legs associated with it and all the light it shed on 39 years of knowing something’s not right…but not knowing what that something is. That post elicited a level of support and hope and gratefulness that had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It still does. And as my boot-strap-hell-yea-I’m-coming-out-guns-a-blazin’ prognostication would have it, 2012 was big. Personally and professionally. It wasn’t stellar wire-to-wire, mind you. But in the large scheme of things, absolutely.

Recently, I’ve had a hard time maintaining a large scheme of things perspective. I get into the weeds pretty easily when it comes to the day-to-day or week-to-week. I list the hell out of things. Sometimes I’m able to find my way out like a champ. Sometimes, not so much. Part of my struggle is that I’ve taken a stand against riding the pharma-go-round.

Through most of ’12 I sought some sort of hallelujah balance from two or three different meds at two or three different dosages. I needed to find a way to temper my OCD but maintain my creativity. To reduce my bouts with depression but keep the ADHD in check. To minimize the ticks that wrinkle my nose and brow, flex my fingers, toes and roll my right shoulder, make me sniff, clear my throat and blink heavily – but not mellow me to the point of becoming a lump.

Short story: there’s no magic bullet, and there’s a certain amount of baloney I’m going to have to live with regardless of medication prescribed. That being the case, I decided to forego them – the meds –  altogether and go toe-to-toe with the devil I know. I’m trying to eat healthier, exercise more and generally be more active. I try to get out and fish or just get outside as much as possible with the kids–giving me some necessary downtime. Much like the story behind the film we’re working on, I’m just trying to be more deliberate with how I live.

It hasn’t been easy. At all. Life and work have had me jumping through my own ass over the last 6 months (thus the radio silence on here). But I’ve been jumping through my own ass in some way shape or form pretty much since the time my mom put me on the bus for kindergarten at the corner of Buffalo St. some 35 years ago. Such is the nature of the disability. Such is life. Of course, given the deeply painful and (yet again) life-/country-changing events in Boston yesterday, my challenges pale in comparison. My heart hurts, absolutely hurts for those folks.

And yet, in spite of my challenges and the insanity in the world (or maybe because of them), as my two-year freelanciversary quickly approaches (May one ’11 was Day One) and as I watch in awe as my kids grow right before my eyes, I realize that there’s still a hell of a lot of this journey called life left to wander and a lot of good left to accomplish — and I’m exceedingly grateful for the people in my life, then and now, who have supported me in finding my way. I’m still at it.

You know what though – we all are.
And I’m grateful for that too.


Filed under In the woods, On the water

21 responses to “STILL AT IT

  1. Lisa

    Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us. Your writing is so real and entertaining that I was sad there wasn’t more of it in this post. It’s cool to read about something so personal and challenging expressed honestly with humor and + energy. I have a feeling you’re stepping through one doorway to find many interesting others… and it’s all going to be really good. 🙂 Keep us posted!

  2. Jennel

    So glad you’re “still at it”. You and your writing inspire us all (or at least me) to be better people, make better choices, make the most of life, appreciate its ups, downs, and in betweens….to make tomorrow count and live today with appreciation, love for one another, happiness and to leave this place better than when we were in it. Life certainly has its punches and challenges……I love your last paragraph and couple phrases….hits home……but your so right that there is still so much more in this life…….and you have the support of a lot of people who walk with you and who follow you. Enjoy the journey and keep on doing all the good you’re doing.

    • fishingpoet

      Thank you, Jennel. I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a note. It’s not easy to keep our heads up sometimes. Glad to hear you’re still at it too…

  3. Blessings and prayers for continued healing, health and happiness in your journey. You are doing an amazing thing, facing up as you are.

    As we in the PHWFF circles say, “The water holds no scars.” May your time there be calming, peaceful and serene.

    All the best…Life is.

  4. Claire Damaske

    Beautiful writing, Matt. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles, but to me you are amazing, creative and strong. As well as kind and loving! Keep up the good work.

  5. Joe

    Best of luck Matt, keep at it. I know how hard it can be. Remaining positive and looking forward are two of the biggest pieces of the puzzle.

    • fishingpoet

      Hey Joe! Thanks for the shout. I agree, staying positive and moving ahead are definitely important. Hope things are well in your neck of the woods.

  6. I can only imagine what it must be like to face such challenges, but I will say that the people I know with the strongest resolve are those who have had to constantly battle against one thing or another. Looking forward to watching the fruits of your labor ripen, brother!

    • fishingpoet

      Thanks, Kirk. Much like fishing – it’s rarely about actually catching fish, right? It’s great to hear from you, boss.

  7. Again.
    You’ve inspired me a thousand times. Make it a thousand and one.
    I’ve taken a blog hiatus. Not intentionally. But time passes and i miss it. I’ve spent more time improving my health leaving little time for the blog. As i fight to balance my weight and my job and my homelife i’ve lost my creative outlet. Just know that i’m waiting to read anything u write. And if it helps u to write then do it. If not then skip it. Time with family and spent outside is more important. Personally I need to get back behind the keyboard. So thanks for the inspiration.
    But above all brother take care. Just know some dude and his bird dog are rooting u on from detroit.

  8. Betsy

    Too much to write so check out your email. Thanks for always inspiring so many with your words. It’s a gift my friend 😉

  9. Just getting my feet back under me and catching up on “stuff” and I find this. In your corner, brother. I’m firmly in your corner.

    Thanks for the remarkable gift of sharing.

    • fishingpoet

      Yea, you’ve had a whirl-wind April! Welcome back – and thanks for the shout. As always – I appreciate it.

  10. It sounds to me like you have understood the monster you are fighting, and that you have a level headed approach. Good on you, and keep the good writing coming when you get the inspiration.

  11. Glad to hear there’s some forward progress; fighting the battles worth fighting.

    I’ve had no great epiphanies during the past twelve months but one of the things that has caused me to both reevaluate and reorient the path I’m on is your monologue in A Deliberate Life. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • fishingpoet

      Thanks, Steve! Great to hear from you. It seems that the battles are much more easily fought in better weather too 🙂

      Be well!

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