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October 22
18:00 2018

By: Mike Rudon Jr. –

I’ve come to talk to you again! Many, many of the seven people that read my column religiously have told me that lately my writing has gotten darker. I find that interesting. Here I am thinking I’m just this plump little ball of goodness and joy and happiness and warm, fuzzy feelings. I mean, my writing is supposed to inspire, right?

I don’t know your story. I don’t know what makes you tick, what turns you on or off. Darkness may be your old friend, or constant boon companion. I have no way of knowing. I can only tell you my story of addiction and depression and despair. Maybe you get it, and maybe you don’t. Maybe what I’ve gone through, and what I’m going through, helps you. Or maybe you think it’s all just a pile of crap. Maybe you think this guy needs a drink. Hell, maybe you read this and think I’m already drunk. It just is what it is.

My writing is darker yes, and it’s a reflection of what’s going on in my head and heart. I’m as down as I’ve ever been in my life. Relationship issues, family issues, alcohol issues, financial issues – hell, pick an issue and I’ve got it. Sometimes I feel like it’s all I can do to keep my head above water. I stopped living one day at a time. I’ve taken to living one moment at a time now. I joke about it on Facebook, because I’m a cute, funny guy and people expect that of me. But it’s true. One moment I can be way, way up – happy with the world. The next I’m down – crushed beneath the weight of situations I’ve created for my own self.

The thing is, I’m not even delving into the darkness just yet. I don’t know that I’m ready. There are things that I’ve done in my life that I’ve locked up into little boxes that I don’t ever want to open. I walk around every day and I smile and tell jokes and I get the job done, but there are things I deliberately do not think about. I can’t. I live in constant fear that one day everything will come crashing down around me, and my only defense is to not think about it, at least not yet. Just get through this moment, just get through this day.

You see, here is how this thing goes, at least for me. I screw up. I am responsible for every bad thing that has happened to me. It’s not the fates conspiring. It’s not anybody out to get me. It’s not life just generally sucking. It’s me. I charted the course of my life many years ago when I picked up the bottle and never put it down. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – every bad thing that has happened to me in my life has been linked to alcohol, in some form or fashion. That is how it was then, and that is how it is now. And it gets to the point where friends push you away, and family pushes you away, and the loneliness eats at you, and guess where that leads?

Honestly, I’m doing this in tidbits because it’s too much. The alcohol, the bad decisions, the failures, the hurt, the regrets, the guilt, the anger and frustration and desolation – it’s too much. And it never seems to stop. But it has to stop.
And that’s what I need to get you to understand. It gets dark. It gets lonely. There is despair. There are tears, even if in my case they are very masculine, Bruce Willis type kickass tears. There is anguish. It’s real. But say it with me – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

We’re in this together. As you can probably tell by this, I’m a long way from okay. But I will be okay. I found help. I’m sorry to say that Belize isn’t really full of options when it comes to professional help for what ails you. But there is help. I found a great group of men who are always there with an encouraging word, support, prayers and no judgment. And that is the most important thing – NO JUDGMENT. Reach out. Never stay down. You see me – I fall spectacularly. I fall in a blaze of glory. I fall with fireworks. And I hurt. But I reach out, and I get up.

If you need a friend, and you’re a little short of those, talk to me. Talk to somebody. Start the climb. We can do it.

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