Where Have I Been?

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A couple of people have asked me where I’ve been, and I didn’t want this blog to disappear and another writer fade into the ether without anyone really knowing what became of them. So I’m going to discuss where I’ve been, why I haven’t been writing, and whether or not I’ll ever be back.

I started Epic Drop in August of 2019 after struggling to provide content for both my weight loss/fitness blog and my video game blog. Home Button had been running for over a year and a half, but not really gaining much traction, and I simply didn’t have enough time to provide content for each of the sites, although I was passionate about both. I wasn’t sure if the topics would be too broad to really gain an audience, but I decided to merge these two things and launched Epic Drop, bringing over all of the content I’d written for each blog.

To say the least I was incredibly excited. After a lot of work I really liked the way the site looked, I loved my new logo (that I couldn’t believe I designed myself) and I was ready to commit to the site 110%. At this point I’d dropped 40 pounds and maintained the weight loss, using slow and sustainable changes to my lifestyle to continuously push forward. I was excited about life, excited about the possibility to live my life without the weight, and I was excited to bring fitness content to gamers that didn’t talk down to them–and maybe in the bargain bring gaming to people who might not normally interact with it. My goal was to push away the notion that you couldn’t be a gamer and be physically fit—even though that arguably should never be a conception—and I really was ready to give it my all.

And then my life kind of turned upside down.

Some of it was a mostly positive change; I received a promotion at work, but it also came with a significant increase in said work. A lot of my writing was done during my down time at my last job, so I suddenly found myself unable to contribute near as much as I had previously. On top of that, we were also coming up on the anniversary of my father’s death two years prior, and I’ve had a hard time during that period every year since he passed. I also struggle with anxiety and depression on a daily basis. This is nearly cliché on the internet today, as it seems like everybody in the circles I run in seems to have these problems, but it really is usually an uphill battle for me to be positive or to get out of my own head. As the anniversary of losing one of the most important people in my life loomed, I began to sink into depression.

Then his mother, my Granny, was given the news that her medical status would be moving to hospice. According to doctors this only meant that they would stop doing surgeries or advanced care of issues they could no longer fix, as those surgeries were more dangerous than the conditions themselves to a woman of her age. They told us that she might have 2 years or more left, and that hospice didn’t necessarily have to mean the end was coming soon.

Except that it did—it came much sooner than anyone had ever expected. A little less than two months later I sat alone by my Granny’s bedside after having sent everyone home thinking her stubbornness would last her through another night. Instead she did go that night, the first moment I nodded off in nearly 48 hours she went–like she was waiting on me not to see her go. I didn’t expect to be this sad, as we had been somewhat estranged due to things that had happened in the past, her living so far away for most of her life, and her relative distance in the way she showed emotions. As I wrote her eulogy and interviewed her, spent time by her side, and heard stories from her church friends about how she never would stop talking about us, I came to realize the depth of how much she loved us and in turn how much I still loved and needed her. It was a cruel twist of fate that I should come to find out how much I loved someone only after it was too late.

The emotional trauma was bad enough, but when someone’s life turns upside down like this—especially someone of her age—there is so much left to sort through. Before her death my wife and I were constantly with her, sorting out issues and preparing for the end. Once she moved into hospice we were there constantly, and after she was gone all of her belongings were moved into my garage and I had to sort through a person’s life and figure out what to do with it all. There is a sad finality to this process, a bleak and somber understanding that these things were the physical leftovers of an entire life and that this was all that would be left of me and my legacy someday—things for someone else who didn’t love them as much as me to sort through.

Then my mother’s chronic illness was further exacerbated and she almost died, no fewer than two times in fact, and spent nearly two weeks in the hospital–a lot of it in ICU–over two different stays. She is still weak and not recovered all the way, and who knows what awaits her and her condition over the next few months. At the same time my wife was going through tests for some pretty dramatic and scary stuff, and we are still trying to figure out how it will affect her and our future together.

Between the constant work and my deepening depression I stopped writing, I stopped going to martial arts, and I began to do the only thing I could do to deal with the pain—eat. The more I threw away the habits that had helped me to lose and sustain the weight, the faster it came back, and the faster the weight piled back on the worse I felt both physically and mentally. Here I am now, not only having gained every pound back, but I’m actually at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been in my life: 343 pounds. That’s right, not only did I gain all the weight back, but I even gained an additional 8 pounds. Everything is harder now–all of the medical problems that had started clearing up during my weight loss came roaring back with a vengeance–and I am more miserable now than I’d ever been. This further complicated writing for the site as I felt like a complete fraud, and the last thing I wanted to write about was losing weight when I couldn’t seem to even stop binging.

And I won’t go into depth about it, but we all know the world seems to be on fire since 2020 started, in some places very literally, which just adds to all the stress.

Ironically, as the world finds themselves struggling, for me the freedom of working from home, combined with new found healthy habits, and moving on with my grief, I now find myself recovering somewhat from the darker place I’ve been in, but I’m still left with the shambles of the span of the last 7 months. I’ve gained back the weight, lost my momentum, and I physically feel pretty awful. Not writing and not doing martial arts haven’t done me any favors with my mental health, and recently talking with my good friend who runs The Well Red Mage, I realized how much I’ve truly missed writing.

Which brings us to here and now and why I’m writing this. For the few people who’ve cared enough to read this in the first place, I really appreciate your support, and I wrote this so that I wouldn’t just be another blog writer who disappeared into nothingness. I’m now reassessing where I’m at, the idea of Epic Drop, and what it’ll mean to pick up the pieces and start writing again. I don’t honestly know if that means writing for Epic Drop, writing for Home Button, or maybe continuing to write for Well Red Mage, but I do feel like the next steps forward in my life have to include writing—even if nobody reads it and it goes nowhere.

I’ll let you all know the second I know what that direction will look like. In fact, I’m currently working on a few things and there might be some really exciting news coming soon, but I’m still hammering out the details and I don’t want to announce anything until it is completely ready.

I hope you hear from me again really soon dear readers, and in the meantime, please just be kind to one another, stay safe, and follow me on Twitter at mailorderninja or anepicdrop for any new updates.

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4 thoughts on “Where Have I Been?

  1. I’m very sorry to hear about everything that you’ve been going through these past months, and years really. I hope you find what you need to pull through and be in a place that you want to be mentally and physically. You ever need to chat, you know I’m always up for it. Take care

    Liked by 2 people

  2. These kinds of things usually are very difficult for people, and that is very important to keep in mind.
    What’s even more important though is to find your way forward, and it looks like you’re getting closer.
    Actually, since I’m seeing Iroh at the start there, I’ll tell you my favorite bit of his wisdom.
    “If you look for the light, you can often find it.”
    …which is harder than it sounds, but but my point is we all need to keep trying no matter what.
    Take care, and stay healthy

    Liked by 1 person

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