Pain is all around us. It is what life gives us.
I have had my share, enough to write a book really. I realize that some have had enough to write volumes, so I am not unusual.
However, I like stories; I like to tell stories. That is one of the reasons I run websites like dfwfootball.net, willing to be involved in projects like REVEL Magazine, and why I am planning a new project, set to launch in 2013.
But, everyday, I learn a little bit more about who I am. I don’t always like who it is that I am, but sometimes I am impressed.
Ten years ago, I am not sure I could see myself where I am now, on the threshold of doing what I want, running a business, and doing my best to help make life a little easier for some.
My personality is not conducive to being an entrepreneur or small businessman really.
I am beset with depression and loneliness. No really, it is actually Major Depression, as in, I need help with medication.
There was a time in my life I didn’t want to get out of bed. Things felt extremely dark. I had a whole range of emotions over the years, and maybe, that journey still continues.
First, I was sad. Really, really sad. Then, I moved to anger. Some of that lingers. I may have moved to apathy after that, not sure. Where I am now? Not really sure. I think I experience them all at different times. Don’t we all?
When I was 25, I got married and moved to the big city in Texas. Fort Worth to be exactly. I went to go to graduate school. There were a couple of big changes, but I thought it was okay.
Just a few months into this journey, well, I experienced health problems. They were the kind that drained me, physically and emotionally. I had severe urethral strictures.
The first doctor used drugs. Antibiotics, many different kinds. I had infection almost all the time. That really drains you.
The fight was on, and I went to a different doctor. You realize I was seeing a urologist for things that I was really 25 years to you to be experiencing. Dr. Lamensdorf, that was his name. He made some progress, but I still suffered.
Ah, 1998. What a year. The good Doc performed three “minor” surgeries, each time trying to make it easier for me to empty my bladder. The third surgery came on the same day that I had a “major” surgery to repair a ruptured disk in my neck. I felt cursed.
Talk about being sidelined. That was the first time I couldn’t keep my job. I couldn’t blame my boss really. It was a small business and he couldn’t wait for me to return after about three months.
Ah geesh, should I go on?
I never felt right, and there was unfinished business with what Dr. Lamensdorf had done, so he sent me to Dallas to meet, yet another doctor. That doctor wanted to do some work on me, so he brought me to Baylor Dallas for a day surgery, but decided after I was asleep (getting asleep is another story!) that I needed to see, yet another, specialist. It seems there were only two guys in the country who could do what I needed. I think there are many more now.
Within a couple of months, my wife and I were in San Francisco, CA at the University of California San Francisco getting a surgery that could not be performed in Texas I suppose. Hard to believe, but I guess that was the case.
Two weeks later and one Fort Worth tornado later, we were back, and I was supposed to be all corrected.
However. . . .
I kept feeling like things weren’t quite right. I met with a friend, Ricky Johnston, a surgery nurse at Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth. He told me of a urologist he worked with who had done some innovative things. So, I made an appointment with Dr. Gould in Fort Worth.
Eight surgeries later, all of them day surgeries, I am so much better, but still I struggle with it on a daily basis. Dr. Gould did a world of good. The surgeries encompassed about 4 years and two hospitals. Dr. Gould is a teaching doctor at John Peter Smith in Fort Worth. I had four there and four at Baylor All Saints. Actually, it may have been 3 at BAS, I honestly can’t remember as it all runs together.
Six months after my last surgery, my ex-wife decided that she needed a change. I don’t blame her really, it was a hard time for both of us. I know I could have handled everything better. I guess we both needed a new start.
I really do wish she has it better now. She was a caregiver during that time, along with her cat Seraphina.
Things went south for me when she left. It was tough to maintain my finances on my retail salary which was increasingly becoming less and less. The company I worked for at the time, a bookstore, eventually went out of business.
My parents asked me to come to Conway, and I decided it was best to do. I packed up that green Taurus and headed north before a snow storm hit. It was a very early morning that I left, and I left a behind a city I grew to love and folks who were, simply put, good people.
Some people who helped me a lot were Lester and Donna Merriwether, Jerry Dunn, Western Hills Baptist Church, Ricky and Yvette Johnston, Lyle and Nancy Crossley, Royce and Patti Rose, Dr. Paul Warren, Larry Danforth and many more I that I don’t have enough time to name. I was attending Christ Chapel Church in Fort Worth when I left.
I really felt fortunate to have some of the experiences I had. I taught myself to build websites, and I have gotten even better since arriving in Conway (thanks Cotton!). North Dallas Gazette graciously let me build their website and became my first client. I got to cover two TCU football games and the Armed Forces Bowl. I met some really nice people at TCU and in the community.
Pegasus News let me do some “exclusive” writing for them. I also was able to attend Media Days at Texas Motor Speedway, and that includes a “who’s who” of the local sports media. I felt extremely honored to do that. I am thankful to Pegasus News for those opportunities.
So many of the experiences I have had, the pain and the joys, the websites, the sports journalism, it has helped to shape me and has me at the edge of something special.
Who am I today?
I am still learning about that. I like to tell stories, and, I guess, that makes me ideal to be a content marketer. I have some sports journalism, blogging, website designing and love for technology that holds it all together. Also, I love coffee. Maybe, too much.
I still experience loneliness. I am in a new city now, one I like a lot, but am still fining my place. I am fortunate to re-connect with many of my friends in Arkansas and meet some new ones. I am not depressed as much, but am still vulnerable.
I have been frustrated as this moved has been in the worst economic downturn in almost 80 years. Therefore, progress has been slow.
I am learning to trust God again, but that has proven to be hard. Life is sobering. For every miracle, there is tragedy.