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My love affair with an octogenarian
Her head is wrapped in a towel that was fashionable back in the days of Mother Teresa. She had the sweet second hand English that comes from immigrating to Canada late in life.
“My daughter sent me to get this. You have?”
She passes me a piece of paper with the words “Scoppio 2011 Sydney Overmars” written on it.
She wants to know the deep truths of her horoscope.
Will she meet a man tall dark and handsome who will sweep her off her feet? Will her financial fortunes come to a peak in March? I am very curious as to what she expects to find. I mean the big twists and turns of life sort of become a downward slide at a certain point. Say she is destined to win the lottery…what is she going to buy?
For me looking at horoscopes usually means looking for reassurance about my life and where it’s going. The desperate kind of assurance you can only find in fortunes based on your birth date and tendencies of people born on the same month.
Apparently you don’t stop needing it.
It’s her lucky day. I find her the book and she gives me a big smile.
I’m not the tall dark handsome man in her horoscope. We don’t fuck. Not even a little bit. I just get her the book and she leaves my life to find her future.
I have been better in my own search for reassurance as of late. I have now officially weaned off Wellbutrin with absolutely no side effects. Besides a little bit of absent minded idiocy. Such as ordering Chinese food and getting all of the numbers incorrect and thus paying for a very expensive meal filled with things I had no desire to eat. Or leaving my cell phone out when I went outside with friends and having douchebags send very inappropriate things to important political figures.
I figured I was going to be blogging about each dip in mood and seeking out reassurance from strangers on the internet. Thankfully I have avoided this for the most part.
I haven’t even done that much research on the symptoms of Wellbutrin withdrawal keeping myself to one short Google search every two or three days. Now I move onto weaning off Remeron, having already reduced my dosage by half, to 7.5 milligrams where it is more of a sleeping pill than a functional anti-depressant.
I have also been trying to focus on the funny bits of life rather than angst or the meaning of friends, family and first love. They haven’t been along for this part of the journey. This is a journey I have to make on my own with the help of my doctor. A day by day, moment by moment, love affair with Mike Kimber.
I don’t want to make my life about my depression. Thus I have been writing about douchebags and my journeys into tender love kindness meditation. This blog is about a douchebag, blogging and my former life as a battle rapper.
It all started about three weeks ago.
On Thursday, March 31st the London Free Press did an interesting article about my work with a couple notable errors. The largest error was my age being listed as 25. Which happens to be the age I was when I had my breakdown not the age I’m now. It also says that I had to wait six months to see a psychiatrist. Which is not in any way true and I was at pains to explain this to the reporter. I was lucky. I didn’t have to wait six months. My friends did because they didn’t have their parent’s money to pay for a professional therapist. But these are small details and slightly beside the point. Everyone makes mistakes and I’ve made them before.
Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews tweeted about the story done by the London Free Press. A blogger by the name of Jennifer Jilks did a blog on her website Ontario Seniors @blogspot.com called “We do much research in healthcare and ignore most of it.” She sent a link to the Health Minister and I noticed it whilst looking for posts about myself on Twitter.
My first reaction was one of joy and relish. And as such I wrote this portion of the blog quickly after reading the post:
So I’ve decided not to fight it…..and have decided to make my worthy nemesis my object of this week’s Complicated Compassion, where I childishly explode at someone who irritates me and then try to understand them a little better.
Back in the day before I lifted weights for a year and developed a perfect six pack and beefcake big ass muscles, I had to rely on my wit. Instead of my rather impressive nunchuck skills. As such I freestyle battled gangsters and geeks and insulted them with a fast freaky flow that once had a Sackville boxing ring screaming the words Murda Mike, Murda Mike, Murda Mike as I raised my hands in triumph and savored it all with bloodshot eyes and tequila hangover bad breath.
In the last few years I have become more of a nice guy Ross from Friends Deepak Chopra sort of motherfucker. You know to be the nice guy that writes Colony of Losers, sleeps in the arms of orphan kittens and fights stigma with wisely placed murder kicks to the bulging testicles of fear, hatred and ignorance.
However, in this case I’ve decided to just let Murda Mike out of his cage for a few brief moments. After all, accepting yourself doesn’t mean becoming a saint. In some cases it means hugging your inner asshole with tender loving care as you shit all over a troll on the internet.
Here is a small sampling of what I’m about to over react to:
“Getting publicity for autobiographies is terribly difficult in Canada. I have spoken at Palliative Care Conferences, spoken to caregiver groups, spoken to the local Kiwanis club, and put my story out there. I find a lot of (mis)information out there, and the politicians react to this information in various ways, depending upon whether they are the party in power or in opposition. Sometimes, stories pop up in Twitter: interesting our provincial health minister is advertising on behalf of a blogger, and a journalist.
For example: Deb_Matthews
Now, in my mind, a journalist isn’t always the best source for health information, let alone a 25-year-old blogger, especially when sourced out by our health minister. It’s like advertising a chat room!
Alright Jennifer, let’s briefly point out some of the obvious problems in your post. The health minister is not outsourcing my blog as a place to get medical advice. She’s merely posting a link to an article about her favorite charity mindyourmind.ca. If you read the article you will notice there isn’t a link to my website. You also mention that you find health blogs to be dangerous and site the case of a nurse convincing young teens to commit suicide. She didn’t do it through a health blog thus what is your point? But wait it gets better.
Now let’s address where you refer to my blog as no better source for information than a chatroom. Where did you post this opinion, Jennifer? Your blog? Your health blog?
You just burned yourself…how does it feel Jennifer? Feel that egg on your face? Yeah there is some cayenne pepper in those eggs…..why? Because I made the eggs….you got it on your face!
(Can you hear it? Murda Mike! Murda Mike!)
You later on provide the wisdom “the research shows that journaling is a healthy way to come to terms with our stories.”
Colony of Losers is almost exclusively a journal of my experiences.
I just wanted to point out that it’s clear that it’s not me you are angry at. You’re mad at yourself and I just want you to know that I have been there.
You think blogs have no point because they are filled with extreme attention getting opinions and far too little in the way of facts. I understand that feeling. I have also read your blog and noticed that while you demand facts, figures and professional opinions you offer none of the above.
You criticized my blog without having read it. I know that you don’t trust journalists and in some cases this opinion might have value. There is much in the way of bad journalism. However good journalist does their research and would have some idea about what they are criticizing. Possibly site one relevant example of what they are accusing someone of. In this you might need to take a lesson from journalists.
Alright you can probably feel the rage and blogger hate vibrating from my muscular chest. This is the battle rapper Michael Kimber from days of old. Murda Mike! Murda Mike!
Now here comes Deepak Kimber to the rescue.
But I know this isn’t your fault and I am not trying to be condescending. I have picked fights with other people, tried to be the polemic blogger and failed. It usually makes me come off as a bigger asshole than I actually am. As most likely will be the case in this blog if Murda Mike is allowed his way.
In all likelihood you were having trouble getting press for your book and you looked up articles on how to promote yourself online. You open with, “Getting publicity for autobiographies is terribly difficult in Canada.” Almost as an apology for the tactless article you were about to write. You came across the idea of picking fights with public figures as a way to create interest in your own work. Using social media to get your message across often does involve unorthodox methods of reaching new audiences. The method you chose is described as trolling.
The new world of publishing is a difficult one to navigate. Without an agent most publishers won’t read your work. Without a platform you are unlikely to get an agent. Blogs allow you to build yourself an audience for published work. Trolling gets instant attention.
We need to create a better blogosphere, where we aren’t simply trying to get attention, but trying to say something worth hearing.
In most cases, bloggers reflect the worst in our culture, demanding attention for being acidic, cutting and accepting no bullshit. Context and ambiguity are often considered to fit under the subtext of bullshit. We thin the world to fit within our posts and then bitch about the lack of perspective we find in other people’s work. Instead of creating discussion to help us better understand our complicated reality we celebrate the safety of being right.
In short, we are all becoming haters and if rap music has taught me anything, it’s that being a hater doesn’t pay.
Jennifer is not a bad person. Probably.
I mean I don’t know her. She might eat kittens and flash the blind. But as far as I know she is a good person.
She wants to tell people about the difficult experiences she has gone through and what her parents have had to go through in the Ontario Health system. I know what that’s like. I have waited to see doctors and been told I’d need to wait six months to see a qualified therapist for my anxiety disorder. I have a friend who doesn’t have the proper ID to get a health card and has now gone for almost two weeks without receiving her medication. Who tangles with the highs and lows of a chemical romance that the government doesn’t give a shit about.
On her health blog, Jennifer can take control of the worst experiences of her life by explaining them and giving them a meaning through some sort of action. Jennifer doesn’t want to be helpless, she wants to tell people what she’s gone through so that they might not have to learn the same way she did. Her mother died of cancer and her father died of a brain tumour. She is trying to be heard in a world where there are so many voices trying to be heard that no one is left to listen.
I can’t judge her for her actions because I don’t know what that pain is like. My father is a kind gentle man who rarely has a bad word for anyone and somehow continues to become a better person every time I meet him. My mother loved us when she has trouble loving herself. Dealing with anxiety without any of the tools she gave me and still managing to do amazing things with her life. I don’t know what I would do if I lost them. If I saw them slip away from me day by day. Jennifer wants to hold onto those things she lost, to do honour to the people she loves. There’s nothing wrong with that.
All I am saying is practice what you preach. Realize it’s not only important to make a name for yourself, remember it’s important what that name means. Be the best Jennifer Jilks you can be. And either way I love you. Even if you are acting like a shithead on the internet. I love all of you! All of you! Even the shitheads!
(Slowly falling under the intoxicating highs of Deepak Kimber.)
Several of my fans have asked why Deepak Kimber is looking to get off his medication. After all he has done a lot of preaching that taking meds is the same as taking insulin for diabetics. Is he advocating that we all immediately go off meds? Say it ain’t so, Deepak?
I’m trying to wean off the medication because I feel better. I’ve spent the year learning coping skills from cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation and shared my experiences with a shitload of strangers. I’m mostly okay with my own story. Here and there humiliating experiences come to the forefront of my memory and I get shaken for a second. Little tidbits like asking my first love to tell me why I was a good guy as I struggled to sleep for the tenth night in a row. Or when I was scared to miss the bedtime my doctor assigned me and wouldn’t go out to the rap show. The hardest thing in the world is to love yourself in the way you love the people you care about. To not judge yourself for your slip-ups and weaknesses and to try to understand why you did the things you did. I wanted to be safe. I was willing to do anything to protect my life once I finally found things in it that I truly valued. If sleep meant sanity I needed to do anything I could to sleep, play all the percentages. But you can’t plan sleep anymore than you can plan love. You have to let yourself fall asleep, you can’t make yourself.
I think I can let myself live.
According to my horoscope it’s time for me to put in the work to making my dreams a reality.
Thanks to the Colony for helping me on this journey.
I can’t say thank you enough.
Deepak Kimber, out.
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