Back at being back at it.

Having previously used the above image in this post as well as two before that, it’s become clear I should never have it far from my finger tips.

It’s applicable for the simple fact that it illustrates what apparently is a fairly common emotion or if you will, reaction in and/or to my reality.

I apologize for my vagueness on Monday, but for the first time ever, I find myself up against a struggle that I neither can, or want to detail. Besides, even if I could, it’s far too complex to cover here anyway. One thing I can say for certain is that I’ll pull up my britches as I always do, and try to figure out some way or another to navigate it, and hopefully will emerge from the other side less battered than when I started. The fact of the matter is I’m currently in the fight of my life against my own conditioning, how I’m wired, how I’ve taught myself to respond to adversity, and desperately trying not to bear the weight of it all because I’m a man, and men are supposed to respond in this way or that. It’s all bullshit, and I need help. This is a tide that’s been stemmed for decades, and the proverbial dam can no longer hold it back.

That’s the curious thing about loss, heartbreak, and so on. It can consume a person, because it’s far too easy to succumb to depression than to tread water, ask for help, and fight for survival.

To that end, I’ve treaded water for longer than any one person should have to, and starting now, will advocate for my own mental wellness because I just simply will not and cannot continue with this directive.

And to think- This whole rolling boulder regained its current momentum with Sean’s observation of not everything I love having to come with a side of suffering.

How simple, yet sublime.

I’ll be honest with you folks. I don’t like myself very much… I mean, I don’t dislike myself enough to rid the world of me, but I ‘m coming to the rapid conclusion that I don’t like myself enough to truly feel as though I’m deserving of anything good. The love of a sincerely beautiful partner, an incredibly nurturing community of friends, a safe and secure roof over my head… Did those things happen because I worked for them, or have navigated the world these 48 years committed to not being a shitty person? Perhaps. Am I worthy of these gifts? I don’t believe that I am, but I’m trying with every fiber of my being to correct my perspective and trajectory, because if I don’t, I don’t think I’ll survive.

I don’t want to bore this site’s readership with the gory details of my personal life, but I reflected on a thing a few days ago. In the time that I’ve been standing here at this electronic pulpit, I’ve watched people get married, and divorced, and have children, and lose children. I’ve watched people discover their own terminal illness and heal, and also die. I’ve watched families grow and shrink, and to a degree, I’ve honored these exchanges by sharing both my own victories, and defeats.

People were understanding when I reduced the number of weekly posts in an attempt to narrow my aperture. Over the last couple of years, the outpouring of support during times of adversity whether it was illness, injury, Buddy dying, or what have you, have been overwhelming. I truly feel appreciated. Do I feel worthy, or deserving? I don’t, but having recognized this, I hope is at least a small step forward.

I don’t expect insight, or advice in response to this post, so please don’t feel compelled. If you happen to be picking up what I’m laying down and wanna give a holler, that is a-ok as well. I simply wanted to express that I feel as though I’m a proper train wreck these days, the wheels have just about completely come off the cart, and I honestly don’t know when I’m going to feel normal again. Perhaps for the time being, the All Hail The Black Market web project will become a receptacle for my mania, which I can’t imagine would be a fun read for anybody who wasn’t a complete sadist, but then again, misery loves company so perhaps I’ll find an entirely new audience.

The upshot of all of this I suppose is to 1) vent, 2) quiet the voices in my head, 3) let anyone who spends time here know that I’m not dead yet, but am in a battle against internal forces that are relentless in telling me I might be better off that way. I’m bent and determined to get through this, but one thing I can promise is that it’s not going to be pretty.

Then again, picking one’s self up after getting beaten to dust rarely is.

Spread this like it's sick

Leave a Reply

23 Responses to “Back at being back at it.”

  1. zharris February 19, 2019 at 5:02 am #

    we are here for you brother. i can assure you that you are not the only one that feels that way.

  2. Black bush February 19, 2019 at 5:46 am #

    Your vulnerability is inspiring. I appreciate the feeling of community you’ve created here. Even more that than, though, I appreciate the work you’ve done for others. You rock dude. Thank you!

  3. Tony February 19, 2019 at 6:20 am #

    I too struggle with seeing my own value and wondering how I got to be here by the ripe old age of 48. What I’ve learned so far is that living an examined life you will be your own biggest critic and in turn, occasionally lose perspective on how much value you are bringing to others through your various exploits.

  4. JT February 19, 2019 at 7:14 am #

    Been seeing a shrink for three weeks now. This was long over due. I aim to salvage what I can of me, rebuild it, make it better. If it salvages my marriage, awesome. If not that’s fine too. Don’t proscribe to what it ‘means’ to be a man. Recognition of our issues is step one, the big step is making the call for help to deal with them. I’ve been discovering a support network I never knew I had. I gather you’ll find the same.

  5. DoubleDeed February 19, 2019 at 7:35 am #

    I can honestly say I know where you’re coming from, Stevil. I’ve battled myself my entire life and stand in my own way at every corner. And it’s difficult feeling the feelings I believe you’re having man. It’s tough when you know you’re a good person but doubt it at the same time, often turning to vices to quiet the demons, whether it’s drinking, art or the pain cave of cycling. I will say that meditation has helped tremendously, as has, as cheesy as it sounds, mental coaching – not therapy or counseling, I’ve tried those and it just ended up being a waste of money and time, as it turned into shooting the shit sessions. Mental coaching is a different approach and instead of fighting the bad feels, you embrace them, as they’re part of who you are. Also cheesy, Tony Fucking Robbins, but I shit you not, there are some lessons to be learned there. Ifn you’re open to it, check this: There’s some truth in there and I use the “I can handle this” mantra daily. Good luck brother, you can handle this.

  6. REB February 19, 2019 at 8:16 am #

    Every week at some point on Tuesday and Thursday I think “oh yeah Stevil has a new post on All Hail” and just that thought brightens my day and I’ll bet the day of few thousand more folks out there. How many of us can claim to have such a positive impact on so many people we don’t necessarily even know? When times are tough I often have to remind myself that this too shall pass, hang tough.

    • Marc February 19, 2019 at 1:40 pm #

      I have the same thought a few times per week. Thank you.

  7. Tim Willcox February 19, 2019 at 8:19 am #

    We’ve never met, but the wheels fell off my life just over a year ago…I had some similar thoughts…and I emailed you about how much I appreciated your blog and your view on the world (essentially…don’t be a dick)…you responded with some very kind and sincere words. Thank you again but being a killer dude and a good human.


  8. AK February 19, 2019 at 8:27 am #

    I love you.

  9. tylernol February 19, 2019 at 9:15 am #

  10. Aaron February 19, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    Got nothing – other then love your art, your pedal pics and general goofiness. We are all different and have different life trajectories. Do what you need to be a balanced person for loved ones in your immediate vicinity. All else will fall in line –

  11. JT February 19, 2019 at 9:51 am #

    Been seeing a shrink for three weeks now after what has been the darkest three months of my life and a harder than I’d like few years prior. Admitting shit’s hard is tough, but the biggest and hardest step you can take is doing something about it. Screw definitions of what it means to be a man. Many of our pops were damaged and never saw fit to address it. Do what you need to take care of your head and heart spaces. You’ll begin to see what & whom matter most have been around you all along.

  12. Loren February 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

    Longtime reader (you’re my homepage since forever), infrequent commenter. Sorry to hear you’re having a rough go of it. I can only speak to my experience (no sermon intended) but when I drink too much my outlook on life goes in the shitter. My brain stops braining good and it tells me the same story that yours currently is. Not to say I’ve won the fight to quit drinkng or that I’ve truly started the fight…but I’ve become aware. Brains are a motherfucker. Take that for what you paid for it…I hope things look up for you soon.

  13. Sue February 19, 2019 at 1:46 pm #

    Wish I had some wisdom; all I have is love.

  14. Gripsgirl February 19, 2019 at 2:05 pm #

    Healing is a bitch ain’t it? Gonna be alright tho!!

  15. K February 20, 2019 at 7:27 am #

    The voice of self-loathing as a constant soundtrack to life is all too familiar, and I know how hard it is to silence. I’m sorry that you don’t see the worth that I and so many others do in what you bring to the world, and I hope you can find your way to some peace in your own mind. I may just be another reader or some schmo buying a sticker and patch here and there, but dammit the next time that voice gets loud you just imagine some tattooed Canuck chick with a face full of metal standing between you and that bully of a voice, ready to throw down because HE DOESN’T TALK TO YOU LIKE THAT. Not on my watch.
    Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.

  16. Andrew Law February 20, 2019 at 12:15 pm #

    Grace = getting more love than (you think) you’ve earned.

    Mercy = not getting exactly what (you think) you deserve.

    May both abound for you, and for all of us.

    Here for you, man. Sending you my very best wishes. Don’t quit.

  17. Cary February 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm #

    Well, you know. I want to help so much with what you got going on. We’ve shared this shitstorm existence for years and I gotta say, we have to beat your own way out of this wet bag full of all that you’re experiencing. To be clear, you gotta ask for and find a total pro to talk to.
    Change the shit out of yourself. Nothing else stay the same, you don’t get to either.
    What you’re hearing from your head is worrie, what if’s, go fuck yourselves and jealousy of who you are. Tell that noise to fuck off.

  18. adam February 21, 2019 at 4:58 am #

    We’ve never met, but I’ve been following your blog and reading your Dirt Rag columns for years now. Sorry to hear times are rough. You’ve always inspired me with your honesty and shenanigans, and you’re a good writer to boot. I hope things turn out well for you. *internet hugz*

  19. brian Ferguson February 21, 2019 at 6:13 am #

    Its not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up. Hang in there and as the Dude says, goes on, man…

  20. paul sadoff February 21, 2019 at 8:04 am #

    I know this might sound annoyingly too familiar but it might be time for a good bike ride- hey, it works for me. Won’t solve all your issues but it is not likely to cause any.

  21. John Parker February 23, 2019 at 4:01 pm #

    I enjoy your writing and share some of your passions. Wishing you all the best.

  22. Craig Shortt February 24, 2019 at 7:00 am #

    I look forward to reading your posts every time. This one hits close to home in my life currently too, I feel you dude. It helps you to put it out there and it helps me when I read em. Keep posting!