Can I Get A Bit Of Robin Williams For #199?

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After four years and three months of doing comedy we have come to post number 199 of The Stand Up Diaries.  Tonight, of all nights I finally am able to answer the one question I didn’t think had an answer to it.  It’s a question that some of you may have pondered at some point.  Well, I have the answer to that question.  The answer may floor you, so make sure you are sitting down.

Before I get to that question, let me say that the reason I think this blog is well received as it has been is because I am able to write in the moment, when the emotions are fresh and trying to navigate through them as I write is beneficial.  If I was to wait until I was in a “rosy” state it would lessen the emotion and impact that some of my pieces have, and it would in a sense be short changing you, the reader, who has been with me from the beginning as most of you have.

 

Before we get to the question, let’s back the story up to last Monday for a moment.

Last Monday the love of my life, the one who I believe God had sent to me, the woman who looked at me as her future husband, her everything, my future wife — left.

again

my fault……again

Without unpacking this too much, what I can tell you is that my then-girlfriend had an unexpected and very heartbreaking passing in her family a few days shy of one month ago.  It affected me on a deeper level than I thought possible, as it brought up some stuff within me that needed to be dealt with.  But, instead of being there for her, instead of leaning on friends, instead of strengthening my relationship with God, instead of needing a tighter connection with my church at that moment, I let the enemy make me feel unworthy, condemned, guilty and a failure.  I felt that burden upon me incredibly heavy to bear and that’s when I felt like I wasn’t as close to God as I should have been, or maybe He wasn’t as close to me as He should have been.

That burden turned into guilt as previously mentioned, but it also turned into the “s” word, that being shame.  When my thinking got to that point, I engaged in a conversation about her with somebody else that she caught wind of.  The content of that conversation was hurtful.  End of story, end of relationship.

(editor’s note:  just to be clear, contrary to what some of you think and from what I have seen some of you post on Facebook, I know for a fact there are some who are of the opinion that I purposely did this, that when I get filled with guilt or shame I always act this way because I can get away with it and smooth everything over with a wink and a smile.  That is not the case.  There is something that is bigger than me that operates on the inside of me at times, where it takes over my thought patterns and takes advantage of the guilt and shame that I feel)

Anyhow……since last Monday I have been a single man.  I have this empty feeling in my life, there is a hole in my heart and in my life that only she filled.  I haven’t eaten since last Friday (except for some nachos, an apple and a plate of wings) and my sleeping patterns are erratic to say the least.  I would like to explain to her how this happened and that I need to break this cycle, but I believe she just looks at me like I am an excuse, a failure, a nobody.

So I took that sinking feeling having that complete emptiness inside to work during the day, then to the comedy stage at night.  Yes, now shit’s gonna start getting real.

Last Friday and tonight at the open mic I had my two best sets in months.  Both were tight, solid and consistent.  It was the same material for each, two different audiences and bigger laughs tonight.  For me I was able to succeed tonight in part because I was able to connect with that pain more, thus being able to sell the material better because of the anger and hurt you could hear in my voice.

So, now it’s time for the million dollar question.

Is there any circumstance, any situation that would make Trevor Dean quit comedy?  What has to happen for Trevor to pack it in and quit, to walk away and say fuck it to the last four plus years?  Is there anything in particular that makes Trevor raise the white flag?  What could be more difficult to make him pack it in that he hasn’t already faced?

Yes, there is.  If I have to feel that useless, empty, heartbroken, like a failure full of guilt and shame….if I have to naturally be in that state for me to get up on stage and connect with the audience to get big laughs on a consistent basis, I’d quit comedy.  Either I’d quit comedy or end up killing myself.

Yes, you read that right.  On the one hand I would walk away from comedy for good because feeling that low and getting laughs because of it, sure it might make you popular after the show at the bar, but what about when you get home?  Once home surrounded by four walls of empty, you sink back to feeling lower than low and hate the fact that you have to expose yourself of being your true self (that being a depressed fuckup) in order to get laughs.  Then again, if I somehow figured that exposing my true self like that was actually therapeutic and helping when I get big laughs every night, I’d rather kill myself because it’s not worth that kind of pain.

I’m a bit different in the sense that I am not as talented as Robin Williams.  Actually, I have very little talent that people will actually pay for aside from that of my employer.  I have a job where I am counted on to be a leader of sorts, and taking the easy way out by removing myself from the planet would create far more problems that they could ever solve.

As of this moment, it’s 12:23 a.m. on Thursday morning.  I am not well.  I need help yet at the same time I know that this feeling (hopefully) will not last forever.  So what do I do?  I mean, some comedians are pros who do this for a living.  They have no choice but to get up on stage and keep doing it, thus exposing themselves further and driving themselves deeper into a darker place that they will not let anybody else into, until it’s too late and you’re calling for the Hearst.

So what am I going to do now?  Kill myself?  Hardly.  I am going to get the help I need, whether that be from my life coach, other pastors, counselors or my church.  It may take just one of these or all facets mentioned to get me better.  So I will start getting the help that I need immediately.  How it will affect my comedy only time will tell.  How it will affect my personal life, again only time will tell.  For now I need to take it one day at a time.

I just wish she knew that there is a struggle that is bigger than me taking place within me right now, and the struggle is starting to gain victories in my life.  I have never needed anyone or anything as much as I need her right now.  Well, you could throw God and/or my church in there too…….

She asked me to make a promise to her after my trial was over.  I did that, with tears streaming down her face and her arms wrapped around me, I made a promise to her that I intend to keep until the day that I die.  But in order for me to fulfill that promise to her, I have to get myself better first.  I need to rid myself of these damaging feelings and emotions that have the potential to sink my battleship.

Too often there is a stigma about mental illness that we need to keep quiet about it, keep quiet about the struggles and the suffering we endure behind closed doors.  I know my (then) girlfriend posted things to help me and others understand about her anxiety issues.  That’s why I decided to be as honest and frank as I ever have been.  Telling somebody you’re hurting is never a bad idea.  Thinking that you have nobody who will stand alongside you and help you is a bad idea.

I do know what a healthy me looks like, I just have no flipping clue how I am going to get there at all, let alone who will be with me on that journey.  For those of you who think I am nothing but a piece of garbage and a walking excuse waiting to happen, I ask you to walk a mile in my shoes and live with the struggles that I have had to bear seemingly on my own for years and years and years.  Once I got a girlfriend I still had those struggles that would rear their ugly head at times, and when a situation is bigger than you it’s tough to try and stop it completely in its tracks.  I know.  I have been trying for years.

I hope this has helped some of you, as writing this has sort of helped me create an action plan to get busy and fix this shit that ails me.  Feel free to comment below if you wish.  Stay tuned for post #200, whenever that may be.  It’s going to be special.

p.s.   when you are going through struggles with mental illness, whether it be depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. the worst thing you can do is shut out the world and think that you can fix it yourself (my opinion) because in most cases that’s simply not true.  Reach out to those you love for help, or to help.  It’s never too late to make a difference.  It’s never too late.

Goodnight

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