Finding Traction

Yet another unneeded brief message from the President and CEO of, and Soiled Chamois Enterprises, Inc.™

Dear Reader,

The following lengthy post deals with my ongoing search for inner peace and self-love (not code for masturbation). There is talk of mental health and depression. I am CLEARLY not a doctor, just a putz with a blog and 50 years and counting of personal experiences dealing with some depression-type shit. 

I’ve waffled back and forth on whether it’s in my best interest to post something like this or not, but given the stuff I’ve already written about myself and/or my hatred of the orange buffoon that had been in the White House for four years, I think I’ll be alright. If a potential employer sees this and is offended, you’re not the sort I would want to be associated with anyway.

And if the Google machine somehow pointed you here because you were looking for immediate help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit

— Management

After several months of struggling to find some mental traction, I think I might finally be starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And for the first time in as many months, I finally feel like that light isn’t an oncoming freight train hauling massive amounts of toxic self-loathing, anxiety, depression, and worldly misanthropy. I also feel that I have improved my ability to mix metaphors.

Very little of this rediscovered mental traction is my doing. In fact, it’s my fault that I found myself back in that dark mood in the first place when at the end of last summer, I made the executive decision to have Mindbender II (The Wrath of Kahn) ween me off the light-duty but apparently much-needed SSRI I had been on for months in the hopes of losing weight easier, or at all. And make no mistake, I did lose weight, but then as the dreaded holidays, the cold, dark Michigan winter, and the realization that I’m about to become a 50-year-old empty nester without a “real” job set in, I found myself in a state of misery and hopelessness that I hadn’t felt in a long time. 

Throughout the late fall and early winter, I doubled down with the O.G. Mindbender in therapy working on the root of my issues, and while that has helped a ton, I couldn’t get it to stick, and it became apparent that my brain is one of the several million out there that just needs a little pharmaceutical nudge in the right direction. So, just before Christmas, I texted Mindbender II (TWoK) to explain my situation, and she got me back on the medicine I had been on until we could meet face to face and sort out a new plan.

That helped for a bit, but soon I was once again dug in deep with the Black Dog and spent way too much time in The Bed of Torment staring at the ceiling fan and not wanting to do or actually enjoy anything, not even with Wifey or good friends. So after finally meeting with my doctor in early January, I started a popular medicine that has been around for years in the hopes of finding my old self again. Sadly, it actually made things worse, and the result was more time spent wanting to do absolutely nothing but sleep, bitch about things, and argue with Wifey, doing my best to prove to her that I am no longer the “fun” person she married 24+ years ago or even a “nice” person.


Then early last week, I met with MBII (TWoK) again, and we developed a new plan that would have me returning to a medicine that I had been on years ago, even during the height of my “racing” days, but augmenting it with a second medicine to counteract some side effects and give me a little extra nudge. And I have to say (as I knock on every piece of wood I can find) within days, I could almost feel my brain saying, “Ahhhhh… THAT’S it!!!”

In the week since I started the new medicines, I have done multiple Dreadmill workouts as well as got outside for some walks in the woods with my camera. More importantly than “doing stuff,” I just feel more myself. Even Wifey has noticed a difference in my mood but, like me, is cautiously optimistic, and rightfully so. Every morning since I started the medicine, I wonder if I will wake up with that familiar feeling of dread and despair in my expanding gut. So far, so good, but I am proceeding with caution.


Even as a 50-year-old man, it’s extremely hard to forget the memories of adolescence when I was constantly humiliated, belittled, and criticized for my weight by family and classmates alike, although the O.G. Mindbender and I are working on it weekly. However, over the last few months of feeling absolutely miserable, it became clear that weight loss or being thin is not the most important thing in the world; Wifey and B are the most important things, as is my own happiness. And I would rather be a fat guy out riding my bike, hiking, taking photos, and doing stuff with my friends and family than a skinny dude that hates everything and doesn’t leave the house or talk to anyone.

I have no idea if my current mood will stick around, but I am hopeful for my future for the first time in months, even if the world’s future seems doomed on multiple levels of insanity, injustice, and stupidity. 

In the future, I will attempt to avoid talking about this subject here. This blog has already degraded into dog knows what, and I want to get back to writing about being outside “doing stuff,” photography, Cat 5 Cooking, and other goofiness. Some surely enjoy reading about a train wreck (I know I do), but it’s not as fun when you are the train wreck!


Lastly, you may have noticed that I have not mentioned what medicines I am currently taking. That is not because of shame or embarrassment; it’s just that everyone’s brain works differently, and if you find yourself in a place needing your own Daddy’s (or Mommy’s, or Non-Binary) Little Helper, it’s probably best that the conversation you have with your doctor doesn’t start with, “Well, The Soiled Chamois said…”


NOTE: All photos were taken during hikes to Hall’s Lake, Sylvan Solace, Forest Hill preserves, and natural areas.

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