Freedom Day +1 Year, +1 Month, +1 Day.

…right up until I look around me or I look in my wallet. I’m cool right up until we have another discussion about bills or my kids want to stop at the Burger King drive-through. I’m one happy sonuvagun as long as I’m out in nature, away from the commercial world, with no distractions.


Everything works out in divine timing.

Despite all of the adversity, all of the struggle, and all of the nonsense that has gone down since- I’m still here. I don’t miss it. I get to spend my time doing what I want to do. To think I chose this. WE chose this.

Earth life can be tiring. As a luminous spiritual being having a physical experience beyond the Veil of Forgetfulness on a 3D/4D planet, we volunteered for this. I can’t definitively say “Earth is ascending.” Maybe it is? It’s no 2020, but after this past year in my life? There’s a lot of things I wonder about.

I try to imagine it other ways.

What if I was still working in that place? (That fired me.) I was about at the end of my rope with them anyway. The PTSD is real, folks. Maybe not war-in-Afghanistan real, but real enough. If it weren’t for all of the NDA crap I had to sign for my severance package, I’d have some four letter words for certain people even now. (But we wouldn’t want someone trawling my social media for lawsuit fuel. LOL!)

What if I had fled town with some meager possessions? What if I had a tuna salad sandwich for breakfast? Who knows what might have taken place in alternate timelines? We may never know. The way time works is a very freaky thing to us. Then again, reality might be a mystery compared to what we <think> it is.

Someone very wise keeps reminding me I’m not a victim.

I’ll admit I’m stubborn. I might be a bit thick headed when it comes to certain lessons. I have to be reminded regularly that life happens as a result of choices we make. Experiences happen for us, not to us. There’s no one else pulling all the strings. It starts and stops with us.

Choices lead to suffering. Suffering leads to depression. Depression leads to sitting on the couch for days not wanting to make any more choices that could potentially hurt again. Yup. Being honest. Do I choose to feel depressed? Hell no!

Maybe brain chemistry plays into depression cycles a bit. Sleep, stress, and other physiological concerns affect hormones and brain chemistry. Depression is an ugly cycle that feeds on itself in a downward spiral. The only way out is through. Getting out of an old pattern usually involves making a choice to start a new habit or rework an old one.

Previous generations hid their physical and emotional pain.

Not me. My generation grew up with way more psychological education. Good old Gen X with our Ritalin and Prozac growing up. The stigma of being labeled as “crazy” was just starting to come off. That nice President of the US during the 1980’s was even nice enough to deinstitutionalize a lot of people.

I don’t have all of the numbers in front of me, but I know mental healthcare is on another rapid decline in this country and in Iowa specifically. It might be the only thing going downhill faster than education, and that’s a sad state of affairs.

My dad’s generation never talked about their feelings. They drank, smoked, gambled, did dope, and had sex to distract from all of their problems. The men of that era were badasses. Unfortunately that meant we, their children, never learned to talk about our feelings in a meaningful way and inherited all those distractions.

It’s not that they didn’t feel pain. I’m sure the problems may people in older generations experienced were more harsh than the ones we face today. Sometimes the farther back one goes, the worse it seems in terms of physical labor, political strife, emotional trauma, and so on.

Depression is real.

Just ask my therapist, or really any therapist. I am not my feelings. I am a person who feels things. It’s tough to remember that sometimes. I choose how I feel. And yet, I still feel depressed? Can’t I just choose to be happy all the time?

Yeah, right up until I look around me or I look in my wallet. I’m cool right up until we have another discussion about bills or my kids want to stop at the Burger King drive-through. I’m one happy sonuvagun as long as I’m out in nature, away from the commercial world, with no distractions. Peaceful, quiet times are truly some of the happiest times for me.

I can’t just go live in a cave off the grid somewhere or I would have probably done it by now. Sometimes life is about choices we didn’t make. I could choose to be in physical and emotional pain every day at a job I don’t care about that leaves me incredibly unfulfilled. But I’m a heck of a lot happier this way than I was then.

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’ve been at this human business for 50+ years now. The more answers I find, the more questions I have. It’s a never-ending cycle of experiences and discovery. I’m not going to have it all figured out in one night.

Thanks for listening to me vent. I’m grateful you’re here. I appreciate you! Back to more gaming content after this. Deep discussion again soon, too.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa always looking for more work. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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