Humble

Humble

Nothing like driving yourself to the hospital when you think you’re having a heart attack at only 34 years old, only realizing later it was your worst panic attack yet. This reality sucks sometimes, you know?

Wait!

When did this happen?!

It was earlier this year, but I vividly remember every detail of that night.

TL;DR Twenty-twenty-two has been a year for humbling me in some interesting ways. The incident put me on the path toward bettering my health. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with hypotension (low blood pressure). More work is required. But the heart is doing just fine otherwise.

Each time I come across a tweet from a publisher announcing they’re open for querying, I get excited. Too excited. But, in the last two years, I have barely completed a single manuscript. A manuscript that has yet to go through editing. Every argument for completing a manuscript within an incredibly tight deadline runs through my brain. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “who writes a complete, submission-ready manuscript within days?!”

My immune system caught on. And so I became quite ill this past week and a half justifying writing a submission-ready manuscript within a ten-day window. Why? I was cramming massive work projects and running my primary business on top of doing the best I can in being a decent father.

It’s all a sign that my focus should be on creating a schedule…and sticking to it.

Less stress = better health…maybe?

So What’s Wrong With You?

So What’s Wrong With You?

So What’s Wrong With You?

As it turns out, there’s nothing wrong with me.

There are only responses to what I’ve been put through.

The Summer Fire

Hello! Hola! Kon’nichiwa! Bonjour!

It’s bad enough here in Arizona we have broken the record for how many records broken for breaking record weather in the span of three months.

Yay?

Well…it wasn’t all that bad.

I started taking drugs.

 

Just Kidding…Sort Of

In July, I was officially diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and chronic pain.

Just to name a few.

Knowing I am not a by-product of societal norms felt incredibly validating. As a result, I decided to go down the route of becoming a medical marijuana patient. From my first appointment with a qualified practitioner & therapist to the day I received my medical marijuana card, thankfully, took only around a week.

The day I received my card, I checked out a recommended dispensary to gain a little more education on medical marijuana (strains, pens/vapes, edibles, other questionable methods haha, etc.).

Each staff member from verification & security to product expert felt like a warm hug. Each took their time to completely and effectively answer all of my questions big & small. My first day there, I left feeling confident, and a little bit relieved.

Some say it was likely the “second-hand high” but that’s more less of a thing than most people realize.

Sorry.

After the first month of using sativa & indica in both edible and vape form, I had a small “happy” little “breakdown”. Far too long has it been where I felt “normal” again. 

Coming Out Of A Depressive Episode

It has taken some time to understand where this depressive episode appeared from.

What triggered it?

What a great question!

Long answer short: I’ve no friggin’ idea.

It’s not to say there hasn’t been a reason to not be depressed; we’re in the middle of a friggin’ pandemic, by the way!

One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn, and what helped me to claw my way out of this depression, is that I’m not responsible nor accountable for the image or person they perceive in their own minds.

Understanding that has helped me realize what was more important: worrying about what others think & feel or living my best damn life.

Obviously, I’ll be I’m focusing on the latter.

Upcoming Projects 

Oh, geez, there are a high number of projects that I want to do these days. One of them is writing a new children’s book focusing on positive methods when handling grief and depression.

From my independent research, it seems this is still a taboo subject in the children’s books world.

Why?

In my personal opinion and from experience both, the sooner children are able to understand topics like depression, grief, and more, the better off they’ll be in the long run.

I’m looking to continue growing my podcast series but I’m running into a few problems.

Problem number one is creating quality content for all to enjoy. The second problem I have is creating a quality posting schedule. Lastly, what the hell am I going to thoroughly talk about in the podcast? What the hell is it going to be primarily about? What do people care about these days? Do I have a unique angle to questions that people want answers to?

JWO Podcast, only three episodes in, focused on content from around the publishing & general world both, respectively. But there is no real “structure” to the show so that’s something I really need to hone in on before starting again.

Do you have any ideas?

At the end of the day, I would like to feel like I’m frequently creating content for all of you to enjoy in its fullest rather than dealing with parts here and there. Is that through children’s books? Is that through quality podcast content? Short stories? What about mixing short stories with the podcast show? There’s an idea!

But that remains to be seen.

Being a small business owner and a single dad combined is hard enough as it is. When you add in other obligations like running a podcast show, writing and/or reading of any kind, LIFE!, etc., it becomes that much more straining & draining on all levels.

So all I ask is you bear with me as I figure this out.

In the meantime, please give me a follow and say hello on Twitter Instagram.

Other Blog Posts

84 Days

84 Days

These are two places I would like to visit the next two times I’m there. Crater Lake will be easier for visiting this year, though.

Flash Fiction WIP

Flash Fiction WIP

I wanted to do this flash fiction piece for #FlashFictionFriday but decided halfway through I would turn it into something…a little more.

When Words Fail

When Words Fail

When Words Fail

Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people – Helen Keller

The Bomb & The Silence

Hello! Hola! Kon’nichiwa! Bonjour!

11,803 days ago, I was born without 95% of my hearing. For various reasons, no one was aware. Once it became known, I went under multiple surgeries for each ear. I regained most of my hearing as a result of the surgeries and countless speech therapy sessions.

Fast forward to March 07th, 2006, forty days after turning eighteen years old, I joined the United States Army.

That Memorial Day weekend, I was shipped out, playing with bombs.

Over the course of the next four years, I handled numerous service weapons, including a number of incendiary and explosive devices. As a result of prolonged exposure to these weapon systems and explosives alike, greatly reduced my hearing levels by half.

Specifically, 48% left, that is.

The Veteran’s Administration (VA) refuses to admit it’s service-related. Because, why not? Right? After multiple appointments through private audiologists, hearing loss was verified. Note: at the time, adequate hearing protection was not provided, if at all, during those four years.

Further downside to this story, my health insurance at the time only wanted to cover ten percent of the total cost of hearing aids – leaving me to pay $5,000.00 for both hearing aids.

Not fun.

The Hidden Risks of Hearing Loss

Simply put, mild hearing loss doubles dementia risk. Moderate loss triples risk, and those with severe hearing impairment are five times more likely to develop dementia.

“Hearing loss also contributes to social isolation. You may not want to be with people as much, and when you are you may not engage in conversation as much. These factors may contribute to dementia.” – Frank Lin M.D., Ph.D.

Breaking this down, this means my brain works extra harder just to process normal sounds. Additionally, there is a greater risk of mental health conditions. Focus also breaks down as the brain becomes exhausted more quickly. As a result, social isolation increases. Social isolation increases the risk of poor eating, smoking, alcohol use, lack of exercise, depression, dementia, poor sleep and heart disease.

Fun times, am I right?

Social isolation, well, more like the social cure, gives me the opportunity to read more books, write more stories, and so on.

It’s a bit of a paradox, really.

The hardest part of dealing with my level of hearing loss is finding and being in a relationship with someone who fully understands the daily struggles.

Till then, join me on Twitter or Instagram.

Other Blog Posts

84 Days

84 Days

These are two places I would like to visit the next two times I’m there. Crater Lake will be easier for visiting this year, though.

Flash Fiction WIP

Flash Fiction WIP

I wanted to do this flash fiction piece for #FlashFictionFriday but decided halfway through I would turn it into something…a little more.

Mondays

Mondays

Mondays

Should we fear the beast or should the beast fear us?

Why Do We Fear Mondays?

Hello! Hola! Kon’nichiwa! Bonjour!

Why do we fear Mondays? What is it about this Gregorian calendar day of the week that instills so much dread in us? Well, if you really do fear this precarious day of the week, it’s actually a phobia. And it’s called “lunaediesophobia.” Simply put, it is the “abnormal fear or extreme dislike of Mondays.  The correct term for describing people who hate Mondays is lunaediesophobia.”

For me, it’s only a slight nuisance sometimes as I most often look forward to the start of the new week.

That’s right! I’m a weirdo!

Let’s summarize my Monday:

  • First woke up to a wonderful email from one of my marketing clients paying TWO FULL MONTHS of marketing fees up-front rather than the usual month-to-month
  • My driver-side brake light was out (notified by a lovely elderly woman) and replaced for free by a technician at the car wash where all this happened
  • Finally fit Converse shoes (and her first shoes ever) on to my daughters tiny adorable feet

Furthermore, I’ve managed to put together a few ideas for new young reader and children’s book projects.

Lastly, I received a new marketing lead from a close friend which I will now be meeting with on Wednesday morning.

Suffice to say, this week started out pretty damn good.

Let’s hope the rest of this week continues to be as wonderful as today.

 

Other Blog Posts

84 Days

84 Days

These are two places I would like to visit the next two times I’m there. Crater Lake will be easier for visiting this year, though.

Flash Fiction WIP

Flash Fiction WIP

I wanted to do this flash fiction piece for #FlashFictionFriday but decided halfway through I would turn it into something…a little more.

The Monster

The Monster

The Monster

Microfiction Written by Jacob Thomas

A monster laid there in his bed, typing away on the keyboard, filling the blank pages of a story. Only this story isn’t really his story – no. This story is about the many little voices that linger in the air and just outside of ear-shot. The voices are there, though. He could hear them whispering away while simultaneously shouting. Yet, he could never make out the words these disembodied voices muttered.

Like I said, this story is about the countless floating echoes that glide along the leaves on the tree branch just outside this monsters’ window.

What are they saying now? He thought to himself.

It wasn’t until this night the monster realized why he needed some sort of constant sound playing at night so he could fall asleep. This particular monster never felt a tinge of fear for missing out what’s on the television – no. The monster realized it was meant for drowning out the quiet yet booming voices should he not do so each night. Each night spent in silence meant the voices grew more aggressive, softer yet louder.

One night, the voices stopped and the monster knew not why.

He woke the next morning to floods of tears from howling cries on the rays of sunlight entering his bedroom.

There, standing at the monsters bedside were strange beasts dressed in white, taking his picture; he couldn’t move a single muscle.

Sunlight began to fade as darkness began to drape from the monsters feet and towards his face.

Again, there was silence and the darkness still did not lift.

Suddenly, the voices returned – distant but only this time….

….this time he couldn’t believe it.

The voices this monster heard spoke nothing but of kindness – what a gentle creature he had been.

Loved by all one voice he heard say.

Another voice came along, making jokes at this monster’s expense. He couldn’t understand why but it made the other voices…happy.

A smile began to curl at the corner of the monster’s lips as a soft white light appeared before him.

The monster felt….free.

That monster…

…well, that monster was me.