Comfortably Numb



Featuring Insomnia art by Annthraxx


Suggested Audio:


Pink Floyd “Comfortably Numb”



This piece of writing is unlike anything else I have ever posted. I apologize in advance if my words, ordinarily designed to comfort, are lacking the customary positivity but every time I feel down I invariably use my pain to create something which shows the opposite. However, right now I need to do this. I need to say what I usually refrain from saying, put it out there and hope that you will all understand. For the past two months I have been spiraling, deeper and deeper into a place which is most unwelcoming. My depression has become so intense that I have no concept of how to halt my slide. I am hoping that this will help as, by scribing this, I am facing up to things which are out of my control and no longer trying to pretend they don’t exist.


In a matter of weeks my situation is about to change and, for the first time since my life changed forever back in September 2013, I won’t have to go cap in hand to my family for money. I’m a proud man who worked his entire life until my recent change of circumstances and, despite being truly abysmal at money management, I have always been comfortable. For the past eighteen months I haven’t had two red cents to rub together and I made the decision myself not to return to regular work during the interim. I could have been financially stable right now, pulling in a regular wage, and seemingly mastering my own destiny. However, I just couldn’t do it. Instead my only desire is to write as it has long since been clear to me that it is my true calling in life. Anybody who knows me well will be more than aware of the hours that I put into doing so. Every last one.


From the moment I wake to the second I close my weary eyes at the end of each day I am working and I wouldn’t change that for a single thing as it is what I love doing. Whether discussing movies at length, writing poems, or creating fiction, I always write introspectively. That keeps my brain active as, there is one thing I have learned about hiding yourself from plain sight, and it is that the font can soon dry up without actual life experience. I barely exercise at all; an average day would consist of potentially under five hundred steps which, when you break that down over an average of sixteen waking hours daily, equates to little over thirty per hour. There are slugs in my tool shed which cover more ground. I’m guessing they also feel a helluva lot less lethargic too.


The old self-destruct button; I know it well. My diet is pretty much lacking in anything considered wholesome. No fruit or vegetables, plentiful starches and carbohydrates. I smoke like a chief and regularly light one up directly after the last. In addition, I consume an unhealthy quota of energy drinks; at least two every single calendar day. The norm is that I drink those in the a.m. when my body first cries out and I choose against breakfast in favor of guzzling the Taurine alongside filling my lungs with harmful chemicals. It is not uncommon for me to have brought up every last drop by lunchtime, neither is it rare for me to heave continuously for a further ten minutes while my stomach lining wrings out any remaining moisture. By the time I head inside the house and eat something I am already feeling woozy. Having said that, by that time I have usually completed at least one of my daily writing assignments, I am often at my most upbeat.


I’m always mindful of making an appearance to the people who mean so much to me and, should this not occur, then it is never ever through ignorance. Again, anybody who truly knows me and, if you digest everything I post then you should be one such person, will know that I don’t handle stress well. All I ever want is to be happy and spread happy; if negativity surfaces then I’m the first one bolting for the opposite direction. This isn’t cowardice and I have refered to it on numerous occasions as merely self-preservation. If I ever need to speak out then I do but, at this point in my life, I just don’t possess the strength. One single dash of bad feeling and my mind, dastardly as it is, begins to play its tricks. I am dealing with a lot of sadness currently; divorce is looming and my heart perpetually breaking in unison. I never wanted this but I have accepted that it is a done deal. Seeing my son leave every Sunday leaves a palpable ache and watching a woman I will always love dearly leave with him offers additional twinging.


My marriage is over; something which was once so pure was sullied some time ago and that is now a fact of life. I am hoping, nay praying, that my change in financial circumstance offers respite from my sadness. I plan to spend quality time with my son as I don’t like being the daddy that can’t bring himself to vacate the sofa when he’s in my care. New opportunities will arise; we can go on day trips together and do the kind of father-son things together which my father made sure to do with me. I can use the money as capital to build on as I look to take Rivers of Grue to the next logical stage in its development. The money will also mean that I can plan journeys Stateside regularly; attend conventions, plan road trips, visit those I cherish dearly. It’s a brand new start.


However, I will be required to make it there first. It is now a matter of weeks until this occurs and my biggest hurdle will be staying alive for that amount of time. I know right? This is most unlike Keeper. Thing is, I have to say it as I see it right now as it is the only defense I have left against myself. I don’t do melodrama and neither do I cry wolf; but I truly do feel that the next few weeks of my life are critical. I know my body well and have learned over the past eighteen months how much punishment it can take. It’s at its limit of endurance right now; by the time I climb into my bed each night my breathing is labored and I can feel the acid swilling around my heart menacingly. I’m so close, within touching distance, to a fresh chapter in my life and I want to be terrified by the prospect of not being around but instead all I feel is numb.


The primary response to me offering up this information will be to send some stern words my way and shake me out of my funk. Please don’t; it just makes me recede. I have every tool and have heard every pep talk, yet I am still in the place I reside currently. There is a reason for that. How can I scribe with such insight if I can’t work out what my own problem is? I can’t; I do know. But it’s one thing knowing and another showing; especially when your strength is all but depleted. I welcome hugs, kind words, feedback, best wishes, prayer, love, all of these things. If I have left you exasperated then I am truly sorry; all that I can say in my defense is that it is never once intentional. Remember that; the one thing in life which I never do is set out to hurt another individual. It’s just not in my make-up and that is why my prose offers comfort to so many.


I have tried searching for a bad bone or enough bad blood to fill a single vial and I just don’t possess it. What I do have is a pair of tired lungs which are preparing to give out if I don’t make some life changes fast. I will do that; once my financial situation changes in a matter of weeks, I’ll be able to attempt at kicking certain harmful habits but I cannot do that, hard as I try ,and believe me I’ve tried, until it is within my control to do so for my own reasons. I’m clinging to hope and the ironic thing is that I presently feel less numb writing this. Every single word is fully invested with soul; such has been noted on numerous occasions and I’m beyond thankful for that being recognized. It’s true and it helps me to deal as opposed to bottling as has so often been the case with me in the past. I appreciate that this has been a heavy read and, should there be an Airplane-like queue forming to my left then feel free to pummel me with whatever weapon comes to hand. My only request would be no low blows as they are the closest I will ever be to comprehending the pain of childbirth. Fuck man flu; that shit’s for wimps. You see Grueheads; I’m shaking my own funk here.


Tomorrow I plan to write. I shall pop up in the p.m. as I invariably do on Sunday evenings and will be looking forward with a hopeful heart. Sometimes you just need to let it out; I spend so much of my time spreading goodwill and cheer but these words have needed to come out as my soul is the last line of defense. The Crimson Quill speaks on its behalf and this is its attack plan right now. I do feel numb presently but the good news is that it is now solely down to the chilly night air. I shall go inside and warm my cockles in a moment and prepare for my boy waking me up at the crack of dawn and relaying to his dazed father how he plans to complete the next stage of Luigi’s Mansion before breakfast and beat that pesky boss. I cannot imagine a better start to any day so things are looking up already. To those who have placed so much faith in me, thank you truly. I am nothing if not reflective, even if the only way I am keeping in the loop right now is by offering prose, I’m still taking everything in and it fills me with unparalleled pride to associate myself with such a fine collective. I love you all. Tomorrow is going to be a good day.







  1. You are amazing, honest, and a good person who is trying…trying damn hard. Please stay the course. You can, and moreover, you WILL do this. By the day I shall be willing it for you, praying hard, and attempting to encourage you. Please know you are valued, valuable, loved and cherished. Do not, come what may, be defeated. You are strong, stronger than you can ever imagine even. You’ve got this. I believe in you.

    ~ Shauna

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Great days are imminent….you will continue to inspire. I treasure our friendship and look forward to a fine future.

  3. Depression is the lover I never wanted, and anxiety has been her asshole sister that has plagued. I know you don’t want pep talks and shit, but know this, my friend: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH. You are a tremendous father, man, and writer, and you’d best remind yourself of that – every fucking day. Because I love you, man. All the fucking way.

  4. My friend that was amazing! Thanks for sharing a little bit of your soul with us, it was quite intriguing and very deep. I have been where you are, and as I’m sure you can tell I share the same passion for writing as yourself, life isn’t always pretty but it sure does make for some rather interesting stories. Keep up the great work, and I’m sure one day it will pay off.

  5. There’s so much I want to say here and so little time. I’m a good bit older than you, but I went thru the pain and heartbreak of not seeing my kids regularly due to a really bad divorce. So I can relate, for what it’s worth. On the positive side, you are a fantastic writer and have a great sense of humor.Send me some gruesome pictures and I’ll write poems to match them. Twitter is “feast or famine” about Gruehead photos. lol. Blessings, –Doc (@drerwallace).

  6. May God hold you in the palm of his hand today, bring you close to his beating heart, and let you feel His pulse of vitality that you may live — truly live — a day of warmth and felt love this day, May 4th.

    ~ Shauna

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