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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Happy Birthday to...

Happy Birthday; those words usually bring on feelings of joy and elation. Surely, a party could cap the day and all will be wonderful.

However, not all people will see or experience the "Happy" in the day.

To them, it is a "birthday", just aother day on the calendar.

To them, there won't be birthday wake-up calls and out of tune reditions of the birthday song crackling through the phone.

To them, there won't be a FREE breakfast at Denny's.

Staying in bed will supercede all urges to venture out. 

"Besides, I don't want to go alone. Fuck that, I don't have anyone to go with."

To them, the only present they receive will be The Present: accompanied by a horrific recall of The Past and a day-long dread of The Future.

Pulling the covers over their head is the only way to ignore the solitude.

If you know someone who is alone, is handicapped, is disabled, is depressed or is sick, please check on them - visit, call or text.

A friendly voice can emote a chuckle or a laugh. You really just need to extract a smile.

To them, this will make their day.

Your kindness is one of the greatest gifts they can receive outside of The Present.

To you, these gestures may seem trivial. But...

To them, you are an Angel.

Fly on. And wish everyone a 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY every chance you get.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Google LEGEND returns to keyboard

Yup, time to BLOG.

GOOGLE came up with this crap two years ago. They now require a CERTIFICATE that will show your site as SAFE. It costs $74. Which I don't have.

So my PAINLESS SUICIDE article that has been viewed over a MILLION times and saved 50 to 100,000 lives (documented by emails and comments) and this certificate BS knocked me off the #1 Spot on GOOGLE for 5 YEARS. I was AHEAD of the SUICIDE HOTLINE. 

Now, I'm banished to a cyber black hole 
AS PEOPLE ARE DYING - all over a stupid certificate.

Die you poor folks. Can't help you now.


I live on Twitter @RogerBlazic


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Painless Suicide - The Complete Guide To Suicide

You don't want to die. You want the pain to go away.
(Originally written, 8/14/2011. Updated 4/18/2017)
Welcome. You're sitting in the exact same seat I've sat in a couple hundred times - surfing the Internet for an efficient, painless way to put an end to your pain. I know you're not feeling well right now, but you're in luck. I've done thousands of hours of research for you on suicide, painless suicide, putting out a hit on myself, even faking an accidental death. Yeah, I wanted out, real bad. I've got good news for you and bad news. I'll get to the good news in a little while. First, the bad news. There is no such thing as painless suicide. Since all you have is death on your mind, hang with me for a little while and I'll explain everything with a complete guide to suicide.

I've met a lot of people in my life, a lot. In that group were hundreds that had taken that long walk down the dark tunnel and wanted to do anything to make the pain stop. There is a statement that most of them have said. I know I've said it. I've actually screamed it. "I WISH I COULD GO TO BED AND NEVER WAKE UP."

Why is that so popular? I think deep down inside no one wants to do the deed themselves. They want an external power to come in and whisk them away to peace in another place. I don't know of anyone that successfully wished themselves to death.

Why do we look for ways to commit painless suicide? Because we don't want it to hurt. We've had enough pain.

Like I said, I've done a lot of research on ways to commit suicide. I'll give you a quick rundown:
  • Guns - Very messy. And there are plenty of people who do not execute a successful kill shot. Then they have to lay around in agony, possibly bleed to death or wind up a vegetable or with some permanent nerve injury. If they are successful, their family has to come and identify the body and see that horrible exit wound.
  • Pills - It's hard to get the right lethal pills. Taking mass quantities of anything can kill you, but most failed suicides are from taking pills. I had a friend that stockpiled medication for months and took 200 pills in one night. She got up to get a drink of water, passed out, gashed her head open and was discovered by a friend who had a funny hunch about her. She's still alive, living in Florida. Plus, the human body has a survival mechanism that will try to reject anything that is bad. Most people who try pills don't die because they vomit so much, the pills never work their way into their system.
  • Slashing - Painful and slow. Doesn't always work either. I met a woman when I was in the psychiatric hospital who had cut the entire length of the inside of her forearm. She wound up with a huge scar. That was her third attempt to kill herself. She decided to give up and get on with her life. 
  • Carbon Monoxide - With today's catalytic converters, this is really hard to do. If it doesn't work, you wind up with burning lungs and inflamed eyes. It may take a while for your system to get the toxins out, but you won't be dead. 
  • Natural Gas - This is a bad idea. A thermostat, cell phone or TV remote could ignite the gas and cause a massive explosion. You won't die peacefully, you'll burn to death. Plus, you will cause extreme damage to your home or apartment and possibly injure or kill other people. 
  • Bleach - Very bad. I had a friend in the psyche hospital that tried that. It made her really sick, roasted her esophagus and screwed up her stomach.
  • Hanging - This can work if you can construct an execution style hanging, where the body drops several feet and breaks the neck. However, most people can't pull that off, so they die a very painful, slow death. It can take up to five minutes for you to hang yourself to death. 
  • Drowning - People who have nearly drowned talk about the panic of feeling your lungs fill with water and the excruciating chest pressure. 
  • Electrocution - Most people wind up with severe burns and nerve damage. It's not pleasant. 
  • Smothering - Same as hanging, but without the ligature marks around your neck. Hard to do. Most people panic and pull the bags off of their head. 
  • Jumping - Jumping out of a building creates a huge mess at the bottom. Jumping into a river is like hitting concrete, depending on how high the bridge is. If the impact doesn't kill you, then you have to face the drowning horror. 
  • Huffing - Breathing toxic chemicals may knock you out, but you'll wake up. I used to work in a chemical plant and I stood over a 5,000 gallon tank of Toulene for hours without a mask. I was real high, but I didn't die. A little bottle from the hardware store won't do much but burn your nostrils and lungs. 
  • Decapitation - I'm not going to explain how you do this, but if it doesn't work, you'll be a mess the rest of your life. 
  • Jumping in front of something - People survive incredible car crashes all the time. You might die, but you might just get maimed or lose a limb. Add brain injury to that and it's not fun. 
There are other ways to commit suicide, but they are really painful and gruesome. Killing yourself without pain is possible. However, I started by saying there is no such thing as painless suicide. Whether you believe it or not, someone loves you. That's the good news I was talking about. If you die, be it by suicide, accidental death, disease or natural causes, there will be people at your funeral. And if you die by suicide, all of them will ask, "Why?" - "What could we have done?"

Another thing said at suicide funerals, "We had no idea." People who commit suicide are good at hiding their feelings. You may be doing it right now. You've probably been withdrawing from people. You're spending a lot of time alone. You don't go out anymore. You spend hours and hours in your house or your room. You don't want to be around people. You're fixated on the pain in your life. You don't want to die. You want the pain to stop. So, death starts to seem like the only option. I've been there - more than once.

Let me tell you what happened to me. In 1996, I went to Las Vegas as a comedian. I used to perform on The Strip. I had my name up in lights. Then, I got out of that business, married, had a child and had a great advertising business in Las Vegas. By 2004, our family net worth was at or near $1 Million. Today, I have nothing. Nothing. All the money went away, my wife left, my house was foreclosed, I had a nervous breakdown in 2006 and was diagnosed as being bi-polar and having ADD/ADHD. At one point, a former counselor said to me, "Most people I know that have had what happened to you killed themselves." Gee, thanks.

It got worse. In late 2009, I was working a crappy job while the foreclosure was in process. I had the IRS after me. And I had no money. I had to sell everything to keep the lights on. Then, I developed a severe case of anxiety and couldn't talk, walk or function. I had to be shipped by my family from fabulous Las Vegas to a vacant house in Cleveland, Ohio owned by a friend who is a hoarder. I live in a La-Z-Boy chair in the middle of a mess. I eat in the chair, I sleep in the chair, I watch the 7 channels on my TV in that chair.

In 2010, I was at an appointment with a psychiatrist and he asked me if I had suicidal thoughts. I said, "Yes, all the time." He asked me the magic question, "Do you have a plan?" Being a former comic, I said, "It would be stupid to think about suicide and not have a plan." Whip... out comes a Pink Slip. In every state, if you have suicidal thoughts and you say you have a plan, they have to force you to go to a psychiatric facility for a minimum of 72 hours. It will be longer than 72 hours, I can guarantee you that.

You can think about suicide all you want, but if you have a plan, you get sent away. And if you refuse, the police come and take you away.

I went to one doctor, a general practitioner, and told him I needed help with depression. He told me to go to an emergency room and tell them I wanted to kill myself and I'd get help that way. What an idiot.

Most of the people in the psyche hospital were there for failed suicide or suicidal thoughts. A few were just nuts and one or two were violent offenders. At the psyche hospital, they'll set you up on medications, feed you three times a day, give you snacks, and have you talk to therapists and social workers. For some people, it's a start in a new direction.

I was in there for three weeks. I really didn't want to kill myself before I went in, but I sure did when I got out. I thought, "How low can I go?" For five months, I sat in my chair. Then, one day, I started writing on my laptop. I love to write. On March 7th, 2011, I started working on this blog, which had been idle for five months. This blog and Recovery International have turned my life around. Plus, I realized that someone does love me - my 10 year-old daughter in Las Vegas. And my sister. And Jim and Sal and Pete and Kay and Karina and a bunch of other people that I couldn't see in the darkness.

Right now, you're sitting in darkness. I learned that if you are going to get to the light, your first steps will still be in darkness. Things don't change overnight. But the first thing you need to do is to stop focusing on you and your problems. If you were here, I'd take you to the deli at Dave's Supermarket and buy you a sandwich with my food stamp card. I have nothing. Nothing but this computer - and people that love me. You have both of those things too - a computer and people who love you. You just can't see it now.

Through all of my years, I've learned that our purpose in life is to serve others. Service can be done by a profession - doctor, lawyer, engineer, nurse, real estate agent, entertainer - or you can just go out and help someone. Volunteer. Give an old lady a ride. Read a story to a child. Help clean your grandmother's home. Pick up trash.

You need to get your eyeballs off of painless suicide, the warped mirror, the pain and turn your gaze to others. I know what it feels like to be isolated and alone. My favorite B.B. King song line was, "Nobody loves me but my mother, and she may be jivin' too." Then my mother died - nobody loved me. But I was wrong. And I'm telling you, you're wrong.

If you lost all of your friends, you can make new ones. If you lost all of your money, you can make more. If you were outed and you weren't emotionally ready for it, now you can start living your life, honestly. Embrace it. If you hurt someone, they can forgive you - or maybe you just have to accept it and move on. If you lost your home, you can adjust to less. I live in a chair, and I'm at peace with that. I spend all of my time out, away from the chair at coffee shops and restaurants with FREE WiFi. I'm at Denny's right now. They're open 24 hours. And the staff loves me. I made new friends. I'm practically a legend at Dunkin' Donuts.

In the beginning of my recovery, I couldn't live one day at a time. I had to work on just getting through the next hour. I'm doing so much better. However, Friday, I got hit with some really bad news. I'm down. I'm in a lot of pain. But I'm not thinking about suicide. I decided to come to my blog and write something that may help someone, that may save a life - namely, YOURS.

If I haven't cooled your jets on checking out, do one of the following immediately:

  • Call 9-1-1
  • Visit the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 
  • Don't Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in, February 2012 I had a personal crisis and it was not life threatening, but I called the hotline, just to see what would happen. They put me on hold and then the lady who answered the phone hung up on me for using foul language. (Not what you would expect from a "prevention" line.)

If you call 9-1-1 you may be sent to a psychiatric facility for observation for three days. Good chance to chill out and figure out if...

Someone loves you.

If you kill yourself, your pain will only transfer to others. There is no painless suicide.

Your goal, right now, is to try to find ways to ease the pain, get off the path down the dark tunnel, leave your room, get out of your house, open a door for yourself and then open a door for someone you don't know, turn your eyes to the world - it's a beautiful place.

And you know what else... You have something that is unique and different that no one else has. Everyone has it - a special something - skill, talent, idea - that sets them apart from everyone else. You have that. You just can't see it. No two people are alike. There is something you truly love that you should be pursuing. It could be music, sports, math, reading, art, whatever. I love to write. It has saved me. Look deep inside of yourself and write down what you truly love. And make of list of people that would show up at your funeral. They love you.

In closing... I always loved the blues. People say, "But the blues are so damn depressing." Actually, if you understand the blues, the songs talk about a lot of pain, but at the end of every song there is always hope... always hope. And there is no such thing as painless suicide. You've read the complete guide to suicide - it's not pretty. But someone loves you and that is worth a tomorrow.

See you tomorrow... and the next day.


UPDATE, April 18, 2017

Since I wrote this article in 2011, a lot has happened. My will to live has been tested many times. I've been hospitalized with suicidal thoughts twice and went on a manic spree that wound up getting my house surrounded by police. I spent a couple months in a psychiatric facility. While I was in the hospital, my house was broken into and all of my computers, stereo equipment, TV, clothing, cameras, music and pictures were stolen. I was reduced to nothing. That was hard, but I found some sick twisted version of hope in the mess and continued on.

Another time I decided I wanted to burn down the house I rented and went to the emergency room with a book and took a seat. The lady at the desk asked if anything was wrong. I said, "Everything is fine right now, but that could change." Next thing I know I'm in a hospital room and I was detained for 16 hours until they determined that I was delusional and not really an arsonist.

Then, through all the stays at mental hospitals, a cocktail of medications came into form and they have done me well for the last six years. However, I had a major setback in 2016.

I met a woman in 2015 who turned out to be a crack addict. She introduced me to another woman who was also an addict. I started smoking Primos, a joint rolled with a blend of crack, marijuana and tobacco. I liked it. And it continued through all of 2016. By the end of the year, I was completely broke and had squandered my retirement account. Along the way, I lost my best friend, she was the first crack addict I met, and she had recovered.

Her loss and the decimation of my funds put me in a complete suicidal spin. I made a plan and I had the date and time fixed in my mind. When the clock struck 4 am, I just couldn't do it. I paused. It took me a few days to get my head back to "I want to live".

I quit crack on December 31, 2016 and as of this writing, I quit smoking cigarettes on April 15, 2017. Also, it's taken about two and a half years to complete, but I've lost 80 lbs. and am shooting for 100. I go to a gym 4 to 5 days a week and workout for an hour to 90 minutes and I've dramatically transformed myself, in spite of being completely destitute.

A few weeks ago, I had to turn over my finances to my sister, a complete humiliation for a 60 year old man. After my bills are paid, I get a stipend of $100 for the month. That is for gas for my truck, doctor visits, medication, personal items and food. I HAD to quit smoking and I go to a food bank for food. There isn't much left for anything else. So I live in solitude and listen to the radio and read my Bible.

Financially things are worse than they were 7 years ago, but I feel pretty good. I'm starting to write again, I'm thinner, I'm in better shape, my health is good, I'm on the verge of beating diabetes and my 16 year old daughter and I have a wonderful relationship, even though she lives in Las Vegas and I'm still in Cleveland.

Life goes on. Some days are better than others, but when I struggle with the loss of hope, I always find a way to reclaim it. That is what you have to do. Find that glimmer of hope in your life. You will live another day and you won't regret it.

If you want to contact me, email me at:

I was away from computers for several years and am just now returning emails, but I'm on the computer every day at the library. I hope to have my own computer again some day. Maybe I'll write a sequel to Painless Suicide - The Complete Guide To Suicide.

UPDATE - April 10, 2020 - Good Friday

Wow, if you've made it this far, you've just spent the last 9 years of my life with me. Thank you.

So much has happened since leaving Las Vegas, March 18, 2010 a broken, penniless man with a bunch of mental health issues.

After almost 8 years living in a storage dump (my friend's hoarder house), something life changing happened. I remember sitting there, staring at the piles of boxes, junk and auto parts, I said to myself, "It's never going to change. Never!" The only thing I could change is myself. So I did - and this was my biggest breakthrough over the last 40 years - I decided to accept my world. "This IS my reality. I don't have to like it, but I can change it." For years, my family had me believing that THIS crap was all I deserved. It was all I was worth. I was "set" and could just wait to die.

I had nothing. No money. A few friends who used me, but no visitors. In almost 8 years, I probably had 15 different people come by that house. I lived in a lot of social distancing, way back in 2017.

Then, a catalyst was introduced.

My landlord told my sister that he was going to raise my rent. The rent was cheap, $300/mo, but I paid electric for an inefficient furnace that rumbled and didn't heat. In the winter, I would watch TV fully dressed, wearing a coat, hat, gloves - INSIDE. I froze, just to keep the bills down. During the summer, my sister would get me old, broken AC units that cost $125/mo to keep my living room at 80°. Plus, my landlord had me paying him for the water. But he never paid the bill and the water was shut off.

When I heard my rent was going to go up, my total cost would have been $650/mo. Fuck that.

I harnessed my will to change and went to the library the next day. I searched and found an apartment I could afford - $585/mo + electric. No deposit. Indoor pool. Air conditioning. Dishwasher. CARPETING. Privacy. (My slimy landlord used to let himself in that shitty house and stand there staring at me when I was sleeping.) Cabinets and closets where I could finally unpack the boxes I packed in 2009 and "put my shit up".

I, for the first time in 8 years, had a home.

I'm on the top floor of a 6 story building - the penthouse. I face north toward Lake Erie. From my balcony, I can see a tiny swatch of the lake. Starting in April, and all the way into the Fall, I get the most incredible sunsets. Life went from wallowing in a dump and waiting to die to living the dream.

I love my apartment.

The part of the city I had lived in was 70% black. Where I am now, it's 98% black. I love it.

Life is wonderful. It's been 3 years since I had a depressive episode. I did have a wild manic episode in July of 2019. I checked myself into a hospital and spent two very productive weeks in the psyche ward.

Around Thanksgiving 2019, a "friend" decided not to pay me $130 he owed me. I had lost my license and wound up on probation in September (which just ended March 30, 2020). I had no ID and could not go to food banks. Between paying fines and that guy stiffing me, I wound up with no money; and no food. Three months - nothing in my place. But, my new black friends fed me every day. Never went a single day without food in my belly.

My biggest transformation over the last 3 years has been to expand my "Law of Acceptance". I gave up the anger toward others and myself.

If there is only one person you can forgive in life, make it yourself.

Life is no longer a series of regrettable failures and bad experiences.

Embracing TODAY has led me to peace. Five seconds ago is the past. You cannot edit the past. Accept it. The future is tomorrow and I'm not there yet. So no worries.

I never really understood what it meant to "live in the moment" until I got here. 60 years of worry and anxiety were suddenly behind me.

No more beating myself up over mistakes.

Thomas Edison tried 10,000 things before he found the right filament to make a light bulb. Was he a failure? A loser? A time wasting dreamer? A fool? No. Well neither am I.

Adopting this philosophy has completely changed my life - "I have never made a mistake. It was all just research."

Another life changing move I made was in November 2018 - I bought a Smartphone. This revolutionized my life.

Along with being able to video chat with my daughter (who is 19 now) and my friend in Thailand, it has opened up in the palm of my hand the most incredible tool for RESEARCH.

And connection.

I was no longer lonely. No more sadness. No more wondering. I had pictures again. Videos. Access to any information I wanted, instantly.

On Twitter (@Rogerblazic) I got involved with the #Mentalhealth community - worldwide. Now I help others who are living in darkness.

About 1.5M people have read this article. Over 5,000 people in crisis sent emails or left comments. Almost every one thanked me for saving their life. I've saved more lives than all my doctors combined. Not bad for a guy who 10 years ago spent all day with an electrical cord around my neck, trying to get the nerve to "put an end to this madness and pain."

March 16th, 2020 I opened a brokerage account with $100 and made a trade, buying stock for $60. March 16th was the largest drop in the DOW in history - nearly 3,000 points. I am fearless.

I'm managing 4 Twitter accounts - @Don_Thing - Politics & snark; @ONLINE_EMPIRE - Stock & Options trading; @StartCookingNow - cooking; and @Rogerblazic - me & Mental health.

I added another $200 to my brokerage account on the 3rd and plan to do that monthly from now on. I have a future.

You can change your life.

You can be better off - in time.

My past is littered with mental health issues, alcoholism (13y sober), drug abuse (3y clean), extreme pain, loneliness, suffering, poverty, hopelessness, anxiety and depression.

But I worked on me for a decade and right now it's been 3 months with NO PSYCHE MEDS. Yes, med free. Still diabetic and have high blood pressure, but the dangerous psyche meds are gone.

I had developed Tardive Dyskinesia, shaking, from taking psyche meds. Since I got off the meds in December, the shaking has gone away.

My psychiatrist released me to a therapist. This is the first time since 2006 that I have not been under psychiatric care.

I'm FREE !!!!!

In 2010, sitting in that chair, sleeping in that chair, eating in that chair and crying in that chair, this life I live now seemed impossible. Impossible. Suicide was my only option. Or was it?

During one of my psyche ward stays, I read all four Gospels. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, it's a good story. I've learned things from Winnie-the-Pooh and he's not real. Jesus said,

"Love one another, as yourself."

Where I live, there is no room for prejudice. No room for judgement. I treat everyone with kindness and respect. And you know what, they love me here.

Last year, after getting back from the psyche ward, my sister called the police and said I was suicidal and using crack. Not a good thing to tell cops around here. Plus, she went to lock my apartment when I was locked up and she threw out 4 big bags of my stuff. We haven't spoken since July 2019. Same for my brother.

The only person in my family I have contact with is my 19 year old daughter.

And, last year I saved up enough money from one of my part-time jobs to go to Las Vegas and see the girl I left at age 9 graduate from high school. And I stayed at my X-wife's house. Amazing.

Almost everyone in my life is new in the last 2 years.

I'm paying my bills. There's so much food here I give surplus away. I make money giving rides and doing errands for my new family. I lay around during the coronavirus lockdown, naked, studying the stock market and making trades on my Smartphone.

Never give up hope. Make it through the next hour and then the one after that. Survive the day and try to have more than you did yesterday, even if it's only a nickel. Keep moving. Keep trying. Keep studying. Keep hoping.

There can be a beautiful sunset in your future, too.

Until the next update, thank you for reading Painless Suicide - The Complete Guide To Suicide.

I really hope you don't need it.

Hit me up on Twitter (@Rogerblazic) or send me an email -


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Bad Ways To Commit Suicide | Proven Not To Work
I'm Back Blogging. Insane Asylums and I Must Be Crazy.
Five Steps To Recovery From Mental Illness
Recovery From Mental Illness Should Include Groups
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The Stigma Of Mental Illness
Mental Illness | Mentally Ill Live Lives Of Quiet Shame, Anger Or Pain
Mental Illness | Catherine Zeta-Jones Treated For Bipolar II Disorder
Mental Illness | Dealing With Symptoms of Panic Attacks And Anxiety Disorder

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

I Wrestled A Grizzly Bear. No Kidding.

There are points in your life when you are faced with decisions. Decisions to act on your ideas or not. Well, this is the story of an idea that I acted on and in retrospect wish I hadn't. I wrestled a grizzly bear. No kidding.

This was around 1980 and I was working as the morning DJ for a small radio station east of Cleveland. The station was so small, we didn't even have a 24-hour license. We signed off at sunset and signed on at 6:00 AM.

I was the morning personality. We played MOR, Middle Of the Road, music. Which means we were not only dated, but we were boring. I think the average age of our listeners was around 70. You could hear them sucking on their oxygen tanks.

The problem I was having was that I was around 22  and I couldn't really connect to the audience. I was young enough and dumb enough to try various gimmicks that seemed to go absolutely nowhere. As long as I kept spinning Al Martino and ABBA records, the world was a happy place.

But I wouldn't stand for that. I had to do something spectacular to generate some excitement with the geriatric crowd.

I saw an ad in the paper about an event coming to the local mall. I decided I was going to participate in the event. What was the event? Wrestle a grizzly bear. A real bear.

Since I had no experience at wrestling grizzly bears, I did no training. All I did was have a t-shirt made with the station's call letters on the front and the slogan "Man vs. Bear Just Ain't Fair." on the back. It was red with white lettering. That was my prep. Ha.

For about two weeks, I pumped the wrestling event on the radio station. I was hoping to get a crowd down to the mall to cheer me on.

On the day of the event, I got there early to check out my competition. I was going to wrestle "Victor the Rasslin' Bear". Man, that Victor big. And he was undefeated.

I looked around and noticed that the only crowd were casual mall shoppers. No one had shown up from the radio station or from the audience. I'm about to die in front of an empty house.

Well, it was my turn to wrestle Victor. I get in the ring and the guy playing referee whispers in my ear, "Don't get behind him. He'll sit on you and snap your legs off like toothpicks." Great.

The reality that I could be severely maimed crept into my mind. My strategy was to stay in front of the bear and see what I could do from there.

The referee yells, "Go" and it's time to wrestle. Even though Victor was wearing a muzzle, his breath was enough to knock you out by itself. So I'm choking as I go to make my first moves. I wrestled a bit in high school and thought I could apply some of the techniques on the bear. Apparently, Victor wrestled in high school, too, because he actually knew wrestling moves.

He kept reaching for my leg, trying to perform a take down move. He used the other paw to hold my head still so I couldn't lunge at him. This bear was good and stinky.

I'm still trying to get over the breath issue and I'm fighting with all my might to make some progress on Victor. I did slip behind him once and I remembered the snapping toothpicks analogy and I quickly got in front of him.

The struggle went on for about  five minutes and then I finally collapsed and Victor pinned me. I left the ring totally out of breath and smelling like bear. I thought I was going to die.

I survived and that's about all you can say. No one showed up. No one called the radio station. No one even cared that I almost got crushed by a bear. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have tried to wrestle Victor. He was just too much for me.

But how many people do you know can say, "I wrestled a grizzly bear." No kidding.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fun With Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Disease is extremely insidious. First it takes away the person, then it cannibalizes the body. And the worst part is, it can take a decade or more to play out. That is why Alzheimer's is often referred to as "The Long Goodbye."

My mother lasted ten years. Her sister lasted eighteen years. Not one of those years was pleasant because the victim never improves. It's a constant slow erosion of someone you love and you are completely helpless as far as staving the course.

Along the way, you have to find moments to pluck a little joy from a situation. With a sense of humor and the right timing, you can create a lasting memory. I had just that opportunity with my mother.

My mother had reached the stage where she didn't know anyone anymore. She would ask me about my father, saying, "Who's that guy? He's always here."

That is truly one of the hardest steps in the process, when your loved one looks at you and says, "Who are you?"

It's crushing because you know they're gone and you'll never have that person back.

Even though my mother looked as me as the friendly man that came to visit, we still had conversations. She was rather lucid and would ask hilarious questions that were totally out of her character.

On day, we were playing a game where I would recount the stages of her life, trying to see if I could connect with some murky memory. I started, "Mom, in 1938 you graduated from Notre Dame Academy and went to the Cleveland Institute of Art. In 1943 you went to work in an advertising agency." Then I dramatically picked up the tone and pitch of my voice and shouted at her, "And in 1948 you played shortstop for the Cleveland Indians and you won the World Series!" She shrieked, "I DID!" And I added, "Yeah, and you had two home runs,"

She was so excited. I hadn't seen her that happy in months. For a brief moment, I was able to make my mother a World Series Champion and it meant the world to her.

As she continued to beam, my father walked in the room and she announced, "I WON THE WORLD SERIES." My dad, befuddled as to the nature of our game, simply shook his head and kept walking.

Alzheimer's is horrible and it takes a toll on the caregivers. But for a few precious minutes, my mother was world champion and I'll never forget her smile. Alzheimer's took my mother, but you can never take that memory from me, unless I befall the same fate.

Alzheimer's is hard. With a little ingenuity, you might be able to give your loved one a moment that only the two of you will share for a little while, but you will keep for a lifetime.

You Just Have To Watch It. Absolutely Incredible !!!!!