I haven’t written or made a video in a few weeks and I’m sure many of you are wondering what is going on with me. I figured I should write up a blog entry in an attempt to get some of my thoughts out and hopefully help me re-engage on this YouTube journey and life in general. It’s amazing how writing things down can really help you put things in perspective and ultimately deal with them. This blog has been a huge help to me when I can muster up the strength to write in it.
I want to start out and talk about my diet and exercise since that is on everyone’s mind on the social networks. The truth is I haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks and my diet has all but fallen apart in that time frame. The good news is portion control has still kept me at my weight of 281lb so I haven’t gained back any of the weight I had lost but I really need too get back to it and continue on my journey, I haven’t given up I just needed a break. The reason the diet ultimately fell apart was due to stress, anxiety and depression taking over once again. I just had too many things going on between appearances at conventions like Vlogger Fair and PAX Prime and that feelings I’m not producing videos fast enough eating away at me.
If you read my previous blog you know I started a new medication called Cymbalta that had the added benefit of helping with my back pain in addition to my depression and anxiety. I want to report that the drug is actually working very well, I’ve been taking it for over 2 weeks now and the side effect of nausea finally subsided and I haven’t had many anxiety attacks since I’ve been on it and the ones I have had were really mild. I’m still dealing with a few other side effects like excessive sweating (not fun) but those should go away with time too. It’s a small price to pay to not feel trapped and like my heart is going to explode constantly. I think this might be the right medication for me finally after trying Welbrutran and Lexipro with no success.
The main reason I haven’t been producing videos is because I’ve been busy the last 3 weeks preparing for PAX Prime and working on the Storm Trooper suit to get it ready in time. We showed it off this last weekend and people were blown away! I will be making a video on it soon since the footage is in the camera ready for editing. Also attending 5 days worth of conventions in 2 weeks took a lot out of me and I ended up getting a respiratory infection that really beat me up for a while. It’s amazing just how much conventions drain you when you’re presenting, constantly talking to fans and trying to get video. But it’s worth it because those conventions remind me of just how awesome my fans are and how the things I do impact other peoples lives for the better!
I also got to see my great friend Jay (JayzTwoCents) who flew up from California to stay for a few days and attend VloggerFair with me and that was amazing, I always enjoy spending time with him since we’re so much alike and we always have tons to talk about. We ended up doing a ‘drunken #techtalk’ together here in the nerd cave that might just go down in history as the most random and disturbing #techtalk we have ever done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntS7ekPLSQc), enjoy!
The event however that effected me the the most recently was the passing of my close friend Jason Lawhead. He had been battling a severe form of cancer for the last year and was winning! A few weeks ago his doctors gave him the all clear and said he had no cancer left in his system and that the surgeries and treatment over the last year were a success. We had made plans to go target shooting and have a video game party after he got his strength back from the last round of treatment and we were all elated that he beat cancer! He was looking fantastic, his color returned to his face and he looked great and it was all behind him. I honestly thought that he was in the clear and we had nothing to worry about so I was letting him get his rest before going to visit him and I’m kicking myself for it because I never got a chance to say goodbye 😦
3 days ago I received a notification on Facebook from Jason’s wife that he had passed away. I had to read it several times because I thought for sure I was misreading it. My heart sank in my chest and I burst into tears, I didn’t even know what to think or do because this didn’t even register as a possibility at this time. All I could think about was how he had beat cancer and there is no way this could happen. Even today I’m still in shock and just cry at random thinking about it because it came so unexpectedly. Apparently in his sleep bile had backed up in his stomach due to complications with one of his surgeries and spilled into his lungs and he drown. His father Tim gave him CPR until the paramedics arrived but it just wasn’t enough and he was gone. It’s hard to believe that in a period of 5 minutes he went from being a cancer survivor on the mend to passing away due to a surgery complication. He spent his final moments in the arms of his wife looking into her eyes so at least he left the world surrounded by loved ones and for that I’m grateful.
Jason’s passing has reminded me of just how precious life is and how fragile it is. Any one of us at any time for any reason could pass away unexpectedly and for that reason it’s important for us to live every day like it’s our last. Unfortunately depression tries to rob people like me of that opportunity but that is exactly why I’m fighting to find the right medication and activities to break that cycle. I want to live every day like it’s my last and start each and every day with saying ‘I love you’ to the people I care about and embracing them and being thankful for the time I have with them.
My friend Jason was one of the most kind hearted and east going people I’ve ever known in my life. He was the type of guy that anyone could get along with and you could trust with anything. I first met Jason almost 20 years ago at Mothersboard Computers in Gorst, WA when I took a job there when his father hired me and gave me a shot. I considered him like a brother and his family was my extended family. I will never forget Jason since he left a permanent positive mark on my life and many others.
I have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his wife Jenn (http://gofundme.com/jasonRIP) to help with medical and burial expenses. Jason didn’t have a lot of money or even good insurance so anything we can raise will help tremendously. Jason had been unemployed since Mothersboard Computers had to close it’s doors after he was diagnosed with cancer due to a break-in where they lost everything! I can’t even imagine going through what Jenn is going through right now. I just hope to raise enough money to help take some of the burden off her so she can grieve for her husband and best friend without having to worry about financial problems for a little bit.
I have video recorded from both VloggerFair and PAX Prime that I need to edit and get uploaded. I’m going to start working on it today but I’m still pretty emotionally fragile after this whole turn of events. I’m going to ease back into YouTube and try to steer things back on track since my new medication is working well and things are looking up but it might take a little time. I need to focus on my life, family and the things I care about that make life worth living instead of constantly living in a state of panic about getting things done online to grow the business. Some things are more important then career and it’s taken some horrible events to open my eyes to that.
I love each and every one of you that support me and what I do and I thank you for being patient and supportive when I need it. You guys out number the trolls 99 to 1 and I wouldn’t trade you for all the gold in the world!
R.I.P Jason, I love you like a brother and always will!
If you have a few dollars to spare the donation link for Jason’s wife is @ http://gofundme.com/jasonRIP. If you can’t afford to donate please share the link on your social networks and let’s try to help take a little burden off Jenn during this horrible time she is going through.
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