MCDOUGAL MCDOUGAL

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January 3rd, 2022

Introduction

Image of a long concrete pier stretching out into Lake Erie. In the middle of the pier are lights to illuminate the concrete flooring at night. People are scattered throughout the length of the pier taking in the view of the lake.

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I’ve sat down and tried to write this countless times and countless times I’ve been left with nothing more than a jumbled mess of random words littered on the page. I feel that if I’m able to keep up with it then it could have some value to me; something to help me better understand. I keep telling myself that this time will be different, but the very answers I strive for are the ones I purposely and subconsciously find anything else to occupy my time with. I would consider this to be the collective 6th worst year for me and at this point, all I feel I know anymore is defeat.

Each time that I’ve sat down and attempted to get these words out, I ended up walking away because telling these stories in chronological order was the only way that made sense and I couldn’t make my brain stop jumping to different time periods in my life. As each attempt before this one, I’m sure this will end up a jumbled mess. I’m sorry if you have a hard time following along if you choose to.

Instead of working chronologically, I’ve decided to write whatever I feel like. This story is one that will tell itself over time.

Seeing as though my art has always been an escape for me and even more so, an incredible therapeutic outlet, I find it appropriate to combine these words alongside my photographs. Photography has been a passion of mine for most of my life and even though I’ve walked away from it a few times, have always found my way back. When I get inspired, I start seeing the world in intersecting lines and different hues and I know that doesn’t make sense to you, but I can at least show you what I’m seeing, the way I’m seeing it.

So..I guess we’ll start here. I’m Mike. I’m 37 years old. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety amongst other problems that I am working toward identifying. At this point, I’m searching for a diagnosis more than a cure. In 2015 I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease (you can learn more HERE) which causes a ton of inner ear problems for me, including unbearable bouts of vertigo. The kind of dizziness that I feel most don’t comprehend, and due to this disease, most medication with a side effect of dizziness will fuck me up. Unfortunately, a lot of medications prescribed for mental illnesses come with this side effect and will send me on a vertigo ride that I would rather die than experience again.

For now, I utilize the outlets that I currently have available which are staying both as busy, and as high as I possibly can. Weed’s been the one medication that has helped me and of course, living in a red state makes it incredibly difficult to come by at times. My states leadership is too busy working to take rights away from women while conspiring with their KKK friends and family to ever make a positive change here that benefits anyone other than wealthy white men, even though legalizing even medicinal marijuana here would have countless monetary benefits for the state.

The current political environment has a lot to do with my current mental state, but I don’t think we’re there quite yet. For me, this is more of in intro to see what route is going to work best for me and what direction will be most fluid in getting my thoughts outside of my head. Again, as much as I would love to make this chronological and easy to follow, it more than likely won’t be. What it is though is something I’ve been needing to do for a long time. Me, as open and unabridged as I can allow myself to be. These are the things that shaped me into who I am today and how I see the world.