Hello ladies, gentlemen and everyone in between! That Drummer Guy here after all of my work is done for 2021 and and after this message I am fully taking off till at least January, if not longer for that event that happens when you finally hit the wall...burnout.
Let me start off with the positives of this year of which is honestly few and far between.
The music this year has been impeccable. Every genre of rock and metal this year has put out masterpiece after masterpiece andf I know some of these albums from 2021 will end up being some of my favorite albums of all time. Some albums were written years ago, some were written entirely when touring was not at all a possibility; and we still have yet to see all of the fruits of these bands' labors as so much more of this tribulatious period is going to be hitting in the next year or two.. So for as crappy as this year has been; the music has been pretty sweet.
I somehow got a PS5 and Xbox Series S at retailers at normal MSRP. Those both have been keeping me sane. While there are not many games that are exclusively for these consoles yet, I am future proofed and I get to enjoy these babies longer before the next generation hits, and with how this generation is going, that's going to be a good long time. Plus a lot of the games that have come out for both consoles have rarely been duds. When I get back into the swing of things I'll do a recap of my favorite games of this year in 2022.
Same goes with wrestling. While all of my attention has been on AEW and partially on NJPW; there has been quality work from both promotions and while they are not for everyone and obviously wrestling is not for everyone, it's a gateway for me for a couple hours a week where I can just forget all my problems and just watch tv for a couple hours a week.
And I am trying to better myself physically. I have been doing what I can to cut back on caffeine and pop and been doing what I can to drink wither Liquid IV, Gatorade/Powerade, or just plain cold water. Back on Friday I got myself a smart water bottle which helps me to tell me when to drink water. And I was able to to give my stats to help suggest how much water I need a day. Given my age, height, weight, and being diabetic, 87 ounces is recommended and on the bottle I use, that's 4 and a half bottles roughly. It's a lot, but even after this short amount of time, I do feel better. My headaches are minimal, less cramps. Yeah, this might work. Hopefully with gradual weight loss (which is happening slowly but surely), I can get the amount of water down or maybe this is a good number? let's find out!
As for everything else, yeah, it's been quite crappy.
It past the 2 year anniversary of my brother's death and I still feel like he's here. Most people reading this will think that's kinda sweet thinking he's always watching over me. In actuality, my trauma form his over 3 decades of abuse leave me feeling that he is still going to try to call me to threaten my life or convince me to kill myself or just remind me of every one of my flaws to the extant that it will not leave my psyche. The hell he put me through in the most stalkerish of ways....I just want to be over it, I wish it worked that way.
Funny how that works out as well as Halloween this year, I officially lived longer than my brother. Something I never thought would happen. I've been trying to figure out if this is the new chapter of my life now knowing that I finally beat my brother at the only thing he wanted....all he wanted was to outlive me. He lost. I'm a morbid guy if you couldn't tell.
My dad ended up marrying the woman who told me I should have died instead of my brother back in 2019 as he was more "valuable in life than I could ever be." He married her the week before my birthday then had the gall to call my on my birthday to tell me about it. 2 days later I get a text saying he had a heart attack right after I hung up on him and he would "text me back" when he is ok. SO for all I know either he forgot, does not care, or died. I feel like an awful person for wishing for the latter, but with all the horrendous things he did in his life to me, my family and others that I oh so wish I could say without getting sued...let's just say that he is a scumbag an move on.
My mom? All I learned that is the most heinous thing my dad did, my mom let happened and did nothing to stop it or try to make things better after. I found that out this year and like I tell my parents every single year to stop calling me (from blocked numbers or their own) I keep getting calls as if I said nothing at all and all is forgiven. My mom had her mind snap back in 2000 where she became the most violent evil person outside of my brother I could imagine at the time, but was able to turn on a dime and put on the fakest, sweetest character of a loopy woman you could ever meet. The kind of person where you could just say "you know, Hitler wasn't that bad of a guy, he didn't have all those people exterminated" and she would just gleefully agree with you as if you just told her she looked pretty. Now after 21 years, she has the act down to where if she needs something from you, she's the sweetest person till you can't do it, then she turns spiteful and hates you.
My grandma on my dad's side (with her own closet of skeletons) now has dementia. Has me a bit scared for my own demise. Though as I remember way too much (a blessing and a curse) maybe getting dementia would be a blessing in disguise as I could have a few years of peace where I'll actually know true happiness by being able to forget the past and just exerpience the present. Pretty morbid way to look at it eh?
Not sure if you noticed but I grew up around shitty people and it will forever haunt me.
As for myself. I became the fattest I ever became and seeing the weight on the scale just made me hate myself more and more, hence the part where I am trying to work on myself physically and drinking a lot more water.
Mentally, I am just as messed up as I've ever been. Suicidal, wishing I was never here, Wishing I had it in me to end it all and wishing there was no one that would miss me when I'm gone so I could do it without guilt.
It's ironic that I feel this way as I know I'm nowhere near alone on this and I had several people reach out to me for help this year trying to find a reason for themselves to keep going. All but one I was able to help out, the other just did it anyways. Thankfully all parties are still alive, but I hate that this is a reality. I'm glad people can trust me because no one understands a suicidal mind more than someone else struggling. No therapist, no doctor, no higher power. Unless you've had those thoughts, you can't get it.
The pandemic has been really messing with me as well. I've lost all hope that this thing is going away and we will just have to get vaccined every year just like the flu (and no, covid is not a flu or like the flu, please be smarter than that). The isolation that comes with it hurts the most for me. I haven;'t seen anyone in person that considers me a friend in over 2 years and anyone that does considers me a friend does not live anywhere near me to go see or come see me. The black mirrors I have that give me access to the internet are all I have for communication these days outside of errands and seeing random people. It really doesn't help that I took the necessary steps I needed to get away from my family as even people all the crap hit the fan, I at least got a phone call every week or sometimes every day. But I know it is for the best as I do actually feel better until they get brought up into conversation or they try to get a hold of me. It feels like it will never end till everyone is gone. Ugh.
Then in less personal stuff, but still heartbreaking stuff. All of the musicians and bands I can't in good conscious listen to or support anymore. When bands say things that are so stupid that are against science or trying to kill off people like me or trying to bring the downfall of civilization, I just have to wash my hands of it and be done with them. If you can separate the art from the artist, I'm glad you can enjoy things that I just can't anymore. Blame it on over 3 decades of trauma, I can't support terrible people no matter how good of artists they can be. I used to, but 2021 took all that power away from me and like with my family, it is for the best even if it hurts in the short term.
And that brings me to the focal point of me writing all of this up this year. Burnout!
On the great plus side. I hit over 800 interviews this year and I've been doing this for over a decade since August 2nd. I love what I do and there's only been such a small handful of interviews that have gone wrong or worse in that time. Some that are available to hear on YouTube, some I'll never ever air and some that I could never use the actual recordings for as outside influences took that power away. Otherwise, I have met or talked to almost all of my personal heroes, talked to some of my favorite and some of the biggest bands in hard rock and metal and bands that I even gave their first interviews to that are rocketed towards success since.
This year; take my mental health with all of the depression, anxiety trauma and suicidal thoughts, add constant stress from horrendous "family" and just life in general, feel free to add this pandemic on top of things for what will be 2 full year coming up in March, constantly feeling like I suck at what I do either with the quality of what I do or with marketing or just general lack of interest from people as I see fellow people in my fields that have incredible success whether they started before or after me, doing everything That Drummer Guy related 100% by myself from recording, producing, mixing, mastering, reviewing, sending out emails for interviews, answering inquiries for interviews, design, website work, social media, making playlists, and of course writing up 140 reviews in a week's time to some appreciation but what is the lowest reaction and view rate I've ever had doing this.....add ALL of that together and been dealing with burnout since the beginning of the year and I've used myself dry. I feel like if I make one more show, one more review, one more interview, one more new stress I've never dealt with, one more ANYTHING that involves stress and I'll simply tip over and die.
This weekend alone I slept for almost 40 hours and I still feel like I haven't slept a wink. Granted I have not gotten good sleep for a very long time and I am hoping an incoming new mattress will take care of the physical pains preventing good and proper sleep, but still. I feel like if I step into the ER right now, I would be in the ICU as I've been put into the ICU for less in the past, but (stupidly or not) I'm trying all I can to fight that from happening.
I just simply don't have fight in me right now, for what I do as That Drummer Guy or honestly in life. I need to rest and I plan on doing so. Thankfully I am in a spot where I can take time off and be ok financially, but I want to get back into the spot where I can be at 100% again and not struggling mentally and physically before I do ANYTHING. I'm not joking to where every single interview I've done this year, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack before or after it. During each one I am usually completely fine, but everything before and after tears me to shreds. From where I used to have an interview up within an hour of me recording it to now waiting weeks after I get the ok to post it because I just don't have it in me to put it up. I have everything I've done this year up so I'm not hoarding anything, but still.
Even as I write this up I can feel the burnout killing me and I just want to slam my head against my new Razer Huntsman Elite keyboard and just fall asleep till 2022 in a state of hibernation.
So whats up? As I've said, the rest of the year, I'm off. And I have every intention of going past January as well. SO before I...well...you know...die... I need to stop everything, rest up, work on me and come back better bother mentally and physically. If I don't, you'll see a couple people say how much they miss me after hearing I left this mortal coil then be quickly forgotten in such a cynical irony of "Oh yeah, I think I remember That Drummer Guy." in the way that the nickname was come up with in the first place of knowing I exist(ed) but not truly knowing who I am or what I do.
If you feel the need to get a hold of me, please do. I'm still here and alive. I will be slow to answer any calls or texts or emails or messages as I need to separate myself from the black mirrors, but I'm not shutting anything off, I completely plan on coming back (hopefully better than ever) and honestly, I really could use the conversation as talking into my mic is the most amount of time I open my mouth to talk anymore. SO if you know how to get a hold of me and you want to, please do. Otherwise if You don't have my info, its not hard to find, just message me.
Over 10 years, over 800 interviews, countless reviews and songs played and shows covered. Many friends met, many more friends left, so many ups, so many lows and somehow I'm still here, alive. Let's hope I keep that last part going.
So, until I get my collective and figurative shit together, this is That Drummer Guy Josh Rundquist saying SEE YA!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)