At the time of writing this, there is only four more days left in 2017. While being one of the worst years to date, plenty of good came my way as well and arguably, some of the best things in my life happened in the confides of 2017.
The following wrap up is going to read like a bi-polar maniac that is off his meds and on a bender...or maybe it will come off more cohesive than originally planned. If you wanna read the ramblings of a 29 year old suicidally depressed man who has an extreme passion for music, then enjoy all I have in store!
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way
There has been many, and I mean many, terrible moments in my personal life this year. Ranging from family issues to losing friends to losing my health insurance to another suicide attempt. No matter how many good things happen in my life, the bad things will always take over and fluctuate my mind and not let up. As far as family issues, my family has been broken for 17 years now. I won't get into what was the catalyst for all of this, but I will just say after the summer of 2000, my family life was beyond repair. A great way to kick into my 12th year of life. From a brother who now has a failing body that matches the horrible attitude he has given me my whole life (the absolute biggest reason why I am a shell of the self I could have been had I realized younger in my life that he had no real control over my mental being) to my mom breaking several bones this year just from walking, to one of my sisters getting married without letting anyone on my side of the family know about it to myself consistently feeling like I am a failure at life...The Rundquist name does feel like a curse.
Which leads to my suicide attempt a couple months back...
This was my 6th attempt since I was 12. This time, nothing caused it except being sad. No getting my feelings hurt, no bad comments about me or my work, just utterly feeling sad and feeling that joy in life was gone. I was stopped for the 5th time and it was rather quick at that.
Now upon reading that, the numbers don't add up right? Well, the one time I wasn't stopped; well, the 4th anniversary of that occasion is coming up on Sunday night. To make a novel as short as I can. In August 2013, I got sick from various stomach issues, diabetes, exhaustion, and other variables I have yet to find out about, leading to many hospital stays, astronomical amounts of tests, and an unwanted addiction to the painkiller Dilaudid (Hospital grade heroin). In this time, I wanted to get off Dilaudid as I knew it was killing me. I was told to use Methadone and I did the very unwise thing of trying to quit cold turkey (which I later learned could have killed me from system shock). New Year's Eve was the breaking point for me. It was when a lot of people who I had in my life prior, abandoned me as they thought I was faking the whole thing, the radio station I was working for got rid of me on that suspicion without even asking me if it was true, and I was struggling to even remain conscious most days, let alone feel any better at any time during this. Around 10PM I gave up and went into my roommate's room picked up his gun, put the barrel in my mouth, and pulled the trigger....only to realize after I pulled the trigger that there was no bullets in the gun.
In a way that was the best thing that could have happened to me as I was still here, and about 2-3 weeks later I finally started to get better and went from death's door to searching for a reason to live. That's why I'm still here now. From December 19th to January 1st every year, it's the worst time of my life as so much reflection is going on during this time that I feel like I will never be able to escape. So until after New Years, I will be living in my own personal hell,. but I am doing my best to keep from falling down into my suicidal stupor and fight like hell to be happy.
But back to the latest attempt, nothing caused it from outside sources, it was just me feeling sad. That is the worst thing about depression. So many people believe that just because it's all in your head, that means you are faking it, when it couldn't be further from the case. Mental health is a very important and vital aspect of health and while others can blame that for other heartbreaking moments in life, not many people are actively trying to find out how to make this illness have a cure. But that's a pedestal I am not going to step upon. 2017 was such a terrible year for people in every facet of life; turning this into a political issue is not what I want to start.
Another bad aspect of my life right now is having to leave my current apartment complex. I have lived here since I moved to Minnesota 2 and a half years ago and with Depression and Anxiety and social awkwardness, I hide in my apartment as often as I can and still be sane. Sadly, this year they raised the rent to higher numbers than I could ever afford (330 bucks a month since moving in 2 and a half years ago.) So moving in a Minnesota winter is the absolute last thing I want to do, but sadly as I already signed, I don't have a choice. And with that, I do not know when I will be able to present my show or be able to do interviews again once I cut the internet off here and get it restored in a new place.
The silver lining with that is I may have found a new place that bigger, cheaper, safer, and has more stuff I want in an apartment. So as long as everything checks out, things should be going in the right direction.
With my career, the only downside to this year is learning that I may have lost my last FM affiliate due to the station potentially going under. It was the first station that gave me a chance once I branched out on my own as That Drummer Guy and it really tears me apart that the station may be going away. With this I may be going podcast only for the rest of my run (which isn't even coming close to be done as long as I have something to say about it) or maybe another FM affiliate will chime in, enjoy my work and may want to air my show. Time will tell.
The last bad aspect I wanna go over is losing people you care about. I lost quite a number of people in the last year, whether it be permanently from death or lost people over stupid reasons, this year I have felt more alone than I have in other years. You would never guess that from how many interviews I have done this year, but it is quite true, I am quite the sad, lonely guy. The worst part about it is that I am so afraid to reach out to people, no matter how many times people reassure me it's ok to reach out to them, I freeze up and can't do it. I was raised to believe no one cares about me and my struggles so it's important to keep things to myself. That is exactly why i choose this kind of platform to say my piece. Some people will reach out to me to make sure I'm ok, some people will think I am weak and pathetic, and others who have no idea how to respond to something like this will at least know that I'm hurting (whether that is a good or bad thing is completely to the eye of the beholder).
Now with all of that said, there has been some incredible times I've had this year as well.
Let's start off with all the work pertaining to That Drummer Guy
This year I have done 52 radio shows (not missing one week worth of shows at all).
Outside of any last minute opportunities or emails coming back to me this late in the game; I have done 162 interviews this year between Phone, Skype and written interviews, which is absolutely insane! That's not too far off from doing an interview every other day of 2017. I have gotten to talk to some of the biggest bands in the business right now including Asking Alexandria, Between The Buried And Me, Blind Guardian, Cannibal Corpse and so many more! I have gotten to talk to some of my favorite musicians for the very first time including the likes of John Bush, John Arch, Max Cavalera, Carmine Appice and so many more.
I have gotten more promos from some of my favorite labels and PR affiliates that I never would have dreamed that I would be able to achieve.
I also got to go to two shows that I never would have dream that I would be able to see: Iron Maiden and Billy Joel; just from being a good guy and supporting who I care about. It brings a tear to my eye that I am able to say those kinds of things have happened now from being That Drummer Guy.
I also am back in the drumming game with my new band, Systemic Collapse. I found two guys that I connect with on so many levels that I didn't even know was possible. It's just three guys who can completely treat each other respect, have similar mindsets and have a musical chemistry that I didn't even realize was possible in a band. We are hoping to have some kind of recording in 2018, even if it is just in demo form, or maybe even an official release if things keep going they way that they are now. Possible live shows? Definitely possible. In all honestly the last thing I care about anymore is getting on stage and playing live after being burned so many times in past bands. I am just happy to be able to jam out with guys I care about and making music I love. Anything that comes from that is just a bonus to me.
As far as other things in life; I have been able to enjoy myself a lot more this year (which is odd considering all the bad stuff noted earlier) I have been able to game more, my eyes are better than ever, my health, while still shaky, is manageable, and like mentioned earlier, I may have a new place lined up that will feel like home coming up in February.
So now that you heard the bad and the good from my own year, what should you take way from all of this?
In my mind, I would like to think that reading this will give people perspective in my life and why I am the way I am.
I'd also like to think that a good moral can come from this that no matter how hard someone is struggling, there are still things in life that are worth living for if you just try.
And if neither of those are the case, maybe just reading this gave you a perspective that is not your own, which is always a good thing to keep in mind, especially to make the world a better place.
So what's my plan(s) for 2018?
For the first time possibly ever in my life, I have no aspirations, no goals, no new plans. I am just going to try to keep up the positivity that I can see in my life and find any way possible to not let the negativity affect my life in a way that will make me attempt to end my life again.
If the radio show ends up being podcast only, that actually gives me a lot more freedom to be able to do things in a way that I have yet to try. SO out of that negativity may come positive outcomes.
Systemic Collapse. I'm just going to let it ride. No expectations, just see where things go and make this as organic as possible.
If you took the time to read all of this...Thank You. I am proud to be able to say I have made a career for myself as a one man operation showing off all the bands that deserve love no matter how big or small of an audience they have. It's a role that I will be doing for my 7th year in 2018 and I wanna make it the best I can by being myself.
Here's to hoping for myself, everyone reading this, and for everyone else that 2018 does not continue to be a dark cloud casting over us all, but finally the breaking of the clouds to enjoy the light that can make us all feel life is worth living.
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)