Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Guy in a Skewed World: Still hanging in

It’s been a few years since I updated this blog.  I’ve been dealing with going back to school, getting additional diagnosis, and generally going downhill mood wise.  Life hasn’t been easy, but with my wife’s loving support, I’ve been able to keep from giving up, just yet.

I’ve spent the last couple of years, since I was laid off, going back to school to at least get an associates degree.  That’s almost complete.  I’m at the end of the last semester’s worth of work needed for that.  The question comes in – am I actually going to be able to use it?  That leads into the rest of it.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had several items added to the health issues list.  In addition to dealing with the fibromyalgia, I’ve also been confirmed to have psoriatic arthritis (PA).  This is the red-headed stepbrother of rheumatoid arthritis.  It presents similarly, attacks the body in similar ways, but it varies slightly.  It tends to attack tendons, ligaments, and the skin (including possible discoloration of the skin), where RA doesn’t.  On top of that, issues with my back have been getting worse.  So, between the PA affecting my lower back and other issues affecting my back, standing and walking are very difficult.  Needless to say, getting treatment for the back issues is difficult.

On top of all of the physical health issues, the constant pain, difficulty in doing anything, and not being able to hold down a job, my mental health has gone south in a hurry.  Chronic depression is a constant companion.

I’m worried that I won’t be able to actually hold down a job, anymore.  As it is, anything (including class or doctors visits) that is more than 10 or 15 minutes away, I need someone to drive me, most of the time.  Fatigue, dizziness, distracting pain, and debilitating pain, make it difficult for me to drive any significant distances.  I’m having to nap frequently during the day, just to keep energy levels up for class.  With the absentee rates I had BEFORE my health got worse, I’m concerned about anything that requires me to be physically present to work.  My mental faculties have taken a hit, as well.  Between the pain, chronic fatigue, depression, and mental fog associated with fibromyalgia, it takes me almost double to the time to do anything that it took me, even as recently as last year.

In all of this, the one thing that has kept me going, and kept me from giving up completely, is my wife.  Without her love, support, and chauffeuring, I wouldn’t have made it this far.  My desire to do better by her, and our children, and my desire to not let her down … these keep me going.  Without her love and support, I’d have given up a long time ago.  In so many ways, she is my lifeline.  And she does this in spite of her own health issues and challenges.

Hopefully, it won’t be another 3 years before I update this again.  I’m hoping to get this back to what I intended it to be – a daily (or multiple times per week) journal.  We’ll see.

Why I Carry

During conversations with various people over the past couple of years, I’ve decided that I need to put down a little better the reasoning behind why I carry a weapon with me whenever possible and why I have one at home, regardless.

Over the years, it has become more and more apparent to me that evil exists in our world. It even lives nearby. I had thought that a good bat, at home and just avoiding the known “bad parts of town” would be sufficient. I thought I was physically able to protect myself, my wife and the rest of my family. I was mistaken. Now, I haven’t had any bad event happen to me or mine to cause a jolt. What I have done is woken up to the realities that I have to deal with in my day to day life. My health is deteriorating to the point where I can no longer protect my family without assistance. I came to the realization that I needed a tool.

XD-9 9mm

(Image source: Springfield Armory)

 

That tool turned out to be a Springfield Armory XD 9mm semi-automatic pistol.  For the most part, the XD is our home defense pistol. I can (and have) concealed it using the basic holster that came with it, but it leaves a little to be desired in comfort (the holster, not the gun).  Locating holsters for it that fit within the budget is a little tough.  When funds are available, a holster from Dragon Leatherworks or The Holster Site is on the list of things to acquire.

LC-9 9mm

(Image source: Ruger.com

When I went to look for something for my wife to use, since she was initially afraid to handle the XD9 due to the size compared to her hand size, we decided on the Ruger LC9.  It’s smaller, fit her hands well, excellent reviews (and shoots like a dream for such a little weapon … must get my review done).  It is, however, a subcompact in 9mm.  The felt recoil is noticeable.  Since she’d gotten over her reluctance to shoot with the LC9, she decided to try the XD9.  She loved it so much that she’s told me that I’ll need to purchase another one if I ever want to shoot it again.

With the XD9 and the LC9 (and appropriate holsters for the LC9), the tools are now in place.

Do I ever expect to need the pistol in my pocket or on my hip while running errands?  No, I don’t.  But then again, you cannot predict when predators in our society will think that I am prey.  My weapons are just a tool for me to use teach these people that I am not, nor will I be, their prey.  I am not a victim.  I will not willingly give up what is mine, whether it is my life, my money/property or my family.  At the least, I intend to put a price on whatever they try and take from me.  A price that can be so high that they will think twice about paying it.

All of this is just the tip of the iceberg of the reasons that I carry. It all comes down the simple facts I will not be a victim.  I will not depend on others for the safety of myself or those I love.  I will not be left to the mercy of the merciless.  I. Will. Not. Be.

I am.

God willing, the tools will be never needed.  But like

  • the first aid kit in the car
  • the first aid kit in the closet
  • the spare tire in the vehicles
  • the jumper cables kept in the vehicles

and other tools and items kept on hand “just in case they’re needed”, so too is my concealed carry piece.  It’s a tool on hand, just in case it’s needed.