Monday, September 23, 2013

I haven't been myself for a while...

Unless we've been very close friends for some time, or close family members; it's entirely possible... quite likely in fact... that any particular time you've met me since around 2005, or before 1993; who you met was not really me.

Or perhaps you may have may have met several different "me's"; any one of, or none of which, might actually have been me...

If you knew me before 1993, and we weren't really close then and haven't been close since, you probably never really met me, and don't really know me at all (that includes most of my family).

Unless we are (or were for some time) actually very close, or you knew me reasonably well between 1993 and 2005; it's entirely possible that, even if we've "hung out together a few times" and that "you know me pretty well"; if talking face to face was our primary interaction, and most of how you came to know me... then you probably don't know really know me well, and you may have met me very rarely, if at all.

... Actually... If you've never met me, but still consider that you know me very well... You're probably right... and you probably know me better... or at least more accurately... than those who HAVE spent a little face time with me, but not a lot of non-face time.

Huh? Wuh? What's with the metaphysics here... Existentialism is for Nihilists and Frenchmen...

Oh, I'm me... I've only got one brain, and one soul, and together they make one person locked in one body.  I have no secret alternate identities, and I'm not living a lie or a double life. I haven't cloned myself. To my knowledge, there are no AnarchAngel impersonators out there. I haven't been secretly living as someone else.

In fact, I make a very deliberate effort to be as open, honest, and straightforward about myself (and in general) as I possibly can (or you can possibly stand); and I think most of the time, I mostly succeed (sometimes entirely too well actually). Though there have been some notably horrendous failures.

Confused yet? 

So... what the hell am I talking about?

Hmmm... first things first, so from birth to 1993...

Well... I grew up in a pretty physically and emotionally abusive environment; hyper competitive, utterly intolerant of error, weakness, or anything less than the best you could give... and the punishments and penalties were quite severe, both emotionally, and at times physically.

I also grew up poor, in a rich town, with some rich family members, and some poor ones. And I grew up... weird. Bits of amazing love, tenderness, and family support; mixed with bits of hate, abuse, fear, insecurity... IT was not an experience I recommend for young people.

My family are mostly both very intelligent, and very screwed up in many ways.

To deal with all that, I built up several different masks, for dealing with the different people who I had to, or wanted to interact with. They weren't exactly lies, but they certainly weren't anything close to the unvarnished me. Each of them was based on real things within myself... different aspects and elements of my personality, emotions, thoughts; painted and stitched up to serve a particular purpose, and stay in place while doing so.

The only time the masks EVER slipped (unless I loved you and trusted you with my life) were in my worst moments, and in my best moments... and even then only generally when we were very close; but sometimes the real me was visible for a second here or there... a moment of real pain, a moment of real joy etc...

I certainly knew I was doing it, while I was doing it. It was mostly automatic and seamless... but I wasn't self deluding, nor was I really intending to deceive that much (as I said, the masks did reflect parts of me, just not all); I was intending to protect myself, and to limit my pain and problems. It was a defense and coping mechanism. I didn't want attention, actually I got too much of it, and wanted to be left alone more.

So... what's the significance of 1993?

1993 is when most of the abuse ended. 

Once I went to college, I started deconstructing the masks... or at least wearing them less frequently and less completely. By 2001 or so, when I split with my first wife, and moved to Ireland; I was trying very hard to not mask myself, and to be as open, honest, and genuine as I could be.

I also had to relearn social skills, without using the filter of the masks. Not treating other people as potential attackers or targets for example. Re-calibrating my filters.

There are still times when the masks go up... self protection... just plain smarter in certain situations... But I do try.

But that's not really what I'm talking about, it just explains why I say most people who knew me... including most of my family... before 1993 don't really know me at all.

So... here's the first big thing... 

...I'm not actually an extravert. At least not really...

Some of you started laughing when you read that.

Those of you who have met me more than a few times, but are NOT close friends and family, will likely find this very hard to believe, or even ridiculous, but it's true.

Even some of my pretty close friends have rarely if ever seen me when I'm not "on". When they do, it can be surprising to them.

Out in public I generally appear to be entirely extraverted... and in certain situations, extremely so. The more people around, particularly those I don't know well, the more extraverted I seem to get.

However, in me, what appear to be obvious visible elements of extraversion, are either something else entirely that looks like extraversion from the outside (but isn't), or learned (or perhaps conditioned) behavior on my part.

In fact, as far as the specific individual elements that make up extraversion and introversion; I'm far closer to being an introvert... but really, I'm neither.

What appears to be extraversion is either coincidence or construction. 

When I was a child, I  learned how to use my own energy and focus, to appear to be extraverted, as a defense mechanism.

When I was a kid, "extraversion" was one of  my masks... it was part of my defensive armor... But only when I couldn't avoid being stuck in with large groups of people, or people I didn't know and trust.

...Or with my family; who are mostly very loud, aggressive, argumentative, competitive... and if you can't keep up, and can't fence with the best of them... well then you're just another victim kid.

If I could avoid the crowds, I generally would; and unless I absolutely had to be "on" or I was looking for something in particular, or I was very bored... Frankly I was perfectly happy not seeing anyone at all for days at a time, just reading.

However, when I was forced to, or wanted to do something out with people, being "extraverted" was the closest I could get to being able to express parts of myself honestly; in a way that was, if not necessarily well liked or accurately understood, accepted as relatively "normal".

But that was as a kid... as I said, since 1993, I've tried not to mask myself as I did then. So what about now? Why do I seem so extraverted now?

The reason why I'm not an extravert, even though I outwardly appear to be one, and often act like one is actually fairly simple...

The visible elements of what I really am, when honestly expressed; have the same or very similar appearance as the equivalent elements of extraversion; and it is socially acceptable to express them as extraversion. 

The important thing, is that the motives, feelings, and results, which drive each, are entirely different. 

I do many of the same things extraverts do... and I look like I'm an extravert when I do them; but I do them for different reasons, and get different rewards from them, than extraverts. 

So... what am I really, if not an extravert? 

Yeah... I keep mentioning that... "what I really am"... that can be a loaded question... and knowing my audience, for some it will be the inspiration for many jokes.

The answer though isn't particularly complex...

What I really am, is probably explained simplest by saying I'm an Obsessive, Hyperactive,  Enthusiast, and  Stimulus addict.

I am, by my essential nature, curious, inquisitive and exploratory, bold, sensitive, empathetic, enthusiastic, and passionate. However, I am also hyper-analytical, hyperfocused, hyperactive, and obsessively driven.

I have one of those brains that just needs input, stimulus, as much as possible, as often as possible, and as many varieties as possible; and then needs to process, analyze, and understand that input... and then relate it to all of the other previous experience, stimulus, and input.

Since I don't like drugs, my paths for seeking stimulus are books, the internet, pop culture, and social and personal interaction.

Really, I'm happy with any of them, so long as I can get variety and novelty in there. Which is why I am interested in, and know so much about so many different, weird, and obscure things; and why I know so many people.

The vast majority of life is relatively uninteresting on it's surface... but get deep into the details of things, and see how the complex interactions work, how many there are, how they break down...

I am perfectly happy going weeks at a time without seeing or talking to another human being except my direct loved ones. In fact, when I'm particularly involved in something, I prefer it. Other people require attention and focus, which tends to get in the way of focusing your entire being on understanding the entirety of particular thing and how it relates to and interacts with every other thing.

The thing is, reading, the internet etc... as varied and complex as they are, they are still relatively static as input... they're not alive. Yes of course they're changing in a constant stream, but it's not the same thing. After a while with nothing but dead input, my brain needs something else. It needs more complexity and novelty, than the static can provide.

And just about the most complicated and novel things in the world, are people... People are absolutely endlessly fascinating. And when I find people who I find particularly interesting, and who I like? Whoa boy...

Hyperactive, Obsessive and Controlling...

I've always had ADHD... actually very very severe ADHD; but not of the inattentive variety. Mine is the hyperfocused hyperactive variety.

If you have hyperfocused hyperactivity... you've got a superpower... IF you can control it effectively. It lets you get more done in less time than almost everyone else. More than seems possible or realistic.

Ever wonder how I manage to write 10,000 word blog posts in a few hours? And how I managed to write one of them almost every day for years? That's how.

Or how I read seven 400 page books in a day.

Or how when I had a 90 minute seminar presentation to give, and the night before the seminar my laptop hard drive decides to munge itself not once but TWICE (I recovered it from backups both times, after figuring out what caused it to puke in the first place); I managed to re-write the entire thing from scratch, because none of what I had done for the past few two weeks was on my backups.

That was Friday by the way.

I managed a double BS in two of the more difficult engineering disciplines in 3 years because of it.

I have generally been an extreme performer at work, academically (if not necessarily in grades... I tended to get great test scores and miss a lot of homework... Typically I got either an excellent grade or an incomplete), and in my hobbies and interests.

It's absolutely amazing... IF you can control it.

It takes enormous energy and focus to control it.

What... wait... it takes focus to control hyperfocus?

Yeah...the funny thing about the hyperfocused part of that... It's hyperfocus yes, to an absolutely absurd degree which can seem almost... or completely... insane (in fact it is technically a mental illness); but it's not controlled focus. The hyperfocus does it's thing on whatever the hyperactivity happens to pop into your head at any given time. And it can disappear just as quickly if the hyperactivity pops something else into your head.

So yes, it takes ENORMOUS energy, focus, and control, to get a handle on it. To direct and focus it on the things you WANT to focus on, rather than whatever your impulses dictate.

If you can't control it... Well... Ever see "Real Genius"?


 Yeah, that's uncontrolled hyperfocused hyperactivity.

Realworld example? Nikola Tesla (he had some other issues as well of course).

In fact, the entire absentminded professor trope comes from hyperfocused hyperactivity.

You think wikipedia or TV tropes are a timesuck for YOU? I go to look up one thing, and all of a sudden it's three hours later and I've got over 100 tabs open (and that's not a made up example... that was a few days ago).

I was utterly exhausted on the plane home Saturday. Had no energy whatsoever. No real focus or control. On my flight out of DFW we taxied for a very long time before takeoff... about 15 minutes. Most people would just ignore that if they noticed it at all. It doesn't matter, and no-one cares. But the hyperfocused hyperactive brain made me take 45 minutes to figure out the exact route and distance we had taxied (using the FAA airport diagrams), that we had made the longest possible direct taxi from gate to threshold you could make at DFW, and the average speed, and likely peak speed we had travelled (which significantly exceeded the taxiway speedlimit).

HH people tend to have tons of hobbies and interests. We're the people who learn 5 instruments and 7 languages, and parasail, and play competitive Go... on Tuesday... then on Wednesday...

We also tend to be either extremely successful, or utterly unsuccessful; in life, in careers, in relationships; pretty much entirely dependant on the degree of control we have over our HH.

Both by my nature, and because of the HH, I am quite literally an obsessive collector of experiences, input, and knowledge; and an obsessive collector of people.

Like any other obsession, these drives are INCREDIBLY strong for me. It took long years of work and maturity to understand and learn how to deal with them, to restrain and mitigate them when appropriate; and how to express them, to be a part of my personality, and not to overwhelm it.

... because people don't like to be around you if you don't.

And the thing is, these drives are innate to me. They work at the speed of impulse.

The restraint of them is learned behavior. It's social skills. It's discipline. It's experience and wisdom. And it doesn't run at the same speed as the impulses. It's much slower.

I had to learn a level of control, and to add interrupt and feedback mechanisms into my operational processes.

Empathy, and sensitivity are slower too... so I had to learn to slow down and add interrupts for emotion.

For most, emotion seems to work far faster than intellect. Most of the time, for me, it's the opposite.

Because of how I grew up, there are layer and layers of strong restraint and control on my emotions. They take some time to make it through those layers and express themselves, in comparison to the analytical engine, which is always working at full speed.

If I didn't have these skills, this restraint, this control, my impulses would run out of control, and my intellect would completely and entirely outpace my empathy, sensitivity, and emotions.

One of the advantages I've had in this, is that I have great innate perceptiveness, which I've trained up with observation, and situational awareness...

I had to... they were defense mechanisms. They kept me alive and safe.

However, they take a huge amount of energy and focus to keep working... and particularly to interrupt the hyperspeed analytical engine.

For most people, it takes more energy and focus to use their intellect, than their empathy or their emotions... I'm exactly the opposite.

Also, at times, because of my emotional control, and because of the hyper-analytical thing; I can seem like I lack sensitivity and empathy.

Anyone who gets very close with me, or who I like very much understands this is not true; but it's certainly a reasonable assumption to make for someone who hasn't seen the other side of me.

Actually, rather the opposite is true... By nature I'm extremely sensitive and empathetic... too much so in fact.

I was emotionally abused as a child quite severely; and grew up in a family of addicts, who had all suffered abuse themselves; with a mother (and other family members) who was critically ill much of the time, and had severe mental and emotional issues even when she wasn't. Even when I was not directly in pain myself, I was constantly surrounded by the pain of those I loved.

So, I developed incredibly strong defenses and controls around my empathy, my sensitivity, and my emotions. It takes some time and some effort to open them up. Now, I do try to be as open, understanding, and empathic as possible... but again, it takes energy and focus to do so.

So, when I'm seemingly insensitive or oblivious, or entirely unemotional... it's actually that my intellect, or my defense mechanisms have overrun my emotion, and my control.

As I have said, the problem with all of these things, is that they take a great deal of energy and focus, and control.

Which is important to remember for the rest of the story...

So, what else then?

What's Sleep?

There has literally never been a time since I was about 13 years old... not for one single minute of that entire time... that I wasn't sleep deprived, at least to some degree.

And not just "oh I need 8 hours but I only got 6"... more like "wow, I managed to get a whole four hours uninterrupted today", with the occasional smattering of "Ok, day four with no sleep, wonder if I'll be able to eat anything without being sick".

I've been an insomniac my entire life... at least since I was 3 or 4. It got worse as I got older, particularly during and just after puberty; to the point where at 14, I once went a full 5 days without sleeping; and had many 3 or 4 full day episodes.

Typically speaking, in those years I would sleep for 8-12 hours, then not sleep for 2 to 4 days, then sleep for 8-12 hours again. This was my normal every day pattern. I missed a lot of school.

Thankfully it kinda tapered back off starting in high school, and by college, I was mostly able to sleep 4-6 hours a night, most nights, with the occasional 2 or 3 day episodes.

From the ages of 16 to around 28, I was still an insomniac, but it wasn't as severe. I actually got some sleep on occasion, and the times when I went days without sleeping became less frequent, and less severe (I stopped going 4 and 5 days, and went down to 2 or 3 days).

This has been complicated by chronic pain due to injury and illness since I was 19... not much makes you more exhausted while at the same time less able to sleep, then chronic pain.

Unfortunately, since around the age of 28, my illness (and the medications required to treat it), and the various stresses of the last 8 years, have made it worse.

Also, disruption to life patterns, and travel, both make it worse.

And of course, we have an almost six month old baby... and every parent with a 6 month old is sleep deprived anyway.

And yes, the sleep deprivation then in turn makes the health problems and the stress worse.

Let me use this week as an example for you...

As I'm typing this, it's about 5am Sunday morning, and I haven't actually fully slept since Tuesday at 8am. I had two short naps of about 2 hours each in that time.

Let's just take that Tuesday through Sunday period and break it down...

Tuesday I woke up from 4 hours of sleep, at about 8am. I tried to sleep, but couldn't, until I managed a short nap at about 8am the next day.

Wednesday I woke up from my 2 hour nap at 10am. I had to work all day on a presentation I was giving Friday, and fix some computer issues. I ended up working all day an all night on various things, before leaving for the airport at 6am Thursday for my 8:30 flight. I was flying all day, arriving in Tampa at 6pm local, and then went out to dinner with friends until around midnight.

So, I didn't sleep at all thursday.

I wanted to sleep but couldn't... and I still had work to do. I ended up working all night, until I left to go to the seminar I was delivering at 10am. We worked on seminar prep, then delivering the seminar, all day; and went out to dinner with the host and other presenter until about midnight.

Meaning I didn't sleep at all on Friday either, and delivered a seminar on camera (at 3pm), after having been awake and travelling for 53 hours.

I tried to sleep that night as well, knowing I had another flight in the morning, but couldn't manage it at all, until I had a barely unconscious half awake half asleep nap for two hours before heading to the airport.

I got off the airplane, and Mel picked me up so we could spend some time with friends in Phoenix, before heading out to her dads in kearny (a 90 minute drive). We ended up getting back to Kearny around midnight... and I tried to sleep but couldn't... so I started writing this.

I finally managed to fall asleep shortly after I wrote the first paragraph in this section. I wanted to finish it at the time, but I had to stop writing because my eyes literally couldn't focus anymore, I was microsleeping, and I started writing gibberish. I got about six hours of sleep total between 5am and 6pm.

I spent 117 hours without actually sleeping, just two half asleep naps of two hours each, 2 days apart; with four flights, on two basically full days travelling packed in.

Thankfully, that is the worst week for insomnia I've had in years... in fact I think it's the worst I've had since I was a teenager. I've only had one other full 4 day period of sleeplessness in the last year, and nowhere near as many 3 day periods as my teen years.

So... what does that mean?

Sleep deprivation does more than just make you tired. It depletes your energy and focus, your control. It changes your mood and your personality. It affects your decision making. It affects how your body heals, and the damage it takes.

The more severe the sleep deprivation, and the more of it over time, the more impact it has.

So, when my insomnia isn't too bad, plenty of energy and focus, but the worse it gets the less I have.

And then there's the pain...

I have lived with chronic, severe, and worsening pain, since I was 19 years old.

I have a history of inflammatory issues that run in the family, and have arthritis in several joints; as well as a series of moderate to severe musculoskeletal injuries, particularly to my knees, back, and ankles.

I then developed endocrine cancer, which caused my endocrine system to go insane... The endocrine system controls the bodies inflammatory response. The inflammation is what causes most of the pain.

On a good day, I have a background pain level of about 2 to 3... I don't even notice 2 to 3. Most days I'm a 4-5, but the prescription anti-inflammatories can take it down some; sometimes even down to a 1-2. Bad days, I'm a 7-8 without the drugs... those days I don't get out of bed without them.

Really bad days I'm a 7-8 WITH the drugs, and I'm in enough pain that I can't eat, and sleep is... not sleep, it's passing out from the exhaustion of being in pain. If I try to walk on a 7-8 day without the drugs, I will spike a 9-10... that makes me scream, or cry, or have to clamp my jaw shut... sometimes hyperventilate...

There's a reason I call them "really bad" days.

Before the cancer, I hadn't had any "really bad" days in a while, and very few bad days. When the cancer was at it's worst, most days were bad days, and there were a lot of really bad days. The few good days I had, I tried to do as much as I could, enjoy myself as much as I could, before the pain hit again.

Traveling makes it worse. Sometimes a little worse, sometimes a LOT worse. Sleep deprivation makes it worse, in a vicious circle.

Two years ago, I was traveling for work most days, commuting from Idaho to San Francisco every week. I decided to drive from my work apartment to the gunblogger rendezvous in Reno that year, since I was working in SF and it's only a few hours drive.

Unfortunately, that was a bad week to begin with, I had pretty bad sleep deprivation, and the inflammation flared up on me when I got to the hotel. That whole weekend, I managed to make it to dinner both nights, but I missed all the events. I was in bed, in pain, and unable to sleep or eat.

Those were really bad days.

I hate narcotic painkillers. I don't take them unless I absolutely have to. My docs have standing scrips for me for vicodin if I need it, but I haven't filled one of them since 2010. I think the effects of opiates on my body are about as bad as the pain is.

Mostly, I just live with it.

The good news? Since the cancers gone, I'm getting better. A LOT actually. Between the reduction of endocrine insanity and the weight loss (over 100lbs so far, another 100lbs to go) I'm feeling a lot less pain in general, with more good days, and fewer bad days... and almost no really bad days.

The significance of 2005

I started to notice I was getting sick in 2005.

It's likely that I was actually sick for a few years beforehand, but by 2005, the symptoms were obvious and starting to have a real negative impact on me. I spent 6 years getting sicker and sicker until we finally found the cancer in early 2011, and then all of 2011 and 2012 treating the cancer.

The funny thing about having cancer... it wasn't the whole "maybe dying" thing that bugged me the most...

It was the brain fog.

It was how it drained me. How it made me dull, and slow, and tired... How I stopped enjoying things. How much pain I was in.

Mostly it was the brain fog.

Even with the insomnia and the sleep deprivation, I almost always had plenty of energy and focus. More than almost anyone I knew. I was ok going a couple days at a time without sleeping, because I had the energy to do so most of the time.

The biggest thing my cancer did to me, was make me stupid.

I used to have a spectacular, even freakish memory. I could remember long passages from books word for word as if I was reading them off the page.

Now I sometimes forget words for things I have in my hand.

Sometimes I tell the same story several times, because I don't remember if I told it before... like your crazy old uncle. Or I explain something, because I don't remember if the person I'm explaining it to was there or not, or would know what I was talking about.

Hell... I've had job interviews, where I forgot the names of products I worked with for years, or basic terminology from my industry, or steps of how to do something I'm a certified expert and instructor in.

I know they're up there... I can feel them... I can almost see them... they just won't come out. They're behind a wall of fog.

Hell... I've re-edited this piece 50 times now while reading it, because of things I meant to put in but forgot.

It made my brain so fogged that not only was I not hyperactive and hyperfocused... I had NO activity and NO focus... at least compared to what I was used to.

When it got bad, it took my hyperfocused ADHD and made it into very very severe inattentive ADHD. I couldn't concentrate on anything for any length of time. I couldn't read a book, or write a blog post.

It took away my energy, and my focus, and my control.

It made my pain so much worse.

It made my sleep deprivation so much worse.

Even worse though, it wasn't consistent. The fog would be on me for hours, days, even weeks at a time... and then all of a sudden it wasn't. For a few hours, or a few days, I was good. I was me. I could think and focus, and get things done...

... and then it would come back...

You have no idea how awful that is... really, unless you've been through it, you don't. Honest to god, thinking about it in depth right now, remembering it... I'm actually teared up right now. I've been through some horrible things in my life, by far that one thing... that's the worst. I would rather die than go through it again... and it's not over... not by a long shot. It's never going to go away completely... I'm never going to get completely better. But it's getting better...

I'm recovering now. I've been out of treatment and cancer free since December, and I'm feeling a lot better already... but I'm nowhere near where I was before I got sick yet.

Bringing it all together...

So... that was a lot of very personal stuff to explain, kinda rambling and disjointed... what does it have to do with "not actually meeting me" since 2005?

Simple actually... I had to tell you all that, so I could tell you this.

Since 2005 I've mostly either worked from home, or in a travel job. Since 2010, that was complicated by living 75 miles from the nearest city. Since 2005 I have been increasingly ill. Since 2005 I have increasingly had problems with focus, energy, and control.

Most of that time, most of my energy on the bad days was spent on my wife and kids, or on working.

Most of my good days, the days when I had less pain, more focus, more control, etc... I was at home with my wife and kids, or with close friends and family. Those are the days that I would be writing, be productive, etc...

So other than very close friends and close family members, if I've met you, hung out with you etc... it was probably either while I was traveling, or on one of the rare occasions where, after several weeks of seeing no-one other than my wife and kids; I managed to travel the 75-100 miles necessary to get to wherever it was we met.

When we met, I was almost certainly sleep deprived, exhausted, and in a great deal of pain (in fact I probably warned you that I was). I may have started out the day with less pain, and more focus, energy and control, but after a while it does tend to run out (and the pain gets worse the longer I'm out of bed) And I would have been starved for adult human interaction with someone other than my wife.

But if I just stopped attempting to have social interaction when I wasn't 100% up to it... I wouldn't have any at all. So I burn up the energy, and focus, and control I have, and I push past the pain, and I at least try to be a human being, and interact with other human beings.

As I said above, it takes a lot of energy and focus, to slow my intellect etc... down, and keep it, and the hyperactive hyperfocus, under the control of my personality.

It takes a lot more for me now... sometimes more than I have, because when the brain fog is lifted, the cancer didn't slow the hyperactive hyperfocus at all... but it DID slow the rest of me down... and it took away the energy and focus required to CONTROL the HH.

And it did so inconsistently. Sometimes I'm good, sometimes I'm not. And the more stress, the more pain, the more crap piled on top of crap there is, the less energy, control, and focus I have for being a regular human being.

Also, I am on various medications that have various effects on that. One of those is adderall... It helps, a lot... with lifting the brain fog, and with controlling the ADHD when it's in inattentive mode.

Sometimes it helps with the hyperfocused mode... sometimes it makes it worse. The less energy, focus, and control I have when I take it and I'm in hyperfocus mode, the less it helps there.

It's worse, because it brings the speed back up on the hyperactivity and hyperfocus, but NOT on the control, and the conscious focus, and the other things.

It takes a lot of energy, focus, and control to remember to, and be able to insert the interrupt to; be an actual semi-normal person... to be the actually kinda nice, caring, loving, funny, guy I really am... the guy I spent years of pain and suffering developing the wisdom and skill and experience to become.

I haven't had a lot of energy, focus, or control to spare in the last few years.

So, it's entirely likely that if you met me after 2005, you didn't meet me... you met a part of me, that was in some variable degree controlled, or possibly uncontrolled, by the rest of me.

See... me, without the social skills, empathy, sensitivity, and control that it takes that energy and focus to maintain...

I'm Jordan.