Hi! Hello. How are you? Hope you’re doing well, despite it all.
Today is the week of my 34th birthday, and I am giving everyone the gift of closing up a loose thread. Some of you have been wondering, “Where did STOG go? Where is STOG?” Some of you have been saying this on cue, every four hours, just to keep my name in the minds of every household, and I thank you for your dedication. But I’m here to tell you STOG is no more.
I will no longer be appearing on The F Plus. It’s been a good run and I’m happy the show has been going on this long (and a lot of that has been courtesy of you all, with your support, thank you so much). But I’m not in a good place at the moment, and I am devoting my time to recovering.
I do have to emphasize that I’m not doing a bit. I do a lot of bits, bits that only I consider funny and that other people don’t, but comedy is subjective, unless it’s bad. I am still leaving the podcast. This is not a bit.
You’re probably wondering why! Here’s why:
Being suddenly let go from my job because of the COVID-19 pandemic bought me a lot of time to kill in quarantine. So, I decided to get off my ass and start seeing a psychotherapist. At the same time, I also started looking up memory and focus clinics, because I had talked previously with Sanguinary Novel earlier this year over some memory lapses I was having. I suspected ADHD, but I didn’t want to just go off some symptoms I was having, a medical professional’s opinion was needed here. But in the end, I’m glad I did. I don’t have ADHD. I’m just so depressed that I thought I actually did have it.
It took four months to get this done, but I got the test results back. Specifically, I have a high Beta-wave marker in the right front lobe of my brain that has been wrecking my shit for the last thirty three years of my life. I have been diagnosed with a particularly awful General Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (more specifically, what used to be Asperger’s).
The first two haven’t been really much of a surprise, I’ve always had this low mood, and the feeling that my anxiety paints my worldview as a cheap B-movie slasher (and not even a good one) since as far back as I could remember, but I didn’t see the Autistic Spectrum Disorder coming. But I keep reading the assessment I got from the clinic, and it makes sense. I have answers for why I am now, and they are either anticipatory anxiety or stubborn autism. I just genuinely didn’t think I was autistic or even depressed, and my answers lined up with other people’s reactions to who I am: “oh, it’s just STOG”. I’ve decided it’s time for me stop wallowing in my depression and make changes for the better, and ending my involvement in this podcast is one of those changes.
But this is partially why I’m quitting the podcast. In the process of figuring all of this out, I got my job back, but now I’m to wake up at 5AM to be ready for work. F Plus meetings happen at 9 (or later, if Lemon needs people to fill in), and episode recordings generally start a half-hour after that. Getting the episode done, getting the audio file to Lemon, then finally getting to bed means I’m up until midnight or later. You might be saying “It’s only three hours and some change of sleep you’re going to lose”, but I have to lift 100lb boxes of paper for a living, sometimes from a height of two stories high, and I don’t want to accidentally injure myself over a podcast that I’m on every two months or so. It’s bad enough that I have to deal with this brain chemistry.
Finally, I’m just not into the scope of the format that the podcast does anymore. Forum bullshit and rants on Amazon don’t excite me anymore, my thing now is willing new freaks into existence with the power of Heaven’s Lathe, seeing food review freaks getting excited over processed food prepared by underpaid workers, watching big dumb guys try to chug beer and fail spectacularly at it on Youtube. I’ve been getting into SOV horror and obscure ‘80s action movies with a horror game developer on weekends. I do bike rides late at night through darkened forests and tunnels while blasting metal into the darkness from my portable speaker. I made some really good cabbage and cauliflower soup the other day. I haven’t listened to an episode of this podcast in over a year, it’s been superseded by my other interests. Not to mention my attitude towards Lord Brighton Wetveal the Third’s ‘Why I Should Be Allowed To Fuck Rarity The Pony’ is just like “all right, whatever”.
I don’t know whether this will truly be a goodbye. Maybe I’ll be back. Cirith Ungol came back this year, 29 years after their last album in 1991, to pull off one of the greatest heavy metal comebacks I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. So if 60 year old men can still rock, anything’s possible.
Thank you all for getting something out of my high-Beta brainwave emissions.