I probably should have started with some background info as most don't know me, or at least not the beginnings. Before I jumped in with the 2006 posts.
I grew up in New Hampshire a normal kid, doing the normal things, playing hockey, CYO basketball, chasing race cars (most super modifieds), loving music, playing ring & run, and other havoc.
But it was in second grade that I started noticing things that wouldn't be considered 'normal' but I had no clue why or what for. But back in 1972 there was no internet, Discovery Health Channel or The Learning Channel. But I was very, very good at keeping these feelings to myself. But I didn't have a clue what they were. None.
Fast forward, and I've always been interested in girls, still am. Dated one girl for over nine years that I thought for sure I would marry, but after she graduated from college, she ran into a few demons of her own and eventually we split up up. Though it had been essentially over for sometime time, her friends begged me to cheat, see someone else, do anything but please don't break up with her, concerning for her own safety. I never knew if our dates would be on/off, canceled or she'd show up for ten minutes and suddenly excuse herself and leave for the evening.
So I got myself involved. Overly involved. I was working my full time job, helping a friend with his record store (remember them?), taking racing photos, going to Daytona for Speedweeks, and eventually being asked to go to work at Lee USA Speedway where I worked for eleven years (with a break after 1998 and another in the early 2000's). I also spent a 1992 as Chairman of The Merrimack Valley Young Republicans. Eventually my girlfriend decided that I was "too busy for a girlfriend" and broke it off with me.
I dated on and off for years. Including, in hindsight, one rather unhealthy relationship that was continually cycling in an on/off/on again rotation. But in this time period, I was asked to go to work for the International Super Modified Association (ISMA), where again I spent eleven years, with also, two breaks . After one year of ISMA, I was invited to work at the Oswego Speedway (NY). Here I was working 40 hours at my real job, driving to work at Lee on Friday nights, getting home after midnight, to be up early to make the six hour drive to Oswego, work then party til 2 or 3 a.m., get up and be on the road home to NH by 10:00 a.m. IF I didn't have an ISMA race in Cayuga, Ontario or somewhere else on the east coast, on Sunday.
In 1998,things happened both at Lee and with ISMA and I had burnt myself out on racing and especially most racing people. I saw a side I didn't like. Politics and back stabbing. I walked away from the sport I loved. Well I tried to anyways, eventually I spent half a season helping the Pro Truck Tour and helping with a super modfied team that was chasing the ISMA circuit.
I met what I thought was the girl of my dreams and I knew it almost instantly. We had a lot in common, and as we found out and a hauntingly similar attraction to each other. But like all good things, it came to an end. Not a bitter end, but a slow fizzle. She couldn't commit. Our first true date was at Hampton Beach on a very hot bright sunny day. A few years later our official break up came also at Hampton Beach. But despite being mid-summer, it was gray, foggy and unusually cold.
After we went our separate ways, I went to my favorite watering hole on the Hampton bay at the marina. Being cold out, inside the bar was busy, but I had the deck on the water to myself and where I drank and cried my problems away. I also swore off relationships at that point. Much later I decided was time for me to dig into my own inner demons. Dated a bit but not much.
I also found myself increasingly drinking heavy, having manic attitude changes and just doing things that weren't me. I was not proud of myself and even now, looking back I'm not proud. But I was slowly seeing a problem. But then one day at work, a co-worker, Sue Orr blasted me and blasted me good. My attitude would fluctuate by the minute up/down/up/down sometimes down right nasty and most often I didn't see it coming. But I knew she was correct. We both thought maybe it was a bi-polar issue. I sought out counseling. It HAD to be a female and it had to be out of town where no one would know me.
Amy Metcalf, immediately diagnosed me as depressed, not bi-polar. I went on Paxil and suddenly I was feeling much better about life and myself. This went on for a couple of years. But the big thing is, I would go see Amy and only answer with yes or no. I didn't talk. I didn't tell her a thing. She tried hard to drag info out of me, but I wouldn't talk, Bless her, she tried hard but I was a stone wall. Eventually I did talk about family, work, friends, life etc. But never the real issue.
But in 2004. Amy noticed my conversations tended to involve a lot of drinking or events. I never told her the half of it and she still forewarned me of the potential trouble I could face. And at this point, if I wasn't at a my real job, working my fun job at Newbury Comics or working an ISMA or NEMA race. I was drinking. Non-stop alcohol until it was time for bed. But my depression was getting worse, even with the meds. I just masked it better.
In late 2004, I found myself scanning a lot of my racing photos and sending them off to friends in the racing community. The reason I did that was because I knew, I was going to die, probably at my own hand, and at least the photos would live on, because I certainly wasn't.