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There has always been a lot of talk about therapy being a sign of weakness or, for lack of a better term, “lesser person”. I’m not sure where that all started, and I think it’s utterly absurd. There are a few points I’d like to make here. The first one being, knowing you need help and seeking it out is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. It takes tremendous courage to admit that you have a problem and that you cannot face it on your own. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Which brings me straight to my second point. In my opinion, the more intelligent you are, the more fucked up you’re going to be. It’s true, ignorance is bliss. So if you have to seek out help, not only are you smart enough to admit that you’re not the most perfect person on the planet but you’re also smart enough to realize that the world is a really really fucked up place in many many ways. It’s hard to stay happy and optimistic when society is telling you you’re ugly and fat, and children are being bombed and animals are being tortured and you can’t figure out how you’re possibly supposed to fix everything within your life time. Especially when you feel like there are so few people out there who give a shit like you do. So next time you’re feeling a little ashamed to say that you’re seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist or a psychologist, know that it’s probably a sign that you’re a better person. Know that it’s okay not to know how to handle everything and that there are people out there feeling the same way. Know that sometimes life is just too fucking hard to be able to deal with everything at once all by yourself! And know that whoever says “God only gives you as much as you can handle” probably sees suicide as a cop out and probably believes in god so that shit doesn’t apply to you! God didn’t give you shit. Your brain is smart enough to know that there’s more to life than how tan you look in that selfie and it can’t figure out why the fuck you’re posting selfies online to get “likes” in the first place! WHY DOESN’T ANYONE ELSE GIVE A SHIT?!?! And next time, someone says something demeaning about mental health care or anything related, punch them right in the face. You can blame me directly. I’ll take the charges and the law suits. Because I’m sick and tired of feeling weak and helpless. So I’m doing something about it.

I don’t know who made this, but it is literally me. Like, no joke, I work at Starbucks and own that Doctor Who tardis mug. I also have light flowy curtains and posters all over my walls. And that facial expression! 👌 On point that is.

He had been bewildered by it once, her caring for a dull-witted fellow like him: then assured at last of her affection he had relaxed against it gratefully, unsuspecting it might ever be less constant than his own. Even now, listening to the restless brooding in her voice, he felt only a quick, unformulated kind of pride that after seven years his absence for a day should still concern her. While, she, his trust and earnestness controlling her again: ‘I know. It’s just that sometimes when you’re away I get lonely…’
"The Painted Door" - Sinclair Ross


Written in five different languages making it understood in approximately 120 countries. It’s to keep me safe while travelling but is also a tribute to my travels so far and to living with diabetes. When I was first diagnosed I was told they’d have a cure within ten years. As a kid I counted the years. When I got to ten I put my pen down. The tallies represent this. It’s been almost twenty years now. 

This photo was taken a few hours after the text was done so it’s obviously a lot darker than it will be and still inflamed.

The caduceus was done by Aaron at Unique Tattoos, Subiaco, Western Australia in 2011. The lettering was done yesterday by Carlin at Unique Tattoos. The typography was designed by my brother Jake from Two Of Three ( Design, Mostly).

I am not afraid of death…

I think death is beautiful. Eternal rest. Constant peace.

The ultimate escape.

But I am afraid of life. And maybe I’m afraid of dying.

I’m afraid of the pain waiting for me. The pain I experience everyday. The pain I know is still to come.

Death is the terminal escape.

No, I’m not afraid of death.

But I am afraid of not having enough time.

I’m afraid that I am going to work my entire life, just to die and never really get to live.

I think death would be easy.

But no one will kill me.

And no one will let me die.


They told me the big black Lab’s name was Reggie, as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly. I’d only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn’t hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie’s advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn’t look like “Lab people,” whatever that meant. They must’ve thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn’t really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too.
Maybe we were too much alike.

I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that. “Okay, Reggie,” I said out loud, “let’s see if your previous owner has any advice.”
____________ _________ _________ _________

To Whomever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can’t say that I’m happy you’re reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie’s new owner. I’m not even happy writing it. He knew something was different.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he’s part squirrel, the way he hoards them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn’t done it yet. Doesn’t
matter where you throw them, he’ll bound after them, so be careful. Don’t do it by any roads.

Next, commands. Reggie knows the obvious ones —-“sit,” “stay,” “come,” “heel.”

He knows hand signals, too: He knows “ball” and “food” and “bone” and “treat” like nobody’s business.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He’s up on his shots. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car. I don’t know how he knows when it’s time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. It’s only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He’s gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn’t bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

And that’s why I need to share one more bit of info with you…His name’s not Reggie. He’s a smart dog, he’ll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn’t bear to give them his real name. But if someone is reading this … well it means that his new owner should know his real name. His real name is “Tank.” Because, that is what I drive.

I told the shelter that they couldn’t make “Reggie” available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. You see, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could’ve left Tank with .. and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter … in the “event” … to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my CO is a dog-guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he’d do it personally. And if you’re reading this, then he made good on his word.

Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family. And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family, too, and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he
loved me.

If I have to give up Tank to keep those terrible people from coming to the US I am glad to have done so. He is my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that’s enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. Maybe I’ll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you,

Paul Mallory
____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure, I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver
Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

“Hey, Tank,” I said quietly.

The dog’s head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

“C’mere boy.”

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn’t heard in months. “Tank,” I whispered.

His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my
face into his scruff and hugged him.

“It’s me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me.” Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

“So whatdaya say we play some ball?” His ears perked again.

“Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?”

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared into the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.”

When I was little, I thought you met the person you were going to marry in high school. I thought that all of the “grown-ups” who were still alone didn’t find there person or lost them and would be alone forever. I vowed that wouldn’t be me. I promised myself that in high school, I would find a boy and I would hold onto him for the rest of my life.

Thank goodness I matured and realized how stupid that was!

Because none of you assholes were worth holding onto for the rest of my life.

I still have the rest of my life and I’ll hold onto myself if that remains the best option, as it is now.

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