The Hardest Lesson

The Hardest Lesson

If you noticed by the lack of posting, some stray tweets, and my announcement the other day about a family issue, you know I’ve been going through some life changes. It’s been very hard to find the motivation to continue writing while in a deeply depressed state like this. But if I don’t start soon, I will be doomed to months or even years of sorrow and regret. That’s simply something I can’t allow myself to slip into, or problems will only get worse. I’m writing that as much to myself as I am to you. This is the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn in my life.

I didn’t think this blog would amount to anything when it started. I made some early hits, and the attention exploded. I didn’t become rich, and I still struggle to make this a full-time livable job. Still, the pressure became very tough. I began to neglect my personal relationships in favor of posting about the latest SJW nutcase or GamerGate happening. I let my internet rivalries and news-gathering eclipse everything else. I lost sight of what the important things in life are, and now I’m paying for it.

I’m not going to get into the exact nature of my problem, because it really doesn’t matter. We all go through terrible things. “Life is suffering,” as the saying goes. But things move on, even if you want to turn the clock back to a previous and possibly happier time. You can’t will it to happen. There’s no point in dwelling on the things you cannot change. Take the (short) time you need to grieve and then move on. The future may bring about the result you want,or maybe an even better one that you hadn’t considered, but you can’t allow the present depression to consume you. Beat it back with family and through making yourself a better man.f6720ba09afbf5a184765e093d4561b2

The only other option is to give in to pain and feed your worst demons. Personally, I have a problem with drinking, much like my old friend Leigh Alexander. I’ve decided to quit, for good. It’s cost me too much and it isn’t worth it. In fact, any substance abuse has turned out to be a massive time and money sink for me, and has held me back from accomplishing my goals. So I’m giving it all up. Your demon might not be drink or the occasional toke. Maybe something else cost you dearly. Give that shit up and don’t look back. Whether it helps you achieve your immediate goal(s) is not important. Making the tough changes you need to make now, while at your lowest point, will improve your chances at long-term happiness. Ignoring what got you into this mess will only lead to an entire lifetime of failure, unhappiness, and possibly worse.

I want to thank all the people who have reached out to me during my time of obvious despair. No less than fifty people, some of whom I never talk to (and even a few enemies), personally messaged me in one way or another with their support. I simply cannot express how much that means to me. I’m still flattered everyday that people care enough about my work to even come here to the site. So for them to also care enough about me to be worried about my physical well-being? It’s even more heart-warming. I will make it through this. I don’t have any other choice, and neither do the rest of you.

That’s why I say my story is hardly unique. We’ve all lost things or fucked up our lives in some way. But the important thing is to keep working on this thing called life. You’ll never forget the memories, both good and bad. But memories aren’t what truly matter, as much as they mean to us. What matters is the here and now. Guess what? The here and now doesn’t give a shit that you’re sad. So get off your ass and get to work.

That’s what I’m going to do.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.