I'm struggling for survival.

But I also know how lucky I am to have friends far and near who care so much as to come sit with me (Jessica Mckeown/Brian Labelle). A sister, Sandra Houle, to keep me close and to hold my heart in her hands as it breaks into a thousand pieces when I'm too weak to hold it myself.

An amazing and close friend across the world, Jahanzeb Jks, keeping me tethered to the world.

My adopted family, John Litwin/Heather Klein-Litwin/Christopher Ryan Blevins/Steven Judkins/Phoenix/Joe Bert Oliver/Casey Shepard, who pull close even when I push as hard as I can to keep them away.

Employers, Denise Kapulka Cariglia and at my other job as well, that have expressed kindness and concern. Who have shown understanding and gentle kindness while I fight my way through the darkness in search of the light.

A mother, who tells me over and over that she loves me no matter what, even when I've gone down a path so divergent from her own. And when I work to hide the harshest moments to shield her from my darkness she still reaches into the darkness to hold me close.

I've found refuge in the Blues at venues I've just started to discover after more than a decade here in New England. Places that bring talented artists close enough to travel to, places to breathe again.

Bull Run https://www.facebook.com/bullrunrestaurant/

Chans Eggroll and Jazz https://www.facebook.com/Chans-Egg-Rolls-and-Jazz-181466262077/

Iron Horse https://www.facebook.com/IHEGMUSIC/

Mohegan Sun https://www.facebook.com/mohegansun/

Grog Restaurant http://www.thegrog.com/

House of Blues https://www.facebook.com/HOBBoston/

City Winery https://www.facebook.com/citywinerybos/

And more....

When I tell people my heart lives in the Blues, I don't think they always understand just how intensely I mean those words. The music has given me a sword and a shield to fight with. It has rescued me, in the most literal of terms, when I've begun to take that final plunge into Darkness. It was BB King to start and many more along the way but his was the first and most intense rescue. And the next who quite literally threw me a rope even when they didn't know they were doing it was Nick Moss and his band with Dennis Gruenling. And have shown such kindness to allow me a chance to talk with them in ways that I never thought possible.

It's with this love and music and kindness that I'm clinging to in the storm as my battlements, my walls, my bunkers and decades of protections are violently striped away in a raging category 47 hurricane in the pitch darkness. So violent that even my ropes of last resort have begun to fray while holding me from being pulled all the way into my darkness where my demons flourish and pull the hardest to win their prize of a soul to be totally split into multiple trophies of agony and internal war that was finally lost.

I've said it before...I've no worries of death from old age, diabetes, weight, cancers, accidents. My only fear is that my demons will overcome me totally.

I fully expect that some day my cause of death will be none of the above except a final and epic loss of not a battle but a war waged by my own body against my heart and soul.

Until then, and with the kindness and music, I'm going to continue to fight for survival and that even amongst the wreckage I'll try to rebuild. It's not pretty and may be hurtful to those I care about most as my battle raged and my judgments warped into hurtful actions. But they keep coming back. I honestly don't know why, but I love them for it.

I may not play an instrument or be able to sing, but I've always thought of myself as a Blues man...even though I was not always sure. A true Blues Man put out his hand and showed me, told me, that I am. And it's a title I take proudly.

I'm having a moment of calm by virtue of my family and friends. But this battle is far from over.