Posted by: joha5 | October 15, 2010

Rage, Steroids, & How I Came To Hate the Coal Miners in Chile

Today is a day to be appreciated.  The leaves are just starting to change colors, the weather could not be more beautiful, and there isn’t a single cloud in the sky.  Today is the embodiment of a perfect autumn day.  Unfortunately, I am having a very hard time appreciating it.  The reason for this is because I am on crazy pills. 

Let me answer before you ask: no, I’m not crazy.  But if you didn’t know any better I bet I could have fooled you.  As many of you may – or may not – know, I am preparing my body for surgery next Wednesday, October 20th.  The surgical procedure involves the removal of my tonsils, my adenoids, a total and complete clear out of my sinuses with some machine that has a spinning razor blade and suction mechanism at the end, and to top it all off I will be having my septum broken and then reset.  I bet you can imagine how much I am looking forward to it.  The anxiety and anticipation of such a procedure would be enough to make any rational person crazy but I don’t blame either for my loopiness.  What is making me crazy is the intense regimen of steroids that I have been on.  That’s right – steroids.  The weight inducing, anger inciting, mood swinging, zit starting, sleep depriving devil of a pill.  It just so happens that steroids also reduce inflammation of sinus and nasal tissue as well as all of the other fun side effects just named.  Who knew?! 

This about says it all...

Well, the short answer is that I do…now.  I feel like I have become a zombie with a host of  undealt with emotional issues that have been left to fester since I first turned to eating brains all those years ago.  Only the truth of the matter is that I am not a zombie.  I am a – somewhat – functioning adult in a society full of seemingly rational people with rational thoughts and actions.  This obviously complicates things greatly in more ways than one. 

I first became consciously aware of just how bizarre I was acting when I was watching the miner’s rebirth in the hills of Copiapo, Chile.  Aside from it being one of the most incredible feel-good-stories of the past decade, it was a human feat to be marveled at.  My eyes were glued to the screen as the first miner – Mr. Avalos – was pulled from over 2,000 feet under the earth.  My eyes welled up as his 7-year-old son waited with bated breath until he saw his father walk out of the cage.  His primal scream was followed by a deluge of tears and you could physically see the burden and anxiety that he had felt for 69 days be lifted off of his tiny shoulders.  He was shedding tears of joy and the rest of the world followed his lead…

Florencio Avalos Reunites with his Family after spending 10 weeks living almost half of a mile underground. What an incredible moment.

…and then the steroids kicked in.  My eyes quickly dried up and I became – get this – blind with rage

“That’s only the first miner!  They are going to be doing this for the next 2 days!  How dare they take up my valuable TV watching time!  How do these people think they are?!  How did Chile even fund this whole thing?  How can they extend the coverage on this for the next 2 days when they are going to be doing the exact same thing 33 times over?!  Wait a second…are they singing the Chilean national anthem?!  This is the most choreographed governmental propaganda statement I have ever seen!  How dare they!” 

The change of mood was totally irrational, completely thoughtless, and unspeakably selfish  (if not mildly amusing to look back on now) – and I knew this in my logical thought’s yet I just couldn’t recover from this dark sense of anger that had descended upon me in a split second. 

“Get a hold of yourself, Jonathan!” my mother yelled at me as I was complaining to my friend on the phone.  “Why do you always have to be so cynical?!”

Turning my rage to her, I screamed back.  “This isn’t entertainment!  These are people’s lives that you are watching unfold on TV and you are treating it like a 24 hour reality show…and how cynical is that?!”

“Oh shut up, Jonathan.  Just watch the stupid television and leave me alone.”

“Oh yeah?!  FineI will.  And you shut up too.”  Apparently steroids also make you immature.

I turned my attention back to these self-serving, egotistical, and attention seeking miners whom I was now convinced that I would be seeing and hearing for the rest of my natural life.  “I can’t take this” I thought to myself as I sat stewing in my raging hormones.  “These people are just unbearable“.  Realizing that I had no option but to watch this on television thanks to my mother’s selfish desire to watch something happy on the news for once, I dejectedly went and sat on the sofa. 


My attention had been captured again by this stupid story and I was being held hostage in my own personal hell…until the camera panned over to the man’s wife and family.  They could barely stand still.  There were tears in their eyes.  They were about to see their brother, their father, their son, for the first time in 10 weeks. 

Then out of nowhere I had another thought: “What is this salty discharge coming from my eyes?  Oh my God, if my mother sees this…”

As quickly as my rage had come, it was gone.  In that one instant I felt like I had reverted to being a 7-year-old boy standing in the hills of Copiapa, Chile waiting with bated breath which was soon to be followed by a deluge of tears as the fear and anxiety lifted off of my 28-year-old shoulder’s.  Only I wasn’t 7 and had no relatives who had been forced to cave dwelling for 10 weeks.  I was a 28-year-old man sitting in my suburban Washington, D.C. home prepping for surgery by ingesting a copious amount of steroids not knowing just how absurd I would act after I began my regimen. 

“What is wrong with me?!” was the only thought that was going through my head.  My mother was right.  I needed to get a hold of myself and I needed to do it quickly.  Even though I was anxious, stressed, and nervous about my pending procedure, I had my very first rational thought of the night: this surgery cannot come fast enough. 

I'm not looking forward to this but at least I won't have to take any more of those crazy pills!



  1. HAHAH! it’ll be very hard not to slip steroids into your drinks in the future, if only because I WISH I could see you roid raging and being all bi-polar crazy. I mean, I love yoooooouuuu!!! xoxo

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