Sad Day in Sternland

I am a HUGE Howard Stern Show fan. His show and Sirius radio in general have replaced TV as my prime source of entertainment. Artie Lange is large part of the greatest radio show ever. He opened up about his life to us throughout the 4+ years of uncensored radio and in the pages of his book “Too Fat To Fish”. He’s admitted addiction to alcohol, cocaine, heroin and opiates. It was very upsetting to hear Howard discuss this on the air:

Taken from the New York Post-Page 6

Stern sidekick in suicide try

Troubled comic Artie Lange landed in the hospital after stabbing himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt, sources told The Post. Lange’s frantic mom called 911 Saturday morning after she entered his Hoboken apartment and found the bloodied funnyman, a law-enforcement source said. Lange sustained six “hesitation wounds” and three deep plunges. A source close to Lange’s management team confirmed that the Howard Stern sidekick stabbed himself, adding that his mother had come to visit him that day to drop off food. Surgeons managed to save Lange despite heavy bleeding. “We all have our demons,” Stern said on-air this week, referring to Lange’s past battles with addiction. “Artie has given this show tremendous moments of great comedy. He’s a tremendous contributor. He is a good man. Don’t forget how great he is.”

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I can by no means understand the pain that brings one to try and kill himself. I’ve had a great deal of loss and hardship in my life. I continue to get up every morning in my small trailer with no job to go to and try to find a reason to justify sharing oxygen with the productive members of society. I take pictures of flowers, eagles and other things that strike my curiosity. It brings me happiness to see the subtle to striking yet always imperfect beauty in the everyday things. I wasn’t always this way. Rushing from ball field to ball field with 2 young boys left little time for much else. Homework and their social calendar intertwined with my 2 jobs and helping run a household. That life seems so long ago and really, it is. I can talk about incidences that happened 20 years ago with my boys and speak about it like it was yesterday. Individual plays from youth football and baseball games are still debated.

These memories and the hope of a better tomorrow keep me from the depths of pain and addiction that Artie must have felt. A dear friend of mine committed suicide a few years ago. We had drifted apart after being almost inseparable for years. My last time seeing him left me with such great final thoughts that the loss seemed almost unfathomable. In hind sight, this was his plan all along. (Good job Ffej.) What those thoughts really left me with was an anger that hasn’t gone away. “How could he NOT reach out?”

I have the greatest friends in the world. We call ourselves “The Clams”. (Don’t ask. It’s a long story.) I’ve been close to these people for over 30 years. They (we) understand and/or accept everyones quirks. Everyone in “The Clams” is family and we would do anything we could to help one another. This is what pisses me off about Jeff’s suicide. All he had to do was ask. This anger has helped dispel any self demise thoughts from my head. I can’t pass this feeling along to my kids, grandkids or my friends again. So you see, in a round about way, Jeff is still helping guide me through life’s maze. I miss him. I miss Dawn. I miss my mom, dad and brother but they guide me daily. Because of a promise to my brother, I started seeing a doctor for regular check ups and a tumor was discovered after a conversation during one of these visits. I quit smoking cigarettes because of another promise to him. These people shape me today. The blur of the past 6 years blind me at times. The events could add up to immense despair but I choose to use them as ways to grow. What it’s growing into is the mystery but clearly explains my literal “stop and smell the roses” attitude. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I started to slow down and enjoy the little things. I’ve tried.

I appreciate all the selfless acts of kindness and support that my friends have exhibited and doing something to myself would be the ultimate betrayal to them. It startles me someone in Artie Lange’s position could fall to this level of hopelessness. I hope that Artie finds his “Clams” and his reason to wake up every morning.

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