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Grappling with Health Issues

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 5:56 pm - March 28, 2013.
Filed under: 2014 Elections,Carolina News

I realize that this whole “almost ran for Senate” thing is going to get old and I’m the last one to beat a dead horse.  But someone suggested today that I write some stuff about the experience that might be interesting for other people to read.  And there are some things I touched on (a bit) during the radio show that I didn’t include in the “official” blog post.  Also, need I remind anyone, a blog is supposed to be for crap like this.


GayPatriot Report – March 27 edition

One of the other big reasons for not tackling the Senate campaign is my health; the majority of which deals with my decade-long struggle with clinical depression.  Again, this isn’t breaking news — I’ve discussed it on the blog here in the past. 

However, everyone of a certain age still remembers how mental health issues derailed the Vice Presidential candidacy of Thomas Eagleton. (And no, I haven’t had electric shock treatments!).  More recently, former US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. seems to have dealt with depression to some extent – as well as criminal legal problems.

The fact of the matter is — I’m not sure I will ever be “cured” of my depression.  I had a really bad turn in 2010 which resulted in my life changing in ways I couldn’t imagine.  This is very personal stuff to discuss, folks, and not fodder for a political campaign — in my opinion.

Anyway, despite having my medication adjusted in 2010 — I still have bad days.  Well, I’d have to imagine one cannot have a “bad day” if one is running for public office.  And my brain doesn’t cooperate with me now — Lord only knows what it would have had in store for me.  And what people would have thought about those “bad days.”

As I mentioned on The GayPatriot Report last night, our mental healthcare system is a total mess.  Since I’m not running for public office, I can even call it a clusterfuck.  Thankfully, I have only had to personally be involved at a primary care level — but my previous corporate job (also mentioned on the radio) involved obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the mental health system in the USA.  Did I mention it SUCKS?

Read this book: Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.  It involves a much more serious case of mental health than I could ever imagine dealing with.  But I witnessed glimpses of this in my job.  We treat our seriously mentally ill citizens in this country in our prison systems.  That’s messed up.

I also mentioned last night on the radio show my struggles with back pain.  There probably isn’t a day where I can sit in a chair longer than 20 minutes without being in pain the rest of the day.  I have worsening arthritis in my lower spine.  And yeah, that also sucks.

And last year, while out on the lake where we live, I got thrown from a boat three times at 40 miles an hour.  Yeah, we were going too fast and it was dumb. No kidding.  Well, the stupidity resulted in my tearing all of the muscles on the inside of my diaphragm area below the ribs.  The pain became so crippling at the GOP Convention in Tampa, I had to go on Percocet and have someone drive me and my car home from Tampa, FL.  It STILL hurts and to make matters worse — I reinjured it last week.  UGH!  (Also sucks!)

I’m getting this out there to remind folks I repeatedly said that as long as I saw the doors opening, I would consider the Senate campaign seriously.  Well, the health matters were part of a number of doors that began to close after I came home from CPAC.

Listen to the radio show.  It explains a lot more.  My decision-making was multi-layered and had many twists and turns.  Nothing in life is as simple as we’d like it to be.

PS – I’m back to “GayPatriot” on Twitter.  Follow me.  It is less maudlin than this post, I promise.

-Bruce (@GayPatriot)



  1. Too bad
    It could’ve been interesting.

    Comment by mike — March 28, 2013 @ 6:45 pm - March 28, 2013

  2. I respect anyone who seriously entertains a run for office… let me amend that to conservatives that consider a bid for office.

    It seems that the media gives liberals a pass on a lot but is brutal on conservatives.

    Best wishes.

    Comment by KCRob — March 28, 2013 @ 7:11 pm - March 28, 2013

  3. True Sh-t KCRob. Can you imagine if Charlie Rangel or Bob Menendez were Republicans? Would Harry Reid’s obviously advancing senile dementia be covered up by the MFM if he were a Republican?

    Comment by V the K — March 28, 2013 @ 8:17 pm - March 28, 2013

  4. Bruce…. In light of this information, I’m really glad you didn’t run. If you would have gained traction, your opponent, or one of the PACs, would have no doubt tore into you with this.

    Would it have been fair???

    Hell No!

    But the one thing politics is not, is fair.

    As I say I love the game, but hate the stench.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — March 28, 2013 @ 8:47 pm - March 28, 2013

  5. Knew about the back pain, but didn’t know about the depression. Agree with SF. Kinda glad you didn’t run.

    BTW, I happen to work for a great spine surgeon.

    Comment by TGC — March 28, 2013 @ 9:35 pm - March 28, 2013

  6. The most important things are your health and your relationships with the people who love you. All else is secondary. It’s good that you understand that. You made your decisions according to the right priorities.

    The most decent people rarely run for office, because they do have the right priorities. That is America’s loss. But you’re making the best possible choices for yourself.

    Comment by Lori Heine — March 28, 2013 @ 11:22 pm - March 28, 2013

  7. Sonic-

    Yep. That was something I had to weigh. How would the treatment of me affect the type of campaign & support I could have.

    Life sucks sometimes, but it is the only one we get! 🙂

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — March 28, 2013 @ 11:34 pm - March 28, 2013

  8. With your political acumen (acumen… hmm that sounds interesting!) you could still easily be a behind the scenes adviser or something along those lines. To me, that sounds more interesting anyway.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — March 28, 2013 @ 11:45 pm - March 28, 2013

  9. I am glad you have the wisdom to see how crushing it could be to have someone use your depression to publically exploit, judge, and define you. Take good care of yourself and soldier on. You already make a big difference.

    Comment by Stacy — March 28, 2013 @ 11:47 pm - March 28, 2013

  10. Bruce:

    You have opened a whole new world for so many of us with this site. We all need you to continue what you do. THAT, my friend, is far more valuable than entering the political swamp of a campaign. Take care of yourself, we have your back..(no pun intended)..

    Comment by benj — March 29, 2013 @ 6:34 am - March 29, 2013

  11. I looked forward to voting for you. Someone needs to shake up our South Carolina politics. As for your health issues ……… please, get well and stay healthy. May God help you.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — March 29, 2013 @ 8:13 am - March 29, 2013

  12. I’m here for the porn.

    Comment by Ignatius — March 29, 2013 @ 8:40 pm - March 29, 2013

  13. “If you don’t have your health, you haven’t got anything.” -Count Rugen

    Comment by TGC — March 30, 2013 @ 1:48 am - March 30, 2013

  14. Many prayers your way. You are a great man and we appreciate everything you do.

    Comment by Linda — March 30, 2013 @ 10:20 am - March 30, 2013

  15. Bruce, You know I think you woulda made a way better Senator than Miss Graham, but I’m also glad you didn’t run (and not just cus of MatchGame :^D ). Politics is nasty nasty stuff & we saw what Skankette did at the mere prospect of your running. Not that you couldn’t have handled all that — I’m sure you could, but still dont like to see people I like get treated like that. Praying for your good health and full recovery, buddy! :^)

    Comment by AmericanElephant — March 30, 2013 @ 3:35 pm - March 30, 2013

  16. Take care of yourself!

    Comment by Papamishka — March 31, 2013 @ 2:06 am - March 31, 2013

  17. Too bad. You could have at least used your candidacy to raise awareness of the poor state of mental healthcare in the US. We really need to move away from super-hawk Sen Graham, it is not what the country needs or wants right now.

    Happy Easter! Take care of yourself.

    Comment by BigGator5 — March 31, 2013 @ 8:55 am - March 31, 2013

  18. Sorry you aren’t running, but you aren’t the only worthwhile citizen who decided not to run.

    Ok, that came out wrong. 😉 How about: there’s a lot of great folks out there who would get savaged if they ran. While Republicans can get nasty on their own, Democrats seem to have bought into the politics of personal destruction since the Clinton era. I suspect that James Carville (AKA Gollum’s little brother) had much to do with that.

    With respect to your depression, let me offer something on the lighter side:
    Ask your doctor about tacos.

    Comment by Casey — March 31, 2013 @ 9:45 pm - March 31, 2013

  19. My younger sister has clinical depression so I know what you’re going through.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 1, 2013 @ 3:55 pm - April 1, 2013

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