Ten pounds of weird in a five-pound bag.

My goofy-ass mug (photo credit: Matthew Maniaci)

Hi, my name is Matthew Maniaci, I’m 34, and I’m a huge nerd. I enjoy playing board games with friends, going to sci-fi conventions, and playing with my four cats. Also, apparently I can’t write a short article to save my life.

I was always an awkward kid in grade school. I would often spend my recesses walking around the blacktop and just…thinking. The teachers were a bit worried about me. In sixth grade, with all the changes and hormones, I started getting depressed. I got so depressed, in fact, that toward the end of the year, at age 12…

A brief introduction to my publication.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

When I was a young boy…

I’ve always had a love for writing. Even as a kid, I aspired to write an award-winning novel. I was an avid reader and was writing stories almost as soon as I could write. The fact that I became a writer for a living seemed almost fated.

So, my eventual entry into Medium was just another step in the process. I initially started writing here as a means of sharing my experiences with mental illness. It has since grown into this: the Thing a Day.

The Thing a Day, which is modeled on Jonathan…

A story of losing friendships and gaining insight.

Photo by Olga DeLawrence on Unsplash

I talk periodically about the time in my life that I call “the bender.” This was a point in college where I decided that I didn’t care for how my psychiatric medications were making me feel and quit taking them cold turkey without telling anyone.

Before I start, a disclaimer: never ever do this. You can do incredible damage to your body this way, and you run the risk of seizures and worse. If you want to stop taking a medication because of how it makes you feel, talk to your prescriber first. They will guide you through the process.

A maxim that I live by.

Photo Credit: Matthew Maniaci (2021)

I have a friend who is a Cold War Army veteran. He worked with nuclear weapons in the 80s, when the threat of nuclear annihilation was real. He’s a wickedly intelligent man, well-versed in history (particularly military history) and with a fairly broad scientific knowledge base. He spent a significant amount of his life in the Army, after which he applied his knowledge of explosives in a variety of roles supporting various police forces.

I don’t have his permission to talk much about his life, so I’m going to leave it there for now. …

The one-month anniversary of my weird little project.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Today is the one-month anniversary of the Thing a Day. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it and have put out one daily thing for 30 days, with this being the 31st article published in my experimental publication.

(To be accurate, today is two days before the anniversary, I just write ahead, but I’ll get to that.)

I’ve had a lot of fun with this project so far, and I plan to keep going as long as I have steam and things to write about. …

And why a movie doesn’t have to be both.

Photo by Georgia Vagim on Unsplash

I am not a huge movie person. I have a handful of movies and movie franchises that I enjoy, but by and large, I am not the type to watch a particular movie every year on a particular date for some reason or another. For me, movies are entertainment, but not necessarily something I pin my life to.

That’s not to say I look down on people who do those things. …

A story of making music on a tiny instrument.

Photo by Joints Creative on Unsplash

I have always been a bit musically inclined. When I was very small, I would play around on our family’s piano, plinking out tunes I’d heard. My parents were thrilled that I took an interest in the piano — neither of them played, the piano had just come with the house. I think they were just happy it would get some use.

They wound up investing in piano lessons for me in grade and middle school. I threw myself into them for a bit, then grew tired of it. I didn’t have the discipline to practice regularly, which often led…

I am now and will always be a cat person.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

I’ve talked about how my partner and I don’t plan on having kids, and how we prefer having cats instead. Since I’ve taken to posting fluff on Sundays, today I’m going to talk about my cats and how incredibly cute they are. There are some sad stories in here, though, so be warned.

We currently have four cats: Jello, Bilbo, Katsu, and Toner. Jello and Bilbo are brothers from the same litter, and they initially came with a third brother: Darby. All three of the brothers were black, with Jello and Bilbo having a couple of small white patches. When…

Or: The time I learned that having fun isn’t enough.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I have talked about how I feel like we should not have to monetize our hobbies. I have talked about how hobbies should be fun, and how it shouldn’t matter whether you’re good at them or not. Those are realizations that I have only come to in recent years.

This story, however, is one of my first run-ins with the mentality that there is no point in doing something if you’re not good at it.

I played little league when I was in middle school. I played it for fun because my friends were on the team and I wanted…

A brief rundown of why, when someone hurts you, they probably don’t remember it.

Photo by Slavcho Malezanov on Unsplash

I have a tumultuous relationship with my father. On the one hand, he helped me survive high school in a very literal way. On the other hand, we are very, very different people with clashing personalities. At the moment, I don’t talk to him, and I don’t plan to ever talk to him again.

As I said, I acknowledge that he helped me survive my teenage years while my brain was being ravaged by my bipolar disorder. That said, my father is the type of person who tends to speak without thinking through what he’s saying. …

Matthew Maniaci

Living with and talking about mental illness in an open, honest way to help break down stigma. I was one of those suicidal kids you read about. He/him/his.

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