my dharma journey to mental healthiness


Some years ago, my friend Kriste nicknamed me “Bucko” for reasons I no longer remember. At about the same time, I decided to start a personal blog about my mental health stuff, which, at the time, I had little understanding of beyond knowing I had issues. I decided to seize Bucko as a literary device, and hence: carpe Bucko.

It was a sporadic endeavor, but I am committed to making it a regular part of my mental health progress. I don’t believe the world needs for me to tell it what’s going on in my head, but I need to write that stuff out for my own good. I learn a lot through the writing process, so this is a form of therapy.

One intention of this blog is to become a better writer. As Harlan Ellison said, giving the most accurate and concise writing advice ever: Writers write. The less I write, the less healthy I am. Harlan did not say “Writers write great stuff all the time.” They just write.

I am T.A. Barnhart. I’m in my late 60s, living off Social Security and a part-time job I love (Kitchen Kaboodle at Orenco Station). I enjoy a lot of things in life, like writing, but because of my mental health challenges, especially anxiety, I have never lived my life in a way where I could fully enjoy all these things. I am an urban cyclist, a home gourmet, and I love anime.

I have 2 grown sons, one of whom has 4 beautiful children and two stepkids via his second wife. The other has dogs, cats, and a lovely wife. All these people are wonderful and make me happy.