I got out of the business twice - both times in the 90s - once for six months, once for a year. I got back in because people would say, "Just do the one night a week", or "Just do this one event", then it was right back in. Those times it was conscious decisions to get out, but this time it's not that I'm deciding to to anything, it's that I can't bring myself (at least not at the moment) to play an instrument, to learn the songs that I just recorded, to sing, or to do anything relating to music. As I said, it was drudgery to finish recording (in fact, I still have at least one more fiddle part to do, and I'm not sure I can even bring myself to do it), and the same to go out and do the video the other day. (Blake Shelton is on Letterman right now in the other room and I have this urge to throw a 90mph fastball through the TV screen - can't stomach his fake southern accent, his ridiculous music, and all the phony bullshit that comes out of his mouth).
In the back of my mind, I have the thought that says I can't have come all this way - learning how to play all those instruments, learning how to sing; and how to be in front of an audience, how to connect with them, and whatever else - for nothing. Then I see the reality that has been in front of me for no less than five years, and I have the mind to run for the hills. Maybe this horrid feeling will pass, and I'll feel like playing again, but for now, the last thing I want to do is look at a guitar, or any other instrument for that matter. As for encouragement, I've always been the one to give that to myself - it has always been the case where most people have done whatever possible to discourage me, take me down, stifle me, destroy my life, and then some - and as time goes on, it gets worse, not better. It's never me that I doubt, but I do get damn tired of some of the vicious, despicable, and cowardly things that so many have blasted me with - always sneaking up on me from behind the bushes - and always with everything working in their favor. It's much worse than the devil - these are live people who would stop at nothing to take me down, and if you think that doesn't get tiring after 35 years, think again.
Keep in mind, I wasn't born with this disgust - this is a result of decades of B.S., of being lied to, stolen from (tens of thousands of dollars worth - if not more), exploited, attacked from behind, and otherwise beat over the head with every brand of cowardly B.S. you can imagine - and a bunch that you couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams.
So, that's where I am as of now. I take one day at a time, seeing how I feel when I drudgingly get out of bed in the morning.