What Makes You Happy?

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What Makes You Happy

 

I haven’t written in a long time, part of me felt like it was maybe because I’ve been doing better. I haven’t been feeling as depressed. My life had seemingly come together, even if just the slightest. I always told myself that when hockey ended, I was going to become an author, a literary wizard; I was going to write every day now that I had a bit more time. Well, hockey’s been over for about six weeks, and I am just starting to write at 10:56PM Easter Sunday.

Sure, I’ve been busy with things in the meantime, but if anyone knows me, busy, is not an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the means to do it. Busy doesn’t exist in my world. It’s not because I don’t ever do anything, in fact, that’s probably quite the opposite. I probably have more going on than most folk. Actually, I could almost guarantee that. I just don’t feel the need to let everyone know how I preoccupied I am. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. It makes me sick when people say they are too busy.

Why? I remember years ago, my sister tried to chat with me through Facebook, through simple Internet chat… and, I recall looking at the messages, the message read something along the lines of hey, call me when you got some time, want to know how college is going. I looked at it, thought, meh; I’ll call her later… I am busy. I never called her. And, I don’t know if I ever talked to her again. She committed suicide a couple of months after, and I’ve never been too busy since.   So when people tell me, they are too busy. It doesn’t sit well. At all.

So, to say that I haven’t been writing, because I have been doing well, or because I have been doing poorly… I don’t even know the answer. Sometimes life has a tendency to just happen, and just leave me trapped in the motions that I just can’t comprehend the appropriate emotions, and feelings.

I know that writing provides me with the single most joyous experiences of my life. So, you would think it’s easier to do so. But… for some reason, it’s been getting more difficult, and for the first time, I feel like my writing is actually good. In the past, all I did was write about how I felt. That’s it. There was no scientific method to it; there was no English specialty behind it. Simply, just how I felt. I have such a difficult time re-reading my pieces, for a variety of reasons… mainly because I feel such a huge disconnect with the person who wrote that very piece, but also because… I think it’s shit. I looked earlier, and I have posted 47 entries to GAB. This being 48. I can honestly say that 1 was of quality, Your Move Chief. So, as much gratification as writing brings me… I don’t know if it’s from the actual writing, or the feedback. As pathetic as this may be, I seek so much approval, and accreditation, from… whomever, predominantly from my mom, and from my fiancé…. It’s pathetic, if I don’t hear anything within a day or so, I am texting those two asking what they thought… It drives me crazy that I do this. But… I do. And, I can probably recap every single compliment, or piece of positive feedback I have received from my blog. There is truly nothing, and I mean NOTHING more gratifying than when I hear about people who have read my blog, and find comfort from reading. Whether, I know them or not. I spend so much time wanting to write, then I spend such little time actually writing, and I conclude with spending even more time looking for approval on my writing. From, my family… my fiancé… my best friends… my friends… strangers… When, I receive this, it’s pure happiness. Joy. Elation. You know that feeling where you just can’t wipe that smile off your face. This is the only time I’ll feel it. So you’d think I’d write more, with this being the case. But, truth is… I think I have become a bit scared. My unrelenting life standards have once again trapped me with failure. Where, I need simple accolades. However, that’s slowed down significantly. I don’t know if it’s because my writing has gotten stale, or the content has. Or maybe, I am just without the random viewers from Europe. Or, perhaps, the people who have already graciously patted my back don’t feel like they need to tell me good job every single fucking time. Though they shouldn’t. However, I feel like, unless I get that… I am failing. I want to know what every single person thinks of my writing, even if they think it’s complete crap. I just want to know… because; I think it is too, I can’t even find myself appreciative, and satisfied with my own work.

So, in getting to the point of this entry… the great folks at Mind Your Mind proposed the question, what makes you happy? I thought about it for a long, long time. There are so many things that I enjoy, so many. But, to label them as something that makes me completely happy would likely be false. I think at any point, doing makes me happy. Regardless, of what it is that I am doing. I think sometimes you can find temporary joy in that, and I do. But, I tried to really think of something that makes me truly happy. True joy. I almost couldn’t think of anything, till I thought about writing, then I thought about all of the positive feedback I have received over the two years, and the people I have been able to help, if even just to help them temporarily. This has brought me pure joy, and continues to do so. It’s the only thing that allows me to feel self-pride, and self worth. Regardless, of the success I have at work, or in coaching sports, or my daily life even. I always seem to be stuck wanting more, and eventually get a place where good just isn’t good enough. But, with writing, that’s different. Even, if I receive two notes about my latest post, to me it was a success, and it provides that feeling. That feeling where I can’t stop but smiling, even if it’s a random stranger at an arena that says, “hey, you’re the guy that writes that mental health blog” … Yes, I guess so. These are the things that keep me ticking, and continue to remind me just what it is to feel joy, and to feel good.

You just hope that somehow you can find a way to enjoy, accept and appreciate your own bravery and work. Sometimes there is just far too much pressure on writing purely for the audience, and hoping to help them find joy, and hope. I need to find my own first.

Rest easy, and rest happily Max. I hope you can still find some time to read my blog, and I hope that you’ve found true joy.   I know you and Jen are hanging out as we speak. Listening to music, watching over us, and laughing at us.

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Your Move, Chief

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Maybe this is too late.  Maybe this isn’t even relevant anymore.  But, last week we lost one of the finest individuals to grace this planet.  No, not just because he was a phenomenal actor, but because he battled for so long, to bring everyone else joy and laughter despite his own misery, and emptiness, despite his own mental obstruction. He was gifted, courageous, and beyond brave.

Upon hearing the news of Robin passing away, I was upbeat, driving home from engagement photos, and on the radio, as DJ whoever began playing his next techno beat, and the beats of this terrible song faded in, DJ whoever let us know that an icon had passed. But, that was all. Into the techno trance the song went. Instantly, I felt sick. I loved Robin Williams. First thing that came to my mind, was… Is this guy talking about the same Robin Williams that played Mrs. Doubtfire? Like… Patch Adams – Robin Williams? Surely, He’d have done more than just say “oh hey by the way folks before we get to this song…” But, after searching my mind for a few minutes for another Robin Williams, I came to the unfortunate conclusion. Yes. It was… Patch Adams. Typically though, as part of my own constant fight with mental illness, I feel nothing. That’s my usual reaction. Nothing. Emptiness. Even amongst the most tragic events. I don’t usually feel an overwhelming amount of sadness, or despair. I don’t…. usually feel anything. Empty. I try too, but I can’t for anymore than a moment.  But, I felt sad. Abnormally sad, I just had a bad feeling.  I felt connected.  Moments later, I got home… and I think I had already convinced myself I knew how Mr. Williams had passed. I turned on the TV, and it was confirmed. Suicide. My heart sunk, and my stomach twisted immediately. I don’t know how I knew. It just hit me close to home, right away. I just knew.  I felt it.

As sad as it were for me to learn about the news of Mr. Williams, I am not on a personal level with Mr. Williams, therefore, I couldn’t allow myself to be overtaken by the news. I can’t try and feel the same pain that his family and friends feel, I don’t want too. I’ve felt that. But, the hardest part for me in moving on from this one quickly, and not allowing myself to feel anything more than a few moments of sadness was… the rest of us.

I’m not one to follow along to celebrities’ personal troubles. I always believe they are humans alike the rest of us, they just happen to be good at their jobs, and the rest of us care way too much about what they’re doing, and put them under these encapsulated microscopes, and we wait for them to struggle, we wait for bad things to happen to them, and we pounce, we have opinions, comments, we have all the answers to the lives of these robots. As if that’s what they are.

As par for the course, when a celebrity struggles, fights, battles anything. It becomes a global issue for a mere 72 hours. Whether it’s racism, poverty, drugs, crime, physical health, and… Mental health. It’s unfortunate that all of the problems that plague our society are only really discussed at the “trending” level, when one of these robots we hold on a mile-high pedestal is identified with of these issues. Though, I notice this often, I am easily able to just shut off twitter, facebook, TV, radio…etc, and I don’t need to really associate myself with the opinons, and views of “us”… But, this time, I associated myself too close to the matter, and let it get to me.  It was too close to home.

Shortly after learning about the passing of Robin Williams, I posted this…

Devastated by the news of Robin Williams. Too close to home for me. An unfortunate reminder that we can all be victim to mental illnesses. No matter how rich, or how famous, we’re all just human. #RIP Robin Williams.

The response was tremendous, reassuring, almost like people understood this time.  I’ve been talking about mental illness through my social media feeds for a few years now, and I do it without any hesitation now, but I still often am thinking about what other people might be thinking when I do write the stuff.  But, Maybe, just hopefully we’ve had this discussion enough times that we have finally figured it out. We have finally learned that mental illness is real. It is real, it is happening, and it is happening to any kind of person, regardless of pedestal, fame, fortune and power. It does not discriminate, in any way, shape or form. And, Robin Williams is a sad, and unfortunate reminder of this. After posting this, and seeing the responses, I felt better, I felt like maybe we are actually making progress towards accepting mental illnesses, and accepting those who fight this as… normal.

A few days had come and gone, and for whatever reason, I just stayed off of social media. It’s almost as if I knew I was being naïve, and it was too good to be true, so I was avoiding what I was afraid I’d see, and what I knew I’d see.  We have not made any progress. Then, all in the same day, I was no longer able to avoid reality, and avoid society.

Around the same time, my mom had sent me a note that had passed along to her from one of my blogs readers, and she then mentioned to me one of these internet trolls had wrote something absurd about depression, mental illness and suicide being a choice. I just couldn’t fathom it.  Really? Someone could say that?  Really?  I didn’t even really respond, because I didn’t allow myself to believe it. My mom mentioned that she had tried to make this ignoramus aware of their own idiocy.   I remember then, debating with myself. Do I want to read what that troll wrote, and join my mom in letting her know my opinions too, or just leave it because it’ll drive me crazy, and ruin my day.  I went with the latter, but then I opened up my facebook page, and couldn’t believe the comments I saw. Albeit, from an individual that I, and many others hold in quite low esteem, but there behold comments like

“I am sick of the media responses about Robin Williams, he made a choice”

And then equally sized morons commenting

“He had all the fame, fortune, money he could imagine, how could he be sad”

“This isn’t the real Robin Williams we know “

“He made a choice, lets quit talking about him, and talk about the real Robin Williams we know!”

… Are you fucking kidding me? Are you seriously that stupid, and that ignorant? I immediately, had completely lost my faith, once again in our people. Again, the host of these comments, and this discussion is not someone I would trust to tell me the difference between grass and snow, but still, all the more reason he shouldn’t be commenting on these types of issues. I skimmed through the comments at the time, and those four I just typed stick out in my mind like a sore thumb, an engrained image. Nauseating,

  • What choice did he make? To live with an illness that he tried to tolerate, manage and fight for so long that it ultimately became intolerable?
  • Right, So famous people aren’t susceptible to mental illness, just all the other illnesses, they can’t be depressed, or have bi-polar disorder. Not Robin. Not Kurt. Not Wade Belak? Rick Rypien? Derek Boogard?
  • This is the one that really gets me. Who is the Robin Williams that we all know? Is it Patch Adams? Mrs. Doubtfire? Is it Sean Maguire? Those are the Robin Williams we’ve seen, that’s the Robin Williams we’ve come to know. Him in his professional life. Not his personal life. We don’t know the real Robin Williams, this is part of the problem.
  • Again, the problem. Let’s never quit talking about him, his legacy, or his demise. Maybe that will stop the next one.

You haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about

It amazes me that people can be so ignorant, and so oblivious to these things. These people that are writing these comments, are the exact reason that people like myself, or people like my sister, or Robin, or Kurt Cobain couldn’t feel like they had the power, or strength to talk about their mental illness. These are the people that make the rest of us feel trapped, feel powerless. These are the people contributing to the stigma that perceives mental illness as negative and shameful, something that isn’t real, something made up. The reason these illnesses get so intolerable that, suicide becomes the only thing left, are these people.  It doesn’t take many of them to eliminate any chance of a platform allowing us to comfortably talk about mental health issues.  If only Robin Williams, or Jen could talk about their fight without any fear or repercussion like these internet trolls, maybe they wouldn’t have felt so entrapped, felt so isolated, so scared, they wouldn’t have felt their illness was so intolerable, and then they’d still be hear making both of us laugh today.   But, instead we attack Robin Williams daughter Zelda on twitter, because we can. Because, we can hide behind our keyboards under our fictional internet name,  and our poor grammar, because it allows us a platform to say the cruelest of things without any worry of repercussion. it’s easy, and nothing will come of it. This is where we put our energy, instead of constructively talking about how we can make mental illness an acceptable illness, like anything else… and understand it is not a choice.

No one chooses to struggle with depression. I don’t remember a morning in my life where I decided I wanted to be depressed, I don’t remember a morning in my life where I thought about my afternoon, and thought, ya, around 2:00 after I have lunch, I’ll try kill myself, because I feel sad today.  This isn’t how it works. It’s not a choice, and it’s not just a shitty day where things aren’t going right, so you decide to mop around at home. It’s not just a crappy week at work.

It’s feeling absolutely nothing, feeling empty, it’s not feeling sad, it’s not feeling happy, it’s not feeling real. It’s failure, it’s feeling complete failure regardless of accomplishments, it’s anxiety, it’s denial, it’s worrying, it’s fear, it’s feeling minute, it’s irrelevance. It’s not a choice. It’s “you’re always afraid to take the first step, because all you see is every negative thing ten miles down the road” It’s real.

 

It’s not a choice

&

 

It’s not your fault

Rest in Peace Robin Williams.  Say hi to Jen for me.

I never understood our weather, or how together life & death must dance.

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It’s been way too long since I wrote last.  Almost 2 months? And through, what is the most challenging time of my life.  The always-dreadful spring.  I did a good job of keeping really busy, and getting myself through it.  Through the anniversary of Jen’s passing.  Through my birthday a few long days later.  And, the days, weeks that followed.

I guess if I haven’t had much to say in my blog the last couple of months, can only mean that things have been good?  Typically I only end up writing when I am feeling… hmm, ho-hum, or feeling like I need let a few things walk from the jar of feelings and emotions that I thrive on hiding.

I’d really like to start writing more, way more.  It’s a lot better for me than playing in the Skully Ferda League online with the fellas.  Haha. I keep telling myself that I’d like to write something every day, even if just a small piece, or a few creative sentences.  I just feel so much better when I am writing.  It’s like working out.  When I do it, I feel terrific after. Always. But, getting me to do it is a whole different story!  … Same thing.  But, if you want to challenge me at NHL 13. Name the place. time. teams. I’m there.

… I could probably use my free time a little better.

It’s almost the end of June? Wow.  I think that’s when I started this blog, was towards end of June, beginning of July of last year.  Or, maybe end of July beginning of August.  Either way, we are nearing a full year of this blog.  It’s been great for me.  Seriously.  The support I have received from my writings have been overwhelming, and absolutely tremendous.  My favorite part of writing, aside from the self therapy it provides, is the next day seeing people that have checked out my posts from all over the place, and the comments that you have all left with me.  I can assure you, I have them all saved, and/or have them all as a screenshot in my iPhotos, and I go back to them when I need motivation, or a pick me up.  Thanks. Maybe it’s only a few sentences, but it means so much.  You have no idea.  I read the comments, and see the views and I spend the entire day giddying like a 5 year old who just scored his first goal. Typically I’m not one to sport a smile, But to have those days where you just can’t stop smiling, and your face in turn eventually becomes sore… Those are the days after I write in this blog, and read all of the support.  Makes me want to do this forever.

Much of this blog, if not all has been related to myself, my ongoing battle with depression, and remembering the life of my sister.  It’s all tough to write, and thus the very-very periodic updates, and I imagine it’s tough to read too.  I never re-read my posts. I go through them once after writing them initially before I post just to clear up some grammatical errors.  But… It’s pretty useless.   Usually I am so emotionally high or low after writing them, that I can hardly focus anyways.  And, secondly… I ain’t to sure of my grammar being worth a shit; so it dont matter anyway.  (… Breathe Mom, I did that on purpose).   But, nonetheless.  I have never re-read any of my posts outside of the initial editing read 5 minutes prior to posting. So, I am very glad you read! 🙂 … One day, I think I will read them.  I think what I would like to do, is clean up each entry grammatically, print them all and put them together in the form of a book.  For myself, for my family, and hell, whoever else!

I think that will be my self-reward for doing this blog for a full year, and pulling myself from my own little hell.  I’m excited to do that, actually.  Maybe I’ll start this week.

One day I’ll read them all.  For now, I am scared to relive what I have already lived & wrote. I think that’s why I don’t go back.  We’ll find out.

NOW HIRING: Someone to fix the grammar in 23(ish) lengthy blog posts!

Maybe in the future too, I will begin writing about other things.  There are so many things I’d like to write about, good things, positive things.  Well, in comparison I guess.  Things that my readers can read without bawling their eyes out… Which, I hope isn’t the sake for everyone.  Really. I hope I have shared a few laughs with you throughout the last little while.

But, there are so many more things I’d like to write about. Again, if you know my weak grammatical abilities, you know that I also am extremely & at times painfully opinionated and am getting more and more strong headed.  Haven’t decided if this is good or not. But, I am pretty sure it will limit many new potential friendships, and relationships.  Which is fine.  I am quite content with those I have. But, I’d love to start writing about other things…

  1. There is hockey, minor hockey, and the massive changes coming there.
  2. There are starbucks baristas.
  3. There is kids. There is parents. There is bubble-wrap.
  4. Boy, is there bubble-wrap.

But, this is all for another day.  Another day soon.

Thank you again so much for all of your support, and reading.

Thank you to those who have messaged me, called me, text me and or kicked me in the ass asking for when the next entry is coming.

Thank you to those who have subscribed and or followed goneawayboys!

Thank you to those who have shared, retweeted goneawayboys!

And, thank you to those who have in any way contacted me about my blog and passed along messages whether it’s to me directly, or through mutual friends.

Some of the nicest things I have ever read are from people I have never met.

Most of all, thank you to everyone who has ever been apart of this, even in the smallest of ways…

You have helped put me back on my two feet.  

Blair

It’s May 7th. It’s 5 years. Time For Something Different – Cheers Jen.

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The world’s stopping but we keep going

And we’re ruthless and we’re cunning
And I’m heir to it all

Days like these you’ve gotta find it in some other way
It’s all or nothing baby

Avalanche, start inside of me
Avalanche, down through the trees
Avalanche, start inside of me
Avalanche, hell down through the trees

– Matthew Good –

The day that I have feared for… well, since last May 7th, has arrived.  But, in particular the day that I have loathed for the last few weeks.  5 years since Jen found peace.  It’s been a weird few weeks.  Last time I wrote in this blog, I wasn’t doing well.  Whatsoever.  It didn’t look like I was going to make it this far to be completely honest.  It’s almost like completing a marathon when you do actually get here.  It feels like a mental accomplishment, you’re relieved and you’re exhausted.  But, in the days and week following when I last wrote in the blog, things got better.  Much better.  I felt true happiness, for the first time in a long time.  I felt a lot of things I never have before. Things I didn’t know were possible for me to even feel again, as I was quite sure I had gone completely numb.  It was weird.  It was like Jen knew where I was and just reinstalled all these emotions and feelings back into me. Everything that I was pretty sure I had become incapable of.  Making me feel like a human again.  I think she knew there was no way I was going to get through the next few weeks on my own. She was probably right.  Just the people that have been put into my life, the opportunities I’ve had, and the good friends and family I have been able to spend some time with over the last few weeks that have really helped me get to here in one piece.  Even if it were just for a short while, it was a longing impact.  I’m quite sure all of it was her lending yet another hand to push me through another difficult time.  The playoffs & weather don’t hurt either.  Thanks Jen.  Can you help MA Fleury make a save now, please? Haha.

I’ve spent the last few weeks gearing up for May 7th, and now that we’ve arrived to this day.  It’s… kind of a bittersweet day.  There is nothing sweet about it.  But, you’ve thought about this very day for the last 30, and you’ve made it.  Like I said, it’s as if I just finished a marathon of sorts.  An emotional marathon, if you will.  But now what? Well, if I ever can shut my brain off and go to sleep…  I am going to drive to Edmonton to spend time with my mom, and some other friends and family and just have a few Stella beers, and celebrate a life that was of Jennifer’s.  It’s been 5 years.  And that’s not to say it’s time to get over it.  Because I never will, but the last 5 years I’ve been miserable, and have been completely sad on the couple weeks leading up to, and May 7th and the day itself.  But, this year… I wanted to try something different, gather a group of people and head to the pub where I last had a beer with my mom and Jen, and just enjoy the day.  Enjoy the sun. Enjoy the company. Enjoy the memories, and just enjoy Jen’s legacy.  Last time I was at O’Byrnes, it was my mom, Jen and myself crushing beers in the sun.  I am ready to do the same tomorrow, with the same 2 people and the rest of our supporting cast.

I am fearful, and nervous that I won’t be able to handle this tomorrow, and that it will be a heartbreaking experience.  And, I am sure it will.  But, its time we do what Jen would want on May 7th.  Celebrate her life. Stop crying, stop lamenting and just have a fucking beer with her.

Plus, I owe her one after she helped get me to this day.

See you at O’Byrnes @ 2:00 pm Jen!

– Cheers –