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.

John Galts Speech

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It’s been months since I’ve wrote something in this blog outside of a minor entry several weeks back ripping into the few evil hockey parents.  I think about it every day, but I just can’t bring myself to write anything.  I can’t find it.  This week, I’ve had a few people reach out to me telling me to get back to writing, that it helps them.  One person told me they dreamt about my writing, and asked if I could start again soon.  Another asked me when the next piece was coming.  Another person asked to meet with me about my experiences fighting with my life.  I had another friend tell me I need to start writing again, to save my life, and to help save his.  I have all these amazing people around me that look forward to reading goneawayboys, and that thoroughly seem to enjoy my writing, and are always applauding me for it…  Yet, I have a hard time believing in it myself, and finding that quality and that safety to it.  I just write.  It’s amazing, and humbling to know that some people find great value in reading this blog, and for those of you, I am very sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you through this blog.  I just needed some time to piece myself back together the last little while after nearly losing it.  Thank you, as always for your overwhelming support.

In the past I’ve said that I often will only write when I feel down, amidst a lull, when I need a boost.  On the flip side, I didn’t feel the need to write when things were going well.  That’s what I used to believe, anyways.  I’m coming to the realization that, that is just complete and utter bullshit.  I don’t write because I don’t want to do anything, except keep to my withdrawn self.  I don’t write because I feel like I don’t have the mental wherewithal to put anything of magnitude together. I feel tired. Weak. Exhausted. Scared. Withdrawn. Empty. Lost.  I don’t write because… because I am feeling depressed.

Why? Why am I depressed? Well, I don’t know that answer as much as I would like too.  Simple question, right? … I think I often lack the things that should create, and attribute to personal happiness.  Or maybe I haven’t made the choice to find happiness yet? I don’t know what happiness really means? Or, maybe it’s because my family has a history of mental disorders? Or, it’s just the hamster wheel running dangerously low on serotonin for the last fucking decade or so!  Simple Question… Yes, but complicated answer that I just haven’t quite figured out yet, and I don’t know that I ever will… If it were easy, I’d be able to solve this problem, because trust me when I feel like this, I don’t want too….  But, I feel like I sometimes have no control of it, I can only try to contain.

I’ve made myself believe that I only write when I need a lift, when things are going to shit.  That’s false.  I write when I am feeling better, when I have that drive, that energy, I write when I feel like I can help make a difference in not only myself, but maybe someone else.  I write when I give a shit about someone other than my own self, and their own demons.  I write when I feel like a human being.  I write when I feel.

I can’t write when I can’t seem to find myself outside of the fucking pits, when I don’t care about really anything, or anyone’s feelings other than my own, and I hardly care about my own.  I just succumb to my depression.  It’s like being back into a corner, with someone you know you can fight with a little bit of effort, but you just can’t find it in yourself… you back into the corner, and your stuck.  Out of batteries.  Out of juice. On empty.  It’s almost impossible to get out, or so it seems at times, at the worst of times.  I can’t write and be honest with you, when I am not honest with myself.  When I asked myself if I knew what things attributed to my happiness really were, to be frank… I have no idea what they are.  I drew a blank.   This blog, writing, having people read it, the reaction, the comments, the feedback, hell, the fucking pats on the back.  That’s happiness for me.  That’s it. That truly is it. Making a difference. The one thing.

“Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power, not the joy of faking reality, but of achieving values that are real, not the joy of a drunkard, but of a producer. Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”

 Writing in goneawayboys and posting it publicly is that joy without penalty, the achievement; it’s what happiness really is for me.  The scary part is…  The only thing that truly defines happiness for me right now is…Writing… What…  Really…

When I am feeling at my worst, I become very elusive with others, and especially to myself.  I can’t find, or come to terms with what creates happiness for myself.  I know that it is writing, but when I am feeling empty, and disengaged, I can’t find that… even though I know, if I just get off the couch and turn on some music, read something, I’ll feel inspired and I’ll write something, and in turn, I find happiness.  Even if for a moment.  When you suffer from depression, you learn to take as many moments of happiness as you absolutely can.  Because, not often can I find them.

My best friend wrote to me in an email earlier this week something I have been replaying over and over in my head… Happiness is a Choice… At first I read it, and thought, ok, Well, I cho-cho-choose to be happy! … And it was as if I waited for some animated vortex to appear in the middle of the hallway and throw me a bag with happiness inside… When that didn’t happen, I waited for the genie to pop out of my Booster Juice and graciously grant me 3 wishes.  After waiting several long hours, I realized neither of these things were going to happen, and I went to bed disagreeing with Mother.  Happiness is not a choice.  It’s subjective.  It’s fake.  I woke up, still pondering that same comment, then that led to me questioning myself of what happiness really is, what does it really mean.  In school, in all those life management, and leadership classes we were always asked what success meant, and everyone had a different answer.  But, no one ever asked the question.  What IS happiness?  By definition, it’s the quality, or state of being happy.  Ok. Great. So what does that mean, how I do just be happy.  It sounds so simple. Why can’t I find it? Why can’t we find it all the time? What am I missing here? Happy by definition is the feeling of satisfaction, pleasure and contentment.  Sounds easy, but a feeling? Is a feeling permanent? Or, is this just a temporary relief from all things negative? I want to make the choice to be happy starting now ending when I die.  Not just for the next 20 minutes.  But, what creates this feeling… Money? Family?  Friends? Materialistic things? Fancy cars? Fancy jewelry? Mansion? Strength?  Self-image? It is what your friends have? Is it what Hollywood has? Is it whatever doesn’t kill us? Is it gratitude? Is it a fucking Choice?

Intrigued by this “Happiness is a Choice” … I dug a little bit further into what happiness really means outside of these wildly simplistic and vague definitions the internet has explained to me.  I read the “John Galts Speech” an excerpt from Ayn Rands “Shrugged Atlas” (Ok, I read most of it… It’s 43 pages in size 12 font)  Ayn Rand, Or John Galt the fictional character describes happiness as coming down to the choice of being either a rational man, or an irrational man.

“Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction, not the joy of escaping from your mind, but of using your mind’s fullest power… Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”

“The emotional state of all those irrationalists cannot be properly designated as happiness or even as pleasure: it is merely a moment’s relief from their chronic state of terror… But neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive in any random manner, but will perish unless he lives as his nature requires, so he is free to seek his happiness in any mindless fraud, but the torture of frustration is all he will find, unless he seeks the happiness proper to man. The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”

I often find myself looking for a time machine; I want to fast-forward my life 10 years. I said the same thing when I was 14, and I’ll bet I’ll say the same damn thing when I’m 34, and 44.  I have a very hard time finding my own acceptance, and contentment. Galts Speech depicts happiness perfectly for me, it’s not about materials, and it’s not about money.  I’m frequently thinking if I just had more money, if I just had more materials, more muscles and supermodel physiques, I could finally be happy.  I’ve convinced myself I need to be wildly successful to have my family members be proud of me, for me to accept myself, and to otherwise simply avoid being a failure.  If I could accomplish this… I would achieve my personal expectations, but these expectations are completely irrational and I know that… But, I make the choice to believe they are rational because well, it happened to that guy. You shouldn’t need cars, a big house, and fame or widespread success to achieve happiness.  It doesn’t help the people that have all those things either; they always want something more, something is always missing, something irrational.  Thus, when you are unable to achieve these irrational goals, and expectations as soon as you believe you should… It’s a temporary relief of terror, and the torture of frustration pursues.   Often times, that is all I can find.  I dwell on myself constantly, beating myself up about why I am not doing better for myself.  I’m 24 years old.  I have pretty well anything you could ever ask for, but always for me it is never enough.  It’s a trap.  I always want more.  I got a good job, I want a better one now.  I have a nice truck. I want a nicer car now. My family says they are proud of me. But, I can never believe them because I am not proud of myself.  I’ll never know if Jen is proud of me. I’ll never ever know that. Ever. Yet, I feel like I need to know that to be happy.  I’ll never know.   It’s unrealistic, It’s irrational. It’s mindless fraud and torture.  This is why I fight find consistent happiness.  I struggle to create rational goals for myself, goals that are attainable that result in joy, joy without penalty or guilt.   Writing in goneawayboys is often the one rational goal that I have for myself that I am able to achieve multiple times.  I am able to use my mind to the fullest of power, not escape from my mind for temporary relief.

This is happiness.  In order to find constant happiness for myself, I need to become more honest and rational to my self.  Going back to the very beginning of this post where I used to tell myself I’d only write when I felt like shit.  No.  I don’t write when I feel like shit because I can’t.  Otherwise, I’ll continue to be an irrational man, and be tortured by frustration, and destruction.

Mom was right; Happiness is a choice.  

“Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions”

Wow.  What a couple of days.  I don’t even know where to begin, other than once again I am truly disappointed in mankind, and our society.  After, yet, another devastating, senseless tragedy.   Yet, another.  That’s sickening.  28 people dead in a small USA town, and we say yet again.  Brutal.  But, true.

First, I would like to pass along my utmost best for all of the victims, and their families, friends, and neighbors.  I can not imagine the unbelievable grief you are going through right now, I just can’t imagine.  There are no words to really alleviate any of the pain you are feeling either.  But know, I do, and will continue to pray for you, and pray for mankind.  Because, it clearly is in dire need.

Since this tragedy has occurred, it has left me feeling in absolute shock, disbelief and more than anything left me just confused and disappointed.  Those of you that know me well enough, know that the lone soft-spot in my heart is for young children.  I hate seeing them hurt.  Even if it is as trivial as them crying it breaks my heart.  Even in movies, and TV shows, if the youngster is being hurt, or something bad is happening.  Instantly I am devastated.  This is part of the problem with Criminal Minds.  I don’t know why they can’t leave the damn kids alone.  I can’t put a finger on why I am like this. I just am. Maybe its because growing up, my brother was a youngster, as he is 10 years my junior.  And, I couldn’t then, and still can not imagine anything bad happening to him. Even now that he is 13.  Same with my niece Abbey.  And, any other young child.  Maybe it’s because they are just so harmless, carefree and defenseless. Nothing bad SHOULD ever happen to them.  Especially at the hands of an adult.  It’s sickening that stuff ever does happen.  This is why I think this mass shooting has left me more upset, and disappointed than any of the previous.  And, after the other shootings, I felt the same way.  Just sickened, confused, frustrated and upset. But, this one.  How someone could be capable too hurt so many young children. I just can’t understand it.  I have tried to put my finger on it the last few days, and I just can’t.  I can’t understand why anyone would shoot up a high school, a movie theatre, a temple, a mall, a coffee shop, a university.  These are all places where we should feel safe, and free.  Not where we need to worry about our fucking safety, or lives for that matter.  But that is changing, and changing quickly.  After trying to understand these recent events, I simply just could not.  Gun control, yes.  I agree something needs to be done.  But, is it simply just gun control.  I don’t think so.  If Obama constructs, and passes some kind of law restricting gun control..  Would these tragedies come to a complete halt?  Hmm.  While, I think that this would drastically help, and I think it needs to be done ASAP.  No. I don’t think it would bring these events to a halt.  These gunman are absolutely deranged, and gone from reality.  They’re going to find ways to acquire weapons to enable them to do these things.  Whether they steal them, or build other means of destruction; bombs.  Or whatever else have you.

One common thing about these mass-gunmen is they are, obviously as I said, completely gone, and deranged.  But, they are incredibly smart people.  At least the reports on Lanza have suggested that, and well, thanks too CNN and ABC, we each could write a 10 page biography on James Holmes.  The kid was pretty bright.  Which, makes this all the scarier.  These guys will find ways.  Adam Lanza was a 20 year old kid.  Now, IMO, without knowing the complete laws and politics of gun control in the USA.  A 20 year old kid simply should not be able to purchase a weapon.  Period. Especially the weapons that Lanza had. What the hell does a 20 year old kid need those kind of weapons for? For hunting dinner? No. For killing people, and mass destruction.  Hmm. Probably.  But, He didn’t purchase these weapons legally, on his own like previous gunmen have.  They were his MOTHERS! Now why in the hell does a single mother living in a house of 4,000 square feet with one child, why the hell does she have these weapons!  To hunt, and find dinner.  Probably not.  She already lives in a massive home, I can’t imagine a wealthy, divorcee is out in the woods daily hunting meals.  But, to protect herself from other potential crazed gunmen.  Probably.  This is completely wrong in itself.  I don’t know if this is the reason she had all these weapons, and I am certainly not blaming her for this.  It is by no means, her fault.  She too was a victim, But, that is just how americans are.  They, themselves have guns, to protect themselves from other people who have guns.  Just don’t have the fucking things in the first place!  I am 23 years old.  I live in a city of >1,000,000 in a rather affluent community, and I would be completely ignorant to think that people don’t shoot other people in my city, or in Canada, because it happens.  Often. But,  Do we have guns?  No. Hell, I have never even in my life shot a damn gun!  Have we done just fine, and lived our lives safely to this point.  You bet.  Have we ever felt the need for a gun. Nope.  Have we had encounters where someone may be trying to break into our house.  Yep.  Have I thought, damn, if only I had a gun! Nope. I didn’t.  Actually, It didn’t even cross my mind.  I do not hunt, and I do not live in fear.  Thus, I do not need a weapon.  Americans.  They either hunt, and have a gun.  Or, they live in fear, and have a gun.  And, to be honest.  How can you blame them for living in fear after all these tragic events have occurred. But,  they are doing it themselves.  And, when the crazed gunman is unable to purchase guns from Wal-Mart, 7-11, or wherever the fuck they get them.  Hey, I’ll take them from my mom.  What. The. Fuck.  Gun Control.  Is it the single solution.  I don’t think it’s the only one.  But, it’s a big player.  And needs to change.  Now.  And, while the NRA nerds will raise their rifles and say guns didn’t kill those children, guns didn’t kill those people in the movie theatre.  They’re clearly gone too.  What did then.  Did the gun grow legs and walk into Sandy Hook.  No.  But, did a crazed, deranged individual know that if he were in control of that rifle, then he could walk into wherever he pleased and kill people.  Yep.  For some reason, no body has gone into these mass killings, and decided to kill people with a knife or a bow & arrow, hell, even his fists.  No.  They’ve done it with guns, Why, because guns fucking kill people!   Wake the fuck up America.  And, I don’t think I am the only canadian who has lived his life this freely without access to a weapon.  I actually don’t know anyone who owns one.  Exception, my old man because he is an avid hunter.  I just don’t get why some of these americans don’t think guns is at all a problem.

I was on twitter I came across an arguement between a few americans after looking through the NRA timeline.  This moron suggested that the teachers should have been armed with guns so they could have killed Lanza, as soon as he walked in with a weapon.  This makes me sick on so many levels.  Again, we blame the victims, and the heros.  Those teachers, and children were heros.

Now, let me rephrase this, and paint a visual in your mind.  This moron thinks that a grade 1 teacher, who teaches in a classroom, likely full of encouraging, cheerful posters, childrens drawings, paintings everywhere, she should be armed with a gun. Say, in her desk. Just in case.  A grade ONE teacher, should be armed with a gun. Just incase a crazed man enters.  A grade ONE teacher. Are you kidding me.  Talk about teaching children in a safe environment.  “Mommy, Mrs. Smith has a gun in her bottom drawer, she says it is just in the event that bad guys come, we’re safe”  No.  This is safe?  How the hell does a 6 year old feel safe in a class like this. How the hell does a parent feel safe sending their child to a class where her teacher is armed!   I don’t think so.  Not too mention, both Holmes and Lanza came equipped full of combat apparel and vests.  Which, is another question in itself.  How does 20 some year old kids get there hands on this kind of gear.  What the hell do they need it for?  Obviously they’re not going to Iraq.  You can be armed all you want.  There are still going to be lives that will be lost.  Teachers being armed, is a disgusting thought, and surely not the answer.  I just couldn’t imagine being a parent, sending my child to class, where there is a glock at arms reach in a drawer.  Fuck me.  Talk about feeling safe.   Actually, you know. Yes, Lets talk about feeling safe.  I already mentioned the different locations recent shootings have occurred.  I think in America, safety may becoming nothing more than a simple illusion.  It doesn’t seem to exist anywhere.  I can remember after the Aurora shooting, I thought how bizarre it was too shoot up a theatre, and then wondering what is it going to take for America going to step up there gun control laws. Not imagining it was even possible, I thought,  Is it going to take a mass shooting at children’s school.  Well..  Fuck.  Now what America.  There it is.  And, again, confirming my thoughts that safety has become nothing but an illusion.  If we can’t drop our 6 year old son/daughter off at grade school.  Where the hell can we drop them off.  Sickening.

But, as I said while, I think gun control is a major player in this issue, I don’t believe it is the only issue.  I think mental health is another. particularly education of, and the rehabilitation of.  Clearly, in order to shoot anyone, I think you need to be completely mentally, and psychologically out of touch.  Let alone to pull off a mass shooting.  I can’t even fathom that.  These individuals are all the same.  They are incredibly brilliant, and incredibly deranged.  After each shooting you read the reports of the suspect, and comments from people who knew them, and you generally hear the exact same thing.  “He was a quiet kid, typically a loner, kept to himself” “He was incredibly bright, but quiet, didn’t fit in with others, bit of an outcast” “There was always something a little bit different, he kept to himself, seemed a bit strange”  Ok.  So we have some common themes here.  Quiet. Smart. Outcast. Different.  Is that now to say that anyone who has these 4 traits is a potential mass killer.  No.  but we all hear the same things.  These kids are similar.  I don’t have any idea what it is that pushes them over that edge and makes them so deranged that they are able to construct a plan and commit to a mass killing.  I have no idea.  I have no answer for that.  I can’t even imagine it.  So, I am not going to pretend like I have an answer on how to spot these kids out of the crowd, or how to deal with them.  Because I have no fucking idea.  Personally, I have mental health issues too. Hell, 25% of us do.  Does that mean 25% of us are capable of pulling off such a horrific event.  Absolutely not.  But, a select few obviously are.  I don’t know any of these kids. I never did.  I don’t know any kids, or people either that I could suspect of doing something like this.  I don’t have any idea what it looks like.   I have no idea.  And, I most certainly am not trying to justify the actions of these people, and writing it off as another kid who was completely insane.  No.  I do believe that these people have all consciously made the decision to do what they have done.  Whatever conscious is for them.   And, absolutely nothing about it, is right.   I don’t think that Holmes, Klebold, Harris, Lanza and the rest of them, decided on the eve of, they were going to wake up and devastate a nation, the world with another tragic, mass shooting.  These are years in the making, at least I would imagine.  My question is, how did no one seen any of it? There had to have been signs.  Is it because we are just completely uneducated, that we don’t know what it looks like, or we don’t know what to do.  If we are better educated about the severity of mental illnesses, maybe these kids receive proper treatment, or are put into some sort of “home” if you will to seek help, and make them… better, I guess.  Or at least bring him closer to reality?  Possibly preventing them from ever being that far gone.   I don’t know.  But, I think as a whole, we need to put more focus on the education of mental health.  It is not a shame to suffer from it, maybe someone did see some signs coming from these crazed individuals years ago, but they didn’t want to say anything because it was their brother, sister, cousin, friend, son or even daughter, and they were embarrassed.  Now, neither am I saying that these events could have maybe then been preventable, because I have no idea.  I can’t speak to that effect.  If I had the answer, trust me, I would do all that I could to ensure that these events never happened, or never would happen again.  But, unfortunately, I do not know, and with the way this world is, I am not that confident either.  But, in going back.  I just think that we can all do a better job within the realms of mental illness.  Be more educated. As I have said in the past, be more educated, and aware.  Then maybe, when we come across a 12 year old boy who has demonstrated signs of a potential mental illness, we can act appropriately, and deal with him/her, instead of turning the other way, and allowing him to fall deeper and deeper into a mental burden to the point, of, who knows.

And finally, I think the third thing that is a contributing factor, is the media.  I was thoroughly disgusted in how the media dealt with this event.  Interviewing the children was first and foremost on the my disgust list.  A grown 40-some year old man working for ABC, is in the home of a 7 year old girl who was there that day, and survived.  And he is asking her to replay the events that just occurred hours ago so we at home can have a better visual of what happened?  This made me absolutely fucking sick.  I don’t care if the parents agreed to it.  These parents are in as much complete shock as anyone else.  I can’t imagine they were in the proper frame of mind to make this decision.  Which, I am sure the media knew.  These people are completely vulnerable.  These families didn’t need Chris Cuomo in there home interviewing there daughter.  They need the comfort and support of families, and friends.  Not fucking CNN cameras and their reporter.  I really think that CNN, CBS, ABC and the rest of the media vultures, truly ought to be ashamed of themselves, and know, you are part of the problem.  Not the solution.

In closing.  This has been a extremely difficult piece to write, if I offended anyone, I certainly did not mean too.  Unless you are one of those NRA morons.  But,  As I said, this tragedy resonated with me more than any of the previous did.  And, thats not to say that the other’s didn’t either.  They did.  All of them. They’re all senseless, tragic and devastating.  I am not blaming gun control for this latest shooting, I am not blaming mental illness on this either, nor am I blaming the media.  I think that all of this plus more is contributing to the problem, but I certainly do not think one of these three things is the answer to a solution any more or less than the other.  It is complicated.  But, it is our job to figure out how we can make this stop. And make this stop instantly.  Safety should be real.  It should not be an illusion as it is becoming.

– I’ll leave you with a quote from Morgan Freeman that further discusses the impact the media has on these shootings.  Whether this was actually from Freeman or not, has yet to be confirmed. But whoever it was.  They’re right.

“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.

It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you kn
ow the name of a single victim of Columbine? Distur

bed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem.”

I am praying for you Newtown.  

Rest in Peace & God Bless

Charlotte Bacon

Daniel Barden

Olivia Engel

Josephine Gay

Ana Marquez-Greene

Dylan Hockley

Madeleine Hsu

Catherine Hubbard

Chase Kowalski

Jesse Lewis

James Mattioli

Grace McDonnell

Emilie Parker

Jack Pinto

Noah Pozner

Caroline Previdi

Jessica Rekos

Avielle Richman

Benjamin Wheeler

Allison N Wyatt

Rachel Davino

Dawn Hochsprung

Anne Marie Murphy

Lauren Rousseau

Mary Sherlach

Victoria Soto

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