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.

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.

Hey everyone!  Long time no talk! Writing double headers here. I think that is the first time that I have done that.  Last night I wanted to write about a few different, random things.  Just kind of do an update.  But, as soon as I started writing, and talking about the holidays, I thought I’d continue on in discussing why they can, and are so difficult for me.  And, in turn, I wrote nothing about what I had planned.  So, I will try and do that tonight. First off though, thank you too everyone who read last nights entry, and too everyone who shared it, retweeted it, favorite’d it, or mentioned something to me. I sincerely appreciate the support.  As always.

Before I get going into this entry, I wanted to throw my two cents on the NHL Lockout.  I don’t even know how I feel about it anymore.  I don’t even really care.  I am so frustrated by both the owners, and the NHLPA.  I am not on either side. Not the owners, nor the NHLPA side.  I started off being on the NHLPA side by default.  Then, I’ve slowly just moved to the middle, and cared less and less.  I have tried my best not to watch the daily video updates on TSN, read into all the articles and tweets about the lockout.  Or, even invest in much of the pessimism or, optimism.  Except, for when I had heard that Crosby was the sheer reason there was any optimism, and that day last week where everything looked good.  I ran my mouth off to few people on twitter about how Crosby is the modern day God.  But, other than that.  I just have nothing left with the NHL.  When it comes back, I will be the first one watching.  But, I am not letting myself get too frustrated by how things are progressing now.  The entire process annoys me.  The players, the owners, and the fans…. I hate the fans that tweet, or say – I work from 6am-6pm in -41 weather in my boots just to make an average living – Sure, I feel bad for you. Regardless. But that’s likely your choice.  If you were better at hockey, like these guys are…  You wouldn’t be working 12 hours in -41.  You’d be right in the middle of the lockout.  Like, I said.  The entire process to me is frustrating. I just have a hard time giving a shit anymore.  It’s like being in love with this girl, and she just keeps fucking around with you.  Because she knows that when she needs you… You will be sitting there, just waiting for her to come back!

Fortunately, I am at the arena enough as it is that I get enough of hockey with our team, and watching our guys play, because they just love the game and they want to be at the next level.  They don’t get paid. So they just play.  As with anything, throw in a dollar or two, and everything gets all fucked up, and you get guys who begin to play for the wrong reasons.  The only thing that I am really going to miss this season… Is watching the Oilers, I am really excited for the group they have, and as well watching Crosby. I hear he is better than ever. Can’t wait for that.  But, if I have to wait another couple weeks, or till next October.  Fuck em.

Feels better to get that off my chest! In the meantime I will invest all of my hockey related passion into the Bisons & the South Carolina Stingrays!  – I suggest you do the same!

After fighting with dosages, and different anti-depressant drugs and still experiencing the same problems. Ie. Depression (duh) But, not being able to get out of bed, just having no energy, a complete lack of focus and just kind living every day ho-hum and floating through each day.  I finally went to my doctor and told him this just wasn’t working anymore.  He put me back on a prescription drug that I was on a few years back in my third year university (I think), which was probably my best year, academically and health-wise.  I worked hard at school, worked hard out of school, got back into pretty decent shape – considering where I was coming from!  Anyways.  He put me back on this prescription – which, from everything I read, and hear, can be quite the controversial drug. But, what does that even mean.  Because, Can’t any drug become controversial if you are abusing it?  Fortunately… I am not doing that, not with the near $400 price tag that came with this prescription.  The strange thing about this – It isn’t labeled as an anti-depressant.  It’s a psycho-stimulant drug to treat ADHD & Narcolepsy.   I have no idea what the latter means.  But, I am 23 year old male so chances are I have some variation of ADHD. But, It’s been amazing the differences.  I have felt sharper, I am sleeping much better, and not just sleeping better, but I can actually wake up without going through an internal struggle.  I have much more energy, and just seem to be able to go. I feel like I can function.  I have tried so many different anti-depressants, and different dosages, and none of them have this kind of result.  Then, I get off the path of anti-depressants, and everything I hoped would happen, is now happening.  Just feeling better. Mentally, and having that energy I used too have.  I’ve been on it for five days, and feel like in those 5 days I have already accomplished more than I probably did in the entire month before.  I am back in the gym working out (every day for the last 5 days) and have committed myself to losing 20 pounds in 6 weeks.  And, for me, the biggest problem is just getting the energy to get up and go to the gym.  I know I need to be there. But, that doesn’t mean much when you can’t even peel yourself out of bed half of the time.  So, on that note.  I expect all of you to help keep me accountable in my attempts to slowly get back into shape.  As well, if anyone wants to join me in working out, feel free.  Having someone to go with helps so much, having that extra push.  ALSO! If anyone wants to construct this guy a sustainable workout plan – free of charge – I am also open to that idea.  I have a few things of my own I do, but I lack in the variety department.

But, whether it is this magic “NXT-Limitless” drug, or if more of it is just in my own head. I am feeling much better lately. I am actually  doing okay.  Which, is perfect timing because as I wrote about last night.  This is an extremely difficult time of the year for me.

And, I don’t think you know how long I have been waiting to be able to truly say that.  “I am doing okay”  – And, for the first time in a long time.  At least a year, I really think that I am.  I am not going to say that I no longer struggle with my depression, because that is not true, there are moments and times.  But, now, I feel like they are much more stable.  I am in control, whereas, before, I never was. I didn’t know what was going to happen next.  I have accepted that I suffer from depression, and that, that just may be part of who I am, but I need to learn how continually manage it in a way that is going to be healthy, and beneficial for me and those surrounding.  I think I am getting there.

… In closing tonight, I wanted to send my sympathies, and condolences to the friends and families of those effected by the terrible, tragic incident that happened in Kansas City last week with Javon Belcher and his girlfriend.  An absolutely devastating tragedy.

On that note, I want to also leave you with the Brady Quinn post conference.  I thought Brady brought up a lot of great points about the world we live in today, and how we are often just so wrapped up, and pre-occupied that we can’t even give notice to those who might need it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WXvp0L1DlA

 

 

– Goodnight

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