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.

Lifetraps – Unrelenting Standards & Failure – Mind Your Mind

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I have really enjoyed writing for Mind Your Mind in the few short weeks I have.  Each week they’ll send out an array of engaging topics, and I go from there.

Last week, I chose to write about the unrelenting standards, and failure lifetraps!  Take a read here, and check some of the other pieces on Mind Your Mind!  It’s a great program, and great site!

 

http://mindyourmind.ca/expression/blog/lifetraps-unrelenting-standards-failure

 

 

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’ll Have a Caramel Machiatto – A Personal Compromise

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Going to try something a little different tonight.  Usually when I write, There is something really pushes me to sit down and put something together, usually, I know its going to be one of those creative-therapeutic word-nights by the afternoon, and I generally put something together later in the evening.  Meanwhile, amidst this process, I light some candles, and turn on whatever Matt Good CD is of choice for the night, and I sit there, sometimes I pop a light beer, and I see what I can come up with.  There really is no science too it; if you’re wondering.  However, tonight, there was really nothing poking me to get up and write something, and I decided to put in something different than a MG CD.  My mom was kind enough to give me my sister’s CD book, which is one of my greatest treasures.  I know its something that meant a lot to her. Music has always been a really big thing with our family, especially the 3 of us.  But, I thought, hell, lets just grab a random blank CD out of here and listen to one of her burnt CDs.  It was really cool when I put it in, and the first song played.  Not really expecting much, it really just resonated with me. I could feel Jen; this was her music, a CD that SHE put together… It was almost like it was her on the burnt CD.  It was… one of those weird, yet good moments that I have with her.  There are times where I just know she is with me.  Whether, I am in trouble somewhere, or can’t figure something out, and all of the sudden, things just click… And, it’s so weird, but you just know.  You can feel it.

A few times in the past, In just going through my day, I will hear someone say something nearby, and I swear its her voice.  There are times where it’s actually quite eerie. These things, I never ever forget… It’s probably happened 4 or 5 times in the 4 years where I know I have heard her voice, and I remember every single time like it was yesterday, cause I know it was her just saying, What’s up kid.

When these eerie moments happen, like when I put on this burnt CD… It’s weird; It’s a bittersweet thing.  Its immediately devastating… but, then I always find my mind and my body just kind of stop, and I soak it in…  and it leaves you with on those can’t-stop-grins.  Though, these oddities are rare, I do certainly relish every one of them.  Same thing when I dream about her… I don’t often, but I can remember every single dream. Every one.  And, in every one of them, I can see Jen. Perfectly. She looks the same as I remember – beautiful. And, she is always smiling – always. I know this is her telling me she’s okay now. She’s good. And we don’t have to be sad anymore.  Though, we try. It’s hard. And I think that this is why she doesn’t do this to me often, cause she knows how difficult it is sometimes.

But, every night I do dream about her.  I have the best day. I wake up with the biggest smile, cause I know that in the only way possible, I just hung out with my big sister again. Which, is something I miss more than you can imagine.  Seriously.  Like I said, it’s really one of those weird things, I can’t explain it.  I am a million times happy, and sad at the same time.  There will be nights too, where I can’t sleep so I just talk to her, and ask her to come into my dreams, so I can see her again… Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.  But, I will lay there and think about her as much as I can and hope that she comes.  I miss her.  A lot.

I know that this was supposed to get easier with time, and sometimes I think that it has, but there will be nights where something reminds me of Jen, a song, a picture… whatever, and I just miss her more than I would maybe, any other night. Or sometimes, maybe even nothing ever happened but there are just  nights where you can hear her, see her, feel her…  And, you just really miss her.  Tough nights.  Sometimes when I am going through one of those evenings… I wonder, when I am 35 years old, is this still going to happen, or is it going to occur less… How does this work?

Sometimes I wish there was a real owners guide to overcoming a loss like this.  I guess there a million books, but they all the same, and I can read as many of them as I want, and while I will agree with most, or some of the excerpts… It never truly heals anything. I don’t even know if it is supposed too.  I just know, I really miss her…a lot.  And, that empty feeling in my gut that I have from missing her so much, maybe that will never go away and I will always feel that.  I don’t know.  I just hope the dreams, and the moments I can feel her, never go away, because at least now… I feel like I still have something. Sometimes.

 ———

I do wish that my writings would be more frequent, as opposed to writing once every couple of weeks.  I would like to make this a much more consistent effort.  I am finally getting back in touch with, what is probably the most effective means of therapy for myself.  I used to write a tonne when I was younger, but I kind of lost it over the years.  I don’t know, I guess it wasn’t cool to “write”… Is it now?

I just am really happy that I have gotten back in touch with writing; I think it has probably saved me many a night.  When you struggle with mental illness, you need to find a few things that you can resort too when you are having a shit day.  A day where you just feel like, you’re really just losing the fucking battle, and nothing is going right.  You have to try your best to just have what I call – defense weapons.  (I like to use fighting metaphors…Sooooooo) to get you through the days where you really, literally only want to get through the day, sometimes when you fight a mental illness, going to sleep and waking up to a new day is sometimes a victory.  It really is.  Because, there are times where it is that damn bad.  And, you can’t leave your house, that is, if you can even get out of bed.  For me, I have a couple of things that I resort too…  Obviously this blog has really become that for me, along with pretty well anything hockey.  Those are my escapes.  But, even then, sometimes your days are so shitty, that you can’t even make it to these escapes… These are the days where you just hope to hell to see another sun rise, and make it. You’ll have these days too, I do. I think once you accept that you suffer from a mental illness – that being the initial, biggest success  – but from then on in, its about limiting those days where a victory is just making it through.  Maybe you’ll never truly eliminate those days, cause who knows. Sometimes I feel like it’s an endless fight, but, when you can limit those days as much as possible… you’re hanging in there.  Trust me. And, at times… hanging in there… that’s ok.

goneawayboys has served me well in a variety of ways.   First and foremost, it has been completely therapeutic for me, and is something that truly makes me feel quite good.  Every time I click submit and I watch people view my posts, and comment, follow, like or whatever other term social media has coined as “approval”.  It is an awesome, awesome feeling. And dammit, do I thank everyone of you that do that.  You seriously have no idea how much that means too me, It gives me one of those can’t-stop-grins.

As much as I like to write this blog to hopefully help others, and I hope that I am.  It is ultimately too, like I said; get me through those days where I am losing the fucking battle.  Big time.  I think this blog has too become somewhat of a personal compromise.

Any one that is fortunate, and blessed enough to know me on a personal level 😉 knows that I am a pretty quiet fellow, I don’t say much, especially in regards to my feelings, my personal life and past.  I don’t even like the word feelings. I don’t talk about much of anything – ever. But, I think that this has ultimately led to me absolutely falling apart, or at least it was a significant contribution.  For 10 years, I have been fighting depression, and I haven’t said boo about it.  I’d take my pills that the doctor prescribed me.  And, that’s it. I’d take them, I didn’t know why I would be taking them, and I don’t even think they worked.  It was a robotic process.  Meanwhile, I would take these pills and carry on my day like nothing, like an absolute robot again. I’d never talk about anything.  Even if I was feeling completely fucked up. I wouldn’t say a word to anyone.  We weren’t supposed too, I thought.  Isn’t that the thing about mental illness? Hush Hush – pussy.  So, I never did. I continued to throw everything back into a mental clusterfuck… and deep down, I think I knew that this was a bad idea, and eventually would probably boil over and explode, and in turn something bad was likely going to happen.  I didn’t know what. But, it hadn’t happened then, so as far I was concerned… It wasn’t going too.  Or, at the least, I would cross that bridge when I arrived.  As if I was expecting that I’d have time, and I’d see a collapse coming.  Well, maybe I did see it coming… But, I know what I told myself…. I’ll be fine. Fuck off.  We’re ok.

Well, it was damn close, and I wasn’t okay. That was one of the hardest things, having to admit… I was not OK anymore. At all.

I am not sure if I should be impressed that my way of dealing with things lasted 10 years, or if I should consider myself damn lucky that I had someone kick me in the teeth and allow me to get my shit together when I hit rock bottom after 10 years, before it was too late… ultimately, allowing me to even tell you about this.  Thanks Jen. Everyone was right.  The more shit you keep in, and refuse to talk about… You’re going to fall apart.  And, I did just that.  And, no.  You’re wrong.  You don’t see it coming, and trust me… You won’t.

Although, I will admit I still am a little hesitant to openly discuss my fight with depression, for now, even though I am an advocate for speaking out about it… It’s hard. It’s not something that happens over night, but I do think I am certainly getting better at talking about it personally.  But, this blog, is a place where I can write these things down, then show everyone, and tell everyone.  Although its not the setting of a coffee-shop conversation.  To me, it’s a personal compromise and a stepping-stone to achieving my ultimate goal of being able to freely have a coffee shop conversation about my depression, and your’s too.

One day we’ll get there, and when we do… I’ll have a Caramel Macchiato.

I can’t write love songs when I’m on these things
I’m affable, responsible, but hard to be around
It’s correctible and they’re right you know
It’s as easy as it sounds
It’s all as easy as it sounds

– A Single Explosion –

Matthew Good

– Blair

God, Help us – Amanda Todd Aftermath

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It’s been a few weeks now since the Amanda Todd tragedy dawned upon us, some of you may have read my previous blog entry that I dedicated to Amanda and discussed the issue of high school, and bullying. From the article, I received tremendous support, which was great. But, on Facebook, and twitter, I have seen a lot of things that really puzzled me, and actually, were quite bothersome and disheartening for me.

As it is usually, people began playing the blame game, and as always, we, blame the victim. Did Amanda Todd think that her story would become that globally recognized? Probably not. Can you blame her for it? I don’t think so. Are there people dying in Iraq? Sure. Are there people dying in Africa from starvation? Sure. But, does that justify the actions of those that bullied Amanda Todd? Certainly not.

I applaud her for her courage, and bravery that took place in her story, the video, which, I have to be honest, I have not watched. I have read all the articles, the tweets, and the news clippings. But, I fear the video would just be far too emotionally strangling for me. So, I have left it. One day I will watch it. Take whatever you wish from that. But, moving on. I applaud her, I truly do. Its unfortunate it got to the point that her life was lost because of some senseless cowards, but, she’s made those senseless cowards accountable, at least, I hope.
Though, some of which I am sure have been laden with guilt ever since, some of which I am sure have carried on there gutless ways. And, these are the ones shrugging there shoulders at this tragedy pointing to Africa, or anywhere else they can, trying there best to justify it. It’s not justifiable. It just isn’t.

Sure, she showed herself naked online, or sent pictures, or had underage sex. Go to a high school and you will certainly find more girls that have then haven’t. Go to a university and do the same sample. Grab a random sample of 200 females from wherever, and do the same. Do you think she is the only one who has done this? Probably not. Is she going to be the last? Probably not. Does this justify her death, and make it “Meh, whatever” “she was not a contribution to society”… No. Now, this is not a shot against women, at all. It’s 2012 and the teenage psyche. Sure, she made a mistake, but that mistake does not give countless cowards permission to attack her physically, and verbally. Fuck, looking back at my high school, I can think of a handful of girls who did nothing less than what has been said Amanda Todd did. So what. Did that give the right for myself, or anyone else to attack them. By no means. Did it make them any less of a human being, no. I am friends with lots of them today, and the ones I am not friends with anymore, we have probably just lost touch more than anything else. But, I can not remember them being physically, and verbally attacked because they gave a couple different dudes a blowjob throughout high school, or sent pictures of there tits to someone, or behaved in a way that we feel gives us the right to label girls as “sluts” They are people. Teenage kids.

Anyway, before I go off the deep end there, again, I really applaud her, and am even more devastated that she is gone, but she did leave a mark on the world, and that’s maybe all she wanted, and hoped for after a bit of some peace, happiness and some solace. Sometimes, that is all anyone really wants. A little solace to go with there day. But, with Facebook, text messaging, twitter… Good luck.

I have read a few articles of ministers, and “high ranked” people, or whatever they are called, looking into the school systems to try and further prevent bullying, and even if nothing is ever done, or a plan is constructed, but never committed too, I think the fact that they are talking about it, and it has made headway, is an instant success, maybe it will change the tune of one asshole. Which, in turn, might save one life, or at the very least, prolong another. This is a positive, Thank you Amanda – It’s shitty that its taken the life of a young girl for this to happen, and for some people to maybe get there shit together… and then there are still some others…

The thing that really bothered me was the negativity, the “who-cares” “enough already”, things could be worse attitude that came along with her passing. The facebook statuses, the tweets, like I mentioned earlier, people shrugging this off for a far more massed death experience. But, I look at the results of this tragedy and the outcome that has come from the result of mass media… And, I think it’s been mostly positive, and awesome. I don’t get why people can blame Amanda for the media blowup that happened, why they continued to attack her. A) She’s dead. B) This is mainly why she is dead. Yet, Lets attack her and say big fucking deal. One girl is dead. Who Cares. Yep. One girl is dead that shouldn’t be. One daughter is lost, that should be preparing for school in the morning. The stupid fucking little memes that read BRB – Going for a bleach martini – YOLO. This isn’t funny, as much as it is proving to us what is wrong, is us, and the world. It’s sickening. Amanda Todd was someones friend, daughter, grand daughter, sister maybe. Yet, we continued to attack her verbally after she had already committed suicide, leaving no solace and peace to the family. And isn’t that all we ever want sometimes? Talk about being spineless.

I feel terrible for her family, but I insist they be proud of the strength and courage that there daughter displayed. I know a lot of people don’t quite understand suicide, and I didn’t either until… maybe even just a few months ago. But, It’s real. It’s not just a cop-out. Its far more complex than that. I look at when I lost my sister, and there was no mass media frenzy that transpired from it. I don’t even know if Twitter really existed then, and this wasn’t long ago. But, it was kind of like the entire world stopped for my family and I for awhile. Everything just froze. I remember driving to the church for her funeral vividly, and passing by some people on the streets in Saanich, BC – One of the most beautiful places I have ever been too – And I’d just lean against the window with chin in my palm, wondering how in the hell that guy is out watering his grass, or how that family is walking there dog, or how that kid is filling up his Nissan with gas. I just couldn’t understand how people were doing anything. What is wrong with these robots. It’s like I expected it to be completely empty outside, and for the world to have stopped and allowed for us to grieve. That’s what it felt like for me. I can still remember it now, and its the weirdest feeling driving down the road, and you are seriously wondering why the fuck someone is walking there dog, and you’re almost mad about them doing it, like they’re not allowed. Thats how it was. Imagine getting up in the morning, and you look out your window, and you are absolutely appalled that your neighbour is walking his dog before he heads into work for the day. This is exactly what is was like. Like, the dog shouldn’t have to piss or shit till I say he can do so. It’s not realistic, but I thought it was. In saying this, I can’t imagine having to deal with the media – social media outrage that transpired following Amanda Todds death. Its the most difficult thing in the world to lose a family member, and as difficult as it was to lose my sister, I can not imagine losing my own child. I applaud my mother on her grace, strength, and serenity that she exerts today. Though, I may never tell her, She is truly an inspiration. For me, and for everyone, I think. The fact that she is able to stand on her own two feet sometimes even still today, amazes me.

Thus, again, I can’t imagine the pain that Amanda Todds family feels, and the horrific things that continued to be displayed on the internet, from spineless cowards who may truly never understand, anything. This is when I think people truly forgot that Amanda Todd wasn’t just a high school brat who sent pictures of herself nude, she wasn’t just a girl that did things other people may “disapprove of” … That’s just it. She was a just a young girl. A daughter. Just like the rest of you who continued to pick on her, even after she died. Imagine if this was your daughter, your sister. Would the fact the she had sex with someone at 14 change the way you reacted, would you love her any less, would the world continue for you then? Would it make everything forgettable? God, No. It wouldn’t. But, because it happened to some girl we don’t know. It makes it okay to disregard her family, and continually attack her, and blame her. Blame her, the victim, as we always do, because we are senseless, spineless little cowards.

God Bless Amanda Todd, and everyone else who has been a victim.

And…God, Please help the rest of us.

– Blair

This One is for Amanda Todd & The Rest of Us

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I recently came across a tweet on my timeline that led me to the story of Amanda Todd.  And, what a horrible story it was.  One that completely frustrated me, and, more than anything left me astounded and disappointed in all of us.  It’s clear that we just don’t get it. We don’t.  And, I use the word “we” because, I really do believe we all have a part in this one way or another, as both victims of bullying, and being the bully.  I am sure we have been told some place or another “We’re all in this one together” Cause, we are.  If we want anything to change for the better. We need to buy in. We need to buy into “good”. Buy into being good people.  And, having read this Amanda Todd story about this high school teen who was continually harassed by her peers both verbally and physically, and pushed her to ultimately taking her own life.  I am left to believe that we haven’t bought in, and we are not prepared to go into this battle together.  At all.

High school is one of the weirdest, most difficult stage of our lives, I think.  There are so many different cliques around, the jocks, the skids, the preps, the farmers, the scensters…  I could go on and on.  Throughout high school, most peoples biggest concern is fitting in. Not there grades, not there family, not there extra-curricular activity. It’s fitting in. Being noticed by that person, that clique.  This is the problem, we are so consumed by the opinions and impressions of our peers that we end up backing ourselves into a corner, and, the result is unfortunately people like Amanda Todd.  Its high school, people are going to like you, they aren’t.  Hell, you’ll probably have a new best friend each and every grade you start and pass.  When you’re 16 and so consumed about what your classmates think of you, and fitting in.  Its impossible to find that necessary time for focusing on yourself.  You can’t see next month, you can’t see next year.  You can’t even imagine life after high school.  So how the hell do you expect to survive the damn thing! This isn’t it.

The beauty about high school, though, is its temporary.  A very small fraction of your life, hopefully only 3 years of hopefully decades more. These 3 years should not have the power shape us as individuals, they should not detain us from dreaming, and certainly should not detain us from trying to achieve our dreams.  But, since we are so young, vulnerable and naive in high school.  These 3 years does shape our lives, they do retain us from our dreams, and becoming who we want and dream to become.  And we do this to each other.  Bullying.

I don’t get it.  I never have really quite understood it. Don’t get me wrong, I will not sit here and say I have never picked on someone in my life.  Because, that would be a blatant lie. I think we could all say that we have probably been there, and I think this is a real problem, and something I am certainly not proud of.  But, I will say that it was fairly limited, and I certainly knew where the yellow light was.  Fortunately, because who knew what kind of damage I was causing. At the time, not me. And, if any of those kids are reading this, I am extremely apologetic and wish all the best.  Continuing though,  on the flip side, I have been a victim all the same, and have taken some wicked sucker punches in the gym locker room as a result, and countless other phone calls and threats at 4 am.  Unfortunately, we have all been there.

Now having gone through high school, and enjoying some of the best and worst times of my life.  I would not wish it upon my worst enemy to pull a Billy Madison and go back. Unless Veronica Vaughan joins me!  Haha. No, still no thanks.

It’s a vicious place. People are nasty. And high school is a feeding pit for these people.  But, I don’t understand why people go to these depths to bully someone, someone who is just like them.  A young, impressionable high school student. Who probably, goes home and has the same issues to deal with.  So why do we pick on these people to the point where they are in tears, and even though, we may not know, trying to commit suicide.  Instead of working together, and getting through those 3 years.  Why do we do our best to try and eliminate our peers. Bullying does absolutely no one any good.  As the person bullying, you don’t feel any better, you may feel like a big hero belittling someone in front of your friends while they laugh.  But, the second they leave, you probably feel like a zero.  And they do too.  But, this comes back to being young, and impressionable.  If our friends laugh, we will likely continue on our ways.  And shameful some people’s ways have become harassing someone into there very own grave.

These people who have picked on Amanda Todd, and people who have done this elsewhere, because I am sure Amanda isn’t the high school student to commit suicide, and she likely won’t be the last.  But, these very same people likely have as much or more problems than the rest of us, and need our help too. These people need us to stand up to them.  And, I really hope that each and everyone of them enjoy a sleepless night of sleep tonight, because, yes. I do blame you.  Fortunately, although in my mind you have committed a real crime, although no one above me legally see’s it that way.  It isn’t too late.  It’s time to grow a fucking pair of balls and be a real man, or woman.  Be a good person, turn the dial.  It’s way harder to be a good person, and a leader than it is to follow the norms of a bully, and you have all of your years ahead of you.

Please.

Be that person who stands up in the hallways, the streets, the rink, work or wherever, be that person to stand up to bullying.  It is way harder to do that then it is to “join the fun”  Because, you never know.  You could be saving someone’s lives.  Had someone in the group of classless hero’s simply said hey, look, that’s enough, or apologized to her, or even just talked to her!  Or, even a passer-by put and end to it.  Maybe Amanda Todd is gone to bed for another day of school in the AM, and I am not ear high in anger writing this blog.  Maybe.  Maybe that’s all it would take.  Now, hindsight, I bet it would have been easier for one of those kids to just put an end to it versus the guilt and shame I hope he/she feels the rest of there life.

So, long story short.  Why can’t we be good people.  Try a little harder and be that person that stops this bullshit in the hallways, the rink, wherever else.  I know that being in high school, you may suffer from a little tunnel vision, and its impossible to see 3 years out of the gate, and its difficult to imagine, and comprehend.  I Understand that, but just know that;

good people become professional athletes

good people become top of there university class

good people become CEO’s of companies

good people have families

good people are successful, and happy with there lives

Good people are role models.

These hero’s at school that harass others, those are the ones that live in mom’s basement till there… Who knows how old.  There the ones that live with more insecurities than you can count, and end up trying to live vicariously through those whom are good.  It shouldn’t ever have to be like this, cause we could use more professional athletes, CEO’s, role models than we can basement dwellers…

RIP Amanda Todd & everyone else who has lost there lives to senseless bullying.

To the bullies;  Good for you, feel good.

– Blair

The Devil in Details

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Hi Everyone!

Sorry it’s been such a long time since I last wrote in this blog.  I am going to avoid the saying “I was too busy” as that is one my biggest pet peeve’s people say is, “I’m too busy” Bullshit, If you want something enough.  You will find time to do it, and will cut the excuses.  And, the something I want out of this is of course, as mentioned, to help myself and others.  However, I did buy a new truck, and that had consumed my mind for quite a few days!  Still, nonetheless. I did fall back into a little lull, where I was just in the biggest meh sort of moods.  I remember my last entry was about momentum’s of mental illness, and I was afraid I was on the edge of falling into those lulls.  Well, I did get into a small one, and I think that had a lot to do with me putting this blog off and off.  I just kinda sat there and did nothing.  Other than buy a new unit. Haha, but really.  When you’re in these “lulls” and some are big, some are small, its tough to do anything.  You know you have these things you need to accomplish, you have your to-do lists.  But, its tough to get through those lists, cause its so easy to just lay on the couch, turn on TV, or have a nap, or play Xbox, and just say I’ll do it later.  I find when I am in my lulls, this is what I do.  Nothing off the “to-do” list gets done.  And, of course, you’re avoidant of these lulls, so the top priority on the “to-do” list should be… get the hell out of this.  But, of course, it’s so tough to see that.  Its difficult to admit this to yourself, so you continue to just lull around and go through an episode and life continues to zip right past you while you don’t seem to progress anywhere.

Then, suddenly… you wake up one day, and you feel better, or you feel something better.  Maybe something happened to help pick your head up, and its sometimes like the snap of a finger, you’ve left the lull you were in, hopeful to never go through one again.  But, struggling with depression…  Its par for the course.  You undoubtedly will.  Just try your best to minimize the opportunity to fall back into a lull, or an episode, and minimize the time you spend in that hole.  But, again, I really think the best thing to get out of these lulls, is admitting to yourself that’s where you are.. And, thats ok. Force it upon yourself to take care of things, go do something active, call someone, talk to someone, don’t continue to the things you would while in an episode. Dont put getting better off.  Whatever mechanisms of avoidance you so too choose.  Denial is not depressions friend, as much as it is an instigator, and an agitator.

Denial is something that I have lived with for so long, way too long.  And it was significantly worse after my sister passed away.  I honestly think it took 4 years before I finally started to accept that she was really gone.  I know they say it’s a typical stage of grieving.  But, for 4 years ? It can’t be.  But, almost the worst thing about denial, is that, sometimes you know your in denial, but, you accept it cause you don’t feel anything. You feel empty.  And, when you feel empty. Sometimes that’s better that feeling sad.  So, you kind of just accept that and move on.  But, it’s a trick. Its not better to feel empty at all.  It’s like taking all the feelings you think you should feel, and you cap them into a bottle.  And leave it there.  Ignore them. And I did that for about 10 years with my depression as it was, and then once I lost Jen, I threw everything and more into that bottle, and closed the lid.  I didn’t allow myself to feel anything for the longest time, and let me tell you, I could not have choosen a more terrible way to deal with things.  I think this had a lot to do with me really hitting rock bottom not long ago.  It just became way too much, and I had no more room left in my bottle, and had nowhere else to put anything.  And, I lost it.  Maybe this is what happened to Jen, I don’t know. I wish I did.  but, I know that when this happened to me, she picked me up, and kicked me in the teeth and told me to get my fucking shit together. Now. For my family, for my relationship, for my friends, and for myself and her.   I think the biggest thing she did was tell me this denial is not going to work anymore for me.  And boy, was she right.  Thus, became the creation of goneawayboys.  Somewhere to put my feelings.  Instead of in the bottle.  Out into the open they go. Where, they belong.  Where they make me feel better, and hopefully others too.  So, while I try to begin and accept my sister’s death 4 years later, and start over, grieving in the proper, more healthier, beneficial way.  I really try to watch out for that bastard that is denial.  But, every now and then, when I land into a slump, lull or episode, whatever you want too call it.  I feel that shitty little thing again.  Denial.  And, it is not only an instigator, agitator, but it is misleading and tricky too.  Like I said, you just accept it, cause in denial, you feel nothing, you feel empty.  And that is sometimes that feels better than feeling sad.  But, No. It’s not. Because, it all builds up, and builds up, and eventually.  It explodes.  And what happens then can be truly tragic and devastating.

I think this is also a factor in why people avoid talking about their depression.  Sometimes they just feel empty, and feel nothing cause they can’t admit to themselves they struggle with depression. Since society has attached such a negative connotation to the word “depression” “suicide” “bi-polar disorder“…etc.  no one wants to have it, cause they feel they are going to be judged.  So, they can’t admit it to themselves.  But, If you’re someone who struggles with the same illness I do, or something of the like.  Be honest with yourself, and let someone help you.  But, you need to help yourself understand first.  and, No. It is nothing to be ashamed of.  As I have mentioned before, It is an actually disease of the brain. It’s not something we can just “get over” or “toughen up”. It’s different.  So please, throw denial the big “eff off” and work towards getting better.

It’s damn hard, trust me. I am trying it now, and I still fall into my little lulls, and have a heck of a time getting out.. But, the best part of coming out about my depression, and my families past and tragedies, is, it allows me to feel better, it allows me to see that light everyone talks about, so I know that better is coming.  Whatever better is. Maybe its only temporary, who knows.  But, I will take temporary, over rarely.  So, I am going to work on it, and this is it, talking.  Not by taking 400 mg of wellbutrin, xanax, or zoloft or whatever other medication you’ve been told to try.  I have been struggling with depression for 10 years myself, and have been on medication for probably 7 of those years.  And, I still have depression.  Maybe I always will. Maybe it’s not something that truly ever goes away.  It’s only something you can have temporary relief from.  But, like I said. I will take temporary. But, I believe that in doing the right therapy, I will beat this.  And, its not taking the same little pill every morning after breakfast I have been taking, just because some doctor shrugged me off and wrote a prescription before he asked me hey, how do you really feel.  Nope.  Depression ? Oh, here up your wellbutrin dosage and try that young fella!  Ok. Thanks doc. You’re a real help.

Talking about it, blogging about it, making it normal conversation, getting out of denial, starting over, has been the best source of medication I have ever taken.  And, I hope you decide to join me in this remedy.  It’s difficult to get out of that denial stage, and admit to yourself that you may suffer from mental illness.  But, it’s much better when that little dosage of denial is not sitting in your pocket, feeling sad, or down is better than feeling empty.  Feeling empty is the worst thing we can do.  Denial, avoidance.  Thats the enemy.  We can’t feel that.  We need to feel.
That’s all for tonight.  I already feel much better just having wrote this entry. I am really excited for everyone to get back to reading my blog. Again, I can not stress enough how flattered I am, and honored that this has reached so many people.  It’s been amazing. I hope that everyone continues to read.  And, I will do my best to regularly write.  I am thinking about writing a tribute entry about my sister.  But, that is going to take a full day of strength, incense, and probably some atavan.  But, I think it will be good for me.  so look for that on the weekend. I will need a full day of preparation to write that.  But, I think it’s important, and everyone will get the chance to learn more about her. She was amazing, and still is as I feel her helping me through mud all the time. Today.

Also, If, I am taking awhile to put in another entry, give me a shot and tell me to get back at it. I had a couple friends kick my ass back into gear over the weekend, and get me back here.  It’s been nice.  Thanks.

Thanks again everyone.

Keep in touch. Tell someone.

-Take Care,

-Blair – goneawayboys

Hello again!

First off, I wanted to start tonight’s blog by thanking everyone again that read my last few entries, and especially the people that have reached out to me about the blog.  You’re kindness, and overpouring support is graciously appreciated.  Thank you all. I really just hope you continue to read!

It’s nice to know, that not only am I doing this blog to medicate myself,  I am reaching out to others as well.  I really hope that this blog helps you, and I really hope that it helps you in coming forward about your struggles too.  Hell, feel free to fire me a message, text or whatever other million possible ways there are to contact a person these days and we can just chat about it.

My goal, by the time I leave this world, is too see mental illness in the same conversation as any other illness.  A normal, non judged conversation.  Because, whether you agree with me or not.  It is a illness.  Its an illness in the  brain.  If you don’t agree with this, well, I am sorry, but you’re flat out wrong.  Depression is often times a result of chemical imbalances in the brain, generally monoamine levels;  Whether that’s serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine.  You choose. It took me 8 minutes just to spell those words.  Norepinephrine was the easiest one.  NORE-PINE-PHRINE.  nore pine phrine.  Perfect! Easssssy!

Haha. Anywho, yes. So, we have learned that there is actually a scientific explanation for depression, and without me explaining any further, just google it. Please, cause I should still be in science 7.  Now of course, there are all kinds of contributors for this imbalance in the brain.  Just like, there are all kinds of causes, or things that can give you other illnesses… Unprotected sex, smoking, drinking, drugs…etc, and genetics of course, as almost always.   So, if we can talk about the diseases and illnesses that are a result of the formers, why the hell can’t we talk about an illness that is a result of a loss loved one, a major change in lifestyle; perhaps a job, divorce, new child, PTSD from an accident, or a traumatic event.  Why the hell is this so different! I don’t get it! I truly don’t.  If someone can get back to me with a legitimate reason as to why mental illness is so much different than all the rest, other than its chemical explanations. I’d love to hear it… Then, I’d love to sucker you right where your shitty argument came from.  I am sorry, if I am being offensive, or insensitive.  I sympathize for anyone that has gone through any treatment, of any disease.  Wait, that’s another commonality.  You have pneumonia, aids, cancer…etc.  You get treatment.  Hey!  You can too with depression.  So we have described various commonalities between mental illness, and the rest, yet, we still can’t talk about it.  I am extremely sympathetic to those with other illness, I am.  My girlfriend had her own battle with leukemia, and thankfully, was the winnnnnnnner! and many members of her family have had the same struggle, so  It’s not like I am in depressions corner with its jersey on cheering for it.  No. Fuck no. But, I get frustrated because it is so hush-hush, and it just should not be.  No one is going to call you, leave flowers at your door, because you’re depressed.  It’s not going to happen.  Or at least, it hasn’t happened to me yet…….  Hold on…. Let me go check the door for some baking.

Mmmmm…. Nope.

Its really too bad, it is, because I know that if we all worked together to talk about this the way we talk about so and so when they get, whatever it is they get.  I think that we would be taking significant step towards in mental health treatment.  Part of the problem, is everyone for embarrassed to tell someone, they’re embarrassed to get help, they can’t tell their spouse, gf/bf so their relationship struggles, they can’t tell their kids, so then little Johnny wonders why daddy is in bed sleeping all day when its plus 30 and all his other friends are playing catch with their fathers in the sun.  Their embarrassed to tell their employees in fear they will lose their job, or be judged.  Their afraid to tell their best friends cause they think they wont get it, or they’ll be soft, or whatever shitty chirp you’ll get, so their friendships suffer.  I could go on and on.

And you know what.  I am sick of it.

I’ve told my girlfriend I struggle with depression.

I’ve told my family.

Pretty sure all my friends know if they didn’t already know before this blog.

I even told my co-workers I fight it everyday, including my bosses.

…Guess what.  They all get it. They’ve been fine. They’ve treated me just fine. Just as it was.

Why did it take me 23 years to get to this point. To be able to freely talk about….

It would be so much easier if we could just all understand this monster, and we could all just talk about, help each other understand it, whether we have depression or not.  Not everyone is affected by this. I have never had cancer, so I can’t understand the pain and experience that Amanda went through, nor will I ever try.  But, I do understand what “cancer” is, and I will listen, comprehend and be there for her as best I possibly can.  Likewise, I don’t expect her to completely understand what I am going through, because she maybe hasn’t experienced it. But, I certainly expect her to treat me the same as she did, regardless of how I feel.  And, I want her and everyone to just be knowledgeable about mental health, help yourself understand.

And, thats what everyone else in this world needs to do.  Because, truth be told.  We live in a real shitty world right now. We do. And, it isn’t right. There are so many people, so many resources that there is no excuse for this. There just isn’t.  The solution is simple, we need to talk, we need to be knowledgeable, we need to help each other understand.  How we do this. Its up to us.

So please. Start now. Start tonight.

If you read this, and you struggle with mental illness.  I want you to tell 1 person that you are in this war.  1 person. I don’t care who it is.  Hell, tell me even! I don’t care. Tell your sibling, parent, friend, co worker, or a complete fucking stranger. Tell someone.  and, I tell ya what.  I can almost guarantee you that they will be fine with it. There will be no jumbo shock reaction. LYKE OMG U WHAT! No. If they are grown up, civilized individual and in this society with the rest of us.  They’ll be fine.  And, let me tell you. You will feel so much better.

Since I started this blog… 3 days ago? I have had 2 good days… In a row. Thats been rare lately.  And, I’ve had no real reason to have these good days. I was up early for work, and home late. Both days. Usually good days are accompanied by friends, family or something. But, nope. Home alone, just me and work.  But, its simply because I am telling people.  200 people have read this blog.  200 people know I struggle with depression. And, thats what I want. The more, the better.

So, Please.  Lets talk.  Now.

This is how we are going to make this place better.

-Thank you all again so much for the support. It truly means the world to me!

Have a great long weekend, and I will likely chat with you again on Tuesday!

Be safe. And, remember.  Tell someone. 1 person. Please.

-Blair

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