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.

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

Someday their heads are going to turn… And they’ll realize.

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Well, Finally.  I have lit some candles, dimmed the lights, turned on my music, lit some kihei road incense and am back!  Huh, sounds like quite the romantic scene, doesn’t it.  But, no. Just the scene of me blogging, and digging deep into this brain of mine, and pit of feelings and emotions, or whatever else I can stir up over the next while and translate into words and leave them for you to read.  Cause right now, as usual, I don’t really know!

But, really, this is quite the odd scene. I will post a picture of it. Its weird. But, I find that its really the only way I can truly relax, and attack this process!  It’s not an easy one, as easy as I would like anyways, to talk about mental illness, and especially my own battles.  The time, moment, atmosphere must all be bang on.  But, I think getting to the point where you can create your own atmosphere that will allow you to dig that excruciatingly deep into your own self, and talk about what you find, and leave for others to read and to listen too, Well, That’s the goal, isn’t it? That’s what we want.  That’s how we can de-stigmatize mental health, and get better.  Isn’t it?

That’s the hardest part about this, consistently contributing to this blog anyway, and that’s partially where I understand people having such a difficult time speaking out about their battle with mental illness.  And, I personally thank media, and society for that. But, thats another tale.  The other difficult part about this blog, is sometimes finding the strength to feel the way I do when I write, and too stomach it and keep on.  Its certainly an empowering experience once I click post, and I feel so relieved, and I feel like I have done something great, for someone, though, I may never know, or may not be at all.  but, I like to think so.  And, it makes me feel unreal.  That perma-smile kind of feeling. When I get messages from others thanking me, or whatever else, it truly means a great deal.  But, During the 90 minutes or so, I take to write, My guts feel like they are being twisted together into a gigantic knot.  You know that sick feeling you get in your stomach, from either being nervous, or something bad happened.  That hole ?  Yep. Well, that’s the one.  But, now that I really think about it. I think maybe its just this time that’s oddly more painful to write.  Maybe its cause I have something that I need to talk about today thats really sitting bottled up down there.  Cause, I usually dont know where I am going each blog. I know my general topics, and the specifics, well they just come along as I type!  Or, Maybe its just cause I haven’t wrote in a long time,  there was a time where I thought a few weeks ago, about sitting down and writing again.  But, I didn’t know what to write. I thought, What else can I talk about that I haven’t said already.  People know where I stand on this world problem.  At least you should.  But, No.  I’m wrong. I have more to say. Even if its the same story over and over, it needs to be heard.  All the time. Every day. Every Week.  Not just when I feel right, not just when the world recognizes the day as “World Suicide Prevention Day”  By the way,

I appreciate the world acknowledging days like this, but why is it just a “day” and it goes by so unnoticed.  It was sickening watching Global Calgary have to talk about it.  I remember them doing a segment and it seemed like it was such a battle for them to go through the 60 second clip. All the while focusing the camera on a bridge, while talking about signs of suicide.  This absolutely enraged me.  Here is the #1 local news station of a city that lives millions.  Doing a mini-clip on suicide prevention DAY, focusing on a fucking bridge!!!! Are you kidding me.  And, you wonder why people are so ashamed to speak up about their depression, and why the feel like they will be judged and will suddenly be 3 feet tall in the eyes of the world.  Well, if you saw the clip global had.  You’d understand too.  It was truly sickening.

The whole world suicide prevention day bothered me actually, I think more than I felt good about it.  It just opened my eyes to so many things that are just wrong.  Ie.  globals coverage.  But, secondly.  Why just a DAY!  (here we go)

Here are a few facts that I will leave for you – While you read this, consider that the “World” just held a day in regards to “World Suicide Prevention” And, boy oh boy did they struggle to get through it.  Outside of a few tweets from people I follow that are “pro-talk about depression”; like myself, and the painful global segment.  I had no idea about this “Day”  But, consider this while you read these facts.

-Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among young people, in fact, it is the THIRD leading cause of death between youth aged 18-24. 

-Suicide is the second leading cause of death between people aged 25-34.

Think about the importance that these demographics have in the world. 

-There is a suicide attempt every minute in America.

Every minute. That’s 50 lives attempted since I started this blog. Every minute. 

-Over 1 MILLION people die a year by suicide

That’s almost all of this city. in a year.

And, these next two.  I think might be the most disturbing, if you can imagine.

-For every suicide, in North America – There are 100-200 more attempts. For every one.

And the worst part.  Suicide statistics can be misleading, because religion, families, media or whatever else have such a stigma on suicide that it just doesn’t get reported.  Making these stats, possibly under-calculated.

But, wait.  we have a A DAY to prevent this.  A day! A 60 second segment on global, and a themed day thats hardly recognizable.

As you can tell this absolutely enragesme. It really does.  What else do you do?

I don’t know. Have a month, have a week, how about every day is suicide prevention day.  And how we do this.  Well, I have mentioned this a million times, we make this place a more open, comfortable place to live, where people can talk, and can talk about their feelings and not be judged.  And we as others, can listen, and learn, and become educated so that we can understand.  That is how we make EVERY DAY suicide prevention day.  And, I think in this day, the media plays such an influence on the lives of people.  They need to really pick this up. A shotty, awkward segment hurrying through some signs of suicide while focusing on a bridge isn’t going to help.

Make it a daily segment, talk to people that struggle with mental illness, talk to people that have lost someone to suicide, have a daily article in the newspaper of different stories from different people so that others can read and be influenced properly. There is just a few ideas.  But, In order to make every day suicide prevention day, Its about talking, and its coverage. And it needs to be in an atmosphere as I mentioned before, one that is comfortable, and open.  And allows people to be to dig.

Anyway,  That’s how I felt about that.  Not good. It just seemed like such a struggle for everyone to push through that day without saying anything.  And it bugged me.  I just think there is so much more we can all do to prevent suicide, and educate ourselves, but we aren’t doing it.  And, sure, I can get off my ass too and start doing something, something more than this blog.  We need too, and can all play a part.

But, anyways.  I went from half hour ago feeling nauseous and emotionally strung as I was beginning this blog with a picture of my sister to my side and a few other items from her, that I have kept.  Cards & different letters she’s wrote, just little things I keep with me in moments when I feel I really need her.  But, back to the where I was going. I went from feeling that emotionally nauseating feeling to be absolutely enraged, typing furiously and going off about the WSPD.  So much so, that none of it probably even made any sense.  But, I am back grounded now.

I eventually want to be able to find the strength in me, to write in this blog every day, and each time do it with my sister, and make a tribute or some way to her, or something.  Or just to talk about her. I don’t know yet.  But, in attempt to avoid feeling that gut-wrenching pain I try and convince myself I don’t have time.  But, thinking about it today.  I thought, I am letting my sister down, and maybe more people too by not writing anymore.  I hope there are people that this blog truly connects with and I apologize for the month delay.  I’ve said this before, I know. But, I am going to try and write here more. Now that hockey season has gotten underway and isn’t every night for 4 hours after work. I have some more time to find that strength in me to do this.  See, I just did it. Tried to convince myself I wouldn’t have time. Blamed something else! Bah!

It’s funny, this whole month has been such a weird month. For the first time in 17 years I have not had to pack up my pencils and head to a classroom and sit there and waste the day away.  That was weird.  But, now that I am a grown up, with a monday-friday, I find myself with a lot more time to think, and divulge.  Maybe, cause I am not worried about accounting, I don’t know. But, I have been thinking alot about my sister.  I go through these weird stages, where I think about her so much, so much to the point where it can be distracting on the rest of my life.  Which, is a good, and bad thing at the same time.

I know when you lose loved ones in your life, people eventually tell you, move on, and you say, well, gotta get on with things.  Understanding, people just don’t know what to say at that time. There isn’t any magic phrase to be honest, but, I haven’t quite come to understand what that means yet.  I think about my sister probably more now than I ever have since she’s been gone.  I don’t know why. Maybe because I think, I hope I am no longer in denial and I am truly beginning the grieving process.  I don’t know.  Sometimes I wish this program I run upstairs came with a manual.  I don’t know.  But, I find myself so many times just mad at myself for somethings that I do, or say, or whatever.  And, I don’t know if its the depression, or there are times where I am just so concerned about making my sister proud of me, that I, ultimately am afraid of any sort of failures.  In any way. I am afraid of having a shitty job, just being a middle of the road dude. I want to excel, have an that job, that house, and all the rest.  I set these extremely high expectations for myself, because I think that, that is what would make Jennifer proud of me.  And, I think setting these expectations for myself has caused me a lot of problems this year.  Especially when I struggled to find a job out of university, and I was hitting rock bottom hard.  I was so concerned about  stuff, that ultimately, I can’t really control.  I am still only 23 years old, and to set those expectations amongst myself probably isn’t fair. But, it’s too late.

Hell, I graduated university, and I honestly didn’t even care.  It was another day for me.  I walked across the stage, got my scroll, shook hands with the president.  And, nothing. Not a thing. didn’t feel anything.  And that’s not right.  To graduate from uni is a privilege, and something everyone should be extremely proud of that is fortunate enough to do so, But, for me. No.  I felt like I was failing, because I hadn’t a job yet.  I was embarrassed. And that overrode any emotion of being happy, or proud of myself.  And  still, now that I have a job, and I have a new truck, it’s still the same thing.  It’s not good enough. And, I wonder why I struggle emotionally so much sometimes. I have the highest expectations for myself.  I don’t know where they come from, I think I put a lot of it on myself because I think that’s the only way to make my sister, family proud.   Welp, Good fucking luck living on that way kid.  Nuh uh.

I think thats another reason this blog creates so much euphoria for me, Deep down, I think that Jen is extremely proud of me doing this, and so too is my mom, and my family.  The feeling I get after I write the blog, is the feeling I want the rest of my life. Its happiness, knowing you’ve done something right, done something that makes those proud of you that you’ve been striving for their acceptance.  And, I think the fact that I am consciously working on making myself better is something I need to realize is a step in the right direction and will get me to where I need to be to feel that happiness all the time.  And the rest will fall into place as it need be.  For some reason, I think having a good, high paying job, a nice house, and vehicle is the ultimate combo for success and happiness.  Well, I know it’s not.  But, something inside is doing a great job of tricking my brain into thinking that.

I have this letter that my sister wrote to me and my brother from many years ago, It was an apology letter I guess from the first time she was really sick and tried to take her life, fortunately, everything ended up okay that time, thankfully, as Jen was able to get some help, and we were able to spend some more time together, and make some more memories.  But, an excerpt from the letter she wrote me and Brody, without going through the whole thing reads

I want you to know I am working my hardest at getting better.  It isn’t easy, but it’s something I really want.  I think of you and Brody everyday to inspire me in whether you know it, or not, You do.  You two boys mean the world to me.  You are such an amazing person Blair, I admire you in every way and I’m so proud of the fact that you are my brother.

I love you,

Keep strong and always

remember I am here for you

Jen

I used to read this letter often just after Jen passed away, and it made me so angry.  How could you write this, and then leave.J ust like that. I didn’t understand. But, now that I understand the depths of depression, and suicde more, and I understand kind of how she felt, I am not mad at all. I am not angry. I am just sad sometimes.

But, reading this letter over again now, and the last week or so is the first time I have read it in years.  I think it answers a lot of the questions I ask myself every day.  Would Jen be proud of me.  Am I living my life the way I should, too honor her.  I know that she truly tried her damnedest to get better, but ultimately, it was too much. And I know she is better man.  but, I think as I write this, and I talk about this with everyone, and I share this story, its making me better.  And I think that’s something not only I want, but she does too.  Now, I think all I truly want aside from feeling that happiness all the time, Is for my sister to know I do forgive you, and I understand, it’s ok now.

I miss you.