What Makes You Happy?

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What Makes You Happy

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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My Beautiful Girl

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I wanted to post this yesterday but didn’t have a chance.  Also likely going to take some real flak from the boys for posting this; soft! So I was probably delaying that a little bit too!

Keeping things with Valentines Day, and in a week or so will be the 11 year anniversary since I asked Amanda to go out with me. Thankfully, she said yes.  We’d be 12 years but she said no the year before!

Anyway, I wrote this letter for her a couple weeks back when I was heading home from Hawaii without her.


It hasn’t been more than thirty minutes since I last looked back, and waved goodbye. I finished my tour of anxiety through security, looked back to you, and waved. You immediately waved back. I could see the excitement in you that I had looked back to see you one last time. I made my way up the escalator, and I hoped I’d see you once more; I didn’t want to lose sight of you.  You must have left, and then it hit me. You were gone, and I was going the other way. We were apart. In most worlds, and most relationships, I think people look forward to four days of alone time, and there isn’t likely to be a person who loves their alone time more than me. But this time… it hurt me. I don’t know why. I think every time I am not by your side, I am so afraid that it’s the last time I will see you. The last time I will see happiness. I think one of the things that people go through when they suffer from depression is, though they may have moments of happiness, and elation… It doesn’t always last, and when it’s gone, it’s heart sinking because you always feel like that may be the last time you’ll feel that joy again. That’s how I am every time

You have this weird way of allowing me to be happy, to have fun, and to feel like everything is going to be just fine. Even if in the moment, it doesn’t seem like it will be. I used to always be so hard on myself, expect so much of myself, that it was nearly impossible for me to ever find happiness. I blamed myself for every little thing that went wrong, things I couldn’t even control; I found a way to make it my fault. I lost all sense of hope, peace and completely lost all hope of happiness. I can remember that time I was really at rock bottom and you went miles above your call of duty to ensure I was ok. After talking to the psychiatrist about how I was feeling, I remember her coming back into the room. I was ready for her to tell me I needed to be locked up, or kept overnight because I was crazy, or something was wrong with me. She didn’t say the former, or the latter. She just said, I think he is just very, very sad. She could not have been more correct. There was no need for this significant diagnosis, exams, or medications. I wasn’t going to hurt myself, or hurt anyone. I didn’t want too. I was just simply, or complicated-ly…sad.   At the time, I never thought I could lean on you the way I have learned how to now. I didn’t want to hurt you, let you down, or feel vulnerable. I was afraid of that. I thought I could deal with my despair independently. This led me down a path I wish to never return. Using alcohol as a crutch. I’d drink, and drink, drink some more and continually party. I knew that this wasn’t making me any less sad, or any happier. It was temporary relief, where I would simply forget my sadness for an evening, only to awake to a stronger never-ending mountain of grief. This wasn’t working. Most people would have left me on my own after the pain I had caused you, all of it completely unfair to you. Though, through it all, you never budged, you never gave up. I am sure that it must have been extremely hard on you. Nights I was out partying and you had no idea where I was, what I was doing, when I was coming home, or if I even was. I’m sure I caused you many long, sleepless and emotionally drowning nights. I am certain of it now. For that, I cannot apologize enough, and I cannot thank you enough for never losing hope and faith in me. You somehow always found something in me I could never find in myself.

When I started to realize that the crutch I was using was only digging me deeper into darkness, and I decided enough was enough. I needed to find help, elsewhere. You had longed for me to enter the PAS program at the hospital, and try it. Finally, I did. And, throughout my weekly sessions for eight months, I learned so much about myself; I think I gained so much strength in those eight months. I learned different ways to channel my sadness, and try to turn it into something else, I learned that it’s ok to sometimes feel like nothing, to sometimes feel as if you’re mental space has completely died, yet your still moving physically. I learned that it’s ok to feel vulnerable, and for years, I was mortified of this. It was ok to feel weak, and to have those around me know that I was weak, and that I was hurting, and it was ok to lean on your for help, and for strength.

I don’t know what the real turning point was in those eight months that have led us to today, but I keep thinking back to that exercise I completed in therapy where I had to write you a letter explaining why I had a difficult time leaning on you. I’ve always been better with writing my feelings down, than I have been verbalizing them. We know that. Yet, I was so scared to give you this letter. It took three weeks. Finally, I did. I had never been so nervous in my life. I was afraid I was going to hurt you. I had no idea what to expect from you in response to this letter. I watched your every move as you read the pages I delivered to you. My mind raced, attempting to analyze your every thought. Finally, you finished, looked me deep in the eyes, and told me we’re ok, hugged me, gave me a kiss and told me that you loved me. You didn’t get upset. You didn’t shut down. You didn’t try to dig for more. Your response was everything I would have envisioned in a perfect world. And, at that very moment, I think you made me truly feel like everything was going to be ok, no matter how weak I was at the time, or at anything… or how much I was hurting. You were there for me.

Fast forward to today, as I make my way home on my own. I looked back to see you one last time as I rose up the escalator… and it hit me. You are truly everything to me. I am heart broken to be away from you even if for a few short days. It sounds pathetic, but it’s true. I have finally found peace, strength and happiness alongside you, and being able to confide in you has provided me with a life of joy that I could have never imagined.

I can’t wait to be home with you again.

I love you, my beautiful girl.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am praying for you Newtown.  

Rest in Peace & God Bless

Charlotte Bacon

Daniel Barden

Olivia Engel

Josephine Gay

Ana Marquez-Greene

Dylan Hockley

Madeleine Hsu

Catherine Hubbard

Chase Kowalski

Jesse Lewis

James Mattioli

Grace McDonnell

Emilie Parker

Jack Pinto

Noah Pozner

Caroline Previdi

Jessica Rekos

Avielle Richman

Benjamin Wheeler

Allison N Wyatt

Rachel Davino

Dawn Hochsprung

Anne Marie Murphy

Lauren Rousseau

Mary Sherlach

Victoria Soto

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