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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Fighting to Survive the Gaps in Mental Health Services

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Last week, I teamed up with a mental health awareness program out of London, Ontario to provide some writing material.  Each week I will be contributing to Mind Your Mind on different topics regarding mental health.  My first article with Mind Your Mind was regarding the gaps that are found in mental health services, and the challenges that come with them.  Below is the article, please read, please enjoy, and if you’ve had a similar experience… Let me know!

Keep following along with Mind Your Mind, as they have some excellent writers on board, and have plenty of other unique things going on!

My first article with Mind Your Mind – Click Below!!!

Fighting to Survive the Gaps in Mental Health Services – Blair Courchene

Hope you enjoy, as always, thank you so much for reading.

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.

Remember When We Were Young…

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It’s been awhile.  A long while, but a good one.  I can’t recall last time I wrote here.  But, whenever it was last, things have gotten a lot better for me.  In the summer, I began going weekly to a therapist to just talk, this has never worked for me in the past trying this experience, but for whatever reason, this time it’s been great.  It’s been more than just me talking and the stranger across the room writing down notes about how nuts I am according to the books they’ve studied in school.  She listens.  Doesn’t judge.  Isn’t arrogant like the rest of them.  And, we work on things, we do different activities to help with what is dehabilitating to me, and it’s working.  I think that in addition to some other contributing things,  my life seem’s to be getting back on track.  My last session with my doctor, she asked me since you’ve been coming here in the summer, if there was one word you could use to describe your life now, that you would have never said then… What would it be.  It didn’t take me long to come up with the answer.  Easier.  Everything just seems easier, even when things are bad, dealing is just easier.  Easy & Yellow.  I don’t know yellow.  Just a color that comes to mind, things are brighter.  In the past… When I would think about my life, the only colors I’d ever see were dark grey, black and navy.  Now, Its vibrant colors.    And, to further prove that things have been getting better…  It’s now May 4th, and I have just now been hit by the fact that it’s May 4th.

For anyone who has followed this blog, or knows me well enough… Spring is the most difficult time of the year.  I am very short tempered, very standoff-ish, alone, very, very, very sad, disorientated sometimes and likely extremely difficult to deal with.  Usually these things will come and go for me from April till May 7th, and even a few days after.  May 7th.  The day my sister took her life, and my life, all of our lives forever changed.

This year has been different, I sauntered through April without any problems.  I knew this week was coming, but it didn’t take me long to shake it off, and look at it as a day we celebrate Jen’s life, and our memories together. It even sometimes brought a smile to my face.  There were times I almost felt guilty that I wasn’t being crushed by the approaching day.  Had I gotten over it? Had I moved on?  I hope not… What does this mean?  Often times, it was confusing… but, it wasn’t hurting, So I kept on.  …Till this weekend, I started thinking about it more, and more. What am I going to do? Go home? Spend time with family? friends? Or, stay in Calgary, spend it with Amanda? Friends? What the hell do I do…. Or, do I just begin to treat it like any other day. Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Eat. Watch Playoffs. Go to Hockey. Come Home. Go to Bed & Repeat.  Because, at some point in my life.  I will need to treat May 7th like just another day, because unfortunately, though I feel like it should, and I feel like it sometimes does.  The world does not stop on May 7th, for me or my family. It continues going. People go to work. Business is done as it is any other day.  Maybe I should just join back in, and not make a big deal out of Wednesday.  Maybe then I will get through the day, I’ll be busy, and I’ll forget.  I’ve began thinking about so many different scenarios, and possibilities about Wednesday. I’ve beyond worked myself up about it, once again… Though at least, on the bright side I suppose it’s only five days in advance I’ve done this, instead of 6-8 weeks like the previous years.  Well, as you can imagine… I came to no conclusion. I’d think long and hard about what to do, and then I’d begin to get standoff-ish, cold, irritated and difficult to be around so I’d try and shake myself.  And, again I was able to snap myself out of it and get back to reality.  Wondering if it was really going to be this easy this year.  I really hadn’t lost it, or completely fallen apart yet.  Was I going to survive this time? Or, am I getting blindsided somewhere soon.

Then today…I don’t know why today.  I woke up, I felt good, I even had a great sleep, and slept in. I was even going to leave to leave the house and go get groceries, which, was a feat considering the last week or so, only time I leave the house is for work, or hockey.  Anyway.  The morning continued on as any other…  I had brunch, sat down watched some VICE, talked to mom and then a buddy about planning a little boys weekend this summer in Sylvan Lake…   Ironically, the exact same thing I was doing the afternoon I found out Jen had passed away, with the same person.  Though, at the time I, of course thought nothing of it. I was excited. Great Sunday ahead. Finished off my episode of VICE, set the PVR for the Hawks/Minny game and set out to Save on Foods! What a day.

For whatever reason.. As I parked, and was leaving my truck, I thought hey, let’s take my iPod and headphones while I cruise the aisles.  Great idea.  I actually enjoy the monthly trip to the grocery store, I am a fantastic grocery shopper. I buy all the fantastic shit Amanda won’t buy.  The kebobs, the shrimp, the lobster tails, the salmon, the beef jerky, the cool labelled  BBQ sauce, funky pizzas… Cool stuff.  So, early on I was having a blast… Take out my earphones to grab a couple spolumbos and kebobs from the deli fella… And, boom.  Now I know exactly why I brought my headphones in.  One of my worst fears was on the speaker. There are a few songs I absolutely can not and will not listen to unless on my own terms.  I will do anything I can to remove myself from wherever these selects beats are going.  Wild Horses. Adia. Angel & the one playing…  I Hope You Can Dance – LeeAnn Womack.   Ah, fuck. First though that came to mind…  Why in the hell would they play this song at a grocery store… I would bet my life, there is not a single person who enjoys listening to that song, or is happy listening to that song. No. It’s fucking devastating.  Thank God, I had my headphones. I threw them back on, grabbed my kebobs and got the hell out of there as if the deli man was the one trying to break me with that song.  No way.  You won’t do this deli man! And, I literally sprinted away from the deli counter and down a different aisle.  Fortunately no one was really around to see this.  So I parked the cart.  Took a few deep breaths, turned up my music and tried to carry on.  I could feel my stomach start to twist, my throat swell up, and my hands start to tremble. I stopped again and had a little chat with myself…

“No… You’re fine kid. Not here.  You can’t here! We only have 3 things on this grocery list, and have only gone down 1 aisle, and you’ve ran down one so we’ll need to cruise again to grab bacon bits… Settle down… Deep breaths… 1….2…..3…. We’re alright. We’ve made it this far. Don’t break.  1….2….3….  Ok, I’m good”  I think.  Pfew.

I took out my phone to make it look like I was waiting on someone, or looking for something so I was less of a spectacle for those passing by.  And, All I got out of looking at my phone.  May 4th.  3 more days. Fuck.  My hands started to tremble a lit more.  My stomach knotted a little tighter.  Breathing was a little more difficult.  I was losing it.  I could feel myself starting to tip over the edge. It had hit me.  It’s 3 days away.  Thoughts of Jen started racing through my head.  Memories of her, and then What was Jen feeling like May 4th, 2008.   Was she grocery shopping?  Was life normal?  What was she doing?  How was she feeling? Were there any signs of what was coming? Did she know what was coming? Can I go back and stop this? Can I stop her? No. It’s too late. I am 6 years too late.  Why did this happen. Why is THIS happening. Why am I here. In the middle of Save on Fucking Foods and I am losing it.  I am losing it. Yep. We’re losing it.  I’m  a mess.  What the hell do I do now.  Do I leave? Do I quit? No. We have no groceries, and I’ll have to just come back anyways.  Soldier on Kid. Come on.   So I tried.  Each aisle was harder than the last.  I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t read what the hell was on the list and then remember what it was by the time I stopped looking at it. I even caught myself going down the same aisles multiple times.  Just circling them.  Taking laps aimlessly.  A complete zombie with a grocery cart.  I looked down and avoided eye contact with anyone.  I thought maybe they’ll see my weakness, see that I am losing it right now, laugh at me, think I am a nut.  It was humiliating.   I couldn’t believe this was happening.  Here. Right now.  Really? I just needed to get home.  I did the best I could getting all I needed, and getting the hell out of there.  Usually, I’ll peruse slowly all the aisles and like I said, grab the coolest things.  Not today.  Just get me out there.  Going through the cashier, my hands continued to tremble, my lip quivering, I felt cold, weak, shaky, I was quiet, impatient and avoidant.  I was falling apart at the seams.  The poor cashier.  She was doing a great job, but had I not felt so weak and powerless, I would have just scanned the damn things myself, ripped them out of her hands threw it all in my cart, yelled thank you and darted out of the store as fast I could.  But, I felt far too weak.  So I stood there. Staring into lost space.  Three times she had to ask me Save on Foods points, or gift card?  What? Huh? Me? Oh… Points please.  I could tell the family behind me was getting frustrated with me.  Or, maybe they were just creeped out that when I was staring into space they were in line of my dead gaze.  Finally, I was on my way out.  I was trying my best to run to my truck but I could hardly get myself to move.  My legs felt horribly weak.  I honestly thought I was going to fall over.  I had to lean on my cart as I pushed it to my truck.  And, of course.  I parked at the very back of the parking lot.  Remember… An hour ago, I was feeling great! …  I unloaded everything into truck as fast I could.  I raced to the cart stable, and threw my cart back.  Good Riddance to you, I’m safe! .. Get into my truck, annnnndddd….Nope.  All throughout the last hour I thought I was really falling apart.  The second my head hit the back of my seat.  I had fallen apart.  That was it.  I lost it.  Uncontrollably.  As bad as I can remember.  I didn’t even notice if there were people beside me.  I thought the world had stopped, and it was just me.  It had to have been just me.  Everything kind of went blank, and dark.  Few moments later… Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a family parked two spots down from me, who probably saw this entire debacle of mine.  And thought, what the hell… why are they parked there!  I began to get frustrated, why are you judging me you don’t know what’s going on, Human!   Then I thought same with that family at the till that was clearly getting frustrated with my dead gaze, and my inability to pay attention.  You don’t know what’s going on.  Why are you even here! Isn’t the world stopping.  Leave me alone, judging humans!

On a separate note, I often wish that you could just stick a sign on your back with small details of your story so others could understand why you are maybe struggling, or a little off today.  I think this would be great only if people couldn’t speak, were unable to judge, and WE ALL had these signs.   On normal days, I find the same thing with myself.  I get frustrated with people, all the time…. but, I often forget to think, maybe there is a reason there are out in space today.  Everyone has their problems, and their own story.  It may not be very different than mine.  I don’t know.  That’s why we should all have these signs! …Had I been another person in the grocery store today and came upon myself the way I was… I would have ran my cart head on into myself.  Wake the fuck up, or go home.  If you can’t handle reality today.  Don’t be in it. But, today I was really that person.  I needed the sign.  Don’t kick me. Please.  I am already down.

I could not get home fast enough.  Thankfully I only live a short way away from the grocery store, because surely I was not in any condition to be driving at the moment.  I was driving just as I were walking, and cruising the grocery store.  Just lost.  Empty. Blank.  I can remember driving out of the parking lot, but I don’t remember the rest of the drive.  Even thinking back now and it was only a couple hours ago. I remember leaving the Save on Foods parking lot… I remember parking my truck at home.  The in-between.  No idea.  Poof.  I had landed at home.

Never ever have I been so relieved to get home, have a drink of water and just breathe.  I felt like I had just gone through a marathon.  Maybe I had…  A mental one albeit.


Now that i’ve somewhat pieced together all that had fallen apart awhile ago, I still continue to be held together by a thread, and I imagine I will for the next week.  Standoff-ish.  Avoidant. Cold. Irratible. Impatient. Empty. Blank. Zombie.   It’s the most difficult week of the year for me, and for my entire family, for obvious reasons.  I really thought this year was going to be different, and it was going to be easier.  but, I suppose it’s not going to be.  I am more confident in my ability to get through the days alive, I wasn’t so much in past years.  I know I will get through this year.  But, beginning this morning, apparently… this is and will be the longest week, these will be the longest, hardest and darkest days.  Even as I sit here and write this on a Sunday afternoon… My hands are shaky, My attentiveness is limited, My body feels weak, I feel sick, my stomach feels knotted, and empty.  I feel like something has been lost, like something is missing. Something is missing.


We lost Jen on May 7th, 2008.  That’s a long time ago.  But, for me it seems like it was only last week.  It seems like only this winter I had visited them in Victoria we hung out, walking along the pier in Sidney, arguing about Hockey Vs. Basketball, playing playmobil, trading CDs.  Talking about our lives when we grew up, and what they would be like.  Never did we say they would be like this.  Never did we say that I’d be sitting here one sunday afternoon writing, and weeping about the very moment we are sharing.  I never ever thought about that.  Never.  She talked about having a family, and what she was going to name her kids, and I thought they were the worst names ever.  I talked about hockey.  Everything about it.  We talked about going to Hornby Island.  When we played playmobil when we were young, we had a huge island piece that we often pretended was Hornby Island.  We talked about all kinds of things.  Hell, we even fought, and we argued about all kinds of things too.  But, we never stayed mad at each other for so long.  I looked up to her like I’ve never looked up to anyone in my life.  She was my hero.  I wanted to be just like her.  I didn’t know at the time she was fighting her own monsters the way she was.  But, looking back now, I applaud her for the strength she had going on, and she did a darn good job of soldiering on.  She did such an amazing job of never letting the way she felt inside, effect the way she treated others.  At least around me, and my brother.  I never knew she was that hurt. I was young, and naive but I always thought she was happy, she had fun, she was popular, had lots of friends.  I can remember her having parties in Victoria, and I so badly wanted to be apart of them. I so badly wanted to be friends with her friends.  Looking back now… I was that really annoying little brother that wouldn’t go away, and wouldn’t leave his big sister alone.  But, she was always so patient, kind, and nurturing.  She’d introduce me to her friends, all these girlfriends of hers that I fell in love with instantly.  I can remember everything.  I can remember thinking I can’t wait to be Jen’s age and have friends like her, and have fun like she has.  I just didn’t know she was hurting so bad inside.  I wish I had, maybe I could have helped. Maybe I could have done something.  Maybe I did help. I don’t know. But, maybe there was more I could do so that we could still share those same memories, and instead of me writing about them, telling them to all the strangers on the internet who will read this… I could call her, hey! remember that time Jen… Haha, yea. I’m sorry I was such a turd.

But… Now we are where we are, and these are only just memories, memories that I have, and the only ones that I have.  We can’t create anymore.  There are only these.  That’s the hardest part sometimes.  These images in my mind, are all that I have left.  I wish I could just hear her voice. I forget what she sounded like.  I forget her laugh.  Sometimes I have dreams with her in them, and I can remember.  Dreams where she is happy. She is laughing, smiling, and at peace.  I think this is her telling me she is okay now, she isn’t fighting anymore, and that we’re ok to let go and be happy ourselves.  We have too.


If you were lucky enough to know my sister, this week is likely equally shitty for you too… and, I know I say this every year, and it’s easy to say this and a lot harder to do… But, try and let go of the sadness this week.  Think about her.  Talk to her.  But do so with a smile,  and a laugh. Not a bunch of tears.  Grab yourself a Stella, or a case of them.  For each one you have… Tell a story you remember about Jen, or something about her you remember.   Even if you are by yourself, or with a group of friends, even a group of friends who didn’t know Jen.  Tell them a story about her.  Hell, even send me a story about her, or a memory you have.

Send me an email b.lystang@hotmail.com, or text me  any memories you have of her.  403 808 3321.

It will help me get through the week.  And, it will be something we can all keep and put together for Abbey.

Even if you didn’t know Jen, wherever you are, whatever you do on Wednesday.  Have a drink, and please, toast to my sister.   Thank you.

 


 

 

I miss you so much Jen.  I love you.

 

 

#BellLetsTalk The Worst Crime is Faking It.

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The Worst Crime is… Faking it. Image

Welcome… Too a few things, first off, back to goneawayboys! I know it’s been sometime since I contributed something more than a half ass article that I wrote amdist my boredom in foreign islands, or in an airplane over the pacific.  But, here I am.  Sounds like it was a really tough break, doesn’t it?

Truth is… I contemplated giving up this blog entirely, and just riding out what it was, this blog and the sunset.  Her & I together.  See ya. Why? I’m not entirely sure.  I felt like there was almost nothing too write about anymore.  I thought,  I’ve wrote so much about my own story, my own fight with mental illness, that what else can I do, except write the same thing over and over again, because, basically, that’s almost how I feel every day… Over and over again.  Or often enough anyways.  And, being a half-ass smart kid, or so I would like to think, I know that the audience doesn’t care much for repetition as much as they appreciate new quality content.  So, I thought… What else can I do?  Welp, the NHL came back.  I thought then, after each week, I would put together my thoughts on the NHL – My viscous opinion after the week that was.   But, then I thought, wait…  nearly >400,000 writers have had that same idea.  What is going to make the opinions of yours truly any more readable then the rest?

Other than… well, what I would write would, likely be 100% correct!  But, essentially, that would grow old really fast, because people would be either a) tired of agreeing with me every single time, or b) simply wouldn’t give a shit anymore.  I’ll tend with the latter.

I have also been long thinking, that since its February, and apparent Mental Health month, depending on you who you ask… It could also be heart month, or limb month.  Either which way, I choose its mental health month, though, for me, every day is.  I do appreciate such  initiatives that are looking to get the word out.  Especially, the words that are mental illness, and, for that, I sincerely applaud Bell.

I continually go back and forth right now between, Twitbook & the fridge.  Twitbook is my reference to facebook & twitter, which have now become one and same annoying usage of social media, though, I disgruntle at times. I am the worst for it.  Fridge, well, beers don’t stay cold on the deck.  Soooo…..  Don’t judge me.

I’ve made a few posts regarding this #BellLetsTalk day, and I have changed most of my pictures on the 17 different social media sites to that of my sister; Jen. Simply, too remember her, and too show everyone her smile, and how beautiful she was.  As most of you know, from hopefully reading this blog, Jen committed suicide back in May of 08. May 7th. 2008.  No matter how many Sunday mornings I claim are the worst day of my entire life, nothing even comes close. Nothing. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I even know what I was wearing… Black Mount Royal sweatpants… That I have never worn since, along with a plain white zip-up hoodie… That I have never wore since.  You might wonder why I was dressed like such a slob. Well, I was at one of my best friends place, and we were cruising the net, entertaining the option of house-boating in the coming weeks.  Then, my phone rang.  My interest in house-boating has simply never been the same.  And, of course, I can’t blame my sweater, sweats, and houseboating on what had happened that day… But, if you know, I am annoyingly superstitious… And, these things stick with me, they do.  Maybe it sounds stupid, but I really hope you just don’t get it. I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy.  I remember my Uncle Jeff was the one that called me, and told me I needed to go home ASAP. Didn’t give two fucks what I was in the midst of.  That’s when I knew something was wrong.  My uncle and I have a typical boys relationship.  We chat every now and then, and when we are able to meet with each other, we do and it’s great. Thus, when he called me telling me to get home ASAP, I knew something was fucked up. I don’t think he had ever called me before. Ever… Skip the part where I break down, and throw 9 atavans in me…I had found out my sister had committed suicide.  You want too talk about a shitty fucking day.  Fuck me. I am terrible for being that guy, that when something bad happens, I immediately resort to the prototypical “OMG WORST DAY EVER” No… And, then I instantly feel my teeth, or my body hurt and I know its Jen kicking me. Her way of telling me, like fuck kid, get over it. Don’t be that guy.  You whiny, selfish weiner… And she’s right.  I hate myself for acting like that.  That was the worst day. That was the shittiest day. I can’t fathom another day worse.  And, it’s not like a pretty white dove came and sent the message peacefully, and all was good.  No, It was my mom, who too this day, I will knock out each and every tooth you own if you argue me that you know a stronger person…. Anyway, it was my mom, she came in through the garage, walked… Hmm, I suppose it was 12 feet. I was sitting on the couch, on the right hand side, in the same slug clothing I had on previously, and I remember her, she was wearing black, she kind of just crawled… crawled into the middle of the living room, and she just fell too her hands… and I knew… something wasn’t right.  But, still had zero idea of what the fuck was going on.  I still couldn’t imagine what I was about to be told….  Your sister killed herself…. And, crash. My mom fell to the ground, my Dad (the tough fuckn’ bullrider) who knew tried to comfort me, but I just immediately lost it.  I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t take it. Couldn’t believe it. I had all these other pre existing ideas in my head of what was actually happening too our family at the time, and never once did I think it was Jen… I thought she was doing OK? but, maybe, how the hell was I too know? Did I ever care too check in?

If any parents are reading this blog… I want you too imagine this, while you think you’re the shit cause your child has the latest… Well,  You are told on a friday night, that your daughter, your fucking daughter has just committed suicide. Hey, happy friday. Guess what.  Now, you must go turn around, drive along the lovely paved highway till you get home, and you must tell your 18 year old, and 8 year old that there sister passed away.  Now? How? What? … No? Fuck off.

… Yes. I still to this day, do not know how my mom did that. I don’t know. I know this though, she is the single strongest human being I have ever met in my entire life, for being able to do so. And, she didn’t try and hide it, she didn’t try make it cute.  She told us. How the hell….  Think about this one for a second.  And, if anyone knows my mom.  If for a second you don’t think she is one of the best… Do me a favor…  Grab your two front teeth, knock them out, and go give her a hug.  No one deserves one more.  Even if this was 4 years ago.  No parent in my mind should have too worry about passing along the news of a passing child, let alone, after that have too be the one too break the news to the little brothers.

Sweet fucking crocodile rock.  I can’t imagine. I can’t.

It honest to fuck, took me 4 years to believe it. FOUR YEARS! There are times even today, and yesterday, where I still didn’t really believe it. Maybe that’s why people think I have done such a good job dealing with this, that combined with, I just do my best not too talk about it ever.  Which, I know is wrong.  But, I feel like, the rest of the world will stop and care for your tragedy for a maximum of 2 days… While, you may struggle the rest of your life, I feel like people only understand, care, and pity you for 2 days max.  Not that I want anyone too pity me. EVER. Please don’t.  But, you know what… That day, and my sister is someone and something that cross my mind daily.  Maybe one day, when we are out for a beer, or a coffee, maybe just ask, How I am…  Ya’ know,  I know, as the other fella.  That may be the most difficult question ever, how do you ask that…. But there are times, and nights, where nothing else is on my mind.. I’d be enthralled to give you an answer… I know it happened 4 years ago for you, and everyone else.  But, for me and my family… It’s every day.

….. It’s hard.   Anyway, I said I was going to skip the details because I didn’t want too exhaust too many atavans, but I managed to write, and get through those few lines without taking any! Can you believe that.  It may have took me almost over an hour to write that… But, I did it…. Right, and that’s a step in the right direction.

For a lot of my life, particularly since Jen passed away suddenly.  I have denied almost…. Well, everything basically, and thought I have tried my best to come too terms with what had happened, obviously I couldn’t, and I don’t think I ever will.  And, I tried my best too get myself back on track, and though, I think I certainly leveled that challenge out, depends how you do define back on track…. But, do I go a week without falling back in my own depression, do I go a week without thinking about my sister, do I go a week without any anxiety.  You bet your sweet pineapple; No. I do not. That said,  Nor do I think I am at rock bottom anymore,  I was, and I am fortunate enough to be alive today.  But, though, I believe I may have my depression under control, its still something that I suffer from.  And, though, I may have handled the death of my sister all on my own, without any professional help, with the exception of two complete wieners, I think I have done OK, just OK.  But, there are days, like today, where OK just isn’t good enough.  I still have nighs where I will lay in bed for 45 minutes and I will just talk out loud.  I am talking too my sister, and I believe that she listens to every word, but the rest of the world must think I am fucking nuts.  Seriously. I would!

I have gone to 2 therapists in my life since Jen passed away.  But, too understand what that means, you must understand me. I am, or I try too be a very independent, proud individual, I don’t like too get help. I am a guy. And, I remember going to see a psychiatrist, I don’t think it was long after Jen passed.  But, he was a nice fellow… but, I either just wasn’t ready, or just wasn’t drinking his Kool-Aid, but it was the last time I ever went to a “big dog” and it left a completely sour taste in mouth for the entire experience.  I saw a therapist a few years later at my university, and that was equally as worse, if not more. Actually, it was painful.  It’s was a struggle, it really was. And, you know what, I understand both sides… But, they want me too book an appointmen, say, Thursday at 1:15pm! OK perfect! Can’t wait! Oh gee, me neither! Woo hoo! So, Thursday comes along. Enter the small, dark, plain, gloomy room of Ms. Therapy.

BE READY TO REVEAL ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS AT THE BLINK OF AN EYE SIR!! YOUR APPOINTMENT HAS BEEN BOOKED!!!

“So Blair, what brings you here”

“My mom”

“Oh, really, what do you mean by that?”

“Meh, Nothin”

“Did you mom suggest for you too come and see me, am I the therapist you’ve seen?”

“Kind of, not really, and No”

“Well, what else can you tell me, Blair?”

…. Silence, maximum efforts too collect my breathing….

“My sister”

“Oh! Your sister!” (As if she was expecting the typical my mom won’t pay for my textbooks this semester – story) Tell me about your sister”

… And well, you can imagine how the remaining 7 minutes of this meeting went.  It didn’t last long, my answers remained a word or 3 in length. I just didn’t want too be there.  I didn’t understand why I should tell this lady anything? After all, did she even understand? Or, did she just read a damn fucking textbook and learn what too say?  Because, that’s what pisses me off.  There is a huge difference between truly “getting it” and just “knowing what too say”

Again, I either, just wasn’t ready, or wasn’t drinking her bullshit (denial)

And, since I have talked too no one, except for Microsoft Word, as I continue to write in my blog and spill the juicy details, and that has made me feel significantly better, although unlikely it’s long-term.  It hasn’t quite replaced the complete feeling of nothingness.  But, you know what… There are times, where… I don’t mind that numb feeling that I live with, and I live with it by the day.  Sometimes I wonder, is it better too feel numb, or too feel nothing at all. Or, what the fuck is the difference.

It’s been a tough stretch since we spoke last, but, I do miss you so much Jen, I think about you every day, and there are days where I truly believe that if I just squeeze a little harder, just a tiny bit, maybe you will come back, even if just for a brief chat, I feel like you will be there.  And, you know what… Maybe you are there, I just can’t see you. But, I want too. I want to see that smile.  I want to talk to you, and I want too hear your voice.  I want too remember your voice, Jen.  Please. Come back.

In the meantime, I’ll talk, I’ll talk for both you & I, and I will count the days till I see you again, someday.

God Damnit, I love you & I miss you. So much, it hurts.

– Kid Brother –

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.