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
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.