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Mental health, Mindfulness, Motivation.

This is the post excerpt.

What was the last thing you really wanted?

 

Drop in, dropout

Picture this.

You turn your alarm off as soon as it comes on. You roll over back to sleep with a grin on your face. Your bed is just the right amount of warm and cozy. Your legs stretch out. You’re dreaming of being in the perfect relationship with your ex girlfriend. None of your worries have come to mind. Later you get up. It’s a sunny warm March afternoon. Your roommates have already left for the day so you have the house to yourself. You blast music, drink tea, and make French toast. You get dressed, wearing one of your favourite shirts. You leave the house. The sun is so nice you think about rolling down the window. Maybe next week, nothing but good weather and good times lies ahead. You take the long way downtown, enjoying the ride, singing to the music. You get booster juice, cause why not treat yourself. What a perfect start to the day. Then you park in front of the drop in counselling center, play your sad song over and over again, trying your best to keep in the tears, but they sneak out the corners of your eyes. You never leave the car. Just sit there staring at the logo on the door and the people that occasionally walk in or out. You wonder what separates you from them. What makes it so hard for you to find help Chris? Is it something wrong with the system? Is it the stigma cast down on you from society? Why are these people getting help and you aren’t? Maybe you’re just too fucked up. You’ve been coming here for 5 years now. Rarely going inside and never getting better. As if one day an angel will walk out of that door and solve all your problems. What are your problems anyways? I don’t see any. You’re a middle class raised child with financial support from your family living in a world full of opportunity. You’re too lazy to go to class, too lazy to get a real job. But you still end up at the bar every Saturday night, the first one to shout “let’s do shots”. What’s your excuse again? Oh right. ‘Depression’ how could I forget. So you’re just tired all the time? Then why do I always see you at the gym or at the rink? It doesn’t make sense. You should do something about this. You get out of your car. You walk to the entrance. You reach for the handle. But nothing reaches back. Goodnight, maybe I’ll try going again tomorrow.

Real Men Go To Work

Toxic Masculinity and “being a man” somehow got mixed up into meaning the same thing. And it’s sickening. Toxic masculinity is not strength. It is weak. And it is good for no one.

The ‘manliest’ man struggles because he cannot ask for help. Men discourage men because the conversation can never be about the last time you cried or the person you care most about.

And what is the result? Nothing less than a swipe right movement. The conversations about how many women you’ve slept with. And it’s never about their names.  It’s never about who they are.  It’s only about the notches on the belt.

The same belt that beats down the hopeful imagination of young boys.

The same belt that hangs from a ceiling fan because a man would rather tighten his neck than loosen his heart.

The belt that holds up pants which cover up your real manhood. The pants that disguise your sense of being a man with a fake sense of belonging and a false confidence that spreads like wildfire.

Truth is real men don’t need belts. Real men wear pants that fit.

Pants that wrap around their bodies comfortably, accepting the imperfections of their body just as they accept the bodies of real women instead of sizing them up to unrealistic standards. Pants that trail down to the top of work boots.

Work boots that go to work for equal rights for all human kind.

Work boots that go to work using their strength to protect the people who feel weak. To use the power in their voice for the people who are not heard.

They are not boots that stomp over the people below. Crumbling their pride, their confidence, or their consent.

Real men grab a hat as they leave for work. Not a hat that hides their true intentions and protects them from any consequences. But a hat that humbles them of their privileges and sets them out to do good.

Real men take sticks of gum and take time to chew on their words instead of spitting out insults, judgments and sexist remarks.

Real men have eyes that see the beauty in women instead of casting down shame on their image.

Men are taught to measure twice and to cut once. Measure your self-worth, build it up, and cut others some slack.  Don’t measure to show off how big you are and cut other people down.

Real men wear dirty shirts. Shirts covered in blood sweat and tears. The blood from their mother that taught them how to treat a woman.  The sweat from chasing after their goals and passions. And the tears that they cry when it all seems a little too hard.

Not the blood of your victims, the sweat from others doing your work, and the tears of the girls you’ve left behind.

Real men go to work. You can pick them out of the crowd by the gas masks they wear to protect themselves from the toxic masculinity that surrounds them. The toxic masculinity that closes in on them and asks what notch of the belt they’re on.

But I say don’t worry. I know my privileges. I am a white male in North America.  I have more opportunity than anyone else on the planet. And yet it sickens me to be a part of this stereotype. A stereotype that is all to true.  A stereotype that reads ‘rape’ all over headlines.

To have girls tell me that my friends have taken advantage of them but no one else can know. Because the verbal assault that follows might be worse than the physical.

To have men all around me cheat and lie

And when they tell their buddies it results in high fives

Cause you got laid bro.

And this is what manhood is. But you’re such a man because you get up and go to work in the morning.

Real men go to work.

They go to work for the ones who can’t.

The High

What was the last thing you truly wanted?

I feel like I’m living a life that ain’t mine.

And every time i share some of my mental health story to the public, and i get positive feedback, I feel a glimpse of what my life should be.

Sometimes I feel so high that I envision myself being famous, I envision myself being known world wide as an advocate for mental health, i see myself helping people through their struggles on a daily basis. I see myself in a movie.  And i see it so vividly that i believe it to be true. Like there is no way that this doesn’t happen.  Because i am meant for greatness and it is only a matter of time before i rise to it.

Sometimes i feel so low that i cant get out of bed and get something to eat because i am  not worthy of life.  I cant get out of this darkness because if someone sees me trying to escape it they will spit on me and shove me back down into the dungeon that is my head.

Every time I write I am trying to get people to understand what I am going through every minute of everyday. My mind does not take a break.  And i will keep writing because i will never find a way to explain exactly how it feels.

People don’t understand the high.  I feel so good, so full of energy.  Cocaine couldn’t begin to understand the high that my own brain can give me.  There is absolutely nothing in the world that could bring me down.  One day someone broke into my car and stole my stuff and I didn’t hesitate for a second.  They must’ve needed that stuff more than me.  Isn’t the circle of life beautiful? The world balances itself out and I can just keep living, keep smiling.

Wouldn’t a normal response be hey my sh*t just got stolen that kinda sucks?

People don’t understand the low.  There is literally a voice inside my head screaming at my every move, my every thought.  The voice is me.  The voice isn’t ME.  The voice doesn’t go away it just is quiet sometimes and louder at other times.  My mind almost always knows whats best, but my voice shuts it down a lot.  My thoughts go hey Chris you’re feeling down because you’ve been in bed all day. Maybe if you just get out of bed your head will clear up a bit.  My voice goes Chris you’ve been in bed all day because that is all you’re good for.  I go but voice I gotta make it to class today.  My voice says but everyone will see you and I’ll tell them how fucked up you are and everyone will judge you.  What would you do?

I work and I work.  I have a civil war between my ears.  It is all about the small victories.  The voice told me I can’t get out of bed today.  So I don’t get my homework done. But I make it to class.  Win.  I play it off like I was too cool to do my homework.  I get a couple more wins.  I make it to the gym or out for a run.  I get the good drugs pumping through my head.  I get a couple more wins.  I keep battling.  I keep working at it.  You don’t think I can get out of bed? Too bad, I’m f*cking doing it. And then one day I wake up and the sun is shining.

Right now I’m waiting for that day.  And it can’t come soon enough.

I WANT this voice to f*ck off.

Cause this life ain’t mine.

Moments of Bliss

It’s about moments. Moments of bliss. We do it all. We battle. We get up when we can’t stand. We shout when we have no words. We listen when we can’t hear outside our own head. We feel for others when we cannot feel ourselves.

We hear people tell us that it gets better. We do not believe them. But we keep going. We go minutes, hours, days, weeks, months without hope. We keep going. Why? We battle. All for those moments. We don’t know when they come. We cannot always create them. But they are life. Moments of bliss. When you are surrounded by friends and loved ones and you realize that you are just laughing in the moment. You escape all the darkness. And by the time you have come to the realization of this moment, it is already gone. Quicker then it came. But it was bliss. We get up. We eat. We shower. We go to work. We go to school. We battle to do all the things that we are supposed to be able to do everyday. It is so hard. We keep going. We will never stop. Why? Moments of bliss. They are magical. They are what makes us alive. They are ineffable and unexplainable. And they will always come again, no matter how long they disappear for. So we keep going. Because all of the struggles are worth it.

Even if.

It is only for a moment.

“All I want is

And all I need is

To find somebody

I’ll find soMEbody”

To the kid I never knew

To the kid I never knew-

“If I fail this test I’m going to jump off the building” I’ve heard similar words being said thousands of times while I walk through the library. And I’m sure you heard them too. Too bad no one realized just how real those words could be.

But of course I don’t know why you did it. I didn’t even know you. This is all I will ever know you for. Many students will shutter at the thought of “the kid who jumped off the library roof”

I don’t know why you did it.

I don’t know you.

But I wish I did.

And I wish I could say there will be only good things left behind. But they will talk. “What kind of loser does that” “that’s so selfish” “I couldn’t even enjoy my Starbucks”

I remember my high school history teacher informing a class full of young students that anyone who commits suicide is a coward. That word has stuck in my mind ever since. Coward.

But I don’t think you’re a coward. Not at all. I think you’re brave. And no one will know just how much courage it took for you to hold on as long as you did.

Isn’t it hard to explain what it’s like to be driving down the highway to go to school and to wonder if you could turn the car and drive head on into the cement barrier. To take your meds every morning and wonder how many of them you’d have to take to die. To look out a buildings window and wonder if the fall would be enough to kill you.

Yes they will talk. And they will show that the negative outlook on mental illness is alive and well. But I want you to know that you didn’t die for nothing. You’ve given us a gift, whether people want to admit it or not.

Because of you, people will hug their friends and family a little tighter. They might end stupid arguments that have been going on for too long. They might smile at the stranger walking past them on the staircase.

Maybe “Go kill yourself” could stop being a common insult and instead could be the words no one ever says.

Maybe the words “I’d jump off this building” won’t be joked about anymore.

To the kid I never knew

I hope you have lost all the guilt and shame that came along with those thoughts.

I hope people may see you for who you were; not a loser or a crazy person but a good kid fighting an invisible war.

I hope you never have to see another person face the same choice.

I hope you have peace.

Stupid F*cking Movies

Spoiler alert i guess…

So this stupid f*cking movie called A star is born is stupid and I’m going to tell you why.

IT MAKES SUICIDE LOOK BEAUTIFUL

Bradley Cooper (the main character) gets drugged up and hangs himself using his belt and a ceiling fan.  He leaves his brother behind, as well as his wife who clearly loves him more than anything.  I’ll give the movie one thing, it does a good job portraying addiction.

BUT

The end of the movie is supposed to be beautiful.  In a movie review it literally says that the star is born in the end because “Ally at the end of the movie is just starting. What’s she going to create is going to be even bigger than what we’ve seen prior.” So what the point is that if the love of your life kills themselves it means your going to be able to write some really songs?  I don’t think she is going to give a sh*t about being a star anymore if she could have him back.

Then it says “…the human courage to persevere and to move forward. I just thought this was brilliant”  Yeah bloody f*cking brilliant.  It’s so easy she can just move on and have a great life and itll be beautiful.  Like he just kills himself and she sings a song and then it ends.  Like that’s it.  What about the fact she, no, everyone he’s ever connected with has to try to live the rest of their lives with this gaping f*cking hole in their heart.  Like the movie just gets to end, real life doesn’t work that way.

SUICIDE IS NOT BEAUTIFUL

Suicide is ugly.  Suicide is brutal.  Suicide is forever.  Suicide hurts so many people.  Just thinking about suicide hurts so many people.  The movie industry has no idea about the impact it has on people.  Like how many more people are going to be thinking of killing themselves because of this movie?  How many more people are actually going to do it? This movie makes it seem like suicide is an answer.  It says she’ll be better off without him.  No person is ever better off after something like that.  Suicide is never an answer.  It is devastating.  And it is devastating that we could suggest that suicide is anything but ugly.  What about the people who can’t go home now because they don’t know what they would do?  You can’t put suicide into people’s minds like this.  You just can’t.

Stupid F*ucking Movie.

 

 

Everything you need.

“You already have everything you need right now in this very moment to be at ease with your life and yourself.” -Mark Van Buren

I don’t want to be preaching the exact same mindful words that every one else is preaching about ‘living in the present’ but with that in mind, why is everyone preaching it? Because it’s so unbelievably true and because we as habitual humans NEED to be reminded of this constantly. Personally, this summer has been full of objective destinations. I NEEDed to get a nice new vehicle. I NEEDed to get a nice new place. And I NEEDed to get my body into peak physical appearance.

Now I can see my summer of free time nearing an end and I’m looking back at what I accomplished. It is so easy to look at it objectively. I got a new vehicle. I’m moving into a new place. My working out wasn’t quite that successful… but you get the point. No. These THINGS have not changed me at all. What have I actually accomplished over the past 2 months? I made huge strides with my mental health getting a new diagnosis and new medications to trial. I worked on myself as both a friend and a roommate in figuring out what is truly important to me. I’ve made small steps in owning my emotions and learning to recognize when I’m going into one of my phases.

Right now, in this very moment, I have everything I NEED to live a long as happy life. If someone asks me in person I might say I’m trying to save my money for someTHING, I might tell you about the new stuff I got, and I might tell you about the drinks I had. But right now me and you are gonna share a little secret; that sh*t doesn’t matter. I matter. You matter. Sh*t doesn’t matter.

Thanks for listening.

Christopher.