2016 so far

In an effort to collect my thoughts and help manage my anxiety by some self-therapy – which probably isn’t the most apt term but here we are – I’ve decided to reflect on six full months of existing in 2016. Where I was in January versus where I am now mere days into July is a complete 360. Gone are the days of near constant anxiety about so many worries I have/had no control over and things that I could control. Now I’m moderately healthier both physically and mentally. I’m able to get through weeks – if not months – at a time with limited to zero anxiety and I’m repairing damaged relationships that were the byproduct of shutting myself in.

I’ve come and gone through counselling a few times in the last few months. Elements of it have helped and the majority of the time I just feel uncomfortable lowering my guard for a complete stranger to talk about all the horrible and unhealthy thoughts that run through my head. Though, I’ll be the first to admit that I have started lowering my guard for someone in my life recently. And it’s wonderful – oh sweet merciful fuck is it nice to have trust in someone you care deeply about enough to tell them things. It’s nice and I have no idea what’s going to happen weeks or months from now with it but it’s just nice.

Along with all of that, the overwhelming depression and everything that accompanies a son when he learns his dad is dying is slowly evolving to calmness and further appreciation for him. He’s my hero and it’s taken near immeasurable hours, quietly reflecting on my own or crying until I threw up to get here. And it feels nice, relative to where I’ve gotten with my acceptance of his battle and honestly sometimes there is a mild repose in my day when I think about it. I’ve long accepted that everything dies. From something as small as an atom to the grandest of scales; I don’t try to make this an extravagant thought like I’m a literary genius but it’s just the reality.

Shit dies. People die. Everything dies.

For the longest time I was hung up on this – probably most of my actual life – and I’ve slowly turned a corner. I’m not thinking so much about the abstract concept of death any longer but what comes after. Please do not rejoice if you think this is where I accept there is a god, heaven, and an afterlife. It’s far from that and I’ll likely end my mortal life not believing in it. Though, I’ve been more interested in the concept of memories and a legacy. How will I be remembered? “How will I remember my parents or friends when they die?” Stuff like that; things that matter more than anything else after a person is gone.

And because of that I’ve spent more time taking the advice of a few close friends in asking my dad to retell me stories I’ve heard or haven’t heard just for the sake of hearing them. More so that they’re as fresh as they can be so I can share those stories with the people I love and care about. I don’t want to have remorse of not remembering as much as I can about my dad and his life when he eventually ceases to exist. I just want to do good by him and my family in keeping his legacy alive (minus having kids).

During the Father’s Day weekend he let me know things with his cancer battle have been improving. His PSA levels have dropped from ’20’ to around ‘4’ which apparently is the average for men. His kidney surgery is planned for August 15 and they’re going to hopefully eliminate that problem all together. After that, it’s just managing and treating the bone cancer the best we can. If this gives him 10-15 years more it would be a literal gift. I want him around when I turn 30 or 40. I don’t want him gone at all, but at the very least ANY time is wonderful. His complexion is changing but it’s fine, that’s what aging does. But he has colour in his skin again, his appetite is improving, and he’s staying busy.

I love him and the entire weekend that came and past was so important. It was wonderful just being around him and the presence that a dad emits is just impossible to put into words. It’s safe, it’s warm, and it’s home. We hung out all Saturday, running errands, cooking, and watching TV. On Sunday, we teamed up and made a big BBQ ribs dinner for everyone. I want every day moving forward to be that way with him. Sometime during this upcoming hockey season I’m hoping to go to a game with him finally.

Other non-sad stuff that have been going on:

  • I started really pushing myself to learn more in Photoshop to make things. It’s been a remarkable escape when things get overwhelming to just go dick around and make something that may make others happy. With that a wealth of new opportunities to work with others and collaborate on projects has happened. Maybe at some point I can finally get a “community” assembled of all the good content people so we can help add more value to Hockey Twitter.
  • I bought season tickets to the Oil Kings. I’m a season ticket holder now. I feel so adult.
  • I started pushing myself to finally work with video and audio this year. It’s really rewarding and there are a lot of avenues that I can go down with this if I keep pushing myself to learn more each day. The next step is to really start learning Adobe After Effects to get on the level of a few others who’ve been monstrous helps in this weird little creative journey I’m on. In hindsight I probably should have started doing this stuff years ago.
  • I really need to get back into writing about stats and systems again. I don’t know why I have these weird mental blocks going right now where I find it hard to write about the stuff I love but it’s still happening. My penalty kill project is at a standstill because of it and I wish it would stop so I could finally start contributing more to hockey community again. There are elements of not wanting to be known as a “good content boy” or whatever with it but to also let me people know that I can provide some thoughtful insight to the game. Most of this really comes from how I want people to remember me if I were to just deactivate for good; for my legacy to be “hey he contributed in a great way and also made people happy“. Jeez, that comes off self-conscious doesn’t it?
  • I’ve been baking, cooking, and getting back to being productive again. One of my goals this summer is to learn how to bake bread and hopefully start mastering that. It’s literal chemistry and I’m super excited to start reading Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish soon.

Overall I feel better and happy almost every day now. It’s still foreign at times and I don’t know how long it’ll last but I’m going to love every minute of it I can. Everyone who has been around to pick my wallowing body up when I was down: thank you. I means a lot that many of you have stuck around this long to put up with my dark days.

PS: I was right about Mikael Backlund as usual you fucks. I just want to make that clear.

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