A near mid-year reflection of my existence in 2017 so far

I’ve had writer’s block for so long that’s been a struggle to really contribute anything hockey related so this might help me break that. TW: suicide and stuff.

In January I really thought about killing myself finally.

I mean really thinking about the notion of it longer than 30 seconds. Usually in the past any time those thoughts really crept into my head they didn’t last long. This time it was an incredibly five minute discussion inside my head – with the ever annoying inner monologue that always seems to exist – about the validity of these thoughts and whether or not I could truly bring myself to that point.

By February I was back in therapy again – at least once a week for awhile – as I tried to finally get into a situation where I could manage anxiety and whatever else is the crux of my existence. It’s not easy and it still isn’t easy to go into therapy even though I have made strides, but it’s still a very rigorous ordeal. The concept of truly opening up to a strange – although I’ve seemingly done this in the past – has been getting easier, but the concept of vulnerability is still something I struggle with in intimate situations.

Obviously with that problem it’s impacted my personal life in a lot of avenues, more so than I’ve actually realized until recently. Early on in therapy, with my therapist – good guy, loves the Calgary Flames too – we reached the conclusion that confidence is a huge facet in my struggles with anxiety. As far back as I can remember, I’ve struggled with confidence and it’s something I fight with every day no matter how confident I feel.

We started working on retraining my brain to think and act a bit differently. I started adding self-reflection time each day to every day to reflect and attempt to positively reinforce the things I like about myself. Sometimes it’s hard to do it, but I’m working at it every day. Identifying the problem in my life brought on anxiety because it immediately brought me to a point of questioning whether or not there will be a light at the end of this tunnel.

One of the more prominent themes in therapy has been about savoring the ride and not racing to the end. I feel like this is one thing I’ve really taken well to. It shows in my day to day routine at work and in my personal life. The element of giving myself an hour at the end of each day to reflect and think about any accomplishment – big or small – has been nice. Still, the new anxiety that appeared still haunts me a little.

I think the only thing that helped manage that new anxiety that crept in was a spiteful internal discussion about wanting to prove myself wrong – that I could beat it. Maybe I could be in a position of mental health that I don’t think I’ve truly had for more than a few months previously. I’ve used spite so much in the past to prove people wrong – and I’m sure it’s probably not the healthiest thing to do but fuck, I don’t care I needed it – that it’s always been this weird coping mechanism among other things.

I’m trying to be less spiteful, but that’s going to be a battle in it’s own right.

Recently in my first session after my trip to Vegas, my therapist and I identified how many roles I have in my life. A lot of hats, for a guy who has an incessant need to take on more and more to help preoccupy his mind when his mind is a fuck-awful mess of emotions. When I really look at my work day and everything else I do on the side for hockey it becomes increasingly obvious how I need to rein it in.

He left me with an activity to do over the next couple of weeks which has me breaking down every role I’ve had in my life and how much time it occupies in my life currently. It’s super hard looking at it, simply because it really showcases how hard I am on myself to stay busy and how I’ve spent so much damn time trying to push anxiety to the side.

At the end of my last session I talked about my fear of falling back into the same routines. I know it’s something I’ll do again, it’s just such an addictive habit to fall into. Sometimes it feels like the perfect gateway to false bliss where I can fool myself for a few weeks that this is healthy and I’ll be fine. Then I burn myself out, I get super depressed, and I stress eat until I gain 10-15 pounds.

Obviously with that it feeds into some self-image issues which makes the entire situation far worse. I struggled with explaining about how being in that state sometimes makes me feel a bit more creative. I’m not sure how and why I feel like I write better (or design things better) when I’m in that state, but it just happens. I still have zero idea why, but maybe I’ll figure it out eventually. It’s still eating away at me a bit.

At the moment, I feel really good that I’m on the right track even if some days – for some reason yesterday was a 2/10 – are bad. Other days I feel like I’m a 7/10 or beyond, but they don’t last long. I know they won’t last forever – for now at least – but it’s truly remarkable finally getting a slight grasp on this problem in my life.

One thing I really want is just to just get back into a creative mindset where things come easily again. I’ve tried to not force myself into it anymore (I’ve made some strides here) and I feel a bit more confident than a few months ago that it will happen.

I’m just here, trying to enjoy the ride now, and right now I don’t think I want to die any time soon.


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