A couple of years ago, I wrote a lengthy blog post about how hockey was a distraction from some of the dark times in my life and the people I met through blogging on Shutdown Line helped me when I really needed it. Wish that post didn’t get lost on the internet because it’s something I needed to revisit this year. This was a tough year for everyone and while I don’t think it was the Worst Year Ever, I ended up falling back into a pretty dark place again this summer.
It’s something that I’ve had to deal with for as long as I can remember and I’ve been better about keeping it under wraps. It’s easy to when things are going okay and you have a routine. When that gets disrupted, then things start to hit the fan. That’s kind of what happened here and I didn’t exactly respond to it in the best way. A few unfortunate things and my mindset went from okay to total trainwreck in a matter of days. I woke up everyday and asked myself “why am I still here?” The process repeated itself for months and I got into the mindset that my next day would be my last.
I distracted myself from everything by keeping myself as busy as possible. Whether it was doing a project, working out or doing something completely pointless for hours, I was doing everything possible to distract myself from “real life” and how I was feeling. To be honest, it was kind of nice, until my body caught up with me. I wouldn’t eat, sleep or take care of myself for days, sometimes it lasted a week, until my body said it had enough. I talked myself into thinking that I was living on borrowed time and if I wasn’t busy then I wasn’t being useful and there was no purpose to my existence because my time was running out.
None of that is true obviously but when you’re at rock bottom, you tend to believe whatever idiotic thing your mind tells you. That’s pretty much where I was for awhile and staying as busy as humanly possible was my way of getting around it. Then my body finally said it had enough and things went back to “normal” for a few days before the cycle repeated itself again and I worked myself to the point of exhaustion. I didn’t want to sleep because I would always wake up everyday and ask myself the same stupid question: “Why am I still here?”
Well, it’s 2017 and I’m still here. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised because things didn’t exactly get “better” with time. Being happy is a challenge for me and for awhile, the fact that I was still alive was really the only thing I had to work with. Even that was debatable given whatever my mood was on that day. That said, there were some positives that came from this.
My best friend of 10+ years and my girlfriend were always willing to listen to whatever I had to say, even when I was feeling at my worst, and I probably wouldn’t have lasted through August or November without them. So I had a support system, even if I couldn’t see it at the time, and I’m super thankful for it. I also started up this new project and am excited to start posting some team pages very soon. Doing these games is a lot of work, but I’ve done my best to have fun with it instead of treating it like it’s a chore. Plus, it’s nice to talk hockey with people again since I haven’t gotten to do that in a couple of years and this was my “escape” when things got bad.
I’m not sure what the point of this was. I can’t offer much help others since I feel like I’m treading water everyday and I don’t have a “happy ending” here. I just know that reading other people’s stories helps me and writing everything down is cathartic, even thoughI’m not exactly the best wordsmith. There’s no fairytale ending but I’m still here and I’m not alone in this, which is enough for me now.