A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with my Mom that I have not stopped thinking about. I have a feeling many followers of this organization may be surprised to read what I am about to write. I felt that what would be my brother’s 28th birthday would be an ideal time to truly speak my mind about the never ending process that is coping with Danny’s suicide, along with the struggles of everyday life that we all must try to conquer. I have recently realized something about the world that we live in:
It’s all bullshit. Well, to rephrase, its mostly bullshit.
I tend to write on this page on dates that are most difficult for myself and my family. These are days that were once filled with happiness and laughs, that are now days we dread waking up on because of the tears and somber thoughts we must work through. In reality, I have used this page as a form of therapy for myself, just as much as it has become an outlet for those who are dedicated to removing the stigma and taboo nature that is attached to mental health illness and those who die by suicide.
I would imagine I am not alone in doing this, but I find myself on many nights staying up much later than I should thinking about all of the present so called “problems” that I have in my life. I find myself thinking about past relationships, where I have mistreated those who only wanted the best for me. I find myself worrying about having to pay back student loans and not being able to afford living on my own in this damn state, as I feel that still living with my parents at 25 years old is something to feel shame about. I find myself thinking about my own insecurities and wonder if the people around me notice what I am trying to hide. I find myself thinking about those who have doubted or mistreated me in the past, trying to come up with ways to passive-aggressively remind them that they made a mistake in doing so.
However, it’s not only negative thoughts that keep me up at night. I will look back on some of my life’s finest accomplishments, as well. One positive of social media is being able to relive some of your proudest moments by going through old pictures and posts, as well as being able to relive and laugh at some of your most embarrassing memories. I believe self awareness, both positive and negative, is an essential part of self-evaluation and continuing to become a better person than you were the day before.
The revelation that I had with my mom came when I was complaining about what was a rough couple of weeks. At first I thought I was just venting, and getting this negative energy out of me was a positive. I tend to become overly fixated on my troubles, to the point where those around me probably wish they could just tell me to shut the hell up and get over myself. They don’t do this, because they are genuine and kind people who let me bitch and moan because they know I would do the same for them.
Obviously, there are evils in the world that are truly massive issues that we must try to correct as a society. However, I would go out on a limb and say 90% of the stuff we worry and complain about on a day to day basis, really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The world as we know it unfortunately tends to gravitate towards negative emotions. This is why news stations will regularly lead their programs with stories of tragedy and disaster over the random acts of kindness that happen each and every day. We as a human race crave conflict, and are obsessed with trying to push our own agenda, because we are certain that we’re smarter than our doubters regardless if we truly are or not. There are those out there who try to promote positivity and will go out out of their way to make life easier on those around them, but that simply doesn’t receive the same publicity as a political divide, or a polarizing issue where the opposing sides will simply never come to an agreement.
Although I think having a positive outlook on life is essential, I think it is unrealistic to expect everyone out there to have rainbows and butterflies flying out of their asses. This is why there are, on average, 121 suicides each day in the United States. This is why suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our country. It is also why over one million people in the U.S. each year engage in intentionally inflicted self harm. Many of the people who fall under these statistics are facing problems I couldn’t even imagine dealing with. This is why mental health is something that needs to be dealt with immediately in our society. However, we can try to remind ourselves that there is someone out there who always has it worse than you do, who has found a way to cope with the hand they’ve been dealt. I like to think of it as a boxer who is taking body shots round after round. You just have to find a way to roll with the punches. Rather than trying to hide from our problems with fake positivity, or dedicating our energy to pointless complaining, maybe we can try to embrace the stuff we struggle with everyday. The advancement of technology has led us to have this need for instant gratification. I sometimes forget that it is actually everything in between the moment you begin your journey, and the moment you end up where you want to be that makes life so rewarding, and beautiful. “Trust The Process”, if you will.
So, when I say that It’s all bullshit, I am saying that we face choices that we must make each and every day that will directly lead to how we perceive the world, as well as how we perceive ourselves. Every time you find yourself upset about something that truly won’t matter a year, a month, or even a week from that moment, acknowledge what you are doing. Find a way to make fun of yourself for wasting time on something that is so minuscule to your actual well-being, and be sure to think back to that moment when things start looking up. It may take some time, but I can confidently say that you will be better off putting your small issues in the bullshit file and saving it for later.
I want to dedicate this to my brother, who felt that those he loved were better off without him in this world. He grew tired of his mistakes, and felt that these demons he faced were too big to continue to fight on. I want to dedicate this to anyone who has felt inadequate after letting someone down that they truly care about. Do your best to express your sincerest apologies, and don’t become frustrated when they are not ready to forgive you. When the time is right, they will accept you. Finally, I dedicate this to my mother, my family, and all of you reading this today. I’m sure some of you will disagree with my choice of words, and how I am deciding to use this “platform” to express my thoughts. Some of you will look at how long this is, and scroll right past it (I totally understand that, I do it every single day). All I want is for people to feel more comfortable about feeling down. We all have bad days. Who’s to say that’s something we can't bond over?
Cheers, to the bullshit. Cheers, to the process. And finally, cheers to those we have lost, and may we keep their spirit alive by doing our best to roll with the punches.
“Out of Darkness is Born the Light”
President of Dans Plan Inc.