Make the call.

 

Here we go.
I was 14 years old skating down the ice reffing my first ever hockey game. I was terrified. I am in charge of this game. Are you kidding me? That’s way too much pressure.
2 players crash into each other and fall down on the ice. One teams coach starts screaming at me. I freeze. My mind escapes the game. A grown adult man is screaming down at me. This means I’ve done something wrong. I am scared. It’s not about the game to me. It’s about a person I want to be able to look up to disrespecting me.
I come back into the game. The coach screams again. This time I understand what he’s saying:
“Make the call!”

I’m still a teenager. Things have been difficult at home. My mom and my dad have not been getting along. Everyone is walking on eggshells. It doesn’t feel like home right now. Finally my mom has had enough. She comes to my room and tells me to pack a backpack and get in the car; we’re leaving. My dad has followed her up the stairs to keep yelling. I briefly catch eyes with him before casting my head down. I still remember the white of his eyes, so bright with anger. My head cast down in fear. Then down the stairs my parents went, still screaming. I scrambled out of my frozen state. I needed to act. I had instructions to follow. The tears were streaming down my face and onto my shirt. There was no stopping them now. I rubbed the snot off my nose with the inside of my shirt. Through the rain in my eyes I managed to grab my backpack and stuff my favourite hoodie in it; along with some other things. Now I could hear the screaming carry outside and my moms car start. It was time to go. I rushed down the stairs, through the open door and looked out to see my brother already in the passenger seat. I took the back seat. Dad was really really yelling now. Mom slammed her car door shut and threatened for the last time that we were leaving. Finally my fathers expression changed. His anger halted as he realized he didn’t want us to go. He screams “wait! Wait!” As he struggles to find more words.
This is when I really stopped being a spectator and entered the scene. My dad walked right past the front of the car and opened the back door right across from me. He put his fists down lightly on the empty seat. He looked at me with love. His eyes that had been glossed over with rage now pleaded with me to forgive. He asked me if we could all just go inside and talk this through- no more yelling. He begged me. I was still choking back tears. I didn’t know what to say. My mom is staring back at me from the drivers seat. She’s crying too. We don’t say anything. But her look says it all. What should we do? Should we stay and talk or drive off? Her look is asking me! She doesn’t know! I have to decide what we do!

Make the call.

Here I am 10 some odd years later. And I’m struggling with a whole new dilemma. I need to walk away from something I’ve devoted more time to than anything thing else in my life. But how do I make the choice? How do I know if I’ve got more left in the tank or not. What if I’ve got more to give. I’ve got more push. What if I should’ve walked away years ago and I’ve wasted my time? What if it wasn’t truly a passion and it was just a way to hide from all the bad I was feeling in my life. It was a negative environment that supported the negative thoughts I was having about myself. But it’s what I know. It’s my identity. It’s a part of me. Do I keep it or throw it away?

Make the call.

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.

Wanna be

 

Growing up I was constantly asked “WHAT do you want to be when you grow up?”
Of course I didn’t know the answer to this question. After some time I would respond “I want to be a fire truck”
Many people laughed and took this for face value, as a silly kid giving a silly answer.
The way I see it was giving a dumb answer to an even dumber question.
Of course a “fire truck” will never define what I become.
And neither will a “doctor”, nor a “fast food worker” nor a “criminal”
Silly adults, asking WHAT will I become as if one label will define my entire self.
I hope that one day people will ask my parents what there son is doing and they will reply “he is happy” and they will be proud.
When will we ask WHO do you want to become. And I’m not talking about super-man. I’m talking about super-Chris.
What morals will you hold dear to your heart? What memories will always make you crack a smile. What experiences will teach you valuable lessons? What goals will you put your all into? How will you learn hard work, determination, and resiliency? What challenges will teach you what is and what isn’t “worth it”? Do you want to get caught up in your failures or entranced in “what else ya got?”
When I was a kid people told me I was so smart I could be a lawyer. So eventually I said I wanted to be a lawyer. And then when I stopped feeling smart I stopped thinking I could be a lawyer. Truth is “super-Chris” was never a lawyer. “Super-Chris” is getting back up again after falling down for the millionth time. Super-Chris is saying the things that his head told him he could never say, and taking the leaps of faith that his head told him he could never take. Super-Chris is casually answering a phone call at midnight and talking a friend down from a panic attack. Because Chris isn’t perfect and he gets insomnia sometimes but maybe that doesn’t mean something is wrong with him but instead it gives him an opportunity to be there for someone. Super Chris isn’t a lawyer, super Chris is walking into a room with confidence and laughing so hard everyone in the room has to laugh back.

Lawyer-Chris could probably get his research paper in on time, but super-Chris can probably give someone else the ideas and strength to finish their essay and to not give up on themselves.
Lawyer Chris would probably learn to hide his sensitivity and act like words cannot hurt him. Super Chris can probably wear his heart on his sleeve, so EVERYONE can see his true self. And with a heart right there, maybe he can stay true to it. Maybe he can realize his passions and chase them relentlessly. Maybe he can pursue happiness and enjoy the ride. And maybe he’ll get that essay done…. eventually.

“WHAT do you want to be when you grow up?”

How about “WHO do you want to be when you grow up?”

I think I’ll be Chris.

#becomingchristopher #wannabe #positivity #mentality

Life is a mirror

I’ve been having a very difficult time lately. Which isn’t entirely uncommon for me. I know I’ve been in a very similar position before. And I’ve realized that when I go through these especially rough periods in my life, 2 things are always present.

1. I believe that life is being unfair to me.

2. I act out with anger, frustration, and negativity.

Is it just me or do those 2 things probably affect one another? I am reminded of the story where an angry dog walks into a room full of mirrors and only sees angry dogs staring back at him. Then a happy dog walks into the same room and he only sees smiling dogs and wagging tails.

Truth is, although I feel almost entirely convinced that life is out to get me right now; logically it just isn’t so. Maybe, MAYBE 1 or 2 bad things have happened to me that weren’t at all my fault. But last time I checked, that’s what life is. In fact, I’m starting to think that the reason it feels like life is picking on me is because I’ve become angry and I’ve been expressing too much negativity to life.

Sure, maybe even if I never got angry then 1 or 2 bad things would still happen to me. But I’m guessing that they wouldn’t feel as bad and they’d be easier to handle. Do you guys think I’m on to something here?

Problem is now I’m stuck in this rut where too many bad things have happened to me and my shoulders are so so heavy and I can’t let anything go because I don’t even know where to start.

I’m reminded of an idea from Tony Robbins in that blame can not be one dimensional. “Cause if you’re going to blame people for all the sh*t you better blame them for all the good too.” Accepting that statement makes it a lot harder to keep grudges.

Whether it be relationships, family members, or jobs; if you want to blame someone or something for 1 bad thing you have to give them/it the credit for all the good that has come too.

How can I stay mad at life when life has shown me the most amazing things in this world? If I want to blame life for the bad then I have to blame it for every time I’ve cracked a smile, broken up in laughter, or been stunned by something so beautiful.

How can I stay mad at a parent for doing me wrong in one aspect when I have them to blame for making me the man that I am today? The man that is sweet and caring on the inside. Not the man that fights with the world, showing snarls and clenched fists. But the man that is open and confident with his heart on his sleeve.

Smile at the mirror if you want it to smile back.

-Christopher

#christopher101 #tonyrobbins #positivity #mentality #positivementality #wellness #forgetselfhelp #helpyourself

Life is a 3 ingredient meal.

 

You know those moments you’re breathing so fast but not breathing at all?

You’re crying out so loud but you can’t make out a sound?

The worlds moving so fast but time won’t move at all?

I pray you don’t.

But what do you do? Simplify. In school they teach you to multiply. I can do that with my problems. I can add them all up. Make it a game, we’ll call it 7 up. My problems grow exponentially. They could never stop growing; potentially. My problems always multiply. But instead I think I should simplify.

Life is simple.

It’s a 3 ingredient meal.

I was just a kid. Too young to remember, too old to forget. I went to bed real early. Because I could feel a storm coming. My mother was smoking. My father was pacing. My fingers were loosely gripped around the pillow that was cowering over my head. And then those chubby little fingers clamped down the very second that I took my last real breath of the night and my parents shouted the first daggers of the fight.

1

2

3

I never actually remember the arguments. My father was gone. I sat outside my mothers bedroom and listened to the tears rolling down her cheek inside. Eventually she came back to the present. She had a kid to take care of. Something to do. I hadn’t eaten since lunch. I don’t know how she managed, but she came out of that room with a smile on her face, asking me if I wanted to go to Mcdonalds.

I always do.

And when we got there and the restaurant was closed, her brave smile remained. Looks like we get to make something at home!

It was late, we were both very tired, and there wasn’t a lot of food in the house. What to do? Simplify. There were always noodles in the pantry, eggs in the fridge, and sugar in the cupboard. Cook the noodles, fry them with the eggs. And add sugar to sweeten up your life. With those 3 ingredients my mother showed me how to make the easiest, and at that moment, most delicious meal in the world. It was awesome. And I went to bed that night with a happy stomach to battle my worried heart.

3 ingredients to life.

1. Something is going to happen

2. It is going to effect you in some way

3. You get to choose what to make of it.

-Christopher

#cooking #mentalhealth #mentalhealthy #simplicity #wordstoliveby

Stuck in the mud.

I think I’m an eagle.

An eagle stuck in the mud.

I feel like I have the ability to fly. To soar above the rest. Ive had thoughts like this ever since my grade 8 English teacher sat me down and told me I seemed very intelligent but I hadn’t handed in a single assignment on time and ceased to put effort into anything.

Now I’m sure I wasn’t the only one acting this way in high school. But what can separate myself from the other stories is that that behaviour has continued and only increased through the years. And it has left me with a blank page under the definition of happiness and journals upon journals describing the evil twin that undoes what life is about; unhappiness.

Yet the feeling that I could be accomplishing more has only increased to which during nights of insomnia I will shake and scream out to the silent night “WHAT DO YOU WANT OF ME?”

I see myself in an eagle.

Wise. Beautiful. Calm and non threatening but you wouldn’t want to mess with it because those same talons that gracefully perch on branches could leave you in pieces. It looks eaves beauty wherever it goes in a single feather. Always looking over the world.

Not so powerful when it’s stuck in the mud.

In August 2016 there was a video released of a photographer in Poland rescuing an eagle out of mud. The eagle was clearly losing the battle and the photographer saved its life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting for my photographer even though I know they aren’t coming.

But a thought occurred to me today. I’ve always thought of that saviour as a human being. But what if it isn’t. What if that saviour lies within me. What if it’s a passion. After all so many famously grand people in this world: artists, celebrities and musicians all battle with their own mental illnesses. And they use it to do awesome things.

At a time, when in the midst of one of my lowest lows, I reached out to the person closest to me at the time. I asked “What is the point of life?”

You might’ve heard suicidal people ask this question before. I’ve heard all the common answers about being with loved ones and seeing what the world has to offer. But I remember her answer so clearly. “Maybe the point in life is to be there for other people.”

This hit home for me. You see it wasn’t a generic response for anyone anymore. This was a response for me. This is the point in MY life. And I want to be there for other people. To make a difference that the voice in my head can’t ignore. To do good. To be a difference maker. To be worthwhile.

So I’m an eagle.

And I’m stuck in the mud.

But my saviour is here.

And I promise you I’m getting out soon.

 

#hope #eagle #imgonnafly #resilient #hopeful #mentalhealth #mentalhope #inspiration #mentalillness #betteryourself #christopher101 #antidepressed