This site's previous highest read post, was last year's "annual column", posted on Christmas Day, my annual thank you and tribute to the people I love and care about the most. It has, as of this moment, received 244 page views.
My recap of the Chiefs / Panthers game has, as of this moment, received ... nearly 1,000 page views.
(peter griffin seeing ernie the giant fighting chicken voice) Holy. Crap!
I had one person at bowling last night come up to me, and encourage me to keep doing this, calling me "my favorite writer", and daring to call me the "T" word: "talented". I appreciate that. She even encouraged me to enter some writing contest that a Christian publisher is sponsoring. I had to laugh at that. Have you READ any of my other postings? I have a love for the f bomb girl. Don't think that'll go over too well in Religionville.
What I most appreciate, is that the message hit home, at least with most people. I hadn't heard from "Joe Knows Football" in probably a year. I had a Facebook message from him, noting he'd read the post, loved it, and just wanted to take a minute to wish me the best for the holiday season, and check in on me, to make sure I was good, see how I was doing. That? Was awesome.
And that's what this game was truly about. Joe Knows is a great guy. Our tailgating group had a falling out three years ago and split in half. He went with the other half. And three years later, here he is, still checking in, to make sure things are good, because he cared about "my friend", as he called me.
It's the last three pages of the post, though, that seemed to inspire the most responses. First, let me state up front: no, I am not suicidal. That seemed to be the gist of 87.29% of the emails, Facebook messages, and text messages I got: "man, you ok? You need anything, call me." My good friend Ammie delivered that message to me driving to Fuel last night after bowling. I never imagined a bowling league friend would care enough, to read 16 pages, and react with a "sh*t, my friend -- MY FRIEND! -- is asking for help? I'm there!" response.
Hell, my brother texted me out of nowhere after reading the recap with a "you know I got you, always. Right?"
Well, of course I know that. You're not the member of my "Core Four" friends I have questions and doubts about.
But the reason I shared my experience, and shared what I currently deal with, is because ... and man, I hesitate to type this, because it's going to be taken so, so wrong by so, so many people. But it's how I feel, so f*ck it. (See! Didn't make ya wait 14 pages this time for the first "frisky" word of the post!)
I ACHE for Jovan Belcher.
If you haven't read the Star's account of his final hour, please -- click on this and read it. I don't agree with those who think the Star's agenda was to somehow lessen the impact of Mr. Belcher's sin against humanity. I think this was just an amazing, extraordinary piece of journalism that gives you a glimpse into the mind of someone who had mental health issues. As someone who has mental health issues, this whole story has fascinated me.
I read Ms. Vendel's story on the ride into work on Tuesday, and I had tears in my eyes. I can't help it -- I ache for Mr. Belcher.
I know -- believe me, I was the first to turn on him. I got into a Facebook argument with my buddy Jamie over how to properly respect Mr. Belcher on Sunday. I argued he deserved no consideration or cause (and I was right). But Jamie was also right: you have to consider everything, before arriving at your judgment of him.
Mental illness is a tough, cold, cruel master. I am so, so blessed to have not only the friends and family that I do, who "get me" ... but a boss and co-worker (there's only three in our area of the department), who understand what I deal with, and know that there's going to be some random Tuesday when I have a moment, and need a personal day, simply because I cannot be around people, because I'm too far out of it.
To shoot your girlfriend, the mother of your child, in the chest nine times, and as she laid still breathing, to kiss her goodbye on the forehead? You're not all there. That, readers, was the detail that hit me like a crowbar on the skull. It's what makes me think Mr. Belcher simply snapped. He lost it in a moment, and when the moment ended, he knew what he'd done, and he tried to make peace with those he hurt.
It's why he kissed his victim on the forehead. It's why he said goodbye to his mom. And it's why the only thought -- the ONLY thought -- floating through his head afterwards, was to "end it" with the family he hadn't damaged -- yet -- with his actions.
I'm sorry, I simply cannot stop obsessing over this. (Another "fun" quality of depression: you take things way, way, way too seriously ... and personally.)
So I'll just close with this. People you love, people who love you, are at some point going to hurt you. They are going to attempt to destroy you, regardless of what you feel about them, or vice versa. I am dealing with this in my life right now.
What you have to remember, what you have to keep in perspective ... is that in the words of George Harrison, "this too shall pass". There's two people in my life that have hurt me more over the last six months, than they can possibly imagine. They probably don't have any idea how badly they've hurt me. Christ, I honestly hate them both so much right now? And yes, I can honestly say, I hate them this much, in this moment.
That the English language has yet to invent a word, to accurately describe what I would like to see have done to them, for what they have done to me.
They're the two people I melted down into tears, over simply seeing them arrive on Sunday. Either I've totally misread our friendship at its core ... or we all need to gain some perspective on life.
I vote for perspective, people.
I wish that Mr. Belcher had had it. At least two lives would have been saved.
Guys? Hug those you love. Embrace those you hate, if only because it'll enrage them even more. (Sorry, "Voice of Reason", you taught me that one well.)
And realize that every argument, every disagreement, is so f*cking stupid, it's not worth remembering two seconds later.
You guys have been amazing to me this week. I never imagined simply stating what my reality is, would invoke a response not of sympathy, but of SUPPORT. Of CARING.
Of letting me know that I matter.
And so do you.
Don't let the lesson from Sunday be forgotten guys. Otherwise, this truly WILL be a tragedy ...