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Creative Catharsis

blackshire

Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2000
Messages
182
Points
16
Age
43
Location
upstate NY
On June 17, 2011, I lost my younger brother, Josh, to his own silent battle with depression. He was 18 years old. So witty, so funny. Generous, warm and selfless to a fault. I could talk about how amazing and unique of a person he was and is to me forever. *When my dad and his mom split up, he was young. Impressionable enough to be shattered by it. When he was in his early teens he had been sullen, withdrawn. We were all worried about him. He refused councelling and instead, like a lot of kids his age, sunk himself into the world of video games.*

(And he was the ****ing best. I bought an Xbox four or five years ago for the expressed purpose of strengthening our relationship - I'm 13 years older, hard to stay in constant contact, especially when he was on the other side of a broken home. But strengthen our bond we did. So grateful for our silliest times together. I got to see a side of him that the rest of my family never really did; he was revered by his friends - and these friends weren't ordinary teenage kids, not the potty mouthed disrespectful urchins that maybe all teenage kids were supposed to be. They are just such good, kind kids that I'm proud to call them MY friends now. It's a crazy world.)

As the years had passed, Josh had turned a corner, we'd all thought. Was going to college. Talking about the future, a little. No one had a clue that he intended to take his own life. And, to be truthful, I probably haven't been the same person since.*

It was June 17. My birthday. Yeah. That has kind of ****ed that day up for me for the rest of my natural life. I've mostly made peace with that truth. Easy for me to say now. Ask me how "at peace" I am with it on that day it's likely I'll have a very different answer.**I know he didn't intend it - from what we can tell it was the first opportunity that he had to really go through with it. I know he didnt mean to crush us all - but whatever that pain was inside him was just too, too much. It was bigger than me. Bigger than all of us. I can't fault him for doing the first and only selfish thing he'd ever done, by taking himself from all of us. It's a hard, cruel reality that I now face everyday.*

You're probably wondering why the hell I am whining to all of you about this. A few reasons.*

I started writing letters to my brother in an empty notebook I'd found in his bedroom - a notebook he never had a chance to fill. It's a pretty good way to, I've found, work through whatever you're feeling. I often think back to a buddy of mine - and a lot of you - named Chad Dupree, who had a blog named "Creative Catharsis". I recall a conversation we'd had on AIM, how he felt it gave him peace to just put it all out there, whatever he was feeling. I didn't get it then but I get it now. So I'm sharing this story with you for myself, and for anyone else who may know someone struggling with depression. For whatever reason, my brother felt like he had no one to turn to. He had a family that loved him and would have moved mountains to get him help, we would have immediately done whatever it took to save him -- which in retrospect, is maybe why he never spoke to us of it.*

He didn't want to be saved. He didn't want to be here.*

Maybe he was ashamed? There is such a stigma attatched to depression and even mental illness that some people don't know how to or even if they can reach out.*

I'm saying it now -- if anyone reading this ever feels like there's nothing here on this earth for them and they're in dark place -- if you WANT someone to hear you. Reach out to me.*

paulbrisbin@me.com

That email goes straight to my phone. I'll shoot you my phone number and we can talk. I'll never judge you and I'll never talk down to you. Please believe that.*

I know the impact of losing a loved one and if I can prevent another family, another brother, another son, or sister from feeling how I've felt for almost 10 months and how I will for the rest of my days ... Then that would mean the world to me.*

The other reason I'm sharing with you all... In the ULTRATITLE tourney (which, btw, how ****ing cool is this?) I am handling an old character of mine named Max Blackshire. Max had an older brother named Cyrus that I used to handle in Ed Brown's SCW. Not to bore you any further with too many details, but Max hated Cyrus. Despised him. Was jealous of him. Yes, sorry judges, he had even plotted to murder him. Cyrus' story ended the moment he won the SCW World Title and he'd collapsed in the ring, dying of a brain aneurism caused by a huge tumor. *Max went even further off the deep end.*

Aaaaaanyway. When talk of this tourney found me, and after Brunk convinced me to involve myself somehow, I'd initially considered trying to somehow legitimize my joke character, Ice Tre. But my thoughts went back to Max.*

Since losing my brother, I've spent probably too much time considering and evaluating what a brother is, or should be. What kind of a ****ing brother was I to not see any signs? What kind of a ****ing brother was I if Josh couldn't come to me?*

Understand this... My brother and I loved eachother. I'm not max, and he wasn't Cyrus. Or vice versa. Totally different people in a totally different world. But... I can't talk about myself without talking about Joshua. He dominates my thoughts and his passing has changed me.*

Max can't talk about himself without talking about Cyrus. So... In a way... There's a parallel. I don't know.*

If you read my stuff, try to understand that, if Cyrus comes up, it's maybe my way of reevaluating what a brother is. Or is supposed to be. Or something.*

Even still I'm not sure.*

Well... Now that I've brought the mood down. Thanks for reading.*

I love a lot of you goons LIKE brothers. You know who you are.*
 

KING

King of Kings
Joined
Aug 24, 2010
Messages
49
Points
0
Location
Silver Spring, MD
Man... I knew bits and pieces, but was always too afraid to ask to hear the entire story, in fear of being an insensitive friend. Needless to say, this truly touched me. It's made me want to make sure each and everyone of my relationships with my family are where they need to be. You inspire me, my friend, and you know that if there's ever anything that I can do, you have my number.
 

Chad

The Godfather
Staff member
Joined
Mar 17, 1988
Messages
3,928
Points
36
Website
thecswa.com
Truly appreciate the post. There are a lot of us who have had to (and continue to have to) deal with mental illness in our families and circles of friends. It's incredibly tough, but as you said, the worst thing that can happen is that someone feels like they can't talk about or that they have to try and address it themselves. It's not something that anyone can tackle on their own and it's not something that "gets better" on its own, even if some of the most negative parts ebb and flow.

You've always been an incredible guy, Paul, and now you've let the secret out for the world to know. :) Truly encourage anyone who feels like they need to to reach out to Paul or to any of us around here that you feel comfortable speaking with.

-C
 

DBrunkGXW

Consigliere
Joined
Sep 11, 1997
Messages
4,815
Points
36
Age
47
Location
Katy, TX
I'm somewhat in the same boat as Jamar on this one.

And, I have plenty to talk to you about on the subject too, someday if you're up for it, but I'll do that privately.

Thanks for the post.
 

DEF_Vagabond

League Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2012
Messages
76
Points
0
I'm proud to say that, after an eleven-year war with depression, bi-polar disorder, social anxiety disorder, PTSD, OCD and ADHD, I've achieved victory. I finally sought outside help and got the medications I need, but for ten years I faced it all on my own, seemingly alone, and it's made a better man of me. I know first-hand all the signs and symptoms of a person in misery, and I often try to "Be there" and "Reach out" to people I encounter with these symptoms. But I also try to encourage them to get the professional help they need before it becomes too late. It was almost too late for me. Unfortunately, it's solely the responsibility of the victim to determine whether or not they need help, and then seek it. The rest of us have to sit there and watch, helpless.

There's always a silver lining to every cloud. And if you ever feel alone... You're not.
 

blackshire

Moderator
Joined
Jan 1, 2000
Messages
182
Points
16
Age
43
Location
upstate NY
Thanks, all, for the understanding and compassion.

It's a very real issue and an all too painfully real problem. Jay and Brunk; it's not insensitive at all to ask the how or who of the situation, at least not to me. Since its happened I've been on a personal mission to increase awareness and empower people in regards to prevention, etc.

It's not always EASY for me to talk about his circumstances or the immediate aftermath or whatever... But I'm more than willing to -- some of my siblings are in counseling and whatnot to help them get their feelings about it out (mainly bc they were unable to face it when it first went down) me, I've been pretty open and forthright about the grief. I waded into it when it all went down, so on most days I'm on pretty firm ground. My bday this year is going to be a downer all around, but I'm mostly ready for it.

Tim, thanks for your post, man. Well put. Glad to meet you.

Thanks again, guys.
P
 

KRobinson

League Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2000
Messages
102
Points
0
Paul, you know that I second all of the kind words that have already been said about you. As soon as I chose to give FW another shot, you and EZ immediately came to mind, as I consider you both good friends.

I can't begin to imagine what its like to go through such an experience, but I'm always here if you need someone to talk to.
 

Starbreaker

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2004
Messages
409
Points
16
Age
39
Location
New York
Thanks for telling your story, Paul. I agree many, many people have been affected by depression, whether in themselves or around them. It's terrible for everyone involved. But as others have said, to hear your story is an inspiration. I hope people do reach out to the community, if they feel they can.

Whether people know each other well or not, here, there's something really special about this community. And seeing people like Paul step up like this makes me really glad to be here.
 

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