Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's Almost That Time Again..

It's true. It is. It's almost time for hockey to start back up. I'm slowly getting back into the groove of reading information on prospects and such. While my friends of teams like the Flames and Oilers are really excited for hockey to be back, I am not there. I think I am ready, and then I watch clips from last season or read talk of the playoffs and panic strikes. My anxiety levels go past Keith Ballard sitting in the press box and right through the roof. I'm trying to be excited, I really am but I keep getting flash backs.....

Sitting alone in my living room watching Game 7, refusing to believe it was actually over. Shedding a few tears, trying to pull myself together and saying ' it's just a game'...that turned into ' it's just a god damn game'...which then turned into ' holy fucking hell I'm going to smash my laptop into pieces'. Even now my chest feels all tight when I think back to everything that went through my head that night. (ok, maybe that's partly to do with the fact I'm wearing my Tanner Glass Scrabble Champ shirt and it looks like his face is on my boob). Then came the rioting. I knew it would come no matter what but it was still shocking, sitting up alone until well after midnight watching it all unfold on CTV.

I want to have flashbacks of the happy times. Alex Burrows' and Kevin Bieksa's great goals don't work, because I just remember being so exciting thinking ' holy shit, this may actually happen'.  I wish I could think back to just watching regular season games that weren't life or death, chirping some of my Oilers and Flames fan friends. I just can't seem to remember exactly what that's like. Hopefully once the first regular season game gets here I will feel that excitement again. Dealing with some personal crap in my own life, hopefully it will be a nice distraction.

I am excited for these things
  • Seeing Keith Ballard actually play again
  • Seeing Chris Tanev continue to be awesome
  • Keith Ballard's first hipcheck of the season
  • Seeing Mason Raymond skate again
  • Hopefully, once I get some stuff sorted out, get back to Vancouver for a home game. It's been way to long.
  • Gathering up as many Canucks fans as I can here in Edmonton and watching a game somewhere

That's all I have right now. Anyway, while you're reading  check out this great story on Tanner Glass giving back to his home town. also Alixiswright37's great blog post  "A Day In The Life Of A Canucks Fan". Hopefully I have more to say soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rick Rypien

This wasn't exactly what I had imagined my first post back would be, and I'm not sure if I'm even ready for anything more then this at this point. However, Some things have to be said.

Rick Rypien. 5'11'. 190lbs. Hockey player. Forward. Enforcer. Son. Brother. Cousin. Friend. Gone.

He had some personal issues, it wasn't totally made public, but rumours flew. When he went after a fan at the beginning of the season and then left the team it was very apparent he had something going on. When he came back to play with the Moose late in the season I remember everything on twitter was about his beard. I remember thinking ' I'm so glad he's dealt with whatever is wrong and he's looking forward to a happy, healthy life again'. Apparently I was wrong, or maybe he was better then and the demons took over again.

Mike Gillis said in a press conference today that Rypien's problems were never drug or alcohol related and he didn't even want anything prescribed.  That doesn't leave much else does it?Sure I didn't know him personally, but when you passionate about something like hockey, a team, all the players you learn a lot about them and it almost feels like you do know them. It breaks my heart to think about how alone he must of felt, for whatever reason.

I was out at the store last night and a friend in the states who barely knows what hockey is messaged me saying ' Rick Rypien?'. At first I thought...what the hell? is he trying to get to know hockey or something? then something clicked, I remembered the beginning of the season, the leave of absense. I instantly knew.
He didn't.
He couldn't have.
Please god don't let my thoughts be true.

Right away I signed onto twitter and started to see everyone's tweets. I was already in a crappy mood and I just kind of stood in the middle of the store and dropped everything and just couldn't figure out what to do with myself.  I gathered my thoughts a bit and instantly thought of @alixiswright37 as we have had a few conversations about him, his jersey she has and such throughout the season. I thought I hope she's dealing with this shocking news better then I am. Really though, it shouldn't have been so shocking if just by someone saying his name, I knew what it had to be.

Nobody should EVER feel like there is no way out, or that they are completely alone. I in no way have ill feelings towards him for what he choose to do, but it breaks my heart that he did it. I've had a few rough years as I entered adulthood. I've hit rock bottom but somehow pulled myself back up. I now have 2 beautiful children and even though I'm going through some really rough times I know I could never ever do that to them. I have, however, felt completely and utterly alone, like nobody cared. Sometimes you just have to reach out, take that deep breath and send that e-mail or text to a friend. I reached out to someone I barely knew, someone I had only really contacted to have a drink with when I was home earlier this month to congratulate him on something. One night though, I decided to tell him some things I've kept quiet and that had been eating away at me for quite some time. He listened, he told me what he thought, he continued talking to me. He's helped me through a lot lately.

You have to reach out, even if it's to a stranger. Even if you do it anonymously.  I have no idea who all reads what I'm writing but I know depression hits every kind of person, and some are really good at hiding it. Just talk to somebody. Make up a new e-mail so nobody knows who you are and take that step. My contact information is on the right hand side of this page. If anybody reading this feels the need to talk, click that e-mail link. I can try to give advice, I can help you find information to help, or I can just sit there and listen. I'm always around in some form thanks to modern technology, my blackberry is always on me. Nobody deserves to feel what Rypien must of felt in those last days. Nobody. Ever.

It saddens me that on a big scale, Rick Rypien will be remembered as the Canuck player that went after a Wild fan. I refuse to remember him that way, instead I will remember him as the guy who stood up for himself and his teammates, no matter how big the guy coming after him was.

So, Here's to you Rick. I hope you are at peace now. If anything, know you have given me new determination to fight through what I'm going through right now. One day I plan on getting a dog,  I've decided this dog's name will be Rypien. I'm not sure why exactly, but it just seems fitting.