Part 1 of 3 I am part of a wonderful group on Facebook and someone in the group just shared a post earlier this week. they allowed me to share it here while keeping them confidential:
“So today it’s my turn to share something I’ve been struggling with in the hopes that it can help someone else. I had one of those moments where you suddenly figure something out and wonder how the hell you missed it. For the last couple of months, I have been subconsciously holding my breath. I’ll be working or driving or just goofing off watching Youtube, just regular activities, and suddenly I’m out of breath and I realize I’ve been holding it without meaning to. It really freaked me out. Imagine if you looked down and found a note in your handwriting that you had no memory of writing. Your hand just wrote it without your conscious direction. It’s really disturbing. So, I looked it up. Apparently subconscious breath holding is not uncommon. It’s an indicator of stress. It seems like such a ridiculous thing. Most folks get headaches, or stomach trouble, or #Hypertension , but I gotta be different. Apparently, my body’s reaction to stress is to try and choke myself out. The problem is, I don’t feel stressed. I’m generally pretty happy. Life is good for me these days. It’s really been bugging me. I’ve been doing breathing meditation and fasting- both are easy ways to reduce stress and it has been helping. Then, today it finally clicked. I was talking with a coworker about how rough the last couple of years have been when it hit me. It’s not just the last couple of years. In the last 9 years I’ve moved back home, I’ve changed jobs three times, all three of my remaining grandparents have died, my Dad died, my stepmother died, my niece died from a #braintumors , a close friend committed suicide, my mother had a #Stroke , I lost two friends to #COVID19 , then my wife and I got #COVID19 and on top of all that, the government shot our economy in the foot right in the middle of me trying to build a new house. It suddenly occurred to me that I’ve spent almost a decade waiting on the next punch in the gut. So that brings me to a question. How many of us are walking around stressed the hell out and don’t realize it? How much of the violence and general craziness going on these days is because of people just like me? But they finally hit that last straw.”
First, I want to say that those last few comments speak volumes. As a society, we spend a lot of time arguing about gun control. I personally am not a fan of guns, I constantly worry about my daughter being shot at school, but this just started becoming a major concern towards the end of my time in high school in the late 90’s. Right before Columbine, there was a shooting at a high school in Pearl, Mississippi, the one my now husband would have attended had he not moved in 7th grade. He knew some people who were shot but recovered, he knew some people on the list the killer never made it to and he grew up down the street from the killer. The reason this story was not as big as Columbine, is because not as many were killed, because the Vice Principal of the school went to his truck, got his personal gun out, and held it on the student to stop him from hurting more, and possibly moving onto the middle school. The student was arrested and is still in jail today. He did not get the chance to kill more students or himself. The Vice Principal was awarded by some for this, and condemned by others for holding a gun on a student. I personally think he did the right thing, and this was one of the few examples of a good guy with a gun actually working out well.
Because of this and because this developing into an issue as I aged, I know it is not guns alone or it would have been before then of course. However, we are also the only country who has this issue so bad and also has the loosest gun control, so I see why some gun control is reasonable to many. I always read stories from other countries about the first major killing in a decade, and it will be a bow and arrow attack that killed a few people, or a car driving into people (which also happens here). I also once read about a school stabbing comparable to a school shooting here in regards to the number attacked, but none died in the stabbing while many died in the shooting. There is also a big focus on #MentalHealth . I think this is a little closer to the root of the problem, but still not as simple as that. Most people who snap and do something violent have not been diagnosed with major mental disorders, and some thinki