I’m not as active in the gun blogger world any more. My blog is a hobby and plenty of people were able to turn theirs into careers, and from that, plenty of great gun-related websites sprung forth. There’s still a need for blogs, especially those of us who don’t run any ads, to provide information, but as I’ve moved forward in my career, the time necessary to write well informed pieces started becoming harder & harder to find.
So, when I found out this morning that Bob Owens of BearingArms.com took his own life, I was shaken.
Never met Bob IRL. Interacted with him plenty on his old blog and elsewhere. I didn’t always agree with him which is how life works, but I was glad he was a voice for our cause.
This really hits home for me because, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I battle with panic attacks. I’m mildly bi-polar and never really had to fight heavy depression for too long (mostly the mania, which honestly is enjoyable), but the panic attacks that came with the whole affair are scary. Not soon after my youngest was born, I had a bad episode and remember holding her in my arms, not capable of feeling any emotion whatsoever. None. Not love, not anger, not fear. Nothing.
For me, I’m able to fight that. It’s not because I’m stronger than most people, it’s not because of my intelligence. It’s blind luck that I’ve been able to focus my mind away from the depression and lessen the effects of a panic attack as well as medication that helps keep the chemicals in my brain balanced. I live a very normal life. PAs are few & far between and I haven’t had to deal with crushing depression in over a decade. But I understand it and I know the hopelessness one feels when that happens.
I can’t agree with Bob’s assessment that he was a coward or wasn’t strong enough any more than I could agree with a diabetic whose blood sugar spikes even when they eat well. Depression is a health issue, where your mind doesn’t work like it’s supposed to. You might go to all the doctors and be on all the medications and nothing will help. Lord knows it took several years before they were able to find the right medicine and the right dosage that worked for me. Again, I was lucky that I was able to battle through it all during that time, but I completely understand that feeling that nothing will ever be good again.
And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.
When you’ve hit the bottom & cannot even comprehend that there is a way out, it’s hard. And sometimes people cannot take the pain (or complete lack of emotion) any more. We’re emotional beings, and when the largest part of your mental self is not working, death can feel welcome and at that point, any feeling is one you latch on.
Of course, this has nothing to do with guns. Nobody sits there and thinks happy thoughts, sees a gun, and then decides that they want to kill themselves. The responses on Twitter from the gun banners is to be expected. They are the compassionate ones, unless it’s someone who they don’t approve of, then the knives come out. It’s disgusting, but expected. Their emotions aren’t stunted, but unfortunately they’re stuck on hatred rather than compassion.
I’m sorry to see Bob go, I feel bad that he suffered so especially since I can relate. His suffering, however, has now passed to his family so if you can help, please do.
If you’re depressed, find help. It can be defeated and there are many, many ways that don’t involve ending your life & leaving your family behind. You’re not a coward, you’re not weak, you’re sick and sickness can be fixed.
And if you ever need a random ear to listen to, hit that contact button up top. I’m here for you.