Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult


Posted on | August 27, 2017 | No Comments

For my life Christie Pitts is an Axis Mundi.

A place where all my lives come together.

It’s where I mourned the loss of my first love when I moved to Toronto and discovered Adele three weeks before the world made being her fan a mainstream thing. It’s where Katherine died in Just Cuddle. It’s where I laid on the grass and looked at the sky in my last relationship. It’s where I’ve celebrated successes and mourned failures. It’s a place I go to remember I’m aging and have lived a lot.

This is a post about boxing and Rocky and .

You might be surprised to learn I wanted to be a boxer when I was five years old. That for a year I’d ask my dad to read me stories from a massive book about boxing in the belief that someday a kid my age would be reading stories about me in a similar book. I forced my brother to fight me in our backyard. He was seven years older and enjoyed kicking my ass. Until he’d let me hit one lucky blow in the 12th round and fall to the ground. Bleeding and bruised I would raise my hands in the hair and run around the block. Proclaiming myself the world champion of Beech Street.

I didn’t pursue this dream.

But the Rocky movies meant something to me. As I am sure they meant something to a lot of people. I was five so I think it pretty much came down to the idea that if you try hard enough at something you can win. As an adult I look at those movies and see different things. Rocky 1 is about how you can do your best, train as hard as you want and you can lose and you can still be magnificent. The second is about how sequels are great and should always happen because box offices want Rocky to be champion. And the third is a great movie if you don’t look at it too closely.

It’s 9 o’clock.

Christie Pitts.

Just dark enough to show a movie.

And I’m watching Creed.

I think about how when I watched Rocky Stallone was still young. It felt representative of my dreams of what life might be like when I grow up.

And now he’s an old man. Getting sick. He has already lost those things he was fighting for in those climactic fights. Watching him I felt echoes of that five year old child who’s insane hopefulness still drives me to this day. And I think a little about what we are fighting for.

There are five hundred people gathered around this hill. On blankets. Next to their families and partners. Watching the huge screen and cheering.

The basic plot of the movie is Apollo Creed’s son wants to become a professional boxer. Rocky helps him do it. It pretty much copies the beats of the first Rocky exactly. I shouldn’t love this movie as much as I do.

The thing is this movie feels like one of those moments where humanity went in the right direction.

Creed is played by Michael Jordan aka Wallace from the Wire.

And Christie Pitts is filled with black families.

Who want their kids to look up at the screen and see what I saw as a child. In a message that wasn’t given to them in movies like this.

They can try as hard as they can and success or failure doesn’t matter. They can be magnificent. If they follow their passion.

At the end of the movie the fight ends.

And people are screaming and cheering.

And there’s tears in my eyes and in the eyes of the people next to me. There is something incredibly moving in the idea that there has been this tiny change.   Where the news tells a lot of people want to go back into the past, this movie is about a future. One we can fight for. One we aren’t guaranteed to win. But one we have to fight for.




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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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