As usual, I left being at peace with myself.
Woke at 5:30.
Cranked up some Tom Petty.
Did a deep cleaning of the bathroom and kitchen.
Feeling great! Happy Monday folks😊
Be kind to yourself and have a great week❤️
*Anybody else get a bit of a pick me up after cleaning? For me getting going is hard, but as I start seeing progress it gets a little motivating. Kinda like life?
So I’m going to talk about a couple of life events that many men who have experienced don’t usually open up about. Most just stoically hide it deeply within multiple layers hoping it will just go away. For me, that only leads to more men thinking they aren’t “man enough” when the depression/I don’t fit in dragon shows up. Many men don’t show or express their fears or emotions with other men. Why you might be asking would I want to? This is my attempt to take a small bite out of this disservice and hopefully inspire others to open up and more importantly to find freedom to JUST BE.
I was 16 years old when I attempted suicide. There had been no horrible event that pushed me nor no problems with my family upbringing. I was just depressed obviously to the point of no longer wanting to live. I didn’t feel like I fit in with everyone else and was just faking it by putting on a smile each day. My self confidence was at an all time low. I’d stop participating in sports and just came home every day and basically went to bed right after dinner. One night I had had enough and took 100 Tylenol pills and laid down to go sleep hoping I’d never have to suffer another day on this earth. As I laid there my heart was beating almost out of my chest. I tried to fall asleep, but it just wouldn’t happen. Something was not going to allow this. Call it God, Spirit, or maybe just my Soul which is the same thing was saying get up. This is all foggy memories but I remember waking my dad and telling him. My mom was working. One memory that stands out is us speeding to the hospital across town and me looking over at my father who had tears running down his cheek and the most love and sorrow in his eyes. Having my own children I now know that truest love.
I got pumped out and set home. The docs and my parents wanted to send me the “funny farm” and being a 16 year old male I’d have none of that. I went to see a shrink a couple of times and it then it was basically dropped and no longer openly discussed. My parents I’m sure walked on egg shells hoping no further attempts would be taken and also doing their best at the time unfortunately rewarded me with a sports car and more freedom then any teen should be allowed. Living in a small town I’m sure most people were aware, but nobody ever brought it up. I basically hid it deep within and started partying like I was in college and no longer cared what people thought of me.
Fast forward to when I was 51. Recently divorced from the love of my life and my best friend. I won’t speak to much about the divorce since my identity is public and I want to respect my kids and ex. To say it was earth shattering would be a disservice. It was the lowest I’ve been since back at 16. The first year after the divorce I was just numb, going through the emotions, and faking it. Yet again my self confidence and self worth was gone. In my eyes I was the biggest failure on fucking earth. I’ll always remember my young daughter crying and screaming no no! Inside I was doing the same. After the first year of being divorced I couldn’t fake it any longer. All I wanted to do was sleep and escape the pain. One morning I called into work sick, hung up, and then setup an appointment to meet with a counselor. This was via a program my work provided. I knew it was time to ask for help. I was granted a leave of absence of 6 weeks. I saw the counselor weekly, met with a shrink, tried a church, and got a shamanic healing and learned how to journey. I wasn’t healed after 6 weeks, but I was in a better place to start functioning in life again. I’m so thankful for my boss for sticking up for me and supporting me. Interesting enough I didn’t tell my best friends or loved ones. Another stupid male trait.
These experiences I don’t wish on anyone, but I am learning how to grow from them. Empathy has become a very prominent part of my living. I’ve gotten closer to my kids too. I had to tell them about my suicide attempt when they were teens just because of my past. That was one of the hardest things to do. I was taught dads should be strong and invincible. I don’t really know how to wrap this up and really I don’t want to wrap it up right? That’s what us males do so well. I know I just touched on suicide and depression but it’s a continued start of me being vulnerable and free. The only way to grow is to hold your breath, be vulnerable, and release your breath. It’s sent out and what I know is Love comes gushing in❤️
If anyone wants to talk more about these topics privately you can email me at HydeD66@gmail.com.
Sending love to all of you,
It’s interesting how one sentence from a previous blog inspires a whole new entry.
I’ve been hearing more and more about this concept of slowing down, do the work, put in the time, and if then and only then will the progress come. In the last week I picked up on it from Dave Ramsey to GaryVee. I hadn’t put to much thought to it, but after listening it goes against everything we’ve been taught in these times. Here in the States we want things fast and easy. Give me that McMansion home, BMW, and oh yah let’s add I want be an entrepreneur straight out of college making over a million…And I want it NOW! This is just part of our crazy Facebook perfect collective conscious beaming consumerism media machines. That was a mouth full.
You may be asking what does any of that have to do with us? I’m taking the liberty of saying us because I feel we all are much the same. Who out of all of you wouldn’t want to go to a few counseling sessions and poof all your depression is cured? We know it doesn’t work that way, but every time it comes we beat ourselves up and treat ourselves as failures if it sticks around for days or weeks. How about instead of taking years to finally get sober we could pop a pill and the next day we’re dancing on the pink cloud. While we’re at let’s get on the latest diet, join the gym, and within 30 days drop 100 pounds and be crushing it!
Sounds pretty darn silly, but I can admit I’ve subjected myself to this unrealistic thinking at times. I see others who make it look so simple that I feel like a loser. The thing is most success doesn’t come without putting in hard work consistently for a very very very long time. Nobody wants to wait for two years to get down to a certain size and healthy lifestyle that has turned into a habit. Nobody wants to grind it out for 7 years to be that successful business owner. And nobody wants to wait many years, like 10, before buying their first house like their parents did. We’d rather apply for credit, buy the house, and go instantly into debt for the rest of our life and never have any options of leaving the rat race.
It takes years for us to realize our own bullshit. It’s been fed to us daily that we no longer question it. What if…what if we took a step back, slowed down, and got real with ourselves? How much work/actions have we taken to fight our particular dragon? Did we fight real hard for 30 days and then after our first failure we just said ah well that’s just the way it is for me?
What if we picked just one of our dragons be it alcohol, depression, health, debt, or whatever and came up with an action plan to move forward just a tiny bit everyday? Instead of getting discouraged we just move slower, get up each time after failures, and know we are making progress. Wouldn’t this be a much kinder realistic approach for ourselves? These dragons can’t be slayed easily. No way around it.
Do the work! We need to do the work each day slowly and consistently. Also, and this is very important, be kind to yourself always.
I forget this sometimes and I know you do to. We are all beautiful capable souls that are intended to shine.
Most of you already know one of my areas of improvement is focusing on losing weight and getting healthier. I was overweight prior to sobriety, but as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs I gained more weight afterwards due to emotional eating. At night after dinner instead of drinking, I’d snack. On weekends, after all those “manly man chores” instead of starting to drink in my garage at around 3 jammin to Zeppelin, I’d sit on my couch and do social media feeding my face. Instead of pounding beers after a stressful day at work, I’d pound ice cream to escape. You get the idea. So I traded my alcohol life coping mechanism for food. I maxed out at a weight of 198 pounds. I was proud of ridding myself of the poison, but each look in the mirror showed another roll of fat.
I weighed in today at 185.8, down 13 pounds overall. My goal is to get down to 170 pounds.
Here’s 3 tips that have always helped me with making improvements:
- Watch my thoughts actively
- Who are you hanging out with
- Do the work
Watching my thoughts
One skill I’ve picked up with this whole self-improvement growth journey is understanding I’m not my thoughts and to always be on surveillance mode on them. They are indeed tricky little fucks. If you believe all the crap that they are pumping through your brain, you will head in directions you shouldn’t go. This takes time and patience to learn, but does get easier with practice. You are NOT your thoughts. When things start heading south analyze what your thinking and ask is this really true? Don’t listen when the ego starts screaming others are doing oh so much better. Don’t worry about others. Focus on loving you and being kind to you. Interestingly enough, GaryVee recently has helped me in this area.
Who are you hanging out with
I had surrounded myself with junk processed unhealthy food. Think chips, crackers, ice cream, frozen dinners, pizza, and such. Also, I ate a ton of bread and cheese. I’ve removed these from my kitchen and instead started buying more greens, fruits, and cooking healthier meals. This is a very very slow process for a guy like me. I’m not a veggie person at all, but am slowing introducing new vegetables into my diet weekly. Like everything else in life that is new for me, it’s uncomfortable at first but generally has gotten better as I work at it.
Do the work
So when those thoughts say go have some salty chips you’ll feel better, I say wait a minute I’m just stressed and instead walk my dogs or drink some water. No longer do I allow my emotions to make me eat like a pig. I’ve cut my portions way down. (use a smaller plate) and slowly started consistently doing more cardio and lifting weights again. Right now I’m averaging about two walks a day. One with the dogs and one just for me. I really really encourage a walk by yourself just for you. I look forward to those. Cranking up my headset and cruising the neighborhoods. It’s okay and required to focus on yourself. Tell the guilt to frick off.
Another habit I’ve incorporated into my routing that I think help is I journal daily. I read the Daily Stoic and journal on the particular days entry. I also journal daily on my three 3’s. Write 3 things I do well. Write 3 things that brought me happiness that day. Write 3 things I’m grateful for. I’ve also continued my going marbles routine.
We here on WP often forget the strives we’ve made in our life. The crew I follow are just Amazing. We are overcoming huge life events/obstacles and courageously moving forward. Remember we may be moving like the tortoise, but we all know how that story ends. Our will is STRONG!
How have you handled emotional eating?
***If you have a gag reflex don’t read. Go to another post***
Today was the mowing of the weeds. Picture tall weeds sprinkled with clumps of grass and the smallest width push mower you’ve ever seen in your life. And the sun is baking on my neck. It’s total joy joy! Not! I humor myself by saying it’s great exercise and a great workout for a guy like me who sits behind a computer all day. Plus I only have to do it 5 to 6 times a year. (Had to stop here and will fill you in further down) Okay, anyway I’m mowing away and had finished a section and decided to stop and go inside and drink some water, since when I bent over to pull up an extra hard weed I got all light headed.
I open the front door and…You ever have one of those experiences where you smell something and it takes you back to a memory? Like apple pie and grandma or hay and your grandpas barn. Shit like that. Well the door opens and my nostrils flared and I knew. I mean I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what it was. My eyes lowered from the door knob and gradually expanded out from the living room carpet all the way into the kitchen and just as that memory popped into my head it was confirmed. Shit, shit, and more shit. Big shit. Little shit. Squirt shit. Dog shit. OMGGGGGGG!!!! I was brought back to when I was podding training some of my pups years ago.
2 + 2 = a lot of dog shit
When I put 2 and 2 together, I figured out Boris’s system had a very hard time with the CAN of dog food I’d given him the day before. He always only eats dry dog food. He’s getting up there in age and has terrible anxiety and hadn’t eaten in 2 days. I was desperate so I went and got the chunkiest most fat flavored can of dog food I could find. I brought it home and to my surprise he ate the whole thing. Life was good! Boris was back to eating and I had found the solution. Looking back I have NO FUCKING idea why I gave him the whole can. Yes, I’m a male and a dumb ass. Totally agree.
Filling you in now from above
So I spent two hours cleaning the SHIT out of the carpet. Scraping, spraying, and sponging. Repeat. I didn’t freak out though. Hmmm….maybe because it was my doing. I took Boris for a walk and left him outside for the rest of the day and then brought him into his pen for the night. I start typing this joyous tale and all of sudden I hear a bunch of whining and scratching. I walk out to the kitchen and once AGAIN my memory sensor is activated. Nope. Not the barn. Nope. Not the apple pie. Yes the dog shit. More of. Poor poor Boris. Go ahead you can say it. You weren’t here. I think I’ve become a professional dog shit cleaner upper today.
Boris is now out in the garage for the night, but don’t worry. There’s a big dog cushion and more importantly a dog door to the backyard. I’ve got a candle burning, listening to the washing machine, and trying to finish this up at 11:41 PM. I’ll end with a picture of my handsome Boris who I truly feel sorry for having such an idiot for an owner. Tomorrow is another day and come Monday I’m taking him to the vet. Hopefully we can figure this all out.
Smell you later,