Uncategorized

001 – How I Got Here

Thank you for taking the time to follow along in this journey. It is not easy to venture out into the void alone and I appreciate you allowing me the freedom to express myself a bit in this forum. This one is a bit longer than normal, but I felt it was necessary to set the stage properly. This week’s edition sets the groundwork for the struggles I went through and how I recovered. Future editions will focus more on specific challenges and how to work through them

A bit of (dark) history

My lot in life is one of a Servant. I have an unending drive to help others – always have.

I am also a closet perfectionist.

These two traits can lead to volatile moods when I am trying to help with something and I can’t follow my plan the way I expected to.

I am never violent or physical – thankfully. Anytime I found myself in a situation where my plan didn’t work out as expected or a the plan changed unexpectedly I would be and thrown off track it would not go well for me.

I would become very quiet and stew in my own thoughts. I didn’t hide it very well either. My family knew almost instantly that I was not going to be fun to be around. This could go on for a few hours – or days.

I was never mad at anyone else – just me. I had failed at creating the best plan or getting something done as I would have liked to and my reaction was to fall into a state of self-hatred over that failure

My wife would beg me to get help. Go to anger management she would say. I was too prideful to admit that I might need help.

Eyes open

Something finally clicked around 2019 when I realized that my family would disappear on the weekends. They would just vanish and run errands, hang out with friends or whatever could get them out of the house without saying anything to me. That was a huge wake up call. I lived my life to care for, support and hang out with my family and now they were avoiding me at all costs.

Why?

  • Why couldn’t I be flexible?
  • Why was I afraid of help?
  • Why am I stuck in this cycle?
  • Why can’t I go with the flow?
  • Why…

I began to ask myself these questions along with many others. Truly ask and look for an answer. I was at a crossroads in life – work, family and health were all suffering and I needed to get it all figured out.

Me, myself & Ego – not great friends

Through lots of Self Reflection I was able to determine that my Ego was in more control that I realized. I have always stated that I don’t have an ego but I now realize that isn’t true. A Navy Seal buddy of mine stated at one time that “having an Ego is fine as long as you can back it up.” I obviously couldn’t back mine up…

I spent years comparing myself to others (and failing those tests EVERY time). I also noticed that those with a HUGE ego drove me nuts. Defense mechanisms? Bingo!!

Each one of my little failures over the years were a hit to the ego that it couldn’t handle. What the heck was the reason?!?

I eventually realized that I was too embarrassed to admit defeat and failure. I had no mechanism to handle this level of shame and guilt, therefore I would fall into a pit of self-hatred as a coping mechanism.

Found bottom – now what?

Through lots of time asking myself hundreds of qustions, I peeled the onion back as far as I could to understand me. What now? Use this new-found understanding and knowledge to get better.

For the next 6 months I actively looked for situations where I would have normally jumped into the Self-Hatred Pit. When I could feel one of those sessions coming on, I asked:

  • What was the trigger?
  • How can I avoid he Pit?
  • What is a better reaction at this time?

I wasn’t perfect, but over time I found that a quick deep breath or a wringing of the hands was enough of a physical act to check the box that I could have been better in that scenario. Tantrum over, let’s move on with our day.

These successful real-time mini-therapy sessions over time eventually put a cap over the top of that Pit of Self-Hatred that always seemed to lurk nearby.

The rest of the story

This new life is still a work in progress. There is no “Perfect” as I am learning.

My hope now is to share the tools and tactics that I was able to create for myself to help others through their daily battles. I am NOT a trained psychologist, psychiatrist or any sort of psych-anything and I would never pretend to be. I am just a guy that was able to come up with a few tricks to help myself learn how to live a better life.

Hopefully through topics and ideas discussed in this newsletter you will be able to arm yourself with concepts and mindframes on how to find the positive in everyday life while learning that the negative is something that can be managed.

Leave a Reply