Lessons Learned in Florida

Hi, everybody.

In about 45 minutes I hop on a plane back to the Midwest. I was supposed to be out here till tomorrow, but I decided it was best for me to head back a tad bit early. Need to recalibrate.

While I was here, I learned more about my mind. Well, my mind learned more about itself. Now I’m just confusing myself. Let’s move on.

So what did I learn? Let’s start with the negatives, and I only call them negatives because I’m too tired to think of a better way to describe them.

I am too dependent on cannabis for my anxiety and sleep. I need to take initiative there and slow down, but it’s another internal struggle for me. I’ve never been told to limit my medications or to drop dosages on the anti-depressant and anxiety medication. The back of my mind asks, “What if this is the best medication for you?”.

I wonder that quite a bit. The benefits I receive from cannabis are extremely helpful. Yes, in an ideal world for myself, no substance would be needed. But I’m not at that point yet. And from what I’ve learned/further reinforced from this trip is I do need to admit to some dependency with the substance. I’m a former addict. If anyone knows dependency, it’s this guy. I don’t plan on quitting, but it’s never good to travel and realize how important it is for your sleep and well-being. And it shouldn’t be. The first night I slept in Florida, I woke up 4-5 times in a heap of sweat, battling nightmares, ugly things from my childhood. It wasn’t fun and I’m quite honestly exhausted due to my poor sleep over the past few days.

But here’s the positive. I’ve established I struggle the first couple of days when I’m without cannabis. That’s something I’m now aware of and something I can work on. That’s a positive. And a challenge.

My tension with my parents is still at an all-time high, which bothers me more than you would think. I kick myself daily for the first way I treat my parents at times, but it’s pointless to kick myself. Being aware of this and keeping it present in my mind is what I need to do moving forward if I want to enable change within myself. Understanding that is a positive. Also another challenge.

I’ve further reinforced my need for communication. Silence isn’t my friend right now. A goal of mine now? Embrace the silence. Understanding silence can be a positive. Also another challenge.

So here I am in concourse D, writing to you lot. Making sure I put this down in writing so the challenges are real, so they aren’t forgotten. That’s a positive. Writing makes things real for me.

But I’ve been through plenty of challenges in my life and I’ve kept growing as a person. Yeah, sure, I lack in a lot of basics like finance and handyman work, but I make up for it with my understanding of myself and understanding of others. There’s different types of smart. Using what you’re best at can be so very important for your life and those you surround yourself with.

I wasn’t adding anything positive to my family’s trip, so I took the initiative to leave early. Do I feel a bit of regret? Yeah, of course. Am I happy I had the guts to do it? Yeah, because it was not only beneficial for me, but for my loving and understanding family. My darkness shouldn’t impact their time away.

I love my mother and father very much. I teared up a bit typing that. I hope they know I’m truly attempting to become a better person, a better son each and every day. Sometimes it’s evident, sometimes it looks as if I’m moving backwards.

But I’m not. All of this is part of my growth. Any hardships you’re facing, whether internal or external, should be considered a part of your growth. Letting them become obstacles can be detrimental to your mental health. Look at them as challenges. Look at them the way I am right now: This is part of learning about myself, which will be an ever-present process in my life. And it will be for you, too.

I’m happy to head home. However, I’m even more excited for my next trip because I’ve increased what I know about myself. I’ve understood what I need to do to help myself (and in turn, help those around me) in the situations I mentioned above. I’m happy with myself. I hope you’re happy with yourself today. You should be.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

So, How Did The Tough Conversations Go?

Hi, everyone!

Hope you like the style change on the blog. I didn’t like the other one. Too sloppy. I like it clean, y’know?

OK, so yesterday I wrote about tough conversations and boy, did I get some unexpected… well, let’s just get into it.

First of all, I mentioned talking to one of my boxers about the possibility of her not being able to fight because she doesn’t have that “killer mentality” or that “fighter” in her. The jury is still out on that, but we did end up naturally breaking down a wall or two yesterday. After some very light sparring, my boxer broke down. She could see she couldn’t pull the trigger and ACTUALLY hit me in the face. Can I put her in sparring knowing that? No. It’s dangerous for her. But we did discuss her mentals, what’s holding her back, the what-if’s, and much more.

That tough conversation created growth. And guess what? It happened naturally. Stay tuned.

Now for the boss conversation, well that was supposed to happen next Monday. Turns out you can’t always have what you want. To refresh your mind (how dare you not read my last post), I took a job at a new company. Planned on putting my two weeks in at my current company next week. Everything happened in such a funny way, though. Let me explain.

We had a team meeting. My boss manages four states/territories. Turns out he put in his two weeks! CONGRATS to him! Moving on to bigger and better things. However, he did ask me to stay behind in the meeting to talk with me.

“—-, are you leaving such and such company?” My boss asked, already knowing the answer.

“—–! What makes you say that?” I said, with a laugh and a definitive shit-eating grin.

Turns out telling one of my best friends at the company was a bad idea. They couldn’t keep their mouth shut. However, it all worked out into perfect hilarity. My boss’ situation with leaving the company meant he didn’t really care I was leaving because it wasn’t impacting him. You know what he told me?

“How about we forget we talked about this and just have the same conversation on Monday?” James said, smiling.

Guess who isn’t going to go a full month without a paycheck now? This guy.

It pays to be a good person to others. It pays to be a hard worker. It pays to be open with others. It pays to be vulnerable. Everything we’re scared of, everything we fear, helps us grow if we can conquer that son of a bitch.

Make those tough conversations happen, people. Trust me on this one.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Being Vulnerable With A Purpose

Hi, everybody.

Over the past two days, I’ve opened up to quite a few new people in my life. Whether it was about where I’m at financially, in my love life, or how my mentals are doing, I’ve made sure to make myself vulnerable to people.

Why? Why the fuck would you do that, man? Sounds terrible.

It is terrible. At the start. Then the other person opens up. Then you listen. Then you have a friend. It’s a scary process, but a very simple process. We as humans tend to overcomplicate the simplest of things. Let’s stop doing that.

I wrote about “ordinary courage” last week. I’ve really been practicing it since then. It’s freeing. I’ve never been embarrassed (in my adult life) about my mental condition, my drug addiction, or any of the other “whoa” shit. However, I didn’t understand the importance of what I’ve went through and how it can positively impact others till I started this blog.

You, me, all of us battling through depression, anxiety, and all the other bullshit. Guess what? We’re fucking champions. And you’re a Champion of mental health. Get out there, speak with people, show that ordinary courage on a daily basis. I can almost guarantee you make a friend or two. And if not, I bet there’s something you do to help others, and really that’s all that matters here.

We’re all in this together, folks. Whether your struggles are mental or physical, we all struggle. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Get out there and help the fellow strugglers (there’s plenty to choose from). You’ll be surprised on how much you really do have to offer.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Mystery Boxes

Hi, everyone.

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know 1 – I got out of a relationship a year ago, 2 – I sold my house that had everything of hers in it, 3 – I bought a new house.

Doesn’t sound crazy. Nothing unique. Ordinary shit, I know. But today I realized how difficult it really is to separate from someone fully, even if you haven’t talked to them in months. I mean, maybe it isn’t even possible. Yet to find out. Example? I went through my last boxes to unpack in the basement this morning. Two letters from her. Saw the handwriting, saw the name, ripped them up. Shoved them deep into a trash can and now I’m hoping I don’t think about those letters today.

Welp, I failed but I at least made it about 30 minutes till failure. Look what I’m writing about. The letters. Shit.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry too much about this. This is a natural progression into a new life, a new me, a new everything. It’s exciting going at it alone (well, not entirely alone, I do have a wonderful support system–get one, they’re helpful). But today I’m proud of one thing: I didn’t lose my damn mind over this. Instead, I disposed of the letters and moved on to the next box. A few months back? I would have stopped right there. Went to my bed. Laid down. Got a bit high. Try to fall asleep. Try to forget.

Now? Well, here I am, writing to you about it. I call that growth. If your read my post from… yesterday? Well, we could call this ordinary courage. Have you made small progressions you haven’t yet noticed? I bet you have. I didn’t notice this till it slapped me in my face. Go ahead, take a look in the mirror. I bet you’re better today than you were yesterday, and if not, you’re on your way. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be up reading this. You’d be in the fetal position in your bed, wondering what the fuck to do next. I’ve been there. A lot of individuals have been there. Keep motherfuckin’ pushing. It’s worth it. I promise. I wouldn’t be telling you this shit every single post if I didn’t believe it to be true myself. You. Can. Do. This. Shit.

And if you’re in the fetal position in your bed while reading this, please know that we’re here for you.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Before Boxing

Hi, everybody.

I now have TEN boxers. All very green, but promising! I’m writing this right now because I’m about to head out to coach a few. This is the best feeling I have during the day now. The moment right before I head to the gym. Right before I tell people to throw a jab, cross, angle out, toss another jab in there, throw a hook, & finish with a strong uppercut. Oh, make sure to jab out, too. Don’t want to get caught with shots when you’re finished with that combination.

Just typing that there got me pumped up. I fucking love coaching. It’s all I want to do. The relationships I make in this shit are PRICELESS. The vulnerability and openness people have with their coach is unmatched & I learn so much about the world, life, and other people’s lives each & every day.

I need to make sure to never take this for granted. Never turning this into a job. Keep it as a passion.

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

Smile to Your Anger

Hi, everyone.

I wake up in the morning a wildcard. I may look tired when I wake up, but I assure you, my mind has plenty of energy. At least negative energy. No valid thoughts, judgments, or anything, really. Just anger. Anger at others for no reason. Anger at myself for, well, stuff I still can’t thoroughly determine.

Yesterday morning was one of many examples. I unleashed on my parents, the people allowing me to stay with them as I close on a new house (finally got one this week). This wasn’t the first time I’ve done this is in the past month I’ve been with them. It’s a recurring process of yelling, arguing, & usually followed by many apologies.

To combat this issue, I need to learn how to listen to myself in the morning. How to tell myself this anger doesn’t stem from what’s around me, but from what’s within. I’ve leaned into a book called How to Fight by Thich Nhat Hanh. So far it’s slapped me in the face with how terrible of a listener I am, but I hope to grow from it.

Growing yourself requires awareness. Awareness can come & go, though. Right now I have clear thoughts–in an hour I may have my brain dead brain back. I might lose control. I can’t, though. Or, let’s not say I can’t, but let’s say the regularity of it happening needs to slow the fuck down.

We “kill” our anger by smiling to it, holding it gently, looking deep to understand its roots and transforming it with understanding and compassion.

How to Fight, Thich Nhat Hanh, Page 20

I wish you well. Try not to beat the shit out of yourself.

On A Roll

These are halftime thoughts, really. Everton is playing Manchester United in the League Cup. I think I have about seven to eight minutes to finish this post. Oh, score is 0-0 if you’re wondering. United look more likely to score. Edinson Cavani is a baller.

OK, so we need to connect to the title. I mean, really, we spoke about soccer (yes, I’m American, I say soccer). Soccer balls roll, so this post is pretty much complete.

What the fuck is wrong with me sometimes?

No, the reason I’m writing to you today is two-fold:
1. Family member I’m staying with has COVID, therefore I’m on lockdown as well
2. I’m on a fucking roll with blogs, there’s no denying it

Funny thing is I’m not even trying to write more often. It’s just happening. I told myself I wanted to be active on this blog back in August when I started it. I’ve been more than excelling past my own expectations of myself for this $42/yr website. Totally worth every penny.

It’s funny how like … I’d say 85% of the followers are bots. WordPress has some issues there, definitely. I hope some of you out there read this stuff & get something from it. I mean, go back to some August 2020 or September 2020 posts. Fucking tragic. Yeah, some posts now are just as tragic, but let’s not pretend there’s no improvement.

OH, I’m down to my original medication, too. Once a month for therapy instead of the weekly followed by bi-weekly.

Lots of information for you lot, I know. Back to the game! Life rolls on! (I’m so sorry for that.)

I wish you well. Try not to beat yourself up.

Update: You people made me miss one minute & fifty-four seconds of the second half. How dare you.