Therapy Through Punching

Yesterday most of you (the followers, thank you) read I was in a dark place. Don’t let that past-tense fool you, I’m still there. What’s most important is that I’m still here. Living, breathing, trying to calm down.

Yet what helps me is my passion. My passion for boxing, which I wholeheartedly attribute my breakaway from addiction to. Now that I’m not fighting anymore, I coach, & I coach for free.

20 of the 24 hours of yesterday sucked ass. Yet, the four hours I spent volunteering my time to help build strength, stamina, & most importantly, self confidence, helped me more than it helped the boxers I was training.

I guess Anthony De Mello was right when he said every act, even a charitable one, is selfish. Look what I just said. It helped me. That’s not a bad thing necessarily if your perspective shines in a positive light. If the training didn’t help me, I wouldn’t be there to do it. Those individuals coming to learn wouldn’t have me as their coach. They wouldn’t get to see me perform in my now-natural environment. They wouldn’t be able to build their confidence like I did ten years back with boxing.

I’m here now outside of myself. I’m here for others. I haven’t given up on myself, but I’ve tried almost everything under the sun to break through my depressive disorder. It always comes back, sometimes (most of the time) more fierce than the last time. Yesterday I lashed out on my mother, lashed out on my father, & went to bed at 4 AM. I’m not OK, but I’m doing my damn best.

As my coach always said: Chin down, eyes up. (Keeps ya from getting knocked out.)

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

Stopgaps

Every night I go to bed with similar & quite stressful thoughts: Why do I keep filling my day with meaningless tasks? What void am I trying to fill & why am I doing such a terrible job at it? Will I be better tomorrow? I’ll be better tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll do x differently & y so much better.

That last part doesn’t usually end up happening. My days remain relatively consistent – couch lounging, menial house & gardening work, & a mix of Tinder & cannabis. Let’s just say this mixture isn’t your best bet to get out of a slump – at least a mental health “slump” or whatever you want to call it.

Tinder is where I really go wrong. In the past week I’ve had four encounters with four different women, all usually followed by a heap of regret outside of my encounter in Maine. That person is now a friend.

You’re probably asking yourself why I keep swiping left & right. I don’t have a good answer for you. I mean, part of me wants to say that sex is an easy fix that creates some type of happiness/joy, but it doesn’t last. I’m not looking to create anything long-lasting. I promise I tend to be a nice guy when it comes to women which generates even more regret when I blow someone off or tell them I’m just not interested anymore.

One of the many stopgaps.

Let’s discuss my use of cannabis. I’m not a crazy heavy user, but when things get tough, I tend to smoke some cannabis & lie down. It helps with my anxiety, but it doesn’t help me long term. Where’s the balance in that? Which one is more important than the other? More questions I constantly ask myself each & every day.

Could I quit cannabis? I don’t think so – at least not right now. When I traveled to Maine, I didn’t have an itch for it, but when I’m in my own home… well, it just feels too natural & sometimes my anxiety climbs too high.

Another stopgap.

My menial tasks, my lounging. These are tasks that I do to just pass time. You have no idea how quickly I want days to end. I want to wake up & it be time for bed already. Sadly that doesn’t happen, but I strive for that right now. If I can spend less than six hours a day conscious, I call that a win. Luckily it’s not a big enough of a win for me to go back to my destructive opiate addiction (almost 10 years clean! See, there’s a positive in here).

Too many stopgaps & nonsensical tasks. Hell, I have to take the GRE to get into an MBA program in less than a month & I haven’t studied a page. I’m fucked, I know it, but I’m having trouble self-starting. Outside of work, I can’t do much for myself at this point. Luckily I’ve been able to get into the gym recently & have some decent workouts, but the hours before & after that gym visit are mostly shitty.

Holy fuck, this post sucks. Can I say anything positive at all?

Yeah, I can say a few positive things. I mean, if I didn’t, my best friend would holler at me for not listening to his #1 rule when it comes to venting/bitching/whatever this is. So let’s do it, let’s get into the positives.

My house is almost ready to sell. My dogs are healthy. I’m physically healthy. My parents are celebrating their 37th! wedding anniversary in the mountains as I type this post. My garden is still going strong. I do have something to look forward to – the test for the MBA program – I just need to get to studying at some point. I have a final interview on Monday & should receive two job offers over the next week. Anything else? Hey, I have a fully stocked fridge. That’s a huge win, too.

Life isn’t the absolute worst right now. Really, it isn’t. However, I need to figure out how to get rid of my stopgaps & dive into some passions. The problem is I don’t really feel like I have too much passion for any passions right now, if that makes sense. I’m hoping that changes, & until then I’ll keep using the stopgaps proven to get me by.

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

The “Final” Day of Maine

I leave tomorrow, but tomorrow is mostly filled with plane travel. Long, long trip back to the good ol’ Midwest. Let’s go over some of the highlights of yesterday.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve struggled throughout this trip, but I’ve had some bright moments.

I met a friend, & she’s going through similar things that I’m going through. We initially got together for sex, but that soon changed. She’s become a friend in a very short period of time & I’m happy to say that I think we’ll stay in contact going forward. It’s always nice to run into genuine people. Believe me, there’s more out there than ya think. Talk to people, listen to people, you’ll be surprised.

A few things about Portland, Maine, if you ever make it out here.

  • It’s an amazing town with plenty of culture, plenty of good food, & plenty of cute dogs.
  • If you love breakfast foods, make sure to stop by Hot Suppa on Congress St. – flippin’ amazing.
  • Watch out for the park – I guess Portland shut down many of the homeless shelters here during the pandemic. You’ll run into quite a few folks that want nothing more than your wallet & to yell profanities at you. Be careful, but be caring.
  • Ask the locals for advice on where to go next, where to eat, where to grab a drink, & where to go next.
  • Get a lobster. I’m telling you, you can’t go wrong with a lobster up here. (Pictures to follow)
  • Take pictures. It’s such a cute town with so much history. Oh! Head down to Cape Elizabeth. Just a 20 minute drive or so.
  • Make sure you go to Peaks Island. It’s just a 20 minute ferry ride & wow, the views are something else. (Pictures to follow)

As for where I’m heading next for my final night, I really don’t know. I would like to find a cabin & finally disconnect like I mentioned at the start of this trip. It’s been hard to disconnect because of my mental strength right now, but I’ve been doing my best. That’s all we can ever ask for, & it’s good to remind yourself of that from time to time.

A trip by myself might not have been the smartest choice. I could’ve used some company while up here, but I made the most of it. Always make the most of it. Get out of bed when you’re feeling down. Get outside. Just start walking – you’ll find something to take your mind off of things, even if it’s just for a moment. That moment means more than the rest of the day combined.

Well, looks like my breakfast is coming right up. Time for me to sign off. I don’t know how much I’ll write when I get back, really I don’t. I’m starting to fade more & more each day. My anxiety is through the roof at all times & I can’t seem to fight it much anymore. I hope some fight comes back in me. I also hope that I can gain some weight back soon, it’s getting scary to look at myself in the mirror. I feel weak both mentally & physically. Can’t wait to try the gym again when I’m back home. I also can’t wait to see my dogs. Boy, do I miss them.

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

Ferry ride to Peaks Island, ME from Casco Bay Ferry Lines
View from the restaurant on Peaks Island (Wow)
Night ferry ride from Peaks Island, ME to Portland, ME
Lobstah from Peaks Island (sorry, buddy)