Waiting at Vet

Hi, everybody.

Title is pretty self-explanatory. I’m at the vet. Both dogs getting juiced up with their yearly shots so I decided to write to you lot. Hopefully they’re drowsy the rest of the day, right? I could use a break from their energy.

So what’s on the agenda today? BOXING! And fixing up a boxing club that’s been in the community for 43 years. It’s a tremendous place run by one of the best men you could possibly meet. He’s run this club for FORTY THREE years. And it’s all been free for inner city kids to come box and compete out of there. You hear that? 43 years of service to community. All to help, not for money. Pretty damn cool.

Combat sports are cool. The community is even cooler. You would think we’re all jerks who want to beat everyone up, but it’s quite the opposite. Now put us in a ring with someone and yeah, we want to beat that person up. But I’ve never seen a more helpful and inclusive community than the boxing community here where I live.

I’m excited to go down there and paint some more, bullshit with the coaches, and give my boxers hell for messing up on the trim.

Today’s another busy day, but another good busy day. I’m excited for today. I hope you are, too. If you aren’t, think about volunteering some of your time. It’s never a wasteful act.

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

Pushing On

Hi, everybody!

Hope your morning is off to a great start. Mine is, now I await my 9 AM “Boot Camp” for my new job. Not pumped. It’s very repetitive.

I did have a slight meltdown yesterday. I had some issues with my mental health provider and their front desk. No, I wasn’t being a Karen, I promise. But I wasn’t happy. I almost fired my Psych & Therapist, but luckily they somewhat talked me out of it.

But this goes to show you that no matter how great you’re feeling, that lil’ bastard in the shape of depression, anxiety, or both can appear any time they feel it’s necessary.

Yes, I know we do have control. But I don’t believe we do all the time.

I fought through. Talked to the right people in my support system. Made sure to take care of myself through the sport of Boxing. Hell, I even got headshots done in the evening.

I pushed on, through, whatever you want to call it. I was aware and not at ease — now I’m aware and at ease. It’s a nice feeling. But more growth is necessary. And inevitable.

Push on, people.

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

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.

A Quick Change

Hi, everybody.

Anxiety is a son of a bitch. If you read my last post, you know I’m on vacation and not having the bestest of times. Yes, I know bestest isn’t a word. Let’s stay on task.

I was having a shitty time. Still wish I was home enjoying my routine, but I’m OK now.

This brings us back to multiple posts when I mentioned inevitable change. Here it is. Right now. And it happened quickly.

You can always count on change even when you feel like you can’t count on yourself. But you can always count on yourself, too. Don’t forget that. I almost do every day. But guess what happens? Change.

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

Almost Free

Hey, everyone.

Again, I don’t have much to write. I’ve been in isolation for ten days now and… well… nothing’s really happened. It’s been extremely dull. Mind numbing.

Tomorrow I’m free. It marks 11 days and as far as I can tell from the CDC, that means I’m free.

I can’t wait to box tomorrow. I cannot wait.

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

Finally Got It

Hi, everyone.

Welp, it finally happened. I am Covid-19+. So far, the symptoms are quite intense but nothing I can’t handle as of now. It did just take me a solid minute to type out that last sentence, so the blurriness is real, but it could just be the copious amounts of Day/NyQuil.

I’ve reached out to everyone who I could’ve passed it along to – and I feel terrible about it. One of my friends will be missing work when she really, really needs to work. My boxers will be put on hold. It just kind of sucks.

But remember, on this blog we try to look at the bright side. We have to look at the bright side or else, well, everything just kinda sucks. I’m still here. My body seems strong enough to fight this virus. I will be healthy again.

I don’t take Covid-19 lightly and I don’t think anyone should. Should I have taken more precautions? Maybe. It’s easy to place blame or blame yourself during moments like these, but it’s important to remember: It just doesn’t fucking matter.

I’m going to be healthy again. My heart goes out to all those who lost someone near to them throughout this pandemic. That’s why I can’t stand a lack of responsibility within this pandemic. It’s not hard to wear a mask. It’s not hard to not go out when you’re exhibiting symptoms of the virus. It’s just not hard at all. Yet, here we are.

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.

A Tip for Those Self-Defeating Types

It’s not like we like to feel bad about ourselves, talk bad about ourselves, and mope around all day (or do we?). But I learned not too long ago that unless we make one small change in how we talk about ourselves internally and, more importantly, how we talk about ourselves to our support system, it all falls apart. All of it.

I recently got out of a relationship. Many things factored into that, mostly my self-defeating and destructive other side. Also, I didn’t help myself when my good side was out, and all it took was one helpful tip from one of my best friends to shift that slightly. Oh, don’t think I got the girl back from this tip. It’s not that great of a tip, but still worth your time… I think.

It’s really quite simple. If you’re like me, you corner a friend or a relative that you trust and just GO OFF. It could be mass texts about how terrible you are, how you’ll always be alone, how no one can help you (it’s true, no one can… except yourself – you’ll probably get tired of me saying that). I mean it’s honestly quite amazing the terrible ways I can think to describe myself and how that other side manipulates me when it’s in control. I mean I say some scary fucking shit. It scares me, so I can only imagine what it does to my support system.

But my buddy had an idea. He actually gave me somewhat of an ultimatum, and I’ve thanked him for that. He made me make a decision. And what he asked wasn’t all that hard.

For me to continue to complain to him, bitch about this or that, and moan about how things could be exponentially better if I just had a different fucking mind, he needed me to provide a one positive thing about myself at the very end of my venting. That’s it. Just one.

An example (picture it as a text):
Me: I don’t know what the fuck to do, man, I’m losing a bit of myself every single day
Friend: something along the lines of “tell me more”
Me: I’m just an utter piece of shit. It’s honestly that simple. It sucks to think about, but maybe I’ll be like this forever. And if I’m like this forever, who the hell is gonna wanna stick around me?
Friend: listening
Me: I mean, I just fucking suck. I can’t even get through a single day without one meltdown. I can’t do ANYTHING. It’s like my mind is just fucking with me non-stop. I don’t know how much I can handle anymore.
Friend: OK, now tell me one positive thing about yourself. Just one.

That last line, that prompt to say one positive thing about myself, it sometimes made me laugh. But he told me if I didn’t start to say at least one positive thing about myself, he wasn’t going to be able to help/listen any longer. Man, I’m glad he told me to do that. Initially I wasn’t taking it that seriously and I’d plug in things like “I made a sandwich today” as my positive, but it still meant I was trying – or at least listened to what a valuable person in my life said to me. Sooner than later, I started to include it on a regular basis, and said more empowering things about myself that, in turn, would sometimes bust me out of the other side jail. I still sometimes slip up and forget to say that positive, but the thought always comes through, thanks to practice and a really, really good friend.

Again, I don’t know if this will work for you. I didn’t think it would work for me. But it kinda does. It’s definitely supplemental, along with most everything when it comes to treating/handling mental illness. And if you haven’t tried this already, try it. Even after reading this blog, just say one positive thing about yourself. It’s worth a shot, isn’t it? And wouldn’t it be nice if it just made any type of difference for you at all? I mean, we don’t have much more to lose here.

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