depression

It’s OK to be me. 

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It has been a while since I have written anything on this blog. Yet it’s not for a lack of not going anywhere or doing anything. In fact, I have been all over the place these days, and have been really busy. I’m loving every moment of it. I just have not had much to write about and also have not had the time to really sit down and write. 

Lately I have been doing some introspection on myself as I do that quite a lot. This journey, and this blog, have been about the healing of my life, and changing it for the better. The other day I was having some quiet time to myself and really just pondering on my life, my journey, how far I have come, and in letting go of things that no longer serve my highest good. And in letting go of those things, I was learning to empower myself. Which is what those experiences have been for me. They have been lessons that have taught me so much. Albeit many of them were painful, they still helped me become the person I am today. Through it all I have come to love myself for the first time, in my life. In doing so I have also come to the realization that, “it is OK to be me.” When I came to that, I was taken aback, at how powerful it is, yet how simple it is. 

I have come to see that much of my life I had become a conformer to those around me who influenced me in not so positive ways. They were people that brought me down, whether they were intentional or not, they succeeded in causing me to become someone I wasn’t, but I thought I was. These were people that came in all shapes and sizes in my life, from school teachers, to relationships, to “friends” over the years. Random people on Internet forums. All telling me how things should be, or how I should do things, or how I should react to them. When you don’t know any better, you start to believe them. It lowers your self esteem and you start to doubt yourself and your abilities. Their way of being becomes yours, and you basically become defeated, wounded, and in many cases defeated. You no longer cease to exist how you were created, but become this Frankenstein creation of their design. 

I will be the first to tell you, it’s not a good way of living. Yet it becomes our only way of living because we think it’s right. Because they told us it was. We hardly ever stop and think, well maybe they were wrong. For many of us that become wounded, we are not strong enough to stand up to them and stand firm within ourselves. At the time, I did not. I just shied away, and shut down. Building up wall, after wall, to protect myself, without even really realizing I was doing it. 

I could have chosen to accept their reality was the only way to be. I could have chosen to stay that way. And lived their life. Miserable in the process. Shut down and defeated. (You probably would not be reading this blog right now if I did.) Or I could have set out to change everything and be so much more than I could have ever imagined. I chose the latter. I chose a better life. It was not easy. It has been a roller coaster of a journey over the past two years and I have loved every moment of it. I chose to heal my life. I choose to work at myself. I chose to really look at myself, the way I was living, and really work to make changes. To heal. To free myself of the shackles I was wearing. I had to do it. I had to put in the work. I had to actively do it. I had to actively work at it. I had to hammer away at the walls I had created. Brick by brick. Piece by piece. In time they slowly came down. I opened up more. I become more than I thought I was. 

In that process I have  learned one big truth of life. That it is OK to be me. It’s OK to like what I like. It’s OK to do what I do. It’s OK to be me. I am a beautiful person, inside and out. I don’t need to conform or settle. When you listen to those who don’t have your best interests at heart it takes you to a place you don’t want to be in, if you allow them to do so. If you give them that power over you. They have no power over us until we give it to them. When we stay strong in our own lights, in ourselves, we see our  own worth and what we deserve. And we deserve great things. I am so grateful for those that I have met on this journey, good and bad. It was those “bad” ones that showed me what I don’t want from people. Those good ones helped me to see myself for who I truly was. When I could no longer see it within myself. I am forever thankful for them. They helped find me when I had gotten so lost in life. They were earth angels sent to bring me home. I am glad to finally be home. Now I know my worth. I know what I deserve and now I don’t settle for anything less than that. 

Now I work through forgiving those who inadvertently took my light from me, and forgive myself for putting myself in that place. It was all learning and it was all to help me become the person I am today. Now my light is bright and it shines out to all to see. 

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Wanting to heal your life. 

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Wanting to heal my life has become a normal part of my life these days. I have spent the past two years doing just that, healing my life. However that was not always the way it was. And for many other people in these shoes, or similar shoes, healing their life is not part of it. In my opinion it is why so Kant people become frustrated with their lives and stuck in ruts. I know from personal experience what it is like to be in a rut that one feels like they can never climb out of. 

The biggest setback people have in making real change within themselves is a lack of wanting to heal and change. Change can be very scary. We don’t know what is beyond our comfort zones and beyond what we see as true for us. Everything else is unknown and that unknown scares the crap out of us. I could have just went out that one day, and then, been done with it, had I not have had a desire to heal myself and change myself. Changing myself is part of healing. It will become the result of healing I should say. The more we heal and let go, the more we change and become better than what we thought we were. Because we become so much more than we ever dreamed we could be. 

For many people they struggle with this concept because they refuse to change who they are. They like who they are. But most times, who they are is lacking so much. In my experience two years ago I thought I knew who I was, turns out, I had no idea who I am, because it’s a never ending journey of self discovery and learning. That is what life is all about. Learning, experiencing, and growing. If we stop that, we might as well be dead, because we are no longer living life. 

Life truly is a mystery because you never know where it will take you and it will always give you what you are wanting to experience in some way, shape, or form. We have no control over what happens to us, for the most part, but we can control how we react to it and grow and learn from it. Most of us fight and struggle with that, and end up living a life they are not happy with. 

To get to where I am today, I had to let go of everything I thought I was, to make room for what I wanted to be. I had to desire to heal my life from the inside out. That has been the most instrumental in healing my anxiety and fear. Was healing myself, taking my walls down, and opening up to who I truly can become. That person is so much better than the person I thought I was, and the person I will become tomorrow, will be even more so. 

It all starts with that desire to heal ourselves and our lives. It is what propels us forward to new things and growing even more in life. When we have that desire to heal, that desire to change ourselves, and be willing and open to change whatever we need to, we will find that we can move mountains within our lives to accomplish things we set out to do. It all starts with us. We have to want it. No one else can do it for us. They can guide us and teach us, and show us much, but it all comes down to us wanting to do it. We have to make those changes. We have to put in the time and the work. Then we can watch it all spiral from there. Trust me, it will spiral and grow in ways we never even thought possible. Once we light that one spark within ourselves, it will grow to a fire of epic proportions and life will be so much more for us. And we are worth that and more. We are worthy and deserving of good things and being happy. We have to allow ourselves to be so. 

Most people who struggle with anxiety have a lack of belief in themselves. They doubt what they can do. Those fears and insecurities have become such a strong presence within their mind that that is all they see and believe. It’s their normal thought processes. To release that they need to heal themselves. They need to heal that doubt. That disbelief. Once they do that they will find they are better able to manage their anxiety. Without wanting to heal themselves and their thinking those patterns of fear will always continue to play out. Is it a process that will just happen overnight. No, it will take time. Healing takes time, patience, and love. But it’s so worth it if we are willing to give it our attention. 

So today, do something good for yourself. Decide you want to heal your life and allow it to change. You will be surprised where it will take you. I know I am. It all starts with us. 

The will to go on again. 

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Yesterday, while glancing the internet, I was sadddened to learn about the loss the music industry received when it was revealed that Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, had been found dead, from apparent suicide.

It is always truly heartbreaking to see someone take their life. I know first hand how bad depression can be, and to be in a place where I have wanted to take my own life numerous times. Reiki and energy healing really helped change my life and turn all that around for me, to a place of real and lasting happiness.

It then becomes more heartbreaking as most families and friends know nothing about the struggles we face, and when they do know about it, it’s usually way to late. So someone asked me, “Sad to hear that.. Why do you think this happens with out family realizing somethings wrong” I replied to them many who are depressed put on a false face, where they project a look of being happy, without actually being happy. Some don’t want others to be burdened with their pain or suffering. They don’t want their pity, and so keep it to themselves. And for a vast majority they don’t feel like they have anyone that’s really listening to them. They have a tendency to feel alone with it, even though they may not truly be alone. To them they are.

My struggle over the years was always a silent one, I didn’t really talk to people about it. It was always my burden to bare. I also did not want anyone’s pity. To me when that happens you start to feel guilty about the way you feel and act, and that just sends us further down the hole we are in. Or worse they tell us to “suck it up.” To others our struggles may not seem like a thing, but to us, they are huge. They are real. So we keep them to ourselves.

That’s not to say there is nothing you can do for those who are struggling. There is plenty to do for us. Being there for us and just listen to us. Listen to us ramble, listen to us complain. Hold that space of love and light for us. Because we are not seeing it within ourselves. We need that light to be there to remind us of what we already have within us, that we have forgotten. We don’t want to be told we are wrong, or that we shouldn’t feel that way, for many we already know that, but we can’t always help it, because we feel defeated. We are tired, and run down, from being strong all the time. So listen to us, don’t tell us how we are wrong, we hate that, we want to be heard, and loved. Because in those moments, we don’t love ourselves. To us all we see is what is wrong with us and our lives, we need to be shown and felt what is right. We need your patience, and support, and encouragement. To help us get ourselves back on our feet again. We have to find that light, and that spark within ourselves.

Finding that spark is a journey within itself. It’s not an easy one. It will be hard at times, and will really push us from the edges, back to the other edge, before we come out to the other side again. That in itself can be scary. Change always is. I struggled with depression, and even wanting to end it, for a long, long time. There was a lot within myself that needed to be changed. For there was a lot of healing that needed to be done. Those wounds within me, were still bleeding. I may not have shown it, or even saw it, but they were there, within me. I had to find the healing I needed, to come back from the edge of the void I was living at. I had to make that choice and decision that I wanted, no I needed to, heal my life. I had to truly want it. I had to come to the realization that what I was doing, the way I was living, was not working for me anymore. I needed more from life. It wasn’t life that had failed me, I had failed life, for I was not living. I was just existing in life.

It was energy healing and healing myself through using crystals, and Reiki, and crystal bowls, that really helped me open up, and change my life. Which helped bring me to people that were there for me, supportive of me, and able to see the spark within myself that I no longer saw, that really helped me find my way out of the darkness, and into the light, and no longer look back. This journey has been an incredible one. I have learned so much about myself, what I am capable of, and am now a person so drastically different than I was before I set out two years ago to change my life.

Change can be scary but it can be so incredible if we allow the chaos of it and allow ourselves to be more than we ever imagined. We are incredible beings capable of incredible things. We just forgot that along the way. The more we believe in and trust in ourselves the more our lives can truly change for the better. All it takes is us truly wanting to change. To live a better life. And then just enjoy the ride.

We all deserve happiness and we are all capable of being happy. We just have to realize happiness is within us. Not something we have to find outside of us.

(If you are struggling with depression, and suicidal thoughts, reach out to people. Talk to a trained professional. You don’t have to struggle alone. There are many there that can help you. )

Transforming my life for the better

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This popped up on my timeline today, I wrote it a year ago. 
“Just about a year ago, I was in a terrible place in my life. I was unhealthy, out of shape, in a lot of pain emotionally and physcially. I was in a very, very dark place in my life… I then decided to do something about it. Turn my life around. No one was going to do it for me. So I cleaned up my eating, and started running. Within a short amount of time things were changing and improving for me. I was becoming more than I could ever imagine. Within that time I dropped 70 pounds and got into the best shape in my life, I am feeling happy, healthy, and so much light. I am truly, for the first time in my life. Happy. I genuinly am happy to my very core, and I look forward with much optimism to the future and all that it will bring. I don’t wear tank tops, never have. It was not easy sharing a pic of one, even if I do look good. Na na na na na… Batman.”

It’s hard to believe the guy in the left is the same as the guy in the right and that that guy was me at one point in my life. Two years ago I sent out to change my life for the better. I never thought I would get to where I am today. Since I started that journey I have been to the Poconos, twice, to a Washington D.C., to Gettysburg and there is so many more adventures in there. I never could have fathomed being able to do any of that. Yet I am proud to say I have done that and so much more. 

I have seen and done so many things, and met so many people over the course of that two years. I am blessed and thankful for it all. I’ve seen first hand what fear can do to us and our lives and I know for us to get through the fear we have to walk through it. We can pray for all the strength in the world by only we can act upon the opportunities presented to us. Only we can act courageous in the face of fear. Many will supposed and encourage us but it’s up to us to act. Not everyone will understand our new journeys because they only knew us as the old us. Yet we become something so much more. 

My journey has shown me that if I can do it anyone can do it. Two years ago I set off on an epic journey to change my world and I am so glad to have done so. I look forward to where I will go tomorrow. 

That pic was a year ago, I have lost even more weight and finally am at a place where I love the way I look, and don’t hate to have picture taken. 

Here is what I look like today. 


That is what hard work and dedication will get you. And staying true to yourself. There was no shortcuts or magic pills. 

I’m creating a life I am proud of an can look back upon and smile. It’s not been easy and has challenged me in many ways. I know how eat it can be to just want to give up and run away. How the depression dark thoughts I have fought can still have a tendency to creep up on me and want to consume me. But I keep my head up, and keep the energy going, and keep moving forward to better things. And this time, the depression doesn’t win. It didn’t have power over me anymore. I don’t give it any. I don’t give in to it. 

I live life. 

Shadows of the past. 

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Shadows of the past – sounds like a movie in the Star Wars universe. Some days life feels like a sci-fi movie. I think my life could certainly use a theme song to it. Or at least Morgan Freeman narrating it. How awesome would life be if that happened? It would be epic. 

As I have worked with Reiki, crystals bowls, and various healers, I have gone through many layers of myself. I have brought forth parts of me I no longer remember and parts of me I didn’t even know existed. 

The more I have opened up to that, the more I have seen how much the past has cast its dark shadow upon my life. It’s that last thg can create so much anxiety, and fear within us. As we hold on to our baggage that we just for some reason or another can not let go of. Perhaps because it’s familiar to us or it’s just how we identify ourselves as. Some times we hold them because we don’t want them to repeat so if we remember that John was mean to he, we hold that baggage so no one else hurts us ever again. But really at the end of the day, who does it hurt by holding it? We do. It affects us and any future encounter with people. This baggage creates doubts and those doubts feed our insecurities and we start to just descend into dark places of the mind that start to make us feel paranoid about others. This baggage, all it ends up doing is robbing us of peace. 

The more we cling to it, the tighter our grip becomes, the more we lose ourselves in the process. We become consumed by it and that becomes all we can see. 

We then have a choice; continue to grip our baggage tight or let go of it and open our hands up to new experiences with an innocent mind. A mind that is not stuck on the past. A mind that can be one  to trust life. Trust another person. For me I have spent so long living with baggage. Unable to let it go. Unable to trust in people. I have experienced the insecurities in brings to the mind. Causing me to push away the world in the past. I choose to live a better life. I choose to be happy now. 

Working on myself has shown me many truths about myself. I know I am not perfect. I have a lot of work to do on myself. And truthfully we all do. We just have to be willing and ready to do so. Not everyone is ready. And that is ok. That is their journey. Each day I strive to be a better person than I was yesterday. I have come so far in my healing, my development, and life, within the past year. I look forward to where next year, and five years from now will take. 

I am glad I took those first steps to change my life. I can’t imagine my life any other way now. 

The road to hope.

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I have alluded to this on this blog before that when I was living, and I’m sure those with anxiety/depression can also relate to this, and that is a feeling of hopelessness. Where things seem so bleak and bad that there will never be any good in life. That life and living will always suck.

I think the hardest thing with ever having hope is that you can not see it. You can not see that it will happen. You can not see the good that will come. All you can see is this moment that is happening and the moment you had yesterday. So to tell someone that things will get better seems like rubbish. And that is putting it nicely.  At least that is the way it felt to me.

How can we ever believe things will get better? When did we ever see it as getting better? All we know is fear, anxiety, and depression. That is our whole world. That is our life. For me that was all I ever knew. So me to have hope that the sun would finally come out in my life and things would change. I would not believe you. Even today I can hardly wrap my mind around the fact that the sun can come out. That things can change. I guess the saying is true, tough times don’t last.

Then we’d have to ask ourselves, would we enjoy the rainbow if we didn’t dance in the rain? That was a question I had been pondering to myself since yesterday. Let me set the stage for you. Me and a good friend of mine, someone I have been blessed to get to know real well in the past few months, were going to go out for the night, and visit some friends at the opening of their store. Then we went out to dinner afterwards. The whole things had really just blown me away. How three years ago I would never have seen any of that happening in my life. To have been able to go out and meet people, get to know them, and go out and have a fun night on the town. Then finish it off with dinner. It really blew me away.

Which got me to thinking about it, and how back in 2013-2015 was really dark times for me. Had I  known this is what my life would end up like would I still have been so dark? Since most of that darkness was the result of being in such a bad place because of not being anywhere in life, but to finally be somewhere in life, would that darkness have still happened? Would have been able to enjoy the beauty of the night out if I hadn’t had that darkness?

For me the answer(s) was pretty clear. I would not have been able to truly appreciate the joy of going out last night, meeting someone incredible and important to me, if I did not go through those trials and tribulations in life. I had meet people before and even dated them, I know shocking, but I did not have the appreciation of life and them without knowing what it was like to not have it. It is true that we can not fully appreciate happiness without sadness. I am not forever grateful for all that I do have and do now because I know what it was like to not have it.

So how do we get hope? Some would say to have hope you need faith and trust, and belief. I think that is true in many ways. As hope is just this knowing that things will be OK. It’s not something easy to get. It’s not easy to believe in something you cannot see. When all I knew was anxiety and pain, to see anything but that was very hard to do. What we do know is that nothing lasts forever. Bad times and even good times. All we can do is make the most of every moment we have. Which helps us to cherish all the good memories we experience and work on those that we did not like.

For me life did not just change on its own I had to go out there and make that change. I had to work hard at it, as we all do. We all have to work at life. We have to do what we can to make our lives the best we can make them. For many like myself we have an exact image of what we want our life to be and how we want to get there. For me I had to surrender that control to the universe. It’s not easy let me tell you. At first I had an image of what I wanted but once I let go of that and allowed my life to blossom it became so much more than I could have ever hoped. I couldn’t picture my life to be any other way now.

To me that is hope. We get out of the way of ourselves and just let life take its own course. Let it be more than we want it to be. Let it take off. Let it knock our socks off. Otherwise we may try to control life and decide not to go to that luncheon or gathering that night.

What if you go beyond your image and go to that event and meet the one person who could change your life completely around for the better? So don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit life.

Let it be more than you could ever imagine. You may just love the ride.

 

keepgoing

 

 

Picking up the broken pieces.

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(This post contains snippets of my life and my journey. It is dark and gloomy and moody at times, but that has been my journey. It would be a shame to exclude those parts from my story I am telling here. So this is my journey through the pain and suffering in life to picking up my broken pieces. You have been forewarned before reading. Thank you for reading. )

During the last decade my life has been and continues to be a roller coaster, it’s been crazy, dark, happy, and everything in between. But to get to where I am today I had to pick myself up from the pits of my own life, my own depression, and move to something new.

I guess for me to get there to a better place, I had to hit rock bottom. I’m sure I didn’t actually have to go that route, but as humans we are quite dumb that way. We love to do things the hard way. We are hard headed. We think we know what is right and best for us, and even worse, we tell others what we think is best for them. We seldom see the bigger pictures and even less than that we hardly see the route that was probably much more easy for us. Opting to go through the thorn bushes and not walk on the clear path. Sure the thorns have a lot more lessons and growth but I’m sure we would all like to have had that one time where things went smooth for us. There is a saying that God will not give us more than we can handle. That may be true, and we survive more than we ever thought we could, we will get scraped up and bruised, and maybe even break a bone or two in the process. It’s not all fun and games but they tell us it’s all worth it in the end.

When you are living with anxiety and panic that creates fear in everything you do you tend to always crawl through the thorns of life wondering if this next crawl will be your last. For me I crawled for many a mile that eventually I stopped crawling. The fear of being out there in the world was too much for me to handle. To be crippled by fear so much so that you would rather choose to stay away from the world is not a way to live ones life. As you are not really living life at all. You are just going through the motions. That is how I always described my day to day. Going through the motions of it all. While surviving another day. Until my time on earth was over. It was a bleak way of seeing life and very was depressing. You start to think something is wrong with you. You start to stop loving yourself. Stop liking yourself. And start to think no one else would ever love you either. Eventually all of that turns to self loathing and self hatred. You then start wondering what is the point of it all? Why even bother? Why even get up in the mornings to do it all again?

You shout out to the heavens, screaming and cursing, and shouting profanity that you didn’t even know you knew. Wondering what you ever did to ever deserve such a fate in life.

During that time you start to isolate yourself from your family, from your friends, and even loved ones. Relationships start to suffer and you end up not having anyone to talk to about it. As those who have never been there never really understand what it’s like so you feel alone. Which of course makes everything worse for you. For me my relationships suffered during that time of not being able to live my life. To not be able to go out and be young and dumb. In some ways that wasn’t me. I was not into that stuff, but I also was never able to really give it a shot. So relationships did not seem to work. Who would want to be with someone who couldn’t enjoy life and living? When you lose people you think you love because of it the fear starts to multiply and you think the next person will do the same. For me the next person(s) would be the same with it. Not wanting that type of person who can’t enjoy the life they want and choose to life. You then become afraid of any future relationship you could have. Would they all just be the same? 

So you start to dislike yourself more and more. And that hatred for yourself grows and you just stop caring about anything. Yourself. Others. Living. For me that was when I started to just eat poorly. I was not a drinker, nor did I do drugs. For me, I ate poorly. I loved junk food. Each and every meal had something sweet with it. Potato chips, and a candy bar, and the end of the night I would eat ice cream. I stopped caring about myself, and how I looked. I was trying to just numb the pain through sweets. Eventually I would balloon to 260 lbs. I no longer liked looking at the person in the mirror. For that person finally reflected what I felt like on the inside.

And in that moment you finally realize just how broken you have become. I knew, deep within myself, all the way to my soul, that I could no longer live like this anymore. This life was not worth living. I could no longer do it. I knew I had to make changes. I knew I had to do something about my life. It was not going to do it for me. No one was. I had to take the reigns of my life and steer it into something better.

I had no idea how I was going to do that. I had no idea what exactly I wanted from life. All I knew was that I didn’t want that life anymore. I had to do something. I knew I had to do it and I could not let myself give up. I couldn’t. Not anymore. I couldn’t go another day of not living.

So I started to make changes in my life. I had to change my life completely around. And that scared me even more but I knew I could not let the fear consume me and make me run away as it had done for my whole life. I had to wade through the waters of fear and keep going.

I had to start taking better care of myself and work on all the damage I had done from living that way for so long. Living in fear really leaves its mark on you. So I had to work to heal that fear. To heal my negative thoughts and heal my life.

I had to start the long journey of going from rock bottom, pick the rocks up off of me, and climb out of the fifty foot deep pit I had found myself in. It has been an incredible journey. I’ve done things I never thought I would or even could. Yet I do them all the time now. I have gone through fear and now I am able to not let that fear stop me from living my life. Much of that journey is documented on this blog, through my year long journey.

The only way to get through that fear for me was to walk through it. Slowly at first. Crawling. A step here and there. Pushing myself more and more. Each week going further and further. Doing more and more healing on myself. Living more and more.

Today I am happy to report that I am doing so much better in life. I am no longer obese, I have lost 80 pounds, going from 260 to 175. I am healthier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have met some incredible people. Made some great friends. Went out on adventures once a week for a year, and continue to do so. Continuing to push myself further and further. To being able to driving for hours in the car with another person. One of my biggest fears in life. I now can do.

My life is so much better. I am thankful for the journey. For the pain. For the heartbreak. It taught me much and brought me to this place where I am thankful for every moment of it. To now I hardly even recall that other life. It’s like a distant memory and I am thankful it is. I love my life now. I love life. I enjoy every moment of it. Today I love myself fully and completely. For the first time in my life.

Now I do Reiki sessions on others to help them heal their life. If I can do it. Anyone can.