My journey has been a powerful journey for myself and has revolved around healing myself from the inside out. Not just with the physical issues I have faced with my body, but with the emotional healing of the mind and spirit.
That was the healing I was not expecting but was the healing I truly needed. Being a male we are told from an early age, that “boys don’t cry.” That we have to be men. And act like men. We have to be tough. This is what society dictates of us men. We have to be rough, rugged, and tough. On the inside, and it’s not OK to have feelings. If you do, just suppress them, and ignore them. As an adult if you tell a kid something he’s going to believe you. So as a kid we are always trying so hard to grow up so fast. We want to be adults. We want to stay up late. We want to do the adult things, whatever they are, we want to do them. So we stop enjoying the things about life that kids enjoy. Do the things kids do and love. If I could have fully understood that being an adult meant getting a job, and paying bills, I would have stayed a kid forever.
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.
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. )
While I have been very active these days it’s been a good time since I got out there and really took myself on an adventure. Mind you I have done plenty, I went up to the Poconos again and went horseback riding for the first time in my life. So I am remained busy and remained going places. It was nice to get back out there and really take myself on an adventure, as I have missed it. This week I happened to be on vacation, and did not have anything really planned. So I decided to make the best of it and get myself back to those adventures that really turned my life around.
I have gone to a few places this week so far. I went to a local lake and enjoyed the fresh air and water. I headed back to Redbank Battlefield, which I have been to many times in the past. There is something about that place. It draws me to it and I love being there. Down by the water, and just enjoying the sights. The main house, Whitall manor, is an interesting place. I have only been in there once, but this time, was the first time being there, since I become more open, and embraced my gifts instead of shutting them down. The house itself has so much energy. Just being near it, you can really feel it. As soon as I got near the home, I could feel it. It really hit my right in the chest. There is also a sense of sadness within the energy. It has been said, the place is active with spirits, that have died during the Revolutionary war, when the house was used as makeshift hospital. It is said to be more active in the higher floors, that were not open to the public when I went in there once last year. I need to get back into their, and really check it out, and see what I feel and pick up. That ought to be an interesting time.
So my next adventure that I had taken, was to Smithville Historic Park, in Mount Holly. I had been to this place once before. Which you can read about, here. This place was my first stop when I started my adventure of going out so very long ago, back in March of 2016. 15 months ago. It was nice to go back to where it all started for me and just take a stroll through it all again. I have come such a long way in the past 15 months, to be back to where it all started was kind of a surreal feeling. When I took that first adventure I was very nervous. While I had been making great strides in my health and healing, and had just come off of a week in the Poconos, it was different to take myself out, on my own, into an unknown territory and continue to do it weekly for a year.
I had much to learn and open up to during that journey. While I was feeling better physically I still had to work on the mental aspects of my healing, and in working on the fear and anxiety that was controlling me and my life. So I came up with going on a weekly journey to push myself into new places in life. Something I had never done before. It wasn’t something that just happened for me. I didn’t just get out there and all that fear disappeared, no, I had to work on it. I had to work through it. For me I learned the only way I was getting through it, was to go through it. To face it head on. Which to me, was ironic, because I had always struggled with that concept. I had always fought the idea of facing fear to heal fear. To me that was a crazy concept and I could never do that. I have learned through that journey that I was completely wrong with how I viewed things in life and my life.
For me, and I am sure many other people in the same shoes, I would spend countless hours asking for a miracle. Asking for a sign that we are being heard. Begging for help. Begging for the strength to get through another day. Begging for the courage to get through things. Begging for a miracle. Begging for help and healing. I was one of those people. I begged, and I pleaded, and hoped for a miracle. I hoped I would be given the strength and the courage to do it. To be able to live a normal life. And what I found, was surprising and shocking to me. I found that I had the strength, I had the courage, within me, all along. All I needed was the opportunities to see it myself. That was the greatest thing I found within myself through all this adventuring. Was that I could do it. I had the strength to do it. I was courageous and brave when in the face of scary things. I just had to believe in myself and what I could do. When I realized this truth within myself was when the real healing could occur. It was then that I could get out of my own way, out of my head, and allow myself to see things I never even knew existed within myself and within the world. It was then that my whole life changed and spiraled and snowballed into more and more.
My life has changed and improved so much and for the better in the past two years than I have ever seen in my life, for the entirety of it all. All because I dared to challenge the status quo of the life I created for myself. All because I knew I needed to and had to change my life. I had to changed everything. I could no longer sit idly by and let life pass me by. I could no longer not live life. And I was willing to do whatever it took to get there.
It was a triumphant moment in my life to return to where it all started, and this time, in a better state of being than when I first visited there. Where there was no fear about being there. There was no anxiety about how long I would be there. Or if I was able to do it. I was able to be there, be present in my adventure, and just enjoy myself and what I was doing. Walking, admiring, sitting on benches, and just enjoying life. It is a well earned victory for me. To enjoy life. To enjoy myself. Next time I return here I will need to take a tour of the mansion and the buildings, as I have not really explored them. I really spent my time walking around through the trails through the woods. Next time. There is now a next time. I can say that, and not dread it. I can enjoy myself. Finally.
For the longest time my whole life revolved around my anxiety. It was my life. It was my way of being. It was the way life was to me. I had come to terms with that. It was not an easy conclusion to make about my life. That I would be anxious all the time. It was not a good way to live my life. Yet it was the only way I could live… or so I thought.
Fast forward to today where I am finally at a place in my life where I can live a “normal” life that is not controlled by anxiety. And it feels great. It truly does. It was not something that just happened. It has taken me lot of work on myself, and a lot of healing on myself. To peel back the various layers of myself and who I thought I was.
Every journey I take, I learn more about myself. I open up more and I heal even more. My journey has been all about healing my life, healing my anxiety, so I can love life. For the first time ever, I am loving life. Each new step I take, I push myself forward and into new territory. That is the only way really to get through all of this. Is to keep trying. Keep pushing myself. For so long I just stopped in my tracks, and now, I embrace, instead of run from.
Today was another case of pushing myself into things that make me uncomfortable. To do something new. One of the things I do not like to do, is get into a car when someone else drives. For one, I get car sick, and driving helps that. Two, with my anxiety, and stomach issues, I never knew when it would hit, so I prefer the control of being in control of the car and when it stops. So to surrender that control was very scary. As fate would have it, I had to put my car in the shop, and had plans with friends to visit Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Robbinsville, NJ. I would have to either run away from not going, which would be pretty easy to do with my car in the shop, or get a ride with someone else. I opted for the latter. Even if running away would have been easier.
Let me tell you, I am thankful that I got in that car. It was a fun trip, that was 40 minutes away. The temple was gorgeous. Such incredible works of art and beauty made out of marble. But the joy of being able to have been able to conquer a fear and go out like that, with other people in the car, visit a temple, drive home with them, and then go out to dinner, is a moment that will stay with me for a lifetime. All and all we were out for 6 hours. 5 years ago I would have never dreamed of that being possible. Yet I did it, with no fear or anxiety or panic. I was able to enjoy myself and hang out with friends and visit a beautiful temple. Then go eat and drive with another person driving me. Eating and going home used to be such a fear of mine. Until I started eating the proper foods for my body. Today was an incredible day. I am so grateful. And glad I continued to push myself into new things to go even further in life.
On the way home, my friend said to me, I would have never believed you lived with anxiety for so long. I smiled and said, that is the way I am making my life now. Where I don’t even remember the old way, or any other way.
Spontaneity has never been a word that was a part of my vocabulary. While I may have heard of that word in my day to day living it was not a word that I was using. The idea of it, to just go and do something, don’t think about it, don’t plan it, just do it, made me sick to my stomach and would fill me with dread.
That was my way of living. That was life in a nutshell for me. And if you’ve ever seen a nutshell they are very tiny, you can not get much in them. So to have life in one of them did not leave room for much. Such was the life I was living. It was very routine. It was very repetitive. Such is the life of a person who was plagued with anxiety. It did not help that I am also introverted. So for me I never really had that desire to be out and mingle with my fellow peeps out there.
The idea of me going against my own core ideals was very foreign to me. Yet I knew if I was to ever make something of my life. To ever have a hope of a better life I had to take everything I had ever known, everything I ever believed was true for me, and throw it all out of the window. And create basically a brand new me. For the longest time I used to say people do not change. Not really. They could change their clothing style, and maybe their likes and dislikes could change, but they wouldn’t truly change who they are. At the end of the day they would still be the same them. Just with different clothes. That is what I believed. In some ways I still believe that to be true. Yet I have seen within my own life that it is possible to change who we think we are. And in essence change who we were. Not all of us will change and that is OK. Because those things that make up us are what make us unique and different than everyone else.
Maybe that is all superficial things that we can change and our core personalities always stay the same? I dunno. Can I go from an introvert to an extrovert? I guess that is something I will have to find out for myself.
So how do we do any of it? How do we get up and change something? How can I go from an anxious guy, not living life, to being able to go on a weekly adventure for a year? How do we get the courage to do that? We can pray for that courage and beg and plead for it, and we may receive what we ask for. But it will never be how we thought it would be. What I mean by that is, we will get opportunities to be courageous, to be brave. It is up to us to act on them. And that is what I had to do. I had to take those steps to be brave. To be courageous. To go out and have an adventure. It was the only way I would ever be able to change anything about my life. I had to take initiative. I had to take the first step.
I won’t lie, it scared the crap out of me. Even with my health doing so much better before I took that step. That was crucial for me. I had to feel better physically before I could feel better emotionally. As they were linked together for me. A lot of my anxiety stemmed from a body that reacts crazy to certain foods. Once I got a handle on that I had better control over my body and that helped me to be able to take more steps in my life. For me those steps were out on weekly adventures. Even with the better health there was still the mental aspect of it. As most anxiety is fear thoughts about the future because of something that happened in the past. So to break free from those thoughts I had to recreate new thoughts that reinforced a new reality. To do that I had to keep moving forward. Keep my life going. And keep doing new things.
Each step. Each adventure gave me more belief in myself. Belief in what I was doing. Believe that I could do this. I could go out. Was it easy? No, it was not. Is it always easy to do? No, it is not. There are sometimes when I want to just fall back into my old habits, and just say no. But I know I cannot do that. I cannot fall back into things. Or I will start to say no more and more. I have to try new things. I have to keep pushing the envelope on who I think I am and keep trying. I need to keep moving. As I encourage you all to do as well. Life and time will continue to tick by. We can either just let it go on without us. Or we can join it in its eternal dance. I don’t know about you, but after 36 years of not dancing, I want to dance until the cows come home. Well not literally, I’m not much of a dancer, but if I keep my mind open, one day I may light the floor up like John Travolta.
So can we as an individual change? Can we be something different than we were? I am starting to believe it is very plausible to change if we truly want and desire to. So can I go from introverted to a social butterfly? I don’t know. I don’t know if I purposely do it. Some would say I am shy. But I am not sure if that’s fully it. I just am not a small talker. Never really know what to talk about. It’s not that I don’t talk. Heck, I don’t shut up when I start talking. Even this post is going on so long that even I forgot what I was writing about. I think it’s about courage. And pancakes. How much better pancakes are than waffles. (Sorry waffle lovers, but pancakes rule. I will give you your due for putting ice cream and waffles together. Sadly I don’t eat gluten anymore for health reasons so I don’t get pancakes in my life these days. It’s sad. Truly is. See this is what I am talking about. Long whimsical rambling that had nothing to do with this post whatsoever. ) Yet when in public or with others I am quiet and reserved. I don’t really talk. It’s like I freeze up and don’t have anything to say. Even when people engage me I will speak short sentences and phrases, to just hurry along the conversion and get you to leave me alone. I sound like a cranky old man. But can I change that? Can I change who I am and be a social butterfly? I guess there is only one way to find out.
Life is crazy and exciting and it’s more so to just go out there and make something of life. To just have some wild and random fun. And if you are doing it with those you love those memories will be cherished for the rest of your life. And that is totally worth it.
Now I am living a life that is fun and that I truly enjoy. I can look back at a weekend or a day and say it was time well spent and had a lot of fun. When someone texts me about a gathering that is happening and if I want to go to it, I can get out there, on a whim, and do something new, and create new memories. That is truly a blessing to have in life. To get out there and make a memory.
(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.