love

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. 

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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.

 

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The will to live. 

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My story and journey has not always been a pleasant one, as I have alluded to yesterday in my post. 

Depression is one of the worst things a person can ever face in their life. IMO anyways. I’m sure there are worst things out there, as the saying always goes. Things can always be worse. But to me things were as bad as they could be. To me it was bad and I knew it. Or at least I should have known things were bad. I was quite stupid that way. When you are living your life a certain way you don’t see anything else at the time. You know something is wrong but you just cannot do anything about it. It all seems too big and too scary. So you go about living. Well you are not really living you are just surviving and going through the motions of every day. Life starts to just become a routine. Hours turn into days. Days into weeks. It all become a blur. 

Eventually when you do that for so long you lose the will to keep doing that. It weighs upon you heavily. It starts to eat at you, slowly at first, until you eventually hit a pit within yourself and your soul and you have no idea how to get out or change things. When you hit that place you start to just go deeper and deeper into it where you start to lose sight of yourself and life and everything around you. You push away your friends. You push away your family. You start to hate them all because they have the things you always wanted but just could not get yourself. You become jealous which then makes you become more isolated than you already are. You get to the point of wondering why bother anymore? Why even continue living? What’s the point? 

For me I was in those shoes for many, many years. Those were very dark and hopeless times. It was so bad that I looked at “hope” as a thing dumb people told themselves to make themselves feel better. It lasted for years and it is a miracle that I even made it through those times that one could only define as “a dark night of the soul.” Which come to find out has nothing to do with Batman. 

In those times of wanting to harm myself, end it all,  and make the pain go away, I learned so much about myself. Sure I could have just masked all that pain with pills and drugs, but I never had the desire to do so. I never wanted to be numb even though I had become apathetic in the process. I had been numb when I took anti-depressants for my anxiety. I’ve seen firsthand the horrors of going down that route and am so thankful I found myself and got out of that despair without them. Not everyone can be. Some do need them. I would never tell anyone to not take a pill. While they did not help me, people should seek all the help they can to do what is best for themselves. 

For me during those times, much like it is for others, we don’t have people that we become close with. That we can trust with our lives and our deepest secrets. So we bottle it up and swallow it all. That is how it was for me. It did not help that others did not understand it because they were not there in those shoes. They would tell you to “suck it up.” That it’s all in your head or you shouldn’t feel that way. So for me I just stopped talking about it. I lost my voice because I was no longer being heard. When we get to that place we turn everything inward and eventually it consumes us and crushes us. 

Now I am learning to find my voice and to speak up and to speak my truths. That is one of the things I love about blogging and writing. Being able to speak what is on my mind. Using it as a creative outlet to get it out. Depression and suicidial thoughts are things that are so taboo in our society. We become shunned and considered outcasts and labeled with a mental illness. We become the “black sheep” of society. Yet we are so much more than that. Sometimes we just want to be heard and listened to. We want to be shown we are loved and people are there for us. We don’t want to be told what to think and how we should act.

There was many a time where I wanted to go to sleep and prayed every night for death, to not get up in the morning and do it all over again. Each day of doing it became harder and harder and darker and darker… but in those times of wanting all of that to end, and trying to push oneself to the limits of what one can endure and take. You realize that deep within you, all the way on the inside, is a piece of you that wants to live. That has the desire to live. Many people will tell you how it’s so easy to end ones life, etc. But I have found it’s not. There is a desire to keep going and keep fighting. We are stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. There is more in us than we ever knew or know. And this journey has been all about that. All about healing myself and helping others to heal and get out of the pain and suffering they are in. I’ve been there and I would not wish that on anyone. 

So tell your loved ones you love them, give them a hug. Call them out of the blue and tell them you were thinking about them. You never know, it may change their whole life. 

One love,

Jason. 

A new week.

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Hope floats our boats.

It’s Monday, again, the start of a new work week for most. So start your work week off right.  So you, yea, you. You right there reading this message right now. You have a good week. May it be a week filled with love, joy, and happiness.

Since it’s Martin Luther King day,  I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes of his, a quote that is certainly needed in the world today. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Inhale love and light. Exhale negativity. Radiate compassion and kindness.

Blessed by friends…

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This week I got to be reminded of how fortunate I am to have such good people in my life. People I can call friends. For so long that term was used so seldom. Now I am blessed to have many in my life that support me, are there for me, understand me, and just allow me to be me. Not wanting me to be someone I am not. This week I got to spend a few nights hanging out with them, just laughing, telling stories, and bettering ourselves. For that I am grateful.

I have many walls still in place, and I have lots of work to do on me to take down my dependence on those walls. I believe and know I can be free of them.  Now I am fortunate to have those willing to help me, and are there enjoying that ride with me. Watching me grow and become a better person. Truthfully I probably could not have done it without them. So I wanted to take a moment to just thank them for coming into my life, teaching me, and growing with me. I look forward to where life takes us all in our journeys.

I am thankful that just two years ago, I was so anxious, so fearful, so broken, that I couldn’t even be out with friends in a place for a few hours just shooting the breeze all night like. And yesterday I did just that. I have come so far and am so thankful for it all.

Tomorrow I will have a write up of my weekly adventures. I have many more stories to tell with this blog, and hopefully I can start writing more. I’ll keep this post short.

One last note if you are looking for something to watch I recommend, Stranger Things, on Netflix. It is a wonderful show that really just draws you in to keep on watching it, without even realizing they are doing it. It’s an odd, strange, and bizarre show, that starts off slow, but really picks up, and hooks you, in episode 4 and on. So check it out, I love the way they captured the 80’s in, and the nerd in me loved the Dungeons and Dragon’s references. Speaking of which, I am off to watch the old animated series. Enjoy your weekend.

 

 

Adventures in going out: Week 41

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Toys for Tots donations.

To infinity and beyond edition.

This post is the 100th post on this blog. That is amazing in itself. I have stuck with this blog and have continued at it and kept on writing and learning and growing and adventuring. And saying “and” over and over. Next blog post will be about nothing but the conjunction “and.”

My weekly adventure for the week of 41 would see my running my second of two Holiday toy drives for Toys for tots. This week at the lovely Spirit Light Services center. Where I would be doing oracle card readings, with a few other card readers, who I can now call friend. They have been an incredible part of my journey and have taught and shown me so much. Where people could come and donate a toy and also get a card reading form one of us if they chose to do so.

We had quite a few people show up this week as well as last week, and some just came out to drop off toys for it. It was very humbling to see so many people be a part of this, to come out for the cause, to support me, and to help the kids. I am beyond thankful for everyone that helped or pitched in. Whether offering me the place to run this thing, offering to do readings, and just come out and donate. It was such an amazing thing to see and be a part of. To witness that much love was incredible and it was for a great cause. Helping to bring a smile and joy to a kid this holiday season. After dropping off the donations, I got to talking to the people that run the chapter for the county I live in. They told me that they have 17ooo families they are working with this year. That is so heartbreaking to hear that so many are in such a place in their life. I am glad that I could help out some families with our donations. I have never done anything like this, so to have so many come together, so quickly, to get this together and to get it off, was remarkable. It taught me and shown me a lot. Next year I hope to get involved with this type of stuff again and hopefully be able to do even more with a bigger plan with it with more time.

Speaking of next year it’s hard to imagine that there is really just about three weeks left of 2016. This year has been an incredible year for me. I have accomplished much and changed much about my life, my way of living. I will certainly write a bigger article about my wrap-up for the year 2016. Next year will be a busier year for me as I work to do even more. As I work to take myself out there and put myself out there more. I have many ideas and thoughts for myself with what I want to do with myself and take myself. Next year and the years beyond that I hope to see it slowly come into fruition. I am beyond thankful for this journey. I never saw this as my journey or even being here. So I am hopeful to where it will take me. Life is improving so much. I can not wait to see where it will take me.

Thank you to everyone that has helped me over the year, who has supported me and encouraged me. Thank you to everyone that has read this blog, or liked one of my posts, or shared it on FB. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I love you all.

 

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A car full of toys for Toys for Tots

 

 

 

Giving Thanks.

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In the United States we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving, where we gorge ourselves on Turkey, cranberry sauce. Mmmmm, cranberry sauce… ::droolls:: Wait, what was I talking about? Right… Giving thanks.

For many of us this time of year besides getting together with family and having giant feasts we reflect on all that we have and give thanks for it. This year has been incredible for myself. I could not in my wildest dreams imagine that this year would be so incredible for me.

Back in June of 2015 I set out to change my life for the better. I had no idea how I would do that or even if I could. I set out to heal my life. Grabbed some healing crystals, kept them on me constantly, and set out to change my life. I changed my life in so many ways. I went from a self destructive, isolated life, of eating more junk food than healthy real foods. Staying inside all the time, by myself, to eating healthy foods, losing 85 pounds, and going out all over the place with friends of mine. Friends I have met through this crazy journey. That have been with me for so much of it and have supported so much of this journey and have helped me grow. When I set out I was lone with this all. I was content with that. I never saw myself making friends out there and I am so glad I did. I am so glad I put myself out there. Took a random workshop, at a random place, and kept that ball and momentum moving. As it has taken me to so many fun workshops with so many incredible and gifted people. All like minded and supportive. I am thankful for them all.

I did not expect much from this journey I did not know what to expect truthfully. I guess it was good to not have expectations so I would not end up disappointed. Back in March I pushed myself even further by taking myself out weekly on a weekly adventure. I thought once a week was a good start and truthfully, once a week seemed so scary. And I thought it was something I could not do. Yet, this past week, I just finished my 38th week out there. Most of the time, I go out 3-4 times a week. I am thankful for that. Thankful that I surpassed my own expectations and then some.

This year I have tried many new things with my healing from working with crystals, to going to healing crystal bowl meditations, to having Reiki done on myself, to a Gong Bath. All being so helpful and tremendous in my healing and growth opening me up to new things and feelings. Allowing me to finally start to open up and feel. I am thankful for that.

This year I have started to take more action in my life and take more charge. For so long I have been a follower, that grunt worker, and now I am stepping into roles of leadership and charge. It’s completely out of my comfort zone and what I have seen myself as being. So much so that next Month I am running two Holiday Toy Drives, for Toys for Tots. I have so many people helping me do this and helping out. I am thankful for their help and their support. I am thankful for these opportunities to become more in life and be more.

This year I have gotten over so many fears and anxieties, and insecurities. Where I can be more confident with myself and within myself and what I can and could do. When I started this year I did not believe in myself and did not think I was good enough. Now I am learning to see and know I am worthy and good enough and capable for these things. I am still learning and growing and I look forward to where my life will take me in 2017 and the upcoming years. I am no longer living a life of defeat and am working to make it a life worth living and for that I am completely thankful for it.

I will get to spend the holiday with family. I cook dinner for me and my dad. And will host dessert with my family, and play some card games. I feel me kicking butt and taking names in Phase 10. LOL.

Enjoy this time with loved ones.

I am thankful.