It's no secret my life is pretty much an open book. For whatever reason, I'm compelled to share what's on my mind even when it might be uncomfortable, awkward, unpopular, or controversial. And in a world filled with so many fake people, it is liberating being true to myself instead of being something I'm not.
Over the past few years other people have finally started to be open about their own lives and struggles as well.
Pretending we have it all together is no longer a priority and embracing the idea that most of us are fucked up has become the norm. Even professional athletes and celebrities have shed their finely built personas to reveal all is not well either. Mental health problems do not discriminate after all.
Since Remain Strong is about taking control of your health, it's important for me to share my own journey towards wellness because it's why this platform exists.
I've struggled through some really tough times.
So often we only see other people's lives from a single perspective. This "tip of the iceberg" viewpoint is always misleading because we usually don't get to observe what's under the deep, dark surface. It's easy to assume things are going great for someone when in fact it is not.
For example, people might assume my life is completely awesome.
At first glance you probably see me living the dream by traveling the world and working from anywhere. The Instagram photos and blog posts might show the happy side of my journey – or the tip of the iceberg where everything is sunny and bright while enjoying that craft beer. But what you don't see are the evil monsters swimming in the water below; monsters that almost destroyed and took my life.
I have encountered and battled horrific demons over 52 years.
Verbal and sexual abuse, bullying, drug addictions, business failures, and facing death have all haunted my past. Then there were my struggles with obesity, depression, PTSD, and anxiety that almost led me to commit suicide twice. To say there have been some very horrible and dark times is an understatement!
My story isn’t unique though.
Millions of people battle their own demons or monsters daily and the reality is there are plenty of others fighting with what’s below the surface. I feel for them because it can be a very difficult struggle. And while overcoming these adversities is never easy, the good news is you can certainly do it.
The journey toward wellness isn't easy.
There is no sugar coating the fact that seeking your way to a happier and healthier life is gonna suck.
You need to take a hard look at your entire life and ask some very difficult questions, sometimes even receiving brutally honest feedback from the people you trust. And then you must be brave enough to immerse yourself in those dark waters to confront - and kill - the monsters below the surface, eventually letting go of the fear, shame, and pain that have made you a victim for so damn long.
These ass-kicking moments will be excruciating to fight through, but in the end it will lead you to freedom!
Understanding who we really are and why certain things may have happened in our lives is a part of the healing process. Self discovery allows us to bring to light the horrible creatures trying to destroy our lives and finally kill them without mercy. We will uncover the unhealthy patterns keeping us from living a great life and then be able to change them for a better future.
Making the big decisions that changed my life.
Once I went through the crucible of understanding who I was and allowing myself to forgive and be forgiven, it became easier to let go of the albatross' around my neck and find much needed freedom. Then I had to decide where I wanted to be physically and mentally, making tough decisions that would allow me to change my life going forward.
Knowing that you're all screwed up and dysfunctional is part of the battle. The other part is actually doing something about it.
You see, most people fail to do what is necessary to achieve true happiness. Anyone can talk the talk, but you've gotta walk the walk. There comes that moment when you will have to have the intestinal fortitude to make shit happen.
How did that look on my own journey toward wellness?
- Letting go of unhealthy emotions like extreme anger, overwhelming sadness, and an obsessive fear of death.
- Changing my eating habits by switching to the keto lifestyle over the standard American obesity pyramid.
- Reducing my dependence on alcohol instead of drowning my pain every night.
- Walking and lifting weights rather than binge watching TV or indulging in social media.
- Implementing CBD and cannabis into my daily regimen to combat the PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.
- Blowing up my business and starting over to do what I love to do.
- Saying goodbye to toxic relationships and people causing me misery.
It didn't happen all at once but I was all in because it was way better than the alternatives. These changes literally saved my life and there are no regrets. And even though there’s still work to be done, I’m in a way better place physically and mentally.
The same can be true for you as well.
The darkness will become the light.
Unfortunately the challenges you encounter can be very detrimental and damning. It can suck the life from you. But I want you to remember this ....
Don't EVER give up and don't EVER stop fighting. The absolute worst thing you can tell yourself is your life doesn't matter. The second worst thing to believe is you can't escape the shit show.
You absolutely matter to the world and there are people who love you, even if you haven't met them yet. And you can definitely break free from the house of pain. Please read this all again.
If you fight hard enough, and continue to believe victory is possible, you will absolutely win.
There will come the day when you have killed those demons lurking beneath the surface and that radiant light of happiness will shine upon your beautiful face. And you will smile because you faced and overcame the adversity. I promise you that.
Laughing in the face of adversity.
There are circumstances in my life I'd never wish upon anyone else, but despite these afflictions, I've learned to embrace and laugh at them. It's empowering to shift the mindset from victim to victor.
I believe you ARE capable of developing the same mental strength and attitude to laugh at those challenges. I also believe you will achieve the happier and healthier life you deserve. If you want it, it's there for the taking.
We'll be here to help you anytime you need it. Just reach out to us.