Lets Talk, January 31 2018

I have been sick as a dog this last week.. it is really hard to practice self love while lying in the fetal position on the bathroom floor.  While I have been home sick, I have been doing my best to be sure I am not causing any undue stress on my team at work, I have been working remotely nearly every day while at home.  I got little to no sleep again last night again.. I had told my team I was going to be in the office today regardless, but as I laid awake waiting for my alarm to go off this morning, I knew that probably wasn’t going to be a great idea.  Which leads me to my main point… if you are sick, legitimately sick, do not go to work.. for you, and for your co-workers. you aren’t being a hero, in fact quite the opposite, you are threatening to contaminate those of us who try to actively avoid illness like it were the plague.  One “patient zero” we will call her, has successfully caused nearly half our department to catch this fun little bug.

On a completely different, note, today is Bell Lets Talk day. A day to raise awareness for mental health, and raise money for mental health initiatives. You can find more information here. If you are reading this blog, I think it is safe to say you, or someone you know are dealing with some variety of mental health issue or issues, please take a minute today to use the hashtag #BellLetsTalk on all of your social media accounts. Bell donates 5¢ to #MentalHealth initiatives in Canada for every use of the hashtag.

If you are someone who is struggling, please reach out, to me, to a friend, to family. The best thing you can do is start the conversation.  I will not judge you, I have been through shit myself, be open and be vulnerable because it can and will get better if you just start the conversation.

If you know someone dealing with mental health issues, the best advice I have to give as the person on the other side, is be understanding, not judgmental, do not offer solutions as if it were some thing that can be easily solved. Try to relate, and if you can’t offer something that makes you just as vulnerable. One of the most critical things we want to hear is that we are not alone, we want someone else to relate to us.

Today is going to be a great day, because I am going to make it one.

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January 28th 2018

I have been back at work 3 weeks?.. That cant be right…No it definitely is. It feels like its been much, MUCH longer. Regardless, I am happy to report that I have been mostly successful with my change in attitude and managing my stress levels while at work and if not just as importantly while not at work. I have really been owning my 3 foot circle of control, anything outside of that circle are things which are beyond my control, and therefore are things which are no use to stress over.

Work has been for lack of a better word, a complete shit show. I am not sure I’ve ever worked in such an environment where nearly everyone is unhappy and cynical… And I have decided it is in my best interest to leave.  I’m not really sure when.. but it will happen.. Making this decision has made it remarkably easy to allow work stresses to almost completely unphase me. I am present, I am going through the motions, but I am not emotionally involved at all.

I am not sure what I want to do in terms of work elsewhere.. I have thought of starting my own business, or maybe pivot completely and pick up a trade.. I am very up in the air, which is another reason I am not jumping to leave my current employment…That and I am sort of content in my current routine.

Aside from everything work related, I feel like I am in a good place.. I guess thats why I have not been writing as much. I took the day off today, as I am not feeling great, and I figured I should write something. My girlfriend and I are in a great place, probably closer than we have ever been, we are communicating very well, and are constantly looking for new things to do in eachothers company… we love antiquing.. I feel like thats a strange thing for a 28 year old man to admit, but I dont care… shes always had eclectic taste, and she loved finding oddities.  I have started a collection of my own.. and its growing maybe a little too rapidly.. haha I love everything Starwars, and I am well on my way to a rather sizable collection of toys and memorabilia both new and vintage.

Today I am grateful for the break from the unrelenting snowfall, I am grateful for my dog, my exercise buddy who never ever lets me miss a walk or play time rain or shine or snow. Lastly I am grateful for my community of friends and family, the love and support they have offered, and continue to offer is amazing. Thats what I am grateful for, what are you grateful for today?

January 8th 2018

So my first week back was interesting, and I honestly feel like it was a test. When I got back into the office on my first day, lots of people were still on vacation so the office was pretty empty. I sat at my desk and started trying to play catchup, reading over the emails and messages I had tried so hard to ignore over my break. To my horror, I quickly found out that we had missed several deadlines during my absence.

I am no exaggerating when I say we were literally working on the exact same projects that were supposed to have been shipped at the end of November. I sat there in disbelief, I started to get angry and annoyed and frustrated. I stepped back and reevaluated the situation. There was not anything I could do to change the current situation, there was nothing I could do to change what happened while I was gone.

I completely removed myself from the current situation, and started to focus on the things which I had control over. I created a list of tasks which I was responsible for and started working on the things that I could do. I started hearing about some work drama, and in a situation where normally I would have found annoyance, I didn’t concern myself with any of it.

So here I am looking back and evaluating the week, yes there are some situations where I caught myself reacting like I had previously, or getting to emotionally involved in something that I really didn’t need to be concerning myself with. While ideally I would like to not let myself get into those situations at all, I am looking at this as a win, I am recognizing that I have real work to do, these changes in attitude are something that I will need to work on continuously. I am grateful I have the opportunity to learn from this experience and have a better tomorrow.

I am also grateful for the incredible amount of snow that fell overnight, I got a solid workout this morning clearing our driveway, and had the opportunity to help a neighbor clear out their driveway, she was so grateful.

what are you grateful for today?

January 2nd 2018

Today is the day I return to work.

I am so grateful for the time I had to step away from everything and deal with my issues.  I am really going to try to keep work at work, and keep home at home this year. I had come to the realization that I was stressing over stupid things beyond my control, or worrying about what other people were doing or not doing instead of just worrying about me.. A great friend of mine, told me to concern myself with my own 3 foot circle, anything that does not fall within that circle, I cannot control, and I should not stress about it.

Wish me luck.

December 27th 2017

WOW, ok… So I really really let this blog get away from me. Part of me blames the holiday season… Today is the first day since my last entry that I don’t have anything going on.. I have caught myself sliding back into some old habits, In all the hustle and bustle of the past few weeks I have neglected to take the time for myself and I am burnt out.

Last time I wrote, I was about to go on a relaxing spa weekend, In actuality it turned out to be more of a ski vacation as we didn’t end up even hitting the spa.. our hotel had a outdoor hot tub that had a great view of the mountains. we ended up spending a lot of the evenings sitting there watching the skiers and snow boarders come down the runs and enjoying the relaxing tubs.  It really gave us a much needed opportunity to reconnect and unwind. We also took the opportunity to hit the slopes ourselves and neither of us are skiers by any stretch of the imagination, but it was tons of fun.

I wrote about some changes I wanted to implement in my life.. writing in a gratitude journal, being accountable, and make a conscious decision about what type of man I am going to be for that day. And in the spirit of being accountable, I have to admit I have not followed through on any of these changes and I really feel like I’ve taken a step backwards, and I am disappointed with myself.

I only have a few more days left off before I am returning to work and before the year is over. I really want to return to work feeling like I have made some form of progress.. I know making a lifestyle change is something that I will actively have to work towards and it isn’t something that will just happen without effort.

So in the spirit of making progress, Today I am grateful for this break I have given myself, I know I have lots of work to do, but I feel like so much has happened this month good and bad. I am grateful for family… as exhausting as they can be..It is so nice to have a support system. I am grateful for my girlfriend who has been my absolute rock during this messed up month.

What are you grateful for today?

December 14th 2017

So yesterday we had our first big snow fall of the season and my morning ritual was completely messed up, I did however get to spend some quality time outside with the snowblower. After that I took my dog on a long walk around the neighbourhood, had breakfast, and then dropped my dog off at the groomers.  I had lunch alone at a restaurant, which is something I always felt was weird… But since I’ve been off work and spending so much time on my own during the day.. I’ve actually come to enjoy the solitude. After lunch I decided to go surprise my girlfriend at work with a coffee and we had a nice visit.

It has been a week since I have been on my full dose prescription of anti depressants, and I am really feeling good… I feel like I am finally in control of my emotions. I am in the best place in my relationship that I’ve ever been in, and I am open and honest with myself and with others, and I am working on that every day.  I did not get ahold of the Therapist like I had hoped I would last day I wrote, So I am taking things into my own hands. I have been blessed with a very supportive group of guys, a community of men who are struggling with all varieties of mental health issues. With this community comes a wide variety of resources, and stories and personal experiences, all of which are helping me find my way through this.

I feel like I have made really good progress, this week in particular. I am communicating well, I am feeling less stressed and less anxious than I have been in a long time, and being off work I am sure has helped that. I am however struggling with keeping myself accountable. I know I want to write this blog, I know I want to heal past this trauma and depression, I know I want to express gratitude and be the best version of myself each day, and I am still struggling with how exactly I do that. I know that this is a complete lifestyle shift and it is going to take work and commitment, but I am ready and excited for it..

Changes or ‘adjustments’ I am going to implement right away;

  • Daily gratitude journal entries, it is important to state what you are grateful for each day.
  • Deciding each morning what type of man I am going to be that day.
  • Be accountable to myself and others.
  • And lastly, something I just heard of I want to try, Being the only thing I need to be in specific moments
    • I know this sounds weird, but say for example you are having a conversation with your daughter.. in that moment you only need to be a man having a conversation with his daughter… not a man who missed this deadline at work, who is in a fight with his wife, who forgot to pay this bill having a conversation with his daughter.
    • eliminate the baggage.

I don’t know what these changes will do for me, but I am hopefully going to see a lasting improvement.

Lastly this weekend is going to be fantastic, tonight, I am going to see STARWARS!!!!!! because my amazing friend scored me a ticket months ago because he is an awesome dude, and after that my beautiful girlfriend and I will be going up to beautiful Blue Mountain for a relaxing Spa Weekend Getaway!! which is much needed for both of us. (This might screw up my blog posting… I will try to get some writing done.. I know I know.. accountability, but this one might have to slide)…

cheers!

 

 

 

 

December 12th 2017

Yesterday was a really good day, I got a surprise delivery which is always nice, my beautiful girlfriend ordered me a back and neck massager! Because of my frequent headaches she thought it would be nice to get something to massage and relax my neck and back which often helps alleviate the pain. I used it all day pretty much while starting and completing my Christmas online. (Thank you Amazon!) It was a great feeling to get that done. I have been feeling good these past few days, really happy that I have started to put my feelings to words on a page in the form of this blog, and really relieved at the fact that I can openly talk about things that are going on in my life with friends and family.

Yesterday evening we decided to go out to a restaurant for dinner, and my girlfriend and I had a very good conversation about her career, and some frustrations she’s having and how she will feel unfulfilled when she has to return to an old position after being in a management position for a about a year (she had been covering a maternity leave). She has grown into this leadership position very well.. I remember reassuring her that she would be great for the job the day she applied… she was a nervous wreck. She has learned a lot and really gained a ton of self confidence.

After dinner, she needed to go try to do some more shopping.. we were unsuccessful at finding anything.. but we had a really fun time in the store, and normally Christmas shopping in a busy store is a nightmare for me… but we were laughing and having fun, and I am sure we were annoying people, but I don’t really care..it was a good night and I want more of those! I am so happy to have had the time to really focus on myself and try to deal with my depression.

Today, I am not going to lie, I really haven’t done much.. I turned on ‘The Office’ on Netflix and just have been binge watching episodes I have already seen a million times. I didn’t even write in the morning which I usually try to do.  I had to drive to my parents to deliver some tools for my father, and on my way home I almost got T boned at an intersection by a woman who nearly ran a red because she was on her phone… that rattled me a little to be honest.

I am having a hard time calling a therapist to get in to get some post traumatic stress counselling, and I am not really sure why.. I called last week and got a machine and when they called back I missed the call. I know it is something that I probably need, or should take advantage of while I have time off and am in the mindset of wanting to face my past. Part of me thinks I have figured out the root of my issues and that going to a therapist I would just hear something I already knew the answer to..(See me doing that thing where I avoid doing something because it wont make a difference?)  I am in the mindset of healing, and I think I need to do this to properly heal. I don’t know why this is such a struggle for me, considering the fact that I have been boasting about openness and honestly for the entirety of this blog…

Tomorrow I hope I can report that I’ve made this call.