Let The Voice Be Heard

We podcasted last night about trauma and how do deal with it. My friend Alisa was coming off of a rough time since her place got caught up in a fire. She lost somethings, but at least her cat was saved. It was nice to see the people she knew and the community in our small town come in and help her out. She talked about how she felt fortunate that there were so many people out there to help her out, but it was Sarah’s turn that made the podcast the more interesting aspect of the night.

Sarah has always been the quiet one, and it hasn’t been until the last few years that she’s found her voice and wanted to be more then just the supportive person in the background. One of the things that seems to bother her is the fact that she doesn’t get recognized by other’s as a reason for my success. I know that I have stated it, and that I appreciate everything she’s done for me, but she wishes others would praise her for doing such a good job.

She’s been a caretaker ever since she was fourteen and had to help raise her siblings after her father died. She was never really thanked for it. The truth is, caretakers: mothers, fathers, nurses, Hospice, etc. are thankless jobs. Janitors, are also thankless jobs, but once one of them stops doing their job, it’s noticed. At that I want to be a person that thanks these people for the thankless, tireless, jobs that they do.

I know that I’ve done just about all that I can do to make her feel appreciated, but I also know that some of her anguish comes from the fact that she has Crohn’s Disease. It has been playing with her mind for sometime now, as she doesn’t feel attractive and she feels that she’s a burden when talking about her problems.

She’s tried to blog about her issues, much like I do, but seems to receive mostly negative comments, and that becomes frustrating for her. I get that it’s hard when family and friends are the harshest critics out there. She feels frustrated  that she doesn’t get the same response that I get when it comes to talking about the issues. I had to do a lot of thinking about why that is, and I could come up with a few that sounds similar to things that have happened in my own journey.

First, Crohn’s Disease is an invisible illness, and most people don’t seem to understand it. It’s not in your face like MS or Parkinson’s, however it’s a serious matter that robs people of productivity in their lives. Sarah just happens to be finally get the answers she’s been looking for with her new set of medication. It’s helped her manage her issues so much better.

Second, there’s a fine line that we balance when it comes to talking about our issues. I’ve been criticized for being too open and honest about what I go through, a “it’s better to deal with your issues in private” type situation. Being that it’s family that often comes at her makes it more difficult and frustrating to share. I believe that she can and should continue. While it isn’t an easy road, there have been people who have come out in support, at least in my instance. I wish that I could be more supportive and understanding on what she’s going through, but I know that we’re still discovering this together, and we’re trying to figure out the seriousness of the issues.

Third, while it’s hard, I think the point is to never stop giving a damn about what it is you’re trying to say. Not everyone is going to agree with your opinion, and you can’t just spend time trying to make everyone happy. That’s not how this life works, and it’s a shame that it’s the people you feel like you should be able to count on that seem to shit on your truth the most.

This has more to say about them than her. Some people associate honest truth as a way of showing weakness. If she decides to stop at talking about it, then they’ve won. Keep shining is what I have to say, it’s not for them to understand the journey that Sarah starting to take. The best way to have her voice heard is to stop giving a damn about what everyone else is going to say about it. Yes, people are going to say things, both positive and negative. The truth is some people can’t handle that much honesty because it makes them uncomfortable to know the truth.

Some of these people feel that battling illness should be done in private. I know that myself being open has been met with mix reactions, but mostly positive. I think that if she sticks it out and keeps pushing through, then Sarah will find that community of supporters. I told her that sometimes that is where people should start, in a community that already shares that common bound. Build from there, and it will grow into something so much more positive and better.

I want to hear her voice, I want to hear how she feels, and what she has to say. Unfortunately she has nay sayers that make her feel that she needs to keep quiet. I can say that I’ve been there with her on a few occasions, and I don’t always have patience with her because of her issues. That is where I’ve failed her, yet, I’ve never told her to quit. I always supported what she wanted to do with her life, even during the times that I’ve failed as a husband. Her worth is so much more than she knows.

Silence isn’t the answer, it’s just the reaction people give when they feel uncomfortable about the situation.  Some people feel that the only important thing to do is to look perfect, too look strong in front of everyone else. I hope that she can find the voice that I’ve taken up when it comes to her situation. She has a right to talk about what’s troubling her, and if people don’t like it, then they have the right to not read, or block, or unfriend, whichever is better for them.

Facts of being honest about weakness, has showed me support, as I’ve had many reach out to me about my depression and call me brave for being able to share my own issues and struggles that I constantly go through. I’ve had good days, but when I struggle, that’s when people tend to pay the most attention.

The biggest part of sharing those experiences and giving sound to find that voice is that it’s to help oneself, maybe it’s just so that we can find peace in knowing that we struggle in hopes that others might be enlightened and understand that it’s a constant fight.

My faults with my wife is that our roles have reversed in such a dramatic way that I’m not always patient with the things she does. I try to support her, and see that it isn’t easy being the strong one when needed. I see her frustrations as she’s had to be the strong one since she was fourteen, and she doesn’t know how to let it go. I will do all that I can to help her, as I realize that with the physical ailments that she’s come down with. It has also messed with her mentally and that’s where her struggles lie the most.

If you, the reader would like to know more, then comment, like, subscribe to this blog and we can get you the links to her stuff as well. This is the director and that’s a wrap.

Haters Gonna Drink That Haterade

So my journey has gone fairly smoothly so far. I’ve had so much positive reactions to it, though I’ve had a few haters in the background. The good part of that was that until recently non of that feedback was spoken to my face. Maybe this was because someone was too afraid that I would react poorly to their comments? Who knows? In truth, I don’t really care.

So, I finally got my first naysayer on Facebook, by someone casting doubt on my results in one of the groups I’m a member of. The fact that someone doubted me, I could’ve handled a number of ways. I could have been petty and insulted this person for judging me without knowing my story. I could have let it tear me down, and make everything feel like a waste. However, I actually didn’t respond, and I had people who’ve witnessed my transformation actually take up the mantle and come to my defense.

I have the fortune to have traveled this path and find the most amazing and supportive people during this time. I want to think that my honestly and integrity is what helped me connect with these people. Maybe the fact that I’m not an asshole about my journey is part of the appeal? I’m trying my best to stay humble, and think that people are inspired by my work has caused me to find a purpose in my life. It causes me to want to do better.

All-the-while, I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t part of any plan. I always hoped that the way I handled things would be used as a tool to inspire others to improve themselves. That was something I did when I started any part of my self-improvement journey. All the way back when I started the CK Project, I just felt that it had to evolve when I was going through different stages in my life.

I used it as a way to keep myself accountable to myself and others, but as I had gone into a depressive state, it became part of my mental health, and the healing process. This was the point where I figured that people could see my struggles, and maybe be inspired by the fact that I didn’t let those negative thoughts end a life that had so much more potential than I would have ever expect at the time.

It’s amazing how that being in a mentally dark place can cause you too loose all sense of self-worth. I felt like the world would be a better place without me, and that I wasn’t as important as I am, or is it I must be? I’m not trying to brag, or sound egotistical, but I’ve found that I do have value in this world, and that if I were to disappear I would be missed.

Yes, I know that my family would miss me, that’s more obvious than you might think I realize. I do understand the value that I bring to them. As of the conversations that I’ve had over the last few years, and even people I talk to on a constant basis, I have discovered that there are people who put more value into who I am, than I ever would have expected.

This comes from people who have said they consider me their best friend. I’m humbled by this because some of these people I don’t feel that I did anything more particular then just listen without judgement and treat them decently. To be honest, those who are the one’s that I consider my best friends, I’m an asshole to. I love them, but I also give them so much shit and about everything. At the same time, I would have their backs through fire and brimstone.

Again, this comes at when is the appropriate time to be that way, and when to be serious. Part of the consequences, or blessings of being apart of that circle is that I’m gonna give it to them honestly, and it’s not always something other’s understand.

An example is, I have a friend whom I’ll call Sexy Beast. If he reads this, then he’ll know that I’m calling him out on something. Those who know my group might know this nickname, so then you can also know that I’m gonna call him out on something as well. As one of my oldest and closest friends, who’s seen be through two marriages, knows full-well that as I love him like a brother, I’m gonna call him on his bullshit. He’s dealing with diabetes, and his blood sugar has been high, more often than not. So, where is the calling out on his crap?

So, people on his Facebook give him words of encouragement, and hey I’m the first to say that I’m in his corner, as I’ve inspired him to get healthier. Look at his page and you’ll see it for yourself. However, I know that he’s eating poorly, and drinking alcohol, so that’s why his blood sugar is so high. My response, because I know what he’s doing is to stop fucking up. He knows better, and I wouldn’t be so harsh if I didn’t care. Sometimes, that brutal dose of reality, is what people need. I don’t want his funeral to be the next that I go too. My children love him like an uncle, and I’ve had to deal with the loss of too many of my peers over the last few years.

I guess in that way, to the outside observer, it would look like maybe I’m being the hater in that situation. The truth is, I care. Sometimes I care far more than I should, because I’ve been through the heart break of disappointment by someone I loved, and couldn’t help. The people who’ve I’ve had a lasting impact on their lives, and have left the same on me, I care about. I love them and want nothing but the best for them.

I think part of the hardest thing that I deal with is watching people hate on others. I know some of the reasons, and I can see where that might cause some discontent, but it comes down to people not knowing the whole story.

Remember the blog about the moms? How people give the nasty, judgmental looks towards misbehaving kids? Usually it’s from not knowing that the child could have behavioral issues. My fellow parent’s of autistic children, understand.

I know that it’s so easy to tear people down, when things are different than social standards. I know it’s easy to destroy something because of some insecurity issues. Think of what could be accomplished? Maybe people would feel less shitty about themselves? It’s okay to share in someone else’s success. You might not realize it, but that support could just be one of the things that helps make someone be better than they are.

The worst thing any of us can do is feed into the negativity that surrounds so much of this cynical world. We can continue to hate and tear everyone down, but why? Because of fear? Why, because of hate? To quote a little green man: Fear leads to hate, hate leads to suffering… Haven’t we all suffered enough from the world around us? Haven’t we had enough of this selfishness to last a life time? Let’s build something bigger and better for our children’s children.

I hate hearing about eight-year-olds taking their lives, because society makes them feel a certain way. I had been there once, and it’s a fear that I’ve had about my own children. It’s hard to see them go through similar situations, helplessly watching, knowing that you can’t do anything to really make it better.

This is the director, and I think I’ll step off the soapbox for tonight, and call the martini shot, because that’s a wrap.