See the Stage, Hear the Critics

It’s funny, because I just did a podcast about this very subject tonight, as well as a few unexpected things in the process.

I’ve been asked about the backlash of sharing my mental health struggles, and how I deal with those things. I also get asked if I’m ever afraid of how being so open about them could negatively affect my livelihood, and how I would react to that as well. The simplest way to start, is to say that I started to share my story and struggles in hopes that it would save a life. That’s where it all started, and I had the duel purpose of helping me sort out myself.

People don’t like to talk about mental health issues; it’s not something that people can see, usually, and honestly, it’s not something that people who don’t deal with it can understand. Yes, I’m aware that having come out and say that I’ve had a few suicidal episodes, that it has opened Pandora’s Box, and yes I understand that it can, and does bring some harsh judgement with it. Truth be told, I’ve yet to deal with someone who’s actually had something negative to my face about it. Is it because we live in a world with mature adults, full of understanding? No. Could they be afraid to talk to me about it because they think I could go crazy on them? That I can’t answer.

I do notice that there are people in the professional world, who seem to lack a bit of maturity when dealing with a co-worker, like at Wal-Mart, and I remember observing the same when I worked at Kmart, so before anybody thinks that I’m mentioning specific people, I’m not. I also notice that there are few that actually have the courage to say something to somebody’s face. Society doesn’t tend to like one-on-one confrontation. In a way I guess that could be a survivalist way to go about the day, because you never know who’s having that one bad day that could turn into something far worse.

Back to the story at hand; yes, I’m aware that I opened Pandora’s Box, and to be honest I’m glad that I’m open about it. It’s given me such a wheel to start a dialogue with people who are afraid to speak up about their struggles with depression, and the other uncomfortable emotions that can go with that. I know that people tend to focus on the negative, but my story isn’t about where I was, it’s about how I survived. That’s one thing I think people should try to understand about me, I survived.

People have said that they’ve thought about taking their own lives before, and I know that it isn’t uncommon to have that glimmer even for a moment, and not taking that away from anybody struggling with those thoughts, it becomes a different story when it’s been reoccurring since I was seven. I survived, and I’m better than I was. So, I have no shame in the choice to be open about it, and I never will, again.

I had someone confide to me on messenger one time and tell me that it was nice to know that going through those grueling times I came out on top, and it had inspired them to seek the help they needed. There it was, the reward I got for writing about it, and talking openly about it, someone had sought the help they needed. That is exactly the reason I do what I do. People copy and paste on Facebook about doing buddy checks to know who they could talk to, or to show that they are an option. I stopped copying and pasting, and simply replay, that is why I do what I do. Those friends who I respond too already know what the CK Project is about, some of them where there while I was in the bad spots.

This is more than a copy and paste to me. By the time I was a year into my absence of work, seven people that I knew, or knew someone I was associated with had killed themselves. People will never know how bad I felt knowing this, I had distant family members pass this way, people I liked, and I felt worse because I had thought that way. This is why I do what I do, because I saved someone from over dosing on pills, and I was able to help talk them down and get them the help they needed. I felt like Superman. I felt like the figures I had looked up to my entire life, the characters who had helped me build the strong ethic and moral code that I live by. I saved a life that day.

Sure people are critical, and they think that I should keep my “issues” silent, but why would I ever do that when I saved a life? Can the critics honestly say that? Can they say they chose to listen and help someone off the ledge of the building that could have costed someone their very essence in this world? This is why I do what I do. This is a purpose that I honestly feel I was put on this Earth for. I’m here to help and inspire people, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the better part of eight years now. That way when I saved the first person from making a bad decision.

Everything else came along as I grew and evolved, even when I had my break down, all that ever did was make me stronger in the end. It took that period at “rock bottom” to help me develop what I needed to be motivated, and take initiative to find out who I truly was. While I don’t have the powers of a comic book hero, my gift is that I’m wiling to stand up and be brave enough to reach out a hand in friendship and guidance. Being someone who’s gone through hell and come out the other side, has given me a bit of insight and understanding on the struggles in life.

I think it’s human nature to be self destructive, and it takes so much work to get out of that habit. So, I’ll stand here and say it as loud as possible, I’m Chris Keeling, and I’m a survivor of having self hatred and self destructive tendencies. How can I help?

Screaming For The Hopeless

Much of my blogging comes from the desire to help people. I like to inspire and get people motivated to do something to improve themselves. I’ve even talked about cutting out the negativity that gets in the way.

As I sit here away work, I started thinking about how I recently did a podcast on toxic people, which got me thinking about lost causes. Which is kind of a hard pill to swallow as it’s a lesson that I’ve felt with many times.

I’ve been in a position in my life to where I’ve met and befriended people from various walks of life. Some of those have needed genuine help, and I’ve been glad to have been in the position to help. Seeing those people thrive afterwards has always been enough of a reward. This has built eternal bonds at times as well. I’ve also had the opposite happen and had people use my generosity, those are the relationships that I’ve had to cut out of my life. It’s sad when that happens, yet sometimes they don’t know any better, or want any better.

The worst of the situations is watching someone that I care for, want the help, and then continue to make the wrong choices in life. Some fell to drugs, some fell into getting into a toxic crowd and getting themselves lost. This is where it hurts the most, because seeing a loved one choose this life style over what would potentially be better for them, and in the end, I would look like the villain in their eyes. One of the most bitter pills to swallow.

It makes me wonder why we have so much hate and anger in society. Jealousy is a serious problem for many people, and it’s not usually the person it’s directed against fault. Maybe it’s a control issue? I know a particular person who is bitter because they couldn’t control or bully us into making favorable decisions for them. I can’t help that they wanted to cheat a system that has helped them more than they may have deserved.

I know that I used to have jealousy, and hate, but looking inside myself, I found that I had the power to change things. The biggest change was to learn to have a different perspective in life. The change can only happen when one looks inside of themselves before any other change can happen. I know people who want a better situation, but are unwilling to do something to help better it. Some of these people expect things handed to them. It makes me wonder where that line of thought and expectation ever came from? Was it a learned trait, nurtured in an environment they were raised in? Did life give them an experience that gave them that type of demand in life?

It really is something to ponder. All I know is that I had to change myself for the better, and that I hope that those who seem to be hopeless the most, find a way to redeem themselves. I know not everything is easy to get through, and the situation can sometimes be out of our own hands, but I would hope that they could find a better way.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.

New Time Same Trainer

So, I ended up changing my training time from 5:30 to 4:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays. I think this time will work better for me in the end. I was also able to assist with Grappling lessons today. Sitting on the mat and watching the matches was fun. It also reminded me that my body isn’t used to that sort of thing as I was having issues getting off of the ground. I guess that’s what happens when you do Dead Lifts and Squats.

Squats were the last exercise I did today. I felt the burn as I rounded out my last exercise, and I ended up taking it a bit slower than I really wanted too. At least my form is getting better. It’s good that we’re hitting about every major part of the body during my half hour workout. I plan on going to the gym on Friday, it’ll be in the morning, but it will also give my son a chance to try and “pump some iron”.

I feel that taking him to the gym with me will give us some bonding time, and I can teach him something. It’ll help keep me going as well. I really do need to step up the number of days that I’m lifting weights. I think it’ll help my sessions with Sam as well. I’m not sure if I have the courage to do squats without a spotter though. I’ll be able to show the difference between using free weights and what using the machines will be like.

Another thing that I started doing was helping Sam out with the grappling class today. One thing, was that Sam(my trainer) was a bit short handed, and two it was fun to help guide children in the right direction with the techniques they were using. I want to say that it was even better to help Little Chris understand the moves a bit better. As a father I’m proud of the steps that the little kids have made there. Lily in particular has seemed to taken off with it, and both kids seem to be making friends.

One of the things that I’ve noticed, is that I’m gaining flexibility. I’ve been trying to stretch my legs a bit over the last several days, and now that my belly is gone, I can cross my legs. I know that it sounds a bit silly, but that is a big goal. I still have a long way to go until I’m satisfied with my movement.

I’ve been in contact with a friend who’s had weight loss surgery, and they’ve been a bit down about gaining some of their weight back. Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve stepped in and offered to help get them back on track. It’s funny to think on how the mind can effect the body, but negative thoughts doesn’t ever help the situation. I think this is going to help me be better at one of the goals I’m trying to achieve with the CK Project.

One another note, another long time friend has also decided to start their own weight loss journey, and I’ve also offered to walk and motivate them as well. I’m thrilled by the fact that I’m allowed to be the person supporting them. It give me a sense of purpose. Again, this helps to push me as a motivational speaker, because it’s one of the many “hats” I want to wear.

The one thing I think that I’m leaving with the lesson of this week is that the accepted help has strengthened my resolve to keep going with what I’m doing. This is the time in my life, where I absolutely love life, and am totally sure that I’m in the best place that I’ve been in my life. I’ve got a great family life. I’ve got goals, and the drive to see them through. I couldn’t ask for much more, except that I actually make the money from the projects that I’ve got going.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Life’s Too Short

Today, I found out that someone I have known for a few years passed away unexpectedly. We weren’t close, but we were cordial with each other, and I had just seen this individual on Wednesday. As of this morning, he’s no longer with us. It makes me think about how short life really is. I think about how we should live life to the best of our ability, and appreciate the positive things in life. We should also not dwell on the negativity that is put out there.

This is why I do what I do. I’ve been beaten down by negative comments and energies. I’ve felt like there wasn’t anyone to turn too, or any way out of a bad situation. Once I realized that life can offer more then I was giving credit for, things began to turn around.  We never know what the next day can bring for us, but I choose to face the day as best as I can and be grateful for the gifts that I’ve been given. I have a wonderful wife, and three of the greatest kids anyone can ask for.

That’s not to say that I don’t have my days that I wonder if it’s really all worth it, but everyone can have a bad day. Life’s a roller coaster that strange events can be thrown like a curve ball. Again, I choose to step up to bat and embrace the challenges ahead.

I’ve been making strides forward with my weight loss journey, and I’ll be weighing in this Friday for the updated results. This is defiantly a change from where I was three years ago, when I didn’t really care if I died. I almost embraced the idea, but I want to live. I want to celebrate life and the people who happen to be involved with it. I feel fortunate in the people that I’ve connected with over the last few years, especially.

I’m a member of the Society of Creative Anachronisms,  and I was welcomed in by my friend and fellow geek Kim. It was this introduction to medieval re-enactment that I’ve forged some strong bonds with a great group of people. I may not always agree with them, but there is a family that’s there to support each other.

I’m also a co-creator and member of The Geeks of the IWV. This was created in dedication to my friends after they had lost their oldest child. It was a way to help with the grieving process, but it’s opened so many other doors for me as a person, as I hope that it has my co-creator. I’ve learned so much about being able to bound with people over geeky pop culture subjects, and have been able to share incredible experiences, with the group of people that supports over 95 people.

As with this blog, these groups, and my brands, there’s so much that I’ve learned about myself over the last few years in particular. One, I have a passion to learn new things. While that doesn’t seem too far out there, it’s thought provoking for me to realize that I don’t ever want to stop learning, and growing. New experiences are the best.

Two, when set out to create something, I prefer to have someone to create something with. I find that I can put people’s talents to the most potential to get something done. This not only goes towards, the geeks, but we’ve had a great time with Luckey Bom Films, as well.

Three, I really do like to help others in need. Being a support for other people and their problems, or situations, has given me a different perspective in life. Sometimes, just the offer for help seems to be enough, yet there are times that I feel that I don’t ever do enough as it is. All anybody can do is try.

If these blogs have tried to show anybody something, is that I’m using my experience to try and help guild people towards something better. I know that people have troubles asking for help, and I want to help. I want to be able to motivate people to do something to help them with their struggles. I hope that you find this enlightening, and if you feel the need to talk, just reach out, I’m here. I’ll do my best to be there to listen.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Let’s Get It Started?

Okay, this has officially been a long week. It’s the beginning of April and we’re already hitting eighty degree weather. I call bullshit on that, as it just reminds me that we’re in for a horribly hot summer. This is why I hate that I have to be outside for ten hour shifts at work. That’s my biggest complain about the week though.

So, now we get to business, as my locations for where I work tend to change around, except the fact that my physical has kept me in one or two places for the last month or so. I’ve been making at least 7,000 steps a day while at work. The stairs are kind of a bitch, but at least it’s keeping me going, and I feel accomplished, even if I haven’t hit that many 10k steps this week, but I’ve  only been about 1,000 off most days.

The biggest thing about this week has been that I’m realizing that I’m going to have to give in and get new uniforms soon. The truth is, my current uniforms are starting to get too big for me. I guess that happens when I’ve lost close to a hundred pounds.

I went out of town today for some business, and when that got handled we decided to stop by a mall that has a Destination XL. The beautiful part is that I decided to try on a pair of shorts that has a forty-four waist. I haven’t worn that size in over a decade. It was still a bit tight, and I think that I’m going to hold off for another ten or so pounds before I invest in a pair, but it feels damn good to know that I’m about the size before my son was born.

The motivation is still strong, and I’m finding that I’m able to connect with more people because of this huge weight loss movement that I’ve undertaken. I like being there to motivate and help those who need the help. Even after all this time, I still feel amazed that I can be the inspiration that people need to change their lives. That is a powerful realization. What makes it more so, is the fact that I take that responsibility very serious.

The hardest part about taking that kind of responsibility, was that I wish that I had taken it so much more serious. I’ve seen people reach the point of no return, and it’s not just with weight, but depression issues as well. I wish I had not be blinded by my own internal turmoil because I feel that I should have been doing something so much sooner.

It’s been about two weekends since I last weighed in and tomorrow is my four month check-up. The family is excited to find out what the latest numbers are. I’m excited as well, but I’d be lying if the thought of plateauing didn’t bother me. I know that I’ve got a long way to go, but things have gone well so far. Once I start with my trainer next week. I don’t think that I’ll be so worried, it’ll be time to cut more of the fat, and faster.

Since the weather has gotten nicer, I’m going to start that hiking club that I was talking about in some of the blogs before. That’s exciting, and if things take off, I also have a CK Project shirt in the design stages, as well as a Luckey Bom Films  shirt. It’s a crazy concept, yet very exciting to know that I’m about to start bringing out merchandise for my creations. It’s surreal, yet it’s happening. I’m gonna have to thank my good friend at Sticky Prints for being willing to work with me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to how my “businesses” are going too be represented.

So much excitement is happening, and the production company’s about to have a meeting next week, to discuss expanding, and where we’re going to go for our next project. It feels good to feel accomplished, and I know that things are just starting… Just wait to see where we’re going to be in a year, in five years! Too much potential, and I love the team that I work with. I’ve been talking to a few more people about working with them. I think good things will come out of these connections that I’m making.

Any way, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap!

Two Days From Zero, Time to Move Forward

Well, the last blog that I did was about me getting nervous, and how I was getting scared of the unknown. As of the day of the surgery, my worries were founded. I’m not going to lie, the first ten to twelve hours after my surgery sucked ass. I was dehydrated, and sore. I thought I would be sore from the incisions, but it was the gas buildup that hurt.

After my surgery, I don’t think that I could stay awake for more than a ten minute period until around four pm. After that I would stay up longer, and around six, I was starting to get up and move around to use the rest room. By around midnight, the night manager was letting me sit in his chair and we would watch tv together, and bullshit, so I didn’t sleep much else that night.

We were down in Tarzana with our friend Alisa, and by we, I mean myself and my wife Sarah. Traffic was a bunch of fuckery down there on a Tuesday morning, and it makes me appreciate that it’s not something that I have to do on a daily basis. Good driving on Sarah’s part, even if it shook me around a bit, at lest I’m here, able to tell everyone about it. Still, the gas is the worst part of the ordeal, by I had a good surgeon and I will always recommend West Medical to anyone who wants to consider taking this step to a better life style. The doctors are good, and the staff is pretty kick ass too.

Being back in my bed was nice, even if I ended up sleeping like shit with some trips dreams about how the world was build on lines. Dude, that was a really weird dream. So, I ended up spending the rest of the night on the couch, and yet, five am rolls around, and I’m wide awake, which I feel is total bullshit and my circadian rhythm needs to fix itself again. At least I’m handling the diet even after the surgery, I just find myself paying more attention to how my body feels than anything else. It was nice to have apple juice and white grape juice to help feel my mornings up the last two days, since I couldn’t have anything on the day of surgery. I decided to walk around, and I felt like I was going Yoda speed while doing it. I know that it was that the gas was moving around inside of me, at least it’s mostly out now.

Tonight’s exciting because I get to remove the bandages and take a shower tonight. Sarah noticed that my stomach looks flatter than it was from a couple days ago, so I had to check it out. I did a video while shirtless so that people could see where I was cut and how they took my pound and a half stomach out of my belly button. Honestly, I’ve been conscious of my body for years, and that was a moment that I just felt that part of this process needed to be shown. I’ve had thirty-five views the last I checked, and that’s better than most that I’ve done so far.

So, I guess that’s really where building the CK Project brand is going to take place. With my weight loss journey, and I’ve been told that it’s been motivating, and that’s what I always wanted it to be about. Is motivating people to do something to better themselves. Especially since we live in a world of trolls and negativity. There’s too much of that going on out there. Both online and politically. If this is an inspiring blog, please comment, let me know how it makes you feel. Share the hell out of my content like the dirty whore I am(joking, but still share). I want to know that my message is helping out.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.