We’ll Ride Out the Bad Times, Because It Gets Better

The worst thing during any part of my journey through life is when the self-doubt hits. The crazy thing was that I hadn’t worked out that week, and from what I’ve been told, could very well factor into part of the why I was feeling that way. The other fact of the reason “why” could also be because of the nightshift at  work. As long as I’m staying busy in some way, the nightshift isn’t bad. However, it’s the slow times that become painful at times.

I know better, yet I also have a habit of over thinking things. I think this is part of the depressive side of me. Having the same words going through my head of not being good enough, and wondering if I am. Who else feels this way? I know that I’m not the only one. God, it sucks to know that the influential years are during the first years of school. I still carry that shit with me today.

Even though I’m out of school, and it’s been for sometime, I still can’t shakes those feelings that I had when I was a kid. I’ve tried to teach my kids not to be that way, and as far as I can tell, it’s worked alright as they are compassionate children. This is at least to the extent that I’ve been able to actually witness with their interaction with their peers. I take that as a parenting win. However, I’ve also witnessed the aftermath of them getting bullied, and I’ve had those concerns as a parent. I worried that some of the thoughts that I had as a child would be common with the one’s that they may have had.

There was a period of time, particularly when I had been going through my bad period that I was really worried about my oldest. Middle School and High School were not the kindest years to her. I’m glad that she went to home school after that instance happened.

As it happens, the other two children are also doing home school. Because of the bullying that the officials “say” they have under control and take serious. That, and also the school system in our town isn’t the best. I feel that they are now in a better curriculum and they have a better chance to thrive. Little Chris has advanced far faster within the last year than he had at his special needs school. It’s just a shame that bullying isn’t taken serious, until a kid commits suicide and bullying is the reason.

Here I am, a man in my early forties, and I still have things from my youth still ingrained in my head. I remember having a conversation with my mom and she had mentioned that she had never realized that I felt that way. That’s something that people don’t always realize, the fact that depression likes to hide itself and not burden anyone. I fell like my problems shouldn’t be anyone else’s. That and I didn’t realize at the time that she had been suffering through her own issues.

I think that’s why I preferred the swing shift. It keeps me busier and that helps me stay in a better mindset. I think that’s why I’m always creatively working on things to keep my own mind busy. That way I don’t have those moments that I feel lonely. I feel that being on the nightshift also has its advantages, I do get to concentrate on more of the things I want, as it isn’t busy like the other shifts. It’s better than the dayshift because I don’t have to get up after only four hours of sleep, however, day’s are the busiest and makes the day go by so much faster.

Mentally I had a rough week, but I started feeling better as my days were ending. I can’t believe that working out was something that helped me feel a bit more aligned. I’ve been told that working out is the best anti-depressant, and so far I believe that it is true. It has been in my case at least. I’ve seen Tweets and had conversations with people who’ve only confirmed this theory. I hate missing workouts, yet life happens and that’s just the way it happens.

On the bright side, I was able to survive that week that was busy, and now I’ve taken a weekend to actually relax. It’s something that I’ve not done in some time, and being able to play  Pokemon with the kids has been a fun bonding experience. Now, I need to get going back on the motivation train.

That was something that I did notice last week,  I was pushing and trying to get my workout in. I was doing my 100 wall push-ups, and then I did 100 squats, which burned my legs. Then working out on Wednesday, I was able to get my son involved with the workout, and then we got one again on Friday. Sam, my trainer, decided to make the kids run. Chris is a bit uncoordinated because of his disabilities, but Sam was impressed with the way Chris could run. He told me that with a little work, Chris would be an even better runner. The best part was hearing Chris complain about how his lungs burned.

Yes, my kids suffered from a good workout, and I thought it was great. I think I needed that workout to get out of the funk I was in. I should have remembered that I would get through that moment. Sometimes, it’ harder to see when you start that process. It’s like when people start to think that suicide is the only option, because in that moment, seeing the light doesn’t seem like an option. I think that’s something people don’t always understand about suicidal tendencies. I’ve heard that it’s a “selfish act” and that “it’s the cowards way out,” but unless someone’s been there, or really studied it, they don’t get it.

I look back and I realize that there are many people who have it way worse than I do. Sometimes, it’s out of their control, and they feel that pressure more because of it. Sometimes, it comes out of the choices we make as people. I’m not one who’s always made the best choices in life, but I’m also not one to run away from what I’ve done, and try and blame it on others. I accept the responsibility for my actions. I wish that I could take back some of the things I did. I wish that my mind wasn’t my greatest enemy, but these are things that I try my best to overcome. Things have gotten so much better over the last several years, I’ve gotten better control of my life, and the weight loss journey is just one of the contributing factors that have helped.

Blogging has been my mental salvation. I know that it isn’t always a subject that people are comfortable talking about, but it’s something that needs to be addressed. I think that the conversation is becoming more common and that people are being more supportive with the struggles. Yes, there are those assholes who think that bringing people who struggle down is funny, but that just goes to show where we as a society should learn to improve the way things are dealt with.

Again I say that blogging has been my mental salvation. I noticed that as I’ve gotten better mentally, I would find less to talk about. Sometimes I would struggle to get something out, and I felt like I was only half-heartedly getting out the content. This would reflect in the views of my posts, and the comments that I would receive. As I struggle to get through my journey at different points, that’s where the views and the comment come in. That’s the time where the support really shines. Yes, I occasionally get negative feedback, but I’m at a point in my life that those opinions don’t matter. The reason? Because it was those opinion that helped get me in the state I was before, and I’m not going to fall that far down ever again.

As always, the is the director, and that’s a wrap. Please like, subscribe, share. That’s the easiest and best way to show support for the project.

 

The Words That Never Got Left Behind

In observation of Bully Prevention Month, I’d like to address the elephant in the room; you’re not aloud to continue to live in my head rent free. As a kid, hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was supposed to be a way of making ourselves feel better about the cruel words that get thrown our way. It’s supposed to show that we won’t be hurt unless it’s by some thing physical.

The sad reality is, that’s the farthest from the truth. While I would like to admit that physical pain is worse, the verbal bullying is the thing that continued to haunt me for so many years. I find that it had become more of a motivator to do better, but is that really the best thing for motivation? Shouldn’t we be motivated more by the positive things than, the things that bring us down? This is why we have so many broken people in the various sectors of society.

Body dysmorphia is something that I’ve seen to run rampant among young ladies especially. The society standards for what is the perfect look for a woman has been plastered across all forms of advertisement. It’s in your face that unhealthy skinny is the standard for women and anorexia is a problem that isn’t talked about enough.

Men aren’t any less targeted either. The underwear models with the chiseled physics and washboard abs are also shown in many places. The one difference is that men with dad bods, are more socially accepted, but are no less pressured to be perfect. Men talking about having self-image issues is considered a bit more taboo. Men are supposed to be viewed as strong both physically and mentally.

The thing that I will personally say about this is that dealing with being obese most of my life, I’ve dealt with the pressures and comments to look more appealing. I joke with my wife that if it wasn’t for chubby chasers, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with the ladies, her especially. Though, I do wish that I could have, the muscles and strong looking body, it’s taking work to get there. This is something that I personally want, but I’m not killing myself to get there.

Key reasons, while I workout and try to keep eating well, I still indulge, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to hate myself for slipping a bit here and there. I know once I have the talk about skin removal surgery, that it’s going to take a bit of time to process. I found myself in that similar situation when I decided to get the gastric sleeve almost two-years ago.

Acceptance has been something that I’ve had to battle to come to terms with. I had those bullies running through my head with the words of how ugly, and fat I was. I hated myself because people had put those words into my head. I wasn’t good enough, and yet there was something that I did alright growing up. I did have friends and lovers. I was liked, but even with those realizations, I still had the negative words sticking in my head. I’ve had to learn to over come that.

I’ve embraced positivity, despite the way I’ve been treated during my life. I find that it helps me, because it puts something in the world that not everyone seems to be able to produce themselves. With that I’ve made many connections with some great people. I get more out of being positive, then having that negative mindset.

Unfortunately, not everyone is that way. Some people who get bullied, carry that chip on their shoulders for the rest of their lives. Hell, at one time, I did as well. I hurt some very good people and I’ve regretted it ever since. Those who carry that chip, bring the misery with them in most aspects of life. This isn’t something that’s uncommon in my professional life. I see it everyday, and the effects that it causes. I see it in some friends as they deal with people who bully them.

Now, I’m going to change this up a little, because I know a few of my followers are going to be reading this. I know that things don’t look very good for your current circumstances right now. You’re afraid to lose that, which is valuable to you. Keeping a focused mind is the only way that you will have to succeed. I get that the parties that are bullying you shouldn’t be that way, they are your family after all. Just remember to do your best, and that’s all anybody can ask of you. I’m a text, or a phone call away, and you have shown me the appreciation through our many conversations. You got this, and however things fall, you will grow as a person, and should be able to be better for all of it.

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

Something Big Is Brewing

I’ve gotten off from a great weekend. I got in an excellent workout on Saturday, published two blogs, broke down a script, and did a podcast. It was a great weekend, full of productivity, plus it was nice to give my three brands the love and attention they deserve.

As much as I’ve been struggling lately with the stars in life, it’s always good when I can get a weekend of positivity in. Mentally, being creative helps save me from myself. I can pour the energy and focus into it. It’s almost like an emotional rest for me. It gets complex, because of what emotions can develope from my writing.

I find that as a writer, I’m quite different than as person. In the real world, I’m generally positive, funny, and laid back. There isn’t much that upsets me, accept the enternal struggle with my mind.

As a writer, the subject tone is usually serious, and deep. I think that deep down, this is a way that I might be working through some of my emotional things. They say that a writer pours a bit of themselves into the characters. So, that either leads me to believe that the tragedy and traumas that I’ve suffered, might have helped lead me understanding a bit about other events that I might not have suffered myself.

At the same time, I know that anything I write, I would like guidance to give it authenticity. As I wrote the project Unexpected Side Trip, I wanted to represent the LGBTQA community as much as possible for the lead characters. As I work on the project I’ll be doing after, I want to do it justice as it deals with how people deal with grief from the loss of their child to juvenile leukemia. While I haven’t lost a child myself, I’ve had friends and family that have, and I want to represent it in the best possible light that I can. This is important to me, because this story has been in development for the last four years, and I’m just now able to get back to writing it.

We are working on some ideas to present with the Geekultural Experience, as right now the podcasting is some off the easier things to do. At the same time, it’s been a bit slow to gain momentum. https://anchor.fm/geekultural-exp/episodes/Cosplay-and-Halloween-e5d4v5 here’s the episode in case you’re interested in seeing what it’s all about. We’re thinking about hitting another convention for one day as we’re still really just trying to find our niche in this world.

Now, the big one that most people come to read about on these blogs, the CK Project. We’ve been working on merchandise, and I’ve had a few of the shirts made, and I think that they’re good quality. We just got some pull-over hoodies designed and in various colors. The response is great, and I’ve got a few people who’ve said that they were going to buy something. As this is going for motivation for weight loss and for mental health awareness, we’re looking to turn this into a non-profit organization. I think that I’m both excited and torn by this idea, but if it helps get the message out, then I’m all for the affect of progressing to something a bit different.

As for my progress, I’m currently at a stand still on my weight. I did however up the weight that I’m lifting. twenty-pounds added to my deadlift, and I felt like I was going to die. I’ve progressed on my kettle-bell, and the dumbbells that I’ve been using to do military presses.

I find that my circuit training had started getting to a point where I wasn’t getting the sweat like I had. I do also realize that going heavier comes with the complications of being able to injure myself easier, that’s why form is important. With that, I’m trying to take a bit more time with my reps so that I can be sure that I don’t hurt myself. Yet, I think this was also something I needed to help me get past this five-pound curse.

I will be checking-in with my doctor’s office tomorrow so that I could get back into my check-ins and to start the discussion of getting the skin-removal-surgery. I’ve been feeling uncomfortable in my skin lately. As I’ve been going along, I’ve started to feel that the surgery’s the answer that I need. Itchy, uncomfortable skin is a thing, so I’m going to deal with it until I don’t have to anymore.

I know that I put off my last appointment because of the fact that we had some earthquakes during that time. Now, I feel that I hadn’t because there’s something inside of me that’s afraid of getting the surgery. I’ve heard that it’s painful, and to be honest, I’m a bit anxious about having another surgery. That would include having to take off another six-weeks from work.

I guess that it’s the unknown that keeps me hesitant. I also know that I talk about self-improvement, so I should just take the plunge. This would be career wise as well. At least this is something that I’ve been actively taking into my hands over the last few years. It’s been slow, but with the weight loss, I’ve learned that I can and do deserve to be able to grow professionally.

I’m the director and that’s a wrap.

Please Pass The Fat Free Content

Going with the weight loss journey has brought forth several things to for me. As I’ve lost weight, my ambitions have pushed me to want to do more. Being open about my weight problems, and mental issues has been the most therapeutic thing that I’ve ever done. As I’ve stated before, the physical and mental state of a person’s body go hand-in-hand, and the state of one usually reflects the state of the other.

Getting exercise in, is one way to help keep the depression at bay. It’s a way to show one’s self that things can be accomplished as long as you have determination. I find that my phycological self tends to limit me from doing complete range of motion for some of the exercises. I noticed that it comes down to the fear of injuring my knees. I also hate the fact that I have a fear of falling backwards.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve had hurt my knees before, and the falling comes from the fact that I’ve suffered severe head trauma. As long as I get assistance, I’m not afraid go down in a lunge. Being heavy-set for such a long time has really done some damage, and brought about self-doubt about the things I can do.

This leads me to believe that while your mind is your most powerful asset, it can also sabotage your success. Ever feel like you need to eat do to time instead of hunger? Yeah, me too. As a matter of fact, it still tends to happen, then I have to remind myself that I need to pay better to what my body is saying instead of what my mind is telling me.

So I have this mind that has so much negativity thrown on me my whole life that I still have issues getting over the verbal damage as well. Remember, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me? That’s totally bullshit, why you ask? I still hear the taunts and names that I was called as a child. How’s that for having something define your life choices for so long. I do have a tolerance for people staying stupid things these days, so it takes something more original to really get me going.

The crazy part about the weight loss journey and the mental health awareness is the fact that they do go hand-in-hand. When I set out to do the gastric sleeve, I only thought about how it was going to affect me physically, In ever thought about how it was going to change me mentally. The truth is that I’ve been fundamentally changed for the better. I don’t have the negative outlook in life that I once did. I’ve become more positive, and it wasn’t like I was trying to force it, or fake it until I made it.

All any of it ever had to do was  start by taking the little steps forward. Talking about the things that bothered me. Some people have told me that I was brave for opening myself and my experiences up to others. While I’m glad that it’s guided people in  better directions, it’s only part of the reason why I do the things I do. The other side of that truth is that talking about it, takes the power have what happened away. The more I talk about it, the less power those events have on me. I can accept that what did happen isn’t the defining moments of my life.

With that being said; I find that sticking to mental health, and occasionally weight loss isn’t as easy to talk about any more. I mean I started talking about my mental health issues to help sort out my own feelings and leave an example for others to follow. I don’t struggle with them like I used to.

Yes, I still have an occasional bout of depression and insecurity, but over all, I’m in one hell of a better place than I was before. Now, I have to witness my wife go through these struggles with her Crohn’s Disease. This ends up being something that gets hard for me to deal with as I watch her get more discouraged as something new shows up with the things she deals with.

I sometimes find it hard to talk about the weight loss journey because I plateau, and it can be for long periods of time. I get frustrated getting stuck between a four and five pound difference. I know that eventually I will over come this, but it’s discouraging just the same. Again, remember the things we’ve been talking about the mind? Yeah, this is one of those things I was referring too.

In the end, we all have to choose the journey that we follow. Some of us choose to follow the journey to try and obtain the ultimate answer to eternal youth. Some look to follow the path to fortune and fame. Some of us look to better health. I myself follow the journey for better self-improvement. It has brought me closer to a section of people who share the common journey, and I’ve grown so much because of it. Especially in such a short time. Keep mindful on where your journey takes you.

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

Hard Work For Better Gains

As with anything else in life, you get what you put in. Eating right can some times be hard, especially since there are so many temptations being marketed out there. I find that it can be hard also because most “healthy options” are costly. Yet, this is an essential part of the weight loss journey.

Exercise is the second part that is essential for the weight loss journey, and is just as important as eating right. The harder the workout, the better the progress for shape and strength. This is something I struggle with because I find it hard to push through at times. I want that brief second of rest so that I can power through the rest of my sets. It’s usually right as I’m getting to my fourth round of my circuit training. Every time I do push, I feel like I want to die after my workout, which is a good sign.

Then it comes the really hard push, that will give me the momentous gains. That’s my brands. Working on one brand is a full-time job as it is, but I’m taking it even farther by having three brands that I work on. This is where I feel most of my success comes from, it gives me the focus that I need to carry out all my plans.

I have filled my life with all these positive things that keep me going in the right direction. I’ve had times where I was lost and I wasn’t sure where I needed to go, or where I wanted to go. With depression, there is many times that I would doubt myself. I would feel unworthy, I would feel like a failure. I felt that the world would be a better place without me.

With this mental level, I felt that my family would carry-on and eventually find better life if I no longer existed. At this time, I also felt that I was the worst person ever and undeserved of love. This is what depression feels like. Yet, if you would ask if I was okay, then I would say yes, because I didn’t want to burden anybody. I felt that I needed to deal with it on my own.

This is why I evolved the CK Project. It started out as a weight loss thing, to hold myself accountable, but after my period in the darkness, I had to make it something more. After watching people be affected by seven suicides, I knew that I needed to do something else. I felt guilty for having those feelings, I felt even more guilty that I wasn’t able to reach out to these people and try to let them know that they weren’t alone in this struggle.

I took my experience, and decided to use my story as an example that there are other ways then suicide, there are better options. At this time, I didn’t consider myself a survivor. All I wanted to do was help someone else. This was at a time that I still didn’t see the “value” in my own life.

Once I found purpose with going to school, things started to change. I found my direction, and the accomplishments that I was doing started to add value to myself. Investing in myself, was the right choice, and once I got to be a director, I found the thing that was going to keep me going.

By this time, I was getting used to putting in the hard work, but I needed to gain more. See what I did there? So, I was in the last leg of my schooling, and I started to realize that I wanted to change more because I didn’t like the way I was physically feeling. I felt that I wasn’t in the body I was supposed to have, and I was ready to change that too.

So, I started to look into having the gastric sleeve surgery. I had heard that it was the safest option, and I’ve known people who had it done, with no regrets. At that time, I decided that I hadn’t heard anything about the negative side, and one of my best friend’s had also considered the surgery, so I decided that I would blog about it, both the good, and bad. I wasn’t going to hold anything back.

So, using my CK Project platform, I decided that my experience could be used as a tool for others to learn from. I realized that it went full circle from weight loss to mental health, back to weight loss, but I didn’t fully realize the connection between the two.

This is why I keep so busy, because everything I do, outside of work is just another way in attempt to have an outlet. It was a struggle when I felt that I didn’t have that release from the stressful situations, and it just brought me down. I find things that could serve more than one purpose for me.

This blog is the perfect example, as it started out as something for a class, I did a bit of research after and discovered that this was a good place to start out as a blogging site. I decided that this would be a better platform than Facebook to talk about my issues, and it would make it easier to distribute on other social medias. So, where does this serve more than one purpose? Well, I figured that blogging would help me sort out my thoughts, and it has in so many ways. It also helped me as a writer, that was the other thing that I wanted, to be a better writer.

So, I’ve gained a therapeutic way to sort my feelings and experiences while using my struggles and examples to help others, and it has helped me with the written word, and to think as a writer. I’ve gone from writing an average of 412 words per blog, up to over 830 words a blog. My scripts have gotten better and longer as well.

So, my suggestion for everyone is to put in the hard work. The reason is because you’ll benefit and grow in way that would be unexpected. How do you find the motivation? Do the things you love, damn what others might say, unless you’re a serial killer or something, that’s not a good thing. Too many people seem to lose passion from their lives, and passion is a strong guide and motivator. Self-improvement is the best investment any person can have, because it isn’t something that can be taken away.

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

 

This Loneliness IS Killing Me

So, we finished the two seasons of 13 Reasons Why(2017), and as we prepare to start our series on covering the subjects that are addressed in this show, I wanted to come out and say a few things before we get into the research of these issues. Going through some of the subject matter personally, I feel that this show took me to a place that reminded me of those difficult times.

If this is the first time you’ve ever read my blog, I’m about to get more real than I ever have before. My name is Chris Keeling and I’m a survivor. There are things that happen to us everyday that can cause us to choose very different paths then we are facing now, but we can also choose to make it through and get better, stronger then when those experience started.

In 13 Reasons Why(2017) Hannah Baker, a high school student is the subject of bullying, and as a compacted result of various types of bullying, decides to take her own life. Some of the situations that she experiences, I have myself gone through. Some of her experiences, I’ve witnessed with others. I’ve had conversations, and I’ve even seen my own children go through those experiences. I think watching my own children deal with these issues have been the hardest part of it all.

Now remember that I said, I am a survivor. I’ve survived several attempts of suicidal moments in my life. The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is a bunch of bullshit. I remember being made fun of because I was fat, and being the son of an NCO(Non Commissioned Officer in the military) in a predominantly Officer area brought along other hardships.  I was looked down upon because of the status of parents careers in comparison.

So, let’s talk about where all this seemed to lean towards, isolation, a feeling of not having anywhere to turn. I remember a sense of loneliness at the age of seven, and that’s the first time I decided that I didn’t want to live anymore. I walked out into the boonies, and hoped that a snake would bite me so that I could die. I didn’t feel loved, I didn’t feel liked, I didn’t feel that I was good enough for anything.

Yes, I know my parent’s loved me. I mean shouldn’t all parents love their children? I know it doesn’t always happen, but I know my parents loved me. When you’re in that mindset, something like that doesn’t come across your mind, I know it didn’t come across mine.

In third grade, I saw some sort of phycologist, and my self worth seemed to become less then, and I wanted to die. I don’t remember much from that interaction however I think this was about the second time that I had the urge to want things to end. How crazy is it that I had those feelings twice before I was in double digits?

Maybe I should have been put on some sort of medication by this time. Mental health has always been kind of taboo, and wasn’t always addressed. I really can’t explain why this was something that didn’t get really addressed in my house. I do know that I kept that kind of pain away from my parents. Which isn’t uncommon, my own children haven’t always been open to talking with me about their issues either.

Being excepted, being loved; it’s within these connections that I strived to feel. Being an outsider I always tried “too hard” to fit in with other people’s expectations of what was considered popular, or cool. I wanted to have the “glorious life” of the in crowd, and would often get verbally beaten down for it. The girls that I liked weren’t always the nicest to me, and I would often get rejected and have my heart broken with a cruel word.

Now, if you have been following along for sometime, then you’ve heard about my bicycle accident that I had when I was thirteen. I was reckless, and I don’t think that I ever really paid attention that day. I don’t think I ever paid attention ever, but that day I do know was hard. Again, I think I got a rejection that I took perhaps a bit too hard that day, and was even less in a mindset to care of anything when I got hit by that truck. Head trauma, broken bones, and a coma is what that got me, and I almost died.

Like Hannah Baker, who had her heart broken, and trust betrayed, I know those emotions too well. I think people in general just want to be accepted. Sometimes we feel like we have to hide who we really are to fit in. I often times played down the things I had been into, just so I wouldn’t get made fun of.

When I was about seventeen, I was cruelly broken up with, and I had taken a knife with the intent to stab myself. This was an emotional turmoil that I had fought with for a few weeks. It took a friend who had the scares from actually going through the whole process to yell at me. She made me realize that I needed to get out of my head and actually think about who I was going to affect.

Now, comes the epic work melt down, this is the last time I actually had those thoughts. I was never good at finding a way to get through high pressure situations. I have my reasons for leaving most aspects of my profession out of everything. This is not only a personal choice, but do to the things I do, there’s a sensitivity of discretion that goes with it.

What I can say is that what I do, is an ungrateful job, much like the janitor, or the food server, people are often quick to point out when they feel that you’re too slow, or inconveniencing them. Often times, if the customer doesn’t get their way, they become verbally abusive. End of job description…

Take that, and combine it with a highly stressful home life. We at the time didn’t know how to deal with a high functioning autistic, or even that was what it was. I was feeling beat down. I felt that I was trapped in a situation all around that I couldn’t get out of. I wanted to run away, and soon after I wanted all the pain and suffering to stop. I thought my family would be better without me, because I felt like a failure.

I ended up trying to slowly kill myself with food, that ended up being the way I went. I would sit down and play video games all day because I didn’t want to deal with my mental anguish. Food became my drug, and the more weight I gained, the more I hated myself. The more I hated myself, the more I would take it out on the one’s I loved.

I didn’t know how to deal with these feelings for the longest time. I know that my maternal family has a serious history of mental illness. My mother is heavy set, I think that food has been her drug for dealing with life. My sister, has been put in a mental institution, and my brother suffers from having “dark” thoughts as well. While I’m not saying this to put them on “blast”, I wasn’t raised in this environment.

My father and mother divorced when I was a toddler, and I never got to know anything about that side of the family until the invention of social media. It was my sister who came to establish a relationship with me. I’ve gotten to know that side a little bit, yet I’m still a bit cautious because the way I’ve grown up. I’m here for them if they need me, and I’ve had talks with them at various points when they’ve been in a “bad spot”.

I’ve struggled my whole life to find my place, and while I went through these various spots in my life, and that this is just a little piece of who I am. I am a survivor. I made it this far and I’m not going back, hell I don’t need to anymore because I did go through that before. I know how to handle those thoughts now.

Semicolon: a punctuation mark indicating a pause, typically between to main ideas.

A semicolon is the symbol of suicide survivors, because it represents a continuation instead of stopping. I’m at some point going to get this tattoo as a reminder that I’m better than I was and I continued to strive for something better, even when I thought all hope was lost.

If you are lost and unsure where to go, 13 Reasons Why has provided a set of resources that could be useful https://13reasonswhy.info.

I’m not a professional, I’ve never claimed to be, but I have some experience, and I think that helps. I’ve been there for people who’ve wanted to end things too, and I’ve shown them that they weren’t along. I’m just another person who’s got a dog in this fight too. Everyday I worry that something like this could happen to someone I love, and it’s been a helpless feeling.

My parting words of advice are this: We don’t always know what everyone goes through. Some people go through some rough times in there personal lives, and don’t want to share, because it’s a survival thing, or at least that’s what I believe. If negativity is impacted, it will manifest somewhere else. Abuse at home, sometimes manifests into bullying at school, or work. Be mindful, be kind, because you never know if you’ll make that difference in some’s life where they decide to keep going.

 

 

Giving Into A Bigger Cause

As I sit here, I’m reflecting on all these past memories that come up on Facebook. I find where I’ve had motivation, and I see where I lacked the insight that would later help to develop the person that I would become. Seeing the first real developmental moments of starting the weight loss process with Weight Watchers in 2011. Seeing how I had started the CK Project as a way to motivate myself, and hold myself accountable. Then to watch it inspire people along the way.

It was an important time in my life, and I wasn’t even sure that it would turn into something more. I always that that the CK Project stood for the Chris Keeling project, hell I originally called in Project Keeling. I knew that I wanted to keep a record of whatever process that I was going through at the time. Little did I know that I would give into negative thoughts, and have a meltdown in which my life would take an unexpected turn.

Two years into trying to become physically better, my mind would shut down, and the CK Project was dead. It was just something that had gone to a back burner, and ignored. As I look back to this dark time period, I realized that I would respond more to negative things, and lunge out in a defensive manner. It came down to a “bring it on” type mentality, and in person, I wasn’t prepared for the things I would have to come to terms with.

I was angry, and at the time I felt rightfully so, because people get mean, nasty, and entitled. I didn’t have a way to vent out the frustrations that would come out of these daily interactions. I would internalize every ounce of negativity, and it would be mirrored back towards my family. Towards myself, I had been stuck in a spot that wasn’t pleasant. I felt trapped, not just professionally, but personally. What made things worse was I wasn’t any good to myself, and I resented being with my partner. We had issues, and it was more because of the fact that I didn’t want to deal with the situation. I just wanted to shut the world out, and be numb. Often times, I think that’s the way people deal with hurt, and trauma, is to go to a place where they attempt not to feel the emotions and pain that comes with these high pressure situations.

It took another major event in life to get my attention and make me realize that I needed to snap out of the dense haze of self loathing. Some people consider it “divine intervention”. This event had caused me to look at myself, and realize what it was that I needed to do to get better. If there is one thing that is difficult to master, it’s taking  a critical look at oneself and looking at one’s flaws.

I needed to prepare myself in ways that I knew had to bring me back to a presence that I hadn’t really been in mentally for a long time. I made decisions to take back my own life, and had to realize that part of my problems where that I didn’t have purpose, and that I needed to learn to react better to the situations in life.

The change was a hard and slow process to go through. I had to learn to not hate myself, and I needed to find that relief of not feeling so trapped. Finding that purpose in life, and how I wanted to be represented to others were the start of my healing.

I’ve always had a good heart and I loved to help people, unfortunately, that’s also lead to a lot of heartache and caution when interacting with others. I find that new relationships that develop often times come with a bit of paranoia when trying to figure out what angle these people are playing. Most often it comes up when it comes to actually needing assistance in some way. Myself and my family have been hurt by this more times then we would care to admit.

Back to the subject at hand; there were so much emotion, and loss that had happened in life that I realized that I needed to do something. I more than ever wanted to share my story in hopes that others wouldn’t feel alone when suffering in depression. I started telling my story, and doing mini-blogs on Facebook, and this time of year is when they all start to appear on my memories. It’s made me realize that everything happens for a reason. The good, and the bad, it’s in the balance that people grow.

Going to school and finding WordPress was a blessing. It was about two-years after I decided that I wanted to talk about my mental health, and it presented me with a platform that I could get my story out to more people. It was easier to spread out in my various platforms of social media as well.

As I started to present this as the new and improved CK Project, it’s funny how it went back full circle and went back to my weight loss journey as well. Seeing that my physical and mental health are very intertwined, has allowed me to connect better with people. It’s allowed me to form more bonds with others, because my story isn’t that uncommon.

It’s strange to think that mental health and obesity are both subjects that are taboo, and how much people judge on  those basis. I even know people who have a dislike for “fat people” while they aren’t exactly small either. Is this another form that goes with mental health? I think that I’ll have to go down that rabbit hole with research at another point in time.

Sometimes people regret the decisions that they’ve made in their past, and often times, “if I could only do it again, I’d do it differently,” are often spoke. If you asked me that same question, my answer would be no. I’ve been through those dark times at various points in my life, do I wish that I knew better than I did? Hell yes, but I wouldn’t change it. I think it took that last time to allow me to get my head right. I needed to get through that rough time, just so I could evolve. I’m better now, I’ve invested in myself, which isn’t something I would have ever done. By investing in myself, I’ve been given the motivation to help others, and I’ve seen what my helping others is doing. I get to watch these people I help, grow, and become better version of themselves.  To me, that’s one of the best gifts that I could think of.

I want to share a conversation I had at work the other day:

I was working with a co-worker, and we got into the conversation about God. I'm by no rights a religious person, but I do have a spiritual belief in a higher power. God, and my personal beliefs don't usually come up, anywhere but we started talking about the Bible. Act 7:48 (God) dwelleth not in temples made with hands.




It got me to thinking that if the body is the temple, and you fix it, and build it strong, is that why we feel better mentally? Or how about the fact that I also feel better spiritually? I know when I go out for my walks, it feels like my meditation. I feel closer to having a conversation with God, or even just the fact that it helps me talk to myself and sort out ideas in my mind.

Life is a puzzle, and I know that I’ll never have everything figured out. All I know is that I was put here to help people. If there’s anything I can do to help, please reach out and I’ll see what I can do. This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Twenty Pounds Worth of Plastic

So, on May fourth was my seventeen month check up, and I had dropped another one and a half pounds since the last time I personally checked. So that put me at 265, and I was excited. My hard work continues to pay off, it’s just not as fast at it once was. Though the numbers continue to help motivate me to keep going.

Things have happened that kept me from getting to this blog started on May sixth.

While I was there the subject of skin removal had come up by the doctor, and he told me that removing stomach skin would take off an additional twenty pounds. This was exciting, but at the same time anxious news. While the idea of losing my extra skin sounds great from the vanity point of view, doing my observation on the weight loss support groups has shown me that the procedure has a a painful recovery time.

The recovery time is six weeks from what I gather, and that would mean that another six weeks of my life would be put on hold. While that doesn’t sound that bad considering the ultimate pay off, it still puts a tinge of nervousness on me. I know that I will go through it, as I plan on continuing to the final parts of this weight loss process, and I know that I still have about six months, if not more, to decide when I’ll get it done.

Continuing on the subject of my weight loss journey, I was on Instagram last week, and I saw on the West Medical page that yours truly was the transformation Tuesday for them. I was in shock, but I do remember telling them that they could use me as an example, especially since I seem to be doing my journey the right way. I needed up checking it out on Twitter as well, and I tweeted them and asked them if I could get on a billboard once I reached my goal weight.

To me, that just gives the CK Project that much more legitimacy, and it shows that my hard work is paying off. Hard work, that doesn’t always come easy. There are times I want to quit, and give up on everything. There are times that I still feel like I’m at 429. I was told just yesterday that it should take about seven years for me to get out of that mind set. In the end, I know that I have this, even if it’s a struggle at times.

Now to the point of why this blog has taken so long to get out: I’ve been mentally at a spot that I haven’t felt comfortable about where the pressures in life have been coming from. I’ve felt in adequate, and I can’t really pin point the source of why I’ve been feeling that way.

The last two weekends, my sleep schedule has been shit. I haven’t been able to shut my mind off, and it’s been difficult not thinking about everything under the moon. I hope that the steps that I’ve taken to forward myself professionally works out the way I would like. I’ve had to take a step back and look at all the factors in my life, and formulate a five year plan. So far, it’s too early to see those results, as it’s just starting.

The strange part about my decision was that it was never apart of the over scheme for my life, and I said that I never would take that leap. God, things really have changed for me over the last year and a half. So much has happened that has been unexpected, and here I am, finding a different passion, and connection to life. This journey continues to take me places that I find surprise me, and the choices that I make.

For the last thoughts on this blog today is that I started a challenge that I found on Tumblr, while I’m in someone’s challenge there, I reached out on my various social media pages, and posted a fun challenge called The No Zero Day May challenge. The challenge consists of doing some sort of physical activity everyday during the month of May, no rest. You can do a light walk, as a rest day, but the challenge is to keep it going all month.

The awesome part is that I have three people that I personally know taking this challenge, and I’m excited to see their results everyday. My friend Terry has taken this challenge and is kicking so much ass, and his results are making me proud. He’s been my friend for over twenty-years and I’ve seen his health go down hill, that to hear that his weight is dropping and his blood sugar numbers are going down, is a gift unto itself.

I can’t believe that we’re already almost half way through the year already. It’s crazy to see how things are going so fast. I’m not ready for my oldest to graduate next month, and then become a legal adult. Anyway, this is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

#ITSOKAYNOTTOBEOKAY

     Disclaimer: Due to technical difficulties with internet and the real world, I’ve been away, and I’m back for more….

     As with most of my blogs as of late, I usually start off by talking about my weight loss journey, but being away for the amount of time I have, something has struck me with inspiration, and pulls me in a direction that I normally only touch upon. Not today! Today I want to talk about #itsokaynottobeokay.

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook, looking at the many posts and memes that get shared, when I happened to see a post about being there for others with the hashtag its okay not to be okay. As many of you who do actually read my blogs, know what The CK Project is all about. Some have been with me from the beginning, way back in 2011, when it was just about motivation for better physical health, but its since evolved into more than just the physical, but has incorporated the mental health as well.

It’s funny how things seem to go full circle, then brings attention to the real reasons that I started blogging. I’ve been witness to some friends of mine being in the dark places, and I want to let them know that “it’s okay not to be okay”, but to remind them that better times are always around the corner.  Being someone who’s been in the mindset of suicide on more than one occasion, I want to remind my friends, my readers, that I know it’s hard to get out of your mind with the ideas that there’s nothing better, and to end it all, would be the best way, but it’s not true, nor is it the best option for anyone.

I know how lonely it gets, and it’s frustrating to see my own wife go through her battles, and watch her discover what the dark shade of depression is. I also know that it’s easier said than done when it comes to dealing with it. Just know that those who are meant to be in your life are there for a reason, even if it’s just so you can learn to tell them to fuck off. I know someone who’s dealing with hate and discontent in their family, being that I myself have a spotty relationship with most of my extended family, I understand. Sometimes we have to make the difficult choice to cut those people out of your lives. I know that I don’t deal with most family members because I’m the black sheep, and I look at life very different then those who grew up together.

Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. It isn’t just a hash tag trend on social media. It’s a reminder that it’s okay to not stay strong. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay, to be vulnerable. You’re only human, and that’s….okay. We all have gone through some form of rough times, and we all can weather the storm. Life can and will get better if you allow it, even with a bit of help.

Self analysis is a strong tool to have to help get through these problems, and I remember when I felt like I had nowhere to turn. Getting the help, more importantly, asking for the help is the first step to recovery, in any situation in life. That’s always why having other’s around you can help you figure it out. If you don’t have the tool set, find someone who can help you get that tool set. Find that way to count your spoons.

As I’ve been on this journey of self discovery, and building a better me, I’ve grown so much, and I see people who’ve had the similar struggles, tend to show kindness in a world that usually doesn’t have any of it to spare. So we deal, and try to manage, then you get that asshole who wants to shit on whatever progress you’ve made. That’s something that’s damaging and can lead to worse things. Unfortunately, those people don’t care, or give a thought to what they might have just done.

It’s okay not to be okay, and if you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and if I can’t help you, I’ll find you somebody who can. I’ve lost a few people to suicide, and even one is too many. This is why the project is stronger than ever. This is why I do what I do. This is why, somehow, its been my bigger focus in life. Saving someone is worth it, and I’ve been there to help people not leave this earth too soon, and I’ll continue to strive to help as long as I can.

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