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?

Cheat Day

So, I felt like I didn’t do as well as I could have this weekend. Hell, I felt like I almost blew my hard work. I had some chips, and I snacked a bit more than I should have; at least that’s how I felt.

I also didn’t quite get the steps in for the weekend that I planned on. However, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be okay, because today. So, I cheated a bit this weekend, at least I’m determined not to be that way. I need to remind myself that I really shouldn’t have a cheat day, because it becomes a slippery slope unto other bad habits that I’ve tried to forget.

All this on top of the fact that I’ve been feeling a bit weird lately, and I’m not sure how I should be reacting to dealing with everything. I’ve got sick kids, and a wife who maybe coming down with a serious disease, and in the end, I’ve still got to keep my shit together.  I hate having my moments of weakness because it makes me feel like a failure, even when I’m not.

The think that I’ve got going is that I’m exploring more of digital special effects, and that’s making me feel better. I’ve had a good weekend, with friends, even though my kids are now really getting sick. Plus, it’s Labor Day weekend, which gives me four days off.

The leaps and bounds that I’ve gotten with Adobe After Effects…..

 

Update 9-8-18:

So, while I started this blog on Monday, I’ve been sick and dealing with life. I was able to go to my personal training session on Tuesday, and I killed it. It gave me the confidence I felt that I was lacking when I started the blog on Monday. Unfortunately, a few hours later, a sore throat and fever hit me hard and took me out for a couple of days.

Because of that, my week went to shit, sort of. As of now though, I am better. A few days of rest was something that I needed. It sucks when the body aches and the head is a bit fuzzy.

Today, we people in the small town of Ridgecrest had our annual Parade of a 1000 Flags. It’s a day to remember those we lost in the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. We as a family have been involved with the parade in various ways. We’ve walked with each of the kids schools, we’ve walked with the Boy and Girl Scouts, and have walked with the Autism Awareness group in town. Last year, we walked with our brother and sister geeks for The Geeks of The IWV. Today was a milestone as The CK Project made its public debut this year.

For the parade this year, we decided to make the letters white, to make it stand out when being represented. The letters pop a bit more. It’s limited, and it’s the start of us taking control to actually do our own merchandise. I wanted to have a simple basic look this time to represent the fact that The CK Project wants to show the beginnings of something new.

The normal blue for the letter’s represents hope. Yes, I picked that up from a comic book, and I think that hope is something that tells where the mission starts for myself personally. Dealing with my weight loss journey, and my mental health has inspired me to try and inspire others, with the hope that people find the answers that they might be looking for.

There’s been too many people lost to depression and suicide, and I wonder if they knew that they could have someone to reassure them that everything would be okay; if they would have made another choice. It gets better, and I’m the first one to admit that my head space hasn’t always been positive, and I’ve felt the bitter feelings of feeling trapped with no place to go. The thing I gained the most? I survived, and anyone who feels that shadow of doubt should be able to be reminded that they too can survive and it will get better.

Life is getting better, I’m going to be doing my weigh-in update tomorrow, and take the boy child to the gym to get our exercise on. This is the director and that’s a wrap.