Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Growth and Acceptance in 2008

Its been a strange year. My 30th year. Can’t say it was the best. Probably one of the most personally challenging years of my life. All while two of my closest friends went through the greatest challenges of their lives. My problems seem to pale in comparison to what they went through, but I feel like we have all grown exponentially… at least for me, finding strength and inspiration in them. It was a year of growth and acceptance…

This year I awoke from a passive state of existence. How I got there is really no mystery but digging out has been a challenge. Nothing has ever been good enough in my life; at least in my mind… and in all reality there wasn’t really a lot to be unhappy about, but there seemed to be this discontentment pulsing through my veins. Always looking for something better. I can’t say I’ve changed a lot but I am definitely on my way to contentment… It’s hard because the path that led you astray typically will not lead you out… and it took a trip to the bottom for me to realize this for myself.

My Five Things:

Well it’s interesting how this came up, but no longer important. Earlier this year I was asked what my five favorite things in life were. Embarrassingly, I really struggled with this. Not so much because there aren’t things that I enjoy, but because I started to realize that the things I valued so much in life had been absent from my life for a very long time. There wasn’t much I would get excited about. “Fun stuff” became something to break the monotony, or something to past the time, not something joyful.… I knew that I had been just going through the motions for quite sometime. That I was no longer striving to create joy in my life. That my spirit had dimmed and I was not excited by anything anymore.

I guess the wake up call, or the bottom, came when I slipped into severe depression after I coming off oxycodone. I had surgery in spring that I had been putting off for several years. I knew it wasn’t going to be pleasant but I don’t think I really thought about how hard it was going to be… and drug withdrawals were really never on the radar. Of course, the withdrawal was not the sole source of my depression but it certainly had my mind in a weird place. I even got prescribed antidepressants, however because of an insurance snafu I didn’t receive them until 10 days after they were prescribed… in the mean time a friend gave me a book that opened my eyes a bit. By the time I finally got the antidepressants, I was ready climb out of the hole on my own. I never took the pills.


It is not easy to pick yourself up, especially when you have been sliding for years. I guess I just realized that I didn’t want to live a lackluster life and that only I could do something about it. It is a struggle everyday and I am not out of the woods yet, in fact the woods may always be in site. Depression is a self defeating disease, because only you can drag yourself out of it. Pills and counseling can help, but the onus is on you to find a real solution, not just a remedy for the symptoms.

That is what I set out to do. I made the list of my five favorite things, and as I mentioned, some of the things on that list I hadn’t done or experienced in a long, long time… and some of those things are not everyday things. So I forced myself to do things that I used to enjoy, things that I could do everyday, like playing basketball. I joined the Y. Shot hoops just about everyday. Shooting hoops has always been therapeutic for me; I blogged about this earlier in the year. I also hit the beach every weekend to read and think. Slowly I began to loosen up. Changed my diet and with the combination of diet and exercise I got super healthy. I lost just over 30 pounds and as of 12-30-2008 my resting heart rate was 47. I started blogging. It has been a claiming activity that seems to mitigate the loneliness of living in this one horse town.


I let go of a lot things this year that I had been carrying around on my shoulders. While some baggage never goes away, I’ve been better about not letting it weigh me down. I found forgiveness in others, in life, and most of all in myself this year. I didn’t do anything or say anything to anybody… just loosened the grip.


There was this guy that wrote an editorial column for the local newspaper when I was in high school and he had written a story about one of my friends from MDA camp. It was such a nice article that my grandma and I became instant fans. She would save the paper for me whenever he had a column. It turned out that he was good friends with one of my high school teachers and word got back to him that my grandma and I were fans. So one year in his end of the year article he put a special thank you in the column to me and my grandma for reading his column every Sunday. I will never forget how special that made us feel… so in keeping with that here are my heroes of 2008:

Thanks in every way.

Rose and Jo
Big Guns
The Avett Brothers
The Two J Whaley’s

Christina & Anna. The randomness of the circumstances that brought us all together are fascinating to me… the experience can never be choreographed or duplicated again. We will never forget you, and may you never know or understand what you did for us.

I don’t believe in fate, destiny or a higher power (in the religous sense), but I am intrigued by those ideas, especially when something random happens to me. I know that doesn’t really make sense, but I can’t really clarify either. I believe in energy. I believe opportunities present themselves all the time, you just have to be open to them… and to be open you have to be in control of yourself. I believe in universal checks and balances. This was a turbid year, but the waves have calmed and balance is returning. In the last part of the year I feel like the universe has paid up on some debts it owed… or maybe I just reached my hand out to accept.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Somebody Please Get me this for Christmas

All I want for Christmas is Flame by BK - the new meat-scented body spray

Convergence of Goodbyes

Aside from Whitney leaving LC and Co. to move to NYC on The Hills this week, there have been a plethora of goodbyes in my life recently. Some forever, some long term, some short term, all sad. Life is not easy sometimes...

You never really leave a place or person you love, part of them you take with you, leaving a part of yourself behind. - Unknown

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mundane Mixed with the Marvelous

We had our holiday party for work this last weekend at the Lake Buena Vista Hilton Resort. Despite current times this was the largest party ECT has ever had. There were over 300 people there.

The turnout might have had something to do with the fact that ECT paid for everyone and their guests to see Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba before the party. I had heard so many great things about the show, even from people that I never would have guessed would have seen it in the first place... and they were right it was nothing short of spectacular.

Dinner was good and the drinks were flowing. Good weekend. Short and sweet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Structured Love

Love is like a building... Brick by brick you construct this elaborate masterpiece. It is resilient, but time has a way of wearing it down... With maintenance it can last, but if neglected the problems snowball, eroding the foundation...

Love, like a building, will linger after the storm, but once the foundation has been damaged beyond repair its only a matter of time before it all comes crumbing down... And there is definitely a point when there is nothing left to save, and you must abandon it to save yourself from the fallout.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hoop Not So Much

So I've been "running" with the "ballers" more and more lately at the Y (aka Young Mens Christian Association--the perfect place for me). I shoot around pretty much everyday, and for the first few months I shied away from getting in on any games. I am not a bad shot, some (i.e., me) would say I am sweet, but when you put me in the fast pace of a game I can't keep up with the kids.

Over time I started getting picked up as the last player and would get completely schooled out of my skin-tight cotton tank top. But recently I have been getting some "cred" and have been brought into more games (still the last player). Now that I am getting used to the pace of running I am scoring quite a bit more.

At this point I would consider myself a regular. I know all the other guys and they know me, not by name, though, of course. Part of me (actually the dominant, self-critical part of me) thinks the others are taking it easy on the crippled kid. They say nice things after the games, but, come on, I suck... I just say thanks... On one hand I appreciate the recognition but on the other, I am embarrassed. My biggest thing is not being pitied. This goes way back to childhood; ashamed of the breaks I received, thinking I was overcoming, when actually I was being helped along... boat loads of shame, day after day, more of the same... competitive male that can't physically compete... ay-yai. need to stop this.