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Pinkie Promise?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I posted about my issues with depression and anxiety because I want to set the example. It's ok to talk about it. While there is indeed a fine line between too much information and honesty, there is a tendency for those who struggle to hide and put up a false front. That never solves the problem, action and dialogue does.

It has been difficult to get back on my feet and back to my routine but I'm ok with the slow turn around. Things have improved in spite of the anxiety triggers at work, specifically the spectre of another mass layoff at work...again. Too many bad memories brought back of fruitless job hunts, wondering why I am not good enough to find a job, financial fears, late notices.. they all come back to me every time I hear the news that it is going to happen, even if it is a temporary shut down. They always start as a "temporary shutdown". How many other hard working, Blue Collar men have heard the same things only to see their future collapse? To see the gates locked, to know that the life they knew is now over.

Hey, that's life and this journey is for life. Just because you lose alot of weight and do some epic things doesn't mean that the hard times wont come. This is just another marathon. I coped with "hitting the wall", I saw it through. I had the courage to start and the will to finish. There was uncertainty, worry, struggle, and coping with mistakes made early on that I paid dearly for after the 13 mile mark. This is my emotional marathon and it is time to come through victorious. My Valley Of Elah where I will face my Goliath. While nothing is certain, I have 5 smooth stones in my pocket, a sling in my hand, and a target.

Nothing has happened yet. I need to treat it as such. I have had to stop and force myself to focus on the present and deep breathe. Doing that really helps lower my heart rate and I did manage to hold off the panic. This is a real coping skill and I am now doing it on a regular basis. My fitness is more for rehab and feeling good as opposed to the usual push hard and find your limits sort of stuff that I am so fond of. This is one of those times that I am leading myself beside the still waters rather than trying to beat myself into submission.

There will be those times for hard effort but exercise needs to be regarded as a place to go when you are not strong. When you run to exercise and not to food, you have already won. 100% effort is not just a number. At my very best I may have been able to leg press over 400 pounds but if I do half that with the mental load I am under, that is my 100%. The mental side of things plays a big role on how well I do physically and sometimes 100% effort is gauged by what it took to even get through the front door of the gym.

we must never be tied to a number but rather recognize that 100% manifests itself in many ways and should be recognized for what it is.

Today, I gave it 100%.

How about you? Are you struggling? Go do something, anything, and feel the sense of accomplishment of a job well done and I will do the same...

Pinkie Promise??

Link To My Public Blog... mailboxes2miles.blogspot

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  • v KUTEY5041
    I suffer from anxiety and bipolar (they type that acts like depression and no manic). This shows me if you can hang in there, I should be able to also. I know I will have days where I can't do it period, but I need to do my very best to get even just a little in
    1239 days ago
    Thank you. I am currently going through a tough period in my life as well, and reading this has helped me to discover some things about myself, and I hope that I too can get through it. You're doing fantastic, and I believe you will achieve your goals!!
    1283 days ago
    Thank you for this post. It helps to find others who are struggling with similar issues and seeing how they cope with it. I like your idea about exercise being "a place to go to when you are not strong". I never really thought of it like that, but it's definitely something I need to try. I need to turn to that instead of food or the couch for comfort.
    1283 days ago
    Beautiful. I needed to read this today. I have talked myself out of doing things knowing that I wouldn't be able to give 100% at that time. Little did I realize that doing it at all would be 100% for that particular day. You've given me something I hope to never forget. Giving it your best is always 100%. Your best may vary but it is always your best.

    Thanks, Robert. You've saved me from self-defeat. Again.
    1285 days ago
  • v SATCHMO99
    Thanks for an inspiring blog, as usual you say what usually clatters around in many people's heads. Naming the fear often shrinks it from being Goliath size to a more defeatable David size.

    You are really helping me to help my husband, who right now is fighting work-related depression. He has just signed up for a mindfulness-based CBT course, starting on Wednesday evening.

    Good luck with your fight - you definitely have a budding career as a writer. Perhaps you could submit a fitness related article to your local paper, or to a fitness magazine, and see how it is received?
    1288 days ago
    Pinkie promise!
    1292 days ago
  • v LYNSEY723
    What a great blog. Thank you.
    1292 days ago
    1292 days ago
  • v COOKIE_AT_51
    Pinkie Promise! Love it ... so timely. Thanks for all you share, you help so many. emoticon
    1292 days ago
  • v DDOORN
    Right there, OH-SO-WITH-YOU Robert!

    Spark ON! :-)

    1292 days ago
    1293 days ago
    Pinkie promise...last evening i had a bridal show. wait back up. Friday evening i stood up to go to bed. HUGE CRACKING NOISE, and blinding pain. i thought..oh no...thats it the bone in my knee thats weakend finally broke. Kevin jumped up. miraculously i was still standing. ARE YOU OK?? he says? i said yeah but something feels odd. then i realized what it was..for the first time in close to 10 years i had NO PAIN. none. i looked and him and squatted. right to the ground. since i am totally unable to, he thought i was falling. then i stood up. his eyes got bigger. i said Kev..i dont hurt. total miracle. i thought..ok..fluke..i'll take a step and it will be back. not so. i got my icewater and headed for the stairs. now to WATCH me go upstairs is i go one step at a time, hanging on to the walls and groaning every step. I WALKED UP THE STAIRS LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. he says..i dont believe it. now going down is even worse, but i turned around and went down. then up the second flight, and the thrid.
    ok...well..a night in bed will surely cure this wonderfulness. NOPE. got up..some pain but nothing like the norm.
    i worked all morning..we packed the car. went to the show. then i stood. on a hard floor. for 4 hours. sat for the runway show..then back up. we go to leave..uh oh. well, still not so bad. till i went to go up to bed. but still..i stood..maybe it will go away.
    nope. i almost couldnt get out of bed. but i thought of you..and Ken, and Cat, and Debbe..and i got up. AND I DID MY WALK. i limped it. i winced. but i did it. and i'm glad...
    1293 days ago
  • v LINDAKAY228
    I really appreciate this!
    1293 days ago
    I hear you my friend. There are all kinds of struggles going on in people's lives and I for one am a great believer of "if you don't feel good physically or mentally exercise is the key to moving forward". I know this struggle first hand and have been on a backslide due to an injury, but I'm working my way through it and trying to get the wheels back on my wagon and my rear back in the seat. Your words were encouraging and I appreciate them.
    1293 days ago
    1293 days ago
    I love the analogy to a marathon. Who knew that running a marathon would not only have physical benefits, but that the accomplishment would provide emotional support in the future? Makes me want to run one. Ok, maybe a half! Anyway, I'm going through something similar at work, my future is uncertain at the moment, so I'll remember your excellent suggestion, to run to exercise not food! So beneficial in so many ways! I'm also updating the resume and portfolio....juuuuuust in case. Worthwhile even if I don't end up needing them.
    emoticon emoticon
    1293 days ago
    Thank you so much for your post! I love that you validate the experiences and emotions (e.g. fear) that we all go through, and then you move on to the positive: staying in the present moment by taking deep breaths, etc.

    This reminds me of what I learned in a group for veterans that my husband teaches, about core beliefs. The main idea is that we perceive the events in our lives, including interpersonal relations, through the lens that our core beliefs have made.

    For example, as you posted, so many blue collar workers have been told their company was going to have a temporary shut down, only to eventually see the gates closed for good, their livelihoods lost. Like many of us, they can form the core belief that any job they have from that point forward is not going to last, so when the next "temporary shutdown" notice comes, they think, "this is just like the last time (or timeS) - I'm going to lose my job and maybe even my home."

    The amazing thing about this is that our core beliefs actually cause us to internally change the chemistry within our brains, more specifically, in our synaptic clefts. To put it simply, negative beliefs release "negative chemisty" and positive beliefs release "positive chemistry." If the "bad" thing hasn't happened yet, why do we choose to believe that it will?
    As you posted, we are just in this present moment. If we really take a detached, objective look at this tiny present moment, how bad, or how GOOD is it, really?

    Why not, just for this moment, this day, choose to believe that I am indeed okay? Of course, that doesn't mean bury your head in the sand and live in denial. By all means, consider doing the footwork if you think there is something you CAN do to help your situation, mood, etc. In the meantime, though, why not look to the positive? Why not "run to exercise instead of run to food?" (as you posted :) Every single moment, we have a choice over at least one thing - what we choose to BELIEVE . . . and from there, anything really can happen.

    Thanks, ON2VICTORY, for inspiring us today!

    In Peace and Blessings, Lori

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1293 days ago
  • v KATHIC2
    Pinkie promise.
    1294 days ago
    Couldn't agree more. emoticon
    1294 days ago
    Thanks Robert! Insightful and inspiring as always emoticon
    Pinkie promise, back at you!!
    1294 days ago
  • v 4CYNDI
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. It is HARD to overcome the mental fears and depression. Keep moving and breathe in breathe out (BIBO).
    1294 days ago
  • v NOCUBY
    You should consider a career in writing! You have a gift, not only for expressing yourself in writing, but for helping others. Good job!
    1294 days ago
  • v JUNEAU2010
    Wow! Did I ever need to see this blog today. I know that it would help us all if we did not hide depression but be open about it. I had a blindside yesterday that I have not talked about. I am very hurt, very scared, facing possible unemployment and all that that brings. I have been keeping all of that in, teetering on the edge of depression. While I have not exercised, I have been careful about what I have eaten today, so I count that as a win.

    You have encouraged me with your example. I will talk with someone....
    1294 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78

    You're really spicketing my lingidy (Austin Powers reference - if you don't know...never mind).
    It's validating to know someone else who has experienced what you are going through - and know in some small way, that you aren't crazy!!!

    After I had my last baby I ended up with a blood clot in my lung. Wanna talk about anxiety? I seriously thought I was dying several times over the course of the next 6 + months. I've always had anxiety coupled with panic attacks, but this was an all-time new thing for me! It nearly crippled me! I finally hit it head on - I couldn't believe what it felt like to NOT feel that way! It's an on-going battle, but I'm aware, and I have tools now. :-) Believe me - if *I* made it out the other side, ANYONE can!!! (((HUGS)))
    1294 days ago
  • v BABYNURSE2000
    Pinkie Promise!
    1294 days ago
    And I will!
    1294 days ago
  • v BLUEROSE73
    Good for you for fighting this illness head on. I know how hard it can be. I've struggled with depression for years myself. Even been hospitalized a couple of times because of it. There are days where it's too hard to get out of bed and get dressed in the morning.

    I found fitness to be my key to fighting the illness. No medications worked. But fitness and nutrition helped me see that there was a life that didn't have such a heavy, dark cloud over it all the time

    You can do this.
    1294 days ago
    Thanks for your blog. I found it thought provo
    king. emoticon
    1294 days ago
    Pinkie promise, yes!

    1294 days ago
    Pinkie Promise! emoticon
    1294 days ago
    Thanks Robert. This is a great blog. Yes, you've got my pinkie promise. I'll do my best. Thanks and good luck to you too.
    1294 days ago
  • v NELLIEH1
    Especially like your references to David's struggles in meeting the giant, in his shepherd loneliness and in facing the threats on his life in the valley of the shadow. Wonder what he was thinking as he trotted out to meet Goliath or kept being threatened by death and having to flee? His answer is ours, too. You are right, we just have to choose to take that next step trusting instead of trying to do it all ourselves. Thanks.
    1294 days ago
    Pinkie promise!!
    1294 days ago
    You do a good job on these blogs. One way to deal with concerns about the future is to have plans and strategies. Most folks will retire some day, and my want to have a supplemental income. It can be fun to adapt enjoyable activities into the plans and strategies for the future.

    Have you considered beginning to develop a career in writing?
    1294 days ago
    Pinkie promise - I'll give 100% to everything I do!
    emoticon emoticon
    1294 days ago
    You sound like you are making great progress. Kudos to you.
    1294 days ago
    You say what I am thinking and feeling !! I logged on today knowing i needed something and found your last few blogs, You are so on target and helped clarify some vague thoughts in my head. Do not give up or give in. You have inspired me to keep going on bad days and to appreciate the good days.
    1294 days ago
    Pinkie promise, definitely! I like what you said about 100% not always meaning the same number. I hope your work situation remains stable. I'm retired now, but will never forget how difficult it sometimes was to find a job. Good luck!
    1294 days ago
  • v ANGIEN9
    Well said!! You have my pinkie promise that I will give my 100%!!
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    1294 days ago
    Well put. Keep plugging.

    Have you ever tried the serenity prayer for the times when you are felling the panic coming on? It is a great centering tool, at least I find it that way.

    Keep talking and don't give up.
    1294 days ago
  • v PHOENIX1949
    4 x 4 x 4 x 4 Technique recommended to me by a therapist at a chronic pain management program that helps reduce my anxiety level.

    Breathe in deeply to a count of 4

    Hold for a count of 4

    Breath out slowly to a count of 4

    Repeat 3 times for a count of 4.

    emoticon emoticon

    Wish I was actively aware of the above while waiting for the other shoe to drop at the large corporation I worked at for many years. Instead I sought temporary solace from way too much food!

    1294 days ago
  • v LINDAK25
    Pinkie promise! Let's just keep on going.
    1294 days ago
    As a former manager in a large company, I watched my peers ladi off, and I had to lay off many of my employees. it was a horrible, horrible thing to do, and one of the reasons I took a buyout when I had the chance. I hope you don't get laid off, but if it happens, hope that you find something better. Just remembering makes my stomach knot...
    1294 days ago
    my pinkie promise? to get my home as clean as it was a while ago! When I had kids in all the rooms, I kept the mess under control. Now I only have granchildren visiting, not staying the night. Housework has hit a lower mark, but I still feel it needs to look good in places no body but me goes. I spent today cleaning the 'back' bedroom, and gave the bathroom a through clean with the steam cleaner. How do I feel? lots better about the rooms because 'I know'
    they are clean. This is all to do with honesty with myself, I was always 'on show' as a Foster carer. And I feel guilty if the house is not up to inspection, even though I no longer foster. So Robert you are once again helping, maybe in a way you did not even think of. Bless you and your endevours. Maureen emoticon
    1294 days ago
    Yes. Exactly. Every time doesn't have to be a killer. You can just go to relieve stress and feel better. :)
    1294 days ago
    Robert, I am wondering about your job. You often (or always, not sure) have to work the night shift. You have trouble working those hours. It disrupts everything about your life. You don't like your job. You have family. IF there is a lockout, is there the option for you to return home and focus on what you really want to do? I know you've mentioned wanting to become a certified trainer and also a certified personal life coach. There is a wonderful Spark article about a woman who was very unhappy in her job and wanting to change. She actually found a position with an agency where she had been volunteering, and is so much more happier now. This is something you need to give some serious thought to, and I'd recommend discussing it with your dr too. Sending positive, good thoughts your way!!
    1294 days ago
    Methinks you have found the place I refer to as my "line in the sand"... my 100% for the bad times, the tough times... that's my "line in the sand". This far and no farther. I *will* take those three ten minute breaks as walks... I will not skip them and try to accomplish more at the desk. That way lies failure on multiple fronts. emoticon emoticon
    1294 days ago
    Pinkie promise! You're right, there are many different ways to push, to take care of ourselves, and to stay healthy. Thanks for this post!
    1294 days ago
    You got it! Pinkie promise!!! emoticon emoticon
    1294 days ago
    This is such a great blog. I always appreciate your honesty. Sharing your heart with a bunch of people you don't know is a tough thing, but thank you for doing that because then I get an opportunity to encourage you & pray for you -- just a couple of my gifts from God.

    I like the Goliath analogy. I needed to hear that today. Hang in there -- we're pulling for you!! emoticon

    1294 days ago
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