One mans bumpy journey on the road to Manifesting Joy! Living Headstrong & Heartfelt...
I didn't think I needed anyone. Yet I was absolutely terrified of being alone and trusting people. This put me in an impossible position.
Terrified of being alone yet desperately needing to be with people.
This set me up to become a world class people pleaser. It also created a significant achievement deficit. I became so focused on giving people what I thought they needed, I lost my sense of self.
I spent 55 years in the no man's land of performance based acceptance. Then one question changed my life - changed the way I viewed myself and how I fit into it. The question?
“What are you doing for self care?”
I had no answer. I was the guy who always had the answers, or found the answers - until that moment. That was the moment I woke up.
The "What are you doing for self care?" question was disturbing and awakening. Disturbing because I knew I wasn't practicing any form of authentic self care. Awakening because it was disturbing and with this new awareness I could finally begin to escape the clutches of my fearful brain.
Escape the clutches of the performance based acceptance I had become addicted to and codependent upon. The powerful dysfunction that fed my need for approval. The sad dysfunction that I had built my life upon.
The dysfunction that I had became far too familiar and comfortable with. It owned me.
I gave it everything - my dreams, my thoughts, emotions, my reactions, choices and my identity.
I thought it was me and I was it. Oh my I was so lost. Yet I didn't know I was lost, I just thought that this was the way life was.
The Beginning of Coming To The End of Myself
It was certainly the way my life was. An awakened sense of feeling disturbed. So much so, I started exhibiting features that looked like depression. I gradually became nervous, anxious and most troubling - weak and jittery. My hands would shake. I was so nerve(ous) that it shook me to my core, literally made my hands shake.
I had trouble focusing and making the most simple decision felt agonizing. I felt dizzy, lightheaded and confused. My mind was so crazy busy, thoughts racing and jumping from one anxious thought to another. Constantly on the move, I felt strung out. I was seeking relief when I finally decided to visit my doctor.
I told him, “I'm the only income earner and you need to keep me out of the hospital, I need a way to cope.” (little did I realize what an impossible request I had made, I gave away my power)
My doctor listened carefully and explained that I had overrun my capacity. Considering everything, in his opinion all I needed was a little support, an anti depressant called Effexor XR, sustained release.
The dosage started out at 37.5 mg then slowly increased to 75mg to 150. I slowly started to feel less anxious, fearful and nervous. Time went by, one day, one week and month at a time. My business continued to grow, McGraw-Hill recruited me to write a book about how to buy a business and then how to write a business plan. Life was pretty good, I wasn't stressed anymore, I was busy running a business, home schooling my son, looking after my sick wife.
I started to feel so good, I would occasionally forget to take my meds.
That's when I noticed feeling extreme agitation.
I hadn't felt anything for a long, long time. Suddenly I was feeling extremely agitated. That's when I noticed that I hadn't been feeling or noticing my emotions for a long, long time. That was really disturbing. I suddenly felt heavy, slow and lethargic.
I only felt anger or agitation. I couldn't cry, I didn't feel sad or happy, only agitation.
Most of the time I felt like a dull butter knife.
I decided to try to get off the meds, cold turkey.
That wasn't a good idea, life got real “bumpy” as I got more “grumpy” which happened more and more as I attempted to extract myself from the clutches of the antidepressants. It was brutal, the sudden bouts of anger, agitation and those damn brain shivers.
The Antidepressant Detox Begins
That's when I made a decision, to visit my doctor again, I wanted to get off the antidepressants. My doctor didn't like the idea. He said that I would likely need them for the rest of my life. Plus there were the side effects of getting off the drugs.
I told him, “I would rather deal with the side effects of depression and at least feel something than to continue to feel nothing, like a dull butter knife.”
He proceeded to write down for me the process of getting off the drugs.
At the time I was up to 300mg dosage, so he suggested I reduce the dosage by 37.5mg every few weeks. It was pretty easy going until I hit the 112.5 mg mark. Thats when the brain shivers and agitation kicked in again.
I went online to get more information. It was tough to find credible information. I finally stumbled upon a UK forum where a fellow posted his remedy to deal with the side effects. It involved using approx. 22 different health supplements throughout the day at different times.
I made a trip to the health food store, it cost me $400 but I was desperate to get some relief from the withdrawal symptoms.
It actually worked. It took 6 months to get down to the last 37.5 mg dose and three months to get to zero. A total of approx 15-18 months. I still had some ringing in my ears but the brain shivers slowly subsided.
Lifestyle and Intuitive Shifts
I should mention that during the last five years I have made a lot of lifestyle changes as well. I took part in drumming circles, studied Science of Mind, began to channel, practiced Buddhism and read everything I could get my hands on for alternative approaches to health, healing and spirituality. I cannot point to any “one thing” that grounded me or changed my life. It was a combination of things.
What really stands out as having the greatest benefits were Science of Mind, Buddhism, channeling and now Reiki.
There are some people who are more “purist” in their spiritual pursuits and choose only one path, that used to be me.
Today, I’m a more Heinz 57 guy.
I want a little of this and a little of that. I trust myself enough to know what is working and what I need.
The journey of learning to listen to my body and my heart has been transformational. Of all the things that I have learned in the last five years, trusting myself and learning to listen to my heart changed everything. It did not happen overnight.
The Beginning of The Beginning Of Real Change
The beginning was 2010 when I decided to develop a “self care consciousness” and I have never looked back. That simple decision changed everything, it changed the way I viewed myself and the way I viewed the world.
Self care became my obsession.
I began writing and soon realized how huge the topic of practicing self care actually was. The more I learned, the more I discovered I didn’t know. The more I realized this would become a life long Magnificent Obsession (MO). I even changed my Facebook username to mrselfcare.
Today, my first book in the “Headstrong & Heartfelt” series, "90 Reflections on Living Consciously In A Chaotic World" is available on Amazon.
Harmonizing our Headstrong & Heartfelt energies is the key to conscious, harmonious living.
A Spiritual Facilitator for Spiritual Entrepreneurs
Today I work as a business coach, Reiki practitioner and healing facilitator. I work with spiritual entrepreneurs, holistic practitioners, meta physicians, life and business coaches from all walks of life. Anyone who wants to get their great work out to the world.
My personal approach to supporting spiritual entrepreneurs taps into my experience of coaching 500+ entrepreneurs. I direct a wide variety of energy including teaching, facilitation, energy balancing, channeling and intuitive guidance.
I am an open channel to love, support and guide you on your own journey of self discovery Headstrong & Heartfelt.
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