Day One or One Day? You Decide.
Sharing my personal experience with mental health as a husband and father. Bringing awareness to start a conversation and show others they aren’t alone.
When it comes to living life, I think it’s safe to say it’s not always easy. But when it comes to dreaming, now that comes as easy as breathing air. The hard part of dreaming, only comes into play if you decide to make the leap to bring your dreams to life. For me, I have always had a passion for all things home, and that translated into a dream of having my life revolve around the idea of “home.” I spent most of my childhood hoping one day I would open my own business that had to do with making a home possible for others or even making homes more beautiful. I wanted to have an amazing home to call my own and I wanted to become a father so that my “home” would be complete.
I couldn’t make decisions without losing myself in the “what if” dreams of the future.
I want to share with you a little insight into me that I haven’t talked about before. As far back as I can remember, I have always known that the way my mind worked was. . . different. Some playfully called me a worrier, others said I was dramatic, but I knew it was something more. I couldn’t make decisions without losing myself in the “what if” dreams of the future. Subtle changes in facial expressions, shifts in body movements and eye contact or the lack of, became a new language that only I seemed to understand. Everyday situations became a battlefield and test of will for me. How long could I hold off the inevitable forfeit to give into micro-analyzing every tiny detail of an interaction or event? My mind would think of every possible outcome or secret message that wasn’t being said, that would suffice as the many reasons to why whatever was being presented wouldn’t work out in my favor.
From who I would play with at recess, to what opening line to use on my resume, to should I go through with taking my real estate exam–No matter the situation, there was always a voice in my head that would caution me with every decision, thought or dream I had. And more times than not, that voice would win. I would choose not to play with anyone so no one could turn me down, and not submit my resume so there’s no possibility of not getting the job, or not take the exam for the 3rd time so I won’t have a chance to fail.
By my mid 20’s, that voice had transformed into something worse and I was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to numb the sharp stomach pains, not worry about the constant sweating and curb the daily nausea and bouts of sickness. I could no longer imagine there ever being a “day one” to my dream and even the idea “one day” was getting faint. The details of that part of my life will be a story for different time, but what is key, is it was during that time when hopelessness had become my state of being, that the universe stepped in. She’s funny like that. It was in the depth of this internal struggle that I met someone that changed my life forever–my husband, Jamie. This handsome man entered my life and somehow rekindled a hope that I had previously thought was lost to the ashes. He helped me break free of the shackles of hopelessness and not only taught me to dream again, but showed me that those dreams can in fact come true. It is because of him that “day one” finally happened roughly 4 1/2 years ago.
Today, I have a beautiful home, a devoted husband, an extremely supportive extended family, multiple thriving businesses and an unbelievably adorable son. I also can now say I have General Anxiety disorder. And although the stigma that comes with mental health is rampant and unforgiving, it is also vital to bring it out of the darkness and into the light. This is not something to “get over” or simply resolved by trying to “be more positive.” This is biology, and proves the fact that my brain functions differently.
Everyone has a story and a struggle, but those moments never define who you can become.
I don’t share this to get attention or pity. I share it so everyone can see that life, even on Social Media, is not as perfectly curated as it seems. Everyone has a story and a struggle, but those moments never define who you can become. And although cliché, it’s doesn’t change the fact that it’s true when someone says “you aren’t alone.” Share your story so others can find you, so others can not be lost to hopelessness. Even if it doesn’t seem like “day one” will ever happen and you are cursed to always live in the “some day” purgatory, DON’T GIVE UP! It might take an extra push or some help from a loved one, but what I can promise you is that “day one” is just around the corner.