I have created this blog to attempt to help those with chronic pain and depression. Sisyphus was a mythological figure sentenced to roll a stone uphill for eternity. In this way, I intend to approach chronic pain and depression as constant foes that must be your constant focus. Photo courtesy http://akrockefeller.com/blog/tibetan-autonomy-a-futile-odyssey/

Monday, May 30, 2016

You today

I would say over the past year, I have been as miserable as I have been in my entire life.  I let self pity absorb and consume me.  I became the stories I told myself in my head.  My anxiety and depression became my veil.

I am just now starting to climb out of it.  Putting this into perspective, I want to share something that is important to me.

Crossfit has been a redemption for me.  When I switched jobs and had to do more physical labor, it set me back so much that I couldn't do much of anything.  I felt I had lost a part of my soul and had been cast into prison.

Two years ago today, I did a WOD (workout of the day) called 'Murph'.  Crossfit has these wods called hero wods that are named after service men and women (military, police, firefighters) who have died.

Lt. Michael Murphy was a Navy Seal who died in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2005.  His favorite workout was the following:

Run 1 mile
100 pullups
200 pushups
300 air squats
Run 1 mile

This is also the same WOD we do for Murph.

Two years ago, I tipped the scales at 180 lbs.  I did the whole thing, the running, the pullups, the pushups (none on my knees) and all of the air squats.

I had intentions of doing it the next year with a 20 lb vest.

That would not happen.  In fact, at that point, I had started a decline that would see me gain about 35-40 lbs and tailspin into a nightmare of darkness.

So, 2 years later, TODAY,  I did Murph. I am still not running (and not sure if I want to tempt fate), so I did a row machine.

I am carrying too much weight to do the pullups.  Even 4-5 months ago, this would have been enough for me to go get drivethru and drown my sorrows in Mt. Dew.

Instead, today, I did body rows (basically lying on your back and pulling yourself up with gymnastic rings).  It is an easier version of pullups by far.  But you know what, I went.  I sweated.  I didn't focus on my weight and what I CAN'T DO NOW.

What I did today was a first for me in a long time.  Even when I would go to crossfit, spin class, yoga, I nursed a hurt ego.  Or felt like a lesser version of myself whom I was ashamed of.

I didn't feel that today.  I pushed myself and cheered for my other box mates.  They cheered for me.  My body screamed and my face was solid red. I left a sweat angel on the ground (which is a pool of sweat left after laying in waste on the floor).

Listen.  You have two choices.  To live or to die.  Those are your choices.  If you choose the latter, you will know it.  You don't have to put a gun to your head or a rope around your neck to do it.  It happens inside your head long before it happens to your body.  You will start the process by abusing yourself with sugary drinks, bad food, perhaps alcohol, drugs etc.  You will tell yourself you aren't any good for anyone.  That you have outlived your usefulness.

Choosing the former is a different process.  It doesn't happen in one day or one week like choosing to die.  It takes a LOT of hard work to choose to live.  Especially if you have suffered a setback.  You first have to strip yourself naked to the bone (not literally, but figuratively). and face all of the bad habits you have.  All of the BS you have surrounded yourself with.  You then have to make a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to leave it all behind.  You have to stop judging yourself, and get out there and do what you enjoy.  For me it is crossfit.  For you, it may be walking, riding a bike, yoga, water aerobics, anything productive.  Anything.  But productive.

What you need to realize is that there are a lot of people out there pulling for you, hoping you can fly again.  When you are in the 'choosing to die' state, you tell yourself and eventually believe that everyone is laughing at you and enjoys seeing your failure.

When you make this change in your mind, you will feel differently.  The weight that holds down your heart with hatred and anger will lift.  This has a healing effect in and of itself.  Just the conscious shift toward loving yourself from hating yourself.  It is a short walk.  It is also a short walk back.  So you have to remain diligent.

I feel better today.  Yeah, I am not the me of 2 years ago.  But I am me today.  You are YOU today.  There are all kinds of people who envy you today.  So be the best you that you can.  As we get older, this will shift.  But you can't constantly live in the past.  Always look ahead and be thankful for the gifts you have.

God bless.

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