Sunday, June 28, 2009

Re-Post; Riding That Vicious Cycle

Editor's Note; From time to time, for any given reason, a past post may be brought to my attention. Therefore, when I might re-read one, one of this magnitude, I feel the need to share it again. I wish I could speak to this fella again, this man who took the time to write me with such caring and thoughtful deliberation. I can not, thus, I can only hope and pray he might be well.

This is sound advice for many men who, I believe, struggle with the same situations; Mid-Life Crunch...

Dear Aunt B,

Agony Aunt of Mines,

As all of your letters start I shall begin with the same:

The time you’ve took to read this letter I cannot give back to you, nor do

I have something of any interest to give in return, or anything I can do for a reply but say that a stranger is sitting on the other side of the world in a room by himself, at 01:30 in the morning writing a letter; looking for help.

I’ll begin back in Scotland just over three years ago after finishing
University I went through a stage of mild depression (self diagnosis).
since a young age I had worked towards my current status as a qualified
Kayaking instructor, qualified abseiling instructor, British European and
World champion bagpipe player, loads of friends, I was in great physical
shape as well. I even applied to get in to the Royal Air Force (RAF)…I
had it all going for me.

Then all of a sudden, something changed. First the bagpipes kinda lost
interest when I was teaching (I just put it down to, I’d conquered the
tournaments and the challenge had disappeared), I thought it was just
because I’d gotten so far and wasn’t going to get any better…so I quit.

Soon after gradually the kayaking and the outdoor side of me lost its
interest too. Over a period of a year my whole social outlook in life
faded. Mood swings and loss of a steady sleeping pattern became apparent
over time too.

I had nothing. No hobbies like I used to, to career aspect and the pilots
training I decided wasn’t for me, and soon enough I wasn’t quite the
muscular person I used to be… I was in a rut just like I am now. I even
got myself into a little debt trying out new things to put that spark
back into my life, with no avail. Time passed and somehow Kevin (who was
a distant friend at the time) invited me over to Denmark. 3 years later I’m
still trying to fill the gap that was my life before I lost interest in
everything. As it stands now; I’m (slightly) overweight, I have a shit
job. I haven’t had a girlfriend in over 4 years because I’m boring and I
know it. And I have 40,000 kroner debt. (4000GBP)

The saddest part to the whole thing, is if even if I fight all my short
term problems: get rid of the debt, get into good shape again, etc etc…
I have nothing to look forward to, nothing.
I want nothing, I have no interest in any job aspect, and I’ve even given
up on trying to find a girl/girlfriend. I just don’t know what to do. I’m in
a rut, a big deep rut.

So I ask of you, what’s the secret to putting the spark back into life when
You’ve tried everything you liked/wanted for and lost it all? When there’s
no light at the end of the tunnel and something inside you asks why isn’t
it there? Please help me.

My Dearest Reader,

Well Darlin’, you’ve captured my heart with the Bagpipes. I love them and for me, they hold a rich sense of history. My family is Irish/Scot and I am Indian. My heart is held by the sound of bagpipes.

From what I gather, you are an extremist. You are the kind of guy who lives on the edge, jumps out of airplanes, lives for the adrenaline. If you are not doing something extreme, you don’t feel alive. It sounds like you’ve maxed out though, huh?

My initial reaction is that you are battling depression. This coupled with your lack of sleep can cause a significant change in your complete make-up and how you view your life, your love and things in general. This situation seems a bit complex. I would suggest counseling but somehow, I have the impression, that you are not the “Going to Counseling” type? Since I believe this is the case, all I have to offer is a bit of perspective.

Depression is a tricky bugger. It’s like a Spanner, peeking in on your life and it can hold you hostage. You then sit there and wonder just how the hell it got in?(Take this test, from the post prior to this) [*At bottom of page]

Let me offer a couple of suggestions here; Sleep is so important, get it, do it, make it. If you don’t want to take sleeping pills from your Doctor, you can get some Benadryl, OTC.
The key ingredient in Tylenol PM is Diphenhydramine HCl, which is also the generic name for Benadryl’s ingredients. In other words, you can buy a generic form and look for the active ingredient, “Diphenhydramine.” This may get you back in that sleep loop. You may begin to feel better, even from a good nights sleep.

Now, there’s no data to support this, that I have found but I have a theory about,
“Extreme Behaviorists.” I am an extremist myself and so is my ex-husband. It can actually be, somewhat of an addiction. You live for the thrill, of your behavior and once you become an extremist, it’s understandably hard, to break old habits.

Some people, who are extremists, create chaos in their life, when they are not, “On the edge.” They may become argumentative, just for the sake, of the chaos it brings. Once you’ve behaved in an extreme manner, it’s hard to find consolation, with the mundane. It seems dull and unrewarding.

Believe it or not, the data and text, concerning addiction, shows similar behaviors. Once you’ve “jazzed up” your life with drugs, when you are not high, things just don’t catch your interest. Now, I am not implying, that you and a drug addict, are one and the same, let me make that clear. You did not even mention any form of addiction, or the lot. I simply point this out because you may benefit from some of the Recovery tricks and tweaks.

If you research it and some of the advice from professionals, you’d find that the key, to overcoming addiction, is in making yourself aware of some of your own quirks and behaviors.

They use an example or acronym referred to as, “H.A.L.T.,”which stands for,


it encourages us not to become too;

HUNGRY: When we dislike ourselves, we neglect and deprive our bodies of the balanced diet we need.

Food is a source of nurturing. Our bodies are ours to keep and care for so that we may understand
and carry out God’s will for us. When our bodies cry for attention, we no longer have time
for the spiritual program necessary for recovery.

ANGRY: When we choose not to deal with a situation immediately, there is a possibility that those feelings we are afraid to express will become resentments that we may later use as an excuse to drink or use drugs.

LONELY: When we believe that we are either better or worse than other people, we dig ourselves into a

hole of self-pity, feeling unique in our differences. We soon begin to feel the loneliness of such
isolation, and we tell ourselves that it is a good reason to drink or use drugs.

TIRED: When we can’t make sense out of anything and life overwhelms us, it is possible we have run

ourselves into a screeching HALT. We have filled our lives with so many activities that we have no
time for reflection.

I do not imply this acronym, to you in a sense of addiction to drugs but an addiction to extreme behavior.

Sex is another issue or situation, that can become humdrum, if you are used to pornography, fetish, S & M and the likes. I say this for perspective but if you have been doing a lot of kinky stuff, on a continual basis, going back to the missionary style, may seem boring. Do you see the correlation, I am making here? If we do things, all through life in an extreme manner, it’s sure as hell not going to get you excited to sit on the couch, is it? On the other hand, I think what has happened, is you topped out. You burnt your candles at both ends, did it all, per say and feel there’s nothing left. But is this really true? Is there nothing left?

I think you burned out and then fell into depression. Depression will cause sleep problems. It’s a vicious cycle and one feeds off the other. But I think you know this, right? So, we need to find a way to climb out and put things into perspective, correct?

To start, let’s look at things realistically. You are now older, this is a fact. I don’t know your age but I’d be willing to bet, you are having a hard time getting older. We don’t have to let go of dreams and desires, as we grow older but we often have to modify them.

In your 30’s, no matter what you do, you may never be that spry, spunky monkey you were in your 20’s. But you can keep in shape. My first suggestion is to start to work out again. I don’t mean go hog wild but a moderate amount of exercise is going to make a man, like you, feel better.

Once you begin to feel better about yourself, you will begin to “wear” that persona on the inside and out. Right now, you don’t feel good about you but I can tell at some point you were a man to be reckoned with. You can get that edge back and begin to feel better, by getting out and working out again. When you were in better shape, you felt better about yourself and how you looked. Start a little every day, walking and build up your exercise regimen. I guarantee, you will begin to feel better.

Complacency Breeds Complacency

You have not done it all, let me point this out. You need to challenge yourself and start with the exercise. Rome was not built in one day, so you need to start somewhere, right? Start by looking in the mirror. You obviously are not happy with you.

It’s clear to me, that you are very hard, on yourself. It’s even clearer, that there’s a reason, you feel the need to “Perform.” A man is not measured by his feats but by how good-hearted he is.

Your systems, values and beliefs need to be put under a microscope. I want you to realize that you were only doing yourself harm, if you believed, that a man, is only respected, by how hard he is, body and mind. I respect your feelings of wanting to be the very best, let me make that known. But there comes a time, when you have to realize that you do not have to win constantly and you sure don’t have to be the best at everything, to be respected.

It’s commendable, to be good, at all the things you have done but I want you to begin to be good at just being you. Relax your thinking a little and your assessment of your own self-worth. I think you are really tired of trying so hard, just to be you.

Maybe it’s time to re-invent yourself?

Someone you respect, taught you that you have to excel and win. These are really good qualities, if you know where the cut off point is, where you can relax. You gave up, instead of just relaxing some of your beliefs and then you became disgusted with yourself. You need a half-way point here.

  1. Start with getting a good nights sleep. This plays a huge role in how we perceive all things and how we feel. Some people are proud of the fact that they don’t sleep. They’re usually cranky bastards too! So, get some sleep on a regular basis.

  2. Begin to exercise, even if it’s to go to the park and walk. You may not remember how good it feels to work up a sweat but I’m willing to bet that once you do, you’ll feel refreshed.

  3. Relax and stop holding yourself to such high expectations. Enjoy life and go with the flow. You’ll begin to breathe differently.

  4. Just be you, not the Lion after the prey, on guard and ready to pounce. When you feel that anxiety, like you need to be doing something extreme and feeling guilty because you are not doing it, put on your favorite music and just relax.

  5. Stop believing that you have to live an extreme lifestyle to measure up.

I think once you implement these 5 things, you’ll stop that vicious cycle that’s got you hobbled. Each thing will fall into place and when you begin to feel better, you’ll look better.

As we get older, we must often accept that our body does not cooperate as it once did. This you must come to terms with and accept. You can however get comfortable in your own skin.

I encourage you not to be so superficial and accept you for who you are. Begin to love yourself again and in turn, you’ll be able to love another. Did you realize that you may be putting off negative energy, that people, specifically women can sense?

Who wants to go out with a ball of bad energy? Stop it and start just being you. Become aware of this possibility and you will see the difference if you change it. Oh, and stop being such a perfectionist. I can feel it.

Now, just do it!

Keeping It Real,

Aunt B

* Test Click Here

No comments: