Man, 2016 was rough.  It would be dumb to explain everything that happened and how difficult it was.  Just know that it sucked and my wife and I’s lives were temporarily wrecked by it.

I woke up this morning at 6 am with the most peaceful feeling the in the world.  Two things are crazy about that.  First, I never wake up at 6 am.  Second, I have not woken up and felt at peace in a year and half, I guess its been.  It was a beautiful feeling.

I was sent a really good Linked article by a friend, that explained what I have been spending the last year and half doing.  It talks about what your successful friends do and don’t do and signs to watch out for when you are surrounding yourself around the wrong people.  Good article.  Anyways, the article says “Your successful friends are not trying to escape life by numbing the pain…sit at the pub and drink beer, indulge on carbs/salt…”

Well, that is what I was doing.  I hated everything our family was put through and all the crap that came with it.  I did a thousands things to cope with and process all that crap.  Drank too much, ate too much, pissed people off, (which is a line from Cedar Rapids, if you have ever seen it), worked too much, was on my iPhone way too much; whatever I could do to distract and not deal with the anger and negativity.  I’ve never been an angry or negative guy.  It was foreign and a difficult to process.

When people go through major trauma, a couple of different things can happen, I guess; they can create a new empowering meaning, take an amazing life lesson and tell their story to inspire others (Oprah, Nelson Mandela or my personal favorite The Zitello Family).  Other people just get pissed off and bitter.  “Why did this happen to me? Why would people do that? Why was everyone so mean? Leave me alone.  Wah, wah, wah.” They have experienced some crappy traumatic life experience and just get pissed, numb or even worse, do everything they can to forget.  That was in part, me.

Most everyone who has ever known me has seen me as uber positive, excited, wild and a big “live out loud” personality.  I was jokingly known as the guy that had never seen anything negative, ever. That is an exaggeration but also somewhat true.  Anyways, the last year and a halfish, I have been just bitter.  I have still maintained a pretty good social agenda.  I have always tried to be a beacon of light for others.  So, no matter how much I suffer, I should always help someone else or be uber positive around them so they can feed off my energy.  I maintained somewhat of that through it all, but my poor wife, who knows me best and sees me everyday, saw the worst.  It had to have to been tough for her.

I get why people do get pissed, numb, or try to forget.  It is hard.  Emotions are energy, right? E=MC2.  Everything is.  An intense negative emotion is a big energy wave pulsating up and through your body.  It is fucking hard to deal and cope with.  You get numb or try to forget the pain or you lose control.  When people lose control they get pissed.

When you have a wave of nausea flow up and through your body, you will take or do anything to distract and not feel that.  You will lay down, take pills like pepto or dramamine.  Whatever it takes to not puke to not feel the nasuea.  Intense angry, negative and depressing emotions are no different.  That is why it is so easy to grab some wine, or buy something you can’t afford, or sleep too much.  It numbs that intense wave of emotions and helps you forget.

Anyways, I have taken this week to be very deliberate about not trying to numbing the pain,  I made that decision for and with my wife last Sunday.  That was weird, because Tuesday was the day my buddy sent me the article about what successful friends do.  BTW, I have always found when you make a big inspiring decision the universe will send you a pretty obvious sign you are on the right path.  Tuesday was no different.  The first two days of this week were crazy.  But I dealt with emotions head on and the pay off was amazing.

I woke up this morning and just started to remember all the amazing things and people in my life.  I started to think about my mom again.  I have started to remember how much I love her and how much I miss her.  I just think about my brothers and all the amazing experiences we have share together.  I started to think about how much I love my wife and how EXTRAORDINARY of a woman she is.  How she cooks for me every night and how I don’t eat when she’s gone.  Unless its a quest bar or protein shake.  I just to remember and how freaking amazing our movie nights were.  Out of all the amazing things she and I have experience in our life-sky diving in Hawaii, Snowboarding in Whistler, rosé in France, nothing is more of a pleasurable experience that sitting on the couch with her watching a movie.  I started to thinking about all the small things that are just amazing in our life.  We finally, after almost a year, got a blower installed in our hot tub.  So, now we have a bubbles!  I started to exercise more and feel better about my body.  I got a basketball tank top! I play basketball almost two or three times a week and I was always so frustrating because sleeves would mess up my shot.  I finally bought myself a $10 dry fit tank top and its amazing.

So, I would encourage you all to try and process the pain.  Try to deal with it head.  Try and not take the easy road.  Try not to grab the wine or beer, or play on your iPhone, or binge of Netflix.  Just ask yourself what is this crazy intense emotion.  It will be weird and uncomfortable at first, but the bliss and feeling of gratitude after is totally worth it.

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