The Transition Game: Week 6

Welcome back!

What’s new this week? Well, I completed the new Attitude online section, have been way more consistent with my gratitude practice, am feeling better with my workouts and mixing in some new things like collecting road rash while rollerblading. Another plus is I have been much more productive during the week allowing me more free time on the weekends to recharge. The online section of Attitude gave me some of my favourite tools and perspectives yet.

The first thing that impacted me was journaling my daily attitude changes for a week, they went like this:

  1. Training/Workouts – I’m too tired, I don’t have time -> I will make time, it will give me more energy and help me sleep, plus I love it.
  2. Chores – Stupid, annoying, never-ending, better things to do -> Put on some music, have fun with it, get it done and reduce stress in the process.
  3. On day 3 I realized what would have the biggest impact on my life was changing my attitude about myself and doing some positive self-talk in the process, like Muhamad Ali and his poetic trash talking, it wasn’t to talk trash, it was to instill in his mind he was the greatest and so he was. I started with this. I am a fitness junkie, I will stick to my routines and let them drive my success.
  4. I am a smart and capable marketer
  5. The more I learn the more I earn $$$
  6. I am a social person with a good heart which makes for a great salesman
  7. A side hustle I’m passionate about and enjoy would be amazing, no need to worry about the hours it takes, just enjoy it and live!

Not a bad start, I’m sure my facilitator will have some ideas on how to tweak these further and what to focus on next but I’m feeling a lot better about myself and life in general already. The next strategy and the one that has impacted me most was finding three powerful positive words to say in my head when I feel my attitude shift negatively. The words have to create very clear pictures in your mind of times where you had an excellent attitude that created positive emotions and results. It took me some time to work it out and find the pictures in my mind that could snap me out of these negative attitude shifts. I ended up with gains, goals, and gratitude. 

Yes, you can laugh at me for picking gains as my number one, I laugh at myself for being “that guy” all the time but I couldn’t discard it because of the picture it creates in my mind. I’m at the gym, it’s a beautiful summer day, I’m working my ass off to the point my training partners are starting to wonder if I’m a psychopath, my trainer is grinning at the monster he has created. I’m building myself up, I’m ten feet tall and bulletproof, but I’m not just training my body, I’m learning to harness the power of my mind, building mental resilience and discipline. My confidence is unwavering and everyone around me feels my energy when I walk into the room.

Goals, it’s a beautiful summer day again. I’m outside with friends or in my Jeep with the windows down and music blasting, I know exactly where I want to go and how to get there. Everything is coming together in my life and I bring a smile with me everywhere I go. I’m constantly given positive feedback for being so driven and disciplined. “Everyone wants to be like Esty”, I can hear my old trainer say it clear as day as the younger athletes watch me train. My direction and path are clear and in front of me, I visualize my dream with ease and know in my heart I will make it come true.

Gratitude, yeah it’s a beautiful summer day again. I love the sun and I loved the offseason just as much as I loved being in season and playing the game. If I’m being honest, during my five-year college career I loved the offseason training far more than I loved the game. When I think of gratitude I flash to being on my couch after a long training day, 1.5 hours of weights and an hour of cardio in the books plus a solid hour on the ice. Lots of stretching, rolling, and refuelling in between. I can relax now, I’m happy with what I did, I feel great even though I’m sore head to toe and I know I’ll need a forklift to get out of bed the next day and do it all over again. I put on an action movie as the sun starts to go down and I’m completely content, at peace, and happy. I am grateful to be able to live this lifestyle and to have the support and admiration of my friends and family. LIFE IS GOOD!

After doing that exercise I started using the strategy that day and it works. Very well, I’ve used it in various situations now and it snaps me out of my bad attitude very quickly. I highly recommend everyone finds their three powerful positive words and just repeat them over and over and over again. I promise your shitty attitude won’t stand a chance.

Write you next week!

Esty

The Breakdown – Shari

The Breakdown
I was 49 years old and was ready to head back to school (I am a teacher at a K-12 school). I went to work and I couldn’t breathe. I was dizzy. My heart was skipping beats (which it did for years and I didn’t know why). I was nauseated. I was afraid. I felt like someone was choking me only allowing me to breathe enough to stay alive. I went home that day and in the middle of the night I had a severe panic attack. I was suicidal. I wanted the pain to stop. My mind was racing. I wanted everything to STOP – just stop even for a minute so I could get my shit together. JUST STOP! I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again to the pain. I called my sister and my uncle for help. My sister came and got me in the middle of the night. The next year was the most difficult of my life. For the first few months I was immobilized. I couldn’t drive, watch TV (too much stimulation), be alone (loneliness) because it brought on panic attacks. I wanted it to just stop so I could catch my breath.

The Diagnosis
I had been diagnosed with Bipolar II five years previous to the breakdown. I was put on Lamotrigine but at the age of 35 the doctor had put me on Celexa, then Effexor, then Wellbutrin, then back on Effexor. I had tried many types of meds, as most of us do, but none worked. Lamotrigine worked but only scratched the surface of my mental health issues.

IT FELT SOOTHING TO MY MIND AND BODY.

Looking Back
Throughout the year of my breakdown I began Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I was put on Seroquel to help me sleep. As the therapy progressed I began to realize that I had been suffering from mental health issues as far back as 10 years old. I was brought up in a home where there was a great deal of physical and emotional abuse. My father would beat my mother and threaten to kill us kids. So of course I suffered from PTSD as well. I was suicidal most of my life and I always knew something was wrong with me. I started playing basketball at the age of 10. I became very good at it and I put all of my time and energy into the game. At the same time I discovered alcohol. Mom was 16 and dad was 18 when they had my older sister. I was born when they were 18 and 20. They would party and drink a lot so I would go around and taste all of the left over drinks. I liked the feeling I got when I drank it. It felt soothing to my mind and body.

My basketball career began to take off. I was playing up with the senior high school team when I was in junior high. I started representing my province at nationals when I was 15. I moved from my small town to a bigger centre in grade 11 to play. I played university basketball for 5 years as well. My goal was to make the Canadian National Team. I accumulated many MVP, Player of the Game and Hustler awards. Everyone thought I was on top of the world but I was suffering horribly. I put a mask on every day and went out to face the world. Throughout my basketball career I would have episodes of anger, explosiveness and crying spells. I was having panic attacks before practice, before games and during games. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The only relief I found was when I drank alcohol and partied on weekends. I didn’t drink much during the week because of the training schedule I was on.

After my basketball career ended I got married and had two beautiful daughters. I started coaching at the high school I taught at. I couldn’t shake the suicidal thoughts so I drank. My high and low cycles ended up killing my marriage and it made it extremely difficult for my kids.

I AM ABLE TO REGULATE MY MIND AND BODY NOW.

I Got Better
I have been a single mom for 18 years. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been. I take my meds every day and continue with my therapy. Through exercise, guided imagery, yoga, diet, and continued reading and learning about the brain I am able to live a more balanced life. I still struggle with the manic highs and the depression but I am able to regulate my mind and body now. I have started speaking to young people about my struggles and how suffering in silence is not the way to go. I talk about the stigma surrounding mental health and how we need to work together to get rid of it and educate people.

The more I share, the better I feel.

 

 

Check out the original article here: https://www.sicknotweak.com/2016/06/1735/