A few years ago, I did a youtube video for a campaign for newly diagnosed MS patients. “You got this” was the theme, and in it you would give a message to people that just learned that they had MS.
In it, I was upbeat, I thought I was sincere, and I knew I was trying to help. I just wasn’t listening to myself. I have never listened to myself. Not just with MS, but with everything in my life. I question even the way I truly feel and why I do the things I do, at all times.
I overthink things until they are my obsession, the only thing I can concentrate on. When it’s work, I make money, and I do well. When it’s my health, I go over the top trying to be healthy. When it’s someone else, I put too much effort into a friendship, and worse, relationships with women.
It’s time I stop thinking and start doing. This is 100% a call to arms for myself, but also a drawing of a line in the sand. It’s time to get going again, and get to a better place, one that I was reaching for in January, and in the summer of 2014, for some of the wrong reasons, but with the right results.
I’m in San Diego right now, finishing up work for the day, while my friends are out. This weekend I’ll have fun, but after it’s over, I’ll go back to San Francisco, work on Monday, and end up back in Alameda looking at myself in the mirror. Will I feel regret, shame, sadness, and a longing to connect with someone that way I always do? Will I feel ok, and just shuffle into life as it is? Will I feel great, and ready to pounce on the world and make it mine? I’m guessing not the latter, but why not.
I’m going to make up rules to go over what I’ve been doing to myself for the past month and overall for the past three years, and I’m going to stick with them. I’m going to actively try to change the way I think by first changing my actions.
First, back to something more healthy. I’m thinking modifying what life was on the Whole30 diet and bringing it closer to Paleo. I need to stop casual drinking (something I never did too much; it was always feast or famine, a term I liked to call “social binge drinking”). I need to stop any eating of absolute shit. And I need to actively think about the way I get down on myself, and about life.
To accomplish this, I have some ideas. The easy ones first. I need to get my life in order with simple things. Clean the room, get my cars registration in order, clean that thing too, and start cooking meals again. I bought a multicooker and it was my favorite thing ever, I can start to use that again. I can save some money and go shopping as opposed to eating out every day. This will lead to a healthier me, which is also the goal.
Next, I’m going to make it an absolute point to get exercise. The gym, walks, golf even. Anything that gets me out and about. I need to be on top of this too, because it helps with depression, MS effects, and sleep, all things I need to stay on top of.
Then the bigger stuff. I need to get back to regularly taking my MS meds and my vitamins that were helping me feel better in the beginning of the year and over the last two years. I missed a delivery a few months ago, and am running out of pills for MS. I haven’t taken my tecfidera regularly in the last 2 months. That’s horrible. Get on the phone, get the prescription set back up, and get on it.
Drinking and going out. I want to do this to meet people, women. I feel like I need to do that because of what I just experienced, but in all honesty, I’m not going to meet anyone or have a chance with anyone if I do, without getting on top of my shit.
Drinking has enabled me to grow the courage to talk a woman in the last few weeks, and that’s what it does. But, I don’t need that, I just need to do good things and move forward.
During the week, no more drinking at all, and going out Friday and Saturday, then day drinking on Sunday isn’t an option either. Save the good times, and celebrate them when it’s worth it. Drinking after work because you don’t want to go home isn’t an excuse.
The hardest challenge comes to my own self confidence, anxiety, and purely the way I think. Challenge the feelings you have, and make yourself aware when you feel bad. Acknowledge it and move it along as a thought, instead of ruminating on worries and fears and feelings that you suck or aren’t worth anything. Thoughts of the future shouldn’t all be motivating or deflating, as I should enjoy the present more. Remember the good times, and be that person that rises above the things that you go through, and even put yourself through.
Finally, get back to having a good time. Enjoy work, enjoy your friends, enjoy just walking outside into the sun. Staying miserable will just make you more miserable. Everyone knows that. It’s time to move on, and not from anyone or anything, but from what you do to yourself.
Therapy, exercise, healthy eating, less partying and again, no smoking. These things will make you feel better again, and they didn’t make you happy in January, but they did make you feel well enough that you could see a future you liked with someone, and one that you liked with yourself.
So, in the spirit of the video from 2014, I can do this. I will do this. I’m starting right now.