After observing human behaviors for a long length of time you can see the heavy thoughts that weigh on their mind. A small nudge is all it takes and a open ear to hear how their life lead them to the opportunity for us to meet.
He started in Arizona and ended up in Kentucky. Lonely – homeless and broke. Less than 6 months ago he had a federal job making $17 an hour. Married for 20 years, a home, money in the bank. It all changed over night with one decision. It is not my place to say it was a good choice or not.
However, listening to the stress in his voice he says 'I messed up and I regret it every day'. He left his job and drove for 3 days across the USA to reach Kentucky to move in with another man. His wife filed for divorce and the house remained in her name – he spent his money traveling to what he thought was a new life.
After 6 months the new living arrangements went sour and he had no where to go but inside his 1997 Honda car. Not used to this type of life style he fell into a deep depression that lead to an attempted suicide drug over dose.
The next thing he knew he was laying in the ICU alone. Miles from what he called home now in more despair as he grieved for his 'normal' lost life.
He stood as a well groomed, nicely shaved 6 ft tall middle age man spilling his story. His eyes told his story was deeper than the words he spoke. He stated," I miss my wife, I am still so in love with her, I miss her so much every day. I made a choice that changed my whole life and I do not know how I am going to get back to AZ.
Have you ever made a mistake? A choice that made things turns your road into a very rocky path?
John did too. He started using IV drugs at the age of 12. Drinking regularly by the age of 14. He was sent to a military type private school that gave him the opportunity to use his 140 IQ. After getting kicked out – and years of bad behavior he landed in prison for 3 months for drugs another bad choice and a parole violation sent him back to prison for three years to be served completely.
The prison guards open his cell and took him to holding where normally was a place you stayed if you were given a write up in prison for your behavior. He was worried his time was just extended. Instead the priest walked in with a long sheet of paper. He ask John can you read? He replied," "Yeah I can read" He handed him a piece of paper that took the breath out of him. It was his 83 year old father's obituary. His parole violation prevented him from attending the funeral. He said I felt like pure shit and alone. More alone than I have ever been and I could not tell my dad good bye.
The faraway look in his eye as he talked was going back to the time and place of the event. The emotion of the moment returned. He turned and looked at me and said, "I was given a chance to be somebody more than once and I blew them all."
I said you have a story to be told. You could change other people's life by hearing your story. He said." But I cannot refuse a needle with any kind of drug how can I help some one else?" Your life is the story. Where your choices have lead you and the strong yearn you now crave over a drug you know will win one day. He said, "I have young kids come to be all the time asking if they should shoot up. I want wear that monkey on my back. I want encourage it – but I did not stop them either. I stayed with them and took care of them." I said, "John we have known each other a long time. They are coming to you for guidance. Use your life as the example to go down another path. Lead them there – you have powerful riches to rags story that can make huge changes in some one's life. You can make a difference. Take the opportunity."
He pondered for a minute. He looked at me really absorbing what I said. I never thought about that – that would be nice. Even if I can't change me. I was really smart at one time and the drugs have messed me up. I left him sitting with his thoughts. Who knows if it will ever spur him to become a advocate to someone else. However, I planted the seed.
When you and I make choices – we have that little pit in the bottom of our stomach that tights if we are getting ready to do something that we should not do – or the butterflies of excitement that show up when the choice is good for us. Rarely do people listen to their own self talking to them and guiding their choices with the right ones. If it makes you hesitate and feel overwhelming uncomfortable most people will push through that stop sign any way. Then later remember the feeling as a warning.
This is called "listening to your intuition". Your body gives you a tremendous amount of useful information that you may not be conscious of. For example, when someone you don't like visits, does your stomach tie up in knots? When your boss yells at you, do your shoulders turn into stone? When you feel passionate and alive, does your chest feel warm and open? When we ignore the body's message, we lose out on valuable information designed to let us what works for us and what doesn't.
Self-sabotage is like a game of mental tug-of-war. It is the conscious mind versus the subconscious mind where the subconscious mind always eventually wins. The conscious mind can carry out actions and work toward a goal, but it will not be long before the subconscious mind reveals the true feelings and beliefs and takes control over actions. You may get away with lying to others but you can never get away with lying to yourself. Believe in and have faith in yourself, and eliminate self-sabotage from your life for good.
You do not have to be a a celebrity to tell your story. Once I started blogging about my years in the mental hospital as a nurse I was amazed at the stories that people shared with me either as a nurse, a family member of someone with mental illness and a patient that had a great success story. The life that you have lived up to the point – has a story that got you to where you are. Each success that you have had just shows you the true inner strength that you possess and by sharing those successes with others, it will assist others in learning from your experiences so that they can succeed, too. What one thing made you as strong as you are?
Angela Brooks has worked in a state-funded psychiatric hospital in Kentucky for 21 years as a nurse, assisting sometimes-dangerous patients who come in shackled and cuffed. At AngelaBrook.com, she offers stories of life on the inside of a psychiatric ward, and the site, as well as her company, offers support for nurses in the mental health field and helps them bring passion into their role at work.
On her BlogTalkRadio show, Mental Happiness with Angela Brooks, she shares some of her experiences “learning to love those others have forsaken” and gives tips on how to bring peace to your own life.
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