Seven months ago I found myself in the mix of another panic attack filled day, while my older children visited. Not being able to see a broken leg or bandaged burns had always made it difficult for my family to tell when I was struggling to take a breath or not run off screaming in madness. My constant reaction to any straw hitting the camels back was beginning to be too much for them to bare. Not because they wouldn’t support me. Just because they didn’t know how.
At some stage in the following month I had a moment of clarity about my health and wellness. It made me realize something about my journey. I was destined be the smartest person at my funeral. Because I would be the only one that attended it if I kept going down the path I was on.
I had spent my working life since the loss of my business and ensuing mental health, trying to be perfect. To never make a mistake, take a break or let one past the goalie. It had nearly driven me mad. Not because of my lack of success but the poor interactions it had caused with other people in my workplace. Any challenge was immediately perceived as an act of attack from them and dealt with defensively. Anything that stood in the road of my goal was quickly squashed. In my eyes the greater good of the safety of my workmates and the productivity of the team were worth the eye rolls. The crib room slanderous comments. The constant feedback of me being nothing more than a power hungry asshole.
My boss used to ask the daily complainants “is he wrong” to which they would almost always reply “No”. Somehow this support was both helpful and confusing. How could the rest of the workforce not see I wanted to help. Why did I always have to do it their way to get a result. What was the point of diligently doing the job I was asked to by law if no one else saw value in my work.
The answer was found in none of the questions above. I had been asking the wrong questions. The real question was why did i really care that much. I had spent nearly 7 years arguing with people over what was right or wrong all to please the inner voice of self doubt in myself. To calm the fear of failing again. To stop others thinking I was an uneducated idiot. To never have to live through the stress of loosing it all by getting it wrong again. An issue I clearly had not worked on enough from the inside out.
So it was time for change. It was time for me to look in the mirror and ask what was more important. Being right and alone, dying of anxiety and depression. Or being happy operating 10% above the competitors, risking mistakes and home goals with a smile on my face and enough health to live a great life with my wife and children. Surprisingly it was a massively difficult decision to not only make but start to act on. So many years of thinking a certain way about yourself and others is not an easy tide to turn. But I started. I have had to work through some dark days deciding who i want to be now as I break the old me down. How far to the “Nice guy” side of life am I willing to travel before faking it just to avoid conflict. Only time will tell. It really is about the journey more than the destination.
Are you on the right path for your health and wellness?