How can I succeed in spite of everything – in spite of me?
Caught up in a vicious circle of defeat, self-sabotaging beliefs, frustration, jealousy and anger. A vicious circle that engulfs me.
“Why did you choose me God?”
“Why did I choose me?”
“Why choose me to be a face and a voice for the quiet voices of mental illness?”
Today I hit a low. The result of going hard since returning from my three-and-a-half week vacation on Sunday night. 18 hour days, two to three hours of sleep, forgetting my antidepressants, and my mind constantly racing. Tireless efforts to garner funds and media attention for Going Blue 4 U (GB4U), continue to result in little to no results on both.
“How can this be?” A committed, passionate and wonderful group of people sharing the message.
Jealousy surfaces. Earlier this year I watched as Project Forgive went viral, raising over $100,000 in a short time period to create a documentary about forgiveness. ”What am I doing wrong?” ”Why can’t GB4U raise a quarter of that amount and receive the media attention that Project Forgive received?”
As I shared a simple post on my facebook page there was one line by my trusted friend Paula Onysko that made me stop.
“Is that not a limiting belief you hold?”
A fellow coach, Paula knows how to ask thought-provoking questions. And that it did. What were the limiting beliefs I was self-imposing on myself, and in turn on others.
The limiting beliefs are plentiful: Stigma is too much, I am only one person, I am not worthy or good enough, everyone is sick of me asking and hearing about mental illness awareness. It didn’t help that late last night and the early hours of this morning I received some hate mail via private facebook messages:
“You should be ashamed of advocating for drug treatment”
“You are a public figure that people look to for hope and inspiration, sharing your belief of antidepressants is not only wrong it’s misleading.”
All because I shared about skipping my antidepressants.
So what did I do? I stopped. I took a deep breath and logged off my computer. Through text I voiced some of my frustrations with my dear friend Christina Rowsell, Co-Founder of Bright Business Empower, who was helping me with press releases today.
“Once again, nothing from Calgary media other than you and Craig Lester. I have been emailing, posting on facebook, tweeting, as have many others. And a big FAT nothing. What more can I do to get GB4U the recognition and financial support it needs?” I message Christina with tears of frustration streaming down my face.
Christina’s text back was this:
“Hang in there my friend. Release this worry and anxiety. Let go and let God. It will manifest! I believe in you and what you’re doing.”
So I did just that – let go and let God. I surrendered.
Succeeding in Spite of Me
I went to the local Mac’s store to mail out copies of A Quiet Strong Voice. There was a package waiting for me. It usually takes the wonderful guy at Macs a while to weigh and calculate everything, so I opened the package. How divinely timed, my copy of Succeeding In Spite of Everything arrived. I went straight to the story of another dear friend Francie Kane. Francie had called me just today, and was a sounding board for me. And here I was reading her story, that she had worked tirelessly to submit for this book. I read her chapter, in the time I was there.
As soon as I got home, I got a blanket, a glass of wine and sat out on our deck. Armed with my faithful journal and my copy of Succeeding in Spite of Everything, I began to read. And I couldn’t stop. The messages just kept coming and coming. The image to the right are the four that really hit home for me. Lisa Nichols was a huge influence in me publishing my book, and here she was inspiring me again.
And then I read the chapter by Bobby J. Bryant – The Beautiful Answer. The opening lines: “I stood there holding my 9mm pistol, crying so hard that I gagged as I pushed the gun further and further into my mouth. Life had been so dark and empty for so long, I wanted more than to be ablet to pull that trigger and kill myself, like my best friend Danny had just days earlier.” Tears of pride streamed down my face. His closing paragraph starts with this: “Where I live my life now, that gun is a gift. I’ll never forget how close I came to ending my life. If I had, I would never have become the man I am today. I’m a force to be reckoned with, and I’m a gift to those around me because the many challenges in my life have helped me find understanding and compassion for those in need of a new direction and a helping hand.” This chapter touched my heart to the core. I stopped and paused, reflected on how impacting that was. And then I realized something. I am doing the same as Bobby, so why do I look at him with pride and awe and not myself?
If Francie Kane, Lisa Chell, Lisa Nichols, Bobby Bryant and even the powerful and dynamic Sandra Yancey can succeed despite everything they have faced, the struggles, pain and challenges, so can I. And so can you.
TRUST. BELIEVE. RECEIVE.