Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Death or Divorce

Welcome to my Heart 2 Heart Series featuring existential reflections of the narratives of my heart stories and those of my children and how these stories impact me, my wife, family & friends. Glad you have joined me on this introspective journey.

Follow the Blog for Updated Posts to This Series.

Me in Seattle Eating Awesome Sushi

So, the other day a colleague of my wife’s, who is moderately aware of my heart related saga, “checked in” on my wife who was working with the lights off (her work space has windows) wrapped in a blanket of silence.

“Nancy? Are you OK?” quietly asked her colleague as she peaked in and moved like a sloth into the bowels of the room as if she were avoiding something.

“Yes. why?” my wife replied a touch confused yet also focused on her own work.

“Well, I didn’t see you wearing your wedding ring” (dramatic pause, somber music starts and slowly grows) and thought, we were thinking…”

My wife interrupted her quickly, “We are all ok. Just didn’t have the time to put my rings on.”

Her colleague, along with a gaggle of other colleagues, wondered if Nancy and I were getting a divorce during the time-frame when I was in the hospital due to my heart issues last month. She was not wearing rings and she was taking time off from work, a rarity for my wife whose work ethic is even stronger than mine due to higher levels of anxiety related to being fired for not having 100% attendance – like getting a letter grade reduction while in high school.

Initially I laughed. Shook my head and though, “people.” Then, as it lingered, I pondered would I rather they be concerned that I have died or if we are getting a divorce.

Dead I get. Heart surgery and hospitalization for heart issues sets a foundation for THAT narrative.

Why divorced? What’s the basis for THAT narrative? Not wearing rings. My wife has a ring for almost every finger thanks to her mother. My wife’s mother died suddenly due to a heart attack and my wife wears her rings in honor of her mother. Hmmmm. Another heart saga connecting to this tale.

Funny how the optics can fuel narratives of people who are not even listed in the opening credits of the movie of your life. They are in the back end credits. When everyone is leaving the theater or switched streaming services. Minor characters who can at times impact the major plot line.

I finally got a chance to use this line in real life, yes, I am a movie line quoter, from one of my faviorite 90s movies.

Love those movies from the 90s.

Death or divorce. No thanks to either. How about life and love and sailing into the sunset.

That’s the narrative I am writing and planning on producing.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Dealing with Drama

I love action-adventure movies. Love them. 

There’s just something about the slow-growing and building drama, the testosterone, the revenge, the good triumphing over evil, the hero or the heroine or both overcoming adversity and rising above it all, elements of a good action-adventure film that just do it for me. Everyone of us drawing breath, as we walk on this rock, and live our lives can relate to an action adventure movie.

Many of us actually live out action adventure movies in our day to day life.

Shit happens.  

I know I have and continue to live out a real-life action-adventure movie!

The problem I have?

As much as I enjoy the drama and the intensity of an action-adventure film, even the drama and the intensity of the action adventures I have in my own life, is that I don’t enjoy the way in which I deal with the drama that comes with the intensity of my action-adventure life. 

Unlike an action-adventure heroine or hero of a film, even though I try my best, I can’t always exactly, down to the letter, script out and storyboard how I’m going to respond to adversity or challenge.

One of the things we love about action-adventure films is that the hero or the heroine always are triumphant. Initially, no. Initially they get their ass kicked by some kind of adversity, challenge, or some other asshole ruining it for everyone. Our hero or heroine spends time in their fortress of solitude or Batcave or wherever it is that they plan, reflect, discern, and emerge ready to go. Our hero or heroine finds the villain, who is usually hiding out, because that’s what villains and jerks and bullies do. They hide out. And eventually our hero or heroine overcomes adversity. All perfectly scripted. All planned out. Completely different from the action-adventures of our lives. 

It’s at these times, I stumble.

I make mistakes.

I haven’t planned or discerned properly in my fortress of solitude or Batcave.

I come out and challenge the villain and cathartically puke my emotional intensity all over the world, making a greater mess than prior to me entering my fortress of solitude or Batcave to ponder and reflect. It is when I am cathartic, howling at the moon, shaking my fist at the sky, being overly dramatic, acting like a Primo Uomo, I sometimes say and do the stupidest shit. Hurting others. Making myself look like a complete and utter buffoon. And then upon reflection I’m depressed, down, angry with myself, resentful leading to a spiraling downward cognitive and emotional processing that can lead to dysfunctional behaviors that simply kicked my ass. 

This is a natural state for us heroes and heroines living out real life action-adventures. We make mistakes. We can be cognitively and emotionally compromised and overwhelmed. We turn to improvisational catharsis which feels good in the moment yet in hindsight is not as healthy or effective as we initially thought. The key here, like any good hero or heroine in an action-adventure film is to never give up, get up and live to fight another day.

Posted in Mental Health, Psychology, Self Help

Missed It By THAT Much

Writing the story of my life is a full-time job.

Coping with the reality that the scenes I carefully chose and focused on producing, ensuring those scenes made it into the pitch deck and ultimately on the storyboard and then into the final edit of the film, ARE CUT and replaced with new scenes is also a full-time job.

I can write great, passionate and moving scenes only to find that they don’t make the cut.

WTF?

I hate when that happens.

I work so hard. Have such great ideas and so desperately want THOSE scenes in my narrative.

And looked forward to playing out those scenes and adding them to the story of my life.

My scenes hitting the editing room floor can lead to behavioral responses that I don’t like or find that I make automatically and then I spend the day wondering why I made that choice, trying to figure out how to avoid making that choice the next time.

When something misses by THAT MUCH….I can get depressed and anxious. I know. Write better scenes Bob.

I also wonder, when the scenes that I chose and focused on made the movie of my life fall short does that mean that the scenes that did make the cut, that I didn’t write, are no good or worthless?

Perhaps. Yet that line of thinking leads to days of moping around and anxiously pacing, worried that I will not get my life story back on MY track. And that sucks. No one wants that.

I may not have written what happened, yet I can write HOW I respond to the script changes.

Choosing HOW to respond then focusing on my new scenes, inspired by the scenes I didn’t write, allows me to be creative, relevant and I get out of that funk that I am in. I stop moping. I stop pacing. I stop wondering what if or if only.