Trauma, Transition, and Grace: Stepping Back, Admitting Your Reality and Building into Yourself and Forgiving Yourself will Change Your Life (Part 1)

Change, yes, it is inevitable. It can be an amazing opportunity, or it can tear you down and completely wreck your wold. The interesting thing about change is it tends to bring up what you are not ready to deal with. For most of us, that is shame, guilt, or regret. All caused by traumas in our lives. Those traumas might be self inflicted, or maybe brought on by someone or something else. 

That happened to me in 2019, I was not prepared. I was so unprepared that I found myself choking to death, hanging... in the bathroom of the The Hilton Chicago on Michigan avenue right after an industry function where my inability to handle my shame boiled over. 

What no one else knew at the time was I was in the middle of a nasty divorce with a woman who was about to give birth to my first daughter. I was also preparing to leave my family business because the relationship between my father and I had become so toxic that it was dismantling an already fragile relationship - all while trying to prove to the woman of my dreams, the only person at that time in my life that I felt loved by, that I was worthy of her. Not to mention past traumas and PTSD that I had never addressed before. 

The problem was I didn't believe I was worthy of love from anyone. And at this point in time, the only thing I had was BamBams, and this woman who I was trying to prove myself to. I was on the cusp of losing all of it, and most importantly, my life.  

I sure as hell didn't love myself. I was a master of convincing others that I was okay, but at home, or in my hotel room, I was one dark thought away from ending my life on a weekly basis. Until I tried. 

You often hear after a failed suicide attempt that it was the moment of clarity. One moment in time that turned everything around. I don't think that's the reality. That may be the bottom of the barrel, but you still have to climb back out and rebuild yourself. That is the single hardest thing I have ever done. It is also why Grace is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and others. Grace is why I started Active Outdoor Men. We'll get there later. 

My road to recovery from trauma began on July 10th, 2019. It is still going today, through many major hurdles. The work on one's self is never finished. I can tell you with immense pride, that today, I can stand proud of being the man I am. That my word, my commitment to my wife and my family, my self love, commitment to my business partners, and my friends is unwavering. There isn't a person on this planet that could break it, but it took over 24 months of brutal and consistent work to get there - and it's not done. It continues daily with a very crafted system I now live my life by (I'll share more about this in a future post).

I am talking thousands of hours of therapy. Hundreds of hours spent crying. 36 seizures between October 4th and December 13th, 2019. But the thing that changed all of it and allowed me to love myself, was Grace. 

It all began when my then fiancé, who is now my wife, had the backbone and the heart to see this through and it culminated with a conversation with my Dad that opened my heart to change. There were many other factors along the way - influential people who called a spade a spade but pulled for me at the same time. I also became a father 2 more times and am now blessed with 3 beautiful children who deserve the same grace and love my people gave me. 

We all deserve grace and love, and everyone is worthy of love. Regardless of your faith, creed, lifestyle or etc. More love and more grace = happier and healthier humans. 

In our 24 hours new cycle and filtered social media world, it has become so easy to use fear as an excuse to spew hate, or see how social media has become toxic to our self worth. The problem is it has become so ingrained into our lifestyle walking away from it is near impossible. So what happens? We break friendships over political views, we see ourselves and loved one have body image struggles that fill their minds with self disgust, and we become a people more divided every day. When you stack that on top of the stress of running your business, your transition into a new career, a divorce, or any other major life changes your traumas will spill over. Grace and love is needed here. 

The reason this is dedicated to men is because as a man that is all I feel I am qualified to help. While not all men are the same, or beat to the same drum, biologically, we have the same hormonal system driving us forward. 

Most importantly, we all need to give ourselves grace in the moment, grace for past decisions, and grace to sit with our own thoughts, in silence, and be able to accept our reality. That grace and acceptance is the first step to trauma recovery. 

In the coming weeks, I am going to write more about this story and share the system that was created out of it. A system that has given me the opportunity and the ability to live a healthy and happy life. Most importantly a system that sustains me, and makes me 1% better every day. 

Our life is a long journey, and in order to drive forward and become the best version of ourselves, we need a system. Just like your business or your career has a system that allows it to succeed, we need a personal one. It begins with developing a strong mind, a strong body, and a strong heart. 

Want to stay connected and learn more about the system I used to change my life? Sign up for The Tribe news letter next time it pops up and receive more the story every week along with fitness, nutrition, and meditation tips.