Run, but you can’t hide from feelings

            Melody Beattie, a noted author in the recovery-personal growth field, suggests that we learned how to deny a situation, or certain people and their actions, because of the way it felt to us. We trained ourselves; to deny or ignore how we felt because we had no choice or no say in the matter.

            Why? The answer is pain. Rather than continue to feel pain, disappointment, rejection, we develop a way to cope until we could escape the situation. Or, mistakenly, we think we’ve escaped.

            My thoughts are this applies especially, but not exclusively, to men raised for the most part to deny and avoid feelings.  “Big boys don’t cry, Men don’t cry.” Ring a bell?

            One day while sitting with a group of men in recovery, someone suggested we talk about feelings. Gino the Razor started singing, “ Fe-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.” Several guys laughed, others groaned at the dreaded song, but we didn’t run, we talked at gut level openly and honestly about our feelings regarding death. It was a powerful and rewarding hour.

            Stuffing your feelings, denying them, leads to a lot greater pain.

            Addiction and/or obsession to food, alcohol, drugs-street and/or prescription, work, sex, are some of the ways we deal with feelings. If life hurts—eat. Life hurts—drink. Life hurts, don’t feel, focus instead on work, shopping or… .

            One of my most exciting moments came a few years into recovery when I realized it was OK to feel, OK to take care of myself. And, with those feelings came a stranger knocking . . .grieving.

            I realized that years before, when my father died, the shock stunned me into numbness, a numbness that stayed for 30 years. Oh, I was sad, but it felt almost like and actor playing a role of sadness. I controlled the degree of feelings and stood tall with a stiff upper lip.

            I was raised believing that fear was to be met, lived with or buried. You thought about it, then either charged head-on into it or you lived with it.

            I buried and avoided those feelings, only to contribute more to self-destruct. Like someone who finds food ease’s the pain, I drank.

            For a lot of folks that solution doesn’t work, because when the fear or pain gets too intense, they turn to the medicine—food, drink, drugs, shopping—anything to feel better, to help cope, to deny and avoid the feelings.

            Sadly, I heard Gino was back in prison somewhere in Florida. He apparently couldn’t deal with all of his fearful feelings and emotional pain because he went back to the monkey, heroin. While in an altered state I heard he did something that sent him back to prison.

            Here’s a guy awarded two Silver Stars (our country’s second highest award for bravery) while in combat in Viet Nam. Today, at fifty something, Gino sits in a cell.

            I wonder where Gino would be, if he’d learned during those years of support groups, how to deal with his feelings rather than make fun of them.

            Ironically, Gino used to say, “A lot of people create the illness to get to the medicine.”

            Turns out he was talking about himself. Or, could he be talking about you?

            Feel life; embrace solutions that come from feelings then celebrate your victory.

 

 * * *

 Jerry writes on personal growth, happiness and life, including lowering stress in the work world. His book “Life is a Joke and God Wrote it” can be ordered through www.jerrystanecki.com

©Stanecki 2018

If you enjoy reading this blog please tell your friends and everybody else about this blog.

Thanks, Jerry

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Slow Learner

I’ve learned a few things in this New Year, important things that will help me.

Death is NOT negotiable, so when it is accepted, life is lived daily and enjoyed rather then living in the fear.

That is fact. So, if you truly believe in another go around, what ever it is, then accept life and the fact that God is more powerful than you.

After all, it took 30 and half years for me to finally learn to deal with my fear of death. Thirty plus years of the answer to living happily and enjoying life and no one said it but, they did say it.

Several times a week, during my first years of recovery from alcoholism, then at least once a week in recent years, the answer, ACCEPTANCE, was mentioned or at times the topic of acceptance was discussed. 

It just never hit home until now.

There have been times when I was expected to die, but I didn’t. It still didn’t dawn on me.

Five bi-pass heart surgeries left me hurting so badly I cried. And, for the longest time I slept half sitting up on a chaise lounge.

An incurable non contagious, event with Central Nervous System Vasculitis was my next stop. A disease that will kill me, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that.

Oh, and I had a broken neck that was fixed in four hours of surgery without, my choice, a catheter . . .but that’s another story.

And believe it or not, I’m grateful. . .very grateful for all that God and life has given me.

Death is NOT negotiable, so when it is accepted, life is lived daily and enjoyed rather then living in the fear.

That is fact. So, if you truly believe in another go around, what ever it is, then accept life and the fact that God is more powerful than you.

RELAX AND ENJOY THIS WONDERFUL GIFT.

 * * *

Written January 8th 2018

 Jerry writes on personal growth, happiness and life, including lowering stress in the work world. His book “Life is a Joke and God Wrote it” can be ordered through www.jerrystanecki.com

©Stanecki 2018

If you enjoy reading this blog please tell your friends and everybody else about this blog.

Thanks, Jerry

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Dear John…

Dear John,

It’s been a lot of years since we’ve seen each other so I thought I’d write.

The last time I saw you was at your home in Milwaukee. Your wife was there, but your daughter wasn’t.

You looked rough and told me about the job you were working. It was a physical job cutting metal, and you worked using your hands a lot.

I felt badly because I was making a lot more than you by using my brain and mouth.

Today, I’m retired working on my 2nd book, still kinda liberal although I’m not a Democrat or Republican and think pretty much all of the “peoples?” representatives are full of shit,

Come to think of it, you sounded very Republican. But, I forgave you.

2.

John, when we were young boys, and were seeing each other daily, besides being in love with your sister, I pretty much saw you as a hero.

In fact, when you quit Sacred Heart School to go to Immaculate Conception so you could play football, I did the same.

I wanted to be where you were and wanted to play football. . .all 65 pounds of me. I did play football, badly compared to you, but I got to hang around with you. yes, I was pretty fearless in those days. But today is a different story.

I’m afraid of death. . .mine, maybe you can help me out with that fear since you died a couple years ago.

Warmest regards,

Jerry Stanecki

PS. If I get a response from you, I think I’ll die. (Not literally, I hope)

*

©Stanecki 2018

If you enjoy reading this blog please tell your friends and everybody else about this blog.

Thanks, Jerry

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When the load gets to heavy—–think differently

         I woke up at 5:30 this morning feeling rested, feeling good.  I lay there for maybe 30 seconds before I started to worry. My spirit started to sink as fear, like lava from a volcano, slowly pushed away the good feelings.

            Then I remembered.

            Think differently!

            I realized that in my negative thinking, I was slipping into a terrible start for the day. I mean, the heavy overcast skies outside were enough to dampen my spirit, let alone feed it with fears of the future.

            Yeah, but!  My magic magnifying mind screamed. What about the money you owe?  What about the house payment? What about no guaranteed money coming in?  Freelance work is iffy at times.  What abo—-

            Hey! Think differently!”

            I jolted myself out of the negative hole I was digging and did a reality check. The house payment isn’t due for two weeks. Did I want to waste today and 14 more days worried about something that is not a demand of today?

            THINK DIFFERENTLY!

            Yeah, but.. .  I’d been struggling with depression and had kinda boxed myself in. Kinda?   I was stuck, obsessing about an old relationship, trying to figure out why it hadn’t worked.   Sadness and some anger flashed, intensifying the pain of the obsession.

             Then I thought about a couple of free-lance jobs that had fallen through and was trying to figure out why.

            I was frustrated and couldn’t figure out why I was having great difficulty writing.

            I had exhausted myself with my own insanity. Insanity for me is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

            I fought back.  Today’s reality is I have enough money.  I have enough food. I have a car; I have gas. . . in the car.  I kept listing what I had.

            As crazy as it may seem, I stopped writing and shouted; “Thank you God. Thank-you for letting me feels better, for letting these words flow. For the feelings I get when the words come.”

            Gratitude sure helps.

              I laughed and called my friend, Father Jack.  He’s an alcoholic, you know.  A recovering Catholic priest with 14 years of sobriety, of the good life, as he puts it.

            “Come on over, ” he said.

            Now, I’m not exactly the most comfortable guy in a religious atmosphere.  As I sat in the dark, wood paneled lobby of the retreat center, waiting, I thought about my yesteryear battles with the nuns of Sacred Heart Grade school.

             God, I’d been stubborn and resistant to authority.

            “Come on in.” The voice broke my thoughts. It was Father Jack. He was smiling.

            Sitting in his small office, two pictures of a laughing Jesus on the wall, I unloaded. I was feeling hopeless. When I stopped he said,

            “Think differently.”

            “Huh?”

            “Think differently, “ he repeated.

            “ Stop trying to figure everything out.  You don’t have to figure everything out.  Give it up and surrender, you’re killing yourself.”

            Think differently!  My God, I thought, he’s right.

            “Yeah, but. . . I mean, I know where some of the fear comes from.  I know what happened when I was a boy that triggers, I know—-

            “Jerry, ” he said and smiled. “ Think differently.  Stop trying to figure it out.”

             “ I hear you, thanks.”

             The lesson was clear. When the negative future started knocking I’d been sucked in until I started to think differently.  Then it all changed-. I changed it. I used the power I have.

            So, if you’re stuck in tomorrow with fear or are having regrets of yesterday, you just might want to—

*

©Stanecki 2018

If you enjoy reading this blog please tell your friends and everybody else about this blog.

Thanks, Jerry

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Run, but you can’t hide from – feelings

 

            Melody Beattie, a noted author in the recovery-personal growth field, suggests that we learned how to deny a situation, or certain people and their actions, because of the way it felt to us. We trained ourselves; to deny or ignore how we felt because we had no choice or no say in the matter.

            Why? The answer is pain. Rather than continue to feel pain, disappointment, rejection, we develop a way to cope until we could escape the situation. Or, mistakenly, we think we’ve escaped.

            My thoughts are this applies especially, but not exclusively, to men raised for the most part to deny and avoid feelings.  “Big boys don’t cryMen don’t cry.” Ring a bell?

            One day while sitting with a group of men in recovery, someone suggested we talk about feelings. Gino the Razor started singing, “ Fe-e-e-e-l-i-n-g-s.” Several guys laughed, others groaned at the dreaded song, but we didn’t run, we talked at gut level openly and honestly about our feelings regarding death. It was a powerful and rewarding hour.

            Stuffing your feelings, denying them, leads to a lot greater pain.

            Addiction and/or obsession to food, alcohol, drugs-street and/or prescription, work, sex, are some of the ways we deal with feelings. If life hurts—eat. Life hurts—drink. Life hurts, don’t feel, focus instead on work, shopping or… .

            One of my most exciting moments came a few years into recovery when I realized it was OK to feel OK, to take care of myself. And, with those feelings came a stranger knocking . . .grieving.

            I realized that years before, when my father died, the shock stunned me into numbness, a numbness that stayed for 30 years. Oh, I was sad, but it felt almost like and actor playing a role of sadness. I controlled the degree of feelings and stood tall with a stiff upper lip.

            I was raised believing that fear was to be met, lived with or buried. You thought about it, then either charged head-on into it or you lived with it.

            I buried and avoided those feelings, only to contribute more to self-destruct. Like someone who finds food ease’s the pain, I drank.

            For a lot of folks that solution doesn’t work, because when the fear or pain gets too intense, they turn to the medicine—food, drink, drugs, shopping—anything to feel better, to help cope, to deny and avoid the feelings.

            Sadly, I heard Gino was back in prison somewhere in Florida. He apparently couldn’t deal with all of his fearful feelings and emotional pain because he went back to the monkey, heroin. While in an altered state I heard he did something that sent him back to prison.

            Here’s a guy awarded two Silver Stars (our country’s second highest award for bravery) while in combat in Vietnam. Today, at fifty something, Gino sits in a cell.

            I wonder where Gino would be, if he’d learned during those years of support groups, how to deal with his feelings rather than make fun of them.

            Ironically, Gino used to say, “A lot of people create the illness to get to the medicine.”

            Turns out he was talking about himself. Or, could he be talking about you?

            Feel life; embrace solutions that come from feelings—then celebrate your victory.

© Jerry Stanecki

If you enjoy reading this blog please tell your friends and everybody else about this blog.

Thanks, Jerry

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I was confused. . . until. . .

Written by Jerry Stanecki

I’ve put this off long enough. It’s five till seven on a Tuesday morning and I’m an hour late in writing about this experience. So, here goes nothing.

“I’d like to talk with you about the rest of what I said the other day and I’d like your feelings but not a ‘Just don’t think about it,’ input.”

Annie, my daughter, sat down in a chair across from me and looked like she was thinking, “Oh shit, this can’t be good.”

“The other day I said I feel like I’ve been alone too long because I think too much.” I said, “Well, the rest of what I wanted to say is I’ve been thinking a lot about dying.. . . I get up at 3 A.M., I’ve pretty much stopped reading the morning newspaper, I don’t cook anymore and eat basically breakfast and that’s it for the day with maybe a sandwich in the evening.”

My daughter must have been listening, strength she has, because I heard no “Just stop thinking . . .” from her. But what I heard was, “You know the old saying, don’t you?”

I tried to think about what she was saying, but just stared at her.

“You have to do the work.”

I didn’t think much about that.

“Find a girl friend and accept her for not being perfect. Accept her and her faults. Find something to do to get you busy instead of sitting in that chair. Get busy, call friends. You have to do the work. . .but remember, finding a girl friend, getting busy, won’t make you happy, you have to do that.” Annie said.

“I’ve tried to find a woman. . .

“It’s not easy, I know, I dated a nice guy who doesn’t have an interest in getting married or having a family. A real nice guy, but I’m not interested in a guy with four or five other girl friends.
“And, you threw a muffin at him. . . when you pulled up to a stop light and saw him in the car next to you with another woman.

“I didn’t, I was just kidding.”

“And, you gave him a dirty look.”

“That really didn’t happen.” Annie had a look on her face that said it did happen and that she was pleased about it.

I felt the muffin bit didn’t happen but was something Annie thought about doing and found pleasure in that thought.

“But remember, you have to make yourself happy. No one else can do that. You have to make yourself happy.”

I thought about what she was saying and it made sense.

“Write about getting old,”

It was not a smart-ass remark.

I liked what Annie was saying because there was a huge audience out there because a lot of people were getting old.

“We’ll submit it to AARP and a bunch of other magazines.”

I liked the sound of what she was saying but quickly thought negative, it will be rejected. But just as quickly thought positive, rejecting the negative. I liked it.

“Writing about my life in the current book has made me realize that I’ve done a lot, but not enough to make me financially set. Look at John. . .”

John isn’t happy. He worries all the time. He thinks about losing all his money, about who wants money from him, about his job. . .He worries all the time.”

You have to make yourself happy went through my mind at the same time I thought about how could I help John and his money worries. I though about myself worried about how I would loose my job at WXYZ, how I’d end up in the Cass corridor of Detroit despite having a contract, I worried a lot and knew what John was feeling. Then, I was fired from Channel 7 and I went to work for the competition, Channel 2, where I was fired. I didn’t end up in the Cass Corridor . . I ended up rebuilding a house in Bloomfield Hills, MI and creating a television show called “Home Sweet Home.”

I talked about that fear several times at self-help meetings and how the fear dissipated when I accepted the program.

What did I learn from all of this?

It’s really simple. . .replace FEAR with FAITH.


Copyright © 2017

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Believe. . . you are in charge!

Written by Jerry Stanecki

I want to be perfectly clear about one thing as you read my blogs. That is, I have NO power over you or anybody.

Neither do you!

All I have is suggestion, and if you like the suggestions I make then you will apply them to your life. . .and your life will get better and easier.

Many of us are trained to go through life minding other people business.

If you’re a parent it is mandatory to teach your children how to take care of theirselves. How to accept being powerless and what it means. . .the true meaning such as being in charge of their life. How fear steals happiness. How bad things seem to always work out and not necessarily work out the way YOUR POWERLESS son or daughter want. Teach them to accept the way things work out as the right way that guides them.


Copyright © 2017

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