Tag Archives: self-worth

No Pain, No Change

No pain, no gain? That is the question of the day, do I believe it?

I believe that when it comes to making a change in your life, then yes, there is going to be pain involved. More than likely the pain comes before the change more so than during or after, but why else would you be changing something? If something is working, why change?

Some of us had to feel a lot of pain before we could make any gains, had to hit a bottom of some sort before we realized that our way just wasn’t working. Had to feel complete defeat before we were willing to admit that we needed help, and were willing to accept it.

There is no need for everyone to have to hit rock bottom before they make a change, I understand that and am glad of it. But change has to come from within, changing because someone else wants you to, a partner, a boss, a friend, usually doesn’t work and can lead to resentments. Changing for yourself, not necessarily by yourself, but for yourself is important. We all know what changes we need to make in our lives, most of us look at the change and make the decision on whether to change based on how much pain it is causing us at that moment. If there is pain, there is a chance of change. More pain, more chance of change and more chance of gain. So based on this, I say yes that the phrase “No Pain, No Gain” is absolutely true.

Below are lyrics that I keep coming back to because they just apply so much to my life.

To really feel the joy in life
You must suffer through the pain
When you surrender to the light 
You can face the darkest days

If you open up your eyes
And you put your trust in love
On those cold and endless nights 
You will never be alone

Passion glows within your heart
Like a furnace burning bright 
Until you struggle through the dark
You’ll never know that you’re alive

That’s all I got on change for now, hope everyone has a blessed day

Mark

 

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My Best Comeback Ever!

You know those conversations that come to an end, sometimes due to an awkward silence or from someone saying something that you do not agree with, or don’t have a good answer so you just stand there gazing at them, mouth open in defiance but nothing coming out, but then some time later the perfect response hits you…..but it is too late because the conversation has ended?

Happens to me too often to count, but usually I let it go after a little while of stewing while the other person has completely forgot about the conversation and has moved on with their life. But there is one conversation, OK, one set of conversations that happened in my lifetime that I never ever gave the right comeback, until now.

When I was growing up, I was the only son of four kids, worse yet I was in the middle so I wasn’t the oldest and wasn’t the baby. Today that doesn’t really matter, but it does when you are growing up, but that is not what this is about.

This is about being my Father’s only son. The one that he expected the most out of and pushed because he believed that I could achieve greatness if I “just applied myself”. That no matter how good I did at something, he never wanted me to rest on my laurels and accept that it was the best I could do. That there was always something better out there if I wanted it.

“You’re smart enough to do anything you want, if you just get off your ass and do it. Stop making excuses.” he would say, usually after I had just screwed something up. “Your mother and I believe in you, we are your biggest fans. Nobody can ever love you like your parents do, remember that!”

And I would sit there and listen, waiting for it to be over, usually nodding my head when he asked me a question, which usually evoked a “I can’t hear you, talk to us!”

So I would say something stupid like “OK” or “I understand” which was usually followed by a “I promise NEVER to do it again”, which we all knew was a flat out lie. I have heard the term “Foxhole prayers” used when people pray to God that if He just gets them out of this mess, that they would never put themselves in that position again. That is what I basically did with my Dad. He got me out of so many jams throughout my life, way more than I deserved. But I hated going to him to ask for help because of the way I felt after one of his “lectures”. How disappointing I was to him and how he knows I can do better if I wasn’t so lethargic. That if I lost weight I would feel better about myself and would not be so damn lazy, watching TV all day instead of being out playing like normal kids. Or how I didn’t apply myself in college and ended up dropping out because I had no ambition. Or how I had lost every job I ever had because I “took the easy way out” instead of going by the rules.

Well, you know what? It hit me this morning that I had the ability to give that man a comeback that I never thought to use. One that would have probably shut him up and know that I was a good person and that I was going to be OK eventually. Maybe because I never used it, I never got better until recently.

My Dad passed away a couple years ago and I miss him, we all miss him. He was a good man that worked hard to give his family everything they needed and most of what they wanted. He wasn’t perfect, but he did the best with what he knew. I am sad that I did not realize how much I would miss him until he was gone, but I know he is always watching over us and I know that he is still willing to hand out one of those dissertations any time I screw up.

But this time I am going to be ready with the greatest comeback ever. A “zinger” that would stop the world for a moment and that silence would not be an awkward one, it would be a proud one.

After he is done talking, even if it is only in my head, I would stand up, walk right up to him, look him right smack dab in the eyes and say . . . . .

 

 

Thank You Dad!


My Personal Cause

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

This was the question for the day. For me, there is really only one cause that I am passionate about. . . .Recovery. I am not ashamed that I am in recovery from an addiction. It was bound to happen. Either recover or die is how I look at it. I am not going to go into horror stories of my addiction or preach that there is only one way to recover, all I can really tell you is that I am very passionate about recovery and willing to go to any lengths to recover and to help others to recover.

To me, the only reason that addiction is a touchy subject is that most people do not understand, or even want to understand about it. That used to bother me, but there really is nothing I can do about those people, except pray for them. Pray for them that they get everything out of life that I want out of life. After all, don’t we ALL want the same thing? To find happiness in our lives? To wake up every day knowing that we serve a purpose? Knowing that there are people out there that do understand us and are willing to help us, with the only caveat being that we be willing to help those that come after us. “Passing it on” is what they call it I believe.

As I write, a lot of my thoughts are directed by what I have learned, and what I am learning every day in recovery and hope to learn the rest of my life. I am not any different than you or anyone else, am no longer terminally unique in thinking that no one else understands. Give them a chance to understand, eventually you will find people that do and that will love you with no strings attached. They ARE out there, just have to be willing to let them help. Sounds easy, harder than hell!

That’s all I got today.

See Ya

Mark


It Is Not Me

Writing 101, Day Twelve: (Virtual) Dark Clouds on the Horizon

Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.

Self-worth, what does it really mean? It means everything to me, at least now it does. Spent too long thinking I had to live up to others expectations and failing miserably, always worried about what people thought about me or said behind my back. And it is amazing how quickly someone can lose it, simple little remarks can harm someone for a very long time.

Palatine High School, Palatine IL 1979. Even though it was 35 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. Left history class with my friends to go to our lockers to get ready to go to next class. It dawned on me that I had walked out without grabbing my book from the wire shelf under the wooden chair that was attached to those way too small desks and turned back, telling the guys that I would catch up with them.

Went back into the classroom and there was someone already sitting at my desk, a self proclaimed bad ass that really seemed to enjoy fighting, because he was in a lot of them over the years. That heavy feeling that develops in your chest when you are getting into a situation that you don’t want to be in came on immediately. But I had to get my book and get to the next class so I walked up to the desk and started reaching for the book, it was just sitting there. Well BA saw me and reached down and grabbed the book and flashed an evil smile towards me.

“What you want man?”

“Just want my book” I mumbled

“What? Can’t hear you”

“My book, just need the book” I said, trying to speak clearly as a crowd started to form around us

“How do I know this is your book?” He said as he opened the book to the first page, where my name was clearly written. “What’s your name fatty?”

“umm…Mark” I said meagerly

“Speak up loser”

“Mark! Please just give me my book”

“Pork? Is that what you said? Your name is Pork! Is that short for Porky?” Laughter all around as my face started to burn with embarrassment and I started to tremble. “Here you go Porky” and he tossed the book to me.

We’ve all seen the movies and TV shows where the kid is getting picked on and all he can see is the blurry laughing faces all around you and there is no escape, let’s just say that I knew that feeling that day. I could not get out of there fast enough and no matter how fast I ran, I could not outrun that terribly cruel new nickname that spread like wildfire through the school.

We all have a bully story, whether we are the victim or the perpetrator or just a bystander. And it will continue to happen, unfortunately that is just the way it is. Self-worth is such a fragile commodity and it can and will disappear in an instant. It is kind of like trust, takes a long time to build it and just a moment to lose it.

I can’t change other people, I can’t change the way that they think or act. But I can change myself. I will never understand how people can say things that they know are going to hurt someone else, just not my style. But I do know now, that those people that are hurtful towards others are the ones with the problem, not me! Just hoping and praying that those that are younger find this out sooner rather than later.