** Before continuing reading I want to say this is going to touch base on a few things that are hard for me to talk about. I’m not looking for pity or condolences out of this, but I’m hoping that what I’m going/have gone through will help someone else push forward **
What a better day than to write something emotional related on Valentines day!
I know it has been some time since I last wrote a blog post. To be honest it has only been the last few months that I felt like my life was finally starting to straighten out(keep in mind this right here as I’ll touch back in a bit on this sentence). I had moved back to Kentucky to straighten things out and get my health back to-where it needed to be. I was going to pursue a number of business opportunities that had been in the works and I was going to make sure 2018 didn’t fall back into the path that 2017 did. See, 2017 was a roller coaster for me. In a recent YouTube video I did, I touched base on some things I was going through; depression, stress, anxiety, health, big life changes. Things that were really changing who I was as a person.
I felt like I was at an all time low before moving back to Kentucky but little did I know life was about to beat me down even more(right here, remember this too).
See, Tennessee holds a very dear place in my heart and my life. It was the start of me officially being on my own. Understand what that means though. I had lived with friends and family following up my final years in Kentucky. I was a guy in my early 20’s so I was away from my parents house as much as I could. But when I overnight decided I was going to move to TN I was leaving everything behind and starting fresh. The first chapter of what I would consider my grown up life was just starting.
Over the last few years I became someone I literally didn’t recognize. I know that sounds cliche as all get out but no seriously, I didn’t agree with hardly anything my conscience was saying. On the outside looking in most people had no idea – I’m good keeping things like that – but the ones close really knew I was struggling and it was a downhill battle starting 4 years ago. Arrogance was at an all time high. I was the biggest jerk that I could possibly be. I was quick to snap at people over almost anything. I could look at certain people and my blood would boil. I couldn’t think of anything good to say about those people.. let’s not even talk about how unhealthy all that was. I was literally hurting people around me that I deeply cared about.
What changed Cody? What made me become someone I told myself I’d never get close to. Why did I continue to hurt the ones around me?
Influence. Empowerment. Pride. Blindness.
I was never one to let others rub off on me but the people I was surrounding myself with – powerful business people – really took a toll on me. I had gotten myself in a hole that I wasn’t able to get myself out of. It’s one reason why I stayed where I was so long – and it gradually got worse – was because there was no distance from anyone at all. My life, literally every minute of the day, was surrounding these people. It’s almost like signing a contract to the military because you’re theirs until the contract is over. It’s not that I couldn’t leave, it’s that I didn’t want to or know how to leave people I had grown to love and care about. I wanted success so bad, I was so hungry to achieve all my dreams before I hit 30 that I set my eyes on that alone and was walking around blindfolded being led by those around me.
It’s pretty bad when my best friend tells me he was afraid to talk to me about somethings because he didn’t want me to snap, or that he didn’t want to take my calls over the years because of all the garbage I would talk or how selfish I had become. I even had some friends and family distance themselves because of this. I’ve always been one to put others before me. ALWAYS. I’ve got a very compassionate heart but somehow over the years that compassion kept getting pushed back and things stacked in front of it. I distanced myself from everyone on my own as well. Some was by choice, some was out of my control based on things currently going on in life. I remember so many times – especially in the last year – sitting in a room alone and having everything hit me so hard I literally couldn’t make myself get up. The way I was treating people, the way I was treating myself, the pain I was bringing to the ones I really cared about. But I missed out on a lot. Numerous weddings. Numerous Funerals. Numerous Family moments that I should have been a part of. Even just hanging with friends. Heck I even put my truck on the back-burner. The people I talked to could have been counted on two hands.
I remember getting a phone call from one of my best friends in summer of 2017 and I couldn’t help but cry from being so overwhelmed with joy to hear their voice. Little moments like that let me know the old Cody was still here somewhere behind these behemoth walls I had built.
If you’re reading this and we met over the last few years, I want to apologize. I’m sorry you met me at my lowest point in life. I HATE who I was now that I’m able to look back after the veil was dropped. Let’s be friends and catch up soon? I’ve met some great people, and if I’ve opened up to you please know you may not be named here but you mean so much to me. That’s not easy for me to do.
I even pushed away the people who meant the most to me. Family. Friends. A Girlfriend.
I killed the relationship with someone I called my sister who had been there for me when I needed her over the years. I built my walls up so hard against her when all she wanted to do was make sure I was okay. One thing led to another and she moved back to Kentucky about a year after moving to TN with me. We didn’t talk for a long time, and that’s all on me. Closer to my end time in TN, I was coming around to a little of my senses and I rekindled that relationship and tried to help fix things. There had been numerous times over the years that I could just imagine seeing and hugging her again. Let me tell you when I got moved back in KY and was finally able to see her for the first time in years the emotions were out of control and the hug was everything I thought it would be. I had a hard time fighting off tears as we just embraced each other as if nothing ever happened. There she was, my “sister” was back.
With my sister gone from me I was alone and had no one to really talk to because I was living with my boss. That means no escape. No friend time. Somehow though, I was able to meet someone who would change my life forever and introduce me to others who would make an impact on me pretty heavily. I started dating a girl who was as sweet as any angel you’d ever meet. This girl was there for all the stuff I had went through. I’m not sure why she stuck by my side because I know I didn’t deserve her but she’s the reason I survived as long as I did. Seriously, she was the only normal thing in my life that made me feel slightly human still and kept a little bit of reality in check.
Then she introduced me to her parents and I knew there was bigger reasoning behind us meeting. Her parents are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. They reminded me of my family back home who would literally give you the shirt off their back if needed and the best part was their feet were grounded in their beliefs. I wasn’t what you’d call religious at this point but I still have my upbringings and loved the faith that was carried throughout their house and their lives. Their faith, along with my girlfriend’s, is something I fed off and that continued to give me hope that there still are normal people I can connect to. I looked up to them two so much and I have no doubt they change people’s lives who they come in contact with daily. They had become my Tennessee Mother and Father without even realizing it.
Let’s talk about the climb to change.
I moved back to Kentucky around November 2017. That’s a night I’ll never forget, and it’s not for the best either. It was one of the most emotional nights of my life. I was leaving behind my life for the past 4 years along with my girlfriend(and her family whom I had gotten so close to) of 3 years, my father and little sister, and so many friends and memories. I’ve met so many people who left a huge impact on my life – and if you’re questioning if you’re one of them then odds are you were because I’ve told you. That night was a complete disaster and I had put it off as long as I possibly could. I knew this was going to completely change my life and it just didn’t feel right. I was making a huge mistake. I remember at one point that night sneaking off alone and telling God I’m about to ruin everything I had worked so hard for over the last few years and the anger and pain that came with that. I tried to hide those emotions but it just turned into me lashing out at ones around me. Things were so bad even Arya’s stress and anxiety was at an all time high – she was losing hair and weight left and right.
My best friend had been by my side for a few months at this point and honestly he’s a big reason I’m finally in a good place. We found a house up here to lease along with one of his childhood friends(who now is one of my best friends and has taught me so much) and moved in before Thanksgiving – this was the road to recovery. Things were moving so fast. I mean literally, SO FAST. My Etsy store kicked off better than I ever could have imagined. 600 Orders in 3 weeks and I had to order 3 more 3D printers just to keep up with orders in December. That’s a huge blessing as I had moved up here with no real income.
Business was rolling in. Relationships were getting mended. I was getting to see my family.. sort of.
Now that all that is taken care of let’s talk about the whole reason behind this post;
Although some things were being mended, I was still a long way from being the old Cody. I was still… finding myself if you will. I was working around the clock. Even throughout the night. I’d sleep for an hour or two and have alarms set so I could get up in the middle of the night, change some prints and start new ones, then go back to sleep for a few hours. I was literally working every second of the day. I just couldn’t keep up with my orders no matter how hard I worked. My hanging out with friends and family had turned into them forcing me into a car to go eat, or them coming over, saying hi, and me going back to work.
Was that healthy? Absolutely not. I had so much to learn still.
The most important thing was that I had forgotten how to even be a halfway decent boyfriend and it had finally taken a toll on my girlfriend. This is when life reminded me that it can knock me down lower than I was just at. She ended our relationship of 3 years and I found myself worse off than I ever had been in my life. Guilt and pain quickly brought me to my knees and flooded myself with emptiness and loneliness. Heart break quickly reminded me why prior to her I had kept my walls at an all time high. I don’t deal with heartbreak well at all. It’s probably the one thing in the world that breaks me down more than anything else and I had never experienced a negative feeling quite like this before. I panicked, I didn’t know what to do. I quickly shut down, I mean everything in me shut down. I had just lost the biggest influence and most meaningful person in my life. My heart was sitting in Tennessee broken, and I was in Kentucky not knowing how to get it back or even wanting it back. I found myself sitting in depression like I had never felt. I couldn’t move, but I didn’t care to. I’ve always been someone who can’t stop my mind from moving 100mph – constantly have to be doing something or I get anxious but I found myself laying in a dark room not knowing or caring what happened next. You know the scenes they have in movies where people are so depressed they just stare for hours? Turns out it took me 28 years to realize they weren’t making that stuff up and that it really happens. It’s something I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy. Is that a little extreme? Possibly. We all have things that are our absolute weakness and feels too much to handle – mine just happens to be love and heartbreak and it’s the only thing I don’t at all deal with well at all.
I know this has been pretty negative, but don’t worry because it’s about to change.
Being bottled up for years, I had become really good at not sharing feelings. Putting them in a corner somewhere and moving on. It is a huge reason I was always so edgy and not something I’m exactly proud of but I didn’t know how else to handle it since I couldn’t really talk to anyone. This is where the journey of the old and improved Cody begins. My best friend and I were fighting at the time but I remember calling him after the breakup and barely able to speak a work but was able to mumble to him what happened and he was there to listen. After years of keeping stuff in, I found myself pouring my now broken heart out to him just trying to find some sort of comfort, even if in the slightest. It’s crazy the power and comfort of a hug from a loved one can bring.
Step 1 to dealing with heartbreak and depression: talk about it.
Easier said than done(no pun intended), I know. Pull yourself together for a second and just make yourself talk. Even if it’s one sentence at a time. We can’t handle everything on our own. We aren’t supposed to. That’s why friends even exist in the first place is to help us carry our problems and move forward.
Step 2: surround yourself with strong people who care about you.
This is incredibly important. Your mind will eat you alive. Believe me, almost any time I’m alone my mind drives me insane. Throwing out scenarios, memories, guilt. Reminding me how bad I messed up but you know what? You’ll learn. Yep, you’ll learn from what you’ve done wrong. Even though this is hard for me to type, it’s not the end of the world. I promise it’s not. That brings us to step 3…
Step 3: talk yourself up.
I struggle with this one a lot. You know how your head is telling you that you’re a failure, you messed up, and all that garbage? STOP. Do the opposite. Even verbally if you have to. It can be something as simple as saying “hey, you’ve got this.” but speaking positivity will help you start to believe it. Yeah you may be hurt and feeling completely useless and broken but you’re going to push through this and the sooner you actually believe that the sooner it will happen.
Step 4: give it time.
This one is the worst. I hate this one so much because I’m the most impatient person you’ll meet. My problem is I completely shut down from heartbreak. Business down. Weight down, no appetite, no care for anything. I need things to happen NOW. The healing process takes time and as you go through things you’ll learn better how to handle the time.
Step 5: stay busy.
This sort of goes against what I was saying happens to me – shutting down – but this will help you with your pain. If you can keep your mind busy then it won’t constantly be thinking about your heartbreak or depression. Pick up a good book. Replay a challenging game. Spend time with loved ones(this touches back to step 2). Work on a new project or teach yourself a new hobby.
With those steps down, I’ll get back to my post.
For the first time in I don’t even know how long, I had found myself praying. If you’re not religious, that’s fine. I’ll never shove my beliefs down your throat and I’ll hug you just like I would anyone else. 100% no judgement will come from me. But I was raised in a religious house and know in the past crying out to God has helped me and I had done everything in my own power so this was the only other place to turn.
You don’t have to be religious to know that some times we go through things that are going to make us a better person or start new chapters in our life. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I’m not saying this is the case, but what if everything I went through over the last few years was simply to change me into an improved Cody? I mean, sure we all encounter things that will make us stronger but this year(yes 2 months of 2018 I’m solely talking about you) has changed me more than any other situation I’ve ever been in.
I’ve learned more about myself in these past weeks than I ever have. My traits are changing and finally improving. I’m finding myself more caring and selfless. My perspective of things are changing. I’m going out of my way for others. Some of the things that made me who I was 10 years ago are showing up again but with a different perspective or feel. This is what finding yourself is really about. It’s crazy to think about how you believed a certain way a year ago, to how you’re seeing a brand new light at the end of that tunnel.
After feeling way more depressed, down, broken, and crying more than I have in my life I can finally say I have joy. Not that everything is all rainbows and butterflies, but I’m finally making a fight to move forward and improving myself along the way. I’m 28 and still don’t fully know myself but I know if people over the last 4 years would have met this Cody then I would have a lot more friends.
So what if the last 4 years was just to break me down enough to write a brand new slate?
Wow, this was so much longer than I expected it to be. Please know i’m not looking for praise here, but if you’re going through something know you’re going to make it out. And don’t be afraid to open up to the ones who love you. They won’t judge you for crying over someone you truly care about.
If you made it this far then I’m impressed. Hopefully the future posts here and videos on my YouTube channel will all be positive stuff moving forward.
I don’t like writing negative things but after some people reached out to me about my YouTube video where I touched on depression, I felt like someone out there could use this and if at least one person can feel better after reading this then I’m happy. If you ever need someone to talk to, I don’t care what it’s about, what time it is, who you are, or anything at all, if you need to talk then reach out to me either on social media found on the top right of the page or send me a message through the contact page.
So many people that I’ve met over the years hold a special place in my heart. I hope you know who you are. Some were mentioned here, some weren’t but that doesn’t mean you don’t fit into that category. Thanks for being there for me, everyone.
Life can be so frustrating and hard but sometimes you need to stand back and take a breath before moving forward.