As a guy who is a nurse, I have always gotten a kick out of the movie “Meet the Fockers”. I think the whole idea and the movie itself is hilarious. Obviously, it goes to the extreme, but that’s what a comedy can get away with. To be honest, my father-in-law does not play the Robert De Niro part. I was immediately accepted into the family without having to prove myself in a family pool volleyball match or other rites of passage. Big sigh of relief there! After all of the laughter and the craziness that ensues in the movie takes place, the one big takeaway is the idea of a “circle of trust”. Now, it gets totally blown out of proportion in the movie, but the basic premise is there. Outside of everything else in life, we all need our own “circle of trust”. I like to call it my core or my inner circle.
My core consists of my wife, my family, and my absolute closest friends. These are the people that I know that I can rely on when I am not at my best. These individuals have my back no matter what.
My wife, oh my wife! She is awesome. She is my rock. She has been nothing short of amazing throughout this process. I could not have gotten where I am today without her. From the day that I was laying in our bed, scared and crying. Scared for my life. Afraid of what might come next if I kept going the way I was going. She was the voice of reason when I had lost mine. I was lost, but she picked up the lantern and helped me to see the way that I needed to go. She took me to the hospital. She me called while I was in. She came and visited everyday. After I got out of the hospital, she was still there. Ready to help me deal with whatever I needed to deal with next. She was all in and I was amazed at her grace. It couldn’t have been easy and I know that it hasn’t been easy, but she stands right by me.
My family. My family as been more supportive of this journey than I could have ever imagined. While I was in the hospital, my mom and dad came and visited everyday. My sisters called me everyday. I was comforted knowing that they would never leave me and will always be there. No matter what. To some degree, they have all been down this road that I was on and the experience and wisdom that they provided me was and is priceless.
My friends…my brothers. These guys are awesome. These guys I’ve known for most of my life and am still blessed to have them in my life today. Let’s just say, a couple of these guys I’ve know since I was very young. I mean, longer than my memory will even allow me to remember! These brothers are the ones that stick by you no matter what is going on. We celebrate the highs and we pull each other through the lows. My core brothers live all over, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be there in a second if it was needed. These guys are my front line and I am beyond thankful for them being there for me. I would do the same for them in a heartbeat.
I have many other friends in my life, that I know I can count on, and have called on before. They must be recognized as well and I do not mean to lessen their impact on my life. I am equally thankful for each of you.
Now, let’s get real for a moment. The above sounds pretty darn perfect. Unfortunately, we all know life isn’t perfect. I am a stubborn person. As much as I have done things different and not on my own, there is still a part of me that wants to do it on my own. I don’t always want to ask for help. It’s very hard to just drop the way you have been for most of your life and do things differently.
I have learned to share more and more with people, especially my wife. However, there are times I don’t want to share every little thing going on in my head. I do still clamp up and hold some of the thoughts in. I am learning to deal differently with everything, but the old me still holds on.
I could be better at reaching out to my friends (and family as well). My core brothers. I will admit that I am not great at reaching out. As much as I’m trying to blow the mental health stigma out of the water with these blogs, I find that the stigma still has a hold on me. I don’t want to bother other people with my problems. It’s true. Maybe I’m too proud. Maybe there is a bit of me that is afraid to share some aspects of what is going on. Maybe I feel like that all I talk about is gloomy things (it’s not true, but it is easy to feel that way). These guys never disappoint me when I do talk to them about what is going on. So why the hesitation? THE STIGMA. I believe that is a lot of the hold up. I am still working on getting though the stigma. I know that I am going to keep writing about it. It really does help me on a personal level. I also know I have to drop my guard and reach out more to these guys I know are good with me no matter if I feel broken or on top of the world or anything in between.
We absolutely need an inner circle. A core group. Everyone of us needs it. Not everyone of us feels like we have it though. I know not everyone reading this has the same thing that I have. I know it is true. I have witnessed it.
The core needs to come from somewhere else. That sounds a whole lot easier than it really is. Maybe this core can come from a group that you belong to. Group therapy even. Maybe a page that you are following on social media. Maybe a group of people that you game with on whatever system you game on. Maybe an exercise group. Church? Church is a good place to connect to all types of people. So many walks of life can be found in so many different places.
These are all just examples. I know there are so many other examples out there. What I am getting at is really breaking down what a core looks like. What an inner circle looks like. The idea of a core, to me, is a group of people that make you feel like you belong. Make you feel like you matter.
Please, go find that. I encourage you. I am still working on using my core better, but I am fortunate enough to have one. I know not everyone does. It doesn’t mean that you don’t matter. You do matter. I don’t know you, well some I do, but you matter to me none the less. This blog that I am doing is not meant to isolate, but to hopefully bring people together. It is a journey, but one that we can walk together.
Go out and find your “circle of trust”. Many of you have that circle already. Use it! I know that I need to be better at it. Those that may not, it is out there. It can be here. Please don’t give up. The mental health journey can be a long hard journey, but use those that are around you to help. You’d be surprised, I know I was, at how willing they were to accept me as I was and truly want to help me get better. I thankfully don’t have the tough father-in-law De Niro character guy making me prove my worth in joining a circle of trust. I already have that circle with my wife, family, and friends. I hope you have this or can find this as well. It makes all the difference.
Let’s Keep Walking together and have a great day!
Please, feel free to check out my Facebook group and page:
Jason Kehl’s Basement Of Jams: Rocking Mental Health
On my page, I share instrumental music that I have created along with a positive message promoting mental health: http://www.facebook.com/JasonKehl13
The group is more interactive and the goal is for myself and others to share our creative expressions to aid in strengthening each others mental well-being: http://www.facebook.com/groups/rockingmentalhealth/