I have suffered from anxiety my whole lifeIt sucks. Especially being a man. We’re supposed to stand for strength. We’re supposed to have it all together. But it overtakes me a lot. My racing thoughts, my strength weakening in a dark cloud. Where is up? Where is down? Then I see my responsibility in front of me. My three kids and my wife. Raising a family in your mid-thirties can really make your body chemistry go crazy. It’s the perfect recipe and it’s beyond overwhelming sometimes. Well, all the time. The constant dark cloud in my head saying “you’re not strong, you’re not good, and you can’t do this shit.”
So I zen out. I try to cope with the overwhelming feelings by disconnecting with what’s in front of me and connecting with nature. I think about nature and the natural progression of existence.Did you know that lobsters shed their shells? I heard this once and initially thought it was so cheesy, but now I think it’s a perfect metaphor for our lives. Lobsters shed their protective barrier or shell when they grow. Why? Because they outgrow that protection and become vulnerable. That vulnerability causes them to regrow a bigger shell and so on and so fourth. Anytime they find themselves outgrowing their protective barrier they retreat and restructure their internal being to become outward. They keep becoming who they are – building that confidence and strength. They rebuild that protective barrier to fit the new lobster they’ve become. Understanding this chemistry of life makes me realize that when my anxiety sets in strongest, my vulnerability – my shell, is only becoming stronger. That wave of rebirth makes me an even stronger dad – ready to be theirs everyday.