This is a transcription of Episode 81. The transcription was done by software, apologies for anything that seems out of whack. A link to the episode is below.
Joining me today is Mr. John Hatcher. John, let’s just jump right into it wants to tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yeah, yeah, happy to do so happy to be here. I, let’s see, I got my foray into all of this ironically, by by a breakup. And I had always dabbled in writing was a it was a hobby of mine through college and grad graduate school. And I just started an email list of kind of relatable, cathartic humor and had had a little following there. And people kept pushing me to write, I never wanted to do it. And I started started writing just a blog, and I wrote about an anxious breakup I had, and that caught the attention of a movie producer down in Hollywood who wanted a screenplay, I was called breaking up badly. And I decided, I met with them. And I decided, you know, rather than having this as a one shot, potentially bad film, I would write the book. So I wrote breaking badly and got an agent and an attorney. And, and that started going out. And what happened was a publisher, my first publisher, loved the voice of it, but wanted an anxiety book for teens. And I thought, Well, I wasn’t anxious team, this is perfect, I can write this. And that’s really how it started. My first feature article was ingesting a teen girl magazine, oh, which was a bit of a stretch. But you know, from there, I started writing features, for good housekeeping prevention, health, Reader’s Digest, and then the teen anxiety book was my first and that was in 2016. There’s a subsequent book coming out a sequel to that 2023, I have an adult book called anxiety hacks for an uncertain world, which will be released in December, are good. Thank you more for adults and international release. And I have a regular self help humor column on psychology today. Which is been interesting, I really enjoyed it, it’s, you know, a pretty, pretty serious site. And I’ve, I’ve brought a different flavor to it, to say the least. So I’m honored to have that opportunity. And, you know, my work is extensively peer reviewed. So I don’t write in a vacuum of, you know, I wonder if this is working. I’ve got a lot of smarter people than me that are peer reviewing my work for clinical efficacy. And what I do is I, I write and take the, the acronyms and the science and the clinical ease out of it and make stuff palatable for general audiences. But I can be reached a state of anxiety.com or anxiety hacks.co. And, yeah, that’s, that’s who you’re talking to today? Well, that
I found you on psychology today. I’m a frequent reader. That’s where a lot of my guests come from, and quite honest with you. Yeah. And what caught my attention was an article or a blog post. I don’t remember the exact title. But I remember man xiety being sort of the highlight of the title. And I thought, well, well, what the hell is that? And so I read that and and I was immediately connected. But and let’s talk a little bit about that particular blog post. Why did you write it? Have you gotten feedback? Like, those kinds of things?
Yeah, so thank you for reading that I actually coined the term, because I’ve always been an anxious male. And I thought anxiety for men is different. It presents differently, whether it’s acute short term or chronic, long term at three months or more. They’ve actually studied fraternal twins, and showed that women are more affected by interpersonal relationships related to anxiety while men are more sensitive to external factors like their career. And I think we can all relate to that as men that it’s these external things that are driving our anxiety and it presents differently for men as well. So we’ll see it as anger, irritability, chest pain, things that’ll land us in the ER and they’ll say it’s not a heart attack and anxiety and that’s literally what happened to me. I went to the ER with chest pain, convinced I was dying. And I remember that it was a female doctor, and she came in and she just gently told me, sir, you’re actually having an anxiety attack and I thought, oh shit, I’m having a heart attack. I’m dying. Gave me nitroglycerin and EKG and all these things. And I thought, are you kidding me? I was embarrassed. But, you know, that was kind of the foray into me figuring out what was going on. And unfortunately for men, you know, there’s a lot of this denial and, you know, we plug the holes however we can And a lot of times, it’s with external things. You know, we start with a denial. And then we move kind of into the distraction. And that can take many forms. And unfortunately, it often takes the forms of substance abuse. Where are we, you know, we’ll just work out too much, or will, you know, do anything but accept the fact that, you know, we’re dealing with a stigmatized, real condition, and we don’t want to appear weak or vulnerable. And, you know, it’s hard for us to, you know, we’re conditioned to man up throughout. Yeah, very early on, right. And we don’t want to discuss these vulnerabilities with anybody else, there’s kind of this unwritten rule that we have to be in control at all times. And this makes it really difficult to identify anxiety and men, even at really high levels. And, you know, we’ll go we’ll go to the hospital, or we’ll talk to if we hopefully do eventually talk to a therapist will present it as anything but what’s actually going on because we can’t identify it. I couldn’t identify it in myself. And you know, it’s very common.
Yeah, and I think I see it all the time. I probably suffered from it. As much as any any man except for I, I don’t, I’m not too keen as my Australian friends say, in accepting it, like I don’t, I’m just not I’m not gonna, that’s just not what I’m gonna do. I’m not gonna isolate and we’ll get to loneliness. And because I think, I think what happens is this anxiety to be a man, right to be tough, causes loneliness. Because because we’re supposed to be tough, so we’re not supposed to talk about it. But if we get around other men, and we have conversations, it’s going to bring things up, and we don’t want to fucking do that. Because that means, right, we’re gonna have we’re gonna have feelings, we might even fucking cry like. So then we then we isolate. Right. And so that leads to right. And I think, particularly, as we discussed briefly before, hit the record button. After a breakup, right, that seems to be when we isolate the most, in some ways, right?
Yeah, that’s a huge trigger. And you know, that first piece that I wrote, on breaking up badly was related to why am I handling this breakup so badly? I just gone through a shoulder surgery, I don’t, I think it was like number 10, I’ve had 13 orthopedic surgeries, and a 10 of them were shoulder and I was in a sling and I, I had just gone through this big breakup, my girlfriend at the time, was going off to medical school from California to New York, and I didn’t want to go, but I thought we just you know, have a long distance relationship, things will work out. And she had, she had other plans. And so, you know, she ended things and I was literally on my floor trying to tie my shoe with one arm, and a fetus like T Rex other arm. And I realized, man, I am really unhappy and lonely. And I started crying. And I’m like, Mike, I know, there’s some humor in here somewhere. I’m trying to, you know, I don’t have velcro shoes, but I can’t, I can’t tie my shoe and I’m lonely and dumped. And, you know, then the anxiety really kicked in. And I thought, you know, I don’t I don’t have anyone to talk to. And I think that’s, you know, there’s a difference between loneliness and being alone. And being alone can be great. It’s redemptive. You know, it’s, we do a lot of good things when we’re alone. But loneliness is completely different. It’s like when you’re going through that situation, you don’t have anyone to talk to. And it’s also the biggest predictor of health and longevity for anyone. These close social ties. It’s, it’s it’s life or death, you know, your close social ties and relationships for men, which we’re supposed to have, it’s in our DNA, we’re wired to have other bonds with men. But it’s 22% effect have an effect on our longevity and our health. And, you know, that’s a big chunk, right? So, we start out as boys feeling connected in our friendships as the same level as girls do. But we tend to neglect those personal relationships as we get older. And we’re pursuing external success, our jobs, etc. And, you know, we’re conditioned to be independent, self sufficient. And then we give up those relationships in lieu of financial pursuits. And research backs this up. And the irony of this is that focusing on the accumulation of wealth and material goods, etc, results in a decrease in our overall happiness and satisfaction. But in our defense, chasing money is much less scary than chasing male strangers to be friends.
That’s very true and less creepy. I think maybe, yeah. And
you know, there’s that perception I had a conversation yesterday. About this with another man. And it’s like, you know, we all feel that when another guy’s being friendly, like, what does he want? Our threats? Perception goes up now our threat radar like this person? Oh, go ahead and
how much nose it’s gonna sit? How much do you think of that is the jadedness of our society? Because when you when you go on Facebook and you’re if you’re in Facebook groups, or it seems like there’s always there’s this feeling I get or maybe even the world at large, feels like someone’s always trying to sell me something. Well, they are, right, yeah, it’s like, I mean, the Facebook group I run, I don’t allow coaches in there because they come off as oh, I want to help. But then it’s just like, Yeah, I’m really looking for clients. So I don’t really give a shit about you guys, I just want your money. And so I feel like that’s part of our society now like that. used car salesmen talk to us, like they started this year. Like, and so I think we kind of view everyone in that lens. And that and that can make it make you skeptical for anyone that that is looking for a friend or is just trying to help or whatever I think I think it’s society’s kind of we’ve been jaded, I
think, yeah, there’s a lot to that, you know, especially now there’s a lack of appreciation for fellow life out there. And, you know, I believe that Love trumps all, I think that, you know, being vulnerable is a strength. It’s not a weakness. And when you when you get to that point, you realize it, it’s like a it’s a epiphany. I mean, it’s a huge moment. And, yeah, you might get upsold something, or somebody might approach you in a way you’re like, dammit, I didn’t see that coming. Right. You know, I sourced the humor in that. I mean, last night, I was out to dinner with my girlfriend, and the waiter was being really, really friendly, right? And I was like, Oh, he’s such a nice guy. And, you know, he brought some free stuff. And I’m like, This guy’s just amazing. And then I noticed he was completely focused on my girlfriend, he was talking to her the whole time. And I’m like, good, God, this guy’s totally hidden on her right in front of me. Okay, my Desi not see me, am I not your mind? That much of a worse that, you know, he thinks this is okay. And I just sourced the humor. And I’m like, you know, way to go, hon, you got some free stuff. Like, I gotta take you out more at a nicer restaurants and, you know, see how far we can take this and you know, it, at some point in my life, that would have been a threat, you know, when I was younger? Sure, absolutely. Oh, yeah, I was in the gym all the time. And, you know, you’ll see these guys that are, you know, just getting yoked, and they’re all tatted up, and they’re projecting this image. But that’s not the real guy. And it’s okay to, to be you. And, you know, I’ve got, I’ve reached this point with age. And I think it takes a lot of guys that today to reach this with, with age. Unfortunately, you can’t kind of proselytize this to younger guys, because I wouldn’t have got it either. But I went through a lot and, and so I have nothing to prove, personally, you know, going through all the surgeries and accidents and stupidity that I’ve done, and you know, all those surgeries, and then going through a cancer, excuse me, that was all. I’m very appreciative, all those things. And I had to prove to myself that I could get through all that and, and then at the end of it, I looked at my friendships and the people that weren’t there, and I was like, wow, I gotta do a purge. I gotta do a cleanse of these people. And that was a very lonely time for me. You know, I was taking Uber to chemo with a, you know, barf bag? And I’m like, This can’t be right. Where are my friends, you know, and they were there when you know, it’s time to party, or, sure, no, get wasted, or go to concerts or hit on girls. But you know, when when it mattered. I had nobody. And that’s when I felt really lonely when I was really sick, going through chemo. And I’m like, what a bunch of assholes I have for friends. And I mean, I got rid of everybody, including my own sibling.
Oh, I can relate to that. I’m the same way in terms of my my brother, I don’t talk to them. But how did you get through it? How did it how did you survive, honestly, that that time because you’re not only dealing with what you’re dealing with in terms of the cancer? And we can we can certainly dive into that a little bit more if you want to talk about just you know, that experience, but that’s tough enough. I seen my father struggle with it and ultimately succumb to it. But then to be isolated on top of that, how the hell did you survive that? Honestly,
you know, I looked at what other people were going through and I was like, you know, there are people going through a lot worse than I am. I had just lost my maternal grandmother to a smoker’s cancer. She never smoked. She had a lung cancer. I had a smoker’s cancer. I never smoked. And as soon as I got into remission, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, very rare breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer, which is 1% of all breast cancers. And she was stage four, and she’s still fighting it, which is miraculous. It’s spread to her brain. She’s just, I looked at my mom, you know, I looked at her resilience, and I looked at other people that were going through huge losses. And, you know, I licked my wounds for three weeks, and I moved forward and I was like, you know, if these other folks can do what they’re doing, you know, I can dive in and, and source my why. And, and I wrote, and I sourced the humor and everything that was going on. And in my instance, it was a bladder cancer. So there was a lot of humor. I had nothing but catheters, I was going home with bags on my leg and catheters and the treatment was all I called it Dick rape. It was all all up the urethra man and it was not you want to have your your man who had put in peril. Yeah, that was it. And even the surgery was up to pee hole. And yeah, I, I had a, I’ll tell you, once you have a tumor removed out the urethra and you take that first pice, you’re gripping the walls and screaming, I had just nothing to prove, after all of this, right. You know, and my own brother was a smoker of many decades, and he saw the bag on my leg and I said, Look, here, this is coming for you if you keep smoking, and then he didn’t want to have any of that. So, you know, I just I dug in, I dug in, and I found my why. And then I realized, you know, I could find people that were, were better people. And I joined a men’s group through through my church, which was awesome, and made some really good bonds with guys that were able to be themselves. And in, I just realized that, if I’m going to, you know, get through the things that I needed to get through for my mom and for myself, and you know, I needed to tap into just some friendships.
What do you attribute that to? Because I don’t I don’t want to say you could have easily but you could have gone the other way and just said, Fuck it. I’m done. So there was something within you what but what do you attribute that to? Because I don’t know that everyone has that ability to say alright, what? This is where I’m at? What do I need to do? How do Where do you do think that came from some kind of foundational childhood thing? Was that something that was instilled in you? Or? Or how do you how did you find that strength?
That’s a great, but also extremely tough question like, Well, I tell you, I think it was innate, a lot of it. You know, I just grew up not being a quitter, very resilient. And I had lost to two buddies to suicide growing up. And that just really hit me. And I thought, you know, I definitely question it. I definitely question how I would do it. It was an escape hatch for me like knowing you know, what, if things get any worse, I’ve got this out. But what happened was, it’s suicide Never Ends with You. It’s passed on to your loved ones. And I knew I couldn’t do that to, to my folks, and, and to the people that did love me. I don’t see suicide as a weakness, I see it as people hit a point where, unfortunately, that is their only way for any relief. And I get that I get that level of pain. But I also focus, and I write about this, that you pass this on, you pass on that hurt, and that legacy to other other people and many other people in a circle. And I just couldn’t do that. So, you know, I really focused on, hey, this isn’t the end, it feels like it. But I focused on what could be the past that hope for a different outcome. I shifted my perspective. I found the humor, I started writing about it. It’s funny to have that much stuff shoved up your dick. And, and, you know, conversation, and it was always by a female, right? And, you know, you’re going in the office and, you know, it’s these are intimate moments with strangers, and you don’t want these, you know, I go in on Tuesday again for cystoscopy, you know, and it’s just always, you know, you’re in stirrups, like, it’s just so emasculating, there’s nothing more emasculating than this. And so, you know, you have to find the humor. And, and I do and I write about it. And so that’s what got me through
how. And there’s, I always love sort of analyzing folks just because it’s fascinating to me, because you’re different than me, right? I don’t I don’t I don’t know what I would do in these situations. But I don’t it probably wouldn’t be like you did it. And so that’s interesting to me, like how did this develop? And so I want to go back to you talked about the suicide of some friends how old were you then when Those occurred.
Yeah, I started cutting at 13. And, you know, I was on antidepressants at that time anti anxiety meds and sleep pills. And, you know, it was a very young age to be going through all that. And I don’t, I don’t know why I was. So, you know, I was adopted, I came, I came with a lot of stuff. And I assumed that that was rooted in me and, and I had a lot of stuff to work out. And I grew up angry. And I was in taekwondo, and I was fighting all the time and starting fights. And, you know, I had my nose broke, my teeth broke my orbital fractured. And still, I was doing dumb stuff. I went through a couple of arrests. Even in college, I had, it’s kind of a dichotomy in my life, where the anger side was getting me in a lot of trouble. But the academic side that had some hope still for, for a different outcome for that future was an honor roll, you know, graduate student, you know, I had a 4.0. But I also spent the last week of my final quarter of undergraduate college and in jail for fighting, and I graduated with a record, which was insane, I couldn’t even get a job. Which was, which was crazy. So I knew I had a lot of stuff to work out. And I did that through therapy.
Okay, so, I mean, it all comes. I just think there’s always a something that occurs. I mean, yes, there could be some innate things, right, that, you know, well, that was within me, but I always feel like there’s some kind of catalyst or something to make you the way you are. I had another guy on a regular fellow went through a divorce, and He’s so calm and collected about it all. And yeah, we’re kind of friends still with the axe and I’m just like, that’s fucking weird to me. Like, but but how are you like this? Like, hey, and then he got back to well, I did take a lot of martial arts. When I was younger. I was like, Ah, okay, there we go. So there’s always some kind of foundational or, or, or some kind of thing. I think that helps direct us. It’s not always just an aid. I don’t think I could be wrong. I think there are some things that probably are, but would you say that, that therapy and all that sounds like you did a lot of work on yourself? At some point? God, yeah, that that sort of, you know, allow you to navigate to cancer.
Yeah, I had to hit rock bottom, though, you know, prior I was I was even hospitalized at two points in my life. For just given up, I remember going into a psychiatric involuntary hold in a very scary place in Oakland, for a stent, and I just didn’t care, I just didn’t give a shit anymore. You know, I was done, I got to a point where I couldn’t eat. And I had to have an IV just to hydrate and feed me and I just gave up, you know, I didn’t want to commit suicide, but I really didn’t have the energy to go on. So yeah, I would say, and I certainly don’t mean that therapy is amazing. I mean, everybody should have, it’s like a coach, it’s your biggest proponent, and anybody could benefit from therapy. And so I need to give props and a shout out to therapist and therapy in general, because I was able to vent all of this and, and, and find ways to deal with some of these intrusive thoughts and, and the anxiety and, you know, anxiety comes from there, we’re not even sure it’s part biological, it’s part environmental. It could be seed planted from our parents. But that doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do with it. That makes the difference and where you channel it. And so with therapy, and through writing, that was really my saving grace.
Man, I gotta tell you, John, I didn’t know this stuff. And I, I want to commend you, my friend. Oh,
thank you, thank Well,
I mean, what a story what a what a, what an excellent example of what being a man ultimately means to me, is you finally at some point said, Okay, this is my shit, I have to fix it. And I have to deal with it. That to me is what a man is and what a man does, he owns his stuff. And you clearly did that. Wow, dude, you. You said you’ve written some books, but what are we getting the biography because I’m reading them.
You know, it’s funny because I still at the time, I was my day job was selling hospital beds into ICUs in the VA and stuff and I would see these guys who would come back from Afghanistan or Iraq and they would have missing limbs and they were, you know, 20 years old and they had to learn everything again. And I was like, God, I can’t believe I’m pitying myself. I mean, these guys that have given everything
perspective and powerful thing. Oh, it’s huge.
Right and so you know, I don’t think my my story is my story in that it if I didn’t have these things, like I’m super thankful for cancer. I’m super thankful for it. It’s interesting. I had started pissing blood, like 10 months prior. And I ignored it. Because I’m a guy, right? I knew that if if I went in, they were going to stick a camera at me. And that was not going to be fun. So I thought, you know, I don’t know, I don’t really care about my life. I was in that space, and it was dark. And I thought, whatever, I have his blood for three days, and went away. And then on my birthday, 10 months later, I just lost that grandmother, I spoke about Hazel. And I just took a trip by myself over it was Labor Day weekend, my birthday falls on and as soon as I got to the hotel, I started pissing blood again. And I’m like, Okay, this is, this is not a good birthday. And I knew in that moment that I had can’t, I just knew. And, and so I went through that, that weekend. And, and then when I finally went in, they did some tests, I found this out, but it was like, we know, I, I’ve got, I’ve got a source of meaning right now. And I’ve got to find, I’ve got to find some I was trying to work out and still, you know, maintain a life and I had a girlfriend at that time, but she was drinking too much. And I remember, I dumped her too, you know, and I, I got rid of all my friends. And I just went through this completely. It was just this amazing period of my life where I was like, I’m going to get through this, I’m going to get rid of my friend, I’m just going to start with a clean slate on the other side of this. And that’s literally what I did. And it was it was I don’t wish this sort of level of adversity on anyone to find this perspective. But I hope that other guys, I hope everybody in general can source this on their own without that level of setback.
So we definitely I know I probably say this phrase way too fucking much. Sorry, everybody, but we definitely found some rabbit holes today. But that I mean, what a great story, John, I didn’t know. Man, what honestly, what a fucking inspiration, you are my friend.
So that means a lot. I’ve never felt like it’s Brixton anybody. But it just means a lot to me.
They know you. I’m very serious, you should read a biography. So But let’s, let’s get back to loneliness. So you went through this time, this period where and in some ways you were lonely, because of circumstances in terms of people sort of abandoned you, I guess would be a proper way to describe it. And then also, at some point, you said you purged a lot of these people. So how did you get back from that? How did you how did you start to climb out of that loneliness hole, so to speak?
Yeah, that’s interesting, because I was extremely lonely. I mean, I could feel it in my chest, right. I was like, man, I’ve spent my entire life surrounded by such a huge circle of people. And what vapid people they were, you know, most of them, I can’t speak for everybody, because I there were some good folks in there. And people that stepped up that I never expected, which was phenomenal. But for the most part, I didn’t have very many close people in my life. And I always tell people, there are worse things and being alone and surrounding yourself with you know, shallow, negative, toxic or self serving people, like, you know, the kind of datas is worse than being alone. It’s better to start from scratch. You know, we crawl before we learn to walk. And we spend time alone before we surround ourselves with the people that we do, and the people that we surround ourselves with form our, our outlook and our personality, so we need to be fiercely protective of that. So first thing I did was implement some boundaries. And, you know, these are the kinds of people I’m going to allow in my life. And these are the people that I will shun fervently and I built from scratch from there, you know, I joined the men’s group, I, I reconnected with old friends that I had long lost touch with, that were good in my life, but we had just drifted apart. And that’s, you know, find a commonality, I would find people that, you know, where are the people? Where am I people? Where are the people that are spinning, where I spend time with, whether it’s running or at the gym, or, you know, in whatever endeavors I’m doing, I got into surfing again, and, you know, made connections that way, etc. So, and then I, I put out that vulnerability, and I find that once I and I call it the vulnerability kimono, once I opened it was like, Look, I’m a man still, but I’m lonely. I need friends. And I walked out of the forest of loneliness, and exposed myself essentially. Other guys were like, oh, man, I was the same way. It’s hard to make friends as an adult, right? You’re in college. It’s so easy. You’re spoon fed friendships. I mean, there’s built into the process and then you get maybe your first job and you get some friends that way. But then when you know COVID had excetera we’ve had it’s been a pandemic of loneliness, it literally is an epidemic of loneliness from it agree, agree, and it’s killing us. And so, you know, I found the commonality with other guys and built built from there. I mean, you and I have commonality you and I have built a bond in our conversation,
honestly swear to God, I was just thinking, I fucking want to hug him so bad like I just Could you could you come to Pennsylvania, is that, right? You’re gonna do a book tour or? Yeah, I
forgot to mention I’m in California on the central coast. So yeah, it’s a it’s a good 3000 mile jog. But yeah,
I mean, if anyone one day, yeah, donate a plane ticket for me to get the job. I would appreciate it. Well, you’re right. I mean, I think the solution I think, ultimately is vulnerability. Because if you’re if you’re vulnerable enough to say I am lonely, that’s the start. Right? And then the question is, what do I do now? And I am from I’ve talked to many people on this topic, and it’s put yourself out there seems to be the best answer is put yourself out there try things go to different meetups and, and that’s part of what I’m trying to do is build out a network of divorced men. So you know, cities all over the world, I want to create like the AAA for divorced men. It’s just sometimes I think there’s there’s a difficulty sometimes in getting men to be vulnerable to say, oh, yeah, shit, I am lonely right now. And maybe I do need to take some actions to alleviate that. But it’s such a stigma that if you do that, you’re a bitch. Don’t be a bitch, man. Oh, yeah.
Sorry. All right. Yeah. It’s like, why is it? What is this guy one. And, you know, I say find a commonality and go from there. You know, it could be like, you know, you made a little human well, so did I have a son what’s you know, what we have and you know, are saying, hey, you know, we should hit happy hour after work or top golf or whatever, the shortest route to making new friends. I do want to stress this to rejoin the former friends that you had the good people, they know you best. After all, they knew what shitty beer you drank. And in no, when you were 21. And you had a mullet. And, you know, they knew they knew these things about you. And, you know, there’s, there’s commonality already built in. In the absence of a cache of former friends, you could, you know, make new ones. And this is, you know, somebody that spots you at the gym on the bench press or co worker, or like I mentioned a minute group, there’s men’s groups at every religious entity or, you know, I would drive through town on on the weekend sometimes. And I see these gatherings of people staring at their phones, and I realized there was these Pikachu expedition clubs, you know, and I’m like, Man, these, these people have more friends than I do. And they’re a bunch of nerds, like, are you serious? And then I’m like, I shouldn’t rip on that, because, you know, they have these great consortium of people and I don’t so you know, it’s, it’s joining social media groups, like you said, that are built on interests, whether you stand up paddleboard, or you snowshoe, or you cross country run, or you like beer, and you know, you microbrew or football, you know, join your favorite teams football group. But I stress that to make a friend it does take the vulnerability that you and I talked about, which is a strength let me say it again. Vulnerability is a strength that is not a weakness because it takes incredible strength to say, Hey, I Eman but I need fellow men. I need fellow firestarters. Right. And you know, if you’re if your partner is your only friend, which men tend to do we lean on our partner for this friendships. And there’s a skit on Saturday Night Live called Man Park, which is absolutely fantastic. I don’t know if anybody Google SNL man Park and seen it. Yeah, it’s fantastic, right? We need that we need it to survive. So it’s really not so much being vulnerable is using common sense. Like, I’m going to die without friends. Slowly, because I’m going to have these conditions.
I was thinking about that. 22% so it shortens our lifespan. 23% right. So what is that in real numbers? Because I’m really fucking bad at math. What does that take off your life? Seven, eight years? I don’t even know. Like what so let’s say it’s 80. It was probably 75. Right? Is life expectancy? Let’s call it 70. Because again, I’m a simple fella. So that could take what we’re talking 14 years of your life potentially could be
sure. Yeah, I mean, genetics is the gun lifestyle is the trigger, right. So we’re all wired differently. We may have conditions that are, you know, exacerbated by loneliness. You know, if you’ve got a bad heart, you’re gonna have a much higher chance of cardiovascular disease if you’re spending your time alone. And so yeah, it’s an average of at least seven years and men die earlier anyway because we internalize everything. So being vulnerable. Is is a life saving measure, and you’re still a man Yeah, you could still be who you are and be vulnerable and people will appreciate it. And you’ll find that other men have the same, you know, where do you say to another guy like you and I met? And it was like,
it’s hard to be friends. Yeah, it is. For sure it is. I mean, listen, I wouldn’t be able to this isn’t the first time recovery, this fucking topic. And there’s a reason for that, because I see it all the time. Especially. And you mentioned it, you know, making a spouse your only friend. And then a divorce happens. And then you look around and, and you have no friends or the friends you had came from her or, or whatever. And then you realize shit, you’re similar to your situation where you’re going through this excruciating thing. And you look around and you have no fucking money there. And it’s that’s it, we got to change it. If it requires just saying, Hey, man, I’m, I’m kind of lonely, you want to hang out? If that’s all it fucking takes. And for goodness gracious sake, go do that thing. And then add these years back to your life, have some joy and some happiness, and set yourself up for a better life in general, you know, if all it takes is a little vulnerability and some effort Hawkman what are we? What are we not doing here? Come on.
Yeah, it’s really it is a crisis. And for sure, especially in the last couple of years, where we’ve even further isolated and I guilty that, you know, I’ve and I still I still isolate, and I, and I want to stress this formula for making friends. It takes effort plus momentum, to make a friend. And so you can have the intention, like we’re talking about, like, oh, I need friends. Yeah, I’m gonna do that. But you have to thin act. So it’s really intention plus effort, plus momentum. So you have the intention, you have to make the strides, join that group, reach out to somebody, go to the gym and spot somebody, whatever. And then you have to keep doing that. You have to keep going. And you know, go to the dog park with your dog or the beach, whatever. If you’re in the middle of the country, you know, I don’t know what people do, because I’ve been on the coast my whole life. Always talking about the beach. I’m walking distance from it. Yeah, I’m behind Pebble Beach, but I don’t golf, I actually hate golf. And I can’t swing it because I’ve had potential surgery. So I am a T Rex. You have to have that momentum. And it has to be sustainable. You have to keep doing it. And it’s hard. And it’s hard for me to
Yeah, it is hard. It’s definitely not easy. And like I said, I I’m trying to create these local groups, through the larger group that I have on Facebook. And I’m trying to create offshoots, these little subgroups, and then I need people to help run them because that momentum part I believe, is key to because because we are so adept at isolation we need we need to sort of be reminded or prodded in kind of a way like, Hey, guys, What’s everyone doing this weekend? Or how about next weekend? What what can happen is everyone joins and then no one’s sort of leading the pack, so to speak, and then it dies. Every once in a while, like hey, can we get together this weekend? And it’s crickets and then three weeks someone else? So it’s definitely it needs it needs work much like anything worth fucking doing does right? If you want to look like a rock you can’t hit the gym once a week like you I mean it just it takes work and takes effort. And but again, the rewards are pretty fucking crystal clear to me. If you’re telling me if I get some more friends I’m gonna add potentially right of course every other factor and all this kind of shit, but right add some interest in my life. Sign me up, man.
I appreciate you are Yeah, you’re gonna live longer. And, you know, it it is especially I you know, I have anxiety and all forms. I’ve generalized. I have a little bit OCD, I have social anxiety, which means that I’m always committing to things because I love to tell people Yes, yes, Michael, I’m gonna go, I’ll be there after work. And then it gets there. And it’s like, oh, man, why did I commit? Yeah, it’s the last thing I want to do. So that’s where the momentum comes in, and the effort, you know, you’ve got to actually go and deliver on it. And that’s, that’s the hard part for guys. And I think because, you know, we internalize a lot. And we’re always trying to work fixers. And, you know, for me, it’s like, I’ve got a book release in December, I’ve got another one following that. And then I have a sequel to my adult book that I’m working on the book proposal for. So these things are stacking up. And it’s like, I just have to work, work work. And I’ve been doing 12 hour days, at least six days a week. And it’s like, this is no balance, and I’m really unhappy. And I’m not following my own advice. I’m like a cardiovascular surgeon that’s outside smoking, on his brakes, you know, and it’s like, sometimes I’m the worst at heating my own advice, but I also I also know that it’s taking a toll on me and I have to pull back and I have to get out there. And so I’m consciously doing that. I’m making plans and I’m sticking to them and falling through.
That’s tough. I commend you. I want to I want to go back to anxiety because I don’t think I have it. I’m My oldest daughter has generalized anxiety disorder. And so I want to talk about that a little bit. From your perspective. What what is that? What does that mean to you? You have generalized anxiety disorder, what does that mean? By your definition?
I think one of the easiest ways to explain it is for generalized which is a kind of a catch all. And it’s the biggest kind of compartment of anxiety. That’s what most people suffer from. And, and it’s different than acute anxiety, you know, which is when you like, you bought a plane to Boise, and it’s going to Buffalo and they shut the doors, and you’re like, how did I screw this up, and you get that panic, right? That’s acute, and it’s, you know, we get through that, and it’s anxiety is a necessary component to survival. You know, it’s, it’s ingrained in our brain, it’s groove deep, it’s a survival tactic. It’s what gave us the wherewithal to run from the saber toothed tigers and from tribes and threats in our life, and we still need it, you know, if you’re walking on a dark street at night, he hears footsteps behind you, that’s anxiety kicking in saying, Hey, you might want to look behind you may not be, you know, a non threat. But it’s when it becomes chronic, you know, and it goes for like the past three months, and it’s affecting your work, your sleep, and your general life, that you really need to take a look and get some help and talk to somebody. And it’s a sense of dread more than anything, it’s a sense of, there’s a threat somewhere, I don’t know what it is, I can’t identify it, but I know it’s there. And people with anxiety will perceive these threats in a lot of different platforms. And even though it’s not there, and it could be in relationships, or work or just about anywhere, and it becomes debilitating, if it gets to a certain level and you start getting panic attacks and that sort of thing. And so you want to catch it early. Like most things, you want to start treating it early, and you treat it with various tactics that come from like cognitive behavioral therapy. And like if you have OCD, for example, and I went through this, it was fantastic. Fantastically disgusting. I, I went in to my therapist, and it was in a hospital and we were working on OCD that day. And he said, I need you to go into the bathroom and touch everything. Just really get in there, rub your hands on everything Oh, yeah, doorknobs, and you’re not allowed to wash your hands, you need to come back in here. So, you know, for one minute, I had to rub my hands on everything. And I don’t know if they would do this today. We have a few things going around like monkey pox, etc. Right? You know, I had to sit then go back into his office and sit there calmly and talk to him and let the anxiety subside within me to the point where I forgot what I had touched. And it worked. And, you know, it was you know, that’s a mass exposure. That’s a that’s a triage, you know, kind of just full bore anxiety exposure. And that’s, that’s a tactic and exposure response prevention. So you get exposed your response, you want to tamper. So there’s all these different tactics to work on anxiety, but that’s kind of and we can that’s a whole separate conversation.
And yeah, I do want to Yeah, I want to touch on this real quick though. So So essentially, what we’re saying is something like, Okay, you touch the the sink. If you’ve ever been to a public bathroom, we all know, as Dane Cook hilariously said once everything is wet, right? So if you go into a public bathroom and you touch the sink, and it’s or even you know, around the sink, and it’s all wet, it’s disgusting. Okay, so then what so then you’re coming out and and you’re distracting yourself or because yeah, I’m on the verge of a panic attack, and I would be Fuck yeah, I don’t even I don’t even Oh, yeah, having anxiety. Does that sounds fucking terrible to me. So, so do is it a matter of the strategy is sort of distraction until you forget that you just did all that shit. Is that sort of the strategy?
No, it’s to sit with it. It’s to know it’s there. Okay, and to accept it radically. So I’m radically accepting this. It’s not gonna kill me. Yeah, it’s dirty. It’s gross. It’s like Campylobacter and E. coli and C. diff. And, you know, who knows what else care? I mean, there’s some really threatening things in hospital. And, and just to sit with it, you know, I’m not gonna lick my fingers. But I’m gonna, you know, my hands fall by the wayside and be okay. And when our appointments over, I can go watch them. And, God, I gotta tell you, man, it really I calm down. Like it wasn’t fatal. You know? True. True, though. I mean, he didn’t ask me to lick everything in the bathroom. That would be different. Right? Yeah.
It’s like sitting sitting with it. Like sitting I kind of preach all the time, sit with their pain, you know, feel it in your body especially but feel your pain. That’s sort of similar. Like, you can’t run from these things. Right? Right. I
mean, you can it’s Fight or flight response. But that’s not that, you know, you run from the threatening thing that might kill you. Sure. But But most things aren’t gonna kill us most things aren’t threatening. And so I bring up this this drastic extreme exposure scenario, because that’s how you handle these other things. So if you have a presentation, you embrace it, you you go in with an open mind, and you you just radically do it. I use that word radically because it takes that kind of acceptance to, to just face something. And if you’re feeling testing anxiety, you prep for it, you you prep as best you can for that exam. And then you go in armed with it. And so there’s all these different tactics I talked about. There’s, you know, distress tolerance, there’s radical acceptance, which I’ve alluded to, there’s breathing techniques, etc. But
yeah, gotcha. Yeah. I don’t think I struggle with anxiety. I mean, that scenario you described with touching shit makes me anxious, I guess?
Well, you, you have some level to survive, right? Yeah, I
would imagine. Yeah, I would imagine what you said, we kind of all do. So and it makes sense. We’ve never really thought of it in that way.
Yeah. And then, you know, there’s, there’s, I just lost track of my thought. But, you know, we all will perceive it in some level in our day to day interactions, but we don’t, we don’t react or even take note of it sometimes. Because it’s just built into us as this is how we function. Like, if you’re driving, and somebody suddenly changes lanes and didn’t see you, you’re gonna feel a sense of panic, and you’re gonna get out of the way, or you’re gonna flip them off, or whatever. You know, that’s the anxiety, you don’t even notice. I mean, it’s just, it’s just keeping you safe, and you’re responding. But when, when you get this threat perception in your own house, and you know, it’s getting disruptive to your, to your work, or you’re perceiving things that somebody’s saying on a zoom call for work, and they’re side eyeing you or whatever, and you’re like, Oh, they’re mean mugging me on this call. I can what are they thinking, and that’s when it’s getting disruptive. And it really can impact your job. I’ve quit jobs, I’ve walked out of corporate jobs, just because I had a bad meaning. I mean, just I, you know, I’d like to anxiety, train wreck my life in so many ways that I had to take control. And I had to get a handle on it. And I knew that I had to learn some skills. So
Well, again, bravo, kudos to you, my friend.
I always say if people can come through my level, I mean, xiety. Anybody can I mean, it’s just been paralyzing. You know, what I wanted to bring up earlier that I forgot was the panic attack situation. You know, there’s an actual methodology that if you feel a panic attack coming on, you worsen it by trying to deny it by saying, Oh, God, I’m having a panic attack. I don’t want to have this, if you actually accept it, and try to just breathe through it, it takes away its power. And it’s clinically proven, and it works. And so, you know, this facing these things, you know, anxiety, it needs to be challenged, it grows, it festers and becomes chronic when we ignore it. And then it becomes the life driver in our day to day and that’s what you don’t want.
I think that that can be the same can be said for the pain of a breakup in a way right? You for sure. You can’t ignore it. You can’t fuck it away or drink it away or snorted it away or temporarily. Yeah, but it always it doesn’t go away. Right? Unless you absolutely deal with it. Face it.
Yeah, you can try to you know, there’s a saying the quickest way over one is under another. But you know, you end up in that dirty SEC scenario and you’re clawing for your underwear with your toes in the bed to get the hell out of there. Because you know, somebody you would even hook up with normally,
or whatever. Not. Yeah, we all have right? And then
you just have now you have anxiety, you have depression. And now you’ve got this regret. And yeah, it’s a temporary thing and a breakup and I write this in my book, anxiety hacks for an uncertain world. It’s every chapter, there’s 22 chapters is a trigger, and one is breakup and divorce. And so, you know, I talk about what it’s like to go through it. I have a lot of anecdotal evidence, and then we dive into the I brought into site Psy D for some of the tactics, but then we review the tactics of how to to get through it specifically, moment to moment. And sometimes you are just going moment to moment, and that’s okay. Yeah. It’s a lot of mindfulness. It’s breathing tactics. It’s distress tolerance. It’s these things. And if you do you want to talk about that more about those I could dive into that. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. So you know, it is an absolute trigger. Going through Oh, especially if you’re on the receiving end, right. And, you know, I talk about some of these more prominent tactics to get through the anxiety of a breakup or divorce. And one of them is I always suggest this to people is to have above a breakup buddy. There’s somebody that you need in your life that you can go to and be like, Man, I’m really suffering, like, crying, I’m not eating. And this needs to be your the person that you reach out to, rather than your ex. Because, you know, I don’t suggest sending dick pics to your breakup, buddy. But everything else that you that you’re thinking, you know, I really want to talk to her, him or her. And, you know, you can go to this person and tell them because you need somebody to think for you when you’re in these situations in the short term, because you know, your thinking is clouded. You’re convinced that reaching out or, yes, hooking up with them, again, it’s going to fix the problem. More often than not, it’s not going to fix it. So this is somebody that will, will counter your ill advised thoughts and those dangerous moments of relapse. And like I was empathetic, and will handle the mood swings and random lunacy that you’re going to fire at them when you’re in that early throes of a breakup. The next thing I would suggest, is you got it when you when you go through a breakup. And even if you’re on the receiving end is you break up with everything right? You know, maybe there’s a chance there’s going to be reconciliation on the back end, that doesn’t matter right now. It’s self preservation mode. And you’re not going to be preserving your psyche, if you’re getting updates on social media, or, you know, seeing what their friends are posting, etc. You know, many of us are old enough to remember when a split would happen when we had dumb phones or phones tethered to a wall, you know, and we didn’t have all of this information flying at us, you know, at Wi Fi speed. And breaking up was a discrete event. It was less grueling, you know, the world was offline. And it really was easier. And now, you know, I suggest that folks do break up with the social media as well, at the very least, you can
unfollow people, you don’t need those updates right now. And percent agree. Yep. And if there is a chance for reconciliation, if that’s something you want, and it’s a healthy relationship, then you know, you’re not going to be missed if you never go away. And so you know, right now, go away, and be great and be gone. Make your last gesture, a good one, a healthy one, and then be gone. And this is for you. Not for the other person, you’re not like, Oh, if I’m gone, they’ll miss me and want me back? Well, maybe. But again, it’s for you. And related to that. Another thing I’d like to stress to folks is the solution is within you. It’s not within that person. It’s not with your ex. And we, you know, we want to fix things as Guys. And we’re convinced we can fix every relationship that goes sour. And we’re convinced that our purview is the right one, right? Even in my current relationship, I’m constantly going through road blocks and breakups even because, I don’t know I’ve I’ve, it’s hard to break through with me, for her. And so I’m not always intimacy is always tough for me. And it’s something I’m working on. But I’m convinced that I’m you know, the greatest lover of all time. And, you know, that’s actually not true. Learning that on the regular. And so, you know, when you go through a break, I’m not I’ve been through many I choose, I have a record of choosing badly. So those end badly. And, you know, we pick the people that reflect our state of mind at the time, if you’re in a low place, you’re gonna pick somebody that’s not good for you. Yes. And which is why being alone is a great thing. Oh, amen. Amen. Amen. That’s the time we, you know, figure out who we need to be with and what we need. And so I really want to stress that your peace and healing is never within someone else. Everything you need is within you. And that is counterintuitive when you’re going through a breakup because you’re convinced this other person is going to save me, I need them to save me. But they when they’re not they it’s a crutch, it’s an escape, and you are whole and you are grand before this person and you have to reflect on who you were before that and assume that you’re not getting back together. Because we don’t know and maybe you should, maybe you shouldn’t but but if you don’t, you’re going to be okay. And it’s it doesn’t feel that way in the in the moment but when you get some distance from it. That’s when you realize Holy Toledo. SHAN I am I am a whole entity. You know, one plus one isn’t too it’s a measurement. It’s, it’s, well it is to one plus one isn’t one, one plus one is two, because you are separate. And it’s when one plus one becomes one. That’s enmeshment. And that’s not healthy. No, it’s not. We do not want to merge with another person. We want to be independent fence posts that support one another, but can stand alone. So yeah, and
what what I see frequently is and I preach this stuff all the time, you are preaching to the choir, my friend, I couldn’t say it any better, that you’ve said away but are not good. But I what I see that is guys, they died, they dive into the next one. All she’s so amazing. She’s the greatest thing ever. And then, you know, six months a year, whatever it is, maybe 10. I don’t know. Usually not that long, couple months, year. Oh, she was the worst women are the women are the worst. It’s always women, women are terrible, has nothing to do with me or my choices. It’s them.
Wherever you go, there you are, you’re going to drag your shit and your baggage and your breakups. If you don’t deal with them, they will follow you and you will deal with them in the next relationship, whether they manifest in that relationship or not, you have brought that pain, and that what you haven’t dealt with into that relationship. So what happens is all that culminates into, now you’re with the third one after that big breakup you didn’t deal with. But now you’re going to deal with it. When that ends, and you well, yep. So when those ties get severed, for whatever reason, you’ve got to do it. And this is what women are great. In a breakup, women deal with the pain and the hurt and the separation and all the crap on the front end. They’re masters at this. Yeah. And they typically don’t go hooking up with another guy. I’m not to say that they don’t. But that’s not really their methodology. They’re masters at healing and moving forward after they heal. Whereas guys do it on the back end, we will do exactly what you described. We’ll drink we’ll go to strip clubs, whatever, we’ll hook up, we’ll go online, we’ll swipe right on everything we can. Yep. And we don’t deal with it until later. By the time we deal with it. Our ex is now over it. And we’re just now starting to process it.
Yeah, I think what I see typically is women will, will resolve all of their shit while still in the relationship. Sometimes they do that too. Yeah. And still, they’ll they will find another towards the end. Or the or the other becomes the absolute last part. catalyst to like they’ve been dealing with it. They’re not happy. They’re they’ve decided, yeah, they’re working through it. And then someone comes along, and okay, this is Yes, I definitely should then and because they’ve worked through all their shit. They don’t they don’t have the same feelings for you. Unfortunately, this is just my experience. Again, anecdotal spot on. Yeah. But and then and then all it seems and feels like it’s a sudden thing. And I was reading an article yesterday about the walkaway wife syndrome. It’s a common theme amongst the community. And I think there’s some there’s some real validity to it. But and I think it was the person perhaps the person actually coined the phrase, you sort of wrote a second part. And she’s, she was describing essentially what happens is women get fed up with not getting what they need. And as we described, they go through all the shit and process it. And then they also shut up about it. Like they stopped complaining. And yeah, because the damage was time, right, they given up and then the guy thinks, Oh, finally, everything’s, everything’s good. And then, and then then all of a sudden, there’s a departure that feels sudden, but it’s not to the woman, she’s been working on this ship for a little while, which is, it’s, it’s crazy. And it’s sad. And it’s frustrating. And it’s a lot of things. And the other part of it, though, she’s like, You know what, there, there is a piece of this that women had to take responsibility for, and I’m paraphrasing, and you guys can go find the article and read it yourself. But once they get to a point where they’re sort of done, then intimacy stops, too. And so it’s sort of, it’s this sort of, like, really negative feedback loop. So the guy doesn’t open up because he’s not getting any intimacy. So he’ll shut down too. And it’s like, it’s just this really sad sort of dance that in my view, and some people call this you know, feminine to talk for for whatever fucking reason, but it would would all be solved with a fucking conversation or, or, or 100, or whatever, but like, if you don’t fucking talk about and this is where I think, you know, chicken or egg like, is it the woman not expressing herself? Or is it the woman tired of expressing herself and not not being heard wherever the fuck that could mean, right? I’m not 100% sure on that, but it is essentially something where if both parties were open and vulnerable and honest, we could avoid some of this shit, but
God Yeah, yeah, that’s a whole that’s a whole nother podcast because you nailed it. And it’s the ladder by the way. Yeah, man. Don’t often want to hear it or we can’t hear
it. I know for me that was the case, because this is this is the conclusion I came to when she would get emotional about things. I couldn’t fucking handle it. And so I would shut the conversation down. We don’t speak that language. Right, exactly right. And it’s like, well, that’s a shitty way to be like, someone’s coming to you with their vulnerability and you can’t handle it and you’re in you’re a dick about it. Like what a fucking asshole. I was. And there’s no question that I was at times. I think, in general, I was a good husband. I think we could have worked things out. You know, if you kind of said, you know, earlier, men like to fix things. So I think it was fixable. Fuck yeah, well, it’s because because it was something right, it was a thing. And so could I believe you can make it back to that thing. But but
you know that, well, you did the best you could with the skills you had at the time or percent. We don’t get these skills on the fly. Like we get them as we live. And we go through relationships, and each one Grooms and hones us and sculpts us into a better relationship. Partner. And I’ve been on that in I’ve had those conversations and where it was like, Oh, my God, what you’re leaving, but I missed when I traced it back. I was like, oh, yeah, she actually told me this 1000 times, literally, and I missed all of it. And yeah, it’s just it’s just like, the communication styles of men versus women. And, and God, everything could be. I mean, wars could be prevented from communications, right? I mean, huge. It’s such an elementary fundamental skill that we do not give any credit or weight to,
well, we don’t learn how to do it either. Like, what is there? Is there a conversation class in high school or college or, you know, it’d be 100% or should be, but there definitely isn’t. And it’s, you’re right, it not only could have solved relationships, in terms of intimate ones, it can solve a whole lot of fucking relationships, whether it be cross countries, or coworkers, or whatever, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a skill that we all need, but few have, honestly, I’m getting, we all want
to get our message across, you know, what listening is a is an art and, you know, people will hear but they, they hear and they listen to respond, rather than pausing taking the information in and then responding to it. And so that’s, that is a problem and communication styles have ended countless relationships. And, you know, we see it every day and in wars and in corporate breakdowns, and fights and road rages. And, you know, I had a road rage, many, many, many years ago, I was in my 20s. And, and we ended up on the side of the freeway fighting and and then we just realized how stupid it was. And we both looked at each other, and I kid you not, you know, we damaged each other’s cars, we punched each other. And we ended up hugging it out. We went and got a beer. I’m not kidding. I mean, you don’t have we just communicated in the in the beginning, and not thrown blows and been stupid. It could have ended horribly, like it often does. But God if we just would have been like, Hey, man,
I’m sorry. Yeah.
But we see apologies is a weakness as well. And it’s really not again, that’s a strength. It’s it’s showing vulnerability. It’s showing that I’m fallible. Yeah, I make mistakes as a human and as a man, and I’m sorry. And then and really owning it. So anyway, I know we’re over time, but
Oh, no, no worries. Listen, this is awesome. And I thank you so very much. And I gotta tell you, John, I’m really excited to ask this last question to you because your, your clarity or your opinions. I mean, they just serve such an alignment with me, I, I hear and see and feel like, just a very fucking caring man, and I demand I thank you for doing this. And I,
will you be my friend
100% I’m gonna get a piggy bank, I’m gonna put money in that fucker until I can save up for a plane ticket. I’m really, really excited to get your answer on this last question. And that is, what words of wisdom would you impart to a man who was just starting out his divorce process?
Yeah, and I want to go back to that, you know, build, I always assemble your troops before you need them. A lot of guys, we won’t. We won’t build those friendships. And then when we go through divorce or a breakup, we’re like, shit, where are my friends? I blew him off for this, this woman or man? And it’s a con man. You’ve got to try to keep those people in your life. If not, you know, reach out to people. If you think that this is if it’s really hurting you, please, and I really stress this one is seek a professional help. Seek a therapist. It’s, again, a strength. You’ve got to get some stuff off your chest and out of your head. You need some coping tactics, you’ve got to make sound decisions and we’re, we’re in that space. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a dark, dark place, I get it and, and you need a guide to get you through that. And, and again, you have the skills to get through it, but you may not necessarily realize what they are how to use them, we’ve got his toolbox, it’s you know, always compared to a really extensive nice, you know, toolbox, and you open the door and you have all this hardware and you have no idea how to use it, you have all these tools in your head, we all do. We’re created with them, but we don’t know how to use them, leverage them tap into and make them work. And stay away from the substances you know, this is going to be this is only going to hamper you Alcohol is a depressant. Weed isn’t you know, there’s all this, you know, I like to do edibles to sleep, etc. But you got to be very careful with this stuff, it can really really impair you in a in a dark way darker way. You know, it’s okay to to make a mistake. If you reach out to somebody and you want to just hook up I mean, we all make mistakes. Don’t Don’t beat yourself up if that if that happens. But again, the solution is within you. Forgive is another one. Forgive yourself. Forgive the other person. Forgiveness is giving up the hope of a different outcome. It’s not It’s okay that I was horrible or you are horrible. It that’s not what it is. This is again about releasing regret, and saying, Hey, I’m gonna learn from this. I call it practicing breakup dementia. You know, you’ve been forgiven. You need to forgive yourself. And even if you were at fault, and the truth is most of us are doing the best we can with the skills we have at any given moment. And you know, practice some self soothing, be good to yourself, yes, you need sleep you need to eat right. You know, do some combat cardio, get out there hit the trails. Work out, you know, if you need to journal do that. And remember that everything and I’ll close with this. Everything in the past is going to seem better. And I call this don’t get kicked in the in the nostalgia is, you know, nostalgia is has a utopian aspect, because it’s, it’s it’s imagination. You’re reminiscing about a previous romantic love, your past difficulties are often overlooked. You’re idealizing your ex and the time you spent together. You have this image in your head that the past looks so perfect, but it is a mirage, and it’s created by nostalgia. A past holds nothing for you now. So stop looking there.
Excellent words of wisdom, my friend. Thanks again, John, for joining us really appreciate it. Let’s recap on how people can find you and your books and stuff.
Yeah, thank you. So I’m at state of anxiety.com. I can be contacted there. I do. I do coaching. I do help people through stuff like this. And the new book released is that anxiety hacks.co. I have a free chapter there. You can download. And there’s there’s no hook, you just give me your email and get a chapter of the new book before it’s released. So and that chapter is on state of the world. So it’s a it’s quite relevant for everything that we’re seeing today. So yeah, for sure. Thank you for having me on. It’s a pleasure.
Yeah. Thanks. Thanks. We will definitely stay in touch. I have a new friend, everybody. Absolutely. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks again and what and hopefully you know, we can do this again sometime. Absolutely. Thank you. Yep. Thanks, man. Take care. Bye.
– Support The Show –