What is true happiness? Do you know? Do I know? Does anyone know??
“Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give - pleasure, possessions, power - but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.”
I read that quote over and over, only becoming more confused with the meaning of true happiness. Is anyone truly happy? I guess I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do believe is that true happiness to one person is completely different to another person. But really I don’t know what that means.
Baseball and racing have brought me what I would consider to be true happiness. But family is also the rock of true happiness in my life. With racing and baseball you could feel many ups and downs, and I believe that when you win or succeeded it feels that much better.
One of the darkest days of my life took place on Friday, August 26, 2016. I thought my life was over, I had given up. I had nothing left. Nothing worth living for. The following day I was supposed to be racing at Elko Speedway. I was done. Didn’t want to go and didn’t want to be there. Told my brother and Mom that I wasn’t going to race. My brother sat me down and said we are going racing and we are going to have fun.
We went out and I recall practice not going very well, car just wasn’t right. My brother made a few minor adjustments for the heat race, we drew pretty poorly and were going to be starting dead last... nothing could go my way. Everything was horrible. Starting 11th in a heat race and needing to finish 5th to even make inversion seemed like a stretch... especially with only 8 laps to do.
Some how on the last lap we got by two cars.. finishing 5th. That put us on the outside pole for the feature race. Car still wasn’t right and I still didn’t want to be at Elko that night. Didn’t care about damn thing and was still extremely depressed. My brother made a few more adjustments to the car and told me it was perfect. I couldn’t help but laugh with all the struggles we had over the last month racing. My girlfriend who was back at college at the time sent me a couple messages to try motivate me and get me going a little bit. I missed her so much at that time, all I wanted was for her to be home and to be with me. I told her I was going to go out and try win the feature race for her.
We took the green flag, lap one I took the lead and as the laps ticked off my lead continued to grow. The car was a rocket, my brother had it dialed in. I was beyond motivated inside that car, I was going to win this race and the first person I was going to call was my girlfriend. I looked up in my mirror with about 5 laps to go and saw my great uncle was running in 2nd. He was about a straight away behind me at the time. Couple laps went by and I looked up in my mirror and saw the guy who ended up winning the championship that year. Still a ways back from catching, I knew with only 2 laps to go he wasn’t going to catch me.
I took the white flag (one to go) and as I came out of turn two the caution lights came. No way... you’ve got to be kidding me, how could this happen?? I had led every lap and was half a lap away from getting the win... only to have it ripped out from underneath me. Fitting that this would be how I’d lose this race. It was a green, white, checkered... NASCAR Overtime. I tried to jump the start and I spun my tires... the 2nd place guy got to my outside going into turn one. I thought it was over. I pushed up a little coming out of turn two (never made contact) and it was enough to cause him to get a little lose. We came to the white flag and I was clear by about half a car length. We went into one and he got outside of me again, I got a little sideways off two but so did he. It was a drag race down the back straightaway. As we came out of turn 4 coming to the checkered flag I got all kinds of outta shape... yep... I won that son of a bitch.
I had no reaction. Nothing. I wasn’t excited, I wasn’t happy, I was nothing. All I wanted was for my girlfriend to be there and she wasn’t.
Writing this right now has brought tears to my eyes.
As I came around to pull up to the flag stand and do my interview with the track announcer I saw my mom, grandma, sister standing up against the fence by the flag stand. I still wished my girlfriend was there... it was the only thing on my mind. I didn’t see my brother but I knew he was standing there. I always looked for him.
During the on track interview I was kind of speechless, didn’t have much to say and was still pretty down. I had announced that morning that 2016 would be my last year racing (maybe...). I needed a break from it, and 2017 was my break. They announcer questioned me on if my win had changed my mind, I said we will have to just waiting and see what the future brings. As I pulled off the track into victory lane which is located on the main grandstand concourse I finally saw my brother. Tears running down his face.
He knew the struggles I had been going through the last few weeks. Once I was parked he leaned in my window net as he was crying and gave me a hug. Everything was forgotten about at that moment. The only thing that matter was my brother and that moment we were in. I started sobbing as he held on to me. I can tell you that moment was one of the specialist moments in my life. He has helped me through every struggle and no matter what our differences are he is always there. I couldn’t help but continue to cry... I couldn’t find it in me to even get out of the car.
I tried to regain my composure the best I could.. I finally got out and did my normal victory lane celebration (honoring Joey Logano). I jumped down from the door of my car and was greeted by many friends and family. I was still a wreck emotionally. Lot of people were crying (happy tears and sad tears). But we had done it. We had over come everything.
I just wish my girlfriend would have been there. I can only imagine how special that moment would have been. Once we got through tech and the win was made official I called her. I could feel the happiness in her voice and at that moment everything went away. I was happy. I felt perfect. I felt amazing. I had made it through weeks of darkness... talking to her and hearing her voice made everything better. It honestly made everything go away. I felt true happiness at that moment. I couldn’t believe we did it, was still in shock. I told her I did it. I did it for her, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Do I get the trophy then?” Yes.
The point of this blog post was to show that no matter how dark things get, no matter how down you are, things will get better. And you will find that checkered flag that makes everything go away, that makes everything better. And at that moment you will be truly happy.
See you soon,
When I decided that I was going to create this blog it took me awhile to figure out exactly what I wanted it to be. I knew I wanted it to be a place where I could reflect on things and express myself, but I also knew that I wanted to help others. I wanted to give people a place where they could go to read about other people’s struggles and they could see how they get through every day.
I also wanted to give people a place to express their thoughts, visions, and share stories with others.
So as you can see, I need writers. I need people who are willing to open up to the world and share their stories! Share their visions! And share their thoughts! I hope I can find the right people, they need to have the need of wanting to open up and share their stories to help others. That’s what this comes down to really, giving people the chance to write to help themselves but also to help others.
So… let the journey begin.
“Depression. Something that is very real. Something that is very serious. Something that I have had to overcome and deal with since I was little however specifically since the spring of 2011. I have had to fight every day... some days have been better than others. Yet some people believe it isn't real and it is something people do just for attention. Boy I wish that was the case because I would gladly give this battle up any day.
I've returned to my past and begun to talk with someone weekly to try and help me battle my inner demons. To help me fight this disease. It's something I'd like to overcome with the help of Jeff. Can I pinpoint one thing that made me the way I am... no. You're probably wondering why I'm sharing this all with you, many of you won't care and with think it's absolutely ridiculous that I'm doing this. However I'm not doing it for attention I'm doing to help others who battle this same disease. So feel free to judge me all you want. I’m reaching out to others to let them know they are not alone. You don’t need to hide your depression and anxiety anymore.
Jeff told me the other day, "It can always get better, unless you are dead," and it hit me hard. Do I struggle to understand when others take their own lives? No I don’t. That might be extremely hard for others to accept however after Jeff said what he said to me it changed my view. I want things to get better. I want each day to get easier. And if I'm dead it won't, it'll just be over.
Support is what is needed not bashing and shaming for battling depression. It's not like all of us who battle depression chose to be this. We just are... and we just need you.
With that I will be taking a break from all social media, my battle with depression and anxiety has begun to get the best of me. Social media is only making things worse during this difficult time in my life. I have battled this far too long and recently it has become much worse for me.
I will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later. But I need to find myself and become healthier - both mentally and physically. I promise you I will be okay and I will see you all soon enough.
If you need me, please feel free to text or call me. My cell phone number is 612-219-3056. Please let me know who you are if I don’t already have you’re number.
I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.”
The above message was posted on my Facebook page on January 4th of this year. I am hopeful that people gained insight about who I am from that post. I have always tried to put on a happy face in the eye of the public. I have always tried to make it seem like everything is great in the eye of the public. I realize that no one is perfect and everyone has demons. Some people can cope with them better than others but… some people’s demons are much worse than others. The effort some people must put forth every day to fight them can be mentally and physically exhausting. But we can do it, you can do it. Have faith and remember we are here for each other.
I know you are probably thinking that I didn’t really say anything in this blog post, but I wasn’t planning on it. I just wanted to share a little glimpse of who I was. I just wanted to share a little glimpse of my vision for “Speaking our Mind” and hopefully you will return for my next blog post.
“Be here tomorrow.”
I’ll see you soon,
Hello and welcome...
You’re here because you know me. Well I shouldn’t say you know me but you know of me and you got this link from my page. I appreciate you taking the time to visit this blog and reading the very first post on it.
Let me give you a little info about me and then I’ll touch on my vision for this blog. I am a simple man who battles some inner demons. Writing helps me cope with those demons and that’s why I am here. Instead of writing in my journal I have decided to take to the World Wide Web. This gives me the chance to share my thoughts and hopefully help others in the process. I am not a good writer by any means but that is not the point. I write because it helps me. It gets me to the next day and it keeps me from completely giving up. I will be sharing my thoughts, my stories, and my visions. And along the way I might even throw some other random things on here.
That was a little about me, you will learn more about me in my blog posts at a later time. My vision for this blog... well this is where it gets interesting (well at least to me).. I want this to be a place for multiple writers to be able to go to express any and all thoughts. I want this to be a place for writers to come and tell their stories. I want this to be a place where writers can go to try and help people with their inner demons. And lastly I want this to be a place where people can go for help... and support.
I battle severe depression and anxiety, and millions of other people do as well. I am not alone and you are not alone. I wish I knew of a place I could go to read how other people get through it all and how they survive everyday. I’m sure it exists but I don’t know where. If I can help one person with my thoughts, stories, and visions that’s all that matters to me. One person is all that matters to me. You matter to me. And I hope my words can help.
I am looking for writers and bloggers to join the “Speaking our Mind” team. I want multiple people writing posts every week. A constant flow of thoughts, ideas, stories, and visions being posted on this blog. I want 100s and 1000s of people to turn to us for help and advice. I want to be there for other people. I want to help others. You don’t need to be an outstanding writer to join the team, you just need to have the will to help others and share real stories & visions. That’s all you need to be able to do.
Please read my first “real” blog post for an idea of what I am looking for and what the “Speaking our Mind” team is looking for. If you would like to apply to become a writer/blogger for us please contact me on my cell phone (612-219-3056) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spots are extremely limited as I am looking for 3 to 5 people right now, so let me know if you are interested as soon as possible.
Thank you all for the support. I hope I can help others as much as they have helped me.
I’ll see you soon,