A Weekend That Changed My Life – Part One

A Testimonial of a Life-Changing Weekend

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

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When change happens to me its only when someone challenges me. This person usually challenges me to look beyond my feelings of insecurities and take a look inside to the core that is causing my pain. To challege me to seek what I am looking for in this life.

Then Grounds for Clarity and its Thought Founder Kim Johnson found me and interviewed me about my suicide attempts. As she began to know my story, and as I shared my life beyond my writing. Kim made me challenge: would you invest in yourself to better understand the feeling of the weight of what at my core was causing me to be unhappy? My answer was yes. 

I made a financial investment in myself and joined the Master Your Mind Retreat with Kim Johnson. A Mental Health Skills Lifestyle Coach.

Day One of Two

Heading into day one of a two-day and eight-hour digital retreat split evenly, I was anxious. I knew there were things in my life weighing me down. The feelings that I wanted to express were ones I have never really put out into the world. I knew Kim would challenge me. I needed the challenge.

What do you want?

That question would bring an avalanche of triggers and emotions. Was I ready? The first things that came to mind were the following: I want happiness in all aspects of my life, figure out why I keep people at a distance in my life, and most of all, why do I shy away from relationships and human intimacy? These are struggles that have always eluded me.

The Gremlin

After we talked about what we wanted out of the retreat, Kim spoke about an essential part of the weekend that we needed to face. Our inner voice–The Gremlin. what it was was keeping us from the success and satisfaction in our lives. My inner voice has always been loud because I keep people at a distance so that it makes it easy to rationalize why I am, for the most part, going through life on my own. I spend my day alone. I work online, alone. Grad school is online, and I do it alone. My mental health advocacy online, alone. I even do my shopping online, alone. Isolation for me was not only during COVID-19.

The most significant glaring part of my inner voice was the separation of James, the writer, and David the human being. Kim and my fellow retreat members helped me realize that I was using James as a wall to keep people out of David’s life. (I separated my writing life as James from David because it made me a better writer.) I was in awe at the end of the day, one that I was beginning to feel less invisible. It was only day one, and I was already blown away at the challenges Kim was asking me to make.

The most emotional core feeling was that I was not enough. Not enough to be happy. I was not enough to be with someone that loved me. That we only get one chance at true love and that I had been there, and did that once. It was holding me back. Every relationship since my life I compare to this unicorn idea. I felt that I was not worth anyone’s time at a level that allows people into my life. I needed to be alone.

Day Two

What I was learning is that there are no right or wrong answers. Kim is not there to fix me because I have to make the changes. I was broken but that means that those core feelings could be changed.

She is the catalyst that makes you think and challenges the regrets, the guilt, the denial, and what the inner voice is telling you. On day two, I knew I wanted to focus on one thing. What happened in the past made it okay for me to go through life alone and be unhappy as David. That was the challenge, finally letting David into the fold. 

What is great about Kim’s retreat is that she is part of it, not just as a Mental Health Skills Lifestyle Coach but as a participant. She has all the training at her disposal and it allows her to be a part of the healing process. That was what day two was for me, a chance to begin to heal. I decided to take the challenge: what my running away from happiness was costing me? I opened up in this retreat for the first time about a relationship early on that has defined the reason I feel that being alone is preferable to letting someone into my life.

I cried because I have held this in for so long. I had to face that I was okay with being alone. It hurt to admit that I wanted someone in my life. Friendships beyond the few that make it into the inner circle. The pain of opening up to others outside the retreat that I am not okay with being alone. I read once in a book that “pain demands to be felt,” At that moment, the pain was demanding that I let it into my life because that is where you can decide to make a change. If you never feel, how can you heal?

The retreat members helped me understand the feelings I had shoved deep into a box marked “never open.” The homework before was answering questions that led to my Energy Leadership Report. I learned with my results that I don’t deal with stress well. I learned that I am better than I treat myself most days. I can help others, but my own self-care is left to the wayside. I learned that I am worthy of making changes that are important to me. I became a better human being than when I started the retreat.

The Purpose Statement

I will make a commitment to let go of the things I think I need to control using my writing, to accomplish traveling more, and, in doing so, achieve to begin letting people into David’s life.

Final Thoughts on the Retreat

If you want to stop the feeling of being a burden, alone, quit living with regret, feeling weak in your life, or what is keeping you from being truly happy. Kim’s Master Your Mind Retreat is the place you need to be. It was for me. I don’t often promote something unless it’s important to me because that is how The Bipolar Writer Blog was founded.

When I say that when you invest in yourself with Kim, it is for life because that is how she runs her business. This testimonial is my heart and soul pouring out to those like me that are struggling with something that is keeping you from being happy. You have the right to feel better than you are at this moment and time. I invite you to reach out to Kim to spark this necessary conversation and to begin the inner work.

Always Keep Fighting

James

You can visit the author site of James Edgar Skye here.

Purchase The Bipolar Writer: A Memoir here.

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Featured Picture: Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

11 Replies to “A Weekend That Changed My Life – Part One”

  1. James,
    This is a wonderful post. So uplifting, heartfelt and hopeful. You help people every day simply by showing up. The way you express yourself honestly resonates throughout your work. I’m happy Kim Johnson’s retreat challenged you and held a mirror up to show you (and us) what a truly amazing human you are.
    Best of luck moving forward,
    Colleen

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Here, here! I climb into this train of thought Theoriginalcbd, that James, you do help people every day just be being present as you.

      Continue speaking. Continue fighting. And continue forward to uplift those in the dark.

      Cheers to bringing David into the fold!

      You. Are. Amazing.
      Kim

      Like

  2. Hmm,well said so real , keeping yourself in the dark doesn’t help rather it destory your confidence.Reading all through what I picked from your write up was “risk ,” you took the risk of stepping out of your comfort zone .
    That’s number boldness
    to the key of your purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And secondly you said something about pain , though the only healing to pain is ,simply put your mind no healing to pain ,the only healing is coming out of that zone , just like what you are doing now ,it could be shopping, traveling with Friends e.t.c

    Liked by 1 person

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