The mind can be a scary place, and when coupled with the heart, you can experience a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. Rollercoaster are thrilling, terrifying, exciting, heart wrenching, but ultimately out of our control. The weekend of my book release I was on a rollercoaster. At times I was on top of the world, and at other times I couldn’t wait to get off.
With the release of my book and my mother’s birthday came great pride and love. My hardworking and accomplishments was being celebrated in big and elaborate fashion. Furthermore, I was humbled that so many people I cherished flew out to support me. The energy in the party was electric, and as I read the deepest parts of myself in front of my loved ones, I truly felt the beauty in vulnerability. This was the peak of my rollercoaster. It was a slow build up, writing and editing my book, to this monumental high of performing and publishing my work. Nevertheless, if you’ve ridden a rollercoaster you know the greatest peak is right before the greatest fall.
Shortly after the party I fell from one of the highest points in my life into the abyss. I felt like a con artist, as though I had tricked all these people into supporting and believing in me when I couldn’t even believe in myself. Thousands of people were going to read my book, and I knew that the moment they opened it they would see I was a fake. I felt humiliated and honestly nothing had happened yet. The sun had set on my excitement and rose and with self doubt.
Football wasn’t going so hot as well. I had hoped that shortly after the draft, which was the same weekend as my party, I would be accepted into the team I had been working so hard to get back to. My contract was not picked up and teams were still holding off to sign someone coming back from my type of injury. I would be lying if I said I didn”t wake up in the mornings and pray my agent called me with a new opportunity to play. Writing is my love as well as football. Neither can replace the other.
The Twist & Turns
I hurt someone I cared deeply for. Betrayal is the hardest pill to swallow because it makes you question every moment, every intention before it. I was a liar and a deceiver. The rollercoaster was twisting, turning, spinning, and at this point it felt like it was going in reverse. I was an advocate for truth, transparency, healing, and here I was, lying, hiding, and hurting. I punished myself. I didn’t leave my house for 4 days, and barely ate.
However, all rollercoasters come to an end. I began to pick myself up and care for myself by cooking my favorite meals and doing yoga. Buying new plants and tending to them brought life back into my house. Candle light and uplifting music energized my soul. I started going out again, a little bit at a time, meeting with loving friends. My book started getting some traction and positive feedback from literary sources I respect. Also, people started messaging me directly and telling me how much my work had touched them. I was off the rollercoaster and back on level ground.
The mind is a scary place and we struggle to navigate it. Mental stability is not one battle, but a war. I win some, and I lose some, but at the end of the day I know I will be victorious. I know victory is emanate because compared to depression I have the better army. My ranks are filled with people who love me and support me regardless of my writing career or my football career. I have generals who order me to love myself for my most human qualities. I have people on the front lines who have dedicated their lives to supporting me anyway possible. I will win the war. If any of you are looking for a soldier to add to your army I’m ready to enlist.
Keep fighting. Keep writing.