FIRST THINGS FIRST, CARE FOR THYSELF
Over the last four years, I have come to understand that what I am most passionate about is well-being. Well-being is a comprehensive word for what I want for myself, and what I wish for all other human beings. Simple, right? I wish you (and me) well.
I learned how to work hard from my parents. My father worked two jobs for most of my childhood. He was a correctional officer in New York City, then retired, and went on to work in the United States Postal Service until he retired from that job. He worked nights so I mostly saw him in bed, resting for his next shift, but I knew how hard he worked.
My mother worked a “corporate” job as a credit manager at B Altman’s, a department store in Manhattan, and then moved to become a medical biller for various hospitals in Brooklyn. When she wasn’t working those jobs, she was volunteering at my schools as if it was a second job, taking me to extra curricular activities, and always doing things for the family and her church. She was always working.
So when it was my turn to be a parent, I knew what was expected of me and what I needed to do. Work hard to provide for my children, and do everything I could to engage them in extracurricular activities.
Like most children, I never saw how they took care of themselves. That is a journey I’ve had to travel on my own. I didn’t know how to navigate using alcohol which is such a huge part of adulthood and definitely the professional world. I didn’t know how to deal with the difficulties of relationships, and I was completely unprepared for how a divorce would impact my mental and emotional health for years after it happened. I wasn’t prepared for how important exercise and a healthy diet would be, especially as I became forty years old. No amount of hustling would make me happy (and stop self sabotage) until I really started to dig into how I could achieve well being given these challenges.
Today, while hustling is still a major part of my life, I think my passion for well-being has surpassed it. Nothing matters more than well-being, because without it you can’t truly appreciate or capitalize on the fruits of all your hard work. Since co-founding Briovation, I’ve become much more aware of how significant the behavioral health challenges are in society, and eventually I had to take a serious look at myself and ask if I was dealing with any issues. There are far too many stigmas and too much hypocritical judging in society and far too few solutions for behavioral health from the healthcare system.
Many of us are carrying unaddressed trauma that is causing a lot of dysfunctional, self-sabotaging behavior that builds into false views of who we are. We start self medicating (I sure did), working non stop to avoid addressing our issues, and behaving in ways that are not authentic to our values and ideals. My belief is that far more of us are dealing with unaddressed trauma, and society’s collective hypocritical commitment to shame people is burying the root cause of so many of our problems.
I am a work in progress, working on the trauma I’ve dealt with, and here to share my story with you. I hope that it in some way helps you to deal with yours. I’m certainly working hard to walk my path to being well and being happy.
You can expect this work to be a big part of my content. Much love.