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Hey Y’all!

My name’s Joe and I'm a Mental Health Journalist based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Through my struggles with anxiety, depression, trauma and addiction, I wish to show others, that everyone is capable of improving their circumstances.

I'm sharing my story, as an experiment, to see if it is possible live a life of health, wellness, and happiness.

Classified Ad

This made me LOL!...then sigh...then think..."Damn, I was screwed up."

Classified Ad

Wanted-

Crazy,Mean Bitches Apply. Mustn't communicate at all or else communicate angrily and violently. Must be very controlling and make me feel guilty and anxious for being myself. Must hold me back from my dreams. Also, must be so poor in bed I don't want to have sex with her anymore.

Recently, I've been going back over my journals for the last few years. I've recorded in them relatively consistently during that time, at least so much so that I can piece together what was going on in my life, how I was feeling and what I was thinking.

The above Ad was an excerpt from a journal entry from the summer of 2012. At the time, I was working a part-time, low-paying driving job where I would deliver organic groceries to families. I had just lost my Real-Estate business, was separated from Jen (my now wife),  and wondered if life were to ever get better for me. I felt like I would never find a career, stability or happiness in my life.

Around that time, I picked up a book called “Are you the one for me?” by Barbara De Angelis. In it she offers different exercises that helps one uncover their negative habits when entering new relationships. Other exercises allow individuals to take inventory of their past relationships and what patterns continue to recur.

These exercises helped me to define how I was going to approach my future differently and it also helped me become more aware of underlying core beliefs I had about myself.

The first of these exercises required a person to examine their past relationships, and write out a Classified Ad as if you wanted to attract a perfect match for people you've had negative relationships with. Or put simply write out a Classified Ad if you wanted to attract an ex- you hate - hence my ad above.

My “Wanted Ad” seems like  an indictment of the people I dated, but truth be told it is more accurately an indictment of me. Although that is how I felt towards the exes I hated whom I wrote that for, the language I use is not that of a responsible, secure man. The language conveys that the problems are external, and with other people, not with myself. However, I've learned (and I believe we all know deep down in each of us) that typically our problems are a mirror of our own weaknesses, insecurities and flaws.

This is natural and okay because we are, after all, just human.

But it is not okay to continue to make critical errors we inherently know will hurt others and ourselves, and sabotoge our lives from love, fulfillment and joy- things we all want. Repetitive and constant self-destruction sucks...trust me!

In my case, by denying that I had dysfunctional communication methods, I continued to attract that type of relationship into my life. If anything went wrong in any of my relationships, I would immediately categorize and blame my partners for being crazy and erratic, denying that I was erratic, cold, angry and uncommunicative myself. I would impose chaos and dysfunction into my relationships whether or not it organically existed, because that's all I had ever known.

For the record the people I’ve dated along the way, were probably primarily good women. And for the record, in my core, I'm primarily a good man. I was just so damaged from the bad relationships (which was really only one [maybe two] that went on far too long, as well as the relationship with my mother), that it ruined my ability to exist in anything healthy. I didn't get why she would still show me love when I pushed her away.

Fortunately for me, I met my wife who has seen all the good and the bad of me and stuck by me through it all. As an example, there was a time where I broke her heart and had left her, even though we had been living together for a few years. In my mind these were primarily financial reasons but there was a lot more going on internally for me. She still was always caring towards me even when I would push her away. In fact, she still signed my insurance papers that I was her common-law spouse even though we were apart, so that I could stay on my anxiety medication. I didn't get why she would still show me love when I pushed her away. I was so bitter in my twenties. I felt everyone had moved on with their lives and left me to rot in my life of drudgery and uncertainty. Yet somehow she stuck by me and told me many times 'there's something in there'...referring to my soul.

It's been nearly 6 years since I met my wife, and because of the unconditional love she shows me, I feel like now my life is turning out, like I'm on the right track, and that I'm healing and moving past, well, the past.

I am lucky to have a pretty good thing with my wife. It’s not perfect but most days are good and I feel loved. She is very understanding of me and has loved me through all the ups and downs. She taught me that I could love and be loved. What a special and beautiful woman she is, inside and out, and I know I don’t tell her enough.

I have more reflection on my journal entries in my upcoming posts...but that is for another time...alas...I love you. Peace!

Memoirs: Of Montreal

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