I’ve been in a bit of a downward spiral for a bunch of years.
(Spoiler Alert; Whining ahead.)
I had a printing business that I worked like a slave to grow and keep the doors open. I opened it in 1990. Every year was better than the previous year. It was growing slowly, but I felt like I was rolling a rock uphill. I worked that business 7 days a week for 12 years and the first 5 years I worked a full time job at night, which was 40 hours a week plus 10 or 15 hours overtime. During the day I worked my start-up business. I was putting in over a hundred hours a week for the first 5 years. Plus I had two kids, wife and a house to maintain.
I was so burnt out that one day I got in my car to drive to the shop and I couldn’t get myself to put the key in the ignition. I sat there balling my eyes out for a good long time. I finally sold that business on an owner-financed deal. He gave me a small down payment with a promise to pay me over time.
He trashed the business in 4 months. He backed a truck up in the middle of the night and took some assets then flipped me a note saying I could have my business back. There was nothing left to the business. He had scorched the ground around my business and drove away all customers I had nurtured. 12 of the hardest years of my life…gone. His small down payment would be all I would ever receive.
Ok, next. The year was 2011
I used to love yoga. I got certified to teach. I thought that people in yoga would be super friendly and the business would be just as stress-less and friendly. I worked like a slave, again and built out the yoga studio working all hours of the night to open the doors on January 1, 2012. I knew this would succeed, but it wasn’t so much about the money. I simply wanted a friendly stress free place to work and meet people.
Ahh…nice relaxing yoga for the community and myself!! This would be my retirement business.
I wound up giving … GIVING … the yoga studio to someone just to get rid of it and get my name off the lease. I took a $50,000 loss to unload it. People in yoga are the same as people anywhere and maybe worse. They carry their high and mighty pseudo-spirituality like a badge. I was befriended and then stabbed in the back. Lied to and cheated. I barely crawled out of that yoga studio, which is still in business today after changing hands a few more times.
I don’t do yoga anymore nor am I in the printing business.
Next situation; I was diagnosed prostate cancer 2011.
Blah blah blah….surgical prostectomy….yadda yadda yadda….didn’t get all the cancer cells….whine whine whine…..cancer roars back in 2017, as cancer always does….and I sit here now taking two hormones, which are the equivalent of castration. Chemical castration. Emotional roller coaster. Today I’m on a high, which is why I’m energized and writing to no one. Yesterday was a low low seriously low depressive day. Google maps to find ‘the bridge’ kind of day.
I’ve come to hate people. I’ve become anti-social. I never smile. I never engage humans. I struggle through days fearful to attempt any new venture. Except maybe fantasize about being Clint Eastwood and blowing someones brains out. I might turn out to be the guy on the roof top with a rifle and people saying, “Gee, he was a nice quiet guy. Never said a bad word. Wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful.”
The other day I was in a corner of Starbucks reading a book. Head down. Not looking or engaging at anyone. A child walks up to me as she’s leaving with her parents. Puts a hand on my shoulder and says, “Bye!!” She smiled this brilliant bright warm smile, looked me in the eye and said, “Bye” Then her parents shuffled her out the door apologizing for her.
I literally nearly broke into tears. I will never forget this 5 year old girl. She quite possibly saved my life.