Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast

Becoming Hope-Filled with Keith Faria

November 03, 2021 Season 2 Episode 9
Becoming Ourselves - The Podcast
Becoming Hope-Filled with Keith Faria
Show Notes Transcript

I'm welcoming Keith back to the studio. Why? Because our first conversation was SO important and we want YOU to be empowered in your journey to healing and wholeness. This conversation is raw, open, vulnerable, and powerful. You will leave changed.
 
BIO
Keith Faria is an advocate for trauma survivors as a Little Warrior’s Foundation spokesperson and ambassador.  Keith is a survivor of complex childhood traumas including sexual and physical abuse, as well as pervasive familial drug and alcohol addiction.

With two young boys of his own, Keith is proof that it is possible to end cycles of abuse and to redefine personal and family narratives to allow healing to begin.  And it all starts with a conversation.

With his trademark wit and boundless compassion, Keith inspires fellow Warriors to stop surviving and start healing - by encouraging children to talk, and adults to listen.


CONNECT WITH ME
Instagram | Clubhouse | Facebook: @juliwenger
https://www.juliwenger.com/

Juli Wenger:

You're on this earth for a purpose. You want to live a life that matters. So let's get through the fear and the overwhelm and all the shift that gets in a way of you living the life. You're here for. This is the becoming ourselves podcast. So we are fired up about you getting clear on who you are, what you're called to, and how to get there. Because the world is waiting for you show up and on your power. I'm your host, Juli Wenger, a coach, a speaker, a Jesus lover, and Enneagram, two and a tree shaker. Let's dive into what's keeping you stuck. Because on the other side is the life that's fired up, fulfilled. And today, we are circling back around. I have brought Keith Perea back, Keith and I had a conversation back in what June think it was June, about his journey through being a survivor of sexual assault. And he shared a lot about his journey. And it was one of the most impactful episodes I think we've ever done. And it was so it was so important. It was such an important conversation. And we wanted to circle back and follow up on what's next. Where do we take that whole? That journey? What's next in his journey? And for those of us who are supporting people who are also survivors, or for those of you who maybe are survivors, yourself, that are looking for? How do I move forward? Once I've gone through some of the healing process? What does that look like? So Keith, let's start off with just chatting about the transition from you called it major trauma healing into something that is less, like red flags everywhere, Emergency SOS? And what was that? Like?

Unknown:

Yeah, that was the, that was the start of it, you know, 2526 years old. And, you know, there was, there was a lot going on. And stage one of that, you know, in the in the, in our last podcast, when I talked about that was really the big turning point. For me, that's when I decided I was going to just end everything. And, you know, that was my only option at the time. And, you know, thankfully, other options were presented to me quickly. So what I needed that not maybe not everybody necessarily needs, but what I needed was immediate, urgent intervention. And I got it, thankfully. And the the gentleman that was that was put in front of me for that Patrick was a was my boss back then, you know, he said, you know, he said, I'm not sure what to do, but let's let's do something, you know, you'll remember that. And so he had actually put me made me aware of a program that was available, it was in BC is called the Hoffman process. There's probably a lot of people listening to this, who are at least aware of it, and many who may have even gone to it. And and, you know, we didn't know if that was going to work or not. But I was I was at a place where I'm like, if I don't go here, you know, it's, you know, things just aren't going to get any better. Right? And so I was I was a default. Yes. So I'll go to this to this program. I knew that I needed a lot of work and a lot of help. And I definitely felt good that somebody had you know, given a given a shit enough allow me to, to even, you know, start me along that path. Right and so, so I did go to Hoffman process, Hoffman processes still thriving program today. It's there, they're just continuing to help people, they do an awesome job. And that program gave me a lot of hope. Like I I went to it, it was like an eight day intensive program 16 hours a day, like we're going in. And, you know, I came out of there, of course, not solving all my problems, but I came out of there, you know, having had an opportunity to at least express something around it and, you know, came out of there with a lot of hope. And, you know, I was able to come back to Edmonton just with with a bit of a foundation to look at start to look at things you know, quite a bit differently, you know, just kind of moving some things around moving some energy and I was just kind of like, by the time I was on that program I was thinking even if I feel 1% Better, that's, that's good. And so that product That program was I mean, hugely, a catalyst for for the rest of the healing work that I've done, you know, and some ultra ultra grateful for for that program. And I'm, of course grateful for Patrick again for being aware enough to go like, Okay, this is something that needs to happen right away, you know, like, Every Day Counts here because it did I was in a bad spot. And so that program is huge, is awesome. I don't I'm not sure how familiar are with the program, but is really, really good.

Juli Wenger:

I've heard about it a number of times in conversation with other survivors. And the feedback has always been very consistent. Here's what I'm curious about with that, because I know you and I have talked a little bit about this before, but if people haven't listened to the other episode yet, or you know, heard a lot about people's journey through this specific kind of trauma. You being in a space, where you're not the only one going to that program for that period of time, because I know that was a really important milestone for you even meeting glory Beltrame with little warriors and having that space with her of it's not just you. So being at Hoffman, what was that? Like?

Unknown:

Oh, what a great question. It was the same. It's almost like I got wheeled in on a pallet. And I was just this like, frozen block. Right? And good luck getting in. You know what I mean? And they tried. They tried on minute one they're trying to get in and maybe just testing to see what they've got here. Like, what's this? What is this little project going to be? You know, and so I for sure felt like I was the only one in even the like, for sure. Going to Hoffman, for example, I definitely felt like I was the only one in there. It was sort of a I don't know, it was a sort of a state of mind. It wasn't it wasn't sort of victime or poor me type of thing. It was just kind of like that's just like, I could only see that far ahead. You know, I couldn't see past it. So I definitely thought I was the only one and and I remember going into Hoffman even on day one going. Nobody talked to me. Don't come anywhere near me. Like, beat it on. And the the the the instructors, they're just pros. I'm talking, you don't talk about creating safe space. Like you, for example, Julie are brilliant at creating safety. And, you know, the people at Hoffman were able to do that it took I think took a couple days probably to get me softened up a little bit. But yeah, I went in there. I went in there just a big block of ice and, and everybody just stay out of my way. And the other the feeling that I was the only one was big and and I didn't want to know what anybody else was dealing with, like barely wanted to know what I was dealing with. You know, and so it's directly the same feeling I had when I went to that, you know, when I went to that that be brave luncheon and met glory. I remember walking into that luncheon just like I didn't even want to be inside my like, I didn't want to be in my own skin. And I'm walking around this room and this, you know, just incredible people and I for sure felt like I was same thing that I it's partially being feeling like I'm the only one but also just a real feeling of being alone. Just alone completely, you know, and, and that nobody could possibly understand and that I don't want anybody to understand. Don't feel sorry for me. I don't want to hear it. Like this is hard. Like is you knows I wasn't that wasn't I was protecting I

Juli Wenger:

felt well yes. I mean that there's the self protection and do you think that you felt like if people knew and if they felt sorry for you then you were going to have to acknowledge what it was that you were dealing with?

Unknown:

Yeah, and in a Yeah 100% And and a big piece of that is I was I spent so much of my life fighting to not give all the things that happened any power. Right. So I thought the best way to not give something power is to just not allow it in, you know, put on my suit of armor every single day. Nobody in nobody out and and I didn't want to give it power. I didn't want the things that happened. The people who did these things. My experiences in my life, I didn't want all of those things to know that they got me. And I didn't want them to know that they were winning. You know, and it's that's how it felt inside of me, right? That those were my fears, right or wrong, those, that's what I, that's what I feared. And so that's why I didn't want to let anybody anybody in. And it was really hard for me to share anything about this. You know, even, you know, even at Hofmann, I remember, like, I can go back, it was 2004, when I went and just the thought of talking about it, you know, I had, I think two or three, there were there were kind of seizures. My body just wouldn't allow it, there's a lot of energy going on and in. And, again, thankfully, I was in this place where I was cared for, and the they knew what to do. And there were times where I had opportunities to get something out. And inside my body, I'm like, let's get it out. Like, here's our chance. And it My body's just like, No, I don't, we're not doing that today, or, or here's, or I was able to do it sometimes. And then my body was just like, my body responded. And, you know, a couple times, I just lost complete control of my body. And I you know, there I'm at this program laying on the floor, and I'm my muscles are all cramped, and I can't breathe. And, you know, that's like, that's like the deep affect so of the healing that I absolutely had to happen. In, there's a lot to that. There's a lot to that.

Juli Wenger:

There is so much power that our subconscious has. And it's been interesting because as I've done more of my own research on the subconscious, and an ego and self protective mechanisms and all of that there is this frame of reference that you have for where you're operating right now. It's like your ego goes, I know what this is like, I know we can survive here. Yeah, but I don't know what's on the other side of change. And logically, consciously, you know, this is not working. But that subconscious part is like I there could be danger on the other side. I mean, that's just generically speaking without adding in the level of trauma that you experienced. And what's so interesting to me and listening to your story is how extreme some of those self protective responses become. And how they can be essentially debilitating. Right, like if you're having seizures and your body is so in self protective mode. It's like no, no, we don't. We don't know if we're safe. And you and I've talked about safety before and how important that is. We don't know for safe on the other side of letting this out. We don't know if we're safe on the other side of moving this energy. All that we know how to do right now is to burry this shit. To try not to give it power. Lisa control it right. Yeah, but there's so much energy that goes to keeping it burried

Unknown:

Well, I'll tell you this. I've never really sat down and written to the list but here here's a list. Like chronic migraines. Asthma, like I had a bronchial thing I had like I went through like chronic knee pain, body pain. Neck pain, shingles. Man, I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff I've had, I've had a lot of stuff. Yeah, raised a blackout, like just random blackouts. And those are, those are all the same thing. But my body's response to what I was doing. You know, what's going on, you know, like, my body was screaming at me, too, that this isn't working or like, here's my, here's what I need to do like this is my body's on, here's what I need to do to

Juli Wenger:

to get your attention

Unknown:

to get my attention and to help me still continue to move forward. You know, and there's just there's so many. So many things, the stress that I was holding and carrying every single day was making me sick. You know, and a lot of the stuff in that list was all from like 15 to To 25, and so on and, and even after I started to get some healing work, I still had a lot of that stuff going on and being that young and not being able to get out of bed because I'm in pain. And, you know, it's like, the migraines especially, were really bad. And I would just have to, you know, figure it out. And, you know, I can look back at it all now and go, like, you know, it's, I get it, you know, I get why my body was doing that. And the cool part that I've been able to experience with all of that over the years is I don't have any of those things anymore. You know, and it lets me know that my body is, you know, my body's healing, and it's, we're doing the right things. So it's good.

Juli Wenger:

So let's lean into that transition from going through this major SOS emergency intervention now, stage of healing. And then you shift into something where it's a little more manageable, where something starts to ease, something starts to shift, some of those symptoms start to dissipate, because you're listening to yourself, because you're paying attention. So that transition, can you talk about that a

Unknown:

little bit? Yeah, the transition is, it's, it's, it's fascinating, you know, I mentioned earlier, I went into that one program, like a block of ice, and, you know, the idea was to slowly chip away at that and melt a few things, and then the real me Can, can step out of that and do my thing. And, and I love the visual of that, because it, it's, it's how it felt. And what starts to happen is Hoffmann. And in shortly after that, I had to get some therapy right away, and some coaching and things like that, and all of those things started getting things moving, right. And even if it was concrete, it would slowly start to crack up, and then I could move a bit, right. And what started to happen was, there were parts of me that started to feel like, you know, there's, there's something here, you know, I've got, like, I'm feeling some hope, I'm starting to, you know, people are starting to show up in my life that are better, that are here for to do some good. And to support me and guide me along my way, one of my you know, as, as I had said, in the our last podcast, a big thing was, was this, this feeling of being alone, and how I felt like I had to do everything myself up to that point. And so people started to show up in my life that wanted to help me and, and I had to learn how to trust that and I had to learn how to allow these people to help me because I had not been able to trust anybody. And I still sometimes struggle with that, but will start to happen as a son start to come out Julie, and I started to feel better. You know, and, and I and I got to spend some time just feeling better, rather than the constant grind of carrying all of that and, and so on, it was all there still and as slowly healing one thing at a time, but I got to feel a little bit of relief. And eventually it It turned into something that I I don't know why I started to feel I was starting to become very interested in it. As more and more things were healing, I started to become more interested in doing more of it. And it was like, Well, if I can, if I can feel better, and in some days I can even feel pretty good. You know, what else can I do? And what else is in here? You know, like, like I stuffed a lot of stuff in my trunk and threw it into the ocean never to be found again and now I'm now I'm down there pulling it up. And opening it and and seeing what's inside and there's all sorts of stuff in there and just one thing at a time. And I've been doing it this whole time from 2004 right till today I'm I'm pulling stuff out of there and I'm looking at it I'm working through it some stuff I can work through myself some some stuff I need. I need help. And ultimately it went from being like ultra ultra terrified. Hard No. I do not want to open this to now I can look at it and go, Oh cool. I can learn this now and I can understand this about myself because I've healed this. Now I'm ready for this. And so I'm more in exploration and in fascination mode now.

Juli Wenger:

Is it like you've learned to take on an observer space or you can step back from it, and you can watch it more from a distance versus being in it.

Unknown:

Yeah, probably one of the coolest transitions. And that wasn't that long ago, actually, that I learned that. You know, I, I often when I, when I talk to other people, I often reference that old cartoon of, you know, the ghost of Christmas past and present where they pull Scrooge out of his world so that he can see what he's doing. And that's what I envisioned when I read a book called The Untethered Soul, and it talked about being the pilot in my airplane, as opposed to being the airplane, you know, I'm just on the pilot, I'm steering it, I'm running it. And even the analogy in that book of when the plane is going through turbulence, the pilots not freaking out, the pilots gone. Oh, you seem to be experiencing some turbulence will should get through this and seven to 10 years, don't worry about the back of the plane, like, yeah, just breathe. It becomes that right? Observing is hard, especially, especially altra, hot triggers, and some painful stuff, painful stuff. And to be able to very, very healthy way, step away from it and just see it for what it is, I'll tell you, the number one thing that it was a couple things that it does for me is it helps me soften judgment of myself and the people involved. And it helps me gain compassion for myself, and understanding for myself, and then the people involved, you know, and that's a very, very interesting transition. Because that just turns into purpose. And it turns into other things at that point. And it turns into forgiveness, it turns into, you know, just for talking about my healing, again, you know, self judgment, is poison. It is poisonous, and it flowed through me for a long time. And so to be able to learn and understand how to soften that, it's through observation, it's stepping outside of myself, and looking back in and going, Okay, let's, let's on, let's unpack this and see what's really going on versus that tunnel vision of Dark Cloud, everywhere.

Juli Wenger:

Let's dig in a little bit there. Because the inner critic is something we all have. And for some of its some of us, it's stronger than for others. That little voice that judges that little voice that tells us we're not enough, or how dare we or how could we or it's all your fault, or all of those narratives that everybody gets. This is common human experience space. How do you pattern interrupt that bad boy? How do you shut it down?

Unknown:

Well, what I'll say first is that my you know, the first time my therapist told me that I have si PTSD, which is complex, post traumatic stress disorder, and I can I can explain the layers of that. But I needed to understand what that means. And what it means. For me, it means a lot of things. But one of the things that means for me is that that little inner voice or that inner critic is not little at the time. It's, I think I counted in one session somewhere around 12 critics who had a microphone, each one, and each one had like Dolby 5.1, surround sound. And all of them are yelling at me in my head. 24/7. Right. And so what I was learning about myself is that I'm trying to do life, with these with all of that going on in my head. And at the end of that tunnel that I'm staring down is like this little tiny nine inch black and white TV and that's my that's life. That's where I'm trying to go. And so, my inner critic was was dominating. It was dominating me. And trying to trying to get through life as a young adult at the time and even today, I have to be super aware of that critic, as I do my my work and therapy and healing and all the stuff I do. My inner critic, it's sneakier. Yeah. And he hides behind things sometimes. And sometimes it's a whisper. I'm just like So I have to watch, you know, and at the same time, I have decided to become friends with that voice. And go, I see you, buddy. You know, I hear what you're saying, I see you. Okay? Once you come on out, let's have a conversation about what you just said. And that's my opportunity to heal. Yeah, I can take a look at whatever that is, and go, Okay, what's really happening. And then I can choose to add, I can choose to place a, a degree or an amount of energy to it or not.

Juli Wenger:

This is so important that I'm so excited that you got to that exact spot. Because I've been thinking about this a lot lately in a lot in my practice of going to battle with our, with our ego, essentially, in the inner critic being like, the voice of that ego. And what I've realized is it's not a battle where we're putting on our boxing gloves, and we're standing and facing off and punching at each other. It's one more we pull that ego in for a hug. Yeah. Because the patterns that exist, we're all there to serve you and keep you safe, when you didn't know what else to do. Yeah. And you did need them for a period of time. So being able to approach that from a space of, okay, this doesn't feel great right now. But how can I be grateful for the fact that I have this part of me because it's not separate from us. But I have this part of me that's trying to keep me safe. But that doesn't have the context that I have. Of The World. I've heard it explained recently, even as like big me and little me. And the little me is that voice and big me gets to bossing around, but like, how do I bring that thing in and be grateful for it and look for? What are the lessons? What are the opportunities? What are the things that we need to explore here, instead of like, staying apart from it enough that it can reach out and punch you in the face?

Unknown:

I think a big part of it for me, Julia is that I've gotten to a point in my life where I had been through, battled, healed learned acceptance around so many things, that there's not much else that can scare me. You know what I mean? And so, I think the best way for me to answer that is that I had to get to a certain point in my journey, where, where I could trust that, whether it's my inner child, or my inner critic, or my dark side, it was okay. It was that there was a there's a surrender that needs to occur, where it doesn't matter who's around that corner. I'm going to go, Hey, come on, in, sit down, and let's have a coffee. Right? And, and I'm, and I'm at a point for sure, where there's, there's nothing my inner critic can say, the inner critic can have an effect if I allow it. Like if I bite on the hook, which I do, I do bite on the hook, the inner critic, my dark side, all of those things, I, I just I have to be super aware. And, and I don't need to be afraid anymore. You know, the dark side, inner critic, all of those things, those I was blocking those out to protect myself the same way I was blocking people and other energy out for so many years. I blocked dark side, I blocked everything. And so it just took it took a lot of softening. It took a lot of building trust took a lot of acceptance. You know, like, do you think I wanted to hear that I had si PTSD. Do you think I wanted that label? No. And I was mad. I was mad at my therapist when she said that. Yeah, I want to hear it. I'm like, don't give me a label. Do not do that. I'm not interested. Because I didn't again, I felt like I was giving. I felt like I was losing. I felt like this is not okay. And then and then I continued to work and I continue to understand what is that? What is CPTSD what it you know, as as the example and now I can look at it and go okay, so you know, symptom one of 100 of complex trauma. Let's take a look at number one, and I can look at it now and go, Ah, yeah, I do do that. And sometimes I will laugh about it. Whereas before, I would look at it as this massive flaw in my system and the massive flaw in my character like huge judgment Huge like, this is just another reason why I'm broken, you know,

Juli Wenger:

like you are the source of it, instead of it being something that impacts how you respond,

Unknown:

and that I can't be repaired. Like, I'm just Just leave me in the ditch. And, and, and I like that's how it was for a long, long time. Like, leave me here, I'm not worth fixing this list is way too long. You know, and, and I've just I've spent, I've spent my adult life one one thing at a time. And, and I'm at a point now where I don't, I'm just, I'm just not afraid of any of it anymore. I've tackled a lot of things. I haven't come to 100% acceptance of everything. But if I'm 50% or 80% of the way there, that's way better than the zero that I was at before. And so, you know that I mean, that, to me, is all part of the process. But there's nothing that my dark side or inner critic Can, can come at me with now. That's going to bring me all the way back to when I was 25. Like, I'm way over. I'm way over here now. Yeah, you know.

Juli Wenger:

Alright, let's move into the purpose conversation. Because you and I talked offline about how important it is for you to find purpose for everything that you've gone through. And let's start close to home and then work our way out. So when you think about everything you've experienced, and all of the healing that you've gone through, and how it's impacted your life, and all of that, and we're starting it, say at home with your kids. How do you give purpose to all of this?

Unknown:

I've had to get a needed to get to a place in my life where, where I had to attach purpose to all of this, almost like, why go through all of this? Like, why, first of all, and then the purpose piece is, how can I now use all of this to help other people help myself. And you know, what's closer to home for me for sure, as my boys like, I've got two boys, one's 15 and one's you know, Anthony's to be 13 right away. And at some point, I realized, like, I still have a job to do as a dad. And a huge part of my job as a dad is healing myself. For sure, one of the greatest gifts I can give them is a healthy dad, a healthy balanced dad who's totally human, doing his work, making mistakes coming back, you know, and, and then also being able to share it with them. Which is like, some of the hardest conversations to have is sharing with my kids. My story, my story they look at me with so much compassion. There, they're amazing. But I want them to, I want them to understand that part of so much a part of my mission and my purpose is is breaking breaking the cycle so that my kids don't have to grow up with this a foundation of abuse and a foundation of trauma, addiction, toxic environments. They don't have to grow up with any of that. And they get to see that guy's not perfect. He's got his shit. And and that he's working through it. And so I never knew if I was going to I never knew if I was gonna be able to tell my kids you know, what was going on, but it was huge, huge. It's huge to tell them and Mandy had lots of questions. That a lot of questions, but I think, you know, I think anyone who has anyone who's a parent knows that kids are way smarter than we think they We give them credit for and they just, you know, they just, they just handle it so incredibly well. And they just understand and they're the compassion that they have is unbelievable. And they didn't they don't become victims of any of it. They just just like, I'm really sorry, that happened to add

Juli Wenger:

on how beautiful is it that despite everything that's happened, and everything you've gone through that you have raised boys who have that kind of empathy and that kind of compassion, that feel safe to ask the questions, and have the skills and the toolkit to be able to not take it on and own it as their own trauma.

Unknown:

I'm so proud of that. Honestly, it was probably my biggest fear that they were going to internalize it and somehow have it affect them negatively. And that, and I didn't want to be the source of that. You know, and I, I feel like maybe I just I presented it in such a way that I wasn't a victim of it. And that it was, it was something that I had experienced. And also, Hey, guys, here's what I'm doing.

Juli Wenger:

I want to just highlight that for anyone who's listening, that is in the middle of this. But I presented it in a way that I was not the victim of it. That that's possible. And that that's not a front that that was authentic. And to look back at your journey and the level of self protection that was happening. The level of shutdown, though, like I'm ready to end it, and happen to have this intervention that I'm so grateful for, as a friend. And then to get to this point of I can talk to my teenage kids about this from a space of not being a victim of it. That's possible. That's a big freakin deal.

Unknown:

Yeah. Yeah. Buddy that I was gonna check out I didn't have kids. So it's big. You know, and these guys, man, if there's ever if there's ever days or times where I'm struggling, I'm struggling, and it still happens. But I got these guys that I can look to and go, you know, not only do I know, they're in my corner, I know that I need to continue, I gotta keep going. I got to keep moving. Because I want to continue to be that guy for them. And, and show them that, you know, things things happen, but it doesn't have to be the end. I can, I can be a healthy father contributing to their lives and in Ultra positive ways. And, and always, always being able to provide that perspective for them. You know, that, that life, life is hard. And, and it's and it's amazing, all at the same time. And, and there's nothing that we can't get through. I've seen countless examples of my kids resiliency and, and grit and character that's inspired me to keep going and keep fighting and I am okay. I'm safe. I'm okay. And so are they and and I take my job as a dad very seriously. You know, and, and this is a huge part of it. And my kids just get to go be kids. Like, how cool is that? They just get to go be healthy, balanced. Kids that go through normal stuff that kids go through and we get to talk about it. It's pretty great. And now now with them getting into their teens, holy cow, that's a ride but but it's like it's it's the best thing ever. It's so great. Isn't that there's nothing like being a dad and I just, I'm glad that I that I've been able to have that awareness around how important my job is and and that I get to contribute in the ways that I do. You know, and I and I do have a lot of perspective that I can share with them at all the time and so that purpose piece, like it has to be there. For me.

Juli Wenger:

The purpose always is Something beyond ourselves. And hear that in you talking about the hard days and looking at them and saying, I gotta show up anyway, like, I got to show up for them. Yeah. And I mean, you know, my story that outside of myself purpose was the thing that had me make some pretty massive transitions. And where I'm curious for you, in terms of continuing on this journey is taking that purpose piece, and making all of this means something, and having that extend out past the immediate environment, the immediate family, into your broader community. So what are your thoughts on that?

Unknown:

Like, I do have some experiences with that, over the years, you know, it's, it started really, with some people in my life, you know, reaching out to me to let me know that they're not doing so good. And, I mean, early on, I mean, I not that I knew anything that I was doing. But early on, I would, we would be in a conversation where I'm sharing my experience. And kind of like what we're talking about right now, like, here was my experience, here's what I did, how this feels. And I think, I think that was a pretty key piece for a lot of people that I've that I've talked to over the years is that they found somebody who has felt what they're feeling. And so being able to help people through that is by sharing by actually sharing my story, which I never thought I do. And, and now I've shared it, I don't know how many times and each time I do, it gets a little easier. And getting to see and experience other people turning their lives around. And even even in its simplest going, like, I can tell you, the number of times I've heard people say keep if you can get through what you got through and get through it, I got through. And that's huge for me. And I started to finish, I definitely started, I don't know, maybe 10 years ago or so I really started to understand that I can use I can use this my experience in my life to help other people. They don't have to have childhood trauma, to still benefit. I've talked to men and women who they're, you know, struggling mentally with mental health, let's say and they're confused, and they don't kind of don't know what, what's wrong, and you know, they're just a little lost. And, you know, we're able to talk it through a little bit over time, and then eventually start to figure out okay, what can what can we do, let's get some, let's get some help in some way. I love that I'm able to, to do that. It's an honor, it's humbling, it's, it's surprising to me, that I can actually use it to help. And I love doing it. And it's for people to trust me with their stuff and and for people to just be vulnerable. Open up with me. And in some cases, I've been a stranger, they heard me speak or they, they saw me, you know, do an event or whatever, and then they come up and talk to me, that blows my mind. And they're telling me how courageous I am and how strong I am and all this stuff. And I'm like, and I'm like, Uh, how about you? You know, like, you know, we're in this together, we're doing this, right? I'm not a I'm not a I'm not a hero or any. I'm not on a pedestal in any way. I'm, I'm a guy, you know, who's who's got some stuff and I can I can help and I can share and, and let's let's go like. So, you know, if I can create safe space for people to share and get them on track to doing some healing of their own, whatever that is. It's it just, you know, it really fills me up. Like it gives me a lot of juice that I can do that and you know, absolutely. I have such a strong desire to keep doing it. I love talking about it. Even though it's it's painful at times, there's a there's a lot there but I I just think it's important and honestly I feel a sense of duty or obligation in a way to just keep moving forward. I can't I can't possibly keep this to myself and knowing that other people can benefit from it, and even if someone can hear hear this These conversations we're having, and even just feel 1% Better. Even just feel like oh, you know, I wasn't feeling that good today, but I feel better now. Like, that's a big deal. We like we all know how that feels. Everybody knows how that feels. That little sliver of hope, just something, you know, sometimes, and even just to get through a Wednesday, that's sometimes that's enough. You know, and, you know, getting to experience somebody, taking that first deep breath after, after a heavy conversation, that first deep breath, that I just hate myself a little less today, or I, you know, or I can, when people start to get a different, slightly different perspective, or for sure, and understanding a sense of belonging, that, Hey, someone else gets it, finally, somebody else gets it, I thought I was all by myself. You know, like, like we said at the beginning, that's how I felt, I get it. And moving forward, it's moving forward, it's all I want to do, you know, is just continue to help people, I for sure want to help kids, you know, kids that are going through the stuff I went through. That's huge, huge. So much of this stuff that I'm learning in my 30s. And into my 40s, you know, if I could have, if I could have learned this stuff at 10 years old, 1215 years old, like, what a difference, what a difference that could have made in sight. I feel, obviously a huge pole to help kids in any way that I can. As you know, I've done some stuff with the little warriors and things like that. And I'm just trying to reach trying to reach anyone, and everyone, and believe me up. I've talked to kids, and I've talked to men and women of all ages, who are still carrying it. You know, people in their 50s and 60s, still carrying all this. We got to get to work. Because if we don't, your body is gonna tell you. Yeah. You know, our bodies give us a little nudge, and then a little nudge, and then eventually a kick down the stairs. And I said, Let's not get to the kick down the stairs, start working on this now, you know, what can we do? And I think I think that's all people need is the what can we do? Right? That's what I got from Patrick 25. What can we do, we don't have to have all the answers, we don't have bail enough to know exactly how this is going to go. It's a lot of really, really hard work. And in the world, the reward on the sun coming out on the other side is bright and beautiful, I promise. Good.

Juli Wenger:

Deep breaths. I am so grateful for your willingness to share and to talk about this and to be a voice to people who really need to hear that there's hope and hear that there's another side and to be to be a light. Like, hey, here's what's possible. And I may not be quote unquote there yet, if there is any proverbial there anyway. But there's better to really speak for that and stand for that and hold space for that. And I am so honored that you would use this space to speak about it and to share about all of this. So from the like depths of my soul. Thank you for jumping on here again. And being vulnerable. And now I'm rambling. So I'm gonna stop rambling. Do you have any thoughts that you want to share? Just to wrap us up?

Unknown:

You know, the number one thing I want people to know is there is there is for sure hope I have. I've been in the depths. I've been at the bottom of the well, total darkness. And where I'm at in my life right now i i no longer want to hurt myself. I don't I want to do good things I want to like I have dreams and goals and things that I never had before. You know, and so I want people to know that It's possible. And I also I want to, I want everybody to know that I'm available. And Julia, I know you're available. I'm available. Like, you know, I'm easy to find if you need to talk. And Julia really want to acknowledge you like you, I know you're, you're honored to have me but I can tell you, I'm honored to have you because you are. I've had experiences with you over the years that you're probably not aware of, that have allowed me to feel safe. To even come on a program like come on your show your podcast and, and talk like this, the these are not easy conversations to have. And but when you and I talked about doing these, I'm all in I'm ready to go, let's, let's go because I know, I know that we can help people. And so I want to thank you on behalf of everybody listening for providing this space because it's just a it's just a really big deal. And I know that we're going to reach people and the right people, the people who need it are going to hear this message and it's going to resonate, resonate. And so I'm really grateful for you for setting this all up

Juli Wenger:

I hope this episode triggered something in you and got you thinking about your next growth curve. Make sure to check out the show notes for more details and links to resources or people that we've mentioned today. And make sure you hit follow or subscribe. And if you have a hot minute we'll leave an awesome review. I would be so beyond grateful. Until next time, be to much DARE YOU