Greetings. When I was a little boy living in Vancouver, I remember how I loved to go into car showrooms and dream. I dreamt of the day that I would be able to have my very own car. I wanted a car like the one in the picture (a 1963 Studebaker Avanti). One time, in the Studebaker showroom, the salesman noticed my curiosity. "Do you like that car?" asked the salesman. The huge grin on my face and my nodding head most certainly answered that question. "Tell you what" he said. "If you go home and get two dollars, we will save this car for you until you are old enough to drive." With great excitement, I rushed home and asked my Mother for the two dollars. With a kind, gentle manner, my dear Mother explained he was only joking. Not much of a joke to a ten year old lad. The innocence of youth eh?
Today is a milestone for me. Today is the one year anniversary since my first ever blog on the community of Mind Bloggling. Today is my Brother's birthday. Happy birthday Andrew! Today marks my continuance in my personal, positive recovery to mental health wellbeing.
I would like to share with you a story of motivation. For many years I was a lonely, isolated recluse. My 'inner-critic' bombarded with negative thoughts. "Distance yourself from Society. You are not valued in that cruel, cynical, indifferent world, you are stupid and worthless!" Such negative thoughts were relentless. Then my last positive thread of resolve spoke to me. "Gary, you must challenge this..be brave, be strong."
So with this thought swirling in my mind, I took action. I somehow found the courage to go on the 'Changes' Coordinator course. This became a turning point in my life. I discovered that even what could be perceived as a negative situation could be turned into a positive. When I was on the course, I had a rather inconvenient distraction of driving my son to work. That was forty miles a day, three days a week. On the Friday, the fourth day of his work week, he only worked half a day. Because of my finanical situation, on Friday's I stayed in my car and waited for him.
This is where renewed positive thinking came to fruition. Every Friday, through the cold Winter of 2006/07, I sat in my car. My negative self would have thought: "Oh great, I'm cold, I'm miserable and I've got five hours to wait for my son. How boring." Yet my positive self thought this: "Okay, I'm stuck here waiting for Tristan. Five hours can seem a long time. So here's the perfect opportunity to do your Changes course personal learning diary!" So with 'Penny', the Jack Russell dog, all curled up on the back seat and having a snooze; I focused on my diary. When I next looked up, there was Tristan tapping on the car window. The five hours had flown by.
So the Changes course was a major catalyst in my ongoing journey towards a better life. It was much more than just another college course. It taught me that I have value, that I can have friends. Indeed, it showed me that I am not alone. We are all in this together. We are all here for each other. Empathy is powerful.
I thank you for your time.