Episode 126 – Thanksgiving Discord Members Meeting – Part 1

This episode is a meeting that took place, on Thanksgiving, via Zoom, with members of Divorce Support for Men and members of our Discord community.  This is a  2 part episode.  In this 1st episode we cover loneliness, embracing emotions, and the importance of focusing on small victories.

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Michael 0:00
Hey what's up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I'm your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let's get into it. Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 126. So this episode, I wanted to do a little bit of an intro because there is not an intro, so to speak. This was the Thanksgiving zoom meetings that occurred, there were two meetings, one at a 11am. Eastern, I believe it was and one at 6pm. Eastern. And there was no like formal introduction, we just sort of started rolling. So I wanted to do a little bit of a tiny bit of an intro here, just to sort of explain what you're hearing. And what you're hearing essentially, is a discord meeting. This is the large majority of the folks that you're going to hear during this episode are people that are subscribers that are in the discord, and that attend meetings on a regular basis. So this isn't all that we talk about a meeting, sometimes we just shoot the shit. But when especially when there's someone who is sort of going through it, we try to help them as best we can. I will say that we collectively could have done a much better job and holding space for David. And giving him this is what men do. And I was when I listened back. I knew it in the moment. But then I listened back and I was like I participated in a two. We're so uncomfortable. I think with men crying that we immediately jump in and we do it sort of under the guise of oh, we want to comfort you want to sue. But I really honestly think it is that we can't, we can't sit and say can't we don't like this to see people cry, which just it's very uncomfortable. And so I wish collectively, we would have done a better job of holding space for David. But you know, we're learning we're trying we're growing. But this is essentially what you're going to see inside or in a discord meeting. Should you decide to join up. And I think I've said before, but it's $5 a month. And if you're interested hit me up. Right now there are about 40 Couple 50 Couple men in the discord server. Not everyone attends meetings. One of the other things that we do besides those meetings, I mean, there's much more than the discord I really should probably update I do have a tutorial video if you go to my YouTube channel. It covers the discord but it's old. It's it's still relevant, but it is a little old should probably do a new one. But we also have book club when we have meetings discussing the books, we're right now reviewing the book attached. So it's just a really great resource. If you're struggling and you're trying to grow and learn I really, for divorced men, I don't think there's a better resource on a fucking planet. And for $5 a month, it's a buck bargain. And there's some really great man, as we hear in this episode, there are some nuggets of wisdom that are dropped some words of wisdom that are dropped in this one that are just perfect in some ways. And so I hope that it helps you. I hope it gives you a better idea of sort of what we do and in the discord. And then part two of this. So I'm not sure if I said I had to it was two meetings, I said that it ended up being about two and a half hours of footage. And I had to Well, I edited down the first part of it and it was still at like what you'll see about 55 minutes. And so I thought I can't I could do like a two and a half hour episode. But I'd rather cut it in half. And just to happen to time and the tone of the meetings are slightly different. The second meeting the Part Two that you'll hear probably later this week. Is is more around the podcast, there's it's still a meeting, it's still guys hanging out and talking but we also cover the podcast a little bit. So in terms of stats and things of that nature. And you know, as a reminder, this is Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving is the birthday of the podcast so this thing has been going for three years. Sometimes that blows my fucking mind when I think about it, but I'm incredibly proud. I'm incredibly thankful of all all of you that listen, the last thing I want to cover is you know I said I don't I try to be as transparent as possible. So I said last episode, I think it was that you know, I'm gonna have two slots open for coaching I now down to one so I'm happy to say that someone signed up over the weekend and he's starting his journey with me. Today is his first day in the program. So I'm super super excited for that. That means I got one slot left $600 You can pay over six months program lasts for months. We can also do one on one, one on one as part of the porch BY FIRE program but if you wanted to do more of a therapist style, and we just talk in pictures things individually for you to focus on to work on, we can do that too. Again, I'll be, it'd be same price $100 a month, I'm doing a different format than I did before. So I'm using the app, Marco Polo, not using a Facebook group. I want to see how that goes. I'm hoping it, it's a little bit more intimate in a way, a little bit more interaction, that's, you know, it's direct, instead of a larger group. And we'll try this way. See how it goes. I'm excited about it. I'm looking forward to helping this guy move on in his journey, because he's about two years out, and he still has his struggles. And so I'm excited to help them. So anyway, again, if you're interested in working with me, you know how to find me. So that's all I got for this. Enjoy. I hope you enjoy this one. And part two will be out soon. There we go. Episode 126. So I was thinking, you know, I think especially this time of year, you know, loneliness is a motherfucker, right? And I thought maybe we'd talk about how we've dealt with that successfully. Because sometimes can

Speaker 1 6:07
I say some Can I start off with one thing that Mike, I gotta say? Yeah, I just, I just got done. Listen to 123 while I went for a walk and brother, you did not fuck up? Um, seriously, I really don't think you fuck me with her. In general, you titled that episode, I've talked up and you didn't? Well,

Michael 6:30
I think Listen, sometimes i i Always. I took note, I did take notes on this one. But I wanted to. So the I miss her episode, the moving on. I think I titled these things in a way that sort of sucks people in, which is kind of weird for me to do, because I'm not that. Typically that kind of guy. But I titled it that way. Because I hoped it would draw people in to listen to it and then get tools on how to. But I found out many, many, many times. Well, we

Speaker 1 6:57
all did. But But I don't want you to beat yourself up over that.

Michael 7:01
No, I mean, I think oh, wait two people waiting, entering the waiting room? Sorry, people's Hold on.

Speaker 2 7:08
Now. That's very good. Good point. And because to tell people to don't your brain doesn't know the new bad mouthing yourself and someone else? No,

Speaker 1 7:18
no. No. The truth. That the truth? Your

Speaker 2 7:22
your thoughts for yourself? Because it makes a difference?

Michael 7:26
Well, yeah, I think that's almost one of the more important battles or struggles that you can that that needs to be conquered is that self talk, you know, and it's about I think, especially, we go through our lives, not paying attention to what we're saying to ourselves. So I think the first step is just to pay attention to to notice like, Oh, that was negative. That's what I teach is, it's not about changing your thoughts. Not not right off the bat, you can't fucking do that. I mean, it's a lot harder to do that. First, you got to get just in the habit of just sort of catching and classifying and clarifying your thoughts like, oh, shit, that was negative, or that wasn't very good. Or I wouldn't talk to my friend that way. So you can start noticing how you talk to yourself. That's step one. But it's it's not easy, because we're, it's so it's such a

Speaker 1 8:15
because we have a whole lifetime of doing it. Yeah. Yeah. And undoing a lifetime of what you've learned is not an easy task.

Michael 8:23
No, definitely isn't. Jared, why am I not seeing you? I see that you're in the room, but I'm not seeing your I know your camera's off. But I don't even see you. Oh, there.

Jared 8:34
What can I say is that I

Michael 8:36
look at that handsome fella.

Unknown Speaker 8:37
Who's that guy?

Jared 8:38
What's up?

Michael 8:41
David, thank you for joining us. I don't know that we've met. Nice to meet you, sir.

Speaker 3 8:46
I've just kind of been a member of the group kind of lingering in the background. And, you know, I've watched a couple of your podcasts. I'm I'm kind of, you know, I'm alone here on this Thanksgiving morning. Without my three kids now. Yeah, I hear Yeah, yeah. But um, you know, it's, it's just the first one. It is it's really difficult and Amen. You know, I've been going through this now for like, this will be seven months that we've been separated this most recent time, we split up and got back together. And then she thought everything was going great. And, you know, I wanted to go to therapy over a specific issue. And I talked to her calmly about it and things like that, and then it just kind of exploded, and you know, she kind of left and not kind of she did leave and she didn't want to talk about proceeding with the dissolution or hammering out a parenting plan for the kids like, she just lives about 10 houses up. But um, you know, so it's, it's, it's pretty difficult and then instead of filing Anything are talking to me about it. She said that she started a dating profile for my benefit to show that she was done and just hoped that it would get back to me. And yeah, that's pretty much what everybody said. And so

Michael 10:18
that's pretty cold. Yeah, yeah. Well, yeah. Again and married. And here's how sorry, how long

Speaker 3 10:26
17 years married 19. Together, we met in high school 818 17 and 18 years old. And so yeah, it's, she's, I've watched her change into a different person. And I've been really reactive, with my words, through through text messaging. And fast forward, now I have a TPO that I have to fight against. Just because I think it was I was joking around about, she's dropping the kids off when when she feels like and going out, she was cheap, before I recognized that she was using me as you know, I love having my kids here all the time. You know, as we all do it, it helps it helps me focus, I suppose. But I found out that she was dropping them off to go on dates and things like that. And so it's just, it's heartbreaking, frustrating. And all the above, you're,

Michael 11:22
well, you're in the thick of it. So you have all of our sympathy and empathy. And more importantly, we understand like, we've been where you are. Seven months. Seems like every one of us, seven months seems like a long time. But it's it's a drop in the bucket. You're You're in for a journey, for sure. You know, it's not always going to be fun, it's going to really suck sometimes, like really, really bad. You're going to feel like, hopeless, and what's the point and all that negative shit. But I think all of us here can speak to the fact that there is hope there is good on the other side of this bullshit. But it is bullshit, make no mistake about it, don't go into this thing. And it's gonna magically get better after a year or if I just get another girlfriend or it's going to be hard, not impossible. But it's going to be very hard. But let's I kind of want to stick to the and there's a lot to unpack there, David, and you can I encourage you to join our Discord server. Because this is what you're gonna see here is kind of what we do when we have these meetings, but I kind of wanted to focus on so this is your first David some of us. This has been not our first go around on this holiday or any holidays being alone. And I just kind of wanted to get everyone's input into like, what did you guys do? or what have you done to get through these these this day in particular because it's that it's this day, but but in general through the holidays, anybody that wants to chime in first. Feel free but what have you guys done to survive these days?

Jared 12:53
Practice good masturbation.

Unknown Speaker 13:00
Well, I ProJared I love you, man.

Michael 13:02
I practice that all the time.

Jared 13:06
No, learn to date yourself and enjoy yourself go and do something that you haven't been able to do in a long time that you've wanted to and date yourself.

Michael 13:17
That's a good point. I think I think it's gonna be tough on a day like today to go find things but you can watch a movie that you know maybe she didn't like a certain genre movies. Well, you don't have that any kind of restriction. Now you can watch whatever the fuck you want. You You can jerk off in the fucking living room with you aren't allowed now. You know?

Speaker 1 13:38
The only thing I don't recommend is wearing a Steelers hat in public. Okay.

Michael 13:44
Son of a bitch. You're just you're just all boastful because they beat the fuck and cheat. That's all

Unknown Speaker 13:50
I Ain't that the truth nine and one buddy. Now

Michael 13:53
was a good game. I think for me, I kind of I think it's all about again, like what am I thinking about? And I can think I could sit here and think about I'm alone. I am alone today. I don't think I'll see anybody today I'll probably go to the store and a little bit but I could sit here and think about how shitty that is and how I'm a failure and how I fucked up and I'm such a piece of shit. If only I would have done this I could spiral and go down these rabbit holes of fucking just not self sabotage, but just like beating the shit out of myself. I could do that. Or I can look at this and go okay, it's it's it is I don't like going while it's just another day. It's not just another day. It is Thanksgiving, but I'm going to see them again. I'm going to see them tomorrow, probably. Well, it's my weekend. So I'm definitely gonna see him tomorrow at some point. I'm going to have another Thanksgiving where I'm going to have them there. So I try not to focus on it sounds so cliche and in sort of almost bullshitting in a way I think sometimes. I don't I don't have to focus on how negative this is. I can just focus on what's going to come that is positive. And it's again, it's hard to Do but that's this. That's what I do on these days. Yes, I acknowledge it. It's Thanksgiving, and I'm alone. And that sucks, but I'm gonna see him tomorrow. And next Thanksgiving is my Thanksgiving and I won't be alone. So that's kind of how I deal with these types of days.

Jared 15:15
This is my fourth Thanksgiving without my kids. Oh,

Michael 15:19
it is? Yep. Oh, I didn't know that. How about you, Justin, how do you handle these days?

Speaker 4 15:26
alone isn't lonely. They're different. Loneliness and being on your own are two very different things. And for me, you know, divorce or any major life change. It doesn't matter what the life change is a death a major job, change a movie, you name it, there's 1000 different things that can throw your life into turmoil. And that can be really hard. That sucks. When you think about all the things that are different with the wrong lens that can be really painful. Or you can look at it as the opportunity to build new routines, build new traditions, you know, it can be anything, it could be so so simple. Me I love spending a lot of time in the woods. And honestly the number of Thanksgivings, it's a Canadian so it's not Thanksgiving up here. It's just random Thursday. But the the number of Thanksgivings, I was stuck with a bunch of people that I generally didn't want to spend that much time with. You know, dinner's great visit for an hour, six hours of this crap. No, thank you. I'm going for a hike. I'm going out to the woods with my dogs. I'm doing things I love to do because they self serve me. And I'm lucky that a lot of my self serving things are based in solitude. In a way I do enjoy my alone time. And there's a big big difference between alone and lonely and so much of it is perspective.

Speaker 1 16:41
I don't hear it took me a year to learn that lesson, bro.

Michael 16:44
Yeah, I was gonna say like, how did you have to get to that point where you saw because I agree. You know? Again, it's how you look at it your perspective your legs, but were you always sort of enjoy your solitary time? Or did you have to adapt and learn to embrace it?

Speaker 4 16:58
I always did. I fought it though, because I thought I was a weirdo. What do you mean, I'd rather be in the woods with my dog and not socializing? Like what is wrong with me? Nothing. Nothing, nothing is wrong with any of us, right? We're simply broken, flawed humans doing our damnedest and whatever gets your rocks off, provided you're not hurting yourself or anybody else is a totally fine way to spend your time. You know, it's the new routines can be anything. It doesn't have to be solitude based. It doesn't have to be outdoors, maybe your new routine, okay? It's Thanksgiving, you don't have a lot of family around, make some frickin plates and go hand them out to the homeless, you can do so many different things with your time to give it meaning that that you can do on your own that are not lonely, you know.

Michael 17:41
I just want to acknowledge a couple folks. Happy Thanksgiving John and Jim, how are you brother and Chris Chris Hodge? Shit I don't know if you want me to edit Chris. Chris saying your name out in this one or not. But it's good to see you, Chris. Chris is he's one of the workhorses on the admin team. He He's a fucking beast. I love Chris, Joe, how about you, my friend? What are you doing the deal with the lonely fool

Speaker 2 18:05
that took a took a lot of time to get used to more of a learning experience. Trying to figure out what I what I enjoyed doing my time then. That just to I would almost call it a ration of what does go truly what makes him happy. And learn that again. That that took me a long time to figure out and figure out different things to keep me busy being taking the dog out for a walk. I do a lot a lot of cooking on the weekends. Or just go out for a hike like Justin said take the dog out. It's awesome. Take yourself out to eat you know like doing that just go get some ice cream. Get out of the house. That's was probably one of the worst thing for me is get out of the house and make it something that don't have to be big or at all. But keep yourself busy, I guess. Yeah. You

Speaker 4 19:05
know and I think I think sometimes what guys really need early on especially in westernized culture where there's so much of this ingredient happy wife happy life bullshit men are meant to be you know, dutiful workhorses that get it done and don't complain and all of these all the societal bullshit that gets piled on. I think a lot of guys just need a little bit of permission to to be the slightest bit selfish. You have to honor your commitments. You know, your kids need to be above yourself. If you're religious man probably put your God above yourself. But yourself should come before just about everybody else in your life, you know, and just not an unhealthy selfishness but just the know I can do what's best for me. I can look for what I really need. And early on in the process. I think a lot of guys just need that permission like No, it's cool. It's cool to be the slightest bit selfish and figure out who you are. What you are, what you need, what works for you. What doesn't work for you.

Michael 19:58
Yeah, I like Joe you said it's a journey. I mean, I totally think if you look at it like that, it can become almost exciting in some ways. It's like, okay, well, I get to do whatever the fuck I want to figure out who the fuck I am. And there is some excitement in that. It gives you sort of a confidence that like, you don't need someone to feel whole or and this is again, a journey is Apple, absolutely the right description, because it's not going to happen in a day, you're gonna be like, Oh, this is great, I'm alone, and I can figure it out. No, you gotta get comfortable with just that. Even that process of thinking that this is this is, you know, because I think if you if you give your self permission to get excited, sometimes it can feel scary or not, maybe maybe not serious, right? Where but it feels like your betrayal in some ways, because you're still trying to hold especially in the beginning, you're still trying to hold on to what was because that's what your brain knows. It's like that, but that was my life. And that's what I want. I was happy. But as they say shit in one hand and wishing the other and what are you gonna get? Like, unfortunately, you have to get to the point where you're like, you know what, I don't have any other fucking choice. I wish it wasn't this way. I do. And I think we all probably could think that. I don't relate to folks that that sometimes posts in this group and they're like, Oh, I'm free. I'm like, okay, good for you. You know, like, like, they made the decision and all that I can't that shit rubs me the wrong way. And I get it. Everyone's got their own shit and whatnot. But that I can't I can't jive

Speaker 1 21:19
with that. Well, that's that's tough guy cover up is what that is. I think a lot of that is too. Yeah.

Michael 21:23
And I see. I see. I think we see too much of that. But again, I would just want to pause Lonnie and Lonnie, Happy Thanksgiving, fellas. Thanks for stopping in. Who haven't we heard from in terms of loneliness? I am. What do you do besides fun chicks in Long Island?

Speaker 1 21:42
I'll tell you what, right right now I almost wish I didn't have plans with with my family because I would have I would have gotten together with you. Because we're close enough. Man. I know. I would have done a Thanksgiving with you in a heartbeat. I would have put a I would have thrown a bird on the smoker and fun. But hey, that is what it is. Maybe next year? Yeah, you know, it took me close to a year to learn what Justin said that there's a huge difference between alone and lonely. And it took a while and everyone's got their own thing. I just say find your thing. Whatever that is for you. And no one can give you suggestions. No one can tell you what it is. You've got to find that thing that drives you. That makes you say this is okay. That I can do this and I can live my life and I can enjoy my life. That I don't have to have a partner on my arm. You know, we want it. We all want it. But we don't have to have

Michael 22:38
it. No, no, it's not a necessity. No learning all

Speaker 1 22:43
this stuff was was the huge probably the biggest thing in my life. You know, and it took me 56 years to get here. And honestly, I can honestly say that this divorce was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. Yeah, no, you wouldn't have said that a year ago, right? Oh, my God, I was fucking crushed. Yeah, yeah, just like the rest of us. I was fucking crushed. I thought the world and you know, and I spent months sitting on my sitting on my essay in front of the TV in the couch alone. You know, going woe is me, Woe is me. And then suddenly, it's just it started to click. And it clicked because of this group, and the podcast, and the video chats and realizing I'm not alone. Yeah, I'm not alone. I've got some of the best friends in the world now. Hey, man,

Jared 23:39
you've come such a long way. I'm proud of you.

Speaker 1 23:42
Thank you, brother. Thank you, I love hearing that. And I feel it. And I can acknowledge it to myself too. And you know, spent all those years playing the tough guy being as you put it, adjusting the dutiful husband, you know, doing my job, my, my, my role in life was to take care of the family. And whatever I wanted didn't fucking matter. Well, now it matters.

Michael 24:07
Let's get on that. Let's hone in on that. Because I think that's there's a there's, uh, I always feel like there's this danger. When you when you you can, you can get sort of that mentality and take it a little too far. And another what I'm saying is be bitter, right? And just be like, you know, this was all her fault and you know, it's society's fault and you know, we're all fucked and nobody like nobody cares for man and all that kind of shit. Right? I think there's a real danger in that. There's sort of a fine line where you go from you know, sort of confident and self assured but you can slip into this I think, but this this bitterness and fuck everybody type of mentality. I know. I've definitely had that in moments. You know, I sure you know. So how do you guys sort of keep from going too far with your independence and your bitterness or not bitterness but you're Your anger because your anger is natural part of this in general. I think some guys do struggle to get to their I think most do not because we're men, it's it's the emotion we lean on. But how do you guys sort of balance that we're being being alone can make you bitter? But if you if you like, how do you how do you sort of square that circle? How do you not allow yourself to get too bitter? I'd

Speaker 3 25:23
like to get there. Um, I'm angry all the time. To be perfectly honest. I'm in I'm in the sit on my ass watch TV and all that sort of stuff. I'm not I mean, I do feel lonely. I feel betrayed. And you know, all the above. So for me, it's anger is just it's like, the, that's the only thing that keeps from complete loneliness is that anger seems to be my constant companion. So,

Michael 25:55
yeah, go ahead. I was gonna say, David, have you started listening to Mike's podcast?

Speaker 3 26:02
I have I've listened to. I've listened to a few of the videos recently that were posted, like on the YouTube channel and whatnot.

Speaker 1 26:11
Just started number one. And late. Well, it worked for me. Right? Well work for me. I have to walk my dog. I've got two dogs that require we've, we've got a habit of twice today walking each dog. You know, I'm over an hour twice a day. So I just got into a habit of putting the earbuds in. And while I'm walking, I listen. Between the podcasts, some audio books, there's a ton of great recommendations of audio books, or books in general. Yeah, you know, a lot of us choose to do them by audio, because it's just easier. That will help you get your mindset into a better place. Okay, it takes work. It's it ain't easy.

Michael 26:53
Yeah, no, you can't, you can't sit around. And I'm not saying this. Because you said you sit on the couch. But I'm not trying to bust your balls, but you can't sit around and hope things just get better. It's not, there's no magical like, oh, one day,

Speaker 1 27:03
I don't believe that now without work and it puts you, you make it better. It's hard. It really is absolutely a very deliberate and conscious choice to make it better.

Michael 27:14
And some days are going to fucking suck. And you're going to feel like, oh, I made no progress. Bullshit. You can't take steps backwards. If you didn't take them forward. Don't ever forget that. So when you have a bad day, don't discount the growth that you did have. But it's hard. It's hard to sort of get that get motivation because right now, so this is this is my take on it. But this anger that you're feeling is is just protection. And it's normal and natural and is what we do as men, you're very hurt. And so your default to deal with that hurt is to get angry. We all do it because feeling that pain is so fucking scary. And you're not supposed to you're not allowed to you're not supposed to cry. Don't be a bitch, man up all these fucking stupid fucking things that we hear is, yeah, me too. You've been conditioned to be like this. And that's, that's not your fault. That's society. But you have to make a choice to take moments to get underneath that anger and really dig in and go, Well, what am I really angry about? Well, she hurt me, she broke me. And then you start touching those those soft parts of yourself that allow yourself to cry. I know it sounds cheesy, right. But if you can't heal it, if you can't feel it, you can't heal it and you have to feel it. And that includes some fucking many, many tears, unfortunately. And it's scary, and it's lonely and it's shitty. But if you do that, you're gonna get you're gonna get past this, and you're not going to walk around bitter and angry for the rest of your life. And what became

Speaker 1 28:28
what became very liberating, was accepting what was my role in this? Because you can't do anything about what was her part of it. Amen. You cannot change a goddamn thing about that. But you can look at what was your role? Where did you go wrong? And how can you? How can you make yourself better and stronger? Yeah, if you start focusing on that, it's a big step in the right direction.

Michael 28:56
Yeah, because you can't do anything about what you did. I gotta emphasize this, you can't emphasize it enough. The only thing you can do is what you can control is yourself. That's it. It's the only thing you can focus on and change and work on. And again, it's hard. It's hard, because that means that you might be responsible for what occurred

Unknown Speaker 29:17
to say what Yeah, partially?

Unknown Speaker 29:20
Right. I am for sure.

Michael 29:23
But that wouldn't go ahead, Joe, sir.

Speaker 2 29:25
What really, really helped me with that, like, I've been where you're at David? is I have all those thoughts in my head. Get get them get them out. If you got to write them out on paper, what's what's this specifically doing that made a huge difference for me? And you've talked about the marriage counselor, that counseling go by yourself, that will make a huge difference having someone on therapy

Speaker 3 29:53
for sure. I deal with neuro divergence, which doesn't help you know, you

Unknown Speaker 29:59
have but most of

Michael 30:02
you deal with that yourself. You said, yes,

Speaker 3 30:05
you're divergent. Yeah, I've so I've got ADHD, depression, anxiety, and recently added to the impressive resume was PTSD over this relationship. So yeah, and like I said, I'm in therapy. Good, weekly. So it's, you know, it's really tough because it's almost like all of these regular feelings. I don't know how to express it, other than what somebody might feel a typical person. It's it's, like, amplified in me, which makes it even harder to you know, I'm trying, I'm trying like hell I am. That's all that matters. So you can't Ryan Daly is, you know, it just it's sucks, man. No, but it's

Speaker 1 30:50
okay. It's okay to cry. Yeah, nothing wrong with that, man. Tell you what, I can't stress highly enough. I can't recommend highly enough getting in the discord server with us every Wednesday night without fail, where we're doing a chat. And a lot of Friday nights, right. And it's don't always happen. But it's literally every Wednesday night. We're video chat and we're supporting each other and we'll help elbowing each other out. Because

Jared 31:18
we will not be there every Friday night as well. Just not everyone joins me. Yeah,

Speaker 1 31:23
true. True. Fridays tend to be a little harder but but definitely Wednesday nights and, and it's a great it's a better place to vent there than it is in the Facebook group. You know, it's yeah, it's much more supportive. It's

Michael 31:37
a different it's it's a different animal. It's speaking of that, Mr. Watson. Hello, sir. How are you?

Speaker 5 31:44
Hey, guys, how are you? Doing? Wow. Oh, man. Just, you know, I have had my kids here. New place, have the kids here, my girlfriend's here. We're getting ready to head over to my parents in a little bit. So can't stay long. But as promised, I will definitely show up when asked. So

Michael 32:04
Happy Thanksgiving

Unknown Speaker 32:06
to you, man. Thank

Unknown Speaker 32:07
you guys.

Michael 32:08
So Ryan is is someone who's gone on this journey with us from pretty much the beginning. Most of these guys, Justin and Ryan were very early on in this process. And yeah, you know, I can I think Brian, you can you can speak on your own behalf. But well, I mean, how are you from? I notice, but I want your perspective, because it's you from from beginning of this shitshow to now can you talk about like, you know, what, you've what's happened? where you're at,

Speaker 5 32:33
then it's been close to three years? Yeah. I think Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it started with just, you know, maybe 510 of us at most honestly, on Zoom calls. And, yeah, I mean, I was I was a disaster, my whole journey started, I had lost 30 pounds wasn't sleeping, you know, literally two hours a night and those were broken sleeps. And I did that for months, you know, these guys were, were really the only the only outreach that I had, you know, when they understood, you know, you can talk to people and even my, my close group of friends, you know, a lot of them couldn't offer the support that was truly need. And that's not anything negative on them. But, you know, unfortunately, we're part of a, you know, this new club, that's not very cool. You know, but, you know, it needs a specific kind of support, and I really stayed my course. Um, you know, I, I dedicated myself to, you know, initially, you know, working on a marriage and then, you know, from there, I filed, just because I had to mentally, emotionally physically, I cannot go any further. I was a wreck. And, you know, and then so, I, you know, long story short, moving in with my parents rebuilt my life over kind of got myself together, over a year gave myself very dedicated strict, not, you know, New Year's is coming, I have a New Year's resolution, how many of us have gone to the gym, and that doesn't happen. So I gave myself very specific goals. The first year I basically was going to put, you know, get my mind right, and, you know, get myself back emotionally, which I did. Second year. My goal was to, you know, get a new job, which I did, and then that third year was to get a new house for me and the kids and I did you know, now I'm doing very well, it's not that I don't have bad days because we all have bad days, but um, you know, focusing on me focusing on my kids and just rebuilding my life and say, I do have bad days or bad moments, I'm unpacking, I'm finding, I kept cards, and I kept notes that my ex had written me, you know, I'm finding all this stuff. And I went through some stuff last night that I hadn't seen in, you know, probably five, six years. And I'm like, Oh, that hurts. But, you know, it's, you know, if you've seen my posts, you know, it's like this really shitty roller coaster ride. And, you know, we've, we've all done this, and eventually, you hit that big drop, and that big drop, you'll know when you hit it. But we all know, after that big drop, you're coming to the end of the ride, and you hit the tunnel, and, you know, there's a light at the end of that tunnel, is the metaphor that I use very often. And I, I don't, I don't know, if I'm to the end, but I can definitely see the light. And it's, it's gets so much better. And, you know, you just stay your course. You know, I've done it, I've kind of dedicated everything to you, you know, being having my kids being proud of me, if I'm, you know, if they ever asked what's going on, or what happened, or, you know, I just to be able to hold my head high as kind of what I've, the, the, the mantra that I've kept. And, you know, it's Mike and I met for the first time face to face last month or two months ago. And, you know, it's just, it's amazing, just how far you know, we've come and most of the guys that have came. And it's, it's not over, it's been a very bumpy ride. And, you know, this is sucks, you know, I would never wish this upon anybody. And, you know, it's I'm going through some stuff right now with we're basically doing away with child support, or we're going to ask the courts to do away with child's for I was receiving it, and it's like, very little. So I'm going through that right now. Hopefully, that just is granted. And then I just want to be fully done with everything. You know, I don't wanna have to deal with her or, or anything. So, yeah, I mean, that's a very, you know, there's much more than that. But in a nutshell. That's it. And, yeah, so.

Michael 37:32
I mean, I think a large part of it is really just setting that intention, like, I'm going to, like, I love that youth, you know, this, this for the first year, I'm gonna do this, and this year, I'm going to do this, you know, I think you have to set that intention, like, I'm going to, you have to set goals and, and they can be small, they don't have to be large, like get a new job, but you have to sort of set an intention, I'm going to improve or get better. That means to you, yeah, do whatever you need to do to get there. It's

Speaker 5 37:58
yeah, that for me, you know, that new job thing that, that, that led to, like, I needed a new job in order to get a house. You know, and I, you know, although I had a good job, it wasn't going to afford me to be able to support my kids. And so that was what I dedicated myself to. And, you know, when the job came to me, it wasn't the company that I'm working for, I'd never heard of, but through a friend, you know, I got the position, I'm flourishing. I love my job, which, you know, I think it's, that's a hard thing for a lot of us to say. And, but yeah, I think, you know, right from the get go, and I just came across these last night, right? When my separation started, I physically wrote down my faults in the marriage, and I attack them, you know, I went step by step. I love lists, I love spreadsheets, I love to be able to track things. And I, I attack those, those faults, because I can control myself and my actions. So you know, that's one thing when I came up with these, you know, this is what I want to do this year, this is what I want to do, you know, the next year, you know, and, and the new job saying that was that, you know, they say money doesn't buy happiness. Well, most of my unhappy there because of lack of money. You know, you know, in that that new job, I mean, just it really afforded me and not that I'm not going to struggle as a single father of three but you know, it afforded me to move so yeah, set those goals to make, you know, to better your life and to move forward in the situation. All

Jared 39:55
men have single dads that single dad and Ford for a couple years.

Speaker 1 40:01
Thankfully for me, I haven't really had to deal with that, because my kids are older. And, you know, a i, in a way, I count myself very lucky. But I haven't had to deal with that. And because I hear all your struggles, and I'm so thankful that my kids weren't younger when this happened. Yeah, yeah. Unfortunately, they saw it all happening. They knew. And they knew for probably six, seven years that it was going to happen. You know, it's just a matter of when. So they witnessed a very unhealthy relationship for a long time. Yeah. Yeah, no, unfortunately. But I don't have to deal with the custody and the shared weekends. And this and that thing, I consider myself very lucky. Jimmy

Michael 40:48
welcome. And I'll say this, you know, and it's not to, there are a few folks in this chat right now that don't have kids. And, you know, it's not a knock on those guys that don't, because I'm not saying it's, it's not hard when you don't have kids still hard. It's still hard. But man, that kids part is fuck, that makes it because you like, just for instance, Justin's not to call you out or anything? Well, when's the last time you seen your ex wife?

Speaker 4 41:18
Oh, man, two weeks after we separated, it's been 2728 months over two years. Now. It's every challenge is every, every situation has its own challenges, right? Like, I don't have children, I can't possibly imagine how hard it would be to co parent with somebody who hates your guts. That's got to be a bit of a challenge. And I can't imagine, you know, the flip side is not having kids. And now being a young divorcee, I'm sort of seeing it on the other side, I wanted children, you know, I wouldn't be married. If I didn't want kids, I knew it was potential to be a raw deal if anything ever went wrong. And now being a divorcee and seeing you know, the reality of marriage, I don't know whether ever will have children because, you know, life. Right? So every every divorce comes with its own set of bullshit, you know, some people co parent very, very well, some people, that's absolutely disastrous. Some people have relatively easy property splits other people, it's freaking shitshow. Like, every single divorce story has its own challenges. And they're all very, very different. But there's always these common threads, trends. And I think an important thing to keep in mind, especially for the guys that are early in the process, right? It's like, our brains are literally biological computers, and they get used to running a certain operating system, quite literally, you know, it's the same reason attachment theory is actually a thing. So it takes time to reprogram all those connections, it takes time for your neurons in your brain to go, Oh, I am alone on Thanksgiving. But that's not a disaster. You know, to reach baseline, you literally are taking the time to reprogram your brain, but it's not just a time thing. It takes effort. Because just time passing doesn't do a damn thing unless you're putting the work in to make that time means something. So it's a game of actions, right? And that's the gospel truth. To the point that many of you guys have already raised like those actions can be both big and super small. The little things my life is fucking chaos. I can't figure this all out. But the dishes need done or should do the dishes man. Like if it's an obvious win that's going to improve your life. Sometimes those new habits are very, very small. And sometimes they're huge. Sometimes it is a move sometimes it is a new job, but it's it's the effort that gets us reward from the time put in. I

Michael 43:32
can't I couldn't say it any better myself for sure. So David, not to put you on the spot, but I'm going to anyway, I mean, what's your biggest struggle right now? You mentioned anger, is that it? Or is there something else that's really sort of

Speaker 3 43:47
fucking, I mean, going between anger and sadness? You know, I like I said, I the depression has really kicked my ass a lot. And, you know, mentioning Justin mentioning the dishes, you know, there are some days where I will I sidenote to, my kids are with me about 75% of the time. Because I work from home. I keep them for nights, at least a week four or five nights sometimes. There's usually at least one one or two kids here with me. And and so I struggle with when I while having the kids so much I don't feel like I'm getting the time that I need to just sit down ingredients for you know, I feel so overwhelmed because at the end of the day, and it's like they go to they go to mom's at night. You know, on days like that. I'm staring at a sink full of dishes that the sink was empty yesterday and I'm just like, I don't have the fucking energy to do this. I just can't so I sit down on the couch and and just fucking sit sometimes. Just sit in silence. And then I'll look at the clock and an hour and 15 minutes has gone by. And it's, I don't know, I'm just I'm really stressed. When the kids are here, I'm focused on them, and I'm taking care of them. And it's like anytime that I don't I struggle with everything, just existing. Just

Unknown Speaker 45:23
you got to start small.

Speaker 6 45:27
Don't go for the brass ring, brother just start small,

Unknown Speaker 45:31
little time,

Jared 45:35
you're looking at the dishes like an elephant. So how do you eat an elephant?

Unknown Speaker 45:41
One bite at a time.

Jared 45:43
You're looking at it as a whole picture and you're overwhelming yourself. I did the same thing. I mean, early in my process, I had a hard time getting out of bed. So I would set myself a daily goal. It didn't have to be big. Like, I'm gonna put my socks away today. And my drawer. And I made sure I always met my goal that day, but some days it would snowball and I was able to accomplish so much more. But I was able to be proud of myself because I made my goal. So instead of looking at the sink full of dishes, just do a couple of them. Yeah, you don't have to do it all at once. Yeah, that is still progress. And your elephant one bite at a time. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 46:25
bison paper plates.

Unknown Speaker 46:26
I actually did.

Speaker 3 46:31
With a really rough days, which a lot more. Like I said a lot more recently, I just I want to pull myself out of the fog. And sometimes I try to but at the same time, it's just like, I'm still on autopilot from my, my old life. And it's just a bullshit, you know?

Jared 46:51
No, we're here and we're

Speaker 1 46:54
we've all been there and we're all with you. But you'll hear the you'll hear the the universal advice is start small. You can't try to get the big win right away. It just it's impossible.

Michael 47:09
Just to take take a moment, that feeling you're feeling right now. Feel that? Go ahead. You're amongst brothers here. You want to cry. You go ahead and you fucking do that.

Speaker 3 47:20
Yeah, I can do it so much. I'm tired. It's like, it comes on spontaneously, you know?

Unknown Speaker 47:28
We're all gonna sit and watch you do it and probably going to start crying with you, man.

Michael 47:32
As as I don't like to take up space when people are trying to feel their emotions, but I'm gonna tell you something that Chris tells me there's freedom and every fucking tear. Yeah, sure.

Jared 47:46
So one of the things that really helped me quote, I found this last year I wish I had known it back then, is not every day is good, but there's good in every day. And that I'm a big silver linings person. And so slowly reprogramming my brain looking for the good and every day made my life so much better. And that doesn't have to be a phenomenal silver lining.

Speaker 4 48:13
When those big emotions like and I'm using the term big because they are a bank when those feelings come on, you can't contain them those big emotions need to get out and the healthy way to do it. Sorry, it is with a good cry or good physical expression. And in this space man just about every face here with the exception of the couple new guys on this call. All you guys have seen me cry. It's a healthy normal thing. There should be zero shame attached to that, you know, those big emotions gotta get out somehow. Yeah. Whether it's a good cry or whether it's a good workout, a good hike and awesome hour on your motorcycle shit putting it on paper. Those big emotions have to get out so let them out. Don't try to bottle that shit because that leads us so many of us man to this point, right because your bodily bodily a bottle and then it gets explosive. And that's fucking dangerous. Like that's harming that's literally your fucking your own brain up. So those big emotions have to get out. Embrace it.

Michael 49:13
Yeah, and you know you've seen it right now because you immediately felt like oh, I don't want to do this. I can see you reacting that way and I'm not knocking you because that's what we all do, right? We don't really just let it go. We don't It's not often not often enough. So you might have little moments of crying but I'm guessing you want to stop yourself and like oh, I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to cry and no, dude. Let that shit out. Let it out. There is freedom and every girl here Korea, you a fucking men. And I know that it sucks to feel like that because you feel vulnerable and you feel weak, but you're not. The motherfucker that never cries is a weak motherfucker. You

Unknown Speaker 49:54
know, that's the truth.

Unknown Speaker 49:57
We all did. We were all there. David

Unknown Speaker 49:59
Man, it gets better.

Unknown Speaker 50:02
It's what everybody keeps saying, I know it

Speaker 5 50:05
does. And you just got to go through the really, really, really bad stuff first, unfortunately. And I think the best thing to do is to go through that, but learn from it. Get those like we were just talking about get those feelings out, talk through things and work through it. This is a traumatic situation. Maybe not, you know, a lot of us the hardest situation we've ever been through. And no question you know, with any with any traumas, it takes time. Yeah.

Michael 50:33

Speaker 3 50:34
it's harder than when my dad died. So that's, that's,

Michael 50:37
I, we have this we have that in common my friend. I lost my dad when I was 22. I don't know how you how old you are. But that was my he was my rock. Man. That was my world. That was That was tough. But this is this is not this. That was fucking easy compared to this. Yeah.

Speaker 3 50:53
Agree. It's finality in that? Yeah,

Michael 50:57
of course. And again, that that little guy say all the time, it's really hard to heal that wound because she's there, and the kids are there. And it's a constant reminder. And so to Ryan's point, it's literally is I think it was for me, it was just it was Justin, it's it's reprogramming your brain, your brain is like, this is my life, then this is what's supposed to be going on. We're didn't where's my wife, this is I'm a husband, I'm a father and you're still a father always gonna be a product, but your brain is like, this is what the fuck and NC McDonald talks about this sort of like your brain is like a filing system, a filing cabinet. And these sorts of memories and events and things that can't be filed because your brain is like, I don't know where to put this. Where do I put divorce and being left by the person who said I do like where to fuck like file that. And so you're working through all that to figure it out and place it within your brain? That's that's part of rumination because your brain is like, I don't know what that's PTSD. I don't know what to do with this what to do with this, you just reliving it and reliving it, you don't know how to file it away. And it takes time to be able to do that. It takes process it takes tears for sure. But it's it's not impossible. As Ryan and many of the guys here are that's why I do what I do. Because it's not just my story. There's lots of six success stories here, not just mine. And if there's if there's one even That's enough, right to me, that's enough to keep going someone has made it through. But dude, the podcast is littered with success stories. That doesn't mean that was anyone was was enjoying the journey or the process, but it is possible. You're just possible.

Speaker 1 52:26
You know how many times I wanted to tell people to talk to you. It's Oh, get better. Yeah, well, are you to

Michael 52:34
this, validating? It's validating this

Speaker 1 52:37
gets better and easier. You know, exactly. Exactly. But you know what, here I am Here I am telling you because I was in the same place, brother. Okay, I cried. My kids called saw me cry for the first time in their lives. Two years ago, they saw me cry. Okay, and I didn't care. It's okay. It's alright. Because that that first cry made it made it okay for me to move forward. And learn and grow and heal. very intentionally. You won't get there, man, you will get there. Just don't give up.

Unknown Speaker 53:17
I mean, the

Speaker 3 53:19
reason that I haven't, if I'm going to be completely honest, that's that's the only thing that's pulled me out of the darkest places. And I'm sure some of you might be able to relate. But, man, it's, it's, you're right. Anytime somebody says it gets better. The first my first instinct is you don't fucking even have a clue. You know, it's

Unknown Speaker 53:40
she future the shit out of

Speaker 3 53:42
me. Yeah, you know, she the week that she left I had reordered and I had ordered an engagement ring because she wanted to renew vows and all this other shit. And it was just complete horseshit. And I was with her longer than I was by myself, you know, I met her at 17 years old and here I am, you know 37 And I nothing feels normal. We're gonna do man

Jared 54:15
if you go on the podcast episode 106 That's the one I'm on. I talk about a lot of my early struggles and how I dealt with it. There might be some good info for you there as well.

Unknown Speaker 54:28
Can I say one thing real fast?

Michael 54:30

Speaker 1 54:31
David if I want you in the discord channel, you have to be there. So I guess I got you brother you're you're you're in my pocket right now. I want to see you there. I want to see you there.

Michael 54:46
There's a learning curve to discord but it's not that bad. I think I don't think everyone here. Yeah, everyone here except for Brian who just joined us. As is in the discord. Jimmy. Jimmy. Sorry. I didn't say Hi. How you doing brother?

Jared 54:56
Yeah, I'm not traveling. I figured it out. So it's

Michael 55:01
a little bit of a learning curve. It's not bad. I want to say a couple things. There's a couple folks in the chat Lonnie was saying a few minutes ago that he was sitting, he's sitting there crying with us. And again, there's freedom and every drop. I believe that Richard, how are you sir? And it is good for kids to see a cry. Obviously, you don't want to be you know, curled up in a ball and, you know, incapacitated. But if you have some tears, and you shove them in front of the kids, it's not it doesn't make you a failure, or it's not a bad example to set. I don't know if you have boys, but if you have boys to fuck an excellent example of a set, because we're we unfortunately, all of us have been told for a very long time not to cry, and then it's to our detriment. Yeah. So I don't know you're the ages and the genders of your children. But if you cry in front of them, that's okay, man. You know, that's okay.

Jared 55:54
And I just want to give a shout out to Lonnie as well, because I know he's watching. That guy is a fucking legend. I remember him come in on his first he was doing a lot of videos. I loved watching them. And the progress he's made. You're awesome money. Yeah,

Michael 56:12
I haven't I haven't spoke to him in a little while. But he's, he is awesome. He reached out on more than one occasion to let me know that someone was struggling like suicidal struggling and, you know, I have the power of being the admin of that group. And I can rally the troops. But if I'm not aware of the situation, and so Lonnie has pointed more than one occasion, pointed some things out to me and Richard as well. Richard has messaged me and said, Hey, this guy is struggling. And so never forget that as an admin, I have the power of the at everyone. tag and I can rally the troops. And so if you see someone struggling, don't hesitate to reach out if that includes you. Send me a private message. And I'll and I'll do an ad every one and say This guy needs some love and support. Let's send him some friend requests.

Speaker 1 56:57
Even if you just report the post to the admins, it sends us all. It does send us all a message. Yeah.

Michael 57:03
Yeah. And that's, I mean, it's where the group is, you know, strengthen numbers it sometimes I wish we use it a little bit differently than we do sometimes. But it there absolutely is good that comes from that, but I can't none of us can take any action if we don't know. And so that's why it's important to be able to provide a space where it's okay to for someone to reach out and say you know, I'm really struggling it because you are going to struggle through this process. There's no fucking doubt it sucks. But again, if you listen to the podcast enough, you're gonna hear success stories. And that's why that's part of the reason I do it. It they exist you can you can survive this you can you can become better, believe it or not. Shockingly is that is. And yes. When you hear that in the beginning, you're like, go fuck yourself. You don't know what you're talking about. You don't you don't have my experience this my experience is different. And there's some truth to that, because everyone is different. But there is no similarities. That I think and that's why I do Real Men Real stories, because not everyone's story will resonate with you, but there absolutely will be one where it's like, oh, shit, he was with her for 17 years, too, or whatever the case may be. And he had the same scenario and he survived. So as much as it it's hard to believe or maybe impossible when you're in the thick of it. To hear something like it gets better. And it but it does, but it takes work. People think it just just give a time. I hate that fucking advice. I really do. Because if you just sit on your ass and do nothing, time does nothing for you. And then that compounds your feelings because you're like, God, it's been six months. It's not better, or it's been a year it's not better. Well, have you done any work? And it sounds like you're you're obviously you're dedicated that you have a therapist, that's step number fucking one. So not everyone does that. That's a victory in itself. So you're, you're at least taking some kind of steps or initiative to do to to better yourself. And by the way, if that therapist isn't helping get another one. Let's just like dating. They're not all good. There are some shitty therapists out there. So find a good one. If this one doesn't make you and they can't, I shouldn't say make you but this one isn't helping you in some kind of way. That hang on a sec, my daughter's calling me so I'm gonna mute myself and say hello to her. Go for it.

Jared 59:18
There is no timeframe on this. I mean, I'm gonna pick on it because I know I'm really well. But there's some areas I an Excel zap where I struggle with. And we're about a year different in our divorce processes. And it's vice versa. There are some areas I do great at that he has more of a struggle with. That's true. There's no timeframe to this at all. And we can learn from each other and help each other through everything.

Speaker 3 59:46
I was gonna say I have to sign off. Yeah, I really appreciate all your time today and your guys. Most welcome. You're most of all, I definitely want to join again. So I can coordinate directly Through DM three, yeah, that, is that right? Yeah,

Michael 1:00:03
send me a message, I'll get you the link and get you signed up. I'll probably do this again in the evening. In fact, I'm sure it's going to be a little bit more celebratory because this is a third anniversary of this podcast. So I'll be doing this probably 6pm. Eastern, I would say, I'll probably sign back on if any of you can join me. That's awesome. If not, that's cool, too. I definitely wish you all happy Thanksgiving. And thank you for joining us, David, you especially this crew of guys, I know, we I don't know you. So it took some fucking courage to sort of step out of your element and sign on today and join this chat, I appreciate it. And don't forget that, you know, a year from now, you're gonna be in a much better spot. I promise you that. And not only that, because you took the time to do this, someone else is probably going to see this. And by the way, I'm recording this. If anybody doesn't want this out anywhere, let me know I'm going to probably have to chop some stuff up. But if you don't want to be on the podcast for this, just let me know that you don't have to do it. Now you can send me a message. I'll edit you out or whatever. But if you don't, David, if you leave this intact, and this gets out into the world, someone else is going to hear this a year from now. And then they're going to hear your Real Men Real stories episode, which I'm going to twist your arm and make you do when you're in a better spot. And then they're gonna have some fucking hope. All right.

Speaker 1 1:01:16
David, just remember we've got your back, brother. We've got you. And I really hope that we'll see you in discord. And we're gonna help you get through this repayment. We're doing this together, man. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I love you guys. You're fat. You are my family. And I can't wait to see you some more. Okay. Yes, sir.

Michael 1:01:38
Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019, I had done an incredible amount of work on myself. I've had many different therapists, life coaches and went through different programs. I've taken all that I've learned in print in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help you navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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