Episode 129 – Change How You See Her – Solo

In this episode I discuss the need to change how you see your ex.  This allows you to change your expectations and to aid you in moving on.  I also touch on anger, being stuck, and playing the victim.

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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 129. This is going to be a solo episode and I'm going to cover a few different things. The first of those is happy new year, we made it through another holiday season. And that is not always an easy thing to do. When you've gone through divorce, you are frequently reminded of what you don't have, whether it be from memories, or absences or pictures from social media or Google that pop up to remind you of the time before your separation and or divorce. So it can be tough, but here we are, we made it we made it through. And that's something to celebrate. Because it's not easy. It's It's fucking sucks. It's my fifth year, as I said a couple episodes ago. And you know, it still had moments of shittiness of missing. But it's different. It's not like it used to be. And it's not time, although I think that does aid some but it's the work that I've done. And I'm going to talk about some of that some of the work that I've done and continue to do in order to get through difficult moments like this. And in one of the more difficult things, there's there's a lot to it. And this stuff is not easy, clearly, or I wouldn't have. I'm not I wouldn't be 129 episodes deep into this thing. So one of the more important things is to change how you see your x or soon to be x. And this is very difficult, because physically, they look the same, they sound the same, they walk the same, they dress the same, probably, although I'm sure there are stories out there about how some of those changes occur. But essentially, you're looking at the same person. And one of the things you have to do is to change how you view them. This is easier said than done that this is the work. If you have to view them differently, they are they are not your wife, they're not the person you married, there are different ways to get to this. You could say that you outgrew them, that may be the case, you could say they changed in some kind of way, you could say that they are a stranger, you can look at them as just I don't know who that is. That's just that's the same as you know, my kids teacher or the lady three houses over that you don't ever speak to but you see, they're strangers. Now, you could also look at it. And this one is one that never really resonated with me. But it is one that people say all the time, you could also look at them as a business partner. And that one never really resonated with me for a few reasons. One is I'm in business, I'm in sales, and I don't look at sales or work as impersonal. You know, I'm, I tried to be friendly with and to my customers that people that I deal with in business, so and co workers. So that one didn't really resonate. But I think it was much renewal was Monday when Chris but someone said to me, don't look at it as business partners in a generic way, look at it as the business of raising your children. And she's your partner in that. And again, it's it. It doesn't exactly hit the mark for me. But it did change things a little bit. I look at it as she's just another woman. She's not the one I'm married. And I've been actually thinking a little bit lately about how maybe I outgrew her in some ways. Maybe I evolved, or if that's the right word, but maybe I grew in some ways. And she did I don't know. And I don't think about that a lot, because honestly, it's not really relevant. It's over. But in the beginning, or if you're still stuck, and I'll get to that. It can be hard to see them differently, and thus hard to move on. But it is absolutely essential. And so if you can do this, if you can start to see them differently, then your expectations of them should also change. So in other words, the woman you married you expect to behave in a certain way you expect her to, you know, raise the children in a certain way or treat you in a certain way. And there's all kinds of nuance there in terms of maybe they weren't really treating you that very well or whatever. But I'm just saying the expectation of a wife is she's going to treat you well. Not Always, and like I said, there's nuance to that. But you have to change that expectation. And hopefully, like I said, if you change the way you see them, your expectations will change. But you have to stop expecting, even if you can't get to, you know, it does take time. Even if you can't get to changing how you see them, your expectations have to change. You can't expect someone that is, is no longer your wife to behave like a wife, you can't expect to be intertwined into their life, you can't expect them to do what you want them to do. And I'll get to a little bit more on that topic in terms of a little bit more detail and what I'm sort of talking about. But one of the ways that you can sort of change your view of them and change thus change the expectation or change the expectation, in general, is use your anger, this can be very dangerous and tricky. And not necessarily necessary, but necessarily necessary. So I can say that. It's, it's, it can't help. But but but it is there is a danger in it. And I'll get to that. But it may be necessary for you to find your anger in order to motivate you to change your view and thus your expectations. But it can be that's a very dangerous path to take. You know, I talked about this, I talked about this before, you know, anger is a good fuel. But you can't run it all the time. It's I'd liken it to nitrous oxide, right. If you want to card go really fast. You dump a little nitrous oxide in it to, you know, be hit the boost or whatever. I've never done it myself besides on video games, and I don't think that counts. But But I do know that you can't run nitrous oxide all the time, you'll blow up the fucking engine, it's a boost such a shot. And, and the danger is of anger as you can, you can run it all the time you can construct you can get stuck in anger and you can mess you get stuck period. But But I'll talk a little bit more about sort of what what can happen if you get stuck in this, this anger mode. But But first, let's talk a little bit about control. And this is sort of, it's heading that way. So bear with as I've said multiple times. And as others have said, you can only control yourself and your actions and your thoughts. Anytime that you get upset, triggered, angry, hurt, etc, etc. by someone else's actions, you're you're you're letting them control you, you're no longer in control. And that's not something I'm very interested in personally. Because not only is this person done things to my life and hurt me in certain ways, but they're also continuing to do so. But I'm allowing it, I'm playing the victim. And I've said this many times before, if you were lied to cheated on falsely accused, you know, any of the nightmares that are that I hear on occasion and that I experienced, then you were a victim. But if you if you don't do any work in order to heal, and then sort of rise up, right, you heal your wounds, and then you can move up and move on. Onward, upward, Onward, forward, wherever, whatever sort of nomenclature you want to use, then then it's by choice that you're staying of victim, you're staying stuck. Someone who is perpetually angry is controlled by other folks, and is stuck, they're never going to move forward. And I see this quite often in our support group, I see guys complaining about the actions of, of the ex, you know, hurt her behavior, you know. And again, if you can't change the way you see them, certainly you have to work on changing your expectations. And if they behave in a certain way, and it triggers you and makes you angry, then they're winning, they're in control, you're not in control, you're a puppet you're on, you're on the strings in then so you're going to stay stuck. And then all of this shit that you're going through is for naught you're going to stay miserable and you're going to stay stuck. Nobody that is perpetually angry is happy is going to be happy. If you are perpetually angry, angry and you're pointing your finger at everyone else if everyone else is the problem in the world if it's all women, if it's someone other than than yourself, that is involved in scenario if you have Nothing to do with it and you're perfect, then you're never going to grow, you're going to stay stuck, you're going to stay miserable,

you're going to stay unhappy, I have zero interest in that. I'd much rather sort of reflect on what I can control. And be very mindful of, of, you know, as it was in the last episode, you know, being mindful, I think is the key to life. It's, it's not about not having feelings. It's about being mindful of them. It's not about having negative thoughts. It's about being mindful of them. And then you can choose what to do. So and this is something I teach, catch your negative thoughts, catch your thoughts, period, and then you can determine, is this helpful? Does this does this help me or does this hurt me? And then you can make a decision what to do with that thought? It's not about Ian Jones, he talks about this. And so too, it's not about controlling emotions. It's about managing, it's about making decisions about what do I want to focus on? Yes, I'm angry and hurt. Is that going to help me? Or is that going to help her? Does that forward, me and my growth? Or does that keep me stuck? You know, I see guys that post in the group talk about they've been stuck for for four or five years. And they're also big red pill, guys, who are essentially told there's not your fault. All women are doing this. It's hypergamy, which is all bullshit and worship, but nobody, nobody, I shouldn't say nobody. A lot of folks don't want to hear that. Because that would mean that they would have to take a look at themselves. And that's where you get your control when you're when you're able to look at yourself and find out okay, what did I do wrong? Not Not that you did everything wrong, but you sure as fuck did something wrong. And you're not because you're not perfect. Nobody is. And so your power is taken from you. And you're controlled by other folks, when you get so angry that you point fingers everywhere, but and don't find a fucking mirror to look into. So I want to go back and talk about sort of my process when I'm having any sort of longing or missing or slipping back into seeing her as my wife. Because again, it is easy to do. The reality is she looks the same. The reality is she sounds the same. The reality is, that's physically, the woman I married. But she's not seen. And so I have to remind myself of that. And here's what I do. anytime she does anything, either either. I'm reminded of what was or she does upset me or does anything that keeps me off track. Step number one is, is be mindful, right? Notice your thoughts. Okay, let's let's go with anger. Because I see this one more. She does something that makes you upset. And you go, I can't believe that she did this. How could she do this? Why would she do this? Doesn't she know, this hurts the kids, all these types of things. She's manipulating or whatever? It is, this is what I did. I stopped myself, you know, okay. Am I seeing her as she was? Or is? Yeah, probably as she she was not as she is. Okay. Can I control that? Can I change that? Is there anything I can do to make her like she was No, I can. And this is the key for me. What can I do? Well, I could go take a walk. I could I could call somebody. I could read an article, I could I could go I could research that book, then I want to read that book about blah, blah, blah, or isn't there? Wasn't there a hobby, I was thinking of checking out or I wonder? For football stats, fantasy football, there's a million things. What I do is I focus on what what what can I do? What can I do physically? Like, what can I go do? That is within my sphere of control. That's all that I can do. And this does, it allows me to go down a rabbit hole of things that I can control. And then suddenly I kind of forget what I was thinking about and dealing with her, I let it go because I'm focused on other things. If I sit there and I ruminate about her, and I can't believe she did, how would you do this activity? Then I go nowhere, and I get nothing accomplished. Except for remaining under her control. And one of the things that I want to really emphasize about this is, especially when it comes to kids, if there are complaints about what is going on in her place. Again, your expectations to change. That's not your wife that's not your business what occurs in her place unless of course it's something illegal, something hurtful, something damaging to the children, otherwise, it's not your fucking business. But let's say it is hurtful but not illegal or let's just say it's just wrong. She's telling the kids to lie. Let's say that you can't do anything about what she does. You literally He cannot do anything about what she does or is doing. Yeah, but she doesn't fucking matter. Again, she's a stranger, for houses over. You don't know her, you can't do anything about what she's doing. You can't control her period. But here's the key, what can you do? Well, you can make sure that your household is different, that you raise them in the way that they should be raised, you give them the example. But if you're wasting fucking time complaining about what she's doing, you're losing the opportunity to create a space within your home. That is different, that is the way that is going to show them how to be because make no mistake about it, regardless of if it's her, or anyone else, someone in the world is going to do bad shit. There are bad things that happen in this world, outside of your control, in school, social media, friends, in extracurricular activities, banned sports, there is shit that your children are going to experience or you're going to have nothing to do with that you're not going to be able to do anything about of course, again, I'm saying the illegal things, but even those things. You can't do anything about them, in general. But what you can do is create an environment for them. That is counter to and kids pick it all up, right. And if you lead by example, and it's not going to be, it's like anything, it's not going to be probably till years later until they realize or until they really appreciate or until they start living the way you live, that you're going to see these things. There is no instant gratification here. That's That's true for most valuable things in life. If you want to be in really good shape, it doesn't happen after one workout. If you want to learn a new skill, it doesn't happen after one, class one, practice one, session, whatever. It takes time. And so if you're looking for immediate and instant gratification, you're not going to get it. And you got to ask yourself, why are you looking for that? Why do you need that? Why do you need that validation? Well, perhaps that's another episode. But I just I get really frustrated. And I understand that I really do. When we focus when you focus on what she's up to, and what she's doing, you give her all the power and all the control, and you miss the opportunity to improve your own life and your children's lives. And that's unfortunate, I think, too often. Many of us focus on things that are outside of our control, because it's safer. If we have to face ourselves and our fuck ups and our issues, then that's scarier than complaining about someone else. playing the victim is a very safe place to be. But it gets you no fucking. So hopefully, this one is helpful to you. I try not to get on too much of a soapbox, honestly, about this topic. And I probably talked about it a lot, but I see it so often. I feel like us as men really. Sometimes I feel like we we give up control in ways that we just don't see that we we give up our power. We give up our masculinity. And I'm not talking about being a pussy or not crying or crying or complaining or whining. I'm talking about focusing on things that get us nowhere. I'm talking about staying stuck in this victim mentality. I just I don't understand why that's attracted to anybody. But I guess like I said, I guess it's safe, it's safe. It's it's a lot more threatening to ourselves, and who we think we are. Take a look at ourselves and ask ourselves if we're doing everything we can to be the best we can. And that the truth is, is no we're not because we're human, we're fallible, but too often we focus on everything other than ourselves. And we miss out on opportunity to grow the opportunity to be better met. Even Tony Robbins says this, you know, in the universe, you're either growing or you're dying. Many people have said I think Lou Holtz initiated the quote if I'm not mistaken old coach of Notre Dame football and, and why that sounds sort of weird or woowoo Whoo. Which is one of my favorite words. Is that a word? Or phrase is woo one word. Woo woo was to click on it. It doesn't matter but I think it's it is true.

I think we're all obviously dying, right? We're all one step closer to our last breath. But if we sat around and did nothing, we would slowly, not slowly we would accelerate our that last breath, right? We would you ever see those, like 1000 pounds? People? Like, that's what would happen. Now accelerate your death, I would accelerate you to, to the end, right? There's no question. But if you're challenging yourself, and that does not, doesn't just include physical definitely includes mental. But if you're challenging yourself, that means that you're growing, right? You can't grow without stress, you can't grow without challenge. It's not possible, right? When you think about again, you know, physically, when you go to the gym, what are you doing, you're literally breaking down tearing muscle and then built back up, right. That's how it works. And, and so then I think that means that that phrase, or that point of view holds true, if you're not growing, you're dying. And I'd rather be fucking growing, and I sure shit not rather be dying, and a B, because I let someone else put me in that state. Fuck all that. So hopefully this was helpful. I really, it's a response in some posts I've seen lately, and I just wanted to kind of address it. Um, I this is actually I think the fourth time I've recorded this one, maybe third. I tried to record it earlier in the day. And then my phone rang. And then I recorded it. Yes, this is the third one. And then I did record it. And then I realized my microphone was was not I didn't choose the right microphone. So it was actually the camera microphone. And it didn't sound too bad. But it didn't. It's this, this microphones a nice microphone. So it's, it's gonna sound better than than the original. And I think like, anybody, emotions influence me, and and I was reading some stuff that today in that group, and it kind of pissed me off, because I feel like it's just such bullshit. It's, it's people that post that they're stuck. Four or five years out, are the same people posting that. I can't believe she told the kids to do this. And how do you not see that those two are tied together? You're focusing on someone else's actions. Of course, you're stuck. You know what you do in this situation? I kind of explained it, but fuck it. I'll do it again. And I may I may edit the show this one or I might not? I don't know. Here's what you do. And again, I think I did explain it, but I'm gonna go over it again. Okay. She I can't believe she she said, told the kids to do X, Y and Z. My wife? My wife wouldn't do that. She's not she's not your wife. No, she's not my wife anymore. Okay, so if she's not my wife, then who is she? To me? She's just someone who's helping raise the kids. Okay. So she's not beholden to you in any way? No, she's not. Okay, so can I do anything about what she's doing? No cannot? What can I do things about? Well? I mean, I really need to finish reading that book. Well, I don't know, maybe I may, maybe I haven't finished because not that good. Maybe I should read another one. Maybe I should just skip. Maybe I should just check the last few chapters and see if there's anything that's worth reading. It's kind of it's getting kind of boring as it switches it up, or and I need to set up my 401k so that I'm making sure that it's going to the right funds. I really need to check that and make sure that it's on track. Or maybe I need to add a percentage or two that's taken out or maybe I need to reduce it. You know what I had to do around the house. There's got to be something I got do around the house. You understand? I'm saying you take your focus off shit you can't control and put it on. And when you go through that process, five minutes in, you're probably less than that. You're going to forget what the fuck you were complaining about. Because suddenly you're able to do something about something and your brain is gonna go like Oh, right, Buck. Yeah, let's do something. The other thing keeps you stuck in this loop. Of I'm a victim. I'm a victim. I'm a victim. And again, that gets you nowhere. So yeah, I'm probably going to edit the shit out of this one. Because I think I made some points better later than I did earlier. But, but we'll see. Maybe I'll leave it all on fuck I don't know. So that's all for this. One 130 will be out next week. Oh, let me let me finish up with this. So my initial goal for 2023 was to get the podcast download numbers to 100,000 downloads by the end of 2023. Obviously, I stepped back and took some time off, so to speak. And I got to I think, the end of summer and I quickly realized, like, I am not going to hit that number. It there's just no way to the math was it was clear. Yeah. And I knew it was a bit of a stretch anyway. But then taking some time off, it was not gonna fucking happen. And so I said, All right, well, what can I do? And I looked at it, and I said, Well, here's another it's a little bit of a stretch. So I'm going to do 90,000 in by the end of 2023. Not that's not 90,000 In the year, it was a grand total. So over the three years, and I got close, sadly, I did not. I got close, but sadly, I did not hit the number. I was about 200 and some odd downloads short, I was at at 9800, something like that. I'll post it. Somewhere, you'll see it. I will hit 90,000. Probably today, if I can get this one out. It's seven o'clock on January the second, so 70 5pm on the east coast. So I'm not sure I think if I get this out this evening, I think I'll hit my 90,000 today, two days late. But I'll take it. And I don't know what my goal for next year is, except for just growth. And I will say that despite my step back, I still grew in total numbers. I think last year, I did a brief look at this. Last year, there were 34,000 downloads in this year there were 37,000. So despite my little break there, or taking my foot off the gas, I still grew. So you're not growing, you're dying. So until next time, take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have 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 and put it into my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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Episode 96 – Negative Thought Loops – Dr. Leigh Jerome

In this episode I talk about negative thought loops with Dr. Leigh Jerome.  We talk about what they are, why they occur, and what to do about them.

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Year End Review

While I didn’t achieve the goal that I set out to achieve in 2023, I did experience growth. Thank you to all of you that have listened, supported, and have come on this journey with me, I appreciate you! Before we look ahead to 2024, lets make sure we take the time to reflect on our wins and successes in 2023. If you are on this journey with me then you know how hard it is. Because of that, we need to remind ourselves just how far we have come. So, here’s to you, to me, to all of us fighting this good fight. Here’s to our 2023 and the growth experienced, despite the challenges faced! May we continue this quest into 2024 and beyond!


Episode 128 – 10 Positive Practices to Find Light in the Darkness – Professor Llewellyn E. Van Zyl

In this episode I discuss finding your strengths and strategies to deal with depression.

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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. Joining me today is Professor Lowe, Ellen van xhale. lol and let's just jump right into one. So tell us a little bit about yourself.

Llewellyn 0:29
So I'm a professor of positive psychology at University in the Netherlands and also in the University of Northwest University in South Africa. And my area is really trying to understand how to help people live happier, healthier lives. So we've tried to identify people's strengths are and figuring out how can we utilize those strengths to help them to become the best possible version of themselves. And that's pretty much my, my, my area.

Michael 0:52
So, okay, so rabbit holes, this is why I do create an outline because things like this happen. How do you determine someone's strengths? What's Is there a quiz? Is there a test is there like what? How do you do that?

Llewellyn 1:05
So when I when I asked you, Michael, what are your strengths? What's what comes to mind for you? What are the things that you really absolutely amazing at?

Michael 1:18
Amazing, that's a tough word. I feel like I'm, I feel like I'm a good interviewer. I feel like I feel like I have a lot of persistence. I don't give up very easily. I feel like I am articulate, personable, generally, even when I am tired, but thanks to caffeine. I mean, those are some of the ones that come come come to my, you know, brought to the forefront of my mind does those things

Llewellyn 1:50
that you see how difficult it was initially for you, when I asked you? What What are your strengths are? And it's like, well, I don't know, I know. It wasn't the moment you start thinking about it. Oh, I'm persistent. Oh, I am quite articulate. Oh, I'm quite personable. So do you know why it's so difficult for you to identify these things that are so good in you? Why doesn't come naturally?

Michael 2:13
I think it's a human thing. I think we are all sort of negatively biased in a lot of ways, right? A long time ago, we had to be in order for our species, there's a drive. So I think. And I think also that part of that survival was also being part of a group in a tribe, and you didn't want to do anything to sort of stand out in a way because maybe you would get kicked out. And so I think there's just tendency and us to just sort of just go along to get along type of thing. I don't know. That's my, my guess.

Llewellyn 2:43
Exactly. So that's one of the big components. We're programmed that way, because like it helps us survive, because we're more negatively biased, because we want to be able to increase our probability of surviving. And if I usually do this activity, where most people do, like in 30 seconds, write down everything that's negative about everything that you're bad at, right? And they'll come up with a list of like 1820 things, and it will be possible to turn the paper around and in 30 seconds, write down what's what are your strengths, think you're good, or they'll have like maybe one or two things. There are two reasons besides the the overarching, like trying to survive. One is what is the one word kid between the age of six months and eight years years? The most, most frequent word?

Michael 3:30
That is no.

Llewellyn 3:33
Exactly across cultures, whether you're Zulu, or whether you're American is no, don't do that. So you're naturally trained to, to avoid the things that you're bad at. But when you do something that's absolutely amazing. You might say, oh, okay, that's quite nice, right? But we don't celebrate it. And because of that, like when you talk about like your perseverance, your personal ability, it's average, because everybody is creative. Everybody is a good interviewer. Everybody is persistent, because we see the things that we're absolutely amazing at as normal. And that's not the case. So we're not programmed that way. So the idea behind the horse strengths thing is that we all do have our strengths, things that we are good at inside of us. One, we just need to know what they actually are. So get a list of them, and to figuring out, what can I actually do with them? And how do I use them? So we can use like the VA strengths inventory, you can Google it, it's free to do on the Penn State University's website. Or you can also do the Clifton Strengths Finder. So this helps you identify the practical strengths. But you can also ask people, if I ask you to tell a story of something that where you felt like your absolute best, you will start to tell the story where you're utilizing the strength a lot and it's my risk. countability or my responsibility, my role as your guidance or your coach or counselor to give you the vocabulary, because you already know what they are, I know I'm creative, you know, you have high levels of perseverance, you know that. So, don't know what the word is, you don't know how to identify. So there are tests that you can do, we can ask you to tell the stories, the string spotting exercises, you can also ask, a very nice exercise to do is like, I'm not sure if you know what a 360 degree evaluation is. It's, it's something that they originated in Organizational Psychology, where they would ask leaders like we'd ask your manager and your employees and your customers, and your family, all to give feedback on anonymously, on what they think your strengths, your abilities, and these things are so that we can figure it out, get a holistic view of who you are. So we can help you create a bit of mental plans to help you to become get to the next level of leadership or whatever. So what we've kind of like done in from the positive side perspective, do the same thing. But we asked people to have anonymous little survey going Google Docs and and create one or whatever, and submit it to your wife, or your friends, or your kids, your manager and some of your co workers. And just ask basic questions. It's what do you think? Are the three things I'm absolutely amazing at? What are the three things that come to mind? Just to counterbalance it, what's the one thing you feel I can develop in a little bit more? And what do you feel I should stop starting, continue doing and taking all this stuff together, you get a very holistic view of what makes you special from the other person's perspectives. And then we have this, we have this thing called the Johari Window, which basically indicates there are things that on one thing about like a matrix on the one end, there are things that you know about. And there are things that that I as someone that doesn't know you knows about. So there are things that I am, you know about quadrant one you are, you're from the United States, you're quite personable, you just told me you're have high levels of perseverance, there are things that you know about you that I don't know, the people around you. There are also things that I know about you that you don't know. And there are things that you neither you nor I know about you. And this is things for example, like you might be very good at, I don't know playing you playing electric guitar back, maybe you'd be super good at playing bass, but you've never tried. The moment you pick it up, it just naturally happens for you. So it's identifying. So identifying those things. Neither I nor you know about, it's very difficult, because like, you have to try things and go out and do things to experience this, right. Yeah. But that blind spots, and also the string spots, like asking other people for feedback and see how this aligns to your view. That's an important thing. So I think this is some activities that you can use to identify the things that you're that you're really good at that makes you unique and makes you special. Yeah.

Michael 8:04
Oh, well, like I said, that's not the topic of the conversation. But it's fascinating to me, because I think it's important. I think the one of the things that occurs when you go through a divorce is you lose your identity. And then you got to figure out how to gain it back. And I think you don't do that without diving into yourself. And I think the stuff that you just described, that's what it is, is diving into yourself and figuring out who you are, what are you like, separate from from the life that you had? So I think I think it's all good stuff and took some notes. I think I've taken the via strengths already. But but all the clips and I haven't heard of that. I don't think so, I'll dive into that. Because I think it's, you know, sometimes it can help direct not only, you know, your personal life, but excuse me, your your work life as well, you know, you can try and figure out, you know, if there's certain jobs you might be interested in, or whatever, it's good to know, your strengths. So thank you for that. The reason I had to go ahead,

Llewellyn 9:07
I'd say this is part of this process, though. Because in order for you, you're ready, you're writing the set, we have to find it, you have to cross out a new identity of you outside of that relationship with going through divorce is one of the most difficult things that a person can do. Because one, it's you going through the same process than you would when you are when you've when someone has died close to you. Sure problem is you're constantly faced with that person. So you don't have the luxury of having closure in that way. So you have to really go out and really craft this new identity. And unfortunately, because you're in this relationship so much you're in this little bubble, you don't know where you are, and identifying your strengths and figuring out how to use them a lot more is a core aspect of living a happier, healthier life to get you through these dark times. Because if I am For example, if we know that you are creative, you have high levels of perseverance, and your client as an example, how can I, how can we use this to help you, I don't know, deal with this awful divorce attorney that you can that you confronted with, right? Because if I'm using something that I'm good at this, this creativity, I feel naturally feel a lot better because I'm good at it. And I don't have to do something that I'm not, but I have to know that I have to use my creativity, or my kindness or my curiosity that way. So I'm using these strings to solve these problems. That's where this becomes a fundamental aspect of things that give you energy, and not things that necessarily drain energy from you.

Michael 10:46
Yeah, yeah, I totally, again, completely agree it. And I think it's, I say this all the time, it's really about, you know, setting the intention, you know, making the decision, you know, and that's, I'm going to figure out who I am. How do I at least now there's, you know, after this discussion, there's, you know, okay, how is, you know, we'll give you some clues here and some things you can or some some advice or some ways or some paths forward where you can get you don't know you are your last one here is go find out what your strengths are, I think is at least a jumping off point a starting point. So I thank you for, for covering that. I didn't expect that. So thank you. The reason I as I think every psychologist, Dr. therapists that I've had on this show I found on psychology today.com. And that's where I found you, I found an article that you posted. And it's more about getting through seasonal depression, if I remember correctly, and but I think it applies to, and one of the things you mentioned in the blog is about the holidays. And it's obviously we're in that time period, and, and this is my fifth holiday since separation, and then ultimately divorce. So these are difficult times. And so I want to try and in and I've had a similar episode not too long ago, but I think this stuff is important, because I think, you know, suicide rates are, you know, I think they spike around the holidays. I think there's, you know, it's I know, it's hard, I live it, I live it, I've lived it for five years, and it still has moments where it's like, this is not what I want, you know, I'm not sure what I would you know what I would change at this point, because it's, you know, reconciliation is not possible. I mean, just even for me, but but it's just I still think it's good to give a guide and give some some guidance to get through these times. So, so you gave a list of 10 different things and printed them out, and we're gonna we're gonna cover them one by one. And the first of those that you listen to is practice gratitude daily. Let's get specific. What does that mean? What I know that for me, I journal every morning that I'm sometimes I travel will work, but when I'm home, every morning, I'm writing my, um, my gratitudes three, three things I'm grateful for. What what does that specifically look like? Is that the process? Does it matter if you do it in the morning and the night in the afternoon? And it does it? Does it make any kind of a difference? What other studies so let's let's focus in on practicing gratitude daily, what does that mean?

Llewellyn 13:22
So I think gratitude is one of the big things in my field. And I think unlike other people that you've spoken to, that's trying to train, you just manage the stuff, we're trying to help you to get more energy into the cup, and not just trying to contain the cup, but to see all the holes. So the idea behind gratitude is that it's the ability to show appreciation towards towards others, but also to become more aware of the things or to relive the positive things that that has happened to you. So it's almost like, if you think about negative stuff, you think about your divorce activities, same aspects in your brain, then your pain receptors, right. So you have you go through the same thing, the memory is just as impactful as the actual event itself. And the same thing with gratitude, the same with positive stuff. So the idea behind gratitude is to help to relive the positive experiences you've had before, but also make you more conscious of the things that actually gives you energy. So there are two things, two activities that are that are really profound, the very impactful. So the one is I called the gratitude visit. And the idea behind this is to say that think about someone in your life that has the most profound impact on on the shape of who you are. Maybe that was a your old mentor or your old coach at at high school, or maybe it was like someone at university but think about someone that had this major impact in your life that's still alive. Write a short 250 word letter to this person, indicating who they what impact they had on your life, what profound effect it had. And how are you feeling about this? And how it's changed over time, make an appointment and physically go there and read it This activity itself has shown to dramatically decrease depression, stress and anxiety over the short and medium term. And if you practice these activities, it has a long term sustainable effect up to like a year, year and a half. So just as an example, in terms of practicing gratitude daily, the idea is to help you to become more conscious of the small little things that's actually happening that's positive in your life. Because we negate that sometimes I'm going through a shift day, and all of a sudden, like some ladies gives me like, I have one item in the queue. She gives me space in front of her, I pay for it, I go, right? I don't I'm not consciously aware of it. But I feel at that moment, I'm like, oh, no, thank you so much. It says, donors, but because I'm not aware of it, I'm so engulfed in this negative stuff that's happening around me that I don't see these things. So it helps you to become more conscious of this fact. So the idea behind this is to say, to try and consciously look for three things that you're grateful for every day. So at the end of the day, you reflect upon the day before the preceding couple of hours, and think about the three things that actually happen that you feel grateful. That's the first aspect. But not, but listing them is not the most important part. The most important part about this is saying, Why did these things? Why do I feel grateful for these things? Why were they positive for me? So the lady giving me space in the queue? Why was this important for me? Why did this make me happy? Well, I was feeling like shit, I didn't want to be around people, I felt self conscious. I felt irritable. And it helped me to get out of the out of the building a lot faster. So it showed me that there is still some kindness left in the world, this person saw, I was frustrated. And she helped me in that respect. So then I started become more consciously aware of why these things are positive for me. And that helps me to become more conscious of these things in the future. So it's more of a conscious exercise, making more conscious of these of these facts.

Michael 16:59
And so let's again, I love specificity. And we don't want this for five minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, like, What's the timeframe?

Llewellyn 17:06
So at the end of the day, all that you need to do with it, it takes you two minutes or 10 minutes, it's just literally writing down three things, what you're grateful for for that day. And one reason why this was each one of these things, why it was a positive thing for you. That's it should not take you longer than 10 minutes, not even longer than five minutes. Gotcha. Okay, and do that for 30 days.

Michael 17:27
And you can you can, so I always like to think of things. experiences I don't. I'm not, I don't think of events. But does that work too? So like, you know, I went to a football game with my daughter last year, it was amazing. Like, is that something that has? I don't think of those types of things. But is that something that's also effective as well?

Llewellyn 17:50
It's important to do things in the day, right? Of course, we look about that it's important to look at these big events, you went to the football game, why was it was meaningful to spend time with her? I don't see her that often I build a relationship, right? These overarching grand things are there. But it's easy for us to think about the grand things, because they're they're few and far between that such a positive effect on us that they already ingrained themselves into my memory that this is a positive event. The purpose of the gratitude stuff is to make you aware of small thoughts, okay, things are actually happening in the day to day life. That's not so massively impactful.

Michael 18:27
Gotcha. Okay. That's an excellent. And I agree, and I think it's important, and a lot of a lot of folks talk about this gratitude, I think it is incredibly important. The next one is engage in mindful meditation. Again, let's get specific. Because what does that mean? How do we do that when all those kinds of good stuff or all those kinds of good questions.

Llewellyn 18:50
So I think that I kind of listed them all the things from from empirical research that had the most the biggest impact, right. And the only two things that showed sustainable effects was mindfulness and gratitude over the long period of time to increase positive effect wellbeing and decreased common health problems. Mindfulness is a is an interesting thing, because I am not, I'm not very mindful. I eat quite fast, I work quite fast, I'm not really conscious of what's going on around me. So it's really difficult for me as an individual to focus and sit down for five minutes every day and just let my mind go, right? It's extremely impossible. But one of the things that I found that works for me, instead of walking, or instead of sitting down, I go on a mindful walk. So the idea behind this is I walk in I tried to be conscious of every step that I take. When I put down I tried to feel the conscious of the earth pushing up against me and me pushing down on it. I tried to be conscious of the sensations that I'm having in terms of what I'm feeling at that moment. So the the physical feelings the cold brush of air. I tried to be more conscious of the sounds So I just walk around the block. And it takes around 1015 minutes for me to do this. And it really helps me to become more aware of the business stations that I'm having. So I didn't know, for example, that I had heart pain as an example. I like it because I'm always rushing, I don't know what my body is telling me. And the first couple times is walking. It's like, why am I having this weird sensation here? And I was walking, and the baby came so excruciating, that I went to the doctor and not so Okay, you've got a, you've got a little bit of a heart problem there. And it seems like it's been there for quite some time. But because I'm not like very consciously aware of what's going on in my body, because it was rushing. I didn't know this. Yeah. So for me personally, the mindful walking thing worked really well. When we talk about what the literature and stuff tells us, it's literally just, you only need five minutes a day where you sit down, where you calm yourself, where you allow your thoughts just to go forth out dating, it influence you, that has the most significant effects is that 80% 20% rule, you do 20% of the work to get 80% of the benefit. So after five minutes, the amount of benefits you get in terms of increasing life satisfaction and whatever is not as much as that first five minutes, if that makes sense. So you can sit for two or three hours and meditate. But you get only a slight little bit more benefit than you would for five minutes. And I like this app, there's these the smaller I don't want to I'm not sure if I can I can say the apps names. But yes, absolutely. Go on. This I breathe, for example, which is nice. One calm headspace is another one. And they take you through these five minute guided meditations. And that's it. And but you have to do it consistently for a couple of weeks for you, for it actually to have this effect.

Michael 21:54
So is that does it matter in terms of when morning night again, you know, that kind of stuff.

Llewellyn 22:01
So, for me, personally, I don't think it has that big of an impact when you're doing being calm. But I do know, for me, when I go through this walk, I feel I feel exhausted afterwards, because it's a very intensive activity. And I know people meditate and do this mindful eating or whatever, like at night because they can go to sleep afterwards. As an example, another activity I think you can kind of like do is like mindful eating. So what we do with with chocolates, for example, is that we ask a person to take a piece of chocolate and a wrapper, a small little chocolate, and just slowly open it or just feed it in your hands, and then slowly open it, smell it, put in your mouth, don't bite it, let it melt. That's also a mindful based activity. It's called savoring. And it also helps you to be more aware of happiness in the in the in the present where gratitude is happiness in the boss, mindfulness and happiness in the present. It's a very, that's an hour activity. It doesn't matter if you do it in the morning, or in the evening, just as long as you have this five minutes for yourself. Yeah.

Michael 23:10
Okay. Yeah, I think I struggle with that one a little bit, too. I'm similar in terms of like, um, you know, let's go, let's go, I got shit to do. Plus, you know, single father. So, you know, even half the time it's still, you know, it's, it's challenging. And, you know, there's not often where you can kind of just take a few minutes for yourself. I mean, it happens for sure. But I think it's, again, it's being aware of these things and trying to set the intention. I'm making a part of your life. And I think we can all you know, as much as you know, Oh, I'm so busy. I think I can find five minutes. I'm pretty sure that the next one because yeah,

Llewellyn 23:46
sorry. Sleep, right, eventually. So five minutes before you go to sleep, just even if you just lie on your bed and just feel like the pressure of the Batum. For underneath you, whatever. That's also being mindful. Also meditating. Yeah,

Michael 24:03
very true. Yeah, I think that's a lot of this stuff. Right? I think, you know, we, for whatever reason, again, humans were negatively biased or whatever is like, Oh, it's just seems like this bit of meditation or what is that? That's weird. That's different, or I can't do that or and it's really I don't, I don't think it's as complex as as, as we make it out to be sometimes. Number three is practice practice random acts of kindness. Again, let's let's get let's go with specifics. What do we mean?

Llewellyn 24:36
So when we talk about run it as kind of talked about pro social behavior, right? We are We are social animals. Like you mentioned before we were a tribe, we want to work together to get to a common goal. And we ran me by colleagues of mine ran multiple studies on this acts of kindness because we know kindness is the mechanism to kind of draw people together. It makes me feel good. So they did these experiments where they did like, Okay, do one randomly act of kindness every single day, right. And then they did like one every week, one every month and five on every day or five on a day. And they felt that if you do five random acts of kindness in a day, that's the only thing that actually affects, like, life satisfaction and well being at least. So the idea is that decide to do five random acts of kindness, once a week. And it doesn't have to be, oh, I'm giving $1,000 to the homeless guy on the street. It's small, little gestures like the lady giving you or you're giving a lady an old lady in front of you. space in the queue, for example, right? Or helping someone with their homework, or it's really small, little acts of kindness, that makes us more aware of how the impact that we have on other people's lives. So the idea, again, is do the small five tiny little things on one day, once a week.

Michael 25:58
All right, I can I can, I can do that, for sure. This is the next one is number four. I really liked this one. Yes, this one sort of, kind of, I don't know. It made me feel a certain way. Some Joy, I guess. It uses the word joy, do things you used to that used to bring you joy as a child. I really liked that one. Again, let's let's talk about that a little bit.

Llewellyn 26:24
Let's talk about the science behind. So when you're growing up as a kid, and you're getting exposure, but if you think about like the old Christmas movies that you watch, when you watch them today, you still have for some reason, a warm feeling, right, or if you see your a song from back in the day, when you were a child, it still brings up this even if it's just for a millisecond. Because at that stage, your brain is still wiring itself is still making new connections between things. And under these normal, it's called confined, positive experiences. You create positive memories attached to the by doing things that you used to do that was fun, and joyful and meaningful as a kid helps you to relive those experiences and reactivates those pathways, think about driving, you're driving to your work. And you used to take the shortcut because it was quite nice and scenic. And all of a sudden you realize okay, but this is taking too long, I have to take this the highway now. It's a lot faster gets me there. And the more I do this highway stuff, the less I I start forgetting about this other route. When I discovered this route again, I'm like, Oh, yeah. And that's that, that that favorite tree of mine, and oh, look at that, bam, you automatically reactivate the path and you automatically do that again. So doing things that gave you joy as a child helps you relive those experiences. So it gives a little bit more energy to the thing. But it also helps you connect the things that you used to find fun. And it used to be interesting for you. So it helps you relive that kid inside of you. A lot of research that shows that. But how effective just that is.

Michael 28:00
Yeah, I love that one. Here's one that I we had this brief conversation before we before we started, this is what I struggle with maintain consistent sleep, a healthy diet, I do okay, their exercise every day. Definitely not. I mean, that's the Lord pray a large rabbit hole. But let's at least talk about the importance of consistent sleep.

Llewellyn 28:25
So I think probably everybody that you've spoken to, or will speak through will always talk about a healthy body healthy mind. But one thing I think that's really important is sleep hygiene. Now, when we talk about sleep hygiene, it's about having not that the amount of sleep is not as important as the quality of the sleep that you get. And when I talk about the quality, we're talking about like these REM cycles, where you're like in deep sleep or your dream. So the idea behind this is to say that sleep helps reset your neural pathways it basically hits reset on your emotions, on your physical even, like physical ailments like pain, chronic pain or things it needs reset on them, because your body gets a chance to to process stuff. Now the problem why most of us, me included have bad sleep, it's because we have poor sleep hygiene. We don't go to bed. At the same time we use our bedroom for different things. It's not just for sleeping. We do multiple things when we're not supposed to we don't have a routine in where we don't have a sleeping ritual. So a lot of people talk about like getting into sleep right? Make sure that you go to the same same time to bed give the same amount of hours. You just space for when it is not fun. It's tough. But what people also do not talk about just like how important waking up are after seeing this. When you wake up in the morning. What do you do the first thing when you wake up in the morning? Depends

Michael 29:49
on the morning but it's either go wake my oldest daughter up or go make coffee.

Llewellyn 29:57
It's something you do before that

Michael 30:00
Get out of bed, I guess right?

Llewellyn 30:01
Grab your phone.

Michael 30:02
Oh, yeah, yeah, that's, you see?

Llewellyn 30:06
Yeah, you're not quite because the moment that you pick up your phone the moment because your mind is activated in work mode or in like, energy mode, or I have to do cyber stuff. Yeah, leave your phone when you wake up. Even if you just put it down, don't check it just take five minutes and wake up. And allow yourself to think about things and, and experience the process of getting awake. Otherwise, you're, you're negating most of the benefits that you get from the sleep. At least the last sleep cycle, you're losing. Because you're automatically running again, your brain automatically start being at 110 kilometers miles an hour. So before sleep rituals, sleep hygiene, but also in the morning, finalizing the sleep process by allowing yourself to have a slow start five minutes, or also have a ritual. Be consistent. Want to make coffee before I wake my kid up. I want to have my read my newspaper or whatever. Write a small little ritual.

Michael 31:03
Gotcha. Okay. Again, all doable stuff. Number six, I think it's probably one we all struggle with. I think practice self compassion and self kindness. So again, let's let's talk about that. How do we do that? What's it look like? Why is it so damn hard? I think we kind of touched on this already. But yeah, let's talk about self compassion. Self kindness.

Llewellyn 31:25
Michael, if you say off of the things, that you're thinking about yourself to another person, what do you think that other person is going to do?

Michael 31:35
Oh, yeah, he's gonna tell me go fuck myself. I'm pretty quickly. Yeah. 100% probably

Llewellyn 31:41
beat you up as well. Right? Like, so what to Why are you so why do you say these things? Like, oh, my god, it's so stupid. Oh, I shouldn't have said that. Oh, I should have done that. Like, why are you so hard on it?

Michael 31:54
I think and then you can confirm this, but I suspect this true. And I think I've talked to other folks that, uh, you know, it all comes back to your childhood, I think I think we're obviously negatively biased as humans, that's part of it, I'm sure. But I think on, you know, good, bad or indifferent. You know, because we are negatively biased, the negative input that we get, I think, especially from our parents, as children, I think sticks with us. And so I think for me, the negative that I hear is typically my mother, right? Yeah, it's just that was sort of put into me from from from long, long ago, like you said, you know, what's the one word? What's the what's the word? kids hear the most? No. So I got I suspect that that's, that's what's going on?

Llewellyn 32:38
That's exactly. So you're trained here to think about these things. And you're as critical on yourself as what these important life figures in your case was for you. Sure. Why? Because you are doing this because you feel like if I make a mistake, oh, people won't like me. That's the fundamental thing that's behind it. I'm useless, though. Like I can't do anything, right. That's the thing that's underlying it. Not the mistake that you

Michael 33:01
write. But knowing.

Llewellyn 33:05
But knowing that everybody makes mistakes is an important aspect. And we talked about self kindness. I like to use this example, where if you've got this massive zit on your face, this massive pimple, you're walking in town, and what do you think happens?

Michael 33:20
What do you what are you experiencing? You're gonna you're gonna imagine that's what everyone's looking at and pointing out and talking about and right.

Llewellyn 33:27
Yeah, exactly. And you're like, Oh, my God, like, I'm just disgusting. I don't want to see this. Everyone's looking at it. Excellent. Great. How many people in that same day than you when you walked through this yesterday in town? How many people's big massive pimples that you see, right? No, no one. Because we're also like, focused on the stuff that we realized that actually, no one actually cares. And nobody cares if you make a mistake, unless you make such a massive mistake that that goes viral is on the internet and follows you for. And unfortunately, most of us are not that lucky. But it was not quiet waste. But the fact that it's like, we all make mistakes, it's fine. And it's okay. And I think the big thing that I always try to tell myself is like it's got this whole thing about radical acceptance. It's to say that, can I change something about this situation right now? Can I change? I'm going through this divorce. At three o'clock in the morning, I wake up and then I'm like, Oh, shit, this is happening. Like, can I change at this moment? What can I do? Yeah, nothing. Today, I'm in the morning. Right? So why am I spending energy? I can maybe do something tomorrow morning. Or I could find a lawyer, I could do whatever. But at this moment, there's nothing. So allowing yourself just to accept the things that you're experiencing and knowing that the emotion that you're experiencing is not bad. Depression, anxiety, stress, they're not bad emotions, you're adding value. They're not going to hurt. They are they're just like happiness, just like sadness or whatever. They're Are there and just allowing it to be because it's not going to hurt you and accepting the feeling. And I think that's the that's the big thing. You have to become aware here we're talking about self kindness and compassion. You have to become aware of the way in which you approach these problems, these negative thought patterns, so catastrophizing, I would go and think blow everything out of proportion, life is going to end, nothing is going to ever be the same. No one's ever going to love me again. Right? Yeah. I've had, I've had multiple dates in my life, right? I've had relationships before I can have relationships later. But in that moment, I know I catastrophize. And if I catastrophize. Okay, this is just what I'm doing right now. Let the thought go let it run its course many catastrophize I just say, well, it's just thought. It's not reality. I think that's the that's the big part. Yeah. showing yourself compassion.

Michael 35:52
I think so it to me, it always comes back to you kind of said it before, you know, it's mindfulness is such a big part of this up to me it, it really, it boils down, that's such a huge part of life is just being mindful of your thoughts. And, you know, it's one of the things I do coach guys, and just one of the things that I focus on is not, I don't want you to change your thoughts right away, I just want you to recognize them, and get into the habit of like, Oh, that was negative, or that wasn't very nice to me, or whatever. So you can start getting into that it's a mindful practice, right, you're paying attention to your own thoughts. And once you start catching them, and being conscious of your thoughts, because I think we go through our life, largely on autopilot, a lot of us, you know, we just, we just, were going to make the coffee, and then we go to the bathroom, and we sign on the email, and it's just all very just sort of on autopilot, it feels like not every day, not every moment, but it kind of feels like that. But if you can start being mindful and paying attention to what you do, then you can start making some changes, but boy, is it fucking really, really hard.

Llewellyn 36:56
I think the big thing there is that when, when you're becoming aware of these emotions, like you're, you know, the emotions are there. But you also have to look at what the triggers are. And I think that the big thing there is like, this is sort of a different type, but like exposure to it. So I know, for example, there is a, I went through a breakup, there was a many years ago, it's not the same as a divorce, like it was a very bad breakup. And there is a town in Germany called Essen, and where this person stayed, and I for the life of me, could not see if I see the word Essen it would trigger these emotions in me and I couldn't even drive the road or the stuff up. But systematically, I just allowed myself to like I would drive boss, I would look at the sign on. Well, what's what's happening, right? Like, there's, I'm not getting hurt, I'm not gonna die. I've lived a different life, but exposing myself to that, and over time, it becomes a lot easier. But the trigger is important. And the reason where this comes from, like you said, the beat the stuff that lies behind it, understanding those things being okay with it is another aspect. So a little bit dual. Yeah, I

Michael 38:05
think it's important to also, you know, look back at your childhood to get an understanding of of your patterns as well, because, and it's not to lay blame the feeder of your parents, although it may be well deserved, but we talked about things you can control, you can do fuck all about that, even if they were shitty parents, that was in the past, but at least to take pressure off yourself so that you understand that your habits and patterns didn't come from you. It's not like you were like, You know what, I'd like to be really, really anxious, can I get that one? Right? You know, it's not, you know, or whatever it is, right, whatever sort of some of your bad habits, bad patterns, all these things they're developed a long time ago. And I think it's important to just at least understand that, again, not to place blame, and although it may be well deserved, but just to understand that you're not a fuckup, you're not a terrible person, you might have some bad habits and bad practices, thought patterns, or whatever. But that came from from long ago. So you're right. One is I think you got to be aware of sort of what you're thinking and be mindful of those thoughts. And then and then to understand sort of, you know, why you are the way that you are, I think it's I think it's incredibly important. How often, you know, sort of a rabbit hole, but how often do you when you're working with someone? How often does childhood sort of come up or in classes or whatever. So

Llewellyn 39:25
it's one of the fundamental things in even from our paradigms perspective, right. So behavior, there are certain things that's inborn, but we're trained in every other aspect. And whether I was working with a ferocious student or whether I was working with executives in large multinational companies, it's always the same things we have to try identify what's going on in the past because I won't be able to resolve it but I can become okay with it. And I'd like to the whole metaphor about your your psyche is this car, your first car that's given to you, right, it's this old Beat up Ford Mustangs, the tire that's off way broken in a taillight that is out, right the thing barely drives, you didn't have money as a 16 year old to to buy a new car. So you have this card, you have to make the best of it. Sometimes you've got to get a little bit of money and you can buy a new tire, right? Or you can fix the light temporarily. But this is the car that you've been given a list of things, you have to drive and make the best of it. You can you can fix things over time, if you've got the energy, the money to do it. But it's becoming okay with the fact and say that this is my car. And I have and there's nothing I can do about it. It's a gift that was given to me whether it's a good gift or a bad gift or circle, it was something that was given to me. And being I had to make comfortable and make peace with the same thing in my own mind is that my parents did absolutely the best that I could with what they had at that stage. Like, it's not like they like you said you didn't choose anxiety. And this, she or he also tried her best with what she had available to her maybe now 20 years later, she's a better person, because she was also a child when she had you and you're growing up with her. And now she's a lot wiser. That's why she's maybe a better grandparent, and she is a was a parent. But just realizing that she really just struggle, he really just tried to do the best that he could. And that's okay. It doesn't mean that you're sorry, it doesn't mean that you're adding value said it was okay. What they did was just feeling comfortable. And realizing that it is what it is.

Michael 41:30
Yeah, it's number seven, limit your exposure social media. Boy, I love this. That can be really, really hard. But talk about that. Why why is it important? How does that help you get through sort of a depressive time period?

Llewellyn 41:44
So what is what what do we do with social?

Michael 41:48
Just scroll, scroll and like, and I think I mean, I'm guessing probably part of the answer is, and I think there's studies that bear this out, I'm sure you'll touch on it. As we compare, right? We see whether it be maybe our friends, of course, because we're not nobody's posting or people rarely post that, you know, they had the worst day of their lives or whatever. It's always like, Oh, I went on this trip, or I did this thing. And life is amazing. You see the best parts of everyone's life. And so I think I'm guessing there's a lot of comparison that occurs when we when we spend a lot of time on social media.

Llewellyn 42:23
That's exactly that's exactly the right answer. The thing is, like, we're even more sensitive towards this in December, where everybody we're consistently confronted with Jingle Bells and happiness and fake happiness and consumerism. And everybody's like having a jolly old time. So it's always in our face. And if you're already down, if you're already in that hole, you constantly being faced by this, especially in social media, where it's your friends, like posting these things. If it's strangers, you can still say, Okay, well, what's happening, but when there's someone close to you, you feel like it's, they're having some trouble, like, why aren't they inviting me to this room? I'm going through a difficult time. So we constantly go through this comparison, but we're even more sensitive during this time. So it's important to try and avoid it as much as you possibly can. Because it's just going to dig that hole that hole a lot of people for you.

Michael 43:19
Yeah, no, agreed, I think and it's a tough one. Because we're all so engrossed. You know, in social media, it's just such a part of all of our lives, but I think it's good, I try to take a break at least once a year for a week. I probably should do it more, but but I do try to, at times just step away, a lot of it is you know, I run a support group on Facebook and for divorce men, and there's, there's right now just over 7000 and it can get, you know, just overwhelming not necessarily the sad stories don't don't affect me as much as is, is just some some sometimes the the negativity that I see in the anger and that stuff can can weigh on me. But I think it's a it's definitely an important part of this, it but it's also it's kind of weird because you're, you know, your friends are on there. And so like you feel like you know, that's how you're connected to folks, but I don't think it's a it's not a real true connection. And I think that if the benefits if the you know, the negatives outweigh the benefits and I think it's good, good idea to step away for a little bit.

Llewellyn 44:25
So for you specifically, because you're very very empathic by nature. It's so these things hit you a lot harder when you see it on Saudi Arabia, for example, right. So it's not about the stories about the effects but the emotion. No, I again, self awareness. Yeah, it's getting if I know this about me, and I know this is going to be difficult time or whatever, I need to separate myself from that because otherwise I don't have the capacity to carry other people's emotions right now. That's also negative and not just the positive in

Michael 44:54
Yeah, for sure. So number eight, I love this one. Write a letter to your past self. Let's talk about this one. Let's get specific on this one. What are like what passed? How am I kid? My like what thought, you know, a year ago? Like What? What? Who, which Michael and I are writing to and and what am I writing to them to him.

Llewellyn 45:16
So I would like to say like, I was the happiest in my life when I was 10 years old. I was, I was going, I was starting the puberty thing, and my good friends had no issues, you know, like, at least but I can what I can remember. And at that stage, when I even though we were very poor growing up, I knew like I knew, Okay, well, one day we'll be things will be fine, right? And, and at that stage of that, no worries, I had certain expectations of what I think my life could have could have been like, I can tell you, there is no way in hell you are asked my 10 year old self where I would be when I was 35 or 38, I will say I was Deadlands. I have like this, I have that I've been running a company, I've been doing all this stuff, seeing the world like I would never thought I would leave my hometown. So I would never writing a letter to this person. And saying like, dear 10 year old Lou, I am before the future. And I've got a story talking about what happened to you this year explaining like, I know when you were like when I was when when I was there with you. And you said you wanted to do this business. But let me tell you how my life has changed. Yes, there's been good things, there's been bad things. But overall, this is where I'm at, look at what I've conquered. Look at what I've what I've been able to achieve this year. So the idea is then, one, I like to do it every year, just for the year itself. But look at all the good things and all the amazing things that I've actually been able to do this year, even if there's nothing, just the fact that despite all the troubles I'm having, I'm still here, I still push through all of this stuff, during my resilience, even just explain that that highlights not only the positive things that's happened to you, but also shows you your characteristics, your strengths, the things that you've been utilizing a lot more, to writing this little letter to yourself, really helps you become more conscious of this fact, but also to celebrate all of the small victories that you've had over the year.

Michael 47:19
That's a good, I'm going to do that one. I don't I it's not something I've ever sort of even heard about or thought of. But I'm gonna do that one this year for sure.

Llewellyn 47:30
A friend of mine, so maybe no good, good. Friend of mine does this thing where he writes an email to himself from a different account, similar thing, but it sends it like 20 years in the future, like when he's like 60 or something. So he sends just like a yearly update also to himself, so that when he's older, he can also reintegrate relive all of these positive experiences, it's a different thing for a different purpose. But it's a it's such a nice way to become more conscious of the positive aspects in your life.

Michael 48:00
Yeah, I love that. That's, I was thinking about that, like, you know, because I, you know, I think like most folks are maybe unique. I doubt it in terms of like, man, what did I have for lunch three days ago? Fucking, I don't know, you know what I mean? So you get to the end of the year, and like, I'm gonna write all my positives and like, Fuck, what did I do this year? So I think, you know, to have that. It's interesting to have that mechanism where you do, you know, sort of send some positive stuff on on a somewhat regular basis. You don't do it every day. I'm guessing but but that's interesting. I love that. I'm gonna try and do that one as well. Number nine, spend time with friends and family. Yeah, I mean, that's, that can be a tricky one going through divorce. But there's, I think, always I think, and I, you know, some of y'all out there, I know that, you know, when you go through a divorce, you lose friends, and maybe you lose majority may be all. But there's got to be someone there that you can go see and spend some time with. So but, you know, it might take a little bit more work, maybe maybe it includes just being around people. And this is something I know, I was just my couple episodes ago, I talked about getting through the holidays, one of the things I forgot to say was volunteer. And so maybe you don't have a friend or a family, but maybe you can go to a soup kitchen or a pantry or those types of things. So let's talk about that. What Why why is that important? I mean, I obviously good human interaction is important. But But specifically, how does that helped during this time period.

Llewellyn 49:33
So you actually took all the words out of my mouth, but the big thing is like we have to spend, we have to spend time around people, even if we don't feel we have the energy, whether it's random people, whether it is people that we care about the idea is just to be in a social environment where we can actually contribute and we can actually feel value. Now, there was this one study that was done Harvard study where they tracked people for 70 years, right? across their lifespan. And they found that that the only predictor of happiness the only predictor is positive relationships, the only public over ever money to whatever it's having the ability to have mutually beneficial relationships, where I feel I get something out of it, and you do as. So the idea behind this is exactly if you don't have friends or family, go volunteer. If you don't feel like you want to volunteer, go to the the lady in the supermarket and just have a two minute conversation with her, just so that you feel valued. And we do it consistently. What I, for example, like to do, especially around Christmas, is I tried to make an active point to like play a game like online games with my friends, as an example, just to feel that that connection, I tried to also randomly, not randomly, but like I tried to find at least one person every December that I haven't spoken to the entire year that that I had a good relationship with, just to also get that experience. But relationships help us to cope with things to help us feel valued, and then help give life meaning. So yeah, it's important to try and spend some time on people and not lock yourself up in your house.

Michael 51:20
Well, and that's I know, for men, that's a struggle can be a struggle, especially not only divorce, but life in general, we can tend to isolate. You know, that's why I believe, and I'm sure there were studies that bear this out, or at least there certainly is educated opinions about why male suicide is so much higher than female. And I think that's part of it. I think we we haven't mastered or we we certainly weren't allowed to, in some ways like to learn to lean on other folks and express ourselves to those folks and get support. I think it's really, really hard for men. And so I think we have to work harder, when we're going through something to make sure we don't isolate to make sure we get around folks, because like you said it gets sort of it gives you meaning it gives you comfort, I think in some ways, because you feel devalued and to be around folks. And to have pleasant experiences. I think it's just it's so, so important. It's

Llewellyn 52:18
about the perils of vulnerability. And I think there is not one person, I think, like if you have friends in your life, you feel I don't want to bother them. But there's one person in your life that's close to you. And you would go and say, Listen, I'm going through a rough time. And I just, I don't know what comes with it. Can I Can we go out for a coffee? I can guarantee you not one of them will tell you no. But it is showing vulnerability showing, like reaching out and putting yourself out there. Because that's what that's the thing that kind of like withholds us from access to this floodgate of positive stuff that could potentially help us it's this, I have to be the strong one, I have to be the I can't put up a bad face because everyone will think I'm stupid, we'll use this or

Michael 53:04
Yeah, no one cares. Yeah, well, and that's, you know, like you said, it's, it goes back to I'm gonna guess right to your childhood and story, you're telling yourself that was developed during your childhood? Oh, nobody cares, nobody wants I'm a fuckup nobody wants to hang out with me anyway, you know, she left me, you know, I'm useless, all those things. And that comes from somewhere, obviously, the events of divorce will will sort of influence that. Right. You know, rejection will do that. But if you have a solid foundation, you know, I think you probably still would have some of those thoughts, but you certainly would, would bounce back a little bit quicker. And I think you wouldn't probably struggle as much as I know, I did. I mean, because I didn't have a solid foundation. You know, I had a, you know, I had a rough childhood ish. You know, I mean, many, many have had it worse. But but you know, it's sometimes it's really hard to sort of see through. My buddy Chris says it all the time, bounce your feelings off the truth. And sometimes your feelings are, are so heavy and so weighted and so resonant and it's hard to see that they're not always true. But I do think that being vulnerable allows you to get support so that others can help you see the truth in which is you know, you're not worthless, you're not a piece of shit, you're not, you know, you're going through a rough spot, but you're you're worthy of love and support, same as anybody else. So number 10. This is a good one. And again, I think I this is something that I recommend is recommended. By pretty much it. Obviously there's some bias here on the podcast, you know, probably, I don't even know 90% of my guests, maybe are some type of psychologist psychiatrists doctor, but number 10 is don't be afraid to ask for for professional help. And again, I think that's one of those things that it's getting less stigmatized, but Think again, for men, it's gonna be a little bit more challenging, you know, but it's it goes back to sort of to that, that vulnerability, right? The the ability, or the action of just raising your hand and saying, I need a little help here.

Llewellyn 55:17
Even your support group on Facebook, right, it's not like it's not professional help in a way, but it's a community, it's people that are going through similar stuff that's willing to share willing to listen. And sometimes, and like I am, I just want to say this upfront, like, I'm a very well established psychologist, I've published many papers, and I don't really believe in therapy reom. Because the like the therapeutic techniques that we kind of, like, utilize, I think it's a waste of money. The only thing that has an impact, the only thing that has an impact is that the fact that we're sitting with a therapist, it's the first time in your life where you can be true to yourself. You can share whatever's on your mind, you can soundboard with someone that listens and cares, right. So that helps you to kind of restructure things. So my role as a therapist is only there to basically soundboard. And to facilitate your understanding of the things going on, you can do that by yourself. Right. But the thing is, like, that's the only thing, the most important thing that helped facilitate growth and development is having the ability to feel that I can be myself without judgment out whatever, and having someone to listen to me and care for me authentically. And you can have that same thing. In a support group, you can have that same thing with someone that you care about with a good friend, I would supplement this with what I would these types of activities. These are so self help activities, but like validated, self administered intentional activities, and has shown to actually impact on the things that I'm struggling with. And there's a site under what university it is, but it's like what the Greater Good Science Center, you Google it, and they have a full all of these self help activities, there's 1000s of them. Whether it's an individual group, organization level, that shows very simplistically, this is what you can do. This is how it's done. And this is the science that supports it, select try some of these activities. Those are the things that we'll have that will be sustainable. These are the things that you can practice, because you're not going to see a therapist at 2am in the morning, when you're anxious about the lawyers meeting that you have tomorrow morning. Right? Divorce?

Michael 57:35
Yeah, I I'm surprised. But not you know, I think it's I'm always the guy who leads leans on science to the best of his is silly ass brain, we'll let him write whatever I can try and sort of understand. And because I think it's, I'm always, I'm always interested in the mechanism like, Okay, this is good, but why is it good? And how is it good and be specific, because then I can be specific about how I handle it or approach it or attack it or whatever. And so I think it's interesting that you say, So. So? Is there any type of modality that you would say is helpful? CBT? Or, you know, I don't know, some of the others. That's the one that comes to mind. Narrative therapies, is there anything that any modalities that you do think is is beneficial as a therapy?

Llewellyn 58:24
So when we talk about so CBT, I think it's about changing how you think so you can change how you feel so you can change how you behave, right? That's the that's the overall model. But all every every psychological paradigm, whether it's psychodynamic therapy, whether it's constellation therapy, or positive psych, it's about self awareness. So I like CBT, because it's, it helps reach change the stuff, but solutions orientated therapy works very well, for me, personally, because it's solutions orientated, I have a problem. There's a framework, I want to generate the solution. I don't want to think about it. Because I am very self aware, I do know how to do these types of things. I know how to do a psychological test, but it's like I need to have solutions to my problems. And this way, that's where the solutions oriented stuff kind of helps very well. But that's more coaching orientated. But I do like I do like CBT because all my interventions that we also developed is based on that principle. It's about becoming aware and changing your mindset. So CBT is a good one, solutions orientated is another one. But, you know, be very careful with with I think with with other types of

Michael 59:38
approaches. Yeah. Okay. Fair enough. Fair enough. I think I think it's like I always liken it to dating. Don't Don't settle for the first person you come across, you know, therapists wise, you know, they're not all good. Clearly, right. No, no, no profession has 100% Six, you know, success rate or, or anything of that nature. Are you know, 100% of quality people or ethical people, that's just that's not fucking possible? I want to before we get so thank you for doing this, and I'll thank you again. But there's something that popped in my head that I'm wondering if you could address scribbled it down. It's something that I think guys that go through divorce, we struggle with this. And maybe maybe you can speak to this, maybe not I'm taking a shot in the dark here. It seems to me that when we, we are told that, you know, the now ex wife or soon to be ex wife, for some guys wants a divorce. They see and I understand their portion of it. And why they do this, they see every word we become the worst person in the world, once they make that decision, we are they are we are written off, we're the villain in their story where every negative thing we've ever done, and in the course of the relationship comes up, and I understand that they need fuel, you know, to make the leap, so to speak, they're not going to leave someone that they look at fondly, right. So they got to sort of not conjure, but in a way, you got to pull up all these things to fuel them to leave the other side of that coin. This is the one that I don't understand. Why is it that we that are getting left only see the positive and can't see the negative sometimes, like we just we we put them on the pedestal like oh my gosh, you know, you're so amazing. Please don't leave me all these even though six months ago, maybe you would have been like, oh, this, this bitch, she does this. And she does that. And she does this. But once they decide they're leaving, we we put them on a pedestal is there what what mechanism is work there if you if you know if you can speak to that, because it boggles me I don't understand it.

Llewellyn 1:01:47
It all has to do with like the, the way in which we tried to get closure on the situation. And I think the big issue there is about hope. And hope is good was said in The Hunger Games, and they like they summarized quite well. A little bit of hope, is amazing. A lot of hope is. And the problem here is like you feel that you can still fix things you can still like this is just the thing that's going through, right, she was amazing. And look at all stuff going on, you're trying to convince this person of these things. So just like this other person is trying to get closure in their specific way. You're also trying to get closure and in a way and your type of closure is to try and reestablish that relationship to try and rework it. So you're in that if we look at those that Kubler Ross model on the dealing with grief, that's big part of the denial aspect, you're still trying to come to terms with it. And then you jump to this whole bargaining thing was like, okay, but maybe if we can do this, maybe if I do that, and then like going through this thing to try and convince not her, but me that I can still solve this, or I can't solve it, whatever the case will be. So it's really has to do with hope. And it's, it's a, it's an incredibly interesting phenomenon. But it also has to do come down to your own self belief. If you feel worthy, if you don't like if you feel like I can actually I am actually a good person, or I am actually worthy of love, whatever. If you don't have that strong sense of self and self belief, then you start to think that this is my option, I have to make this work. Because if I'm not this, I'm not worthy enough of that. So it has really come back to that whole self compassion thing. It's really just starting to be, you start to learn that you are okay. And that, like this is just again, your process that you're going through. And you want to make you want to kind of like close this door and you're in the best possible way. Because you don't want to feel like oh, you ruined this person afterwards. But you also want to feel worthy first, because he tells you your shit in a divorce proceedings, what's going to happen eventually, you're going to feel shit and you're going to be shipped because that's all that you hear upon. Yeah, so I think that's the, there's the psychodynamic process, but that's how I think, what what lies behind it.

Michael 1:04:12
No, it makes some sense it, it's sort of certainly around fear, I think self worth, right. You know, if you're if you do get left and what your worth and your identity and all those things. It makes more sense. You know, we sort of talked it out, but I always struggled with it. Like why am I because I did it. Why am I putting her on a pedestal like, what, six months ago would have been like, Oh, she is such a pain in the ass. But now it's like no, she was the perfect and like, which, you know, again, in hindsight, you know, four and a half years later, like he kind of chuckled at yourself like perfect. Come on. Nobody's perfect, but sure shit, she wasn't perfect. So I just I find a lot of guys do this and but now that we sort of talked to it makes it makes a lot of sense. So thank you for doing this. I really appreciate it. Well, let's cover like, how can let's cover how can people find you? What's the best way to get in touch with you or read your papers or that kind of stuff?

Llewellyn 1:05:10
I think the best thing is just to if they want to contact me, you can just email me. It's my name, willen 101 at gmail.com? Or just go on psychology today and send an email. I'm available wherever on social media, I think. Yeah, I think that's pretty much I didn't get in touch with me. All

Michael 1:05:28
right, awesome. So the last question I asked everybody is, what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just starting his divorce journey?

Llewellyn 1:05:37
That sounds very cliche, but it's cliche for a reason. Know that it's okay not to be okay. And despite all of the things that you're kind of going through at the moment isn't one of the only times in your life we have the opportunity to one really get to know yourself to keep self discovery to it's not often in your life, where you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself, right? So knowing yourself, knowing that you can change and figuring out what are the things in your life that you want to change that you want to work on to be a better person, this is the most opportune time to identify those things. And I think the last thing, I think, in my own mind is just that a relationship is based on a combination of two people's contributions to a problem, right? Or the situation. You did something, she did something, and these two things did not go very well together. And it doesn't make either of you bad people, you're just bad together, we're on the right track, but on the wrong trains, the moment that you realize that, it becomes a little bit easier.

Michael 1:06:48
Well, I couldn't agree more. Thank you, again, for doing this. I really appreciate it. You know, hopefully we can we can stay in touch. And you can do this again.

Llewellyn 1:06:57
would be very nice. Thank you so much, Michael. It was so nice to meet you. And thank you for the opportunity to come and talk to you. Feel free to email me and talk to me and like wanting to do something else. You guys I'm more than willing more than willing. And also, like if you really like to listen to this, like I look to your podcast, but I couldn't find it. I wasn't on Spotify. It's on Spotify is yeah, just like Phoenix wrong.

Michael 1:07:22
Yeah, I'll send you a link. It's on Spotify. It's everywhere. It's on Spotify. It's on YouTube as well. But only to certain I started on YouTube. Like episode 40 something 50 Something maybe. So it is on YouTube, but it's on Spotify. It's on Google podcasts on Apple, although, but I'll send you a link.

Llewellyn 1:07:40
Thank you so much. Yes. Have an absolutely wonderful. Merry I don't know. I don't know. Yeah,

Michael 1:07:46
you can say Merry Christmas. You can say Merry Christmas. It doesn't bother me. But yeah, thank you, you as well. Enjoy your holidays. Have a Happy New Year. And again, thanks for joining us. I really appreciate it. Thanks, Michael. Yep, take care. Hi. Bye. Bye. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019. I have 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 prison to my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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Episode 127 – Thanksgiving Discord Members Meeting – Part 2

This is the second meeting that took place on Thanksgiving.  It is similar to the 1st but there is also some talk about podcast numbers and a celebration of the 3rd birthday of Rising Phoenix Podcast.

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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 127. This is essentially part two of 126. It's a continuation, or the second part, the second meeting that took place on Thanksgiving day. You know, I said in 126, that it was a little bit different tone is pretty similar. In terms of, it's just the guys kind of talking about what we've been through and what we're going through and all those kinds of things. It's gonna sound a bit choppy in pieces, because there was a particular gentleman who he didn't want his story out there. So I had to edit his out, which is fine. But that made it a little bit choppy, because he would interject with his story, and that would, if you that would cause the flow to go one way. And taking those pieces out, there are certain sections, where it's, it just sounds like, like it changes out of left field, but it's just because his content had to be pulled out. So the only difference that I thought was gonna be much different than then 126. But it's pretty similar. The only real differences, there's a chunk of time, about maybe three quarters of the way through, where we talk about podcast debts, I wanted to do that, again, in this little intro here, and talk about. So Buzzsprout is the host. So in other words, when I, when I upload an episode, it uploads to Buzzsprout. And then through RSS feeds, it goes out to Apple and Spotify and all that kind of good stuff. So So you know, if you follow me, or if you're a friend on Facebook, and I really got to get better at putting this stuff out. But if you've if you if you're offended with me on Facebook, then you will, you've seen the Spotify wrapped, which is just a snapshot of the podcast on Spotify only. And nobody else does it Apple doesn't do a wrapped or a year end review or whatever nobody else does, to my knowledge. And this year, actually Buzzsprout did its own, they're calling it backtrack. So I want to read a little bit of this the stuff that they put out. So I did 35 episodes last year, which is an average of 2.92 episodes per month. You know, there was a time during this year where I stepped back. And you know, that's it was needed and necessary. And it's kind of sucks when you when you get to the end of the year, and you're like you kind of miss some of your goals. But I had to do what I had to do. And I think you know, almost call it, you know, damn near three episodes, months, not too shabby. You know, I think my goal is for a month, you know, one a week, but it's sometimes I can do that. And sometimes it can't this one obviously is going to be the second one this week. But and I want to touch on that in a little bit. But let me get through. Let me get through these stats. So of all the podcasts that Buzzsprout hosts and I don't know the number. They're a pretty popular one that there but they aren't the only one Rising Phoenix podcast is in the top 25% of those podcasts. What does that mean? So that sounds more impressive than it kind of is. So the top 50% were bottom 50 whichever way you want to look at it. That equates to 30 downloads in the first week after release. So so someone puts out an episode and after the first week, at least 30 people have listened, which, you know, that's not too shabby. But that just goes to show you how many podcasts there are that get very few listens. So being in the top 25% means I get 105 lessons within the first week that's less than typical for me typical is probably about between 202 25 I probably say to 25 On average, is roughly within the first seven days to be in the top 10% I would need to hit 405 within that first seven days, so I'm halfway there so I'm probably top 20% Give or take. And then top 5% is 975 downloads and or listens by the way. So a download is essentially a listen for I think it's 10 seconds at least if I'm not mistaken or might even only be one second 9% Sure. But at that download and listen essentially same thing. It's it's as soon as someone listens for a period of time, and it's a very short period of time, like I said, I think it's, I think it's 10 seconds. That counts as a download. The top 5% is not I think I said this 975 And then the top 1% is 4588. So 4580 listens within seven days. I don't know. You know, how many are in? I think there are eight Well, you could probably do the math. I think there are 2 million ish podcasts. So I'm terrible at math. So at least a million of them aren't well listened to, you know. So I'm, you know, 20 Top 25 Top 20% Give or take isn't, you know, it's not too shabby. I don't do any ads. You know, fortunately, I'm, I'm I run the divorce court for men group. And that's where a large part of my listeners come from. But I do hear like little smatterings of things like people finding out about the podcast in different ways. And it's interesting stuff. Anyway, onto some more metrics. The number one city so the most popular city in totality in 2023, is actually Melbourne. I don't know if it's Melbourne, Melbourne, Melbourne, right. I don't know, you guys can tell me. And again, if your friends on on Facebook, you've seen some of this, for whatever reason. So on Spotify, Melbourne, or Melbourne and Sydney are actually my top two, it's a little different here. But like I said, Spotify has its own little snapshot. So Melbourne is number one at 356 downloads, you know, in 2023 in that city, which I don't know what that means, you know, in terms of like, is that? Were there 10 people that are listening? Are there 20 Are there 356 That listen once. I mean, it's just there's so many unknowns with podcasts, stats and stuff. Next is Chicago, Illinois with 345 Sydney, like I said in Australia, 251, Phoenix, 224 and Philadelphia 186. This is for episodes in 2023. So the totality is different, but just in 2023 there are 356 downloads out of Melbourne this year. So again, cool shit. And listen, honestly, 356 doesn't sound like a lot. I mean, but this one city and again, how many people is that? I don't fucking know. 67 countries this year, LED. I don't know if I'll read the numbers, but maybe it will. US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany. And so they see those the weirdness of this like so my two of my top five cities are in Australia, but but Australia is my fourth country. So it's very strange. US has 13,000 this this year 13,007. Seven, Canada was 1001 47. United Kingdom 1052. Australia 872. And Germany 116. That's the top five countries. Again, in 2023. Only it's different in totality. Or at least it's it's not exactly like that. I don't think top episodes, Episode 96 negative thought loops, Episode 95 The pain of rejection. Episode 92 Real Men Real stories, Andrew, great episode, Episode 102 on tying emotional knots. In episode 98 infidelity. Were the were the top five episodes for this podcast in 2023. So that's it. I just wanted to cover. So here's a sort of a snapshot. It's it says, top 25% of all shows 36,000 downloads this year. 35 episodes 67 Different countries 16 138 minutes of content. Pretty cool stuff. So, you know, I think we had this discussion on On this episode, you know, is it successful? You know? I guess it depends on your metric. Am I making money? Yeah, kinda, I guess, you know, people contribute monthly, there's 41 or 42 contributors every month. It's you know, it's only five bucks a month, some guys do give a little bit more. Which is I'm grateful for, you know, when I when I say it's used, it truly is the the, the otter my transcript service is due, and I gotta pay that and I need I need, you know, the contributions to do that. Zoom is going to be due soon and I'm going to need to pay that. And there's a couple other things sprinkled out here and they're like Calendly the app that I use to book guests sometimes or book clients.

See what else is there? Oh, quick and you know, I have to do accounting and shit. Because, because I do get money. So that's, you know, I gotta pay for that. So. So it is absolutely used and needed and appreciated for sure. So, but is this podcast successful? You know? Has it helped, then then the answer is yes. Is it? Has it allowed me to only do this for a living to make money? No. Will it? I don't know. I'm not I don't have any intention of stopping. I really don't. I had two interviews this week, which I'll, I don't know if I'll release them. So here's one of our bring this up. Now, I want to get to the episode. But I do want to talk about this real quick. So let's put a pin in that either the answer to the question is, is it successful? It depends on your metric. How's that? So I had mentioned this in a couple of episodes, or at least one episode. Spotify has a q&a thing. So I've never claimed to be an Einstein. So I thought they were the q&a function was they would ask me a question. And I would respond, well, that's not how it works. So apparently, the q&a function within Spotify. And I don't know if Spotify ever sent out an email. I read this. Somewhere, I can't remember where. But the purpose of the q&a function is I asked you a question the audience and you answer when people have been using it to comment, which is great, but I can't respond. So if you've comment on Spotify, thank you so much, I can't respond. So but let's use this q&a, as its intended. So if you listen on Spotify, you can. You can use this. And by the way, Google if you're listening on Google podcasts, and there's 114 of you that follow me on Google podcast, Google podcasts, I'm sure you know, this is going away at the middle. It doesn't say it says mid year 2024. Whatever the fuck that means. June, July. May, I don't know, who knows. It's not it's not specific. You're gonna need to find I'm gonna need to do this too. So maybe I'll I'll try some things and let you guys know, because I listen to podcasts myself, but I don't I use Google. So I'm not sure what it's gonna I think that their intention is to put Google podcasts within Google music. So if you have a Google Play Music, or whatever they call it now YouTube music, I think they call it now, then that's probably where everything's gonna go. And they've allowed the ability for me to send the audio only episodes to YouTube at this point. But I'm not. I don't know, if I'm going to do that probably will only because I don't want to completely lose out on any opportunities for listeners. But I don't want to, I guess it's going to be both. So I think if you go to my YouTube channel, you're gonna see the audio one and the video one. I guess that's the way it's gonna be. I don't know. I'm not sure if the video version will be available in the same way that an audio one would be with inside YouTube music. I'm not sure that anyway, my point is, we're going to need to find an app. And maybe you know, I'll keep you posted on what I do. But But anyway, my whole fucking point was, I am. Let's try and use this Spotify q&a feature I am considering I recorded to what I think are pretty good episodes this week. I am considering releasing these episodes both next week. And part of me is I want to do it because if I'm being honest, I want to do it because I want to hit a certain goal of downloads. For the year, I had a goal of getting to a total of 100,000 downloads. I'm not going to make that I revised that down a bit. And I'm sure I'm hopeful that I can meet that. If I released two episodes next week. I'll be a lot closer to it. My revised goal. Do you dear listeners on Spotify? Do you think I'm cheating? Should I just release one a week? And not try to get that goal? Or? You guys okay with that? I don't know. It feels a little disingenuous, I guess. But maybe it's not. Maybe I'm just making up for the episodes that I did miss. I'm not sure so. And going forward, I may may find different ways to use this q&a thing now that I understand a little bit better. I may ask questions, and I don't know every episode but more episodes and say, audience What do you think? So let's try and use this thing. Let's let's give it a shot and on this particular episode, and put it to use so that's all I got to think for sort of housekeeping type stuff. You know, I had to I had to step back but this year a little bit, but I still think the numbers on all are pretty good. Even with my little bit of a step back there still was growth, for sure in terms of number of downloads. I think that's all I got for this one. Hopefully you enjoy this. I will have an episode at least one out next week with a psychologist And then I have one with an author. They're both, I think, pretty good episodes. So just let me know if you if you're listening on Spotify, if you think I should release only one next week or bucket and release both, and thank you sincerely to those of you that have commented on Spotify, I do appreciate it. Here we go. Episode 127. Do you have to be around her still? I mean, imagine that you you probably do.

Speaker 1 15:23
Yeah. Yeah, from time to time. And you know, what, it's gotten a whole lot easier. I've the term put away comes to mind, and I don't think that's right. I'm gonna say I've put away my anger. But that's, that's not right. I've not put it away. I've dealt with it. You know, I've come to come to terms with things. I've accepted things, I'm at peace with things. And yeah, you know, being around her for family functions. And, you know, even reaching out every once in a while, as you know, the mother of my son and somebody who I was, you know, the deepest of friends with for over 30 years, you know? Yeah, it's a whole lot easier. And I, you know, I really don't have a problem with it like I did a couple years ago.

Michael 16:11
Yeah, I think at one point, you guys were like, I mean, you had dinner on a couple of occasions, right now you've had, like, sort of friendly interactions with her. Yep. And we still do on occasion. And how long did it take you to get to the point where you were able to have a friendly interaction with her?

Speaker 1 16:26
She's at least two years, at least probably three. Yeah, yeah. I'm gonna I'm gonna go through with three years. But

Michael 16:35
yeah, by the way, there ain't nothing wrong with that. That's That's reality. It took three years to Pierce. Yeah. And

Speaker 1 16:41
that, you know, that time was all, you know, just me processing my shit. And getting to a place of, you know, where I could accept the situation for what it is, you know, accept, accept her for who she is, accept me for who I am. And accept our, you know, where we stand in the world together?

Michael 17:02
For what it is? Do you think that you were you consciously trying to not be angry? Or or how long did you hold on to your anger before you said, I'm guessing you at some point had to say, I don't want to be angry anymore. So how long? How long did it take from like, sort of deciding like, Okay, I don't want to be angry anymore. How long? Did that take a year or two? Whatever. And then how long did it take to? I'll say less than? Because I'm assuming the anger still creeps up here and there. Right. So how long was it for the first one? How long? Did you decide, you know, what, I just I don't want to be angry anymore.

Speaker 1 17:39
You know, it's funny, I didn't even get angry. until at least six months in. And I think, you know, that was just the, you know, the shock part of the, you know, the the shock stage, the denial stage, whatever, I did not get angry for six to nine months. And my therapist at the time. You know, he was like, why aren't you angry? Why don't you get angry? And at the time, I didn't feel that it served any purpose. Yeah. And he was like, he's like, I kind of get what you're saying. He's like, but at some point, you're gonna have to get angry. And, and I did it naturally, it finally naturally came. And I'd say it took me Yeah, it took me a couple years to work through that. And yeah, there was there finally came a point in time, where I decided I didn't want to be angry anymore.

Michael 18:34
And then how long did it take for you to process from that moment of making that decision? that conscious decision? I really don't want to piss the piste anymore. How long did it take you to work through to the point where you are now?

Speaker 1 18:48
I you know, it's an ongoing process. Hey, man. Yeah.

Michael 18:54
I love that answer. Because I think there are still moments that, you know, I'm assuming, well, you know, I talked to Chris and even some of the sometimes he's, you know, 1920 years, and he still has moments like, so his daughter is getting married this weekend is always daughter, I am sure. He's gonna have some moments of of anger 20 years later. Because I think this stuff is it's hard. And it's it's hurtful. And that brings up anger. And that's, I think that's normal. But I think if you make a conscious decision to I don't want to be that way, because I do think that when you are angry, she's controlling you, right? You're a little puppet, like, you know, she can she can make you angry whenever she wants her whenever she pleases. Or she might not even want she just is. But she's that means in my view, she's controlling you. And I don't I don't think any of us really, if we really sit down and look at it. And we feel like we've been locked in so many different ways and we're heartbroken and hurt and all these things. We don't want to be controlled by them. I think ultimately you have to make a decision like I don't want to be in Dallas. I don't want to be angry and then you got to do the hard fucking work of working through all that shit. Yeah, and I think it is an ongoing process like because His life comes at you and birthdays and and you know where you guys your son is married, right? Yes, yes. Was he was he married before the divorce or after he was? Yes. Okay, so you didn't have to deal with some of that but but now you have grandkids so you have to deal with some mess of like birthdays and that kind of shit. Oh yeah. And if I remember correctly that it's a boy you don't have to say but the grand child is pretty young. So you got a lot of milestones coming up right preschool. We're

Speaker 1 20:27
actually we've got we've got three grandchildren now. Oh, shit. I thought it was only one. Yeah, nope. ages three to nine. So. So yeah, our family interactions together. Surrounding the grandkids. They're there at least few times a year. Yeah. Yeah. In fact, the past few years, we've we've done Christmas together at the kids house. And you know, it's worked out. It's been fine. Now, was

Michael 20:50
she dating anyone or anything of that nature?

Speaker 1 20:53
You know, I don't know. She didn't bring him around. Yeah, no, no, if she is she she's certainly not brought him around. And, and my son has not led led me to believe and, you know, if she is good for her, if not, well, you know, that's okay, too. Yeah. So,

Michael 21:11
if you don't mind, let's, let's dive into that a little bit. Because, you know, I know we're kind of you're at in terms of even interest in dating, and you don't? You don't really have any, right. I mean, I'm not at this point.

Speaker 1 21:24
I do and I don't. I seem to still have some work to do on being confident enough and ready enough to put myself out there. The online dating thing just doesn't see, for me, you know, I've, you know, I've gone as far as to set a profile up a few times. And, you know, and it's just like, this. It's a it's gonna have to be organic. And, you know, I just haven't, I shouldn't say I haven't I have. I haven't really met anybody whose baggage matches my baggage. And you know, whose baggage I want to pick up and carry. Sadly enough, the the ladies I've been interested in are not available.

Michael 22:06
Hey, Brian, how you doing, sir? It's, it sucks. Let's just call it what it is. Yeah. I think the pickings are slim. If people can play guys complain all the time. Where are the good ones out? Well, they're fucking married. They're married. I mean, not all of them that are married are good ones. But I'm saying the good ones that they're loyal and faithful and all that they're married. They're doing their thing. I think our best case scenario, and this is just me, and maybe I'm wrong. And maybe I'm sort of bitter in some kind of ways. But like, I think our best case scenario is someone that was, was cheated on left, whatever she that her story mirrors our story when she was hurt and devastated, and all this kind of shit. And then she had to go do so do a lot of work and go through a lot of therapy and read a lot of books and do all these things to get into a healthy place. And I think I think that's the best case scenario. For me personally, I don't see I wouldn't want to be with walk away wife, someone who's like, oh, you know, he was I just got tired of it. Okay? What? How long before you get tired of me? No, thank you. A widow. No offense to anyone or whatever. My mom's a widow and stuff but like mine, cuz my dad passed long time ago. But I feel like you'd be living up to a ghost. I don't have any intention or interest in that. I mean, if people want to do that, that's great. I'm not knocking it, but I don't for me, personally, I have no interest in it. And so then what are we left with? That slim, I think number of folks that have mirror our stories, because typically is the woman at least so I just think that that makes the pool very, very small. And if you live in bumfuck, Pennsylvania, it's even smaller. So I don't I don't have much hope. I'm assuming something eventually will happen. But put boy sometimes I gotta tell you, I'm just like, is it's fucking feels hopeless.

Speaker 1 23:56
Well, you know, and I think I've heard you mentioned this and I it rings. Very true with me. I think my my standards now are where the fuck up here? Oh, yeah. And, you know, I'm not talking physical standards. Sure, that's nice. That's, that's okay. But, ya know, my standards are so fucking high. And, you know, I'm not going to I'm not going to settle. I don't think I'm going to accept a lot of the things that I accepted and, you know, my marriage for for 27 years. So yeah, and yeah, it's just gonna have to happen organically and so far as so.

Michael 24:36
Yeah. And we say organically and I think that's the best way but how how do you think that will happen? I know you do a lot of bicycling and that kind of stuff. I don't know if you if that's coed thing or if that's what your boys are? Like, how do you envision because I think that would be great too. But I also find myself sitting on my ass at home sometimes in like, well, who the fuck? How am I gonna meet anybody? doing this but yeah, how do you see that playing out? Like what does organically sort of mean to you? Yeah, I?

Speaker 1 25:06
I don't know because I don't do the I don't do the bar scene. I'm not a terribly social person. Yeah, and I do my I do my fair share so at home on my ass as well and yeah, like you said meet anybody on my couch? Yeah, the cycling thing is is CO Ed. Due to the nature it's much more women are much more men than women but that's sort of the nature of the sport, but it's certainly co Ed and. And yeah, that's that's where I've I've actually met some women who I am interested in, but they are not available. Yeah, and I'm not that guy. No,

Michael 25:43
no, no, no, God, no, fuck that. Yeah, I mean, I struggle with like, literally, how do you? How do you how do you make it organic? If you sit on your ass at home? Like you can? Yeah,

Speaker 1 25:55
you know, there's a there's a lady at a lady at work who is very attractive. And, you know, she's, I think she's a few years couple, couple, two, three years younger than me. She's also divorced. And, you know, co workers been like, we're gonna ask her out, you know, aren't you guys looking up? Oh, no, you know, and I'm just like, Now, first of all, I'm I'm a pretty significant believer of, you know, you don't shit where you I've seen what can happen in that dynamic. Yeah. And, you know, second, you know, okay, in some chats with her and stuff, you know, it's like, I just don't know that there's a whole lot there. You know, for us to grab hold up together. I just I don't know if she's made. I think she's made some some questionable if not bad choices and men in the past and I'm not sure I want to be her first. Good choice.

Michael 26:51
That's a that's an interesting perspective. Well, I mean, I think listen to department going, Oh, look, you don't know till you know, right? Yeah, true. But I do agree. You don't shit where you eat. I think that could turn fucking now I see. Like a I mean, you work closely with her. It's something that like if it did get awkward or or if it did turn sour, it would be not good for your working day or whatever.

Speaker 1 27:14
Well, we don't work on the same team, but in the same building. And, you know, there's maybe 100 people in the building. So

Michael 27:23
I mean, bucket go for it. Yeah. Once my friend, you know, I've seen you only live once. But I understand. I think there's a hesitation now. Now. It curious if you're sort of high standards, which I think mine are sometimes a detriment to in a way where it's like, my standards are very high. And I wonder how much of that is, is certainly righteous, but how much of it is protection airy, like, how much of it is like, I'm going to make my standards so impossible, but nobody can meet or beat it. And thus, I'll never be with anyone again. And thus, I'll never get hurt again. Like how am I thinking?

Speaker 1 27:58
I think it's very protection airy? Honestly, I really do. Yeah. None of us want to go through this shit Shogun.

Michael 28:06
Oh, god. No, I can't I don't understand the guys who I mean, I do understand in some ways, I don't understand the guys get married again, right away. Like right away. That's just ridiculous. And then guys that jump into dating right away, although I was guilty of that, but I don't know if I would call it dating. I would call it whoring maybe, like, I could put my dick and anything I could like, I didn't care, right. But I never understood that like people that just like, sort of discount the what occurred and just be like, Oh, it was all her fault. And just gotta find another one or a better one.

Unknown Speaker 28:40
Good luck. Yeah.

Michael 28:43
Good, either. Well, I think you know, we talk a lot of times I think in here I think I tried to stress that, you know, especially after after you, you know, first occurs it's important to work on yourself, but I think if we're being honest, the long term goal, it doesn't have to be but I do think it is because we're social creatures. We all crave connection. I think the ultimate goal is to return to a good relationship. And so I think it's important to talk about that and get to that but also think that you know, we got to make sure we're taking the time to make sure that we're doing the work so we we are ensured that the next one is a good one because if we just do the same shit over and over, or if we just sort of ignore our part in it and just try to dive into the next one, we're gonna wind up right to fuck back where we are. And back to Pete your point earlier. I don't want to go through this fucking shit again. Once enough for me. I'm not saying I don't want to get I don't know about married. I'm not saying I don't want to be in a relationship again. But I sure as fuck don't want to be devastated like like this again, ever. I mean, sometimes there's only so much you can do to protect yourself but if I don't do any kind of work on me and sort of trying to understand my part in it and fix that's again those things that I'm that I'm in danger of repeating it and I know fucking thanks. No thanks

Speaker 2 30:03
is inevitable. If you love, you will get hurt. Yeah, that's fucking reality of it unless you move to a monastery and never have contact with another person again, you will be hurt by people. The key is not making the same mistakes, not letting it destroy your entire self again, you know, I'm, I really firmly believe I'm two years out I had one fling, not quite a year after separation that was a very short fling, but honestly, I needed it to reestablish my confidence, like, Okay, I am a desirable man, I don't need this validation. But at that point I did. But at the end of the day, a relationship is always going to be the icing on a wellmade cake. If you eat icing out of the tub without any goddamn cake, it is going to make you sick, you know, so So a relationship really does need to be the icing on a really well built life. And I think by doing that, yes, you're gonna get you're heartbroken. If you love anybody that's inevitable. But by putting that icing on a well made cake instead of a fragile cake, when shit inevitably blows up, whether whether it's, you know, the relationship dissolves, somebody dies, maybe you're the one that goes first hurts are gonna get broken when you love. Right. But when you put the icing on a good cake, hopefully it doesn't completely up in one's world again, in such a traumatic, violent way that unexpected divorce does. Because I do think there's a big difference between unexpected divorce and being the one on the executing side. I know in this group that may ruffle some feathers. But I think when you're hit with it, compared to being the one launching it, it's a very different experience.

Michael 31:44
Yeah, well, and I will say the only caveat is if you're if you're launching it because of other actions but but legit like cheating, not just the sometimes this shit that I think is I don't know how much I buy. And like all she treated me like shit or whatever. I'm not saying she didn't. But like, I don't know, you ultimately made a decision we anyway. But I think if there's cheating and things of that nature, it does skew that a little bit. But yeah, I think you're 100% Right. And I think that's sometimes a problem that I have with this group sometimes because I see guys come in here, and and sort of blame everything on her and they're happy to be away from her. And I'm just like, that just kind of rubs me the wrong way in good, bad or indifferent for me personally that because I was she was that guy, if you understand what I'm saying, like I was the worst fucking thing in the world. And thank God, I got away from that narcissistic piece of shit, you know. And so listen, everybody needs support. And I don't want anyone to not seek it out if they need it. But sometimes I wonder guys that are in here that have pulled the trigger? How much support do you need? How much support did my ex need? You know what I'm saying? I'm not I'm not trying to lump them together. But the scenarios are equal. I think

Speaker 2 32:55
they need lots of support the same as we do. They need lots of support the same as we do. But when you're on the receiving side versus the giving side, I think it's a different perspective. And well, it's definitely a different perspective, having not been the one to pull that trigger on major relationships. I've broken up with women, but but most of the major life altering breakups I've had, I was on the receiving end. So I can't give that advice to a guy that lived a life and said, You know what? She was this, that and the other I had to pull the plug. I don't know how to counsel you. You have a different set of struggles than then I have struggled with. I'm sure they need it. I just don't have that perspective and clarity to give it. Yeah,

Michael 33:31
I definitely can.

Jared 33:35
Well, next step can be scary as hell. I mean, you know, I just got remarried last month, and starting into dating and all that it. It's scary as hell. But you got to try and keep as much of an open mind with it as you can. Because yeah, I got fucked with a lot of things. But my wife isn't the one that fucked me. So I can't hold that against her. And she's divorced as well. And we each have our traumas and our baggage from our previous marriages. And open communication goes a long way for that. Because there'll be something she does or something I do that sets the other off for no reason other than our trauma. But for us, I just say kumquat that's our code word of Nope, I can't fucking do it right now. I'll come back to you. I'd come down and I'll explain why they'd sent me off. Yeah, we talked about that to come back. Yeah,

Michael 34:36
well, again, I was gonna say like we had this conversation earlier and that's that's the key and that's the hard part. It's always been the hard part for me. It's there's this like, No, I can't do it right now. And I'll do it later but then later never comes because it's because it's so much easier. Just ignore shit, right? It is. It's just it is now does it in the long run. It doesn't make things easier, but in the moments or in those in those situations, it makes it a whole fuck A lot easier if you can just ignore and walk away from it. But boy, does that shit fester. And that probably was what led to for sure. That's what led to my divorce. I don't know if anyone else has that similar sort of experience. I think we all do on it. So absolutely.

Speaker 1 35:13
I think we all do to an extent. Yeah. The

Jared 35:16
point with my ex where I'm fairly cold anymore. I mean, I'm not hostile by any means. But I just keep it as short and sweet as I can. My ex still loves to make shit awkward. Like two weeks ago, she came to pick up the kids and like, oh, congrats. I saw you got married again. Like yeah, thanks. Like, Well, I hope she's everything I couldn't be for you. I'm like, yeah, she's faithful. You want for me right now? Go away. Like that all the time, where I'm just like, why don't you just fucking leave? The conversation is going to go.

Michael 35:58
I think that's, that's an important point. It's a funny point. But it's an important point to make. You really got to limit your interactions. You got to learn this, these these big fancy words, boundaries and consequences and crashing into boundaries. That shit is there for a reason it's talked about for a reason. Because the better you are at setting your boundaries and maintaining them, the less conflict and bullshit you have in your life. And that's one of those things that especially in the beginning, when you're sort of all worked up, and pissed off and just emotional. The best thing one of the best things you can do is limit your fucking contact with that person. As much as you can rational know, you can know you're in fight or flight freeze point, wherever you're at. You're not in normal thinking logical, like, Yeah, well, let's maintain a civilized conversation. You're like that fucking cunt cheated on me or whatever it is, right? You can't be a sound mind. You. I know I could. And so one of the best things you can do is just limit your contact as much as you can stop fucking Oregon. Well, she said this and, and her mother said, Who gives a shit. But let her talk let her and her family and her friends. That's team was gonna say continuity. That's the wrong word. That's, that's team, the other side. Let that team fucking talk. They're going to anyone who gives a shit, stop trying to defend yourself or people that you're never going to be able to that will never support you or see your side anyway. So again, limit the fucking contact. And just sorry

Jared 37:22
for the people listening. Sometimes the best response is no response at all. No response is actually a response. And a lot of people don't realize that. Yeah,

Michael 37:33
you don't have to. There's no, it's some people I think I think there's a couple reasons to do it. One, I think is to maintain that contact, right? Yes, it was if even if you're arguing you're still talking. Right? You're still getting her attention. So that's I think that's one part of it. The other part of is I think they're they're still so hurt. They just want to their little does that saying hurt people hurt people. They're fucking hurt. And they just want to hurt back. And I get all of that. But it does, you know, good in the long run.

Jared 37:58
For me, it will beginning I would antagonize her a little bit, just because I was gathering ship record while I had my phone on record every conversation. So I picked her up a little bit, and she would think and get start yelling at me, and I got a lot of good shit that way.

Michael 38:16
And well, it worked too, right. I mean, you have, like 90% custody or something like that. 9393. So it kind of worked. I mean, I don't know if that tactic worked. But whatever. You did work because you have much more custody than she does. Yep. Justin, you're

Jared 38:31
a one size fits all. That's just what worked for me. Sure.

Speaker 2 38:37
Justice. Thanks so many cogwheels turning brothers. So Jared, you know, I know you quite quite well, in your case. 90% custody, totally appropriate. Honestly. 100% custody would have been totally appropriate. But I think we need to be careful of our verbiage, because that's not a win. Respectfully, that's not a win. For those kids. The biggest win for those kids would be having two parents well enough to parent 5050 Well, that's that's the biggest win in that but I think there's so many different things at play here, right? Like when it comes to conflict and breaking those ties. People who are used to existing in drama, or an excited state want to maintain that our neuro chemistry is best there. So whether it's off doing it or the alternate side doing it that bread crumbing I call it like throwing little little snippets to keep causing bullshit. Those little flare ups so even if it's only a two sentence argument to text back and forth luck, you know, fuck me. Like that. That little wee bit is engaging that brain chemistry that if you want to move past this, you really do need to change so the faster you can break that contact, honored and 20% and I forgot the second half of my my stream of consciousness. There's so many good points going around your voice.

Michael 39:58
Well, no, it's It's true you got it you have to sort of change what you do right but in the first step in that I say this all the time you got to be conscious of what you do. So if you got to be mindful be aware I know that sounds mindful sounds like you should be on a fucking mountain going oh, but it's not it's just paying attention to your fucking thoughts and your actions to see there's patterns and why am I doing this and ask the question why so many fucking times? And then you can start to evaluate is this something that's helping or hurting? Yeah, and then you can start making some decisions but it's hard all this shit is hard. We're so like you said it's it's your neural pathways. It's your your the things that you do are ingrained within you. And you've been that way for a very fucking long time. So changing it is not easy. It's not the snap of a fucking finger. But it starts with being aware. Like what am I doing? I was

Jared 40:47
sorry, Jackie, you're good. I was lucky on that front. Because you guys know the wedding dress story. I was able to put all of my rage into that dress. And I'm done. All my rage that was covered in mud. I

Michael 41:06
admire that I do think symbolic I don't know if that's symbolic. But gestures I do think are important in this process. Like Like, burning shit for sure. It's part of as part of my program is part of my program. That's there's there's something about taking actions to sort of move on and let go that are extremely helpful burning shit getting rid of shit, changing shit, like new furniture or whatever, you know, moving ship painting shit, like all of that stuff is so very helpful in this process. It just, it allows you again to sort of see start to see things and do things differently. And those those steps wearing, you're literally wearing, I couldn't fit into my XYZ wedding dress. I'm glad you could see the

Jared 41:49
title recorded a lot. And that was terrible. Couldn't get down on tight again, I'd take my pocket and I've cut the damn thing off me. And then if I move back a little bit, the chest stayed where it was. And I was just surrounded by.

Unknown Speaker 42:05
It just didn't

Jared 42:07
get wrapped up in the axles with me and talk shop around my kids. There's code words or I do it in Spanish. So kids have no idea. Interest. Like two days after my ex left, I found out she was cheating on me on the couch in my living room. And so I got drunk one night, pulled a reclining sofa out of my house by myself and lit on fire in the middle of my driveway. Yes, we do. Like kids just think I hate green couches now. All right, that button you can think I hate green couches.

Michael 42:43
That's true.

Jared 42:46
But that fucking thing in my house.

Unknown Speaker 42:48
Oh dad, you can't come over my friend Billy's house. This guy.

Michael 42:54
Did Ichi. You got it? I think all y'all I could be wrong on this state in the marital home. Am I wrong on this? I think everyone here did right. Yeah. What's that? Pete? Yeah, I still hear. Yep. That's what I thought. Brian, you're in the same. Yeah. Okay, so we lost Jared. So So did you guys do anything like new furniture painting moving shit around? Whatever. Did you guys do any of that stuff?

Speaker 1 43:18
Not a lot of painting. I think just about every room has been painted. that not every room a lot of painting a lot of new furniture. There's actually still there's still more stuff I'd like to do, you know, still selling off the same dishes and shit. You know, I was thinking just the other day, I just get rid of this shit and get some new stuff. But the one room that really got the fucking makeover was the bedroom. Sample bedroom. I mean, there ain't nothing in there. That's the same.

Jared 43:50
Yeah, and my bedroom, it's still pretty well, the same. First thing I did was I rearranged my living room. It was like four months after. And I didn't realize how much I'd been avoiding rooms in my house. Until that day, I rearranged my living room, and I actually had to get up off the couch to go to bed. Like, whoa, this is fucking weird. And then I remodeled my bathroom after that, and I just redid a bunch again. Last Friday.

Michael 44:19
Oh, wow.

Unknown Speaker 44:20
It's therapeutic good.

Michael 44:22
It really is.

Jared 44:25
Just changing the space. It's crazy.

Speaker 1 44:27
Yeah. And it does take a lot. Really just some small. Yeah,

Michael 44:31
you can just move shit around. Yep. I wanted to tell you, if you don't mind, I do want to cover some stats on the podcast, not nothing. I don't wanna take a lot of time on this, but it is the third birthday of this thing. And it always kind of kind of really blows my mind. When I look at some of these things, and I look at just a number of countries. So since the launch of this thing, it's been listened to now to varying degrees in terms of numbers. But it's been listened to and 100 and 19 different countries. Wow. Can you wrap your head around that because I have a heart that is huge. Now some of it is you know, I can get down to like the ones and shits like Guatemala only one listen Ecuador Ethiopia some of them are very no one listens one off Nicaragua that does start climbing a little bit the Bahamas too. And I'm not going to read them all but then then Russia three, which I would love to talk to these fucking people. I swear. If I say this all the time it's like if you're from I don't know if you even can contact me from China. Five people or five listens from China. Someone from China fucking card contact me please. I want to talk to you. How'd you find it? All these kinds of things. And why only five What the fuck? It starts climbing. Uruguay seven again. Uruguay HOW THE FUCK IS Slovenia? Nigeria? Thailand. 11 There's some jokes there I'm sure but Puerto Rico 12 starts climbing a little bit. Italy. 18 Brazil 22 South Korea now starts playing a little bit more Iceland 35 South Korea 36. Egypt 41. and then Pakistan gets into the 50s. Spain and into the 60s. Belgium 74 times Poland. 83 times. Norway. 112. South Africa 163. And then it gets into the two hundreds which is the top 12345678 which is Sweden at 202. Netherlands. 206. France 216. Germany 310. Australia is third with 30 715 lessons. UK 5130. listens. Canada coming in strong at number two at 6020. listens. And then of course the US currently at 68,003 listens. That is awesome. It's fucking weird.

Speaker 1 47:04
That is awesome. Congratulations, my friend. Thank you. It is

Speaker 3 47:07
great. It's they hear this in their language mic or what? No,

Michael 47:11
no, they're just deciphering as best they can. My nonsense. That maybe that's why there's only five listens. Maybe they thought the logo was cool. And they're like, I'll give it a listen and then couldn't fucking understand my mind. I don't know. But yeah, and then cities I definitely won't go through all these but 4601 different cities across the world. 4601 cities that's again, what's the

Speaker 1 47:39
what's the number one city with the evidently the most divorced guys that that need to listen to this podcast?

Michael 47:46
That's a good question. So I will go over I'll do it. Maybe I'll do the top five. So funny enough. Strangely, the top two are in Australia. So the number one city is Melbourne, Melbourne and Victoria, Australia, that 1100 83 listens. And then Sydney, Australia, obviously 1095. Next is Chicago at 1064. Seattle, 2032 and Philly at 1011. And then it dips down from there. Ontario's 900. And then there's a there's a bunch of obviously a bunch of underneath there, but I don't know that's a good question. And then of course if you look at that, that's the totality if you look at I thought you were drinking Guinness, I thought when we were talking Irish I thought I seen a Guinness there Justin. I'm like a fucking I'm like a rabid dog. I get distracted. Very easy. What the fuck was I even saying? So that's all that's all Guinness and I got excited. Yeah, I don't know what the fuck I was saying. I don't know. It depends on where you look like. So this is totality. This is like from everywhere. But then if you look at Apple it the last time I looked at Apple, I think the and that's the top mechanism that people used to listen to the podcast. I think the top city with with Apple I think is Seattle maybe. So it's really interesting to sort of look at this shit and try and wrap my head around at all.

Speaker 1 49:13
I'm afraid I'm afraid my numbers probably don't count because I'm a very visual person. And since you've started, you know, doing the the visual or the video podcast, I'm doing YouTube almost exclusively. And I believe you've said in the past that somehow those numbers don't get ranked counted, you

Michael 49:33
know, which is fine. I don't really I mean, it's as well. Yeah, so YouTube's definitely different and now so I'm not sure what I'm going to do going forward. But now go for

Speaker 1 49:45
one episode. Oh, yeah.

Michael 49:49
Oh, yeah, for sure. Funny enough. Funny enough, it's not episode one. It used to be episode one for a long time. It was episode one which makes sense, right? Sure. It's not the Last time I look yeah, it's actually episode two. So Episode Two has been listened to 2010 times. And that's the number one episode. The next one is episode one, which is 19 169. There is, I think. So I know the top five, it doesn't. Without, I'd have to look at every single one, but the top five or 2143 and 11. And 11 is the least of the five or of the Yeah, 12345. And that's 12 121 times. So I used to be it used to be episode one, which makes sense. But then for some reason, which I don't, I mean, that's a good episode, so I don't really give a shit. Episode Two now leads the pack. So some of that, obviously, is time. Like, you know, episode two has been out there obviously longer than episode 123. Right? That's true. And so. So that's a part of it. One of the things that is sort of interesting is that typically, each episode is about 500 downloads within a 90 day window. So that's 3060 90 is kind of what is the metric that and of course, all time but those three are what's looked at and sort of measured by Buzzsprout, which is the host. So within that 90 days, typically, it's about 500 downloads per episode. They say that, with that number, I think I'm in the top like 30% of podcasts in the world. So and you got to think that there's a lot of fucking podcasts out there that have like two episodes, or 10 episodes or whatever. So it skews everything in a way. Like, obviously, you got Rogen, who's probably got, I don't know, a million listens in 90 days, or whatever it is. I don't know what the number is. But it's so hard to figure out like, what is success with a podcast? Right? I don't if people ask me, like, you know, how successful are you? I don't fucking know. I don't know people. Listen, I know that much. But is it like compared to Rogan, it's nothing compared to, you know, the other 2 million podcasts and don't pretty fucking well, but it's hard to really measure it. And then everything's sort of, you know, you get it from different places. And so I can look at my total number of downloads, but I can't I don't know how many people were actually listening and following. Apple tracks, followers and Spotify tracks, followers and Google, but Google shutting down. And there's so many other podcasts that I don't that people listen on. But I don't like apps that they use, but but they don't track. I don't see those metrics from them. So I can look at Apple and Spotify. And I can tell you, you know what the number one episode is on there. But there's an app called I think, overcast or I Heart Radio. I don't have any metrics from those organizations. So I have no idea. And with as far as I know, with YouTube, I don't get any real metrics, either in terms of like, where are people listening? I can tell you how many people it's not as high as obviously what's going on here. I think, as of this morning, I think I look, there's 286 I think followers on YouTube. But if you look at Apple, Spotify and Google, there's over 1000. But again, that's there's a missing some for sure. So it's really, I try not to look at these I obviously do. But I try not to like focus on who's listening and what like, like YouTube will tell you, how long did someone listen to a video before they stopped? I don't look at that shit, because I'll lose my fucking mind. I'll be like, wait a minute, what did what did I say? Why did this? Why did they stop? Then? What did I say? Then? You know, it was something I did. Like you could you could literally lose your fucking mind. If you if you really get into the minutiae of this, and I just don't have any interest, I look at totals, I try not to do it. I do have a goal for the end of the year, I'm probably going to fall short. But I kind of took a little break in the middle of the year. So I'm okay with that. But I don't I don't try to focus on it. Because all I can do is just put it out there and just keep putting it out there. And I think, you know, they say, you know, there's no such thing as an overnight success story. I fucking believe that. You know, you just got to keep going. You just got to keep going. And so if I focus on, you know, what kind of numbers I have every day or whatever, I probably would, I'd stop. It's rare that I get a day where there isn't at least 50 listens on various episodes. But it happens. But if I looked at those days where I have 40 or 31, I'd be like, Oh, fuck what's going on? What you know what's wrong? Why, you know, it's not working. I gotta shut it down. I can't I can't do that. I try not to look at that stuff. I lose my fucking mind. So,

Unknown Speaker 54:35
but you're not in it for that either.

Michael 54:37
The real No, I just want to help that as well.

Speaker 1 54:40
So, you know, it's a, like you said it's hard to quantify. Is it? Is it festival? Well, you know, depending on the measure measurement of success. Sure. Yeah. Absolutely. 100% resounding success. It's quite successful. So yeah,

Michael 54:56
I think so. I mean, I definitely reach folks for sure. But yeah, you know, 191 countries is a lot. I mean, again, some of them are five lessons or seven or whatever, but it's still reaching those folks. And maybe there was just one, maybe they only needed one episode, I think you need more than one. But maybe they only needed one. Maybe they just needed that legal one, or that the suicide one maybe even, or whatever. And that was enough to get them to a better place. That's, that's all fucking matters. I mean, I do get messages and comments, Spotify, sort of this new q&a thing, which is the stupidest fucking thing. It's called q&a, but I can't say it. People, people will comment, and I can't respond. So it's like, if you look, if you look at Spotify on, on all the episodes, you can see comments, but I can't respond to them. It's fucking stupid. So there's not a lot of them. But it does happen. It's random people on it. Same with my YouTube channel, people do comment. So I know it's reaching people. And would it be nice if I was doing only this for a living here? You're putting a writer would may that? Is it possible? I don't know. Maybe again, I try not to I'm just trying to put them out and put out stuff that I've a that I'm going through, in hopes that that helps. But the stuff that I went through and experts and professionals and folks that have lived it in order to help. And maybe someday I will be able to, you know, catch my check, you know, because how

Unknown Speaker 56:17
are you doing?

Michael 56:18
How am I doing?

Speaker 3 56:21
You know, in regards to your divorce and going forward? Is everything going? Well for you?

Michael 56:28
Yeah, I mean, you know, divorce, the divorce is final. The 401k Shit is still still my fucking final. I got the African person, I'm

Unknown Speaker 56:43
just asking you

Michael 56:45
that. I don't I don't mind. So what I do you the 401k has been rejected now, four times by fidelity. Because her lawyer is a fucking moron and doesn't have to fill out a fucking form. I sincerely hope that she is not paying this fucking idiot to fill out these forms every single time. Because that's why it's getting rejected is because she doesn't he doesn't know how to fill it out. So I just got an email on Tuesday or Wednesday from my lawyer that said, here's a new form. He did it again. Try it. Here's the fifth attempt or whatever the fuck it is, at this point, please sign this one and bring it back. So that's still ongoing. That definitely was difficult to deal with. Because it was very, like they were putting on me like was my fault. Like I was doing something wrong. I was hiding money or moving money, which is nonsense. The money's there take it. I mean, I don't want you to take it but you're legally entitled to it. Like there's a divorce decree signed, and you're owed this money from this fun. So fucking take it already. But

Speaker 1 57:51
can you just fill the form out in its entirety, minus that lawyer signature and have him sign it because I went through a similar thing on transfer funds out of a, an IRA and you same thing, you know, form was filled out incorrectly. Rejected blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, and, you know, I didn't even I knew what the numbers were supposed to be like. But this figure in you know, column, you know, it's just,

Michael 58:20
I think in high end, this is this is one of my weaknesses, right? This is like, I don't want to deal with it type thing. This is this is part of my weakness. So I think in hindsight, if I would have done that, from the get go, yeah, that's what I should have done. I kind of let them like, Okay, you fucking figure it out? Because you're supposed to figure it out per the divorce decree. It's on her and her lawyer to figure this shit out. But yes, I think although I don't know how well that would have been received because ultimately, they sued me because they said I was being manipulative or whatever they luscious malicious intent to hide my I don't know, go fuck yourself. So I don't know that they would have accepted anything for me anyway, but I do wish that I would have just contacted fidelity, which wasn't easy to find because they have a cute er o department a quadro whatever you want to call it, getting in touch with that department wasn't the easiest, but I did eventually get a number from a guy where I talked to the guy and got his direct number and he's like, just call me if you need any help. And I wish I would have just taken the bull by the horns initially when the first rejection came and just worked with fidelity to figure it out and fill it out properly and then take it to them and say here the fuck it is all she has to do is sign it. But I'm hopeful knock on wood that this time to communicate it right? I don't know. She's still not going to get the money she thinks he's gonna get just because of the performance of the fund which I have nothing to do with right talking stock market and the fund. Allocations ain't on me so but that that definitely it bothered me because she didn't trust me. And I don't know why that bothers me because who gives a shit but part of it did because it's like, I'm not trying to fuck you here woman like it's just court order. Yeah. So long story short, we're waiting on while I got a printout and sign the latest version of this fucking form. And then my lawyer is like, just bring it to my office. But I'm thinking, why would I do that, because then you're going to charge me to take it to her to her lawyer's office. So I think I'm just gonna sign and give it to her. And here's what I did last time, because they gave me a short notice. And I was leaving out of town, I was like, I can sign it, give it to my ex, so she can sign it and take it to her lawyer. But that's where we're at with it. It's, it's the last piece of the puzzle, it seems like it just wants to fucking drag on. But it bothered me that she thought that I was still trying to screw her financially. Which is funny, because it's not her fucking money really? Well, and the thing is, it's the 401 K's were so out of whack. No, I had a good amount, and she had a little bit. And so that that means I had to give mine away. And And for years, I can remember saying there Hey, did you set up your retirement? Yeah, you know, did you set that Oh, no HR, this an HR that and I don't have this form and that form and, and so because she fucking took forever, it created this pretty big imbalance in our retirement accounts. And that's why I have to give her money. It's, I don't think she deserves a fucking dime of it. But I'm not trying to it's a court order. I can't run from it. Like, I'm not trying to withhold the money, you can have the money. The fact that keep looking Wait, what can money to disappear, so I can figure out where's my baseline at, but hopefully, you know, knock on wood by, I don't know, January or some shit. It seems like it takes forever to he's gotta go. She's got to sign it, I got a son, it's got to go back to the judge, the judge signs off on it. And then they send it to fidelity. So it'll probably be and then fidelity seems to take their little fucking time. So it's probably going to be I don't know, two or three months before I have a final. Hopefully this was the final one and I have to deal with it. But it does suck that there's this. This thing that still sort of reminds you, you know, oh, yeah, you got divorced. You know what I mean? It doesn't bother me as much, but it's still it's one of those things that boy, I'd really like to get that fucking done and over with. Yeah, yeah. So well,

Unknown Speaker 1:02:01
if she presented you with a paper, would you just sign it?

Michael 1:02:05
Oh, yeah, I mean,

Speaker 2 1:02:06
I hate to give you the counterpoint again, brother. I can't help myself sometimes. But I don't trust my ex wife as far as I can throw her she's a tiny girl so I can throw her a little bit of a waste but not very far. And I would expect much the same in return. I wouldn't. Careful what you take on as your own burden. I don't trust my ex any more than you should trust your your ex and she should trust you right like it. Bullshit and lawyers. Good links are amazing. Bad lawyers are fucking leeches. I feel for the bullshit. But if I was divorcing you I wouldn't trust you either. You know, if I was divorced, yeah, I wouldn't trust you either.

Michael 1:02:44
I guess so. I mean, I guess it. Yeah, I guess I maybe hold held on to that. Like, I don't know. Just the, you know, you might not love me, but geez, maybe you can least respect me. And trust me, you know what I mean? Over a lawyer like him over me, it seems like you don't know that fucking guy. And not for nothing. But each time he fucks up. I hope he's not charging. But I suspect he is. But every time he fucks up, and there's also that cynical part of me. It's going well, she's getting my fucking $1,000 a month for child support. Anyway, so what the fuck that she cares? She has to pay a lawyer a little bit. You know what I mean? So it but I, why don't you want this done? Don't you want this done? I mean, I said to her let's we can figure out how to fill out this fucking form. I'm sure of it. Nope, I'm not I'm using my attorney. Okay. Fine, whatever. It's an important part of it. I mean, I don't know, it affects it probably doesn't affect older kids the same as younger kids. But like, it's important for sure. For younger kids to not bring dot bash the other party just it just doesn't help. It's not helpful. Because as Chris says, it's all the time, they intrinsically know. They're half you and half them. So if you're knocking the other half, that's half of them that you're knocking. And it doesn't it puts them in an awkward fucking position. So I don't I'm I think I'm pretty good at not doing that. Because I know that but I'm sure sometimes. I mean, I'm sure I slip up because sometimes it's hard. You know, sometimes, especially when

Jared 1:04:10
they catch you off guard. Yeah. Yeah, I fucked up once last year. I was camping with all my kids. And, you know, we're in my camper and my boy he looks at me and goes, Do you remember when mom and Luke used to sleep up there together all the time? Not just Yeah, that wasn't very good. I have a Muslim. And I felt like a piece of shit. But I just reacted because it caught me so off guard. No,

Michael 1:04:38
sometimes the truth is okay, just I mean, I don't think I mean, I didn't hear anything too bad and what you said honestly, I mean, I think that I think some people take it to the extreme and like, you know, your mother is you know, trying to take you from me or or you know, she's an evil person or you know, whatever it is that it can be, like not, not subtle. You know what I mean? Just over the top hit you over the head. was your mother's a piece of shit now? I feel that way sometimes. But I'll say that I don't.

Jared 1:05:05
I've had that from the other side that I'm sure of course, there was one time my four year old at the time wouldn't even look at me. Finally come talk to me. He's like, I was just told I'm supposed to hate you right now. See, that's

a yard. Yeah, that is not enjoy it. That

Michael 1:05:30
is child abuse. 100% 100 Fucking percent that, you know, that kid is going to have to bear that burden, you know, for forever, you know? And hopefully she doesn't do it doesn't go away. No, no. And hopefully she doesn't continue but I got a feeling she probably would. But the good thing is

Jared 1:05:48
my accent was her mom. Yeah, well still live together. Me and her mom had a very deep intimate conversation in the front yard. And she's very much a keeping up appearances type person. And she lives in suburbs. So I made sure to yell out to all the neighbors that her daughters will build those sales men to and they're probably getting delivered. Right door

Michael 1:06:17
oh, that is so funny. So funny deal does call your ex wife though. We're saying

Jared 1:06:26
yeah, sure. about buying one from her and giving her back to her so she can go fuck yourself hopefully coming cactus form.

Michael 1:06:42
Oh, that's good. Shit. Oh, well, I don't know. If we want to keep chatting or not, gents.

Jared 1:06:50
I'm happy either way.

Michael 1:06:51
I gotta I gotta think I'm gonna do one more shot. Is there any any topics that that we want to cover? For sure that like, you know, we really should talk about this stuff. That's, you know, I'm thinking about the guy who's just starting this shit show. Like we had a guy on earlier. Justin and Jared, you were here. Brian, you're here to for a little bit. David. You know, he's obviously in the in the thick of it. I wonder if there's anything that we can share with him that we probably I mean, we covered a good bit. But if there's any, any one solid piece of advice for that man, or for anyone that's just kind of starting this shit show.

Speaker 3 1:07:25
Just reach out for help. That's my suggestion. If you're if your ear hurting, you got questions. Look for somebody who's going through what you're going through.

Jared 1:07:36
Yep. And sometimes data time isn't enough. Sometimes. You do it an hour at a time you do it a minute time. There isn't a timeframe on it. It's fucking rough. But you'll get through it. Yeah, and go at your pace. Don't try and rush it. Don't get discouraged because somebody is further ahead in your eyes than where you're at. Because of the timeframe. timeframes are fucking bullshit. It's up to you where you're going to be?

Speaker 1 1:08:10
Yeah, Jared, I think that's a very valid point. And I that's what I told myself. For so long was one day at a time, but you're absolutely right. It's it's an hour at a time a minute at a time, you know, an issue an episode at a time. Yeah, you're right. And I guess my my advice for anybody would just be you know, focus on what you can do to keep your sanity keep yourself grounded in some sort of reality in normality. And just go with that.

Michael 1:08:49
Justin, my Canadian friend, any words of wisdom, you know,

Speaker 2 1:08:55
all of life is sort of one big airplane drill. You can't help a fucking person if you're passed out because you didn't get oxygen. So put on your own mask first. That's number one. Right? You need to be willing to help yourself if you're going to help those around you that depend on you because you're the ones you got to be there to help the kids you got to be there to help your family you gotta be are there to help your standard family. You know, as a circle gets wider, the burden of responsibility gets less. And somewhere that burden of responsibility crosses with the the threshold of appropriate selfishness. There are issues matters, people, et cetera. That's number one, you probably can't help it to begin with. And number two, even if you couldn't, it's not your fucking problem. So focus your attention on the matters that matter. You know, there's a great book called The Subtle Art of not giving a fuck it's actually not about not giving flux. It's about giving the right flux and and applying those flux where they count. So focus your energy into the things that you can do immediately to improve your situation. And it is minute by minute An hour by hour, there's going to be some hours that you're fucking useless. And that's okay, you still have worth, you still have value, you are still needed here completely wholly. But when the next hour comes around and you do have a bit more bandwidth, focus that into the first thing you can do to set yourself up for a better life. You know, I've talked a few times with with a number of different members. Start running things through a bit of a self check. As you're going through your day and making decisions as you go to make a decision say, hey, wait a minute. My name's Justin, it, is this decision I'm about to make? What decision would the person I'm trying to be make? The Justin that I want to be? Would that be the decision he would make? And sometimes the answer is going to be no. And that's okay, too. You got to love yourself, even in your broken forum, and you got to figure out how to deal with your broken self. But by running those day to day decisions through that little self check, is this a decision that the person I'm trying to be would make? It opens up doors massively, and it's in the moment, moment by moment, I think, so far too often in the self help circles. We all want a silver bullet, we all want a band aid, we all want a life that's together. And you know, I want a Harley and a blonde 20 year old and a mansion on the beach too. Like everybody wants that, you know, by by running all of these decisions through the moment by moment self check, is this a decision that will lead me towards the person I want to be? Or not? And am I okay with that decision? Just the momentary self check. It spurs action, you know, like it spurs action and time is powerful. But time is only powerful. If it's used. If you sit on your hands time's gonna get you nowhere. So, yeah. My short, sweet.

Michael 1:11:49
I love it. I mean, I agree with so many on all of that. I think one of the things that and I'll wrap up with this, and I'll do one more shot because I like whiskey.

Jared 1:12:00
And wrap up, I have a caveat on that as well. All

Michael 1:12:05
right. So I think you know, the device are there. The advice is, a lot of a lot of times you hear this, you know, just give it time, which I kind of hate that because I think that that gives you or us sometimes an excuse to, to not do anything and expect some kind of change. But and that's just not going to happen. It's just let's just be plain and fucking honest here. If you don't do nothing, nothing changes, right. But I do think there are moments and I wanted to say this to David earlier, but I forgot about it, or I didn't get to it or whatever. There are moments where that that question, right? You know, who do I want to be? What kind of actions would I take if I if I was that person or whatever, is great. And sometimes like you said the answer is is not going to line up with where you're at. And so sometimes no action is okay. Sometimes sitting on the couch and crying is okay, those dishes aren't going any fucking where if you can eat, you're fine. If you need to do one dish do one dish, but there are moments where sitting on the on the couch laying on the couch and crying and or fucking watching TED lasso. Whatever you want to do fucking do that. You don't always need to be pushing yourself, you do need to, but there are moments when you have you have to give yourself permission to just fucking exist in a in a relaxed and comfortable state. So that's all I got for me. I'm gonna let Jared finish up and I'm gonna do another shot because I can. Here's to all you gentlemen, all of you that are watching. There are a few watching all of you that listen all of you that are a part of the discord. I love you all. Thank you so much for being a part of this fucking journey.

Jared 1:13:46
I'm getting my shot. Cheers. Cheers. scoll Oh,

Unknown Speaker 1:13:53
look at you. Cheers.

Michael 1:13:57
Thanks. Gotcha. You wrap it up. You bring it home, my friend.

Jared 1:14:00
All right. So on Justin's earlier point, I am also going to quote Justin

Unknown Speaker 1:14:07
dangerous how stoned was my brother?

Jared 1:14:09
Oh, I don't know. We've had a lot of drunk and stoned conversations. So give yourself grace to. So voting Justin. But Justin then did he do the best that the Justin then knew how. But Justin now knows better. But you can't fault the old guy because he was doing what he could. Very true. And so make sure to give yourself grace. Don't be too hard on yourself. Yeah, we all thought up at some point. We have a hand in this. But give yourself grace and as well. Yeah.

Michael 1:14:49
Amen. All right, gentlemen. Thank you so much, Lonnie. Thanks for hanging out with us. Appreciate Lonnie says we're all awesome. I don't know about me, but these guys are awesome. I'll give you that. Thank you. Gentlemen, I appreciate you and I'm sure I'll see you guys next week in the meeting.

Jared 1:15:06
Sure, yeah. Well we got one yeah Well,

Michael 1:15:10
Happy Thanksgiving Yeah, that's right Jared will be in immediate will be in the meeting room tomorrow evening. I will have my children's so definitely won't be joining you. But if anyone is not in the discord you want to join Discord is $5 a month, send me a link or send me a message and get the link in the info. It's certainly fucking worth it. These guys contribute, I appreciate it. And the money goes towards the podcast for sure. And it's going to be needed especially the end of the year. I gotta renew zoom and otter which is a transcript service, so it's needed and appreciated. So thank you guys. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019, I have 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

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

Episode 125 – Updates and Surviving The Holidays

In this episode I provide a few updates on myself and give some tips on how to survive the holidays.

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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 125. This is another solo episode and I'm going to cover a few things, including how to handle getting through the holidays, or at least things that I have done to get through the holidays are things that I suggest to any of you out there that are, are struggling. And I think I'll kind of cover that a little bit more extensively here in a few minutes. But first, I want to cover a couple of things. One, I'm really good. I apologize for not getting something out last week. Work Travel really prevented me from editing the Thanksgiving episode. So I don't know, who is aware and who isn't. But on Thanksgiving, I was alone. And so I did a few live videos, or live streamed meetings essentially, guys that the majority of the guys that are in the discord came together on Zoom, we had sort of a little bit of a meeting, and we broadcasted live into the divorce support for men group. It's about two and a half hours worth of footage. And so I did start editing it. I did not get very far I found myself being very picky with the edits for some reason, not 100% sure why, I guess I just wanted to make sure it's good content, because there's, there's a lot of folks that were speaking that, you know, they weren't speaking. In order to record a podcast episode, they were just speaking and being themselves and there were some pauses and arms and poor internet here and there. And so I was just really kind of honing in on up and saying hone in a lot lately, I don't know why I've been really focused, I was really focused on trying to make a good episode out of it. And so it's taken a little bit longer than I had a lot of travel, I've had a lot of travel in general recently, for work. I've been out on the road, I think I haven't looked at it. Precisely, but I believe, for the last 14 weeks, I was on the road, at least, to maybe at least two days, for 12 out of those 14 weeks. So I've been home on weekends and stuff, but I've been traveling a lot, it's I'm burnout. Fortunately, I think I'm done this year, which isn't saying a ton, but it's, I'll take it, I could use it, I need it. So you know, I'm I'm probably one that probably I'm going to take next week off completely from work. And hopefully that'll allow me I got some things to do around the house for sure. But hopefully, that'll allow me to get that episode edited. Maybe this week, it would be really nice. To be quite honest with you, I'm trying to hit a certain goal. And if I can get two episodes out this week to make up for the myths of last week that would really help me towards getting this goal that I have for this year number of listens of the podcast. In totality, I had a number in mind, not going to hit that one my original goal. But I've set a new target. And I think I can hit that. But I need to put need to put another one out this week, I think at least that will go a long way towards getting me there. So so it wasn't that I was distraught or in a bad way. And that's why you know, I couldn't get any episodes out. I just, it was a lot to edit. And I just I didn't have the time necessarily. And more importantly, it was it was a lot to edit. So anyway, so so I'm good. You know, you know, dating stuff aside, you know, that didn't work out and I'm okay with that. In fact, I'm pretty good with it. It was nice if I'm if I'm being honest, having someone for a little bit of time to you know, text with and sort of, you know, sort of get intertwined into your life a little bit. Your twine is probably the wrong fucking word but, but just someone that you know, hey, this is going on and someone other than one of the fellas It was nice, I'm not gonna lie and say it wasn't but you know, I think I said is maybe two episodes ago. I'm not going to settle and there's there's some notes I should talk about this. So the two episodes ago I kind of mentioned it didn't work out and that was probably For the best, and you know, I've seen some red flags and I think that this person was a subscriber on YouTube and he did not like what she heard, I guess because I got my first ever dislike on any of my Bouygues videos and that's fine. I really don't care. Speaking the truth sometimes will upset people, and I have no ill will or towards her. Yeah, I wish her the best and all that kind of good shit. But but, you know, it's, it's very possible to go through a rejection like that. Even if it was it was for the right reasons. It still can hurt. But, you know, I took a couple of days and I was fine with it. I am fine with it. Again, it would be nice to have somebody but man, I'm just not fucking settling. I'm just not I settled a long time ago, you know? Not that I don't. I didn't grow to love my ex wife. And and you know, I was I was very content in our marriage. And I think you can, that content word is plays a lot of ways. So I think it's apropos, but I was certainly content and you know, but But initially, I did settle I was not that into her. So I'm not going to fucking do that again. I just won't do it. I'll be fucking alone until I die if that's what I have to do in order to be in order to have a good relationship in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. So so so yeah, so that stuff didn't throw me for too long. Couple days. The legal stuff of my ex has it got the latest QTR Oh, got rejected again. So I've we filled it out again. And now we're on the fourth go around, I think of this fucking form. But that didn't even I just chuckled. I was like, Yeah, I'm not surprised. I called it this isn't gonna work. But anyway, so so that stuff aside, you know, I'm doing well. And then, you know, not only did I have a negative or a dislike on on on YouTube, but also for the first time in the history of this podcast on Apple I, in a single month, I had I lost listeners not. So typically on Apple, I'll gain like, I'm just round numbers, because it's different every month, I'll gain 12 and lose four or something like that. Right. And so last month was the first month I know, I gained a team that lost 90. I don't know why and don't care. Like I could speculate until the cows come home about oh, maybe they don't like me, maybe I shouldn't maybe I should do this clip. I don't give a shit, man. I'm just gonna keep being me in hopes that people find it. But again, this speaks to resilience to the work. It's like, okay, what am I telling myself about that? Stat. Okay, I lost for the first time in the history podcasts on Apple. I have lost subscribers in a month. And you can see, you can look at the little chart and shows you every month and this is last month. It's it's in the negative, it's in the red, it's there. And it stands out. And I can tell myself all kinds of shit about that. But the truth is, I don't fucking know. I just I couldn't. I couldn't possibly speculate why someone? Well, I mean, I could but like, to what end? You know, it could have been many things. They decided that they they were thinking about divorce, but they worked it out, they could have decided their red pill. And I'm not that guy. It could have been a million things. Primary million, but it could have a whole lot of fun things. But I don't know. And so I can't spend any anytime worrying about it. And so again, this speaks to the work. I don't know that I've always thought I always would have done that or been that way. But I am now. So I'm looking over here because I do have some notes. I said that I was going to talk about this. A couple of podcast episodes ago. And I didn't get around to it. It just I didn't want to. I didn't crowbarred into anything

into the Thanksgiving episode. But I did say that I was going to announce coaching program info. And so like I said, I think I said this before, I'm only taking two clients at a time. And I'm going to stick with the program but it can be altered. In terms of the program in terms of length for sure. Four months. We can talk. If you're interested, we can certainly go longer and we can add on additional weeks. But the backbone the basis will be the forged by fire program. But I'm flexible as to change some things. It takes some things out. And I'm also open to doing a month at a time. And so what I've decided is for these two people, whether it be the forest by fire program, or a monthly, you know, we do a month at a time. If you do the forest by fire program, I'm cutting it down to two $600 for that program, and so that's over over six months, you can pay $100 a month, and you'll get the four month program, again, with some flexibility from me in terms of changing weeks out, extending weeks, repeating weeks, things of that nature. But if you've got a rising finished divorce coach, you'll find the program and what it covers and what it entails. And convert and that's only two people. And conversely, if you want to do just something monthly, it's going to be $100 a month. And we'll do weekly calls once a week for sure. And then I'll probably set up Marco Polo again. And that's Marco Polo is sort of like a texting app, but videos. So you can send me video messages. And I would respond with a video message. So that's that, but I'm only doing two people. I don't have the capacity to do anymore. I just don't I wish that I did fucking I wish that I did. But But I do not. So I'm, I'm doing what feels right at this point. If you are interested in working with me, and you're like, Dude, I can't even afford $100 a month, give me a call. And maybe we can do something and work something out. Because I'm not doing it for the money. Although I can't do it for free. I do this for free. But if I'm going to put forth the effort of coaching, I need to be paid for it. And honestly, if you look at something that is similar, something like the Alpha code that is less, and I'm not knocking off code, none of the things I'm about to say, and I've probably said this before, but I'm sensitive to not knocking it because it was important to me and so is Justin. But the output is 12 weeks, and it's $4,500. So and I think you can pay you pay, maybe it's four months. Or maybe it's only the three months of the program. I don't remember regardless, it's really fucking expensive. It's worth it. And so it was my program. But I'm I don't have the capacity number one and number two, I don't have the experience. So the Justin has, although I've gained a lot of coaching experience over the last year, and I'm grateful for those that did come to me, didn't it didn't end very well. And that's my fault. It really just was my inability to juggle things and people's expectations. And I handled it very poorly. But I learned a ton from it. And I have no fucking doubt in my mind that if you need help, I can help you because I've been here or I've been there. I've been through it. I'm going through it and I'm doing pretty fucking well. So anyway, that's that if you want any information just hit me up. You know, the last thing I wanted to sort of that are sort of not the last thing but the what I really wanted to talk about when I started thinking about well, I want to do an episode. What can I do? And obviously it's the holidays and obviously and that can be very very difficult this this time of year. Man, it sucks. It sucks. I am this is my fifth This is my fifth year 2019 2020 2021 2220 Fucking A is my fifth year doing this and there's still moments that it sucks. You know, the I think the most difficult thing and I'll focus a little bit on holidays here in a second. But I think the most difficult thing about this is if you have children and you go through a divorce and you didn't want to divorce you still have to see this person. And that's really hard. It's almost like the wound doesn't get an opportunity to scab over because it's it's constantly or frequently being poked and that's really fucking hard. And so you have to work really very, you have to work very really fucking hard to get to heal to get over to move on. And I don't even really like move on so much but but I think that is an accurate description. You have to move on but it's hard. And make no mistake about it this this time of year. It's it's really hard. Again, this is my fifth and there are still moments where I'm like, Man, I really miss my family. I miss all the things that that occurred in all the Christmases past and and that's okay, I think we all need to get to a point where we can look back on these memories fondly. But without all the pain it's some some pain still, it still hurts still still wound. But I think it's, again, go back way back to episode three, embrace the pain. So you can face it and control it not control it sorry manage it and then it doesn't control you if you manage it It can't control you so it's really important I think that we when we do this work part of it is embracing pain sitting with with it journaling feeling getting into your body not running from it because if you if you can face it and take it head on and it again it had it loses its ability to control you. And anything you avoid typically will control you. And I'm not talking about like I mean, there's probably some there's probably someone out there is going well yeah, but if you whatever I'm talking about the the emotions and the pain of this situation. You have to face these things and it sucks. And so back to the holidays, divorces hard holidays when your divorce is really fucking hard. It's It's damn near torturous, because there are so many positive things and so many positive memories and it feels like got so many feelings you could have about it. It was all for naught. It was all a lie. It was a waste and all those things are just aren't true. We're trying to deal with the pain by rationalizing by thinking about it by out trying to out think it and you just can't do that. You have to embrace it. It sucks. It sucks that this happened. But what are we doing now? What are we doing to move forward and that's sometimes really fucking hard to get to. And by the way, you don't always have to get to there. That's part of it. Embrace the pain sit with that shit. Yes, this sucks, cry, feel it, express it. Again, if you face it and take it in, grab it by the fucking throat and in in taking, take control. I don't want to take control, take a hold of it and manage it. It won't control you. And so acknowledge it. So let's talk about what what do I recommend that we do during these holidays. And again, this is my fifth one. So I might know a fucking thing or two because I've survived four of them. And the first part of it is acknowledging, yes, this fucking sucks. It hurts. It sucks. I don't like it. This isn't in some ways it isn't fair. Feel all those shitty things. Get them out though. Don't Don't just think. Don't just think feel them, express them, write them. Join the fucking Discord server and come to a meeting and talk about it. Get it out. Start a journal. I can't stress that enough. Get this shit out, come to a supportive positive place and express it whether that be a therapist, God's sakes, if you're listening to this podcast and you're able to get therapy, I can get therapy man find a good therapist, but fucking a there's nothing better. There's nothing better in this healing journey than finding a good therapist. I really don't think I'm not saying it's all that there is. And it doesn't mean that you can just go to therapy and just vomit out all of your shit there's there you have to take actions and steps and plans and all that kind of good shit but fucking haga therapists so So acknowledge it, express it, feel it reach out talk to people, preferably people that had been through it, preferably people that have been through it who don't say shit like get over it move on. Man up all that done bullshit, this shit that we talk about amongst the groups and amongst the discord server that we just put that's we're not about that. So get around supportive people and talk about it. The next thing you can do is is you know, I seen someone posted in the Facebook group about this the other day they were like my ex is happening or someone's having a holiday party my ex is going with her new boyfriend it's my my weekend or my time or my holiday and they want me to go What should I do? Don't fucking go but don't don't take it don't take the daughter either. Don't let the daughter go

unless there's some unless that kid is just like throwing a fucking Chai I don't even think so man. Start new traditions that's what you have to do. That's what I recommend to you so whether if it's your holiday or not find something new that you can do to to okay so for instance now every every Christmas or before it before Christmas we go out and we we cut it we pick a tree and we cut a tree down to four I'm not talking like National influence style like I don't have a station wagon I'm not pulling trees out by the fucking roots but my daughter suggested that to me this past weekend this is hilarious. I'm talking about you know we go to one of those you know tree farms or what the fuck ever and we take the soul and we we fucking spend forever finding one because I love my daughters but they are fucking polar opposites and they can't want it whatever one likes the other one doesn't like it's always fucking takes forever but it's still it's a tradition. So thing we do now every fucking year for the last five years. Because partially and here's here's something to center around your new traditions around potentially is we didn't have For the last few years, we didn't have a real tree because the ex didn't want it. She didn't like all the pine needles and who gives us you know what, now that I can I'm fucking going to even if I was like, You know what, this is a pain in the ass. It's not by the way, I fucking love it. But even if it was, I can. So I'm going to now obviously make a positive note saying I can get shit faced it sit alone and drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels. So I'm going to and I'm not talking about that, find positive things that you couldn't do before and incorporate them into your life. So if it's something like going to get a new tree, it could be going out and shopping for new ornament it there's a million fucking things you could do to establish a new tradition? And preferably, you know, include the children. Now, when it's not your holiday, that is a little bit trickier, obviously. But you still can you know, I don't do this. But I'm, I'm fairly certain that you could probably go to the movies on Christmas Day. I'm not 100% Sure, but I think that's the thing. Chinese buffets, right? Aren't they always open on foreign, they don't celebrate Christmas, I don't think you know, there's, there's things that you can do that, that put yourself first and you say I'm going to do this now, I'm going to I'm going to go to see a movie, I'm going to go to Chinese buffet, I'm going to I'm going to take a fucking, I'm going to find the best fucking Chinese buffet within two hours of me and I'm going to go to that fucking place or whatever it is, if you have the ability and the freedom to do whatever you want, and go fucking do it. And again, try and factor in, there's a little bit of a, I don't know if it's, there's a little bit of a pettiness in this, I guess. But fuck it, it's your life now. And if there's something you know, maybe she didn't like Chinese, then fucking go go three times that day, or what the fuck however, you can, you can factor in these things that you couldn't do any longer. It's a little bit of a fuck you to, to, I guess I guess her in a way. I mean, they'll tell her Don't be petty in that kind of way. But just use it as a, you know, a sort of a fuel to get you to do something new because sometimes we can sit in our house and mope and, and I get it, I've been there. And I've done that. And I still do it on occasion. But use that as a fuel to be like, You know what, fuck her, I'm gonna go do something she wouldn't want me to do and that gets you out of your funk. It's really hard to change our, our thought patterns or habits, but it's not impossible. And if we can use our emotions to do that, that's all the better but but make the mistake. You know, people talk about this all the time. I think Alex Korb, the neuroscientists that I had on fucking team episodes ago, our brains are our brains, our brains are neuroplastic we can we can make changes, we can change pattern, you can change habits, it's fucking possible. But sometimes we have to use the emotions that we have in order to sort of spur us on. And sometimes we have to do things differently than we've done before. To spur us to make change. You know, Tony Robbins talks about this. And you know, I mentioned a couple episodes ago, where I listened to that video, I listened that fucking video every morning, I should have, I should have posted a link to it. I think it's Mulligan brothers. Just searched that Morgan. I think it's Morgan brothers, Tony Robbins, morning motivation. And he talks he just kind of talks about I think it's like 30 minutes long. He talks about, you know how to change how to make changes really, sometimes about changing your physiology and changing your body. And he talks about these power poses, and it's a really good video. And it's really good advice. Sometimes. We have to get out of these, these funks. And out of these states. In order to do that we have to change our body in our movements. And I talked about this shit all the time. And I know some people it just flies right over heads not because it's too complex. It's just too weird and different, you know, but fucking Tony Robbins is talking about it. And he talks about Harvard did a study and they call it power poses, you know, sort of standing like, like Superman, like put your hands on your hips and sort of, you know, open up your chest and just stand like that for two minutes and increase his testosterone, it lowers cortisol, which is a stress hormone. There's other different power poses and he talks about these things, and I can start us on a path to do something to take action. And that's the only way you're ever going to get the change. We can't think our way to change. We can't think our way out of motional problems we just can't stop possible. So but I do want to acknowledge it's it's fucking hard in this time of year is really hard. It's it sucks, man. This is not the life that I wanted. It isn't. I still find you know, I'll find old ornaments or whatever. You know, when we're putting ornaments on a tree and I think about you know, just the past and how bad it sucks that I can't have My family in the way that it was and, and you can again, you can, you can go down these rabbit holes of fucking self deprecation and just beating yourself up and like, oh, only if I would have done this or would have done that, or I shouldn't have done this or shouldn't have been happy. And I that happens, you know, but I catch myself pretty quickly and I go, that's I can't do anything about it. I can't do anything about it. I wish I could I do. I do. I wish I could. But I can't. You know, there's nothing any of us can do about the past. Except for learn from it. You know, and again, some of this stuff is very cliche. And it feels kind of bullshitty sometimes, but sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason. In general, I think cliches are noise. But there's some good ones, and they're there for a reason. And so I think we have to, we have to acknowledge that this is hard. I think that's important. I think it's important to not run from it, I think it's important to embrace it and express it. And then take action to make changes. And those changes are new traditions, new habits, you know, whatever you did, with your family, and your in your, in your ex wife, or soon to be ex wife or whatever your situation is. See if you can find sort of the opposite or the counterbalance, or, you know, try and find your way to new things because they're their life is full of possibilities. It's endless what you could do. I'm sure I'm not well, I shouldn't say that. But I'm gonna guess if you're in the northeast, quarter a bunch of Amtrak runs trains on Christmas Day, take a fucking train to wherever the fuck you want and go see that place. I know that costs money, but take a hike somewhere. Just do something to start new traditions and new habits. And I promise you that the next thing you know, it'll be five years later, and you'll be on your fifth fucking Christmas. And it will still suck sometimes. But you'll be okay. You'll you'll be okay. I say that all the time, I promise you, you will be okay. And that's not a hollow promise. I'm living fucking proof. I was suicidal. I felt lost and hopeless, and beaten, and miserable. And like a fucking failure and a fuckup worthless. And every negative fucking thing you can think. But here I am. I'm a survivor. And if you're listening, guess what you are, too. So I hope that this helps. I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to make episodes to help people get through certain circumstances. And so hopefully, someday, you will

have a holiday that's coming up. And you'll listen to this episode to try and help you get through that to remind you that you're gonna be okay. But you got to take some action. And part of that is embracing how shittiness is. So that's it. That's all I got. Hopefully, you'll be hearing Episode 126, which is the Thanksgiving episodes this week, I hope. In addition, I I have my children until noon on Christmas Day. So I have tentative plans to do something probably around 1pm. Eastern, similar to the similar to what I did on Thanksgiving, I will have a zoom, I'll put the link out. And you can join me and we can talk. It doesn't have to be formal or a meeting or it can just be hanging out and just talking and being there for one another. So that is a tentative plan. But that's I don't see any reason why I wouldn't do that. I probably end up going to Chris's, that evening. So I won't be able to do it all all, you know, you know till late in the evening, but probably a couple of hours. On Christmas Day, I will have a you know, just I'll have the opportunity for us, those of us that will be alone to come together and just spend some time together via the interwebs. So that's it. That's all I got. And as always, take care of yourselves and especially this time of year, take care of each other. 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 prison 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.

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Episode 124 – Surviving a Major Depressive Episode – Jennifer Gerlach

In this episode I speak with Therapist Jennifer Gerlach about getting through a Major Depressive Episode.  We talk about the tools and steps necessary to get through the tough times that come with Divorce.


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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. Joining me today is Jennifer Gerlach. Jennifer, once told us a little bit about yourself.

Jennifer 0:26
Sure. So my name is Jennifer, I'm a psychotherapist in St. Louis, wrote a book called The recovery and, or the cycle, the Kosis, and mental health recovery workbook, and enjoy helping people.

Michael 0:40
Nice. So I found you, as I do with most of my guests on psychology today.com. And in that, on there, I found an article or a blog that you wrote about major surviving, I think it was called major depressive episode. Yeah, so I always like to define things. So let's start with that, what is a major depressive episode?

Jennifer 1:04
Sir. So you can think of three types of depression, you know, over here, we have regular sadness, which we all go through here. And there, you moving forward a little bit, we have heartbreak, you know, something happens that really messes with you like a situational depression. And that's pretty, that can be pretty bad. And then on the far side, we have a major depressive disorder, where it's the most severe type of depression, a clinical type of depression. And with that, usually will find that we're not enjoying things as much as we used to. And it might be hard to take care of yourself, it might be more difficult to sleep more difficult to eat. And it really impacts every aspect of your life at that point.

Michael 1:44
And is, so a depressive episode, is that, could that be experienced and all? Like it like all of those, each one of those three? Or is that only in a major depressive disorder? Or? Yeah,

Jennifer 1:57
usually a major depressive disorder, you know, with a situational depressive, or heartbreak? Sure, that can be episodic, but the major depression, we're really looking at a clinical level of depression.

Michael 2:09
And is there anything I know, you sort of mentioned it, you know, where you're, you can't, you know, sort of, get I'm paraphrasing here, but you can't really get excited about anything, you know? Is there a were a sadness and or a situational depressive can turn into? And if so, what's the what are you looking for, as a clinician to diagnose someone with with something that's a major depressive episode? Yeah,

Jennifer 2:37
so a situational depression can certainly have a lot of those features. With a major depression we're looking at once the situation changes, you're still feeling down, or the depression is getting to a point where it's affecting your quality of life, and it's affecting your ability to handle the situation that's causing you to feel so down. With a major depression disorder. Typically, there's some genetic component, not always, but it's a little more severe and a little bit more long lasting than a situational depression.

Michael 3:09
You say long lasting, so we're looking at like, if it's two weeks, two months, two years, like what's the sort of guideline?

Jennifer 3:15
Yeah, the tricky thing about a major depressive episode is it can be anywhere from two weeks to several years, you know, the two weeks is the minimum for the diagnosis. But some, you know, folks will have it for a few months, some folks will have it for a few years. Some folks will have it almost for a lifetime. But even if you have a consistent major depressive episode, you can still recover, you can still have a good quality of life, it just can take a lot.

Michael 3:41
Yeah, well, and that's what we're gonna dive into sort of the steps that you can take when you're when you are having this, you know, a major depressive episode. And you cover I think it's nine of them. And so let's dive into those. What so step one is, and I've scribbled this stuff, and probably paraphrase, so if it's not exact, please correct me. Number, the first point was know that it will not always be this way. I mean, that's when you're in the thick of it. That's really hard to sort of wrap your head around, but that is true, right? You can there is there is another side of this. Shitty I'll call it tunnel, right?

Jennifer 4:19
Yeah, absolutely. So when you're in the thick of a major depressive episode eight can feel like you're gonna feel like this forever. And that's one of the tricks depression uses because when it feels like you're gonna feel like this forever can feel very hopeless. But that lowest point that's as low as you can get once you get to that lowest point it's only up from there and so keeping in mind that this is not have to be how it will be forever. That can help you get through.

Michael 4:45
Yeah, that's it. Like I said, it is tough when you're in the thick of it, but it is true. So I'm hopeful that you know, the reason I wanted to do this episode is because for me for many reasons, maybe some selfish wants to but if someone is listening to this podcast, and maybe they're not Have a good day, a good week, a good month good year, but but suddenly things take a turn for the worse. Or if they're starting out, they can come to this episode and listen to this and get these things and tools and steps to help them get through this. And obviously, you know, the first one is to know that, it's, it's gonna be okay, it's not going to be like this forever. So that's an excellent point. So the second one is one that I sort of champion all the time. And that is asked for help. And I want to get a little bit specific. But let's, let's just cover that ask for help. What does that mean? Yeah,

Jennifer 5:34
so there's two types of help type of help you get from your support system, your friends, maybe a pastor or an old mentor. And that's extremely important. The second type is sometimes we need clinical help, sometimes we need to talk with a therapist or a doctor, if it gets to a certain level or, you know, say we've had major depressive episodes in the past and something has helped, you know, there's no shame in reaching out for that.

Michael 5:57
Yeah. And some of that help, I think, is I think it's important to find a professional for sure. I think support groups, like the one I run on Facebook is important to, you know, people that are in it with you, you know, the group I run is for divorced men. So there is strength in numbers in a way there is some comfort in not feeling alone. But one of the also important aspects, as you said, is clinical help. And we're talking about talking about that a little bit. And it sort of bleeds into this next point, which is keep asking, I think it's really important that and you kind of mentioned this in the blog about finding the right therapist, it's just because someone is a therapist doesn't mean that the right therapist, right?

Jennifer 6:43
Absolutely, absolutely. So sometimes we try to check in with somebody, you know, therapists be really nice person, and you might have a really great conversation with them. But if you don't feel a strong connection, or if they don't have the tools to help you with a particular issue, they might not be the right fit. And I think that most of us therapists are well aware of that. And so when somebody's like, hey, like, I don't know, if this is working out, we don't take a pencil that will help you find someone that you do click to with, because ultimately, we want you to get better. We want you guys to thrive.

Michael 7:13
Yeah. And so that's something you've had to deal with, then you've had someone come to you, or maybe you have you ever pointed it out and say, you know, I'm not sure I'm the right fit.

Jennifer 7:21
Yeah, absolutely both. But I do and a lot of therapists actually offer this, as I'll do a consultation, of course, your client, and that first consultation will tell us a lot about whether we're a good fit, but sometimes we don't realize right away, and if it's not a good fit after a month, you know, hey, that's cool, we'll help you find someone else, you know, and hopefully, it's not time lost. Usually someone will gain something from that time. But, you know, I think that we all have the capacity to relate different people to different levels. And fortunately, there's a variety of different therapy approaches and, you know, therapists personalities that people relate to,

Michael 7:55
is that something that's taught in therapy school or college or whatever, when you're going to be a therapist? Like, is that something? I would think that keeping your own mental health in check has got to be an important I mean, it's important part of life, it's got to be a huge part of being a therapist, is that something that's covered? When you when you went to school? Oh,

Jennifer 8:13
absolutely, absolutely. So our professors talk to us a lot about self care, I talk to us a lot about you can only take people where you've been. So a lot of therapists, they might not tell you their whole story. And, you know, that's because it's about you, they're not going to dive into their own divorce or their own depression or whatever. But most therapists have done a lot of healing on their own. And most therapists are also seeing a therapist themselves, or they're doing some other work on themselves are doing journaling, they're exercising, they're taking time to reflect and meditate and to build themselves so that they can be the best for the people. They help. Me

Michael 8:48
sorry, again, like I said, before we jumped on rabbit holes appear, because the attention span of a rabid dog. So the other, you know, mean, like I said, it's keep asking, right, so sometimes, especially when you're depressed, you can you can go to a therapist, and you don't feel like it's the one or it doesn't work out or whatever. And then you can get depressed and not and be like, Oh, it's you know, it's nothing, nobody out there assists in, you just gotta keep that mentality of, you know, I'm going to find the right one, right. And it's not always easy to have that mindset. But it's really important, I think, in life in general, if there's something you really want sometimes, I think as Randy Pausch said, you know, brick walls occur, and, you know, you got to find a way around and we're through them. And I think therapy is just like dating. You can't settle you know, you gotta get one.

Jennifer 9:40
Yeah, you know, I could think of five different excellent therapists in the area, and it might be five very different sessions that they offer. So it's very individualized type thing. You know, five very different approaches five very different personalities, you know, the offices are going to look different and those little things might make a difference. You know, sometimes it might be that the therapist has a dog in the office or If you guys can relate over something small, or it might be the therapy approach, you know, the type of therapy that therapies using, yeah,

Michael 10:05
we're gonna get into some of that a little bit because you mentioned some, I don't want to dive down that rabbit hole yet, but I'm curious all the different modalities and like, you know, that stuff fascinates me. But the next point was seek meaning. Let's really get what what do you mean by that? I mean, I know I know what you mean, but but let's expound on that. What is what does that mean? What is seek meaning me? Yeah.

Jennifer 10:25
So it's very difficult to deal with suffering, when it feels like it's pointless. Seeking meaning can be finding meaning in your suffering, or finding meaning in the small things that might mean just going outside and looking at a multicolor leaf. And, you know, taking in the beauty of that, or having a conversation with somebody you're close to and enjoying that. I know, when we're feeling depressed, a lot of times, things don't feel meaningful, and we tend to withdraw, and to get through the process. So we want to try to do the exact opposite of that. So even if it doesn't feel like it would be meaningful, doing it anyway, try it anyway, saying that this matters to me, so I'm gonna do it.

Michael 11:02
Yeah, I, that's that's a tough one, I think, especially when you're going through a divorce. And if you lose, oh, obviously, you'll lose some, sometimes their children no matter what. But I think I think it's important to look at what meant something to you before the divorce. And I know, obviously, people will say, Well, you know, that my marriage? Well, that, you know, you can't look at that, because that's, that's no longer there. But perhaps it's, you know, the, you know, the connection you had, and you want to find that again, right? You know, there was meaning in that connection. And I do believe that. You know, I don't, I'm not really, I don't have the belief that there's one for one person for everyone. I just think that's nonsense. You know, I think I think people are compatible in different ways. But I think that you can have a connection with with another person, the same that you had with with your ex wife, I really do believe that I and I know it takes time and effort and energy and all that kind of good stuff. But I think you can even because if you go through this process, and you really examine yourself and what went wrong and what you did wrong, and the compatibility issues, maybe that were there, you can then find someone who just kind of fits you better. And and especially if you know yourself better than you, you kind of know what you're looking for, or what would work with you. But I think that it can be important to try and find the meaning. That isn't too far from the meanings that were before. So if it was your kids, and you've seen them half the time, you could focus on the fact that oh, you know, I only see him half the time or whatever it is. Or you could focus on I'm going to enhance and hone in on that relationship as best so I can have to find the meaning there. But it can be really, really difficult to find hope, right? I think that's meaning is sort of similar in a way, right? But find that hope when you're going through something like this, but it is important. For sure. The next point is look for little good things. And Dr. MC McDonald, I don't know if you're familiar with her, she wrote a book called unbroken. She talks about tiny little joys and I think this is kind of what you're talking about. It's these, these small things. And again, you mentioned earlier like the color of a leaf, it's it is hard to find these things, but they are there it is important to try and find the littlest things when everything seems in general and your life seems terrible. It is possible to find these little things can you kind of talk about like what you sort of what how you approach that or what kind of framework or like thought process you use for those for that sort of practice? Yeah.

Jennifer 13:39
So this is literally the very smallest of things that can be standing under porch during a storm and just feeling what that storm is, like, if you enjoy storms. If you don't, that might not be for you. It might be taking a drink of coffee and just enjoying that, you know, just saying, Hey, I'm having this coffee right now. And that's all I need to focus on right now. It could be bigger things too. But we want to start with the small things because when we're feeling depressed a lot of times that capacity to enjoy things gets a little muted and it's almost like practicing and building that habit back up and saying hey, I can still I can still enjoy things even for five seconds drinking his coffee or even for you know, 10 minutes of watching the storm. I can still be here and enjoy life.

Michael 14:25
Yeah, it's it's really tough. But but it is it is possible and I think it certainly is necessary. When everything seems bleak. You really it is about I say this all the time. It's about intention. Like I don't want to be like this. I think some of us sometimes I see this a lot guys sort of get mired in this muck and depression and here's here's a bit of a rabbit hole. How much of getting out of depression is intent and effort. Like isn't that isn't that A huge poll. I mean, I think that's anything like, right if, if you want to stay depressed, if you want to stay feeling like a victim in some in some ways, you're you're, then you're gonna stay there. Right? You have to make the intent you have to and I know that's hard but like it is it is not going to change otherwise. Right?

Jennifer 15:18
Yeah, I think that having that intent and will to come through depression is absolutely essential that hope is essential. It's not always enough. But it's important to take the first step. And sometimes that does mean getting extra help, it does mean reaching out to a therapist or a doctor or, you know, reaching out to your support network again, or, you know, switching up your circumstances. And it might not be just you, but it has to be you initiating those steps. So that has to be you having the hope and will to say, hey, I want to get better. And I'm going to do everything I can to get better. And it might be really difficult right now to do those things. But I believe that it will pay off.

Michael 15:56
Well, and we talked about hope. And at the other point, you talked about look for success stories, I think this is this is if there if I had to boil it down to one reason why I started this podcast is that is to give hope to give success stories, and it's littered throughout these 123 or four episodes like it's there you can see it. I think that's if there's, if there's if I had to boil it down to one, one of these points, I think is maybe the most important is really is that one? Because if you can, my theory is if you can see that someone else did it even one one person one time, then then that means it can be done because we're all human right? When there's no one. Certain people have certain skills and whatnot. And I'm not talking about running a marathon here, I'm talking about getting out of depression, surviving a divorce. It is. It is possible, right? I mean,

Jennifer 16:50
absolutely. And I think that it can be helpful, you know, we have so much at our fingertips these days with the internet, both for good and bad. But you know, I think it can be helpful sometimes to hear stories from other people who gotten through depression, it can also be helpful to think about a close in your life, who maybe have overcome things themselves, most people have been through something. And considering what helps them get through that, you know, considering that, it probably wasn't an easy time for them at first, but they did get through it and taking a little bit of their hope and using that to light up your world. That can mean a lot.

Michael 17:24
Yeah, I think it's so so very important. Another another important part. Another thing that I'd like to stress is your next point, which is refuse to isolate. That's, that's a tough one for men, especially for men. How important is that in sort of a depressive recovery process? How important is it to get around other folks?

Jennifer 17:48
It's extremely important. Depression thrives on isolation. In fact, a lot of mental health disorders, even like schizophrenia, with isolation, loneliness will deteriorate. But depression is especially sensitive to that. So you're right. Like, it makes sense after divorce, or when you're feeling depressed, and especially you're dealing with both, you might not want to be around people at all, you might think I'm not going to be good company. Now, they're not going to be around me anyway. You know, I'm not going to enjoy myself, why would I be around anybody. And it can be very tempting to isolate. And it's so important not to, because if you do isolate, the depression just gets worse. And those thoughts just kind of tend to confirm themselves. And you can feel more like, Oh, I'm bad company, I shouldn't be around people. And it's just a spiral downward. But sometimes on isolating yourself is difficult. Sometimes it's just going to a coffee shop and being around people and not engaging with people at first, or it's just having a five minute conversation with somebody on the phone or, you know, maybe even like an Internet support group, you know, things like that, you know, doesn't have to be, you know, a three hour day with your friend at the amusement park or something like that, you know? Yeah,

Michael 18:57
I think again, it's it's one of those things that yes, it can be difficult, especially for men. But if you want to survive this, I shouldn't say that if you want to recover, maybe it's the right word or move past I'm not sure. Then you got to do some of these things and, and not isolating is one of the one of the bigger ones. The last one, I think it ties into a lot of these is remember your, your reasons for life. And so I think this kind of ties into, you know, searching for meaning and those kinds of things. And I think, you know, if even if, you know, I know, there's a particular gentleman, he's popping in my head, he went through a divorce, and then he lost his mother not too long ago. And I think about, you know, and he was very close with her took care of her at the end of her life. And I think, think about this gentleman and I think about how maybe he could see it as his reason for living has gone right. His marriage has gone I'm not sure about his I don't think he had children. I could be wrong on that. But then his mom passed away. He was very close with I think He could look at that and be like, I don't have a reason to live. But I think I was thinking about this because I lost my father when I was 22. So I know the pain of that. And I was very close to my father, he was my biggest supporter, I wouldn't be in life where I am, it wasn't for him. So I think about not the fact that he's gone. And that does suck. A lot. Sometimes, you know, especially when you're going through something and your biggest supporters and they're but then I think about what would he want me to do what he wants me to give up? But he want me to, to cash it in? I don't think so. And so I think, again, he taught me we talked about looking for researching, searching for meaning searching for the reasons searching for tiny little joys, or, you know, the little things and, and I think if you search hard enough, regardless of the situation, you can find something.

Jennifer 20:45
Yeah, absolutely similar reasons for living change. You know, if your kids aren't in your life, now, they might still very well care if you're going to be on this planet in five years, you know, when that when they may want to be in your life, when they have that opportunity to do it. Sometimes we find meaning and hoping that in time we will find a meaning. So it might not be like, Okay, today feels meaningless. But tomorrow might not. And I'm willing to take steps to move towards something that I want to rebuild the life that I want. Sometimes we take meaning and you know, like you were describing, you know, people who have been close to us who've given us messages, and we carry that on. There's a rainbow of different meanings people can find. And you know, if you lose one, it hurts deeply. It's incredibly difficult. I never want to underestimate that. And there can still be other meanings and hopes for the future.

Michael 21:34
Yeah, I don't. I think there's a danger with like self help and positive psychology and stuff where it sort of minimizes the hurt in the pain. And I never tried to do that. Yeah, and I don't want to sound flippant, and like, Oh, you just got to set the intention. I know how fucking hard it is. It's really, really hard. But what what are your alternatives? Right? stay where you're at? I don't have any interest in that. I don't I don't, I just don't, I don't want to be miserable and lonely and scared and hurt and angry and all the negative things the rest of my life, I just don't, because not only you know, when we're talking in the context of divorce, and not only does it mean that, you know, she did what she did, and not that I didn't have fallen. And clearly I did. But she also then continues to screw up my life in a way, right? Because I let it I let her and her words and her actions and her lifestyle dictate mine. And I just don't have any interest in that it's. And so I understand it's not none of this. None of this is easy. As I say all the time. I don't do episodes on brushing your teeth. That's a pretty simple thing, right? We got that one covered on how to brush my teeth. This is hard stuff, but it's not impossible. So we talked earlier about about therapy and the importance of it finding a good one. One of the things you mentioned in your blog post was acceptance, Commitment Therapy. I don't know what that is. But it sounds cool. What is that?

Jennifer 22:55
Yeah, so acceptance commitment therapy is a more modern type of CBT. It involves really clarifying what is meaningful to you. And moving toward the other parts of acceptance commitment therapy are, you know, considering how you define yourself, and the person behind your eyes, a lot of times we have these labels we attach to ourselves. But those labels aren't us, we're the human behind our eyes. And that's a difficult thing to wrap your mind around. But it'd be really helpful when we have some of those labels change. Part of it is also changing your relationship to thoughts. So when we're feeling down, a lot of times negative thoughts are pretty automatic. And it's kind of difficult to just positive, think yourself out of something, or make the negative thoughts go away. But how you react to the negative thoughts? So do you act on them? Or are you able to say, hey, here's an old story that's coming up, my friends don't want to be around me. I've told myself this story over and over for years, and I'm gonna notice it comes up and I'm not going to act on it, because it's not gonna help me out anyway. It's not gonna move me toward the life I want.

Michael 23:58
That sounds pretty awesome. I've never heard of it, as it's fairly new. It's

Jennifer 24:02
been around for a few decades. But more recently, more people are getting trained in it. And I would say in most areas, there should be some therapists who are trained in acceptance, Commitment Therapy, it's pretty, pretty common, but it's not as common as like cognitive behavioral therapy or a person centered therapy.

Michael 24:21
Yeah, so it's, would you say it's sort of adjacent to just regular psychotherapy? It's very similar.

Jennifer 24:28
Yeah, yeah. It's a type of psychotherapy. So you can think about psychotherapy as this big umbrella. We usually just call it therapy. But really, there's many different types and many different ways of going about it and accepting them in therapy is one particular variety

Michael 24:41
of what have you What do you typically if you don't mind, what do you typically practice? And have you dealt with a divorced client and what did how did you help them? Sure.

Jennifer 24:51
So I do a whole bunch of types of therapies. I like acceptance commitment, therapy, compassion, focus therapy. I do a little A bit of a type of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization reprocessing, which involves rapid eye movements to help us process traumatic events, kind of mimicking REM sleep is really cool. Yeah.

Michael 25:11
But if I understand that correctly, it takes your traumatic memory and brings it to the present. So you can sort of address it and deal with it. Is that Is that how it works?

Jennifer 25:21
Exactly, exactly. Bring it to the present, and then helping you work through the areas that you've gotten stuck. So that it's still there, but you've processed that you can move forward. And maybe that event had changed how you saw yourself, and now you see yourself in a more healthy way again, or how you see the world in a more healthy way. Again,

Michael 25:39
yes, about, again, Dr. McDonald talks about this about sort of taking these things and putting them in the correct files, a lot of times traumatic stuff, especially you don't know where to file that, because dramatic is not the happy folder file. It's not the, I don't know, accident or whatever, it's, you don't really understand it. So I ordinarily know where to put it, your brain doesn't know where to put it. So I think this stuff sort of allows you to process it. So you can put it somewhere so you don't have to continuously let it bounce around your brain. Is that sort of a good layman's term of, of how to deal with sort of trauma?

Jennifer 26:12
That's excellent that that's perfect description of EMDR. And sorting through trauma. It's, it's complex, and we can also simplify it.

Michael 26:21
Yeah. So then So have you ever you had a divorce patient that someone came to you because they're going through a divorce? Oh,

Jennifer 26:29
absolutely. Yeah. Oh, it's so common these days. And and sometimes it's the parents, sometimes it's the kids. Sometimes it's a whole family. And, you know, I can tell it's an incredibly painful thing for everybody involved. Typically, every story is a little different.

Michael 26:49
Yeah. Yeah. Is there? Well, I mean, I guess because every story is a little bit different there is there. Like if someone comes in just an individual? And they're going through situational depression, because of divorce? Is there a? I guess, it probably depends on the person, but is there like a go to modality that like, I'm going to do this one with this person? Or because of this? Or is it? Do you determine that based on your consultation, all that kind of stuff?

Jennifer 27:15
Yeah, honestly, depends on the person in front of me and where they are. But regardless, I think the first part is just listening to them and giving them a space to tell their story. Because with the divorce, there's usually many, many events. It's not just one event, you know, it's not like somebody just got robbed in a parking lot. You know, there was everything in the marriage that led up to the divorce, you know, that sometimes there's the aspect of introducing the divorce. So maybe they were served papers, or, you know, certain protective order or you know, something significant, then there's the court system that sometimes there's a custody battle, and it can be a lot, it can be a lot. And I think just having a space to tell that story and be heard, is the first step in psychotherapy. And then we can go from there, if they need EMDR, we can do that. They need acceptance, commitment therapy, we can do that. But, you know, first and foremost, it's a human in front of you, you know, and you just want to hear them out.

Michael 28:08
Yeah, I just, I'm just thinking about, you know, how difficult sometimes it must be to to, because I see I have a, like I said, At Facebook group is 7000 men, I see the pain and the suffering. And it's, I know, it's very difficult is that, again, this is sort of a little bit of a rabbit hole a little bit personal. But is that is that how difficult is that as a therapist at times to like, deal with other people's issues? Like it must be? It must wait sometimes. Yeah,

Jennifer 28:37
you know, we are humans, and I care about people, you know, so when I see somebody and they're hurting, it affects me, you know, especially when I see teenagers or kids hurting, you know, I, I love kids, you know, and what I found is, you know, I have my own rituals, you know, somebody leaves, you know, a lot of times I'll think to myself, you know, may they be happy, may they be healthy, may they be peaceful, may they be safe. And that's one way of sort of letting go. But I think every therapist finds their own strategies of, you know, coping, some therapists, swim, some therapists, you know, rage in the vehicle with the heavy metal music off, you know, everybody's got their own thing. And I think that's very much encouraged. I know a lot of therapists love art will do their own either visual art or musical art, but we all have ways of coping because we are, you know, we're compassionate people typically. And, you know, we care about you guys. We do think about you guys between sessions. We might not call you up and be like, Hey, dude, how's it going? You know, that inappropriate? We think about you guys and you know, we have our different ways of dealing.

Michael 29:43
Does it ever feel limiting because you can't do things like that, like, Hey, how are you just checking in?

Jennifer 29:50
You know, I found that within reason. I can typically melt things so I can do what I need to do as long as I'm within My code of ethics, so say there is somebody I'm meeting with. And it's not a point where I'm going to try to get them in a hospital or something. But I know they're going through a really hard time. Maybe I know that say, Wednesday is a significant day for them. They're not going to come in for a session on Wednesday, but we say significant day for them, you know, to say, Hey, can I call you at like, 8pm? Yeah, for my clients, you know, after you're finished with your day, can we check in for like, 15 minutes? And if they say, yes, that's perfectly fine. You know, and we do that. But yeah, I think that there are certain limitations, the therapists role I, I couldn't usually invite, you know, I couldn't obviously invite a client to dinner or, you know, things of that nature. But, you know, at the same time, I think that that's good. Because if my therapist invited me to dinner, I don't know how comfortable I'd be talking to them as, as a therapist anymore. They'd be a friend, you know, so we do have to have some boundaries.

Michael 30:45
Is there is there again, this is definitely rabbit holes, but I love this stuff. Because I feel like I missed my calling in life. But is there ever a time I'm sure there is where you're like, if you know, where you want to be, like, just do this, like just leave this person or whatever, like, quit that job. But you but you can't, right? I mean, isn't there isn't that? I guess it's sort of a two parter. Like, have you ever had that? And then you can't really do that. Right?

Jennifer 31:09
Well, is she complicated? So with the types of therapies I do, I'm much more concerned with my clients values and what they want to move toward, than what I think is a good idea. So yeah, that was that must be so tricky. Yeah. In 90% of the cases, you know, I'll just reflect it back of, you know, hey, what kind of life do you want to live? You know, is this pulling you toward that? You know, I might use trickier questions like, you know, when you turn 100, and you have a birthday party, and it's going to be somebody that's really close to you, who you've lived your life, to that point exactly as you want to live, and they say something about you, what would they say about you? And is this moving you towards that like things of that nature, but very rarely do we get to give instructions, I will sometimes ask for permission to give advice. And I'll say, Hey, I have an idea here. And I don't know, if you want to hear my idea or not, it may be offensive to you. And if it is I'll apologize. But would you like to hear what I have to say? And then that way, if the person says yes, there's sometimes I will give a little advice here or there. But I'm very reticent to do that. Because ultimately, I don't know all things. And I don't know their situation, to the degree that they know it, or their life goals or their values. And so I might think, oh, gosh, I would not want to work that job, I would leave that job, that boss is just taking advantage of you. I might think that in my head. But I always know that. At the end of the day, my knowledge is just based on what they tell me and it's limited. And there might be a very good reason that they're standing up their job that I can't wrap my mind around yet.

Michael 32:41
Is that is it, a part of it? Getting them to think what you think, like, but leading them to it? In a way it sounds? It sounds manipulative, but it's not what I mean, you know what I'm saying? Like, isn't it like, you can see something that's very obvious. And you just want to get them to see that too. And then you sort of, but you can't just say it right? So you have to lead them, right?

Jennifer 33:03
I think in most cases, we're still looking at what the client values, but there are times where I might think, hey, like your friends want you around, you know, your depression telling you they don't, but they do. And in those cases, I might ask, you know, certain open ended questions that could lead to a Guided Discovery if your friends want you around. There are exceptions, you know, say I'm talking to a teenager, and they're wanting to run away from home, or, you know, they're wanting to steal somebody's vehicle or something like that. In those cases. Yes. You know, in those cases, yes, we're gonna be talking about the consequences of that assumption, and, you know, the risk reduction, but most often, it's more questions, it's more Guided Discovery, considering what's valuable to the client, which may be different than what's valuable to me. And it may be different than the conclusion I would have come to if I was in their shoes.

Michael 33:51
So I'm gonna ask you two more questions. One is, again, provide a little hope here. Have you had a let's, let's stick with, you know, the demographic Have you had a male client going through a divorce that you were able to see come to the other side and be okay.

Jennifer 34:09
Yes, I've had several, you know, because of my allegiance to their confidentiality, I can't Yeah, of course, tell their story. But I have seen people who have been at rock bottom and seeing them come back up. You know, it happens every day. You know, it's a challenging thing. And I think every single one of them would have said, Hey, I don't know if I'm gonna get out of this. And they do. They do.

Michael 34:34
The last question I asked everyone is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just beginning his divorce journey?

Jennifer 34:40
Yeah, so if you're dealing with depression along with this, that makes sense, because this is a heartbreaking type of thing. I don't know exactly the circumstances that led to divorce. You might be feeling all kinds of things I don't know. But whatever you're feeling, it makes sense given your circumstances. And you will get through this you can get through this you know, there are supports out there including Professional supports if you need.

Michael 35:02
Well, thank you so much for doing this, especially on a Sunday morning. I really appreciate it. Yeah, how can people find you to get in touch? If they're in your area? Are you taking clients? What's the best way to sort of have to reach out and get older? Yeah,

Jennifer 35:17
so best way to reach out to me is that true story counseling.com. And I'm on the Illinois side of the St. Louis area, and I am taking new clients. So if someone's interested, feel free to reach out.

Michael 35:30
Awesome. Well, thank you again, so much for doing this. I really, really appreciate it. Gladly. Take care. Thanks. Thank you so much for watching and or listening. Since my separation in July of 2019, I have 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 and put it in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please hit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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Episode 123 – I F*cked Up, Again – Solo

In this episode I provide a small update and I cover how to handle fuck-ups when they inevitably occur.

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Michael 0:05
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

Michael 0:19

Michael 0:21
Hello, and welcome to the show. This is episode 123. This is going to be a solo episode and I'm going to cover a few different things, but the main topic is going to be fucking up. More specifically what to do when you do fuck up. Before I get to that, I want to cover a few things. I've been trying to I think you may notice I'm not sure that have been trying to put these things out every Tuesday. That didn't work out this week, I was in a little bit of a funk. And I'll kind of talked about that a little bit. So

Michael 0:55
I was seeing someone for a little bit.

Michael 0:58
Three weeks ish. It was going pretty well. And but I did see some red flags

Michael 1:09
that I was very conscious and aware of. But I guess I maybe hoped that there would be a way to sort of, you know, resolve them or certainly handle them address them. Again, you know, back to some of my earlier episodes lately, in some of my struggles is been, you know, sort of having difficult conversations. And the win here is that I had a difficult conversation, I spoke my mind about a particular red flag. And it didn't go well, this particular person, and they ultimately ended it, but I think the catalyst was me addressing this particular red flag, I'm not going to go into too much specifics. I think that's probably enough. But it did it did suck it. But I gotta say, Man, the work fucking really does pay off because, yes, it sucked. It wasn't a pleasant experience. But a bounce back much, much quicker. Obviously, only three weeks isn't into there wasn't a lot of time to get attached. I mean, we I genuinely liked her physically, she was very attractive. But it wasn't, you know, a long term, obviously relationship. So there's, there's, that's probably part of it. But the other part of it is just the being mindful of where I was at and taking steps to move on and move forward. But the you know, not only is it the victory, is there a victory there? You know, clearly being able to bounce back, when you're rejected is a victory period. I don't give a fuck what it was. That's a victory. But the real victory, I think is in speaking my mind, and not ignoring red flags. And not only is that there's there the payoff and doing the work in those two things, right, being able to not only talk about a red flag, but identify it. And also then when something ends to be what again, not long term, so it's perhaps not apples to apples in terms of how difficult it can be to move on clearly, especially in a very long term relationship, but but just the ability to move on period and to see it differently, to see it not as a rejection, although it did initially, but to see it as an opportunity for growth, and I'm going to get to the meat of this fucking up is a huge opportunity for growth. So you know, it's not just those two things, that that's that's those are victories. Those are good things. But it's, it's the it's the self worth you gain from doing the work to be able to point out or talk about or address a red flag and not just sweep it under the rug, because she was very attractive and the sex was that if you do the work you won't be so desperate to be with somebody was it great to have someone to text every morning and every night? Yeah, it was pretty fucking cool. Was it awesome to have someone to have sex with that was super attractive? Yes, it was pretty fucking awesome. But did did it? Was it everything that it could be? No, not no. And therefore when it ends, I can go well, a wasn't perfect and it wasn't everything that I had hoped it would be and more importantly You know, be I'm, I'm, I'm going to be okay. And I'm worthy of getting something that I want. Now there is a danger I think for myself for sure of being too picky. But I don't think that was the case here. I don't think it was it is me being protecting myself by being super super picky? I don't think so. I think it was a legitimate red flag. And if you're in the discord server, you know what the fuck I'm talking about. If you really, if you're listening to this, and you're not in the discord server, if you're if you're trying to work on yourself to be a better man to $5 a month, I don't really think is a lot to ask. And there's some some changes are going to come up in the future. And we've been kicking around some things me and some of the other fellows in that group, about about some changes to the discord server, but it's God sakes, it's worth $5 a month. Anyway, I'm getting off track but so but but it did throw me in a bit of a funk for a couple of days. And so that's why this was delayed. But but I'm good now. It I was basically we I pointed out my my red flag that I brought up my red flag on the Saturday and by Monday or two, I guess yesterday, I guess it was Tuesday, she sort of ended it. And it's Wednesday. So I mean, I was in a funk. On Sunday and Monday, because I had I addressed this red flag and I can tell that it affected her she didn't like it. She didn't feel like I could see it coming in a way. And but again, that's not a bad thing. You know, ultimately, the rejection was was really rooted in me standing up for myself and saying, you know, I don't, I don't really like this thing here. And not about I mean, it was about her, but you tried to say it in that way. But you may not I probably could have handled it a little bit better in terms of the way that I brought it up. But long story short, I fucking did bring it up, it led to a rejection and that's, I'm fucking fine with that. And now initially, it was like, I wasn't doing cartwheels. Can't do cartwheels anyway, but, but I wasn't, you know, super happy. But, you know, again, reflection, work distance time. They allow you to see things in a and being able to get out of fight or flight and trees and fallen and they laid allows you to see things logically and logically, this red flag wasn't going to go away. It just wasn't no matter how hot she was, or how much fun the sex was, that red flag wasn't, it was clear to me, it wasn't gonna go away, she didn't see a problem. And that's fine. That's her, let her do her thing. It just didn't fit with me and my values and my expectations. And I'm gonna get I'm gonna get to expectations too. So anyway, I'm good. And and I am feeling very positive about how the situation was handled by myself. So fucking kudos to me. And again, it's really about the work paying off. So but sometimes, we don't feel so good about things, particularly our fuck ups in our mistakes. And I posted this, and I mentioned this, I think, in a couple of episodes recently, and I certainly certainly posted about it on my Facebook page, Michael rose divorce coach fucking up is your best opportunity for growth and for learning. And that's how you have to start looking at these things. Instead of saying oh, I fucked up again and beat yourself up. It's really more about saying oh, I fucked up what can I learn from it? And I know that's not easy because we we get in these these loops these these neural pathways get grooved into our brain and we fuck up we have this loop that says it's because I'm a piece of shit. Well fuck all that. So instead of doing that, and this isn't this isn't easy. This is the work right here you go okay, I did fuck up. I'm not a piece of shit. What can I learn from it in every time you fuck up, it might take you two days to get to that mindset and might take you a week. But eventually it'll get less and less and less than less. If you keep practicing it in all of this stuff, all of these things moving on you know, dealing with the holidays, dealing with her dating, dealing with missing the kids these all these things all take fucking effort to overcome. You can't just sit around and hope that it gets better. There are something Yes, things get better with time. I suppose that is true. But if you don't do any work, then when those things hit you again, then you're going to be faced with the same feeling same emotions and no way to really deal with them. So anyway, so you fucked up. Okay, step one is you accept it and you say that yep, I fucked up. And by the way, if you see me Looking down here, I took fucking notes on this one for once.

Michael 10:04
Because I think this is an important topic and two, I wanted to sort of hone out what what am I doing lately, that has helped me with these fuck ups that I've had and that I've made not this stuff with the female, some other stuff? And what have I been doing? And how can I hone it in and make it a little better even. And you're gonna probably hear episodes in the future where I do it a little differently. That could be anything from moving on to letting go to depression episodes, etc, etc. You know, again, that's the work you're constantly not constantly because sometimes you got to take a fucking break and just enjoy life, man. But if if you're always trying to find ways to get better you will. And that means some things that you do now will be different than when you do them in the future. So I reserve the right to change my process. So the next step in this process is by now there is a process called the Five why's you don't always have to use five, it might take two, it might take 10. I don't know. But you keep asking why. And I think the important thing is when you you get to the root of it, but but the root of it is typically how you felt. So how you felt dictates your actions typically. So let me let me read let you go through this, and then go back with examples. Let me do that. Let me just go through the steps. And I'll go back to the example as best I can to find something to allow us to go through these steps. And we can go through together here and you can kind of understand what I'm saying so, so get to the root get to your feeling about the fuckup. Again, this will probably go a lot better once I start using an example. But bear with me. The next thing I know this shit sounds woowoo or weird or whatever. But for fucksakes Checking in with your body. What was your body feeling when you fucked up? And I know that's hard. And it's nuanced. And it's practice. And it's why does it matter? Well, that matters because your body reacts in certain ways to your thoughts. And so if you can hone in on what your body is, this isn't easy, but it's it but it also gets you out of your fucking head too. And allows you to stop beating yourself up or examining everything because I'm definitely an over thinker over analyzers. So this allows me to go okay, break time, what was my body feeling? And if I can start honing in on this, then when I feel those feelings in my body, I can identify better what I was going through, so Oh, actually, I was fucking embarrassed right there or whatever. So check in with your body. It's fucking important. And then check your expectations. Did you check your so you get your root cause and then you balance that against sort of like what your body was feeling or what you were feeling? And then check it against your expectations. Do you feel it? Were you feeling embarrassed? Because you expected someone to treat you differently? Expectations are a gigantic, important part of I think life in general. And I don't mean the negative sort of you know, what does it What's that stupid fucking saying? It's not stupid, but I don't know kind of I really don't like it. It's, it's expect the best. expect the worst prepare. Prepare for the worst expect for the expect the best or whatever. I think that's what it is. I don't like that. Because I don't want to want to expect the worst. I just think that's I think that's so protection airy. I don't want to live shielded, I understand. Nobody wants to get hurt. And we got to protect ourselves in certain ways. But I don't want to expect the worst. Fuck all that. So anyway. So check your expectations and see how they align with why your feelings are hurt. You know, some of them were they hurt me because I felt disrespected. Well, why do you why are you disrespected, why expected that person to not do that thing or whatever. And we all know, come back to this a lot. You can't control anybody but you then the next thing to do is to check your root cause or you root problem with your attachment styles and your love languages. See if there's something there that doesn't jive or, or, or gives you more of an understanding of why it is that you were you're feeling the feelings you're feeling which is you know, hurt rejection, etc, etc. Those things and see how that bounces off your attachment style and your love language, languages. And for God's sakes, if you don't know these things, go find them. It's not hard to figure out your attachment style. And it's not hard to figure out your love languages, there's quizzes you can take. There's quizzes that are part of my program that you can take that will will spell these things out for you. And for fucksakes. Trust the quizzes, I mean, find a good one, take a couple of you want but don't if you get a result you're like nah, that can't be right. In you keep taking the tests, different quizzes or whatever and you get the same fuckin answer. Just Just accept it. Sometimes, we don't want to admit certain things about ourselves. But if we keep getting the same fucking results when we're trying to figure some things out, well guess what, then that's the answer. So and then then the last part of it is Rhian that, go through the scenario again and see where you can go differently. It's all about learning to handle these things differently, so that you don't fuck up. Or if you do, it's not as severe or you understand it better. And eventually you eliminate it's a process for sure. And part of that process is absolutely trying to reenact it in your head in a way that allows you to handle a difference. So let's go back and try and get some sort of example. So the other day in the group someone posted, I'm not going to name names the about that an argument with their son, and I think it was over a dog or something. So let's sort of work within that sort of framework. It could be anybody but let's say a child. You yelled at your kid, because you had an argument with your kid, and you said some shit you didn't want to Okay, so why did you do that? Okay, so I yelled at my kid, and hurt. And now he don't talk to me. Right? Okay, so that's your fuckup is, uh, yelled at the kid. Why did you do that? Well, I was angry. Okay, well, why are you angry? Well, because He disrespected me. Why do you think He disrespected you? Because I expected him to take the dog for a walk. And he didn't do that. And that made me mad. Okay, so he didn't meet your expectations. So why does that make you angry? or upset? Why did that make you yell? Because it's, it's hurtful because I expected him to, to do what I asked. And why does that bother you? Because because it's disrespectful. And what is about being disrespected? Well, it if you really look at this stuff, you could say, well, it bumps against my self worth. And it makes me feel like I he didn't respect he doesn't respect me because I'm not respectable. Like it's, you know, you know, it's a it's a deficiency thing. And so again, I'm getting ahead of myself, but you want to look at your attachment style in your love language is to try and sort of tie this shit altogether. So okay, so you felt disrespected, let's call it that you're you're in. And I think you actually should go deeper than that. So you were hurt by his. Because I think it's important to to get to the feeling your feelings are important. I felt disrespected, he hurt. He hurt me. A disrespect is a form of hurt, you know, he hurt my feelings because he didn't respect what I asked him to do. So I got pissed and yelled, do you want to yell? No, you don't. Okay? So the root causes is you felt hurt by his lack of respect. Okay. So you've asked a bunch of why's now in this in this moment, try and figure out what were you feeling? I know this is tough. But in your body was your jaw clenched? Did your face flush? These are all important clues. Again, this allows you to just take this take the time to even step out of, of your, your sort of ruminating and all this kind of bullshit that we all do. We all do. By the way, I am fucking really guilty of it. It allows you to get out of that and start thinking about other things and it soothes you, it calms you down. And then again, it allows you to sort of focus on something other than the frustration and hurt the the, you know, being pissed, being pissed at yourself, why did I do that? I'm such an asshole, etc, etc. And again, it also can give you clues to the next time you feel that potentially a flushed face, you can go oh shit, I'm feeling really disrespected right now. And then you can you can better understand yourself and then take steps to correct. And so now take that, that that route, that He disrespected me and take it against your expectations. My expectations are that I asked him to do something, he's going to do it and it's a fair expectation. But you can't always expect people to do what you want him to do. You just can't. It could have been maybe he had a bad day and you just don't even fucking know about it. It could be maybe he was sick, you know, and he didn't talk about it or you know, it could be many, many things. We really don't know. It's hard to climb in someone else's head. So your expectations. While they're not wrong, you expect someone to do something that you ask. It's just a clue that maybe if you adjust your expectations, I really want him to do that. And then you can have a conversation. Well, why didn't you do that as I've never been okay, I just forgot data guasha going on. Okay, or whatever. And I know that this sounds that's a lot more simple than some of these because when we're amped up, these conversations aren't gonna go that well. But that's all part of understanding where you're at. Okay, I'm frustrated and feeling flushed, I gotta walk the fuck away and calm down so I can have these rational conversations later on. When the fight flight freeze or fallen isn't occurring. And I'm in a logical thinking brain and I can I have a decent conversation. Okay, and so then we also want to look at I think it's really important to look at your attachment style and your love language. Now in this context.

Michael 19:59
I don't know that it exists. actually applies, but I still think it's a good analyzation to make. So perhaps you thought you think when you're disrespected it, it goes up against your attachment style, which is very anxious. And so if someone disrespects you, then that means they don't like you. And that causes you to have that anxious attachment. Right? And it's it that can lead to again, hurt feelings, which can lead to anger. And sort of same love language, right? If you know that, you know, words of affirmation is your thing. Then, you know, if him him not saying to you, Hey, Dad, I'm not feeling well, I can't do this today. That's also another clue like, hey, next time, buddy, just let me know. And I know this probably, I don't know what it is. But it might be making it really fucking complex, but like this fucking complex. And again, what am I not doing? In this moment, right now, I'm not having an argument with somebody and making another mistake. I'm analyzing it to prevent it. And understanding myself is a key to that. And so then lastly, we reenact it. We go, okay. I asked him to do that you didn't? What could I have done differently? Okay, well, certainly get out of this situation. If you're angry and arguing, yelling, stop yourself. Remove yourself from the situation again, reenact this shit in your brain, like you do anything your brain doesn't know the difference between you thinking about something and and actually occurring. There's studies that show this. I didn't pull any, any up, but go find it. And so if so, then you reenact this in your brain and you say, Okay, I asked him to do it, he doesn't do it. I get angry, I walk away, I calm down and go back to him later on. I try to understand why didn't he do that? In maybe there's something that you know, maybe he's going through something. And again and again, but you it allows you to have a good conversation with someone that can further the bond. Having good logical conversations creates a bond yelling and arguing through hurt feelings doesn't accomplish any fucking thing. But additional hurt feelings. So this is the this is the framework that that I've been using, not to this degree, to be honest with you, I really sat down and really thought about this one. And what are some ways that could expand what I'm doing? I was doing more doing that the whys. Why did this happen? Why did I do this? Why, why, why, and then trying to reenact, but I think it's really important to tie these things into your how your body is feeling. And again, I know it's different, and it's weird, and whatever, just fucking try, just keep trying until it can make some kind of sense. And then expectations, I think expectations are important. And if you have certain expectations of someone, then set that expectation set that boundary and say, Listen, boy, son, I really, it's really important that you do this, if you can't do it, just let me know. You know, obviously, if he ultimately doesn't do it, then you have to enact some kind of consequences. And those can vary depending on how you want to handle it. You know, from, you know, obviously the the relationship in terms of Does he live with you as the old? Or is the older as a younger? What can you do? What kind of consequences can there be, you know, if he's a teenage boy, you can take his phone or video games or what the fuck ever. But at least if you, you set the expectation and make it realistic, then you're not going to get pissed if it doesn't get met. And or if you had that expectation, and you say if it's not met, this is what's going to occur again, you're protected from protect his right, we're but you're the likelihood that you're going to have an argument that can be lessons because expectations and boundaries are set. And so you there's nothing to argue about. Sorry, kid, I told you, if you didn't do that this is going to occur. Again, there are many, many different problems and issues and fuck ups that we face. And it's, it's possible that this particular scenario doesn't apply to your current fuckup. Or to many of your fuck ups. I don't know, maybe you drink a lot. And there's a lot of layers to that. Maybe you yell a lot. Again, there's many, many layers to these things there's childhood. Can these fucking neural pathways the way that we've always done things are honed in from from, you know, much younger age. And so there's lots of reasons and lots of things that affect us. And it's not always possible to analyze every single one of them, but we can get some general themes. And the theme for fucking up is like a segway. This is an opportunity for me to learn. And that doesn't mean that you're going to learn it right away. It doesn't mean that you're going to correct the mistake from now until the end of time that you'll never do that again. You might it's possible. I can tell you that If you don't do this kind of stuff, and then maybe there are other ways find your own fucking way. That's one of the things that I stress to anyone that has been so awesome and gracious to pay me to coach them is my way might not work for you, but get just get in the fucking mindset that I'm gonna find a way that works for me and try some things. I think that this is a pretty good framework for dealing with fuck ups. But it might not work for you, you might say is checking in your body is bullshit. Okay, that's cool. I'm good. Fuck, I mean, don't do it, then I think that's a mistake. For further, the least reason is that it allows you to take a pause and stop ruminating and focus on something other than the fuckup itself. That makes any sense. So I think that's all I got. So it is Wednesday, the 22nd of November. Tomorrow is obviously Thanksgiving. And tomorrow will be the third anniversary of this podcast, I am going to do I think at least one if not two chats tomorrow in via zoom in the divorce support for men group. I know this is a very short notice. But if you're in the group, you're probably already aware. I'm gonna have some folks sign on to and join me and we're just going to chat and I'm gonna record it and probably put it out. I'm going to do one at 11am. Eastern tomorrow. And I'm going to do one in the evening as well, I believe because the one in the evening, I think is going to be a little bit more about the celebration of the third birthday of this podcast. I, part of me wants to do some reflecting right now. But I think I'll wait. But it is. I mean, three years. I was trying to find and I'll probably again, I'll probably bring this up tomorrow night. But I was trying to find the percentage of podcasts and make it to three years and I couldn't find any data. I know that I believe the one year mark only like 20% make it to one year I think or something like that. There are fuck ton of podcasts out there. And if you look, you'll see a lot with, you know, 10 episodes, two episodes 20 episodes, it's it's, um, it's not I think I've been pretty fucking transparent throughout this journey. And it's, it's not always easy to keep doing these things. I mean, I feel like I've got my seventh window, or whatever I do have, I'm speaking to a couple folks about coming on to psychologists to different episodes. One is dealing with depressive episodes. And fuck, I can't remember what the other one is. But and there's a few other folks that I still haven't ironed out dates and details. I also have not going to say exactly, but I've been talking with another podcast that has a huge fucking celebrity on it. That I'm super excited. We've had a couple different conversations and it sounds they've said let's do it. We're trying to hone out exactly when that is probably sometime in January, January it will be recorded. But I can tell you if you're my age is guest definitely. I hope this future guests definitely you will, you will know who that is. And, and they can speak to this topic and I'm fucking excited about it. But I don't want to say too much because I don't want to jinx it, but fucking I am excited. I hope I hope it works out. I'll keep you all posted. I think you probably just see it pop up. But hopefully sometime in January. I'll get it recorded and you'll see it. Anyway, so I think that's it. Thank you so much for listening. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out. I also lastly, I will announce later tomorrow night that the new pricing for my coaching program, I'm only going to take two clients maximum and that is not some salesy bullshit. It's simply a matter of capacity, I don't have the capacity to do them more than two at a time. And so I'm going to, I'm going to set new pricing and talk about sort of how that's what it's going to look like. It's going to be a little bit different than the program but the program still sort of going to be the foundation of it. Because there's a lot of good stuff in that program. I mean, I just they're they're things that helped me and I'm gonna continue to do episodes on the program too. But you'll hear all about that I tomorrow night. So

Michael 29:59
I'm going to say Happy thanks Giving because you might not hear this till tomorrow or, or maybe after, I don't know. But Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thank you so much for listening. As always take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Thank you so much for watching and or listening, says my separation in July of 2019. I have 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 and put it in my own program called forged by fire. If you are interested in having me help navigate your divorce, please visit my website Rising Phoenix divorce coach.com. I look forward to working with you

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