I always knew I was different. I knew I wasn’t like all the other boys—or girls at that matter. But, I never thought of myself as special, talented, or unique until later in my life. If you had asked me if I thought I was special when I was in the 8th-grade, I would have probably responded with a firm no. I was broken, confused, and always stayed on the negative side of the road. The pain that I caused myself by allowing others’ voices to control my narrative was unbearable—and I am thankful that there was an ounce of strength buried within me that saved me from taking my life. Every day of my life, I would come home from school and feel sorry for myself—the bullying I went through was cruel and harmful. I am so thankful for the people in my life, like Darci (you will hear about her later), that loved me for my authentic self and let me know that I was important and unique. Words cannot express my gratitude to these amazing people in my life.
A lot has changed since my years as a confused young boy—lots! I was always one that immediately went to the negative side of every situation—I was my own victim. A victim of my own emotions, and I didn’t realize until later in life that I had more control of my reactions than I thought. Recently I was diagnosed with OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder), and my life was changed. Knowing what is causing you to react the way you do is the biggest blessing one can receive. I always struggled with self-doubt and compromising my views on situations, and my reactions would get the best of me.
I have had a great career as a musician in the Episcopal Church and performed in some pretty swanky places. But even though I found success in my life, I always felt something missing. What was missing was happiness, joy, and self-approval—and I hope that as you read this blog, you will see how I figured out how to get on the other side of the road—the side of the road that is full of sunshine, love, and positivity. Now, don’t get me wrong; life isn’t always sunshine and daisies! Yes, I still have hard days and struggles, but I focus on the positive, focusing on my reactions to my reactions. I realize I have a lot more control than I thought.
Thank you for listening to my journey. I hope it is helpful to you in yours. A lot of stories to come!
© 2020, Westley Hodges (firstname.lastname@example.org)