My Struggles with Mental Health
Updated: May 11
I have decided to share my struggles not as a cry for help or a call for pity but as a hope to share my struggles and normalize talking about mental health especially for men.
While I have had some struggles and dark times I also am well aware that there are plenty of people out there who have it way worse than me. For me this is really just putting my thoughts and feelings down on paper. If you choose to read it great, if not also great.
I will start by saying I had a great upbringing and a very supportive family and now small but solid group of friends. I am also grateful for my 2 beautiful healthy children and the ability to do what I love, as well as every client that I have had the pleasure of working with. Having said this in general showing gratitude and focusing on the positives in life is not my strong suit.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life although up until not that long ago I never really knew what it was. I always felt off and went through waves of anger, being on edge, sadness, negativity etc. most the time never really knowing why.
Now at 38 I have had 2 heart attacks despite being in pretty good health by all standards set at my yearly wellness checks and medical history. I still don't have a good understanding of why I have had them or what else i can do besides continue to take care of myself and follow my doctors orders
3 years ago I went through a divorce that I did not expect or want. Without going through any details, what's done is done, I now understand my part in it which was driven by my lack of a hold on my mental health and poor communication. These are not excuses just observations after the fact.
That divorce led to a complete mental and financial breakdown, the loss of a business that I spent 8 years building, some poor financial decision making and coping with alchohol for a year of my life. This essentially led me to starting over at zero and under a pile of debt that I am still climbing out from.
But I got past it, moved forward and started making strides towards a better life. That was until Covid hit.
Being a contract worker in the medical and fitness field I basically lost all ability to work in my profession for the better part of 4 months. And yes I know that it could have been a lot worse. This was yet another mental and financial blow putting me further into debt and depression and pushing me into the decision to move in with my parents which while know it was best for my kids, still fills me with shame today.
At about the 3 month mark of not working, I decided to take some control and basically said screw it I'm gonna do things on my own terms and took Guidry Golf and Sport fully on its own and opened up my own brick and mortar facility. While this was scary, I felt like I really didn't have anything to lose and I knew no matter what I'd find a way to keep my kids clothed, fed, safe and healthy. I am very thankful for the help from my parents with my kids making that job a little easier.
Flash forward to today. I have had a fair amount of success with my clients and although it hasn't yet turned into the financial success that I have hoped for, I keep pushing to be better and fight not to give in.
There are plenty of days I feel like a fraud. as a coach, as a man, as a father, and as a business owner. Imposter syndrome is in full effect more times than not with me.
I still struggle to find a reason to get up and try, some weeks more days than not.
I struggle to find peace and happiness in life. I struggle to focus only on what I can control and let go of the things that I cannot
I struggle staying present. My mind seems like ab constant back in forth from things I should have done better in the past and things that I need to do in the future. My special talent is overanalyzing every experience, decision, interaction etc. that I have and finding my faults in them or blowing them out of proportion and then letting that consume me
I struggle to focus on the positives in my life and not get bogged down by the negatives or perceived negatives. I am working on daily gratitude but it hasn't come easy for me
I struggle to not compare myself to others. Social media is bad for me in this light. Its a huge double edged sword, while social media has allowed me to grow my business, grow as a coach and build relationships with people I would have otherwise never met it is a huge driver of anxiety for me and I struggle to find balance there.
I preach the benefits of sleep all while knowing I couldn't tell you the last time I have slept over 6 solid hours. Hell its 11p on a Sunday night as I type this and I have to be up at 5. But coming off a bad mental health week I am struggling to sleep and I needed to get the words out.
I have always had a poor relationship with sleep, some driven by genetics, some by stress and anxiety and some by inconsistent habits and routines. I have always said that if I could have one super power it would be the ability to fully rest and recover without the need for sleep. More times than not I dread it and along with that dread being alone with my thoughts. This for me is a constant battle and a work in progress.
Through talking with a counselor, using tools I have been given, doing my best to prioritize my mental and physical health and taking it one day at a time I am trying to fight and improve these struggles.
I love my kids and I live, grind and push everyday for them. I may not be much else in life but I am secure in the fact that I am a great father
I love my job and truly enjoy helping golfers improve their ability to enjoy and play the great game of golf and helping them become more functional and capable human beings.
Although I struggle with my own at times. I have a passion for wellness and keeping as many people as I can out of.= our broken medical system. Spending most of my career in it I know there has to be a better way
I love training, it is one of the one constants that has been in my life good or bad. The iron has gotten me through some dark times over the years
I love the game of golf and love competition. Along with the gym, golf has been a huge source of therapy for me. Some of the only times that I don't struggle to be present is with a barbell or a golf club in my hand.
Golf has given me some very good friends and opportunities in life and i owe so much back to the game for that
My story is an ongoing one and I am still struggling to get to where I want to be in all areas of life. But I hope by sharing these struggles it helps someone else open up and seek help as I wish I would have long before I did.
I work each day to continue to grow as a man, a father, a coach, a business owner which is all I can do.
My best piece of advice is if you are struggling get help. Its not a sign of weakness but of strength in doing what is best for you and those around you.
Dr. JP Guidry DPT TPI