Well, I do this way more than I should. In tonight’s little adventure I started tweaking one or two little things on Louisiana Today‘s website, and next thing I know it’s 4am. Now, it is not always the case that I start a project and become so focused on my goal I spend the twilight hours toiling away instead of in a deep slumber. Usually I am awake at this point of the morning because I start pondering the “what-if’s” in my life and end up with a thought process that refuses to shut down. From the amount of social media friends posting this time of morning, I am not hardly alone in the endeavor.

I much prefer a night of highly focused work and getting a task completed instead of lying awake for hours on end contemplating how I can best provide the life I want to give to my wife and kids. This might seem silly at first, but remember we rebuilt what we have now after losing almost all we owned when I got sick and lost both my feet to diabetic complications in late 2011 and early 2012. Even though my outlook is bright on several levels, I am as human as everyone else. I have those dark moments when I feel like nothing will ever work out for me.

A few weeks ago I got to watch The Resurrection Of Jake The Snake Roberts. I was concerned at first when one by one, the kids and Brunella all had “things to do” and left me home. Alone. With my Netflix movie. But, as I realize more and more these days, God has a plan, and I was left alone to watch this event on my own for good reason.

Jake was my favorite wrestler growing up. I loved how he always kept his cool. He was a smart alec like me, and he outsmarted his opponent (most of the time). He was the original “cerebral assassin” or the “master of the mind (we’ll use job)” as my dad used to call him. In his day, he was one of the brightest stars of the profession.

The movie shows Jake at his lowest point. He’s an alcoholic and an addict. He could barely walk, and in some cases barely make a complete sentence he was so high. The movie documents how Jake faced his demons with the help of fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, and then helped “Razor Ramon” who’s real name is Scott Hall walk back from the brink as well. There are many emotional moments in the movie, but there is one that hit home for me.

Jake was having a bad day in this scene and walks out the house completely frustrated. When they finally get to the root of his issue, it is that Jake never felt he was good enough. Even with the fame, the fortune, and the money, he never felt he deserved the accolades he received. He felt he was worthless. He felt sooner or later someone would figure that out and it would all go away. He hid in the booze and pill bottles and it eventually became his reality.

I relate because there are times where I have felt that same useless, worthless, and self defeating feeling creep up on me. It is one of the reasons I work hard to stay focused. It is also why I always have a plan “B”, plan “C”, and so forth. While I admit those doubts come to me, I also know that the only way to combat them is to prove to myself I have the skills, knowledge, and experience to make a difference. I have to prove to myself I am someone who matters. Again, God seems to always be there nudging me in the right direction when my life seems to be at its darkest.

I’ve told this story several times, but never have I written it out. On October 17, 2011 I stumbled into the Emergency Room of University Hospital in New Orleans dizzy, with red streaks running up my right leg from a small puncture wound on my big toe I received less than 48 hours earlier. The ER Doctor took one look at my leg and said “it’s either the leg or your life, your call.” I was in surgery less than 2 hours later, my right leg was amputated below my knee, and I was in a medically induced coma for a week after that. When I finally got past the groggy feeling from the drugs, the movie The Shawshank Redemption popped in my head. “You either get busy living, or get busy dying.” was the line in my brain. I figured since I didn’t die on the operating table, it meant I was still here to do something I haven’t finished yet.

Since that day, I walk when doctors swore that would never be possible. I completed a degree at The University of New Orleans. I am working two jobs in radio. I have multiple chances to get back to work full time doing work I love. I am lucky. I am blessed.

For some reason I felt compelled to write this, so I don’t know who you are, but I know God has me doing this so you know it will be OK. Take some deep breaths. Things will work out in God’s time. Do the footwork, plan what needs to be done, and it will all happen like it is supposed to.

 

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So, it’s a little after 5am and I have not gone to bed yet. This morning at least has a purpose. One of my instructors has decided he can curb cheating on an online exam by forcing all the students text him between 6am and 9am to request the password needed to access the online exam. If you fail to request the password in the required time window, or get the password from a fellow student instead of texting a request,  you automatically get a zero on the exam. Since this is the first time I have faced this type of oppressive action by an instructor in the 3 years I’ve been in college I am choosing to take this as he is new or is reacting to a former student’s negative actions.

Staying up all night is not something new to me. Sometimes it is for a fun, or worthwhile cause like finishing a game I’ve been playing,  cramming for an exam/final, or even enjoying the company of a long lost friend. Those sporadic events are times that losing sleep have a purpose. When you’ve made a memory or accomplished a task by losing sleep, you may be tired, but you know it was worth it.

The bad nights are the ones when I get wrapped up my own head. I spend the night trying to figure out where it all went wrong. My brain just goes into overdrive. I don’t just think about it, I analyze and dissect every action, inaction, and moment of every event in my life. Was this the right decision?  Was that the right choice for our family? How would a different action have changed our lives. This night of sleepless misery accomplishes nothing. For me, there is no way to stop one of these nights once they start. All I can do is ride it out. Gaming doesn’t distract me, nor does reading, watching TV, nor surfing the internet. The argument rages in my head until all the points have been exhausted.

Eventually, after hours of beating myself up the truth finally sets in. While others see the wrong decisions, when I calmly, objectively look at our life it finally dawns on me that we ended up where we were meant to be. It was part of God’s plan for our family.

The fact is that while I have made mistakes,  I have done what we thought was best for our family at the time.

Since I have spent the hour writing this, I will close by saying tonight has a purpose,  and my bed is looking pretty good now that my text has been sent. Have a great day.

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