Ending anger and enduring fatherhood

Like me, you may have gone into fatherhood with no fatherly guidance. There was a sick spirit of anger that was carried forward through generations on my dads side. A spirit that stopped with me after a long battle with mental health and alcoholism.

It could easily have been a different story had I not been relieved of that same spirit. His resentment became my resentment and when I left home at 15 I was already infected with anger. A dark spirit that destroyed everything worthwhile in my life.

Deep down I hated life and drank as a solution to the internal conflicts I was experiencing. I was in no way fit to ever become a dad and for years that thought frightened me. It was one of the reasons that ended my first marriage. I was full of resentment and fear and unable to function as a normal person. I also suffered from borderline personality disorder, an illness characterised by unstable emotions and self harm.

It was only by getting sober at 36 that I became aware of the resentment I carried and got free of it through prayer and meditation. A spiritual practice that changed the course of my life. I was able to see with clarity the lineage of anger carried through generations of men in my family. If I was to change, it had to come from within. I had to let go of what was causing my own disastrous life. The cycle of anger and abuse had to stop with me.

Once free from anger I had to find a way to endure life without harbouring resentment and backsliding into selfish self centred behaviour. I had to completely change my path. I finally discovered a way to endure the pressures of life without becoming overwhelmed. I found this solution in conscious awareness. In practicing the spiritual principles of love and patience.

In being a father and a husband, finding a way to endure the trials of life is vital if we are to break the cycle of resentment and become the men our families need. I am in no way the perfect husband and father but I am willing to grow in the light. To endure the tough times and and be emotionally strong and available.

I have even got the symptoms of borderline personality disorder under control through a commitment to meditation. Although I have struggled emotionally at times with a chronic nerve pain condition I have still made the effort to sit still a few times a day and allow light in. To stay free from darkness. To be a changed man in grace and faith and I give thanks everyday that anger ended with me.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

BPD – Borderline personality disorder

I was in a detox for alcohol abuse in Melbourne when I first heard of borderline personality disorder. I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist and put in touch with the resident psychologist. I was 30 years old and in bad shape. My job was on the line and my friendships were becoming fragmented.

At the time I didn’t give my new diagnosis much thought. I was wrapped up with my external problems like work and my now exposed drink problem. It was my first detox experience. One that I didn’t take too seriously, I was far from done with alcohol.

I already had a history of depression and anxiety disorders. I self harmed but for the most kept my scars well hid. In short I had emotional problems that I had no real interest in addressing. To me, I felt in control of my mental health issues and drinking. I had no reason to pay mind to others concerns about me. I treated that first detox as a way to keep my job. It was after all my bosses that got me in there. Certainly took no notice of the BPD diagnosis.

Needless to say I quickly lost my job after leaving detox and getting back on the booze. My mental health went on a rapid decline after leaving Australia and it was another three years before borderline personality disorder was raised as an issue. This time it was harder to ignore.

BPD is also known as unstable emotion disorder. With those diagnosed mostly having a history of childhood trauma. As a result we don’t develop emotionally and are ruled by unstable emotions like anger and fear. We have no real concept of love and can become quickly obbsesed with personal relationships. Usually with people with simular emotional disturbances.

I was put on a dialectical behavioural therapy course, DBT. It was 18 months of intense group and one-on-one therapy based around, wait for it – meditation! (You didn’t You would get away with a post that didn’t mention meditation did you?)

On the course I learned in depth about my illness and how it affected me. It was like joining the dot’s of all my previous mental health problems. I already knew I had anger issues as my self harming behaviour was just anger internalised. I would punish myself out of guilt and rage. Self harming is part of the diagnostic criteria. And for BPD i ticked all the boxes.

As for the therapy I learned about the place between emotions and thinking. They called it ‘wise mind’. A place where I was not driven by emotions or logical thinking. It was all about balance in the middle of the two. In short it was the end of my self harming after decades of self abuse. It also set me on a path of seeking a meditation that would promote separation from the pull of emotions, which was my biggest problem, I was quick to anger and self judgement. My thinking was always negative.

The stress of living with BPD sparked other symptoms such as auditory and visual hallucinations. It was a horrible illness to live with. One that I thought I would never fully recover from.

Once I recovered from alcoholism at the age of 36 my main objective was to find a meditation that would help me deal with the emotional problems I suffered from. The erratic, obsessive thinking that ruled my head. It was in finding non contemplative meditation that I discovered the answer to my emotional problems. It was a practice like no other that had me separating from thoughts and the emotions that fed through them. I was to become an observer of what passed through my mind from a place of conscious awareness. No longer being dragged into the barriage of negativity within.

I discovered freedom. A real solution to a lifelong disorder. My life is now one of stability and peace, my mind that is, there’s little peace in my house with triplets but even in that respect I am able to practice patience. From sickness I became a free man. One that has found not just the answer to BPD, but the answer to life.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

Spiritual growth and fatherhood

As men we have an objective with the arrival of children to support our families. To be men of emotional stability and that means a commitment to growth.

We cannot hang on to character defects that get in the way of our ability to grow as fathers. Parenting comes first and foremost. Our plans and schemes may have to be put on hold as we find our feet in fatherhood. We cannon be selfish, especially in the early day’s of parenting.

When I talk about spiritual growth I mean the principles that we try to live by. Principles such as love and patience that allow our families to thrive under our care. We have to put love at the centre of our homes.

A spirit of forgiveness can help keep relationships tended to in a positive way. We must endure the harder times with tolerance. A marriage is not always plain sailing as we begin the road of fatherhood. Children bring new stress to a partnership. Sometimes the strain can end a relationship. Having kids is tough in many ways, but it is also rewarding beyond words.

My daughters are 14 and 4. My relationship with them is solid. I do my best to work with my wife to stay on track with things like discipline. We have to read from the same page. I need to practice humility at times as a new parent. I have learned the ropes without any fatherly guidance. My relationship with my own father was strained as we were dragged in the wake of his ever deteriorating mental state. So I had to learn from scratch.

But the one thing I intuitively knew from the start of this journey, is that spiritual principles of tolerance and patience can be the foundation of a loving home. And I have been right. My family are growing in confidence and faith as a result of my ability to stay out of anger and fear.

Mastering resentment has given us a solid foundation to work from. We talk out problems as they arise, before they overwhelm us and I am teaching my girls what forgiveness is so that they too can live consciously. Dealing with stress in a positive way without harbouring negative emotions. I believe this to be one of the most important things I can pass on.

So I will stay on this path of spiritual growth. Outgrowing selfishness and fear so that I can be the best version of myself I can be. With faith and love as my guide I don’t believe I can go wrong.

The monster of addiction

If you follow this blog or have read my book you will know that I am a recovered alcoholic. Which means I no longer have the mental obsession to drink or drug. I have been freed from my alcoholic syndrome and live a meaningful life.

Alcoholism is usually on my radar as I work with chronic alcoholics and show them the same path out which I, and millions of others have taken over the last 80 years. And if you are inflicted with obsessive drinking please reach out. I’m happy to help.

I have recently been looking at my past and what made me cross the line into chronic alcoholism. Before then I was a hard drinker with mental health problems such as borderline personality disorder. I was a self harmer and crashed around in unhealthy relationships. The only real stable relationship I had up until now was to my previous wife, but I walked out on her as my need to drink became paramount.

Alcohol consumed me and led me down a hellish path of suicide ideation and mental health disorders. My first shot at sobriety was when I was 30. I was living in New Zealand and contemplating suicide. I had lost everything worthwhile in life and didn’t understand why I couldn’t quit the booze. I was full of self hatred and was racked with guilt. It was then, by meeting other Alcoholics that I began to understand the cause of my obsessive behaviours around drink.

Resentment was at the core of my drinking which itself was just a set of two symptoms, a mental obsession and a physical craving beyond my control when I started to drink. I had to somehow master resentment. It was another six years before I would find permanent sobriety and freedom from anger and fear. In those six years I went back down the path of mental health teams and anti-psycotics. Mentally unstable and emotionally bankrupt before I discovered a solution.

Resentment is the number one offender when it comes to addiction. Anger suppressed, whatever the cause or justification fills us with a spirit of darkness. We begin to lose our way in life as we grow ever more selfish and self centred. We become subject to the monster. In the end it owns us and the only relif we get from it is by drinking alcohol or abusing drugs. Eventually we cross the line to the point that no human power can save us. The solution has to be bigger than us and metaphysical in nature. Only light can drive out darkness.

I look back at my destructive past without fear of ever returning. My story has become useful when I comes to dealing with others who are locked in the dark. It is my most valued possession. More-so because I also know the way out.

If you are struggling with drink or drugs I can help you by showing you the way out. There is also a free meditation practice that will help you overcome the darkness by becoming aware of the light. Nothing has improved my life more than non contemplative meditation. It has given me the basis of faith on which my recovery stands.

I am grateful for the life I have now, no longer plagued with resentment and fear and building resilience to stress I have found a way into the light. And this solution is available to anyone who is willing to commit to a life of spiritual growth and to live under the principles of love and patience. Here is the link for the free meditation. It really is a life changer.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

And breathe

I am finally out of the dark and am experiencing lower pain day’s. I feel mentally back on track with a much more positive mood. It’s times like these I make the most of my day’s, everything is less of a struggle and i’m reconnected to life after a bad run of mental and physical pain.

My cocktail of medications have finally kicked in after months of tweaking and after a consultation with the pharmacist I am feeling more comfortable with the medications I am taking.

My family life and work are now easier to deal with and I am enjoying both. I am nowhere out of pain but the levels are low. In my back I feel a deep vibration, almost like an electrical current. And my face and head pain has been reduced to sensations. Like crawling under the skin. It’s much better than the electric shocks and burning that i have been experiencing for the last few months.

As a result of low pain my mental health has much improved. The cloak of deppresion has lifted and the hallucinations and voices have fizzled down to manageable levels. I almost remember what it was like before the accident. Meditation has been the tool that has helped me rediscover lost consciousness. I feel awake again.

I know it won’t last but I am not in negativity about the inevitable storm that’s ahead. CPS is a phantom beast. It has given me a break where I can breathe and live again. And whilst my pain is low I can do life with gratitude. And I am thankful for this break and opportunity to be present with my family.

Here’s the free meditation link that has completely changed my approach to dealing with the pressures of life and fatherhood.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

2021 Reflection

As a new year begins it’s a good time to reflect on the past twelve months. Not to fall into worry or elation, simply to see if I am living up to the principles that I set myself.

It’s been an up and down journey, some I have struggled with. Living with chronic pain has changed the way I parent. Trips out are depending on my pain levels on that day. It’s just another thing to factor into our days. For the most of it I have just wanted to rest at home. My part time job tires me out and with bouts of self pity I have sunk pretty low mentally.

I have experienced deppresion again, especially when I slipped two discs in my lower spine. I was off work once again and feeling the pressure of financial problems. But life is what it is. I have had to adapt to a new me and stay out of resentment in the process. Meditation and faith have kept me afloat. My wife never worries about me, she knows I always pull through.

We just celebrated 7 years of marriage

As for my family, they are thriving. Stacey is enjoying her volunteering, working with new mum’s. She loves babies and is a natural when It comes to dealing with them. And to our four girls there couldn’t be a greater mother. Her intuition blowes me away. I still follow her lead as a father, she knows how they tick.

The triplets are enjoying school which makes life easier, and it gave Stacey free time for the first time since they were born. They are growing as individuals now and have strong personalities. Ava is a real help and a mother hen to her sister’s, she’s a real mummies girl. Lacey is cheeky and has a wicked streak at times, she’s quite attached to me, if she’s upset she mostly wants dad hugs. Blakely is unique. She has a very different personality to her sister’s. She will happily play on her own and isn’t bothered who’s lap she parks herself on.

Frankie is a typical teenager who hides out in her bedroom. We do see her occasionally, like over Christmas. She is also doing well with her school work. She’s matured so much over this last year. I’m incredibly proud of her.

The stream of life keeps going and I do my best to navigate myself and my family through the stressful times. As dad it’s my job to bring strength and stability. If I’m doing my job everything falls into place under my roof.

I love being a family man. It’s the greatest gift a man could ever have. And it’s a privilege to be a father to my girls and a husband to my beautiful wife. I feel like I’m doing okay. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. My girls want for nothing so in many ways I have only gratitude each day that I experience real love.

I’m a blessed man.

Happy new year

Wishing everyone the best for 2022. The stream of life will bring joy, pain, ups and downs, things that don’t make sense and things that will move us. Be awake to it, be present in every moment. You have an opportunity to learn from it all and be a light for those still lost in the darkness of themselves . Be patient, be tolerant, be kind to all. The toughest people I’ve met are those who love without reward and live without fear. We’re all here for a reason.

Love

Happy new Year and God bless x

Merry Christmas

This has been a particularly challenging year on the parenting front aswell as the pain. But we made it. As a father l look back at the year with a sense of hope. In that my daughters are growing into confident and for the most, kind and caring little girls. I couldn’t be prouder.

The curly mops

Frankie has also done some serious growing up this year, she happy and enjoying her teenage years. My wife Stacey has had a busy year and is now a fully trained breastfeeding pier support worker. She works for a charity in our local area helping new mum’s out. She even organised a fund raiser recently. I am also proud of her and her efforts.

We have made to celebrate Christmas with Stacey’s family. It’s a busy house, especially with the triplets so excited about Christmas this year. They are still hard work, but we continue to rise above the challenges together. With love and patience at the centre of our home.

A natural mother

My hope for the new year is that we keep moving forward as a family. That we overcome the inevitable challenges and pressures that come with multiples. And I wish a merry Christmas to you. May your new year be filled with moments of love and joy. And that you get a little bit of what you want and all you need x

Nativity

This week, after weeks of practicing at home our girl’s school class put on their nativity. We were interested to see how they reacted in front of a big audience. Thankfully they loved every minute.

Ava was a shepard, lacey an angel and little Blakely was a camel. They all sang beautifully and danced, all with confidence. They all played their parts with big smiles on their chops.

Ava

I am very proud of them all. It can be scary to perform in front of a lot of people.

Lacey

It was lovely to see them so exited. They have been looking forward to it.

Blakely

I love that schools still keep the tradition of the nativity alive. It is after all the true meaning of Christmas.

We have so many great memories of our girl’s already, the many milestones they have reached over the last four years. Their first nativity is something we will always remember.

They continue to learn at a fast pace. They enjoy school and learning and are always excited to show us what they have been up to during the day.

We were lucky we were able to attend the nativity with all the Covid-19 restrictions coming into place. Now we are just going to enjoy Christmas as a family. After the last year we have earned some joy. And for me I am praying for low pain day’s without any hospital visits or bad flare ups. My fingers are crossed.

I hope you are all getting into the Christmas spirit without too much stress. May you enjoy this time of year.

The weight

It feels like a while since I wrote a positive post. Between CPS flare ups, slipped discs and now a stomach bug I’ve been feeling the weight lately. I’m run down, tired and feeling out of sorts.

The triplets have also been ill with bugs and bad chests. They have been up throughout the night so Stacey and me are both overtired and in need of rest. Dealing with three ill little girls is never easy. They can be hard enough to deal with when they are fit and healthy.

Truth

But we are through the worst of it. I returned to work this week thankfully. My back is getting stronger everyday. I will soon be back to just dealing with CPS pain. I still find it hard at times to compute that I will be in pain for the rest of my life. Some days I’m more accepting of it than others. Some day’s it brings me to tears but I can’t let it overwhelm me, I just deal with a day at a time.

On the plus side we are looking forward to our annual trip to Stacey’s parents house for Christmas. We have our decorations up which always brings a sense of comfort to our home. Since becoming a dad I love Christmas, the joy and excitement it fills the girls with is priceless. They will be writing their letters to Santa this weekend. There is a real buzz around our house now.

I must remember that Christmas is a time of forgiveness and I need to let go of the frustration and anger I feel towards myself at times. There is nothing wrong with self care if ultimately it benefits another and I need to take care of myself in order to take care of my family. I’m tired of feeling the weight of bad health now. It’s time to pick myself up and get back to life.