So why this topic, like what the hell🤷♂️
So why this topic, well with with world mental health day come and gone in 24 hours I feel the need to tell you from my perspective how the outdoors and skiing saved me, and others, and how I met people along the way, and what snow sports does for them, this is going to be kinda hard for me, but I’m going to put myself out there hoping to reach the one person that needs it the most, so bear with me okay? Deal.
My Story, buckle in, it’s about to get ugly
So I will keep this short and sweet, my background really does’t matter it affects everybody, but if your wondering, My Father was a drill sergeant in the Marines, later worked in data security for the Federal Reserve, he grew up in poverty, my Mother took care of the house and family, we were not privileged at all, and again doesn’t matter, They were from south philly, my dad Cuban, my mother italian, I was the last of 4, my brother, 12 years older then me, my other brother 11 years older then me, my sister 10 years older then me, yep I was jokingly referred to as the “accident” my mom always said I was the “surprise”. Makes you feel wanted right? They were joking, my mind didn’t work that way. I will tell you we were great children instilled with a work ethic, my parents even went in with my aunt and uncle to buy a second home in my beloved pocono mountains, 10 mins from Jack Frost Mountain, My parents did not have money for lavish vacations, but I thought the mountains were amazing, I would spend hours in the woods, fishing and boating at the lake, mom and pops wanted to introduce us to what they loved, and I am forever grateful for what they did, they came here as kids also, though never skied, they introduced us to it, and then skiing, and I am forever grateful because this is what saved me in the end….
So wtf? sounded pretty sweet, what the hell went wrong? Issues? What issues?
You see having an age gap like that I saw basically my teen years in front of me, as the older siblings grew up, I felt more and more alone, I was always outgoing as my mom said I was a good kid, then the problems in school, my dad was a not having it, worked day and night went to school at night and his way of dealing with things, was physical and mental, my mom straight following the way she grew up emotional abuse, she didn’t know it, they thought they were doing the right thing, I was not the most popular kid, but played sports, Well known, had friends, i struggled in school only to be told I was stupid, when an IQ test showed I was above average, then the school counselors said I was just lazy, oh thats encouraging, I couldn’t concentrate, I was different, the rich kids at school parents paid for everything, my parents, “you want it, work for it” and that has brought me to where I am today, but I will tell you and stop being long winded about this I watched my siblings go through the teen years, yelling, screaming, drugs, alcohol, and fighting, I was just a kid, anyway bad report cards, being called lazy and I’ll never be anything took it’s toll, i’ll be failure and thats all i’ll ever be, is that what I want mom asked? Not what I wanted to be, I just didn’t understand.
Wow, so what happened next holy🤬
Well, hey we all tried drugs, alcohol, etc… I want to tell you about how I was felling, the day I was 18, I got my paper form the school fuck this, I had each teacher sign out and tell me I was problem that could not be solved, i’m out, only, a month later to ace the GED, with no studying, I was smart, but didn’t think I was, I hung with the party crowd, always had a job, but yet felt alone, never confident, never wanted, never good at anything, my depression grew deeper, deeper, and deeper, time to get help, Well that came in the form of 6 meds that made me like a zombie, I stopped taking them, I do not suggest you do at all if you are on them btw. But we would go to the mountains and at 10 or 11 yrs old picked up skiing with no problem, all day I would go, and at night head over to Big Boulder for night skiing on the same ticket. i was fine go back home, back to the same old shit.
So wtf happens already? We are waiting sheesh🤷♂️
So I will tell you how I felt enough with the examples, I felt alone, nothing mattered, nothing I could ever do wold lead up to the success of any siblings, My oldest was an electrical engineer who later become an inventor, my other brother sucessful in finance, my sister same way, me, I viewed myself as the fucked up one, was a mechanic by day, school at night for IT, I was a success, it didn’t feel that way, you see I play three instruments, can fix and make anything, and solve many hardware problems, I always feel different, I didn’t belong, too much on my plate, wtf was missing?
So get to the point🤬
All right holy shit, anyway, I was suddenly at work being told how talented I was, and people were telling me how amazing I was, I would break down after a days work, Friends said “dude I love you, but you need some help” at 19 out in the parking lot of a shopping center I put the gun to my head, Fuck it, suddenly surrounded by friends and family I collapsed, handing over the gun, only by words of my parents “ we love you please, drop the gun” I just wanted it to go away, not deal with anything, but to see friends and family in tears, I dropped it, I would be hurting more people, and somebody cared for just a moment, enough for me to hear what I needed hear.
OMG so what the hell happened, and btw this is a snow spots blog🤬
Alright shit, long story short, I was not diagnosed with anything other then depression and anxiety, and all out tell all meeting with my parents would eventually solve it, I told them everything, I felt I hated, their only answer was “ I’m sorry, “we knew how to do the best with what we knew to do at the time” It was closure, but they also reminded me of the good times, and it wasn’t all bad, hell we got to ski every weekend they knew how happy I was when I was outdoors, especially skiing, I was free, I was active, I was out if the one thing that tried to kill me, my own mind…..
So what happened since then?
The light at the end of the tunnel, I talk to none of my old friends, I got real help, started skiing with people, telling my story, I have made many friends, Everybody has an outlet, mine was the mountains, I click in amongst friends, true freinds, and take those turns, but snow sports isn’t just linked to a depression and an anxiety cure, I learned about adaptive, my nephew was autistic, helped with coordination and skills, the outdoors does a mind good, in my case later on Skiing helps free me from those overwhelming days, In the summer a good hike, outdoors has proven, to boosts ones mood, dexterity, and cognitive thinking.
So like you OK dude or what?
I’m good, but don’t be fooled, check on your friends, I could be smiling on the outside, while screaming on the inside, you know I was always pegged as they guy that has his shit together, successful, honest, the best friend that has all the answers, makes a good living, don’t ever let that fool you into thinking they are OK, trust me lost 3 peeps to suicide in the past 5 years, They are not ok, you could have everything, and still not be happy…… It’s just how they are wired, and thinking
So how you living today man?
Imma good, I have been with the same company over fifteen years, but my point is whether your outlet is skiing, riding, the beach, you were taught an outlet growing up or you found one, my buddy tells me “ its a battle between the ears, you must win everyday” and that is what I do now, feel free to reach out to me on twitter @tech_rob if you need help, I will try guide in the right direction.
Holy Shit Dude😮🤟 So in the end….
So In the end snow sports was always a part or my life, the only place I feel free, it was my outlet, it has taught discipline, dexterity, cognitive thinking, and my nephew who is autistic, loves the woods, it sets him free, I am now involved in many programs to get people out of the worst position they could be in…..Their own mind………