The Chasm

Photo Credit: Suicide in Judaism

Four years ago this week, one of my good friends from college ended his life.

He was having a huge custody dispute with his ex-wife after she cheated on him with one of his friends. He was fighting for visitation rights for his two kids after he and his ex got into a fight and he was arrested and slapped with a restraining order. He had struggled for over a year with the divorce proceedings, losing his cool time and time again and seeing less and less of his kids.

So, the great equalizer, so he thought, was breaking in to his ex-wife’s apartment on a cold December Sunday and blowing his brains out in her dining room.

I can’t be sure of why he acted with such horrendous judgement. I can’t be sure that he was tired of the process and had no where to turn. He was alone, fighting for his kids, and getting kicked and punched in a metaphorical sense by the courts and his ex, so it seems plausible. He was looking for a symbolic gesture, the ultimate “fuck you” to his ex. I can’t put myself in his situation, although I’ve seen similar things happen to men, but I can’t possible fathom what he was thinking that terrible Sunday.

The story that seems to stick from his family and friends is that he was going to “make an example to his ex”.

What ended up happening was nothing like he planned.

His ex, after the initial shock, quietly called the police, had them clean up the mess, fake mourned with the kids, and resumed her life. Everything this horribly symbolic gesture he thought was supposed to get out of her, regret, sadness, misery, being lost, pining for him to come back, didn’t transpire. She cashed the life insurance check, went to the funeral, and then went on with her life.

That’s cold shit. But it’s also fucking reality.

The bottom line in this sad situation is that the only people affected by his selfish act were his kids, who don’t have a dad anymore, and his family, who are without a brother, uncle, and son.

The harsh truth: His ex didn’t give a flying fuck about his death.

His family has suffered for years this time of year because he decided to make a life ending decision. Instead of a holiday filled with happy times with him, his family mourns every year over the loss of this man.

And there lies the crux of why men are doing these terrible things to themselves.

Suicide in the United States is quickly becoming an epidemic. 7 out of 10 suicides are men. These men are similar in mindset to my friend. They feel they have to struggle with life’s problems alone, lest they be ridiculed and made to feel inferior for not dealing with their problems “like a man”. These men don’t go to therapy, as they think it makes them look weak, won’t solve their problems, or is a taboo brought down by other men who “have their lives together.” Society in general wants men to grow up and deal with their problems, but they give them absolutely no road map on how to accomplish that.

I’m sure, never in his wildest fantasies about his suicide, would he have imagined his ex coming in, taking a mop and bucket to his mess, wiping the walls with a wash cloth, and moving on with her life. Raw, isn’t it? It’s a messed up situation that he was hoping would end in his ex crying on his remains. But his story, just like all the others, ends the same. He’s not here anymore by his own hand. A selfish act intended to make a huge point ends up only costing some drywall, carpet, and bleach.

The chasm, or the breach that he was looking into, was one of symbolism, pain, hardship, and hopelessness that many men face everyday. But the issue here that I’m getting at is what they think they are doing by sacrificing their lives for some unknown principle, belief, or slight against someone, doesn’t even affect that person most of the time.

Men who feel they have no where to turn will often take their own lives because they lack any sort of out for their overwhelming feelings of depression. Many don’t want to go to therapy, join a men’s group, or talk to a religious leader because they fear they will look weak, be ridiculed, or have their dirty laundry aired to the congregation during Sunday brunch.

So they double down on doing the things they were doing that weren’t working to get out of the hole they’re in. Their feelings of potential embarrassment about being “broken” or needing help override their very real need to seek out professional or group help.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help

As I write this, I think about my own denial about getting help for my issues, until I actually broke down and went to a therapist. While therapy is STILL to this day looked down upon as being weak for men to do by society, it was the greatest thing that I have ever done. Not only did it help me get out of a tailspin of a marriage, it also got me my life back. It got me through the depression and rock bottom parts of my divorce where I was contemplating doing the same damn thing my friend did 4 years ago.

I got help, and I’m here today to tell men once again that getting help from someone, any one, will save your lives. But you have to reach out. Trust me, the help is there. I’ve found a men’s fraternity that has given me new life and more help than I could ever imagine. These new fraternities or men’s groups have the potential to help men so much. Therapy and talking to a neutral party can help a man get out the shit that’s weighing him down and making him suffer. The times are changing, but men’s problems are still the same. There are many outlets for you to grow and get better, but it starts with you getting over the idea that you, yourself, can get out of this mess. If you could, you wouldn’t be in it any more.

The chasm that many men face is too daunting, too difficult, too dark to try and traverse. So they give up and fall in. What they don’t see, what they never see, is the bridge just off in the distance, or the chasm closing a few miles down, or the path down the chasm that takes them to the other side with a little bit of work. Their vantage point is one of hopelessness, only seeing where they are standing at that point in time, looking down at their feet and the endless below. They can’t see, or perhaps don’t want to see, the whole picture because it doesn’t fit in their narration of how their life tragically ends. They put an emphatic period on their story by falling into the chasm without even stopping to think who it will affect, how, and why.

She Doesn’t Care

This brings me to the other issue of this blog post, that of the why. Many, many men commit suicide over a woman in their life. They see that she’s cheated on them, so just like my friend, their great equalizer is supposed to be a tragic death throe as their ex dives at them in horror at what they’ve done.

Let me be blunt guys.

The only women that you’re hurting when you pull the trigger are the women in your family. They’ve lost a son because he couldn’t get over a girl who easily got over him. Your sacrifice doesn’t mean SHIT to any girl that you feel it will. Your ex-wife or girlfriend doesn’t care about you killing yourself because of her. She’s already rid of you and all you’ve done is pointlessly, selfishly, ended your life to see what she’ll do.

You won’t fucking see it because you’ll be DEAD.

Many men don’t think any of this through when jaded by a lover or ex.

They just pull the trigger.

The pain of your loss won’t be felt by anyone except those that love you. You are selfishly stealing years away from them because you can’t handle the fact that a woman cheated on you, or left you. This is where you precisely need to “man up”.

Go to therapy, unplug and take control of your life instead of letting a woman with no interest make you do terrible things to yourself.

Crossing the Chasm

I miss my friend. I miss him every day. I miss him even more now knowing that I didn’t reach out like I should have, but even if I had, I don’t think he would’ve taken my help. What can men do to help? What can men do who are struggling? How can they cross the chasm?

I will recommend to men exactly what I did.

First, recognize you have a problem and you can’t solve said problem without help. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to reach out if you’re struggling. How will you overcome obstacles if you don’t have help?

I think of it like my Spartan career. When I trifecta’d in 2016, I needed a team of people to help me overcome obstacles. Sure, the ones I did alone made me feel like a bad ass, but still, I needed help with a wall, the rope climb, or a traverse wall, I had to have another man help me out. No shame in admitting that, nor is there shame in accepting the help. I still got my medal and my t-shirt, and I did it with teamwork. The same goes the other way. You can help others who need it by reaching out and asking them how they truly are, how their life is going, and where their hangups are.

Men have to realize that ANY chasm is not an impossible task. There are bridges, other people, and choke points that will get you across. You just have to believe. Just like lack of belief is strong in determining if a man will take his own life, the reverse can help save it. If a man knows there are ways out of his situation, he will be more willing to trudge on and fight. It’s when that belief doesn’t exist that he will spiral down into telling himself it’s hopeless.

It’s not hopeless, gentlemen.

It’s never hopeless.

I’m a shining example of what can be done if you truly reach out for help. I’ve only gained in my masculinity and my manhood by asking other men to help me achieve things in my own life.

Guys, if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide and depression in your life, the first thing you have to do is recognize the problem. The second thing you need to do is seek help from either a therapist, religious leader, or a men’s group of like minded men. The third? Action.

These things alone will help pull you from the chasm and get your life back on track. But be prepared to understand that it’s still on YOU and that you must take these steps to get your life back. The men can help you on the path, but you still have to take the steps to make it happen. Accountability and tough love are in for you, because you aren’t special, your problems are the problems of many other men, and a greater man can overcome these problems with relative ease compared to you.

You can’t just float and hope the wind blows. You still have to take positive, real ACTION for your life to get better. That’s the way it is and that’s the way it will always be. But the sooner you take action to pull yourself away from the chasm, the quicker your life will become a special work of art that has meaning to you again.

Guys, suicide and depression are real problems. I’m not going to pretend they don’t exist. But you have to reach out and get help. You have to accept you have a problem, you have to accept that you need help, and you have to accept the action needed to be taken by you to get past this.

Don’t be a statistic like my friend. I miss him every day. His family misses him. He took his life because of issues he couldn’t get over. He didn’t ask for help. He is no longer here. Please, please reach out for help.

My DM’s are always open on Twitter. My email is bubonicplague7@gmail.com. Reach out for help. I’m here for you.

The Waiting

Photo Credit: “Hard Promises” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1981

One of my all time favorite Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers albums is “Hard Promises”, an album that really took TP and his band new and amazing directions. Stevie Nicks makes a guest appearance on the album, and this album was the same time the smash hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” was recorded on Nick’s album “Bella Donna”.

When the album came out, I was 5 years old. One of my first vivid memories was driving to visit my grandparents and listening to “The Waiting”, one of my all time favorite songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I remember driving down to Franklin, IN on a warm, crisp autumn Sunday, listening to the radio. I remember hearing my mom and dad talking, being in the car with my brothers and older sister, all making our way down to visit. We would always hit the Jerry’s restaurant on our way back up from the visit. It was a knock off of a Frisch’s Big Boy, but it was locally owned and was a great place for families to gather after church or visits to family on Sundays. I just really remember the song, the feeling it gave me on that day, and what it meant to me, then and now, which I’ll be sharing today in this blog post.

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.”

That song, for some unknown reason, really stuck in my mind. This was about two people who were in love but had to wait to realize this love. For me, it seems every time I heard this song, I was in a holding pattern always hoping to be somewhere new, but never, ever going out to get to that new place. Hope and faith are only as good as the person who makes them happen.

What Do You Do When It’s Not Happening?

I’ve been contacted in recent days by no less than half a dozen men, telling me their stories about how they are working to turn their lives around. Several have inquired about my 31 Days To Masculinity journey, day 26 as of this writing, and how I’ve managed to swear off of porn, alcohol, and other vices in my quest to become a better me.

Yes, I’ve had many successes, however, my goals are still not there yet. I want to reach 15% body fat. I want to do Spartan races next year, I want to continue to grow my side hustle and start a new YouTube series (Journey’s Edge with Tim Beckett, stay tuned for details). I want to continue to help men in their individual journeys while showing them mine and what they can accomplish when they put their heads down and work to make their life theirs again. I want to be debt free except the house and be financially independent. I want to date around and continue to hone my approach game as well as get into an LTR with a woman who supports me and my mission.

While some major things have been checked off my list, look at all the things I still have to do! And even when I write this, I’m overwhelmed at all that I want to accomplish. I can tell you that over these past three years, I have developed several key talents that have made it better for me. I have developed perseverance. I don’t give up as easily as I used to. I have developed being humble and taking the losses to learn what I can do better.

But one aspect that I haven’t been able to get control of is my impatience. And this is the heart of this blog post. I’m terribly impatient and I want to achieve my goals immediately because if I do, I can move on to the next goal. I fall back into an old mindset that if I get to my goals I can either relax or be happy. “If I get there, I’ll be happy.” It’s words I’ve uttered more than once in my life and it most certainly has been uttered by millions of men when they try to change their lives.

But here’s the deal. I was always concerned with “The Waiting”. It wasn’t happening fast enough.

When you are sitting home alone because you’re broke and can’t go out to meet women, what are you doing in the meantime? When you are sitting around watching TV, what could you be doing instead? My impatience has been preempted a bit by my work on other goals. This is the mindset I’ve been trying to have and while effective, it can escape me sometime and I can fall back into the “when will this happen?” routine.

Many men have come to me in the midst of their fasting, no porn, no sugar, etc, points in their life and are wondering if it all is really worth it. They are struggling with this dramatic change in their lives and many men fall off within 2 weeks of making the change. They sit and just wait for things to get better, as opposed to going out and making other aspects of their lives good. Or like I did, they won’t do anything and HOPE their lives will turn around, and the waiting absolutely destroys their minds. It isn’t easy. I never said it was.

But recently, I’ve really been noticing these spells of impatience that I have, especially with 31 Days to Masculinity running in my background. I haven’t approached as much as I wanted to, simply because I was involved in other things. I’ve been focusing on myself, my physical shape, my daughter’s health, and my finances to try and get my life to where I want it. So when I’m not seeing as many girls as I’d like or approaching as much as I’d like, I get down on myself and then I get impatient.

So I have to say to myself, “Tim, shit’s not going to happen overnight. Things take time to develop. Work on other aspects and address those as you wait for this part to take shape.”

It’s difficult dating being a father of two, business owner, and entrepreneur, but that’s not an excuse. I own my life and when I do things I’m not happy with (or in this case not doing things) I get down on myself. The pity party starts. The good news? I know when this feeling comes I have to chin up and get to work on other aspects of my life, even when this aspect isn’t where I want it to be.

Keep in mind also, with dating, my standards have risen. With many women waiting in the wings who I could sleep with and I’ve chosen not to (ham planets, psychopaths, or girls with no direction or intelligence), I can say that my lapse on the dating path has been self induced. Is it a lapse though? Or is it a move to vet better knowing that I’m a better product? I think it’s the latter and it makes me feel better about my direction.

Get Through It

One of the main things I tell men is that the best way to get through any addiction is to just tough it out. It’s what I did and I feel better for it.

There are no tricks, there are no shortcuts.

If you want to stop porn, you have to stop it and get rid of all the catalysts for your masturbation habit. Trash the skin bin, trash all of your bookmarks, get rid of the stuff that tempts you.

I didn’t like myself when I masturbated. I was slave to something that I thought I couldn’t control. But guess what? I could and do control it now.

I go to a bar and order a WATER. Wanna talk about self control? I get weird looks but I also get resounding thanks when I escort dumb shits out of the bar who have had too much. I saw how I was when I had too much to drink. I saw what I became. I didn’t want to be that person anymore. So here I am.

But guys….IT’S DIFFICULT.

It’s supposed to be. If it wasn’t worth it, it wouldn’t take this work to get there. My shoulders wouldn’t be on fire every time I get down to do my pushups. My stomach wouldn’t hurt in the midst of a 20 hour fast. My brain wouldn’t fire while I’m waiting for all of the good shit to happen.

But the good shit is already happening! I can take my shirt off without feeling embarrassed. How awesome is that?

The “waiting” in my case, is the best part of my life. It’s what you’re doing while the good shit is coming that truly defines your life.

Which is why Tom Petty says “Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now
Don’t it feel like something from a dream.”

It’s because the dream, the thrill of living, beats the thrill of getting something you want everyday and twice on Sunday. You have to get used to loving the journey and not what you get at the end of that journey.

It’s like at Christmas. I love the presents I get, but I really love to spend time with my family, because you never know when you’ll not be there to see them.

This is why it’s important to take the impatience you’re feeling, the waiting, and continue to enjoy the mission that you’re on. Continue your work and enjoy the time you are using to grow and mature yourself.

I always say to every man that comes to me, struggling to take control of his life:

“It gets better.”

It does. I can attest to that.

So the next time you have time to be impatient about things not happening as quickly as you want them to, try to push through and realize just what you are doing, or how far you’ve come, or where you are going.

Look around at all that you are doing RIGHT NOW and realize that good things are happening, even if you don’t see them.

Be patient. It’s a process that will reward those who follow it with an amazing journey, not a destination. Just remember:

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you get one more yard
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

The Unending Journey

Scene from “Parenthood” – 1989

One of my favorite all time movies is a show from 1989 called “Parenthood”. This movie, which spawned a series in the past decade of the same name, deals with many issues that we still face in our lives today, and the comedic spin on the whole story of life is one I love to re-watch over and over.

In the movie, four sects of the “Buckman” family live the trials and tribulations of life with all of the classic struggles that families get to experience. From birth, to mental illness, to teen pregnancy, to relationship issues, it covers a wide swath of things that every family deals with, and more often than not, overcomes and grows from.

There’s a particular scene in the movie that I love. It’s a scene where Steve Martin is about to coach his son’s last little league game. His son has been struggling with mental illness and anxiety, and has been the goat each game as he can’t catch a fly ball. So Steve Martin has been practicing with his son, as well as absorbing some of his stress, and has been having problems coming to terms with his son’s issues. Along with those issues, he’s quit his job, has two other kids to deal with, and has just found out that his wife is pregnant with their fourth child.

So, in the midst of all of this crisis, he reaches out to his father, Jason Robards, for advice. And the advice he gives is incredible, and the subject of this blog post.

“It Never Ends.”

The scene in question is a conversation between father and son concerning life’s moments, including joys and crises. Steve Martin wants to know when all the craziness will stop, but Jason Robards tells him it doesn’t.

“It never ends. There is no end zone. You never cross the goal line, spike the ball and do your touchdown dance. Never.”

This one quote, this one snippet, tells you all you need to know about life as a man in general.

This is what unplugging is all about in terms of your life. There are millions of blue pilled men out there that have given up on being prepared for life and accept their mediocrity as a life sentence for not exploring and proliferating their own goals. They want to relax, be safe, be comfortable, and be “themselves” in a fat, oafish shell, just waiting for the next ball game or Netflix series to come out. What they don’t understand, or maybe don’t WANT to understand, is the journey is the goal.

It’s taken me years to figure this out. I was one of them. I was comfortable letting my ex run the show. I wanted to stay out of the fire. I hate getting burned, the pain was unbearable, and the best way out was to avoid the pain.

But then I went through the agony of divorce. The uncertainty of it all, my finances in disarray, the toll on myself and my kids. I’d avoided the fire my whole life only to voluntarily set myself and my life on fire. Why? Because it wasn’t my life. I was living someone else’s life. All the sacrifices were for the betterment of someone else. So, I decided to watch it burn and rebuild a life that I could be proud of.

The most important thing I learned was I could no longer sit this one out. It couldn’t be done. The price of turning my fake life into ashes was I had to build a new life with blood, sweat, and tears. A car can’t drive without someone at the wheel and I was at the wheel now. Any weave, swerve or jive was on me. 10 and 2, seat belt fastened, watching others and keeping myself safe, yet on a journey. But always aware.

So How’s It Gonna Be?

So, now you know the secret of life. The big key to everything and being a high value, high experience, high octane masculine figure in 2019. It’s being present for your life.

I now understand that there will be men who don’t take this mantra personally and up their game in their life. It took me a while to understand that not everyone can or wants to be saved. There are men who won’t wake up, won’t realize what they have to do, and will sleep walk through life. They have that luxury, but I don’t have to agree with it.

So what’s next. Now that you know you have to be present in your life, what do you need to do? Well, a man has to increase his strength and fortitude to be able to manage this Herculean task. A body and mind that are constantly challenged gain in strength. So you have to strengthen your mind, body and spirit. The first and most obvious thing that I always tell a man who wants control of his life is to get control of his body.

Your body, spirit and mind must be melded into a frame that can withstand life’s snakes and arrows (h/t RUSH). Your body reacts to stress on itself by getting stronger and being able to carry heavier loads. Your mind becomes sharper when you throw different perspectives and ideas at it. Your spirit becomes greater when you live outside of your box and appreciate the world around you.

These things MUST to occur in order for you to any say in your own life. You can’t half ass your life. You need to whole ass it. What kind of a person only takes their life seriously part of the time? Answer? One who doesn’t take any of it seriously.

So, remember the words of Frank Buckman well. It never stops, it never ends, you just get stronger.

When you heed these very important words, you understand that you will be a better person for it, and be able to live your life with no regrets.

And all because you didn’t stop. You were making your life happen.

A Letter to Myself

Photo Credit: VisitSpokane.com

Dear Tim,

How’s it hanging? This is you writing to you. I wanted to say how proud of you I am for all that you have accomplished so far in this life. I can say that the last 2 years of this (so far) 43 year journey have been some of the best in your life.

You know, you’ve been through a ton of stuff in the past 4 years. They always say you have to hit rock bottom before you can get to the top, and they weren’t kidding. Between battling depression, anxiety, obesity, and monetary problems, you’ve been there. You were suicidal, but I want to tell you, I’m so glad you chose to live you life. Killing yourself is the most selfish act in the world, but it’s even worse because you wouldn’t have seen the heights that you have risen to as well as the heights that you no doubt will get to in this life.

I want you to know something. I love you and I’m proud of you.

However, this isn’t a reflection on what you’ve done, this is a reflection on what you are and would do. This is a reflection on what you still have left to accomplish. This isn’t a swan song for a live well lived, this is a battle cry for continuing to hoist the shield wall of your life every day. This is setting the “what would I do?” from the “what will I do?”

This is your wake up call, even if you think you’re still awake. You aren’t woke enough yet, sir.

I want you to answer this question. What would you do if you died today? What things would you regret not doing?

What are your goals, wishes, dreams for this remaining life?

Answer truthfully. Because I already know what you are going to say.

What would you regret? Here goes:

You should’ve gone to Argentina when you had the chance. In college, you had a glorious opportunity to go and do a major in Spanish. You would’ve been immersed in a beautiful country for 6 months. Yes, it would’ve been some debt, but the life experiences you would have had can not be replaced. Yet you just wanted to get out of college and get a job, girlfriend, house, car, etc. You know what you missed. Don’t do that again.

You needed to work other places besides your father’s business. You needed to explore your interests, rather than putting yourself in a position that you didn’t have any flexibility. While this has worked out in the end with you owning your own business, fulfilling one of your top goals, it still would’ve helped you more in your life to have those experiences.

You needed to go and try new hobbies. You didn’t have a damn clue on what your interests were until you were over 40 and starting over. You have a life in your 20’s and 30’s meant for exploring life and living, not working and trying to check off someone else’s goals.

You’d regret not dating around more. You know the spice of life and the way to truly find your partner in this life is to date as many women as you can. And yet, you sit in an office much of the time running the same places, never looking for new avenues or new leads. They won’t come to you. Time to switch up and get out there more and more.

I know what you are going to say. There’s a ton more. These are just the ones I can think of on my mind at the moment. Think of your wishes. What do you want to do with the rest of your life? Allow me to tell you.

You want to travel. You want to explore. You want to meet new people. You want to strengthen bonds of people you already know. You want to continue to be successful in business, learning new skills like sales and ownership.

You want to be independently wealthy. You want to get your finances in order. You have 20k left of debt. You can get past this damn wall. You will. You will be financially independent. You want to earn a good salary from your side hustle and writing a book is a huge goal. Get to work.

You want to continue to help men who reach out for help. You want to make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes you do. You want to share your life and make your mistakes an example of what not to do.

You want to continue your fitness journey. You’ve lost a ton of weight, but you still have that six pack that’s waiting for you on the other side of hard work. You want to do Spartan. Get new T-shirts and medals, get more trifectas, compete in the Elites. You’ll get there, don’t stop.

You want to learn new things, read, absorb. You want to learn to box, fight, and protect your loved ones. You want to continue to learn more firearms training, as well as other outdoor activities.

You want to date around. You would love to have a harem. Don’t lie, you know you want two to three women sharing you. And if you keep doing what you’re doing and get out more, you’ll be there. GO TO NEW FREAKIN’ PLACES, BECKETT.

You want to be more involved with your kids. You already do a great job, but you need to do more. You need to exude a masculine leadership and be a role model for your kids. They’re counting on you.

But you know deep down, at some point, you want an LTR with a woman who supports you and your mission.

But most of all, you want to continue to grow. You have come so far, done so much. But this is only the beginning. You have to do more, better, faster, and harder.

You will make excuses, you have in the past. This morning, for instance, you made an excuse that you wanted to sleep in instead of going to the gym. You didn’t. You went. You worked. I’m glad you did. Your body and mind are glad.

No more excuses. Go up to that girl. Ask her out. Take your kids places to experience life. To be the best they can be. To live without regrets.

Bottom line: You’re an amazing person. You’ve decided after a tough divorce to live your life. You are taking opportunities instead of making excuses. But you can’t let up on the gas. The time when you think of giving up is the time you need to push the envelope. It’s time for you to do more, be more, try more and accomplish more.

For 40 years I wasn’t able to say this, but I love you, Tim Beckett. I love every part of you. You are an incredible man, amazing father, and lifelong friend. You have a ton going for you, don’t squander it. I know you won’t.

Love,

TW Beckett (You)

Becoming a Father

There are two moments in my life that I will never forget and will cherish forever. These are the births of my two daughters.

First of all, I will say this, there is nothing, and I mean nothing in this world like being a father. It is a feeling you won’t get any other way but to truly be there from birth to watching them grow up. I can’t describe it. I can only live it and report back. I want all men to feel it, because it truly speaks to us on a basic, biologic level of our existence. It shows you who you truly are when you are able to help conceive and then raise a child.

The births of my two kids will be something I will never forget. My first was the most stressful, the second was a more common delivery, but they were both special to me.

Welcome to Fatherhood

My first daughter was a harrowing experience. I was not only intimidated by the trip to the hospital, but by all that happened during our hospital stay.

My ex (who was my wife at the time) went into the hospital for a planned induction in the AM. After waiting all day and most of the night, there were complications. My ex had to be rushed in for an emergency c-section after my daughter was deemed to big to be delivered (she was over 9 lbs). I went with my ex, held her hand as they delivered the baby, but heard no crying. My daughter was silent. Something was wrong.

As I helped the hospital staff with the umbilical cord and the first diaper, they noticed that she wasn’t breathing very well. They rushed her to the NICU and began to figure out what went wrong. Me and my ex were stunned and worried. This was not the best way to start off our first born experience.

We waited in the room as my ex recovered, and I would make regular trips to the NICU to see what was going on. My daughter had had her first bowel movement while my ex was delivering her, and she had swallowed and breathed in the waste. So she had contracted pneumonia from it as well as sepsis. She was put on antibiotics immediately. They couldn’t tap a vein on her arm, so they tapped a vein in her head. It was a gruesome sight, watching my newborn daughter struggle.

The hospital was a formula supported hospital, which means that they would discourage breast-feeding in the NICU. However, my ex and I found this out when we saw our daughter not recovering as fast. The NICU doctor insisted that she be given formula, but we insisted that breast milk would be required for our daughter to get better faster.

My ex wasn’t allowed to even breast feed our daughter, and times were contentious in the hospital as we did battle with the NICU director as we demanded to have access to feed our baby. Finally, he relented and she was allowed to breast feed. Almost instantly, her condition started to improve.

For 5 of the longest days of my life, operating on minutes of sleep, checking on my daughter and running errands for my ex as she lay recovering, I was a mess. It was hard, but as my daughter’s condition improved, I saw signs that this nightmare was coming to an end.

Finally, after 5 grueling days, my daughter was healthy enough to be released. We were overjoyed, and this experience had taught us some tough lessons right out of the gate on parenthood.

But what the most amazing thing? My reactions to my ex and my daughter as a father were instinctual. I leaped into action immediately as soon as my family needed me, without hesitation. This was an important moment and my first lesson of fatherhood, I was the rock, the foundation, the protector, the provider. At the time of greatest need, I was there. And through the years, I haven’t wavered on my dedication and commitment to my kids and family, regardless of my personal feelings for my ex.

Talk about being thrown right in the fire. But it’s an experience I’ll never forget and it is a part of our family lore for generations to come. The scar on my daughter’s head, (Ala Harry Potter), always reminds me of that trial that I went through. But I know it was worth it because I have my beautiful, healthy daughter. She’s just turned 12. I’m a very lucky man.

A Healthy Delivery

My younger daughter was more of a normal delivery. She was still delivered by caesarean, and was almost 10 lbs! My ex and I decided to schedule a C-section as opposed to trying to go through a delivery and have the same issues crop up from the last time.

We wanted avoid any and all complications. So, scheduling the surgery for the morning of December 30th, we went to the hospital. Unlike the first delivery, my second daughter came right out with a full head of hair and was breastfeeding within 30 minutes.

I got to clip her umbilical cord as well. I think she had a full set of teeth because she tried to bite me! She was crying, a complete opposite of my first child, and I got to put on a diaper, hold her and give her to her mother.

It was amazing because it was just how a birth was supposed to be.

My little girl and ex were released in 36 hours and we recovered at home with very little fanfare. And damn was I glad. After my first child, it was a welcome event.

One of Your Greatest Contributions To This World

There is no greater feeling in this world than holding your newborn baby. It’s something you’ve created, something special, and you can’t begin to understand the implications behind it. And that’s what life as a father does. It makes you deal with those implications headon. There are no cheat codes. There’s no shortcut. This little life is dependent on you to be there, keep it healthy, guide it through tough times, protect it with your own life.

That’s a lot of gravity to take it. Which is why not all men can be fathers.

However, recalling my memories of my kids’ births helps me explain why I became a father, and why I recommend it to any man contemplating his role in our little world.

Almost a decade later, my little girls are growing up. My fathering has changed little as they have grown. I continue to provide, protect, and lead as the patriarch of my family. They count on me to be there, standing a post, holding them to higher standards, and pushing them to succeed in everything they do.

I make them face and overcome their fears, I hold them accountable for actions detrimental to their own success. I urge them to get involved in not only activities that help themselves but perform actions that help others.

My bond with them is stronger than ever and it will only get stronger as I help them face and prepare for the next phase of their lives.

I’m proud to be their father and I love them both very much.

Fated To Be Fat

Credit: Gillette Venus

Earlier this week I was caught in the social media cross hairs a bit after a tweet I sent rubbed some folks the wrong way. As a person who has struggled with weight for most of his life, I wanted to make a statement that was a bold conveyance of what I’ve been exposed to in my quest to be healthy. Fat shaming.

This particular tweet was met with resistance from so called “fat acceptance advocates” who recoiled in disgust that fat people couldn’t be considered attractive. But, especially in my experiences, the above is true. But no one wants to talk about it. So let’s talk about it.

Obesity

Obesity stats are staggering in the United States. Nearly 66% of adults in the United States are overweight. That’s an increase of nearly 40% over the last 50 years. 70 million people (roughly 50/50 men/women) are obese, that’s about 20% of our population. 57 million adults are diagnosed as pre-diabetic, with 23 million now diabetic, and these numbers are predicted to go up as the health crisis of obesity affects more people. Life expectancy has gone down in large part to this epidemic. So what’s caused it?

With access to cheap, unhealthy food, and the severe lack of exercise and activity in children and adults in the United States, the problem only increases as we become more technologically savvy. These days, not only is the access to food easier, but you can now have it delivered. Cooking as a skill has vanished, and most folks eat out as in the early part of 2016, the food service industry reported nearly $750 billion in revenue.

Unhealthy foods are cheaper and access is easier than at any other time in history. This is fueling the fattening up of America, and my own experiences have helped to shape my views of this epidemic.

The Fat Pilled Dad

I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life.

When I started 6th grade, I was a whopping 220 lbs, but only 5’10”. I was bullied and harassed constantly as I also had ample man boobs. I was made fun of most every day, victimized simply because I was fat. I had the trifecta (fat, glasses, man boobs), so I wasn’t spared the punishments of bullies. This harassment then doubled in on itself, causing me to stress eat. It was a vicious cycle that many young Americans are going through now. I did, however, see a change as I started to get involved in sports and other activities in high school.

My sophomore year in high school, I shot up to 6″4, thereby making my fat disappear as it had more height to cover. I started to lean out as I continued to be involved in activities. This period in my life was my a good fitness time, where between high school and college, I was exercising pretty regularly. I played soccer, basketball, and racquetball, and was involved in marching band most of my high school career. I really started to see the benefits of exercise in this time, but my memory was short lived.

As I graduated high school and then college, I still had periods where I would be inactive and gain weight back. I would go between my target weight of 250 and back up to 280. I tried diets, and would again and again realize that my activity would seem to determine my weight loss. My senior year of college, I would leave class and do drive thru food everyday, sometimes eating 15-20 bucks worth of food. I didn’t go to the gym, and my inactivity was out kicking my caloric coverage. This yo-yo diet continued until my marriage in 2005.

After my marriage, the blue pilled beta took over and I ballooned to over 300 lbs. I would take down a large plate of nachos with ease, order 20-25 bucks worth of fast food, and continued my bad habits. My ex-wife didn’t like to cook, and although she was a dietitian, we would eat out at a record pace. My ex and I would have periods where we would get back into shape, doing Beachbody and getting back to the gym, but my diet would always hurt my progress. I flirted with 300 on several occasions after getting down to 270. Stress eating was the story of my life, with my sugar intake going crazy every time I was at work.

Then came my wake up call…

The Mortality Epiphany

I got the news one day at work.

A good friend of mine, a 40 year old divorced father of three, had suffered a massive heart attack, and died. Andy was a great guy, and this three kids lost an amazing person. He had just been through a terrible divorce after his wife cheated on him, and was engaged to another woman who we really didn’t support as his next wife. It connects that most men who are blue pilled suffer from obesity issues. But he was just trying to live his life and move on, start over. And just like that, he was gone.

I was in the middle of a separation with my wife, and at 39 years old, and as a father of two, I was shaken. This was a man who’d eaten about the same way I had, had also been a high school football star, and was very close to me in his life habits and experiences. This type of thing could happen to me. And where would my kids be? Where would this leave them?

This was officially the low point of my life. I tipped the scales at 305 lbs. and was in the midst of severe depression. My kids, upon hearing the news of my friend’s death, told me they were worried about me. They didn’t want their dad to end up in the same way. Nothing shocks a system more than listening your kids tell you that they’re worried about your health.

“Dad, we love you and we don’t want you to die.”

The Long Fight Back

So, I had to do something. Along with my kid’s concerns, my ex-wife’s insults of my weight, and even women I was trying to date commenting that “they don’t date or sleep with fat guys,” I knew what I had to do.

I’ve often extolled the benefits of therapy in my blog, and once again, I was helped in yet another way by it. One day, not long after my children expressed their concerns, my psychologist told me straight up, “You’re fat. you’ve been fat most of your life. Why don’t you change that?” I was speechless. I was being fat shamed by my doctor…

“The nerve”, I thought. But what could I do? He was correct. I needed to get this done and never look back. So on the eve on my 42nd birthday, at a bit over 295 lbs, I finally committed to my new life. I renewed my gym membership. I started walking during work. I turned down the donuts. I started cooking more. My meal preps would be legendary. More water was consumed. I started intermittent fasting. The weight started to come off. My clothes were fitting looser. I watched my pants size drop from 42 to 38. In a matter of 6 months, I dropped close to 30 lbs, and went from 40% body fat to 29.9%.

It was happening, finally. I was doing it.

My gym commitment jumped from cardio two times a week to 4-5 days a week strength training. My meal prep included less carbs, and more veggies and protein. I was learning. I was reading. I was doing it.

Today, I’m down to 265 lbs. I’ve lost 40 lbs, and 5 inches off my waist. I still have work to do, but I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt. I’m in better shape than men 10 years younger than me.

I do a ton of body weight exercises, as well as squats and dead lifts. Strength training, meal prep, and intermittent fasting have been my go to’s. My goal is 250lbs and 15 – 18% body fat. And also the ability to be active with my kids, as well as inspire them to stay healthy. My poor relationship with food has been replaced by my kids and I cooking healthy meals together. They will respect the food they put in their body, as well as the importance of being active.

So back to the crux of this blog post. Fat shaming worked for me. It took everyone telling me they were concerned about my health, and several women I was interested in telling me straight up that they weren’t attracted to fat guys to get me to take action. The shaming felt bad enough to get me to make a change, finally, especially when I had a decent support system to do this.

I will say this. Every person out there who’s had a problem with weight their whole lives needs to see a therapist. Being fat is not only a physical problem, but it’s primarily a psychological one. Low self esteem fuels the collapse into terrible eating habits and lack of activity. So getting in to see a good shrink is paramount to starting your weight loss journey. I would also recommend a personal trainer who pushes you. People need to get out of their comfort zones, and with fat shaming, it really pushes people to take control and make progress. So yes, I’m saying that fat shaming is a good thing.

The Fat Acceptance Phenomenon

Credit: Cosmopolitan Magazine

Just like those who avoid asking a girl out due to their overwhelming fear of rejection, fat people have accepted that they’re fat while fearing the work and pain it takes to get themselves back into shape.

So, the relatively new Fat Acceptance movement has come about. A fear has promoted a movement, and it’s growing day by day. It’s also a symptom of the JBY (Just Be Yourself) movement, stifling other options for being a better person and getting active and fit. Now, just like feminism, it promotes an atmosphere of fat people as a minority status, even giving them protected minority status with the likes of LGBT movement.

Fat people should not be treated as a protected class. They aren’t. Fat acceptance is treating an obvious mental and physical health disorder as something that should be celebrated. Ill health should not be celebrated. It should be treated. So yes, I’m with the women who fat shamed me. It’s not attractive to be fat. It’s not sexy to be fat. Fatness is a turn off. And most importantly, it’s unhealthy. It’s not like being gay, lesbian, trans or a minority. It’s not a class of people. It’s a poor state of body and mind.

The newest reach of the fat acceptance genre is the “dad bod”. We’re told by countless magazines that the dad bod is in. It’s not. It’s still unhealthy, and in general experience, women want a six pack ab set over a dicky-doo any day.

So, America, you need to be fat shamed. I’m taking action to correct my lifelong issues with weight. I’m still working on it, but I know I’m going to get there. So start seeing your mental health professionals, set up a meeting with a personal trainer, and start eating like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

Men in Parenting

Photo Credit: Indian Express

This is the final part of my “Men In” Series

So here it is. I have to address the elephant in the room. As my writings have all suggested, I am the Red Pill “Dad”, so what in the world am I doing to raise my kids in a Red Pill manner?

I’ve been a single dad now for almost 3 years. One thing that I have learned is that kids need their dads, now more then ever. The statistics don’t lie. Fathers are needed to make every aspect of their child’s life better, and this doesn’t just make them better children, it makes them better adults.

When men and women started to bolt from their responsibilities of having safe sex, especially with the advent of birth control, we’ve seen single parent households skyrocket. These households have produced troubled kids, with mothers and fathers having unprotected sex, getting pregnant, and hating each other, it was up to one or the other to take care of the kids (in many cases, it was the mother).

So enter the State as the third party, helping to “right the wrongs” of dastardly men who dare pump and dump, leaving the woman, as if there was only one side to blame. Men have been demonized because they did this, and natural inclinations of women are to blame the men for not supporting them and their kids, but it does take two to tango.

So women now use the state as their surrogate father, while men procreate with potential criminal recourse. But where’s the responsibility for the women? With the Feminine Imperative driving family law and the court system, there is only criminal charges for the man, and cash and prizes for the woman, but they both were involved in creating the child.

The Feminine Imperative and other outlets seem to be encouraging the single mother. With 10 million single mother households and rising here in the US, nothing is being done to encourage two parent households. It’s everyone doubling down in a game that no one wins.

Obviously, I’m not impartial, as being on the male end of family law has only made me question the whole process more, however, I feel like a lot has been lost in western countries on how to get the family unit back together. I do believe that feminism has in part helped to destroy this mindset, with the State playing willing accomplice. So what can be done?

Be A Dad

Women shame men constantly to “man up” and “provide for their kids.” This is a shit test. I don’t agree that guilt and shame from the Feminine Imperative should be the motivating factor for men to act. A man should want to take care of his kids and be a good father.

I can tell you through personal experience that my existence has been greatly enhanced by having kids. I’m there for them, I support them in all their endeavors, I want them to succeed. Too many dads are mailing it in, and have become the matriarchs of their family, they’ve become lazy. They’ve put down their mantle, working jobs they hate, saying two words to their kids as they head to see the baseball scores and have a beer.

Fatherhood is more than just providing for your kids. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have the issues we have in Western society. Not only do I support my children financially, I go to my child’s events, I help them with homework, I attend school functions, I am part of my child’s parent teacher organization. I interact with them every day I have them, I’m present. This takes more for me because I also run my own company, sometimes up to 60-70 hours a week. But I still take time for my kids. This isn’t being some kind of superhero, this is required stuff for fathers.

Kids crave a strong male presence in their lives, it gives them perspective that they wouldn’t get from just their mother. It gives them predominately male values that help them succeed. It gives them discipline, strength, loyalty, respect, ambition, drive, and fight. Now, it doesn’t help that these values are being demonized as “toxic masculinity”, and I fight the FI everyday to prove that these are not only needed, but required for kids to have.

Imagine a child without access to these strong, masculine values, and you get to the crux on why western kids are so messed up.

Raising Red Pill Aware Kids

So, how will I proceed in this fem-centric society, especially raising young girls? First, understanding feminine nature is paramount to raising young girls. You are only going to have so much control in what choices your kids will make, and I can only show them the type of man they may want to marry. Strong, masculine father figures help women, when they’ve grown, know exactly what they want. But you can only do so much.

I know that I cannot control hypergamous natures of women. I will be powerless to control my kids eventual choices, I can show them how to navigate this world:

-Avoiding blue pilled betas with no inner sense of purpose

-Not sleeping around with dozens of Chads and getting the thousand cock stare

-Embracing their femininity as well as beauty, poise, and confidence, and other quality feminine traits

-Providing support for any strong man she eventually chooses to have a relationship with

-Not discouraging putting off having kids for a career, but also not discouraging them from doing what they want to do

-Understanding that gender roles don’t change, no matter how many feminazis tell them different

They will be told of the consequences of choosing career over children, and they will reap what they sow. And yes, betas, I don’t want them near you. You need to unplug, get your life together, and be a strong masculine presence for my approval. I’m not letting you off the hook at all. Betas seem to think that women should like them for who they are, regardless of their lack of any concrete purpose or character. Chances are, you will be relegated to being orbiters, and you’ll not be given any quarter.

There will probably be Chads. I have to prepare myself for this eventuality. All females have the same inherent firmware, and this is reality. But I will also provide them with a knowledge of these scenarios, and how they can take responsibility for their own actions if they decide to act on their hypergamous impulses. The “Sex and The City” mentality still exists, and I can’t help but feel sorry for all the women that were led to believe this was a fulfilling life.

I want them to compliment a man, not need one, or vice versa. I want for them what I want from a female in my dating life. I believe in specific gender roles, and straying too far from those ends in confusion, uncertainty, and more times than not, disaster.

Embrace the Unknown

I can’t tell you what will happen. I can only do my best to provide my kids good example of a strong male influence. Parenting is a crap shoot at times, but I play the numbers, and the numbers say that a strong father figure provides nothing but good things for children.

So dads, spend quality time with your kids, be in their lives. They will appreciate all that you give to them, their love makes your life better and more fulfilling, and you can truly be proud of a life worth living when the lessons you’ve preached to your kids are taken up.

It’s time to start being a good father to your kids.