It’s with great joy that I was able to welcome my 2nd niece, Valentina into the world.
Her big sister, Evadine is keeping a protective eye, making sure her Uncle holds her correctly. I look forward to many years of fun together.
It’s been amazing to see my Sister and Brother in-law bring these two bright lives into the world and being in the hospital, seeing all the new babies, thinking about their potential and what will they become.
Witnessing Evadine grow up and develop her own personality has been so much fun and has me excited about being a Dad in the future as I feel it’s one of the greatest gifts we can provide to the world.
My thoughts are often focused on legacy, specifically on what impact do I want to make and leave behind when my days are finished on this earth. While some may find this morbid, it’s not because it’s not coming from a place of fearing death. I fully embrace that our time is finite. The part that I do fear is regret and this is a massive motivator for me to take bold actions as we never know exactly how much time we have left, so why not play big!
Now you may be wondering, “Why is Lucas speaking about death in a post with his new niece?”
If so, yes, it may seem odd, but there is a reason.
As I got in my car after seeing the new addition to the family, I was started driving to another event to speak about becoming an entrepreneur to a group of high school students.
The ironic part was as I was leaving the hospital, welcoming the birth of a new life, I was drawn to visit the back of that same hospital where in the basement 4 years earlier, marked what I refer to the death of my own past life.
This is not a literal event, but depending on how you view it, marks either the death of my past life or the beginning of my current one.
I’ll never forget the feeling as I was in year 1 of business, completely overwhelmed and had a number of other stressors building up.
At that time, my coping skills for stress management, weren’t honed and I hit the wall.
After speaking with my family Doctor, I was referred to see a Psychiatrist to get help in controlling the anxiety and panic attacks that I had struggled with for years and had made some progress, but was in deep this time.
The part that stands out the most was in arriving at the hospital. I parked and as I walked towards the front door, my thoughts revolved around how far I had fallen.
Thinking “What had my life become?” Here I was, 30 years old and seeing a Psychiatrist in the mental hospital. As my mind focused on feelings of shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness, what shocked me was the power a shift in perspective can make.
While the first 5 steps were focused on how bad my life was and bleak my future looked as what type of future would a “mentally ill” person have? I was damaged goods, unemployable, undateable?
The next 5 steps were completely different as I walked closer to the front door, my focus shifted to seeing this as I’m finally getting the help and support I need. That while it did take me years to open up, that’s what was necessary for me to reach a place where my fears around being vulnerable would be outweighed by the costs of continuing to hide.
At that moment, my perspective shifted and I started to feel hope for the first time that I was on the path to getting better. I remember vividly the feeling of excitement to open that front door and was probably the happiest person the admissions staff has encountered to check into the mental health ward, lol.
While the setting of stark walls, one-way access doors in the waiting room, and maze of hallways didn’t feel comforting. It was meeting Dr. Paul, who greeted me with a smile, didn’t make me feel judged, and provided hope to a soul that had felt alone for so long, was a welcome surprise.
Was this the death of an old me or birth of a new me? I don’t know, maybe both and ultimately, it doesn’t matter.
What I can say with certainty, is that I appreciate the opportunity to have experienced both sides and hope that if you find yourself in a similar situation:
1. Your perspective is what matters. No matter how rough of a situation you’re facing, draw out a few positives to keep it balanced.
2. You may feel embarrassed. Getting help is a sign of strength, we all need it sometimes and that boost could be all you need to build momentum.
3. You’re not alone. As isolated as you may feel, I can assure you, there are many others that are struggling in similar positions. The key is to get started asap. The sooner you start, the better it is.