Ep 007: Comfortable Being Miserable

Ep 007: Comfortable Being Miserable

All right everybody, so I am now getting prepared for my journey. And as you all understand that my journey, my walk, my 100-mile walk isn’t my entire journey, that’s the beginning of my journey. You see the first part is facing and confronting the memory, and forgiving the past, and then it goes on to transformation. And transformation is going to be the most difficult part of all this. Actually, I don’t know if there is a more difficult part, I think it’s all difficult. I don’t think there’s anything easy about forgiveness. But I am now getting prepared for my journey, and I start in little over a week, literally less than eight days I will be heading out on the road and walking over 100 miles.

So today I got my stuff in. I went ahead and ordered everything that I need to go on this journey. So I want to share with you a few of the things that I got, that are going to be going with me that I’m going to be wearing, as well as the feelings and emotions that I’m facing right now as I’m preparing for this 100-mile walk, all right? So the first thing I have here is, I’ve got the yellow vest, right? This is my reflective vest, so I don’t get ran over by cars as I’m walking down the road. And I’ve got a goodie bag here. So I’ve got my sun hat, because I’ve got a bald head, so this is going to keep me covered, and has got the nice holes in it. So I’ve got a breeze to keep my head all nice and cool, but keep my neck from getting sunburned. So this is my hat that I’m going to be wearing.

Again, this is not a fashion statement, but I need to make sure that I don’t feel too much physical pain while I’m going through all the mental pain, right? If I am having to walk this 100 miles, and I’ve got a sunburn, or my feet are killing me, or if I don’t have time to focus purely on the mental pain because of the physical pain, that ruins the whole walk. So I need to do everything I can, the preventative maintenance, to make sure that while I’m walking this 100 miles, everything is taken care of so I can focus on the mental pain, and not have physical pain distract me, right?

So I’ve got the hat, I’ve got LED lights. These are just in case I end up walking, not hitting my 30 mile walk and then it starts to get dark, I have my head lamps and flash lights, so I can continue doing my walk because I have to. It’s not an option, I have to walk over 30 miles every single day. If I don’t do that, I’m not going to hit my destination when I need to, and I can only visit my mother in the prison on Saturdays and Sundays. So I have to make sure that I get there in time.

I’ve got a rain poncho just in case it rains. I know it’s Texas, but it does still rain. We just had a huge storm two nights ago. So I’ve got a poncho. I’ve got band-aids for whenever I get my calluses on my feet, or blisters, band-aids to cover those up. I’ve got repellent, bug repellent. I’ve got sunscreen right here. I’ve got all my hygiene stuff in this coffee cup here, my deodorant, my toothpaste, lip balm, neosporin, things of that nature. I’ve got all my first aid stuff that I’ll need. And then, I just got in my wool socks, so I’ve got three pairs of wool socks, and these socks are used so that it’s nice and cushioned. They’re used for athletic purposes, so that I’m not getting as many blisters as I would with normal socks.

And then I just got in my camel pack. So this is my camel pack, so I’m not carrying around a water bottle. This carries a lot more water inside of it, and it will make to where I don’t have to stop as much at gas stations every few miles to get more water. All right, so I’m going to be very conservative with my water. Because again, 30 miles a day, I don’t have time to be stopping every 20 minutes.

And then I got this, which is extremely important. This is going to help me make sure that all of you can watch. So this is my mobile charger. Based on the reviews, this charger will help me… will charge up my iPhone three times, before it needs to be charged. So this is a mobile charger that will go with me, so as my iPhone starts to die. I’m going to have to use the maps, I don’t know my way, I’ve never walked to the prison to visit my mother before. And I’m going to be doing videos and sharing the journey with all of you. So I’ve got a mobile charger to make sure that all of you will be able to watch during this whole process.

And then I’ve got my New Balance tennis shoes. So these are really good for walking, they’re really well cushioned, so I’m going to try these on here in a little bit, make sure they fit nice and snug. I’ve got my New Balance tennis shoes to walk this 100 miles.

So let’s talk for a second about what I’m feeling right now, right? This is a really intense feeling. There’s nothing… no easy way to explain it. I wish I could sit here and tell everybody that this is easy, that you should do it because it’s so simple, all you have to do is make the decision and go do it. I can’t say that, because it’s not true, right? Nothing about this decision is easy at all, it’s not easy. I’m having to make a huge decision to go forgive someone in the most intense way possible. I could easily jump in my car, drive an hour and a half down the road, and go tell my mom the three words, I forgive you, and be done, and drive home. I could get home in less than six hours. The whole trip could take less than six hours, now it’s taking over 72 hours just to get there, because I’m walking 30 miles, sleeping at a hotel, walking 30 miles, sleeping at a hotel, et cetera, et cetera.

So this whole journey, I am a little bit scared, I am a lot a bit nervous. I have quite a bit of anxiety, and it’s not because of the walk. The walk doesn’t scare me. I was in the military, we walked everywhere, we ran everywhere. Walking is easy for me. I don’t get tired of walking. Now the heat is going to have quite a bit to do with it, right? I’m going to have to make sure I stay hydrated, because it does get hot in Texas. I’m going to be walking in 90 degree weather for three days straight, so I am going to be physically exhausted by the end of it. But the biggest part about me is not the fear of the physical, it’s the fear of the mental, and it’s the fear of not knowing what’s going to happen. What’s going to happen when I sit down? How it’s going… What is her reaction going to be? What am I actually going to say? And not just sitting down and talking to her, but the three days of processing the memories, right?

What am I going to do to process all those memories? What memories are going to come up during these three days? Understand that my childhood, a lot of my childhood has been forgotten. My brain won’t let me remember a lot of the memories from my childhood, it’s all a blur. It’s like it was a dream. You know that dream where you know something weird happened, but you can’t remember exactly what it was? That’s what my childhood is like, and it’s because I believe my brain is trying to protect me from all the things that happened. And I need my brain to stop trying to protect me, and I need to process everything. If I don’t process it, I’m not going to be able to forgive.

So I’m feeling nervous, I’m feeling excited, I’m feeling overwhelmed. The best way to explain it is, right now I’m going through a roller coaster of emotions as I prepare to go walk 33.333 miles a day to go visit my mom. Now, just so you know, the first three days is walking, then I’m staying at a hotel and the next morning I’m waking up and going to see my mom in the prison. So the fourth day is no walking. By the fourth day I’ll have all the memories processed and be ready to face her person to person, face to face. So it is intimidating, it is exciting, it is overwhelming.

I haven’t quite hit tears. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve cried so much throughout my childhood that I don’t really have tears left. I don’t cry much. But I can say that now, and on my journey, on my walk, I may end up crying, so I don’t know. And if I do cry, just so everybody knows, all of you that watch this page, that are watching my journey, I’m going to share every emotion fully transparently with you throughout my journey. So when I’m crying, I’m going to share that here. When I’m laughing, I’m going to share it. When I’m angry, when I’m mad, I’m going to share that. When I’m hurting physically, I’m going to share that. I’m going to share everything with you in full transparency, because I want you to watch this as if you’re walking right next to me. All right?

So yes, I am intimidated, I’m nervous, I’m anxious, I’m excited, I’m overwhelmed, I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m scared. I’m literally every feeling that you’ve ever felt in your life, is what I’m feeling as it gets closer every single day to going on that walk. This is not like I’m moving into a new house, this is worse than going to boot camp during basic training when I joined the army. That was intimidating, this is 10 times worse than that. So it’s all types of emotions all tied in to one.

I wish I could explain it more clearly, but that really is. I mean, one minute I’m excited, the next minute I’m scared. Opening these boxes to get all my supplies out, was the first moment that I felt really anxious. I felt a pit in my stomach, like, one, do I need to step away from my business for this long, right? I’m feeling guilty because I’m stepping away from my business. I should be focusing on making more money. I’m also feeling guilty, because I’m leaving my kids and my family behind. So I’m feeling guilty that I’m not going to be spending time with them.

I am noticing that my emotions are trying to find every reason not to do this, that is what’s happening right now. My brain is literally searching and trying to create every excuse, every reason to not go on this walk, and I’m having to fight that. I’m having to not give into my brain saying, “You don’t have the time, you shouldn’t be doing this right now. You need to be focusing on business. You need to spend more time with your kids.” My brain is literally coming up with every excuse to not do this, and I have to fight that, and I have to not let that win. And I think all of you will experience this, if you ever take that step to doing the major forgiveness journey that I’m doing right now. Your brain will fight you every day.

Every morning that I wake up, I’m excited. Every evening that I go to sleep, I think maybe I shouldn’t do this, maybe I shouldn’t. Now, I don’t need you to motivate me and tell me to do it, because I’m going to do it. I’m not letting my brain win, I’m going to do this. I’m holding myself to it. I am aware of what my brain is trying to do to trick me into not doing this, so I am following through. I’m going to do it no matter what, but I’m sharing transparently of exactly what is happening inside of my brain right now, so that you know. This is a huge decision. This is a bigger decision than getting married. This is a bigger decision than having children. This is a huge decision, because this is 31 years of pain that I am going to be processing and forgiving and letting go of.

And you know what makes it a hard decision, is not the fact that I’m… it’s the fact that I’m letting go of the pain. And the best way I can explain that is, I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You see my entire life, all I’ve know is pain and anger, and so that’s where I’m comfortable. I’m comfortable being angry, I’m comfortable being in pain, I’m comfortable of being in war, right? If you look at soldiers, there are soldiers that stay in for over 20 years and deploy as much as possible. And the reason behind that, is because they’ve become comfortable with war. It’s what they know, it’s where they’re comfortable. The anger, the hatred, the fighting, you become comfortable in it. So comfortable, that you don’t know how to live in the civilian world, so you just have to keep going back to war, because that’s all you know.

That’s the best way I can explain what I feel now, right? I am scared to let go, because I’ve become so comfortable in war, and I don’t know how to live without that. I don’t know how to live without pain. I don’t know how to live without suffering. I don’t know how to live without anger. I don’t know how to live without numbness, right? And so, while I say that this part of the journey is huge, this is the first major step in my life. And recreating my entire life, it definitely is, but what’s scary is what comes after, right? It’s the unknown of after. I know I’m going to forgive her, I know I’m going to process the memories, and I will forgive her by the fourth day. I will. Not just physically say it, I know mentally I will have forgiven her for everything that’s ever happened, because that is my goal. And when I set a goal, it happens. And I am in control of my emotions, so I control whether I forgive her or not, so I know I’m going to forgive her.

Where my fear stands isn’t whether or not I’m going to forgive her, it’s the unknown afterwards. How do I live without anger? How do I live without pain? Who am I without those traits, because those traits are what have created me as I know myself today, right? So what’s scary is knowing that I’m going to have to recreate my entire self, my entire life, and so it’s really intimidating. It’s really scary to sit there and think. I really tried to think about this, think about the idea of having to recreate your entire life from the ground up. That’s what I’m doing right now, right?

Forgiveness is step one, transformation after that is the rest, and that’s going to be where the real journey begins. Not the journey of forgiving, right? That’s journey number one. The real journey is, how do I live without anger, without pain, without suffering, without numbness, without all of this negative cloud over my head? Without all these negative feelings that have made me into who I am today, how do I let those go, and rebuild a life where I’m not angry, where I don’t have so much hatred? How do I live happy? Do I know how to do that? Am I capable of that, right?

Now, I know that I am, but these are the self-doubt thoughts that come into my head, to the point to where it almost prevents me from going on the walk. Why? Because I’ve become so comfortable with being so miserable. Think about that. I have become so comfortable with being miserable, that I’m scared of not being miserable. Isn’t that crazy? Doesn’t that sound crazy when you really say it out loud? And I know it’s not crazy, because I know someone watching this right now, those of you watching live, those of you watching the replay, those of you listening to the podcast, someone right now feels that way, and you know you do.

You are so comfortable with being miserable, that you are scared of letting it go because you don’t know how to not be miserable, because you don’t know if you’re capable of being happy. So you have to hold on to some emotion, so it’s easier just to hold on to what you know, which is being miserable, angry, numb, than it is to let go and learn a new emotion, learn a new feeling, which is happiness, right?

So I want to…. I explained all of this transparently, because I want you all to understand that. Desire says she gets it because she understands it. She says, “That’s me right now.” So that’s exactly it. Some of us right now, have become so comfortable with being miserable, that we’re scared of being anything else. And that is my biggest fear right now. My biggest fear is not forgiving, my biggest fear isn’t walking 100 miles, I can do that with my eyes closed, walking isn’t hard. What’s hard is what comes after, it’s the unknown, right? Because behind my mom, behind the forgiving my mom… If I can see it as a picture, behind my mother is a closed and locked door, and it’s down a dark hallway.

And I know that I have the keys to that door, and I know that I can open that door, but I don’t know what’s behind that door, so it’s scary. And it scares me to not know what’s behind that door. To live in the unknown, to let go of the comfortability of being miserable, angry, numb, distant, refusing all human emotions, to allowing them to flow in. Allowing myself to feel happiness, forgiveness, joy, contentment, passion, right? So that is where I stand right now mentally.

It does seem like a lot of people are connecting with this, so I appreciate all of you commenting on this, and letting me know that I’m not crazy. I’m glad that everybody understands this, but you really have to self-reflect on this. Some of you may be fighting this. You may be fighting this, you may be telling yourself, “No, I want to be happy, I just can’t because this person did this, or this event happened, or that circumstance took place.” It’s not that you can’t be happy, it’s that you’ve gotten comfortable with being miserable. Think about that today.

All right, I’ll see you all later.

Andrew O'Brien

Since 2013, Andrew has traveled all over the world sharing his story. Everywhere from college campuses, military bases and even making it to the White House. He not only experienced a lot of trauma but was able to actually overcome it all and create a better life. He wanted to share his story with the world so it would give them not only hope that things will get better but also the motivation to take action and make things better for themselves.
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