Thank you so much to [High Risk] Bipolar Cat as she will be featuring me on her blog. Also, thank you for taking the time to read it.
You may be asking yourself: what does beating people up have to do with depression?
This is a good question. But before we get to the solution, please let me explain my situation.
I was born in Jamaica and live there until I was about 7 years old.
My family moved around quite a bit when was young, but we settled in South Florida as I entered middle school.
I cannot say, for certain, if this influenced my anger and depression, but it does explain why I keep people at a distance.
I was taught, in my Jamaican culture that a man is supposed to be “tough”.
I soon learned that you had to be even tougher growing up as a black boy in the United States.
I confused this “tough guy” mentality with anger. So, instead of dealing with my emotions, I are suppressed them until they finally exploded.
During my outbursts, I “saw red” as they would say. It is hard to describe that “feeling” in words.
It was like you have tunnel vision to the thing that triggered you and nothing else matters.
Subsequent to these outbursts, I would fall into days of depression.
I think many of us have negative thoughts sometimes, something along the lines of “nobody likes me” or “I make everyone around me miserable.”
These thoughts overwhelm you, and it feels like you are sinking into a deep, inescapable hole.
It seems impossible to get out of the hole. Everyone seems far away. You get the feeling that nothing or nobody can help.
Quite often, I would turn to alcohol as a way to relieve the feelings. However, alcohol only made things worse.
The alcohol would increase the frequency of my outbursts.
For 28 years of my life, I lived with this anger.
At the request of my girlfriend, now my wife of 7 years, I spoke with a psychologist. he informed me that anger is a form of depression that I finally understood what was happening to me.
What an eye opener!
We also came to the conclusion that the only thing that consistently helped me with my depression was and still is martial arts.
Martial arts allowed me me to vent my frustrations in a positive way.
As long as I followed the rules in the gym, I could punch and kick as much and as hard as wanted.
I give thanks to my instructors, who guided me on my martial arts journey.
I went on to train and compete in several Muay Thai and MMA fights under the Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy. I also competed in several Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions.
I believe that these fights helped me live a healthier lifestyle and focus on a particular goal (i.e. winning the fight).
Martial arts has given me the strength and perseverance to meet any challenge and overcome any obstacle. It has indeed made me a stronger person.
Martial arts also gives you a community of like-minded people that have the same goals.
The people you meet in the gym can become your family and support system.
If you find the right martial arts school, you know you can always go back, and your family will be there to support you.
I am now a coach and Muay Thai instructor.
My main goal is to spread the positive impact that martial arts can have on people’s lives.
Thank you again for taking the time to read this blog.
If you are curious about how martial arts can help you, please continue to follow my blog at fightingiseasy.wordpress.com.