Hello World! Paul is back!

I haven’t posted to social media in a long time, as you can tell by the massive gap in my timeline. So, what have I been up to all these years?

Short Answer: Dealing with life the wrong way by burying my heart in the sand and marching forward like a “tough guy”.

Long Answer: I apologize to everyone, friends and family, that felt connected to me throughout the years that I lost or lost me along the way for any actions (or inactions) I took that lead us apart. I feel it today more than you know.

This post is about my mental health journey, and I hope that if you are out there struggling, it inspires you to take action in your own life. Show up for yourself!

My marriage of 15 years ended last year in 2022 and my step dad died a few months later. It was devastating, but my real mental health struggle starts years prior and became critically serious in 2015.

I read somewhere about how big of a window of time you can concern yourself with while living through calm and stressful situations. When everything is calm and great, you may be able to plan your life months or even years out. As life starts to get chaotic, you may be able to only think about weeks ahead. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you may only focus on days at a time. Under even more extreme stress, your window might be reduced to hours or even living your life 1 minute at a time. If you have never had to experience life one minute at a time, consider yourself lucky. This is where the struggle to just simply exist lives. If you need a frame of reference, imagine someone in an active combat shooting situation, someone on the brink of death due to a health crisis, or someone dealing with extreme levels of pain and torment.

For many years, my window of time for planning and living was minutes to weeks at a time, highly stressful. I took on the stress of others by my own doing. It was rough, but I was fresh and ready to take on the world. I had also learned from growing up that you can just knuckle up, soldier on, and keep pushing to get the mission accomplished. In 2015, I fell ill to pneumonia and according to what I later heard, the ER doctor said I was hours from death. I was already living my life minutes to weeks at a time, and I suddenly had to live one minute at a time. In that moment, as I felt myself literally drowning with my pneumonia, something inside my mind whispered, “I am done, this is the end.”

I had been misdiagnosed and struggling with my illness for over a week before it was properly addressed by antibiotics. Also, before that, I was just “dealing with it” at home because I was going to just tough it out and soldier on. That learned behavior failed me miserably, and as a result, I felt like a failure because how could I take care of anyone in my life if I couldn’t take care of myself?

I physically recovered, my mental health started to decline, and I closed off. My world slowly became very small as friends and loved ones fell away. I disconnected from who I was and had lost the zest of life. When the pandemic happened, everyone experienced life one day at a time, but I was already living that way for years and the stress just piled on.

My ex-wife told me towards the end of our marriage, as we were discussing my illness and mental health, that people over the years (bosses, friends, etc.) would ask if I was doing OK. I had lost my laughter. I didn’t notice, and the people around me did. I became easily agitated and irritated over trivial things. I had no idea about my problem, because the tool I use to assess my situation (my brain) is the one that was struggling with mental health. Again, I kept to what I knew: soldier on and just keep marching forward. Internal emotion fell away, and I would go on to think I was just this quirky “robotic” kind of person that didn’t really have emotions. I later discovered that I was locked into the “getting shit done” mode and never came out without professional help.

Realization happens before thought. Life slapped me in the face last year and I woke up, I realized I had a mental health problem that needed to be addressed. I had basically been marching forward, staring at the ground, for many years and finally was forced to look up and saw I was so far away from my life path that I wasn’t even on the map anymore.

I reached out for therapy and worked through how I came to be so far off my path. I worked hard on processing emotions. I had to start at such an infantile level of emotional processing using something called the Emotion Wheel. I journaled emotions daily for a month. I first started by using logic to apply words that made sense to things that happened to me that day. This graduated to a process of accepting myself by walking my emotional “inner child” through the things that happened to me throughout my life until I caught up my “inner child” to my present adult self. Towards the end of the month, I was able to feel and communicate those basic emotions on the inner ring of the Emotion Wheel.

Yep, there was a lot of crying. At first, I resisted and pushed away, “men don’t cry”, “get a hold of yourself”, etc. I remembered I was actively working on emotional processing with my therapist and the next time it came I finally accepted the tears and let it come and this is when I learned to love and accept myself. I wasn’t a failure, life just took some twists and turns for me, and I dealt with it in an unhealthy way. There are much healthier ways to deal with both short term and long-term stressors in life.

I was showing up for myself and started greatly increasing my physical activity, hitting the gym and going on hikes.

On the outside, my journey might look like a physical weight loss journey, and I share my story in person where applicable and tell people my journey is a mental health journey. I remind people that mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health for a happy life.

I soon realized how alone I was after all of that and am actively working to increase my social circle. I am actively pushing myself towards romantic love. I learned to love myself, and I learned to love others again. Nothing in life that’s worth doing is easy.

GoFundMe – Open Hearts

Hey everyone, I am reaching out to see if anyone is able to donate towards my friend’s GoFundMe for her son’s heart condition. The GoFundMe has been around a while, but they weren’t quite able to reach the goal. Summit is now 7 years old and still struggles with the heart defect.

“Summit Goodyear was born on December 4th, 2015. He has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, a rare and serious congential heart defect. He had open-heart surgery at five days old, and will need another two open-heart surgeries before he turns 3.  Without these surgeries, HLHS is fatal. Summit was in the NICU for 39 days after he was born.”

Read more here: https://gofund.me/5b1e9a01

New-ish version?

That is a real image of my build folders, and yes, that 2020 version is a working incomplete build.  I keep older versions, who knows why.  The pandemic hit then life happened and eventually that folder will be renamed to a new date once the build is complete.

I posted about this a while back on the website, but have yet to complete the build.  Thank you all for your support!

Let’s start a Patreon!

Alright, I have made the jump to Patreon and I will look into ways that you all can participate in an exclusive part of the All in One – System Rescue Toolkit community and I offer more involved interactions with me, the creator!

If you have seen benefits of using my free toolkit, you can show a little love with some monthly support!

Live Q&A June 2023

Paul Vreeland, creator of the All in One – System Rescue Toolkit will be doing a live stream development session and taking questions from Patreon supporters.

Paul is a 20 year IT veteran with a range of technical and life skills.  Questions don’t necessarily need to be related to the toolkit.  Answers can be provided for technical support, security & compliance, business or client advice, or just life in general.

Live Q&A June 2023 | Patreon

Live Q&A May 2023

Paul Vreeland, creator of the All in One – System Rescue Toolkit will be doing a live stream development session and taking questions from Patreon supporters.

Paul is a 20 year IT veteran with a range of technical and life skills.  Questions don’t necessarily need to be related to the toolkit.  Answers can be provided for technical support, security & compliance, business or client advice, or just life in general.

Live Q&A May 2023 | Patreon

First Live Q&A

Patreon supporters can come and participate in my development of the next version of the All in One – System Rescue Toolkit and ask questions about the toolkit itself or anything related to my 20 years of IT experience.

Live Stream Scheduled: Monday 01 May 2023 @ 17:00 Mountain Time