A week ago this morning I awoke to a beautiful sunny day in North Alabama. Friday night and most of the day Saturday I’d had a great adventure with a close friend and her family. Work was going great. The stress level had dropped immeasurably. I was in good spirits, though missing my girls back at home in Texas, and then, WHAM! At age 45, any youthful innocence left in me disappeared in a flash as the pains of a mild heart attack began in my chest about 11:15 a.m. and it began to feel like my throat was closing in.
Monday, doctors put in a stent. Tuesday I was freed from the hospital thinking if I’d survived that, I wasn’t going to be that tired, after all, they’d only sent a wire up through my leg. Wednesday I was too tired to go anywhere. Thursday the mental and emotional side of all this came crashing down on me. The “Oh SHIT!” moment of my life hit me harder than the pains on Sunday morning.
DIET, STRESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS, LACK OF EXERCISE
From my accounts here on DaddyClaxton.com, you know I’ve tried in the past couple of years to make some important changes. I’ve changed my diet and have dropped about 30 pounds in the past five months simply by changing my diet and consumption. I’ve identified the 20 percent of people and relationships who were causing 80 percent of my duress and put up boundaries. And through two bouts of Diverticulitis, I’ve tried to adopt an exercise program off and on.
But like Steve Jobs being worth $8.74 billion, no amount of money or anything else has been able to alleviate all that ails me.
TIME FOR SOME MORE CHANGES
God didn’t take me last Sunday because as my friend said, he was allowing me to receive the “Double Bitch Slap of Life.” I’ve always held true to the conviction that I’m here for a reason and that is to help others. So many friends this week have called, texted, emailed, even sent smoke signals telling me to stop worrying about the welfare of others so much. “THIS IS ABOUT YOU!” my friend has told me repeatedly.
That’s a hard mindset to adopt. And I don’t want to do it to the other extreme either.
For years, my first wife has projected her guilt onto me saying that I’m narcissistic. Nearly a decade of counseling has confirmed that she is, I’m not and added to the testimony of so many friends this week who have known me for decades proves what I’ve known all along–like always, she’s full of –it.
Unfortunately, it appears I’m now going to have to close down the one last remaining channel for her to harass me. Why can’t some see the hurt and damage they cause in the lives of everyone around them through their own selfishness?
I can begin walking Wednesday. I’m supposed to build up to 30 minutes a day, five days per week. I’m ready.
Carol Ireton-Jones, Donna Israel and Martha McHenry at Professional Nutrition Therapists in Dallas already have let me know when I get back to town, there are going to be more recommended meal changes. (If you live in Dallas, they are the ones to call!)
I’ve made some really cool friends in North Alabama the past few months. My relationships with them are healthier than many in the past, and if things get out of hand, I’ve learned to step back and not expose myself. If you’re a positive person, and you make me laugh, I’ll enjoy spending time with you. If you’re going to bring drama the likes I’ve endured the past 16 years because of spouses, have a miserable life unto yourself. You’re not going to cuss me, to yell at me, or throw things at me. That’s just not going to be tolerated. I’ve learned that’s the only way you can be “happy,” and like I’m trying to say nicely, “I’m done with that.”
SK: I NEED U TO CALL AN AMBULANCE
I was working with my client and friend SK Chauhan at his house last Sunday. When my pains hit, I stepped outside on the back porch to see if fresh air was going to change my situation. It didn’t and at 11:24, I sent the text message of a lifetime that simply read: “SK. I need u to call an ambulance. I’m having bad chest pains.”
My mom, an RN, said I couldn’t have worded that text message better. When you call 911 and you need an ambulance to get you to the hospital ASAP, don’t speculate and say you need the paramedics, because in some places, they can’t transport and if they wait to arrive before they decide to send a bus for you, well, they might wind up calling for a different kind of wagon….
The other thought that has haunted me is what if I’d passed out on the porch–It would have been a few minutes before anyone came out and asked what I was doing. And if this had been worse ….
I’m weighing my options this morning as I sit at a desk at my Mom’s house in Montgomery, AL. And though written from a woman’s perspective, Fergie‘s Big Girls Don’t Cry has been on a loop in my head the past few days. “Myself and I have, I have some figuring out to do,” for sure.
I won’t go into those thoughts right now. They’re still rattling around in my head that for the past few days has been a little on the mushy, incomplete and WTH happened side.
Until then “I need to be by myself and center, clarity, peace, serenity. “ And on the other hand, I’m trying to see as many old friends as I may so I’m not thinking about …..
And rather than being at mom’s here in Montgomery, I wish nothing more than to be back in Dallas in my apartment, in my bed resting, and with the option to see my doting daughters, whom I’ve not seen in almost a month now. That’s the hardest part here. What if I’d left them and so many of you behind last weekend?