007A. Embracing Major Life Changes: The Opportunity in Chaos

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Key Quote

“Overcoming this obstacle wasn’t so much of a single event as it was a journey. Physical healing wasn’t the only thing I needed, as the emotional side proved to be just as challenging.” -Wesley Jackson

Episode Summary

Join Wesley Jackson as he takes you on a ride that started like any other day but ended in an unexpected twist. A simple cycling trip with his father turns into a life-altering moment. What was supposed to be a bonding experience suddenly shifts gears when a split-second decision changes everything.

In this episode, hear about the fragile connection between a father and son, united by a shared love of cycling but challenged by their complicated past. When faced with a perilous choice on the open road, what did Jackson decide to do? And how did that choice lead to a journey of not just physical recovery but emotional healing as well?

Listen as Jackson shares the ups and downs of his path to acceptance, from the immediate pain of the crash to the long road through therapy and self-discovery. What valuable lessons did he learn about strength, vulnerability, and the power of resilience? And how did he turn a traumatic experience into a lesson on the possibility of rebuilding and finding hope?

Tune in to this gripping episode of Surviving Humanity: A Self-Help Podcast, and explore how the choices we make can take us down roads we never expected. It’s a story about facing our past, learning from pain, and finding the strength to move forward. You don’t want to miss it.

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Wesley Jackson: Picture this. You’re cycling at full speed. The wind whipping past your ears. Your father just a few yards ahead of you. The world around you is a tranquil scene of sunlit roads and cicada songs. Then, out of nowhere, your father’s bike suddenly jerks to a stop. You’ve got no time to react. The only choices are crashing into him or veering off the side of the road.

This seemingly minor misunderstanding ends up causing you not only chronic physical pain, but reawakens old emotional traumas as well, as you grapple with the ramifications of the crash that comes next. How would you feel in this situation? Better yet, how would you resolve this?

In today’s self help podcast episode, I detail a conflict that I had that involved my dad back in 2020, that all started with a cycling accident.

I, then talk about how this story opened up a larger journey into acceptance and the impact that this had on my life. Lastly, I reflect on why this story is a valuable lesson on major life changes and how large of a role they can play in our lives.

Welcome to Surviving Humanity: A Self-Help Podcast, where we shift your perspective to help you overcome the obstacles in your life.

We are Wesley Jackson and Andrew Gilley. And we hope to foster a sense of connection and community over our common struggles while providing you with the tools to overcome them. As always, our FacebookSubreddit, and Twitter are the best places to go for community, connection, and support.

Links to these are in the show notes. Let’s get started.

So the main characters in this story, like I mentioned, are none other than my father and I. While we may share a bloodline, we hold very different perspectives of the world around us, despite both being victims of childhood trauma. My relationship with him is multifaceted, tinged with a mixture of love, disappointment, and enduring respect.

Despite our tumultuous history, it was our shared passion for cycling over recent years that served as this crucial yet fragile bridge between us. But this all started to change one day on a crisp December morning in 2020 as we pedaled our way back home along the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The rising sun painted the sky in hues of golden orange as its soft glow reflected off of the asphalt road that was beneath our road bikes. The chorus of cicadas filled the air, punctuated only by the rhythmic hum of our pedaling as we raced forward at over 25 miles per hour in a single file line with our fellow teammates.

I had my earbuds in as I usually do with high BPM music, pulsating in my ears, pushing me to go harder, faster. It was supposed to be a routine weekend training ride. As we maintained speed, racing against the rising sun, the initial conflict arose from a split second misunderstanding. My father, overtaking me on my left, suddenly gets a flat tire and begins decelerating abruptly.

I was trailing right behind him, caught off guard by his sudden maneuver, due to the earbuds in my ears masking the sound of his tire popping. In the heat of the moment, I had a choice: crash into him with the full force of both my body and my bike, or veer off the side of the road. It was an easy choice for me to make because he had kids and I didn’t.

And that was enough of a reason for me. But by this time, my front tire had already began rubbing his rear, and an intense fear of crashing into him seized me. Fear turned into reality. As I began to lose control, and I veered sharply off the side of the road. However, there was no side of the road here to speak of, as I instead catapulted into a roadside ditch. And in the blink of an eye, this conflict grew from a minor misunderstanding on the road to a full blown crisis.

My body collided with the ground. Surprisingly, I was back on my feet within seconds. However, my father and the other team members stood frozen in disbelief. That’s when I looked to my right arm, and the severity of the situation began to dawn on me, as I winced in pain from a deeply split elbow. But that was just the beginning.

In the aftermath of my crash, my father, for all of his stern exterior, began to panic as I bled profusely. We applied a tourniquet. Hoping the elbow and heavily bruised hip were the worst of it. Months later and now years, the pain throughout the right side of my body didn’t subside. The beginning of seemingly countless visits to a variety of doctors ensued.

Even after I was prescribed painkillers and a regimen of physiotherapy exercises, the pain still lingered. It seemed that the physical trauma had burrowed deep, awakening dormant emotional ones. My life took a significant detour post accident. Chronic pain became my unwelcome daily companion. It cast long shadows on my daily routine, often making what were once simple tasks a herculean effort.

The persistent pain fueled my depression and anxiety, leaving me drained and irritable on a weekly basis. My desire to escape from the grim reality of my situation further fueled my descent into cannabis addiction. It was like each throb of pain was a stark reminder of my vulnerability and my perceived inadequacies during this time.

I felt trapped within my own body. Much like how I felt as a child, unable to escape my family’s cycle of abuse. This accident began to serve as a catalyst. Bringing to the surface repressed emotions and old wounds. *Overcoming this obstacle wasn’t so much of a single event as it was a journey. Physical healing wasn’t the only thing I needed, as the emotional side proved to be just as challenging.*

The crash had made me realize by this point how hard I had been pushing myself for others mistakes. This was also when I realized that merely numbing the pain was not going to solve anything. I decided to try my best to face my demons head on, and much like the arduous task of biking uphill, I began to make my way through the tangled web of trauma and pain one step at a time.

Therapy sessions were revisited. Support groups were joined. And self care routines were slowly re-established. But, despite all of this, the consequences were still vast and life altering. I continue to grapple with chronic pain daily. However, I have also learned to appreciate the strength of my own resilience.

My ability to endure, and most importantly, to heal. I’ve realized that my worth is not dictated by my father or anyone else, and I’ve found solace and healing in my trauma, as paradoxical as that may sound. The lessons that I’ve learned from this experience are profound and multilayered. I’ve learned that pain, both physical and emotional, is not an enemy, but a teacher.

It has taught me about my own resilience, about the power of vulnerability, And the importance of confronting rather than suppressing negative emotions. It has shown me that healing is a non linear journey, one that requires patience, self compassion, and a steadfast commitment to self improvement.

Finally, I’ve learned that no matter how traumatic our past may be, there’s always a way forward. Always a way to rebuild and reframe.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next Tuesday, where I’ll talking with Andrew about how this story is really just one part of a much bigger conversation on acceptance. If you want to help support us, please join our exclusive monthly book club on Patreon. Share the podcast with others. And don’t forget to follow, rate, and review us on your favorite podcast platform.

And hey, before you go, do you feel like you could benefit from a boost to your morale? Well, then why not give our Seven-Day Self-Confidence Challenge a go? For only $7, you’ll get exclusive access to content that will help you determine your core values and strengths, reframe negative thought patterns, and break old habits to build new ones, all while setting realistic personal development goals. Links to our Patreon and the challenge can be found in the show notes. See you next week!

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