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iStruggle, is there an app for that?

The other day I did two interviews. One was for a podcast, Totally Rad Dads and other for my mother in law project. The questions asked in those interviews where deep and for the first time I was able to talk about it deeply, and it felt good to talk about my struggles, I mean was not easy, but I did feel relief afterwards. That is why I decided to share a bit in this post.

I fought depression and anxiety for most of my life. I had several episodes where I tried to hurt myself, nothing crazy, just thoughts. Most of my depression came and comes (now I learned how to manage) from a difficulty of expressing myself. In part this happens with the fear of being judge which I believed the consequence of that is shame and guilt.

One day I decided to make a change, but I did not really know how, but I started to challenge myself. I started to exercise, and the physical pain was helping, but the mental struggle was still there. I remember after every single ironman it was a case of the Mondays where all mix emotions came out alive. You know, in order to do your best in such an endurance race takes a tool in your mind, in fact one of the greatest athletes in the sport once said: Training is 10% mental and 90% physical, racing is 10% physical and 90% mental.

After one of those ironmans I went on my second biggest depression phase where one day I punch myself in the head a few times. After a lot of intense therapy some things started to get clear in my mind and the emotional numbness that I had all these years started to dissolve. I started to dig where are all those things coming from.

Well, I realized this whole thing was way deeper than I thought, its something that runs deep in our society. You see, I am an iron maiden fan since a very young age. I remember at the age of 5 I asked to grow my hair just like the iron maiden guys, and I wanted to play the guitar like them. But guess what? That was shut off because heavy metal was considered bad and evil. When I was 7 the pope went to my hometown, and that was right after the catholic church prohibit Iron Maiden to play in Chile. I remember seeing him on the news I stood up and literally called him an asshole. Well, of course I got in so much trouble. I could not understand how something that gave me so much joy could be bad or evil? All of these made me angry to a point I tried to stop listening to my favorite songs. But then something happened… I became a Dad, and that is when real changed happened.

After Luke was born several things happened when it comes to spirituality, well they still happen, and they are very strong at time. However, there are 2 big situations that brings a lot to my attention. First, one day I took Luke to a park where a group of kids from a church were there, and they were beyond nasty with Luke, talking about him, pointing, laughing to a point a parent came to take their kids from getting close to Luke. Second, was the Jehovah witness that knock on my door and try to lecture me about disease, and the devil. From that day and beyond I thought, I cannot let this happen with Luke.

So, I started to write and that is when all of this is coming from. Since I struggle with self-expression, I tried a few different approaches on how to pass my massage until, fatherhood rocks came to life. I decided to embrace myself and write about it with this blog, my e-magazine, my podcast and videos. Writing is a self-healing process that may or may not help other and may or may not make people uncomfortable since I talk about things that challenge the status quo. I always try not to be an asshole, but when you talk about things that challenge beliefs sometimes you will sound like an asshole, but oh well…

The funny thing is a lot of Iron maiden lyrics helped me understand and overcome a lot of those challenges, for example the song judgments of heaven, from the X factor album. I know I cannot change the world, but I can be the change I wish to see in the world, and this is what fatherhood rocks is all about.

Rock it,

Richard Wygand – A dad on a mission!

Here is the Iron Maiden song with lyrics is case you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TseKeYIKb2M

PicsArt_09-06-10.54.31

Iron Maiden

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2ah7g-bf2777

Fatherhood Rocks – Iron Maiden

In this podcast I share one of my favorite story from my childhood, it was the day I called the Pope an Asshole. I was about 7 to 8 years old, so I added the soundtrack from iron maiden (favorite band). 

There are 8 of my favorite songs from 1980 to 1990!

Rock it!

Richard Wygand – A Dad on a mission!

Join the Ganja Witness revolution: https://www.facebook.com/groups/494019488057475/?ref=group_browse

Fatherhood Rocks Manifesto

Growing up was kind of confusing because all I heard was “be yourself” however, being myself was not acceptable, in many ways. Did not matter which way you looked at it, society, family, or the religious way. Being myself was not “approved” and I needed to fit in in the status quo. So, I started to follow the same old story, go to school, get a job, and be unhappy behind a desk. This battle leads me to a dark place of depression, shame, and fear where I started to numb myself with drugs. The 3 worst drugs in the planet. I started to smoke cigarettes, excessively use of alcohol and food. One day I realized I was killing myself and I needed to do something, but I did not know what, since I was still confused.

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This is one of my favorite spots in the world. The arpoador Bowl in Rio de Janeiro Brasil, where I learned a lot about skateboarding. Can you see me? Hint: Orange helmet, and I was 10 years old.

I started to run to lose weight and I started to enjoy the physical pain of running hard and the mental battle that goes on during long distance running. I was enjoying the physical pain the mental battle, so I set the goal of doing an ironman. All the training with music (my biggest passion in life), the physical pain was making me feel good. I felt so good that I decided to make that my profession, why not?  Little by little I started to lean about myself more and started to uncover all that numbness. It was not easy, but felt good, and I started to see things differently. Until I started to realize that this path was not for me, but it was leading me in the right direction.

In the end of 2015, we got pregnant and that is when things started to make sense to me, for other seems like I am in a midlife crisis. Well, in fact I am in a middle life crisis. I am almost 40 years old (midlife), and life is a crisis. Well, the way I see it, life will be always challenging you, and those challenges generate crisis. For me crisis is just an opportunity to optimize yourself and grow.

I always believed in leading by example, and I believe that leading by example can change the world, just like one of my favorite quotes from Ghandi “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Well, while our pregnancy I questioned myself a lot in what kind of world, I want to leave for my son, and the answer is simple: A clean, peaceful world where people can be themselves free of  judgments. Because I truly believe we all got our light to shine, just like I explain in my kids book The Sun.PicsArt_09-06-10.54.31

My son shows me every day the true meaning of life, which made me a Dad on a mission. The mission is to show my son that he can be himself and in order to do that I need to set the example, so Fatherhood Rocks is just me expressing myself, being that change I wish to see in the world.  Because I believe we can stay true to ourselves, and that is the only way we can make the world a better place.

Embrace it, Face it, Rock it!

Richard Wygand

A case of the Mondays, Episode 6

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-dijy4-ba604a

A case of the mondays Episode 6.

I was actually debating posting about this topic, but then I did something that I always do: I stopped and asked myself, why not? So the answer was “Yeah let’s make everybody uncomfortable and talk about religion.” Is can’t be any more awkward than when people asked you: Do you have a minute to talk about Jesus? Like Jim Gaffigan comedian once said.

Well here it is. 

Rock on!

Richard Wygand – A Dad on a mission!

For those about the Rock – Episode 2

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3vyt3-b9d99c

Connecting with our kids is very important and the truth is the moms carry the baby for almost 10 months so they naturally get connect, while the Dads have to work to create a connection. In this Episode I give some tips on what I did to connect with my son, and we have a super strong bond.
For more check out my website: http://golukewygand.foundation
Rock on!
Richard Wygand – A Dad on a mission!
Soundtrack:
  1. The cure
  2. Puddle of mudd
  3. The offspring
  4. Linkin park
  5. Queens of Stone age

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