My name is Kim Johnson and I am a recovering addict…of negativity.

Read Along:

This is vlog day 3 [technical difficulties with the video again, sorry].

“Thanks for tuning in again for hearing me out about my experience and just being human being coming to terms with the fact that I was a silly ass human being for most of my 20s and I can laugh about it now and I find that refreshing. Um..Here’s a picture of me when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I was that outdoorsy, head in a book, do chalk outside, rollerblade, bicycle kind of kid and I did very solitary activities. As a kid, we don’t judge ourselves for some things like that we don’t go, ‘Well, you know probably socialize a little bit and probably should get, you know, get out into the world and mingle with more people.’ You don’t have those kind of thoughts nor do we think what might be a disadvantage of developing that kind of a pattern, that lifestyle later on for when we’re older. I know I’ve heard time and time again, ‘Humans are social creatures.’

Well, yeah but that only works if everyone wants *laughs* to be social. So, Um..In my twenties, it was very textbook. Like, self-care was very textbook to me because I didn’t grow up with my parents weren’t like, ‘Alright, time to go do art now so we can express ourselves or let’s talk and have family time, play games together, go out into the community, do some community service, I didn’t grow up with religion as part of my life and community, not really. All my relatives were out of state for the most part: out of City, out-of-state, out of mind, out of country. So, when I graduated from college these thoughts bombarded me of, ‘Oh, I should be exercising, I should be taking care of my body now, I should be eating right, I should be finding a career based off of my degree. All of these shoulds started piling up and then in the meantime I’m one stroke away from having a mental breakdown about something that I didn’t even know existed which was my mental health which is part of my health. *laughs* So, for years, for years I was struggling just as a person.

I didn’t know how to feel, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know how to engage in a conversation where I could enrich someone’s day rather than bring it down. I struggled. And now I have this opportunity to reflect on those things. This is what this blog is about. It’s about reflecting on my experience as a human being. What is happening [got distracted by something else]. My experience as a human being. Has been, honestly a comedy. Like, a dark comedy. Can’t tell you how many times I got in my own fucking way.

I really got in my own way more times than I can count… I’d probably be a trillionaire if that was my livelihood –getting in my own way. I mention cognitive dissonance in a former vlog and basically what that means is you have this paradigm, this belief that you’re just holding on with for dear life like, ‘This is, this is it, this is the truth, this is fact, this is what I believe in.’ If something comes up and challenges that belief, that conviction, that Paradigm…if something comes up and whether it’s through *laughs* what are the other.. if it comes up to you in the form of a book, if it comes up to you in the form of meeting, um, meeting another person that just views the world in a different way than you, it’s somehow automatically threatening and in order for your mindset to change or shift or you know open capacity to something more before you even can*snaps fingers* you instinctively, knee-jerk pull away, box-off, cut-off, block-off, you create a barrier between you and a completely different way of looking at a situation.

That’s a low level of self-awareness. That’s what I experienced. I’m not trying to call anyone out but hey if it resonates with you, you might want to listen. A low level of self-awareness which is strong ego meaning me, me, me, I, I, I,  the world is centralized around me and if I don’t feel good and if I’m not taking care of myself and it’s, I’m here because this is who I am and it’s everyone else’s fault the world, that’s literally the strong part of the ego and by strong that means that it is… how do you how do you say… a strong ego essentially means your point of, um,  your ability to see things is very narrow.

And again, not good or bad… there’s no judgment here. Truly, I mean it. All it is is that you see less. I mean naturally, if you believe that everything in the world is blue and that’s your belief, you’re pretty much going to pick out only blue things. If you’re single and you don’t like being single you’re going to pick out seeing couples everywhere. If you are… if you don’t like Twilight, sorry, if you don’t like Twilight you’re going to deliberately find Twilight things and just think that it’s the bigger more dominant force and that’s what came up a lot when I was going through my experience as a human being.

Confirming. So there is confirmation bias too, when you see things around you it confirms when things unravel and go a certain way and you predicting this self-fulfilling prophecy, you pretty much proved yourself right because you filtered the world to fit your point-of-view. 

This comes up a lot in my work as not, not just as a life coach but also in my raising awareness to suicide first aid, Suicide Prevention. What is suicide prevention? A lot of people have a lot of ideas of both things: what life coaching is and what is suicide first aid and suicide prevention is and they also have a lot of ideas about what energy leadership is which is pretty much self-awareness and all of these things are tools.

I’m not coming in and saying I’m better than anyone. These are tools. Tools I wish I had 10 years ago. Tools I wish I could have shared with others 10 years ago and I just fixate on 10 because decade. That’s a lot of opportunity and a lot of cycles in life that you could have gone through. And that’s another thing that came up. Another thing that came up throughout my experience as a human being was obligation. Obligated to everyone and everything.

Expectation. I felt a lot of expectation from everyone and everything to be someone I wasn’t, to do things I didn’t want to do to make a ripple effect where I just didn’t feel like I wanted to be. An obligation. Obligation to others’ ideas, obligation to others’ visions for the world, obligation to family, obligation to friends and just because we have done something in the past or were with someone in the past or perform this way at a job in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be the same way now or in the future. So that’s something that I puzzled over and mulled over and ruminated over for a long time.

Eventually all of it did diffuse my anger but then what came into play after that was rationalizing. I rationalized a lot of stuff going on. I tried to dig into my past to, to validate what was going on to reassure myself that I was doing everything I could. And that worked, until it didn’t. *laughs*

Rationalizing is what addicts do. And I was addicted to negativity. Rationalizing keeps you complacent or content in a way where the situation is not improving. When you want to…let’s limit it to me.When I wanted to improve the situation, I felt resistance from everyone and everything. Me wanting to improve a situation for myself doesn’t mean I don’t care about other people, it doesn’t mean that I’m judging other people and it doesn’t mean that I’m rejecting another person’s way of life.. it just means I want to improve my situation.

And I think a lot of us get stuck and I certainly did get stuck, from improving our situations because we feel obligated because we feel like all these expectations are something we need to check off and fill. Why? Where does that even come from? I know it came from society, upbringing, for me, that I would be a bad person or a failure or weak or careless, heartless, if I sought to improve my situations.

It’s laughable now. It really is.

We can’t control anyone’s expectations of us, anyone’s obligatory mindset of what we are supposed to be doing, should be doing, could be doing, ought to be doing. I was taking all of that on. I thought I was supposed to be doing those things, I thought I was supposed to be acquiescing to others’ demands and requests, expectations and obligations of me. And then I just I think after that then it then I fall back into and spiral back into victim mode…the strongest level of ego possible is blaming everyone and everything for where I was and what I was doing in my life.

I share my story…in detail because I think ailments of the mind aren’t ailments. It’s an experience. We are experiencing our health, we are experiencing menta,l we are experiencing the world and when we experience the world a lot of that is something we can’t put our finger on and if we can’t put her finger on it, how on Earth are we supposed to maneuver our way in the direction that feels like the situation is improving.

So, question… there are, in any situation there are five things you could be doing and this is something that I use all the time with my clients and with myself all the time. There’s five things you could be doing when something happens and as, not, and not as planned:

you can do nothing and hope and wish the situation changes itself,

Could try to change something in the situation, outside of you,

you could change the way you view the situation,

you can accept the situation,

or you can leave the situation.

So, it all depends on what you feel resonates with you in the moment. What of those 5 things can you do and if you haven’t tried one of those things, humour me here, maybe trying something different is just what the doctor ordered. I’m not a doctor, by the way.

But I do encourage you to get your head out of your ass. No one’s going to do the work for you. What can you do differently?

Shake things up. Disrupt your life. If you are refusing and resisting at every corner…from people outside of you or not trying anything new…nothing, nothing is going to change. Nothing’s going to improve, you’re going to stay stuck, just as I did.. fulfilling all these obligations that you didn’t ask for, striving every single day to meet expectations that were placed upon you and you didn’t ask for and you’re basically going to be a puppet to everyone and everything around you until you figure this out. What do you want?

The conversation is going to keep popping up in every aspect of your life until until you face it. That’s what happened for me and that’s what happens for I, I fail to think of a human being that is, that is exempt from this experience in life, of responsibility or victim. You can take responsibility or you can be a victim. What is it going to be? And how are you going to be held accountable for something like that?

I do have this phenomenal retreat where I take people that, that are really good at hiding. Just want all the pain to go away, all the overwhelming to stop, struggling to face the past, really challenged with how to let go of regret and guilt and burnout and loss and pain: addiction is real and if that’s something you wish to improve then you *laughs* you’re someone I definitely want to meet.

There’s a retreat that I’m holding it’s at the end of this month: it is June 27th to the 28th. I believe… June 27th and 28th, where you will be around other people just like you, keeping you accountable to the improvements you want in your life. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your life even if it means challenging who you once were and challenging the notion of you are who you are. I’m challenging you just as I wish someone had challenged me. Where would I be, if I had someone like me, with this notion, and guts, guts to say, ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Who makes.. how, how is it okay for you to be your own bully? Is that okay? No. Maybe it is. Again, it’s up to you to decide. Truly..”

Curious to learn more about the retreat I am hosting? Hear about James Edgar Skye’s experience. 

Kim Johnson
Thought Founder of Grounds For Clarity, LLC