Definition of dependable
: capable of being trusted, reliable, or depended on
When I was first diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19 it felt like my world had been completely rocked and sometimes even shattered. At the time my entire focus was on basketball and all I could think about was how my basketball career was never going to be the same. As days went by and the news settled in other fears reared their ugly head. The potential of death and the possibility of not having kids were just a couple of the negative thoughts that constantly creeped into my mind. I remember as my fear level was raising the support I had from people I knew and people I didn’t know helped to bring my thinking back to a state that was much more peaceful. While having this support was a huge blessing, it was often the letters, phone calls, and even meeting of people who had gone through similar battles that forced me to change my perspective and see things in a different light. I remember getting countless letters from individuals whom had cancer in the past and now were living life to the fullest, with kids, families, careers, and happiness. Because of an amazingly loving coach I was introduced to Mario Lemieux (for you non hockey fans he is arguably the best hockey player of all time and also a cancer survivor). When I met with Mario it was comforting that he had cancer and not only beat the cancer, but he came back and dominated his passion on the ice.
When we have our battles in life it can seem like we are all alone and fear can swarm our souls. There is a great power in sharing our story with others who are in need. I have said this before, but there isn’t anything we will go through in life that someone else hasn’t gone through and written about (in a book, letter, blog, social media post, etc.). While reading these stories can have a powerful impact on our mindset and our attitudes; meeting and speaking to someone who has gone through similar struggles can have a superhero type impact. I know when I met Mario and I spent time speaking with him about what he went through, I saw him in a different light. He was no longer this idol of a hockey player, but instead he was a person who had the same struggle as me and he came out on the side that was full of light.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet one of my ex players. He was a kid who had an extreme amount of talent and for some reason he was one of the players that I just bonded with the most. He was a great kid, but he was dealing with a lot of personal issues as a young man. Last week he sent me a message and out of the blue he shared a struggle he has had with depression that has caused other issues in his life. He had no idea (because he hasn’t read my blog), that I had been dealing with depression and that it took me to some very dark places. When we met up yesterday for lunch I told him my entire story. His response was:
“Wow, I always idolized you and thought you had everything in the world, I never would have imagined you were struggling like that.”
I immediately felt an amazing rush of energy come over me as I knew that while he might look at me a little differently than he did in the past, his vision of me is of someone he can now open up to without fear of judgement. My depression can serve a purpose and there was a reason why I dealt with it. My depression has led me to some dark places, but it also opened the door for me to find my faith, travel the world, and create an energy in my life that was missing. Now my depression can serve a purpose of helping someone that I care very much for.
Before I left we talked about the present and what we are going to do today to create the future that he wants. We spoke in detail about battling the depression and turning his past mistakes into positives in the future. I made a pact to be someone in his life that he can text, call, email, Facebook (you get the idea) whenever he feels he needs to talk.
Today, I decided that I was going to be a DEPENDABLE person in his life.
Read more about the 30 day challenge: “What is my 30 day challenge.”
30 Character Traits (in no particular order):
- Self- discipline
Honest / Transparent
- Open minded