“I’ve always been the type of person who had to keep their mind running at 110%”
I’ve had anxiety my entire life. Literally, as long as I can remember, back to my earliest childhood memories. I was never the type of kid who easily fit in to new groups or made friends easily. Those types of things were always a struggle for me and still are to this day.
I can remember back to Kindergarten at five-years old, bobbing for apples in class. While all the other kids were having fun, laughing, and enjoying it, I was a mess inside with this unknown feeling. An uneasy, unexplainable feeling like everyone was watching me or that I was doing something wrong. Yes, at five-years old.My entire life, I’ve constantly battled with keeping my head occupied, especially in a positive way. It’s extremely easy for me to get diverted onto a negative path of no return. I’ve always been the type of person who had to keep their mind running at 110%. Full steam ahead, always thinking, always turned “on”, all the time. Many times that can be a bad quality, but many times it can also be a good quality”.
In general, I’ve always found most artistic or creative personalities have this tendency of not being able to “turn off”, or simply relax and live in each moment. I used to paint houses after high school and I hated every single minute of it. Whether cutting in a corner or rolling out a wall, it was as monotonous as it gets. The entire time I’m doing this work, I’ve got other things happening upstairs. Song ideas, lyrics, melodies, jokes, screenplay ideas for movies, an endless flow of creative thoughts, while I’m painting a boring off-white wall for someone’s home.Having to get my thoughts and ideas out there, I taught myself photography over the years, I write and record my music, my guitar always sits next to me whenever I feel I’m headed somewhere mentally that I shouldn’t.
This has been my life for as long as I can remember. Non-stop action inside my head with no clear money making way to use it. Eventually I found myself on social media with these same problems. It was just me, throwing my music, my photography, my graphics out there, some of it serious, a lot of it just for laughs. But if someone got a kick out of something or enjoyed a tune, that made my day. That’s eventually how I stumbled upon Barry, Matt and then the whole “Outta The Park” group. I had always known Barry on television from The Jays games, like every other Jays fan did. But one day when something coincidently came across my feed, via a retweet, that said, “Barry Talks About Anxiety,” that caught my immediate attention. I still remember very clearly the “Episode 13” beside it as well. I watched the six or seven minute video and it was completely relatable to me.
Being the person that I’ve described above, I immediately unleashed my creativity on these guys. Photoshop pics, musical jingles, songs, but what brought me close was the common denominator of anxiety or similar issues, as well as their acceptance and appreciation for my ideas and work. Not all of them were great ideas, especially in the beginning, but they were honest with me and they welcomed me right from the start. There was no judgement or wondering, “What kind of person would do this?”, “He must be crazy!”, or maybe there was and I didn’t know about it. Either way, Barry and Matt have given me a place to let my imagination run wild. I let them take what they want to use, and for me it’s therapy. I get to occupy my mind with positive ideas, while contributing to a great show these guys have built from the ground up. Seeing the work that Barry and Matt put in every single day, recording the show, editing the show, cutting videos for the show, making promos for the show, finding sponsors for the show, finding guests for the show, it’s truly inspiring to be a part of this great group of people and the amazing work they are doing to get it out there for the fans.
Medicine Hat, Alberta