If you know me, or have seen my social media, then you know that the phrase Positive Vibes is plastered all over everything that I do. I often hear questions and comments on being positive. Things like, “You’re always so positive” or “It’s ok to not always be positive”. I agree. Because of these comments I want to explain what Positive Vibes means to me.
I was 24 years old and a newlywed. I had found my person, or so I thought. On one particular day, I was coaching a volleyball tournament and my (now ex) wife walked into the gym to watch and support. Between games she took me outside and said, “When you get home I won’t be there. All my stuff will be gone.” I felt blindsided, shocked, and heartbroken. Many questions started to go through my head. I felt so sad and angry. When I got home, she wasn’t there. I tried to work things out with her any way I knew how to but it just wasn’t going to happen. This future that I had envisioned was completely gone and there was nothing I could do. This reality was out of my control.
After a month of grieving, I woke up one morning and had a life altering realization; "My situation isn’t changing. She’s gone and it’s over. This is my new reality. I now have two choices: 1) play the victim from this situation and let it make me miserable for years to come. 2) I can accept my divorce, heal from the pain, and make the best out of it every single day."
I chose option two.
Now, this didn’t mean that everything was great and that there weren’t hard times. Cause let me tell you, there were many difficult moments and emotions I still had to work through. It just meant that I was able to start working through and moving on from this hard experience. I was starting the process of learning from it, allowing myself to work through complex emotions, and move through the phases of healing and growth instead of dwelling in pain and negativity. And honestly, this whole experience was one of the greatest trials of my life.
I came across the Positive Vibes brand a couple of years ago and their message completely resonated with me.
Matt Bahnick, the founder of The Positive Vibe Movement, is a baseball player who has struggled with mental illness for the majority of his life; most notably, with OCD, which has led to other mental illnesses.
So many people suffer from mental illness and, unfortunately, many are silent sufferers because it has historically been perceived as a weakness. One in four people deal with some kind of mental illness. Chances are you know one or more people who are suffering from mental illness and you have no idea. How can we change that Narrative?
Here’s a start.
Matt started The Positive Vibe Movement to help change the stigma around mental illness and mental health. Although the brand is titled Positive Vibes, Matt’s message is not about focusing on positive things and forgetting the hardships, the trials, and the darkest of times but to be present in those moments when life is hard. A positive movement is to acknowledge those complex feelings, allow yourself to feel hurt, and to not be okay. It is important to heal through the darkness.
You are not alone! You can and will heal. Things will/do get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. That could be in the form of therapy/coaching, medication, or even a hospital visit. Sometimes it's setting up personal boundaries or exercising everyday as an outlet. Healing can come in many different ways. Whatever you’re going through, you’re not alone!
Simone Biles is an excellent example of promoting the importance of mental health. I've seen people say she quit on her country for dropping out of the gymnastics competition at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. These people are putting the potential of winning a medal above her mental health. Think of the stage she is on and how much strength it took to put her mental health first despite the pressures of the world. Simone made the right decision for herself. She realized that it is "ok to not be ok", which is setting a great example for so many people.
This message is why I choose to represent this Positive Vibes brand. It's why I wear the hat, the t-shirt, the wristband (sometimes at the same time). It's why it is on every single one of my posts. If there is someone out there going through something and I can help them see the light by simply wearing a logo or posting on social media, then yes, I’m going to do that.
I’ve been in those dark places. I know what it feels like. It’s not easy and sometimes it's down right scary. When you are there, you're unsure of how to get out and having people (friends, family, professionals) tell you what you need to be better can sometimes make it worse. People need to know that they are enough while they are healing.
So, to me, Positive Vibes isn’t just a brand. It isn’t just two words. It isn’t just thinking good thoughts. It truly is a lifestyle. One that is understanding, one that is about progression, and one that sends out love to all.
It’s All Love. Positive Vibes.