How a Tough Guy Deals with Anxiety

hi you guys so today we're doing a video I've got special guests in house Bob and we're talking about men with anxiety I personally wanted to do this and I was so grateful to Bob Greene because there's a great deal of men in our society of all ages that suffer with anxiety and unfortunately what I've seen here at modern stage with clients and so forth is a lot of men not only don't know how to deal with anxiety but they've dealt with a lot of shame and misconception and pressure and all kinds of things that keep them from seeking the help that they need and so Bob actually reached out to me on Facebook we don't know each other at all this first time we've ever met but he reached out to me on Facebook talking about just some of the work that he saw me doing on videos and so forth and he inspired a little paragraph in my new book about men and anxiety I don't think I told you that yet yeah so tell us what your story is well well my story of anxiety goes back I guess the early second identify was when I graduated college about 25 years ago and I kind of felt like this whole world was out there waiting for me that I wasn't really ready for and I was kind of struggling to find my place in it and I suppose I always had it but that was the first time that I was able to kind of identify what wasn't that you identified I guess from now what I understand to be generalized anxiety symptoms nervousness you know the budding panic disorder kind of just this state of kind of heightened anxiety all the time you know and it'd be you know 25 years ago with the information that we have now wasn't really kind of readily available is to me so there was kind of a lot of explore and exploring on my part trying to kind of identify know you know a lot of being rushed to the ER and thinking that you have a heart condition or something and you know and the word anxiety was never even mentioned to me so in your family I'm gonna ask your family no one talked about anxiety absolutely not given no looking back now yeah well what I loved about his original Facebook message to me it was like you for how you framed it you know I'm a tough guy from New Jersey like typical guy I guess guy right and you had this pretty much your whole life yes and it's overwhelming it's scary and you don't have any framework about what it is it can feel like something completely wrong yeah and that's what it feel like you can't talk about it cuz you're the top guy well yeah and you know you have to keep up this this persona and honestly I didn't know it anyway so it's not like I it's not what I am even identified it was hiding and I just I mean know what it was either you know so I just kind of assumed that maybe I'm just wired a little bit differently or you know just something you know kind of just stuck with you know well so how does it play out though in your life then you said you first realized there's gonna here 25 how bad it got back you know I lost what I considered to be probably the best years that should have been the best years of my life my twenties in my 30s I would say you loved what I mean like I guess yeah I would only go to what I consider to be safe places see say people my world just started getting smaller and smaller and my circle of people started dwindling I fell behind my peers you know financially professionally in relationship wise and I just kind of felt like I've dug myself a hole that you know this thing I've gotta still trying together you know I realize now that I was suffering needlessly and I just wished that the information is so readily available I was why I wish I had access to it back then yeah you know when I kinda had to do a lot of searching for answers and how to do a lot of work really she's trying to identify what it was and so I mean the things I do though what did you think you if you go to tells you got alcohol did you go to Saks when you go to you leave some of that anything anything that I could to escape including all the things that you mentioned but a collector also included traditional therapy you know therapy and medication and lots of alcohol that's prescription it works really the symptoms yes well I in general but before I do you know I want to hear from you like what is the feeling like the shame in particular I'm sure for embarrassment or a feeling less than what what came up for you as a man with your family or your current or a girlfriend or whatever yelling when having such a condition you know it's it was it was rough because you know i I've always presented the general appearance of love someone who's you know tough that even though I don't consider myself to be but I have that and I used it to you know and I would be working as a bouncer and while I'm having this anxiety I would think um I'm the most beautiful person in this place I'm afraid of everything you know so that brought a lot of shame I felt like I was kind of living a lie even once I identify what it was I was still ashamed to talk about it because it made me feel weak you know it made me feel like I can't handle life essentially you know because there was nothing that nothing tangible that I could put my finger on and say this is what's wrong you know so it would be hard to get people to kind of relate or understand it wasn't until I started meeting people you don't believe it or not make movies and like analyze this when that came out and then the Sopranos came out you started to see these these strong well you know figures who had these you know disorders and and it became kind of a topic of conversation and some of the shame you know kind of went away a little bit and I worked with great therapists through the years that have been very instrumental with helping me kind of get past get past that and I realize now it's really nothing to be ashamed of no it's not like I said at the beginning men have a lot of miniatures that I think a lot of us don't understand even other men you know look at another man and there was some understanding but there's not a lot of discussion about the pressure to provide pressure to perform both at home and your job that's a lot of pressure sure man you know there's emotional pressure from feelings that you have when your little boy that you weren't taught how to deal with and now you're suffering with a lot of emotions that get trapped inside control and then everyday pressures that we all face but it's there they are different in some ways and women face and it doesn't get enough air time so that's why I'm really glad you're here so you still you said you still have some underlying anxiety are you that's been helpful but I found the most helpful thing that I've done it really is just engrossed myself in as much knowledge as I can about the disorder I really feel like knowledge about it is really there the best way to kind of you know learning to live with it developing skills and tools to you know kind of cope you know I kind of feel like it's not something that I'll ever feel like I've mastered or have defeated but you know so I'm gonna ask you a personal question when you think of the anxiety that you have where does it live 90% but I would say is my upper back my neck but when you feel it coming it starts coming in internally where do you feel it is it a stomach thing is it a mind thing like what triggers the initial anxiety like even going back to when you're a bouncer in the bar you're saying there is it these people don't know me I don't feel safe is a thought process can you have you ever been able to think through exactly I thought of course I thought about I've never really been able to kind of pinpoint it exactly I think most of it kind of curse we're not just feel oh you have a place or outside of my comfort zone so that's why I'm one of the things that I've tried to do is to purposely do things like this which is completely outside of my comfort zone that's where I was from something like this we've never been hurt over there when I sit where I'm from I'm only from the next town over but different planet especially forty years ago yeah you know the things that I do my father would you know he's roaming over this great you know to to hear his son talking about things like this and to you know just to be in a setting like this is you know so far to me but I kind of feel like it's really he was but you know I recognized now he must have suffered the same types of things because he was a quiet person he's in it he would internalize everything and if I would go to him with a problem it would be his problem so that kind of I'm kind of suspended my growth a little bit in a loving way he did it you know but he was the person that I would go to with my issues so I kind of didn't develop certain life skills you know reasonable calm reasonable expectations I was the first person to ever graduate from college of my entire family I think I might still be with the exception of like what maybe he's so kind of the things that I could always seem to be good enough because compared to everyone else I was driving but really I wasn't accomplishing anything you know I was just doing you know but you know and you could say that our shelter but in a loving way and I appreciated it and you know looking back you know I recognize that it comes from a good place but it also did kind of stunt my growth in that way so what I was faced with certain decisions and life kind of you know offense I probably wasn't as prepared as I could have been age wise yeah so so one of the things I do when I work with people is I believe in particular with anxiety or a lot of the other presenting symptoms of emotional disorders for mental disorders that there are emotions unresolved underneath and it's very hard to get down into what the truth of what's going on is and I'm not saying it's your father or your mother anybody in fact I'm not into the blame game at all but just listening to talk about your father I hear a lot of respect I hear a lot of compassion I hear that you've done a lot of work over the years trying to understand him better and effort to also understand yourself better yeah I also hear a little tinge of maybe feeling like we didn't measure up in some way to make them happy or you ever make yourself like there's like it's just not like not good enough I think which a lot of kids you know it's very common yeah I think I had certain expectations of myself I don't think they would necessarily you know I expect them to be successful in some type of business I expected to be you know financially successful like like I said I'd like to college that was unheard of I kind of put myself in position to succeed and counselor I'm on the right path I feel like I'm finally doing what you had kind of a plan judgment plan set up in your head like a lot of us also dude what we're supposed to be in some ways you know I feel like I'm successful at things that are the most important to me which is like relationship wise I have a great wife and two great kids and I have a great family a great friends like those things I've always felt but other things you know I've always felt like like like limit yourself because what limited yourself from succeeding in that way that you think I think it's all kind of part of the old kind of anxiety depression thing you know I think that my anxiety was well it was debilitating it also gave me an excuse to not really push myself to do the things that I probably needed to do I kind of hid behind it for a lot of years especially when I didn't really understand what it was yeah so you know in those ways yeah I'm a little bit disappointed with myself um but I kind of forgive myself for it because I understand it is part of the disorder recognize it now I feel like I'm doing everything everything I can to kind of put myself in the best position yeah that's great I think you're onto something when you're talking about I totally believe that agree with it is a disorder and it becomes there's varying degrees over for different people I also believe that you don't have to suffer with anxiety for the rest of your life I think sometimes we give a label that resonates with us and then we go that I have that that has me yes and now identifies that and kind of from there forward you'll always be whatever that is yeah but when you said that you hid behind it you know and that's that's the key to me is like and I'm not trying to solve all your problems right now but for a lot of people when we can just understand for like when you can identify what it is you're hiding behind which typically is some kind of fear of something fear of not being good enough fear of not succeeding not succeeding it starts to fall into the self-worth stuff starts bombs changing so then when we get an emotion that alters us in some way then it just almost kind of solidifies that view point that we have of ourselves yes Oh see I must still not be good enough I'm not gonna be able to be good enough because so I think meditation is wonderful for you if you don't mind I would like to do a little chakra reading okay I wanted to show people what that's about but basically I do this this is a pendulum have you ever seen one of these okay I use this because it's hard for people to see with the hand the pendulum will actually move and I do it because the chakras are important it's almost like like a guide to show me where energy is moving and off and how it moves and what's going on that area kind of signifies different things that might be at play both emotionally mentally physically spiritually how it's got stuff cuz it all works together alright are you familiar no mindfulness and meditation as someone familiar with the chakras I've never done anything quite like this when I'm looking forward to okay good it is useful information a lot of people think oh how can you know how can that tell anything well your body just like when you go to a doctor you're the doctor and looks inside your body and sees what's off what's on what's you know functioning well it's not and we are energy no one can deny that now and the energy is a reflection of our physical and our emotional because it's the energy that is basically surrounds our being and we maneuver with it and through it so as things affect us it affects our energy our emotions our physical body and our and in our spirit this is what stresses so many things so when energy is not moving in a particularly healthy way or if it's stagnant or block or if it's in balance and it's hard to describe how to see how long that's been going on but sometimes there's a pattern and then let's say for example it was at your solar plexus which is around here stomach here I think – there might be go on something on the root chakra that's where a lot of fear-based things live right so there's different emotions and characteristics that associate just like with acupuncture or with chiropractic you know this the nerves and the spine go to different parts of your body the same is true with the energy center it coordinates and kind of goes with different parts of who you are and that gives that information so we're just going to do this and see what what shows up now I'll just ask you to relax your hands down to your sides and just relax just let your hands hang yeah you can close your eyes it doesn't matter I'm just gonna go to this side so you can see with the camera so basically I'm gonna start your head and then I'll go to your third eye your throat your heart your solar plexus your sacral and then your root chakra and you're not gonna be able to see those unfortunate but I'll say what's going on okay I'll tell you kind of as I'm done it takes just a minute let me get in the sink here yeah you just relax you can't change anything now anyway locked in okay so here we have a positive open emotion maybe because of his meditation practice this is the crown chakra and it connects us to our source energy through prayer lives through communication through feeling connected to a higher power and we have an open energy there and now we're gonna move along to the brow chakra here actually very open brow chakra as well the brow chakra is those with intuition and our listening wisdom also could be attributed to openness to the meditation trusting I'll touch your head back just a little bit hi customer we're in here doing a quick video I'll be there in a minute okay mmm-hmm root chakra checker got so good open movement now this is about expressing yourself obviously all these areas also of correspond to a physical aspect so if there was an imbalance that it might show where a physical imbalance might might be actually there's a little bit of an imbalance going on here me first chakra as I stay here into the heart area here right you open it was wide opening in 2010 oh boy what's its healthy functioning now success yeah and emotionally you have open heart and then we're down into the solar plexus area now so I don't know if you can see on the camera or not but this is swinging a little bit similarly to the throat chakra which is it's not blocked it's not stagnant it's not there's not like a nervous disorder or anything here but there's a little bit of an imbalance so so far we have the throat in the solar plexus and as you see it's trying to slow it down even so there's a slower imbalance energy here it's hard to make growth seems open good week so that would say that this signifies the way that this is feeling and just intuitively to me more of a physical thing about functioning and this area we talked about the root chakra goes straight down as opposed to out from your body it goes down and here's where as you see we have a different kind of movement and it's pretty much coming to I slowed down okay so the root is the main issue of thank you to hunting you can be where the root is the main issue of imbalance that I see but the solar plexus in the truck and what here's what this make sure the root chakra like I said has to do fear root issue of fear feeling safe feeling connected here physically sometimes we feel this way if you're not exercising a mask or not out of nature on that we're not connected you know to other people and feeling like you know just safe wherever we go and I use that word safe in a real way but also in a personal do you relate with that okay so that would be your focus of even in your meditation bringing energy down rooting into the feeling grounded here feeling part of the intrinsic nature of what's going on here I think you have a tendency to look kind of hard absolutely you have a big heart love and spiritual kind of understanding and you almost feel more comfortable here which is unusual for a guy like you because like you say you're kind of like and you're and you're a big guy sometimes physically we would think the opposite because you're like you know yeah I'm gonna grab it but that's not your nature your nature is more my heart yeah yeah I mean I'm talking very very so your solar plexus is about your willpower the self determination who you are what you do day to day your work or your how you presents and it often has to do with our work and the emotion has to do with shame that's why was getting it originally you know I I would have to work with you a little bit more but I think down underneath something there's a little bit of shame maybe even connected I know this sounds harsh I'm not saying this is way that's for you but some people feel kind of like they're not even supposed to be here you know like this hard time to just be alive you know and not that not that you want to offer yourself or anything like that you know I'm not going there but it's just like a feeling of and my worth that's or what is this place you know just a disconnected feeling generally no and so sometimes it's triggered by the shame and some that directly reflects to the throat area of expressing your true self I think you're doing a good job doing a better job we probably ever have in your life of expressing yourself your feelings so forth but there's yeah I know you're trying that's beautiful but there's still some energy that's like you know wants to escape into the surface really yes so that would be the third kind of to me when I might read your energy it's definitely getting rude and grounding and doing that feeling fear and safety and then has associates with either what you're doing with your life or any kind of shame or self-worth issue that's and that's what I'm saying is it's like the deepest you know takes a very long time and then also practicing expressing who you are your value your truth your integrity your honesty to yourself as much as anyone else so it's a lot of self messaging that we say in our quiet times you know not reinforcing negative and not just saying positive affirmations that saying the truth it's very important when you aren't speaking your truth even if the truth is scary sometimes then it has a tendency it's like traps at the bottom that get traps that other energies what we want is we want the flow we want the constant flow just like in our physical body like the blood and the nerves and the oxygen everything moving through it's the same thing in our energy fields and it's the same thing with our emotional body so what happens a lot of times is when we get that little uncomfortable part of shame or self-worth or embarrassed matter whatever the feeling is it usually starts at a young age then we start tiptoeing around it and trying to put it in the closet and you hide it and not want to access it and not want attention and then we start manipulating our energy and then we are not speaking our truth because especially for men in this situation but for all people it is very difficult to say how you feel who you are what you need and expressing it even if it's just to ourselves I feel right now this is what I'm dealing with and expressing it away where it brings you no validity because it's your truth you know so those are those are the three areas now with the I think I mentioned the sacral just a little bit I'm one of the obviously I talk to my book a lot and with clients a lot about just physical health because you know like balance and all things brings harmony you know so we don't have to get into your personal health right now or whatever but you know just make sure that she is functioning well like the digestive system elimination organs the sexual reproductive organs all those kinds of things because again that's holding energy emotional energy mental and physical energy that's trying to move and have a balanced flow you know and when that's happening it also assists the whole energy pattern well that's what happens right that's what I always tell people don't have someone else and you're gonna be the one to get yeah do you have any thoughts about just the most important thing that could recommend is to educate yourself on the on the disorder to understand that there's nothing wrong with you it's completely normal it's it's something that you don't have to suffer with and help us out there and it's easy to find the research get a good therapist and there's traditionally it's not traditional ways to do it and everybody else is different so I encourage you all to to find out what's the best path to your recovery


  1. Well done…good on you , Bob the Bouncer, for stepping up , and Seeking emotional/mental health support connection , with Leah.
    Leah is a good interrogation therapist.
    Camera man , needs to stay behind the camera… to distracting with the camera movement.

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