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Pat Dryburgh

Every week I listen to the latest episode before posting it to Hundred Down. Admittedly, our show isn’t particularly professional, but I do care that what is said on the show is—at the very least—tasteful.

A week ago, the guys and I recorded one of the most revealing episodes we’ve ever done. After recording it, I felt an intense inner pressure to protect myself from what was said. I didn’t want to hear it again. I didn’t want anyone else to hear it, either.

Usually when I talk about feeling down or being alone, I do so in a light-hearted way. Most of the time I feel pretty ok, and making a joke out of personal misery helps make it not seem so, well, miserable.

It took me an entire week to finally strike up the courage to listen to what we had recorded. But as I sat and listened to a guy break down, I felt comforted. It wasn’t that I looked down on the guy, but rather that I felt I wasn’t alone.

Now, of course I realized that this guy speaking to me through my earbuds was me, but the experience reminded me of two very important truths.

First: having some form of documentation of your pain to look back on allows you to realize that in life you are always moving forward. How you feel in any particular moment does not determine how you will feel in the future. As I sit here writing this today I feel so content, so genuinely happy, that I don’t recognize myself from even a week ago.

Second: other people in this world feel the same pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear that I have felt, and one of the best gifts I can give them is the comfort that they, too, aren’t alone in all of this.

To give you a sense of how strongly I agonized over this: I reached out to a few people I admire and asked what they felt about publishing something that was personally revealing for public consumption. The responses I got were both helpful and mixed. Were I to follow some of the advice I received I would not be writing this down and I would not be publishing the episode.

But as I listened again to the end of the show, I couldn’t help but wonder whether right in that moment, even if completely subconsciously, I could foresee the internal struggle I would face:

What I want to make clear is that I know I’m going to get into a funk again. I’m going to get into this place where it’s dark, and it’s gloomy. But in the meantime, I want to focus all of this time and all of this energy into putting together a survival kit.

This episode and the 27 that came before and the two or three dozen that come after will form the foundation of that survival kit. And my hope is that anyone who may be struggling with their own weight and/or self-image issues might find it a helpful tool in their kits, too.

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