• Nancy I. Bagley

Puke In The Bucket

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

My "ex-husband" has this uncanny ability to run from things that scare him (myself included). I've known this man for over 26 years and have heard all the stories of his dysfunctional family, relationships, and have witness a few other messed up things. Like the majority of people, he blames these situations for everything that has gone wrong in his life--from not going to music school to marrying his second wife. He takes no responsibility for his choices and plays the victim at full volume.

The last few years he has reached out to me while finally going through the divorce and the breakup of the "in-between" relationship he jumped into for fear of being alone. I can forget sometimes that there are people out there who do not know how to function being single. Even though I would like to re-marry someday, I'm okay in my own skin. Not him. He craves the validation of another and picks anyone who shows him a glimmer of recognition. He has this way about him that picks people who are more damaged than himself and tries to save them by thinking they are better off being with him loving them. When the bottom drops out, he's left back in the victim mentality.

The majority of his issues lay with fear being the contributing factor for not moving forward. Like many people, he remains in toxic relationships--employment and environment included--due to his fear of the unknown. I get that, but I have learned that one must push through the fear and not let the enemy defeat you by using it. He's not there yet. He still lets his past failures and former conversations with others control his life. Sound familiar?

While describing the fears he still has, all I could think of was when he used to sit in the bedroom for hours playing his guitar in front of his mirror. All that talent being heard by no one but myself, our children, and the neighbors. Finally he was able to get the courage to play in a band every weekend. I reminded him of this and asked him how he felt right before the first time he went on stage. He stated he was afraid and puked in a bucket the first three shows before getting on stage. Next I asked him how he felt afterwards as he was walking on the stage. Again--fearful. Then I asked him how long it took him to get over that fear once he was in front of the audience. He said, "Right after I played the first note". He has a few YouTube videos now, but lately he's let his writing and playing sit back on the shelf. What a waste of talent!

Taking on new tasks and change can be very frightening at first. Whether it's ending a relationship, taking on a new career, or relocating to a new environment, people can get caught up with the "what if I fail" syndrome. In my profession we see a lot of "play it safe" people. For some that might be a good idea. For others it's more of a stifling fear that has the appearance of playing it safe. My ex falls in the the latter category--as do many of you reading this. I get it, I've been there. What would've happened when you were learning to walk (or ride a bike) and decided to give up after you fell? You would still be dependent on others to carry you. I think that's where most mindset still are and will remain unless you step out on faith and change your story.

Now I'm pretty sure my ex is not going to take all my advice (if any), but hopefully someone reading this got their "ah-ha" moment and decides to "puke in the bucket, get on stage, and play their first note".

When you're ready, I'll help you get started.

Recommended READING: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

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