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  • Writer's pictureMarc Lalonde

Leaving space for myself

Penciling myself in

My mental health lately has caused me some concerns. I am not sleeping very well, my self-esteem was at an all-time low and I was morbidly, hopelessly depressed.

I was in a very dark place and I am starting to find my way out, thanks to some hard truths I was forced to accept about myself and my future.

Thanks to some supportive health professionals and healers I have found a brand-new perspective, and thanks to some wonderful people in my life who have loved and supported me throughout these times.

Many people who have stepped up to help have suggested a daily list of things I am grateful for, which has also helped re-direct my energy and allowed me to focus on me and my healing journey.

This week, I left myself an entire day off of no obligations. I slept as late as I pleased (but because I am old, I didn’t really sleep in THAT late. It was awesome. I let the energy of the day guide me and left space to just rest mindfully – and so far, so good. It’s been quiet and for the first time in years, I felt at peace.

I reiterate.

The first time in YEARS

That mindful rest flies in the face of the Protestant work ethic I have embraced all my life, which states ‘if you can walk, you should work,’ and that’s not served me well.

So, I’m penciling in days for ‘Marc’ and treating myself as I would a client. And that, so far, is making all the difference.

Re-filling my energy cup serves me, my loved ones and my clients. It’s something I have needed to do for a long, log time. But because my self-talk was so negative, I could never fully enjoy a rest period, because I would berate myself for doing so. The vicious cycle never ends.

My clients have been amazing and incredibly receptive to my gratitude, and I have a renewed sense of optimism about the years and months ahead.

Tomorrow, football practice will begin four nights a week for me, and three nights a week for my son.

I am grateful for football and to be able to coach these guys

As part of my daily gratitude list, I wanted to mention just HOW grateful I am for football and the opportunity to coach such outstanding young men in such a great environment.

I am grateful for Lakeshore football’s acceptance of my son and I as parts of the family.

I am grateful for Glen Cooper, whose outstanding attention to detail leaves me free to apply my energy and knowledge directly to the kids and to the task at hand.

I am grateful for Ted Stote, who has provided excellent leadership as a president and is a great friend, mentor and leader and coach in his own right.

I am grateful for my son, Cole, whose love of football has helped mine to grow and not wither and die like many other things I used to love seemed to have over the years as I lost my sense of self. His strength, his enthusiasm, his competitiveness and even his sensitivity have made me a better father and provided me with so much love and pride over the years.

I'm very grateful for this handsome fella

He is also one HELL of a football player

I am grateful for all the love and support I get from my family and my loved ones.

I am grateful to be able to coach football in such a great, competitive environment with such great young football players whom I genuinely love being around.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent time coaching with former Bishop’s University head coach Ian Breck, whose presence on our coaching staffs has been a godsend for his knowledge, his wisdom and his sense of humour.

Coach Breck has forgotten more about football than most of us know about it

I am grateful for Fred Thibault, who has become a friend and whose ability to analyze game tape, scour the internet for video and whose sense of humour never fails to make me laugh.

I’m grateful for Phil Leithead, who always gets my jokes and provides a supportive ear, shoulder and heart.

I am extremely grateful for Coach Phil's presence in my life

I am grateful to my clients, who support me and allow me to support myself – and without whom, I would just be a guy talking to no one in an empty gym. You all honour me with your efforts.

I am grateful for the greatest angel in my life. Period. You know who you are.

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I am super proud of you. Keep up the great work on yourself - you’re worth it!

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