Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

I Blog to Cope With My Life - And Sometimes I Can't Even Do That

I don’t know if you noticed or not, but my blog has been inconsistent. In February I only blogged twice. That never happens to me. Since starting this blog over three years ago I’ve only missed blogging once a week a couple of times.

I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this or not, but I blog for a very specific reason – to cope. If you are a long time reader of the blog then you’ve heard me talk about how much of a messy person I am. I’m not messy physically, but I am incredibly messy emotionally.

I’m passionate about everything. I cry. I yell. I want to save the world one minute and let it go the next. I’ve come to learn (thanks to a lot of hard work with my wife, counselor, and friends) that my messiness is a beautiful part of who I am. I’ll never be the guy that is stoic and quiet, I’m just not wired that way.

I’ve also learned that while my messiness is truly a gift from God, just like any gift if it goes unchecked it can become all consuming. My messy emotional tendencies, when not nurtured properly, will take over my life. Here is an example; if you come up and tell me that you have something you want to talk to me about later – I will freak out. I won’t freak out in front of you but if I don’t know what we are going to talk about I will start to fantasize about every possible outcome. The crazy part is that I’m a pretty imaginative guy, so by the time we actually have the conversation I’m already convinced that one of us is going to have to sacrifice their life so the other may live. It is pure madness. And it is absolutely me.

I blog to help me cope with my emotional tendency. I also read scripture daily, talk to my accountability partners, go the gym, and I intentional communicate with my wife. These are my coping skills that allow me to nurture my messiness in a way that prevents them from consuming me.

Sometimes, my “life” seems to get in the way of my coping skills. Have you ever experience that before? All of a sudden tasks and activities start swarming around and threaten to take over my existence.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been there. I’ve been in that place where work, school, and home seem to be getting in the way of my desire to do the stuff that I know will keep me healthy. When life gets like that for me I try to remember this:

All coping skills are not the same.

Some coping skills are more important to health than others. Actually, I rate them in order like this:

1. God time.

2. Karen time.

3. Gym time (at least 3x a week)

3. Friend time.

4. Blog time.

You may have noticed that gym and friend time is the same number, that’s because I go to the gym with a friend. That and I can always talk on the phone when I’m driving, so it becomes a non-issue around making that fit into my life.

Some of you may wonder where the kids fit into this equation, the reality is the kids are a huge part of my life. They demand my time, and I love giving it to them, but they don’t help me cope with “my” stuff. I don’t let the kids hear my emotional messiness too often, and I work hard at letting them be kids while I be the adult (I’m not even sure what “adult” means).

The reality is, while I love blogging, it is my least important coping mechanism. I enjoy it. I enjoy hearing from the people that read it, but when push comes to shove, if I had to let it go I would.

What I’m learning is that because all coping skills are not the same there have to be some coping skills I’m not willing to sacrifice. I won’t give up my God time, and I won’t give up my Karen time. Everything else is negotiable and while I know I run best with all four coping mechanisms firmly in place, without the first two – I will fail.

What coping mechanism are you not willing to give up? What keeps you healthy?

Does Your Passion Have Urgency?

Do Yourself a Favor: Visit Old Friends