How to Get Over a Toxic Past

Growing up the way you did may have set you down the wrong path before you knew there were any alternatives. For those looking to turn things around and course correct the direction of their life, this piece is for you.

I did not have what you’d call the most optimal of childhoods; there were serious traumas dealt my way before I knew how to spell “T-R-A-U-M-A”. It should not come as any surprise that I dealt with anger, addiction, and dark episodes of depression.

Yet, at 33 I’m self-employed, helping thousands of men across the globe, and leading a campaign to bring peace and connection back to the family unit.

How does a child of suicide turn into a champion of family values?

I dealt with my past and made the choice to take charge of the direction of my life and you can too.

Addiction Caused By Childhood Trauma

I recently read an article written by Anthony Migliorino of Peaceful Fathers and in it he said,

We see addiction taking hold of people’s lives through alcohol, drugs, porn, working, gambling, and anything able to fill the emptiness from the outside. There is a constant effort to reduce and control these symptoms.

Restriction cannot cure the addiction by limiting the substance or problem. Some things need to be confronted and achieved to heal from traumas inflicted upon us as children.

For a long time, there has been an effort to see addiction as something wrong with the person. They are a failure, they are showing weakness, or they somehow need to harness some willpower and make better choices. This collective mindset that there is something wrong with you is manifested during childhood.

– Preventing Addiction with Peaceful Parenting

This point that we focus on addressing symptoms and overlook the cause in the process really hit the nail on the head and highlights the fact that many adults are suffering from preventable pain.

Preventable in two ways:

  1. Preventable in that, if parents invested the time and energy in raising their children with love, compassion, and intentional dedication to maintaining values and morals there wouldn’t be a huge gap in their soul they need to fill with anesthetics.
  2. Preventable in that, if we focused on treating the cause, the struggle would begin to subside instead of continuing for decades. Facing the issues of your past instead of fighting the urges to numb the pain would allow real healing to occur instead of slapping a Band-Aid on the issue.

People have told you you’re a broken toy for your entire life and the truth of the matter is, you aren’t running towards alcohol, sugar, porn, or pills because there’s something wrong with you, you’re turning to those comforts because they provide relief from whatever it is you’re running from.

What you’re running from is the real problem and that very well may be that your parents had a problem and they caused this rift within who it is you are.

there’s no need to continue to beat yourself up because of your addictions, let’s stop with that because it does not do anyone any good, especially you. Let’s instead turn your attention towards what caused you this pain you need to numb.

Let’s look at your childhood and the events which played out and the approach your parents took and how they impacted you.

I recorded this Podcast with Anthony where we dive even deeper into these issues (I really laid into him on some of them) and Anthony, after having done years and years of research brings some unique and solid insights to the table to help people begin the process of turning things around.


The Family Alpha Podcast: Ep. 131: Can A Bad Childhood Cause Addiction? with Guest Anthony Migliorino


How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

One of the biggest problems I see since getting active on Social Media is that 99% of people are sharing a highlight reel which is complete bullshit.

They share the photos of the happy family, consumables, vacations, and events which leaves others feeling like, I don’t have any of that or they take the other angle of, I need to keep up with that to be content.

Both are false and toxic approaches to take in life, you need to be better than chasing someone else’s façade.

you may not have come from the best of backgrounds, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t change you present and future situation. that will only happen if you choose to eliminate any desire to appear successful and instead take the path of truly becoming successful.

Don’t look happy for the world, be happy for yourself.

This is an area where I thrive, I share my flaws and features with the world, in fact I share more failures than I do wins for the sake of not falling into the trap I shared above, I don’t want you to think I’m happy, I want you to know it by sharing the full story and not just the good moments.

I’ve shared my mother’s suicide, growing up situations, relationship issues, addiction struggles, etc. I’m like Eminem in 8 Mile, I share all the bullshit so you don’t have any ammo against me, but it also serves as an example that, Who you were does not dictate who you can become.

Step back and own your situation.

Look at where you are and start taking consistent actions to get you to where you want to go, I discussed several steps you can take to do that in my piece on ‘Going From Boy to Man’.

t’s not about being the next *Insert Name* it’s about being the best you and fixing you and recognizing where it is you’re coming from and finding a way to change the direction of your life.

You’re better than who you were because now you’re more informed and are able to take pride in the journey that has brought you to this point.

The fact that you’re still reading this piece shows that there is a part of you that still has fight and desire to take it to the next level, so let’s take it there let’s go all in on you and stop worrying about others perception or where they’re at.

How to Be Happy

I dropped the video below on Instagram and the response was immediate, I’ve received an easy 50+ DMs thanking me, sharing how this message struck a chord, etc.

It’s as though people have forgotten, it’s okay to not be mad, reacting, or stressed out with what’s going on in the world. In fact, it’s better for every aspect of your life to not be mad and trying to keep up with the perpetual rage machine know as mainstream media.

Listen and let me know what you think:

It’s okay to be okay and for once it’s completely okay to say, “I don’t care.

You don’t have to care and you shouldn’t; people get weird when I say what’s happening in DC, Congress, etc. is not concerning me. I’m aware of these events, but I’m not concerned.

There’s this expectation that slacktivism aka doing nothing but slapping a keyboard about how you can’t believe, tolerate, or understand how this is happening and “we need change” is going to change anything. Being angry, blacking out your profile photo, and hash-tagging is not changing anything and yet it offers that false sense of “action” so people get the high like they’re actually doing something to help.

You know what would help you in life? Going out and doing something without a care in the world for what you’re “supposed” to be doing and “supposed” to be focusing on.

Congress was under siege and I went outside to play wiffle ball with my son.

What was I supposed to do, go live on YouTube and report on these events from Rhode Island? All that would do is get me views and subscribers which could lead to me making more money, but at what expense?

I’m not entering the fear mongering market so I can make bank at the expense of fellow countrymen.

I want you less concerned, less afraid, and more focused on doing things in your life that will get you moving forward, away from the past which has held you down for too long.

You have spent enough time trying to:

  • Run from the reputation you had
  • Stay ahead of the toxic anchors in your life
  • Break free from the regrets you’ve had shackled around your soul like the chains on Jacob Marley.

Your past happened, there’s no changing that but it’s no excuse or justification for you to keep your present self in a state of constant fear, anxiety, and stagnation.

It’s okay to allow yourself to be happy (watch the video above in case you missed that point) and it’s okay for you to stop trying to keep up with what we’re angry about day by day with a focus instead on connecting with you and doing things which will bring you to levels of new peace and importantly, acceptance of who you are and where you’re going.

That’s life my friend.

Acta Non Verba,

Zac

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Zac

There is a war being waged against masculinity. Men are suffering in silence, going to their grave without ever experiencing the joy of living a genuine life. I write to help those men find a way to live again.

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