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  1. #1
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    The New Event #1 - To Shed Oneself

    What's up, guys? Welcome to the very first edition of The New Event. Overly long introductions aren't really necessary here, so let's get right to it...




    THE OPENER


    This is normally the part of the column where I talk about a few news articles that interest me, but because this is my re-debut I'm going to give you a bit of background on myself.

    I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I used to write for the LOP Columns Forum not that long ago. I started writing in 2016 under the name D.O.N. I had a column series titled The Main Event that ran for 83 columns. If I add up all the other columns that I wrote as side projects I've probably written just over 100 columns.

    I came close to winning column of the month on two occasions but ended up falling short. Towards the end of my initial run I was shortlisted by The Doc as a candidate for a spot on the main page. It was at that time where life got in the way and I wasn't able to write columns regularly. I still wonder if I was able to write columns regularly if I would have made it onto the main page. But that's all history now.

    It's time for me to start this new chapter in my column writing experience. I think that background information should suffice; so without wasting more of your time let's get to...




    THE HEADLINER


    What does it mean to shed oneself? I think the definition lies in what needs to be shed in the first place. We all need to shed the negativity that our aura sometimes unwittingly emits. We all need to shed ourselves from the demons that lie dormant inside us, waiting to emerge. We all need to shed ourselves from our bad habits that has an adverse affect on not just our lives, but the lives of our loved one's as well. In essence, we need to do the impossible and shed the darkness that we hold within. And once that darkness and negativity is shed, we will then be able to emerge anew and leave behind the person that we used to be.

    And that is exactly what I am going through right now. I have fell into darkness and this has not been the first time. But this time it's different. You see, this time I can't even see the light. And that darkness and negativity has ascended upon me with such vengeful force that I fear that this time it will incapsulate and wholly consume me. For once you are consumed by darkness even the brightest of lights are but a faint glimmer. I have descended into depression and borderline alcoholism which has caused me to look for inspiration wherever I can find it. I have truly explored all avenues and have yet to find that spark that inspires me.

    Normally this inspiration is my son, but I have fallen so far down the rabbit hole that even he can't save me this time. You see, there's some irony as to why he cannot save me. There is a big part of me that wants to end it all but I made a promise to myself that I'm going to be there for my son for as long as my lifespan allows; hopefully seeing him reach the age of 21, if at all possible. The ironic thing is that the person who I look towards for upliftment is the person that is causing me to remain in existence and live this tortured life. But for my son I will roam the earth a tortured soul and never give up.

    I've gotten lost searching for some inspiration to help me shed myself of my weaknesses. But then I remembered a source of inspiration I had yet to look toward:

    The world of wrestling...

    There are many times in wrestling lore when wrestlers have shed themselves - or part of themselves - and came out better than they were before. This is exactly what I'm trying to do and hopefully I'll be able to find the necessary inspiration and motivation needed by looking through WWE's history and drawing some form of comparison. Wrestling might just be an art form and nothing to do with real life, but I think it's safe to say that we all look toward some form of art to draw inspiration from. Hopefully drawing inspiration from the wrestling world will serve me well and serve to help me shed the worst parts of me.

    One of the worst parts of being a well renowned fuck-up is the stigma attached to that label. I've been stigmatized by my family since I was 23 for being the `fuck-up that can't hold a job and drinks too much'. There were certain points in my life where that statement hasn't rung true but yet I still could not escape that stigma, which is something I might never truly be able to shed myself from.

    The same can be said of Daniel Bryan (or almost any independent wrestler coming into WWE for that matter). Yes, Bryan might have reached the very top of the WWE at one stage but the people in power never really overlooked the fact that he came from the independent scene. He was forced to shed the name that he was known by on the indies. Hell, even up to and during his title win at Wrestlemania 30 they were still calling him a B+ player because of his independent roots. I guess in the world of WWE it is hard for any independent wrestler to shed themselves of the `stench of the indies'. Perhaps Daniel Bryan was not the best comparison for not being able to shed oneself of stigma, but I know another wrestler who fits the bill perfectly.

    That wrestler is none other than The Miz. You tell me how someone can shed the stigma of being a former reality star and runner up on Tough Enough. You telling me a wannabe wrestler with that background has the ability to be successful? Especially considering that we absolutely shit on anything that came from Tough Enough. Really? REALLY!? Yes, really. The Miz was able to shed himself of that stigma through sheer hard-work and determination. Does anyone even care to remember that he was once in Tough Enough? I think not. Miz has escaped an impossible stigma and elevated himself to the point where he is actually respected on par with his independent wrestler counterparts, and that should say alot. Almost everyone in the IWC loves him unconditionally. And to think, he was born and bred WWE. I guess I've just got to keep working hard and elevate myself to the point where I'm doing well enough to shed the stigma that is attached to me. It won't be easy, but it has to be done...

    One of the hardest things in the world to do is to shed yourself of all your negative character traits. My mother always told me that because of the way I am I will not be successful. Well, she didn't say it in so many words but that's the message that I get from her. I can be manipulative, impulsive, arrogant and most notably irresponsible. I've gone to the well to many times where it comes to gambling and alcoholism where it became detrimental to my future and it actually hindered my success in so many ways. It's those negative characteristics that I want to shed most, but more often than not that task seems futile. It has been proven that changing your attitude and bettering the characteristics that makes you who you are can only have a positive impact on your life. However, this is my biggest struggle.

    But you need to look no further than Steve Austin to see how negating negative character flaws can cause an upswing in your fortunes. You see, Austin knew that `The Ringmaster' gimmick was going nowhere and he went on record saying that the gimmick was weak. WWE presented Steve Austin with a number of gimmick names but Austin decided to forge his own path by becoming `Stone Cold'. It was at King of the Ring 1996 where Steven James Anderson officially shed himself of who he was prior to that moment, and what followed was an unprecedented run of popularity. If it was not for that dramatic change it's quite possible that Austin would never have reached the heights that he had. Just by shedding something as simple as a gimmick and reinventing himself for the better he was able to capture success and because of that success people have debated him being the greatest pro wrestler of all time ad nauseam.

    And that is what I'm hoping to do. Being able to shed myself of who I was and morph into the best person that I can possibly be is my wont. It will be an arduous task but I'm going to continue looking toward the success stories of one of my favourite hobbies and try to take control of my future as these guys have. Im going to look at Shawn Michaels as the root of shedding the negativity, bad imagery and character flaws that I'm so often labelled as. Because if someone as fucked up as Shawn Michaels can do a complete 180 as a person then why can't I? It will not be easy, but as a wise man once said: all one can do is but try.

    .
    .
    .

    And that does it for the inaugural edition of The New Event. I apologize if this was a somber affair but I felt like this was the right column to start my new journey. Not all my columns are this heavy, though, so don't get caught up on that too much. I needed to get my feet wet and that goal was accomplished. Look out for my next column coming in the next week. But until next time...

    This is Don Franc signing out.

  2. #2
    This is dope Don! Love the personal touch! The writing is spot on and I didn't miss how you 'shed' the old user name either. Looking forward to where you go with this!

  3. #3
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    Thanks alot for the read and feed LAW, I'm glad that you liked the personal touch. I'm also happy that starting a new column series and choosing a new name didn't go unnoticed in the context of this column.

  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Donny welcome back mate! Good to have you back on deck.

    I must say that I wish you the best with your personal battles, thankfully I have never had to deal with things quite as life wrecking as alcoholism or gambling issues but I have seen how anxiety and depression can strip a person of their will to live.

    You are right though, the only way forward is to find that small little thing that helps you kick back and focus on that, be it wrestling, your son or something else. Just keep on fighting that good fight man.

    I really liked your examples here too, especially Shawn Michaels who by rights should probably have died of a drug OD but by the grace of God was pulled back from the edge. Miz was also a good shout too as he went to the pit of popularity and was written off by just about everyone except himself, now look at him, ready to fight for the number 1 contendership for the WWE Title in a fortnights time.

  5. #5
    "Wait a minute, I know this format..." Don's back!

    Even though all of your columns aren't this somber/personal, they're always really good when they are.

    Great to have you back Don, and good luck with the shed.

    P.S. If you had managed/do manage to find some kind of consistency you 100% would have been/will be a Main Pager. Reading this you haven't lost a step, brew.

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Don!! I legit popped when I realized it was you!! Super glad to see you again man, even hearing about the tough times you're going through I'm still really glad to have you back. You definitely have a community of people here who appreciate you, for whatever that's worth.

    I've known people affected by depression and other issues, and even battled them myself a few times. Really glad you have some good things to hang on to, and hope you can find a support system that is gonna help pull you back on the right path. Nothing is hopeless, my man, the stuff that will help you is out there, in some form.

    The wrestling tie in here was spot on, as sleazy as wrestling often is, there are many different situations where people changed themselves for the better, be it professionally, personally, or both. Your final example of Michaels hit home, there was a point where he was so messed up that if he had continued on that path, not only would he have never made his comeback but he probably wouldn't be with us today. Like you he was inspired by his son to get the help he needed, and ended up flourishing in his later years beyond any expectations. If that's not an example of the possibilities of the future, what is?

    Hang in there, like I said it's great to see you back and I hope, for a lot of reasons, that you stick around.

  7. #7
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    Sir Sam - Thanks for the well wishes bro, I appreciate that. I always try to look for something that keeps me focused on getting out of this slump and I don't intend to give up.

    I'm glad you liked the examples I brought up because it felt like it embodied most of what I needed to change.

    Thanks for the read and feed Sam.


    Imp - Ah yes, I could not leave this format behind but I decided to change the names of the headers. I'm glad you appreciated the personal touch bro.

    Thanks for wishing me luck and I'll never know if I'd have gone to the main page but who knows what the future holds.

    Thanks for the read and feed, Imp!


    Mizzie - I'm glad that you glad I'm back bro lol. I really missed writing columns more than I realized. And appreciation does mean alot.

    A support system is the most important thing in times like these and I'm trying to find something that motivates me to end, although my son tops that list. It's just hard to be a role model for my son when I'm going through this shot but yet I try.

    Yeah man, Shawn Michaels was a fantastic example and I'm sincerely looking towards how he changed to inspire me to do the same. It's not going to be easy but I'm willing to put up a fight.

    And hell yeah I'm sticking around, if not for nothing more than a much needed distraction.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. #8
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Good to see you back

    Initially confused about the content of this column, as some of the other sites I frequent on the internet are dedicated to sheds and their contents, and the love of finding an old relic and restoring it to it's former glory. Guess I forgot which site I was looking at for a minute!

    Perhaps though, the shedding you're talking about is the same thing. And I know, I've been there. In April this year I celebrated 18 years of sobriety. Coincidentally, on this very day 19 years ago (27-9-1999) I started a new job, my first for almost 2 years. During those years I'd hit rock bottom, my drinking and drug abuse had taken over, I was out of work, homeless and seemingly destined to wind up going nowhere. Then one of the sofa's I used to crash on turned into a permanent bed, I started the job that started picking me back up, a few months later I quit drinking. I even got married the following year, although that only lasted a couple of years - with hindsight, I think I was trying too hard to straighten myself out and tried too hard to become someone I wasn't.

    Now, I've totally settled down into the real me. I'm happy, own a house, got a really good job and everything has been good for a long time. Hopefully it continues.

    I hope your journey ends up as successful as mine has been.
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  9. #9
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    Dyno - Sorry about the confusion of the title, although it would be off speaking about old treasure found in sheds on a wrestling site lol.

    I'm glad that you can relate, man. It does appear that you went through some rough shit but I'm super happy that you were able to overcome it. It's not easy to overcome not to g rock bottom and it does take a lot of strength to pick yourself up and give it a go. Unfortunately I'm still in the process of finding that strength, but for the sake of my son I won't give up. Thanks for sharing your story; it really helps me put things into perspective by showing me that things do eventually get better if you truly strive for it.

  10. #10
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Welcome back Don, always great to see a familiar face pop up.
    *Ghostly wailing*

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