Mikey’s Coping Mechanisms for Life

Michael Sellick
Michael Sellick
Michael Sellick

Mikey, aka, myself has habits through coping mechanisms to push through obstacles in life. Whether it’s physical or mental decisions. I will share with you my hurdle and my coping mechanism. Here are a few.

1 – Public Speaking

I was a terrible public speaker. In grade 8, he did a speech on his train set. A girl in the front row of the desks did a grimace and slow blink to mock me. I broke into tears during my speech and was ridiculed for my train set and my crying.

In grade 9, I did a speech on Gaspereau, Quebec. I was shaking so bad, you could hear the papers rustling and I quit midway through my speech as my legs gave out to near collapse on the floor.

Public speaking was re-introduced in my English class in College. The instructor gave me tips on how to divert the eyes from my face and project onto something else:

  1. Have props to point to and illustrate your points by pointing to lead the eyes of the audience away from me. It was so effective, I couldn’t believe it.

In my 20’s, I joined a business group where I had to do 1-minute presentations every Tuesday and did this for 2 years. Using my knowledge from college to divert eyes, I used props and made point form notes as queues but didn’t rehearse myself. Just talk from the heart about the object in my hands.

During my presentations, people would laugh out loud, with me, instead of at me. I didn’t realize I was a funny person in presentations with my sly humour with natural talking points. It was an awakening for me. I am a confident public speaker because I know how to use my personality and tips to take pressure off of myself when addressing a group.

2 – Feeling To Need An Emotional Push

Mikey and Diva Dan 2021
Mikey and Diva Dan 2021

When I am feeling down or need an emotional push, there is one song that I use to push myself through. It’s Southern Sun by Paul Oakenfold.

Once lost in my late 20’s in a job that was having me doing hospital trips with anxiety. I stood at the club on a Saturday night staring into the disco balls. I am frozen in time. I’m lost and confused about my life’s destiny. What I am doing with my life?

This song played ever so loudly. I closed my eyes and felt the rhythm. Like really felt the rhythm. It washed through me giving me an emotional push to endure on.

When I am feeling down or need to build my momentum to film a tutorial, I play this song and sing along. Sometimes, I even do lipsync drag-queen moves with my hands, face and head to empower myself to get through.

3 – New Year Is A Mental Reset

Mikey Home Studio Set Up
Mikey Home Studio Set Up

New years is a milestone each year that I use to file away the past year and deal with the emotional baggage of what has come from it.

Again back in my late 20’s lost in life. I came out of the closet in the year 2000. It was a life ripple of destroying relationships and memories of what people thought they knew of me.

It was the goodbye of my family relationships. It was traumatic for everyone, not just me. In 2002, I was struggling to find myself.

I was surrounded by a new set of friends that accepted me for me. New years came and the club was filled with black and white balloons, like everywhere. It was magical.

Friends were laughing, singing along and then the new year’s song came on as the clock hit midnight. It was like time stood still for me. I full year of memories, the hurt, filled my head. I cried on the floor as the song was playing in remembering how hard the year was. Friends were jumping up and down in slow motion, time was standing still as I replayed the year in my head.

Friends found me in an emotional mess. My friends calling me. Pulling me from the trans-state I was in. I survived another year and my advice was to let last year be filed away and move forward.

Learn the lessons of the year prior and push on with new goals objectives, whatever they may be.

4 – A Motivational Speaker Ended My Job 

Mikey's Beehive Project
Mikey’s Beehive Project

A company I worked for hired a motivational speaker to empower the factory employees to be better people and more accountable to their jobs other than punching in by a clock. Taking pride in what we do. Trust me, it would take more than a motivational speaker to empower this place.

In sitting listening to the speaker, I have always been a planner but I hadn’t been exercising it. So he suggested we create a list of personal and professional goals. It gave me a guiding light to strive for. Part of the goal was to help the company save money. I roll my eyes thinking about that now. I care for the companies I work for.

He suggested we create charts and document service failures. So I did just do that. I charted it on a line chart when a mistake was made and what caused it.

You see, I was taking significant heat for miscounting and service errors. This heat was causing the company to spend more money to fix my errors.  In the charting, I realized that 95% of the errors weren’t mine at all. Orders with wrong codes or transport companies rerouting the packages to the wrong place weren’t my fault. I had gone through 1.5 years of constant guilt of making errors but once they were on paper, I realized I wasn’t a complete failure.

While I could prove I wasn’t at fault, the powers that be would have to accept responsibilities for their mistakes which wasn’t going to happen. Writing my resignation letter was the most empowering thing I did to release myself from this environment and move on.

Thanks to their motivational speaker, I realized I can be a better person but this workplace wasn’t going to be where I would find it. 


Do I Believe In Something Greater?

Yes, but I don’t know what it is. I went on a quest by reading the book “The Secret” and other thought processes. Manifesting things into being. While I don’t practice that today, I took something from that experience that I use today. The form of gratitude and calling attention to it. 

The journey isn’t solo and something, even if I am wrong, is helping me along in my journey. In my sleep in the 2000’s, an angel (what I believe to be), came to me with his name being Gabriel. I don’t know who he is but he is watching over me. He says to call to him when I am in desperate need of reassurance.

My last suicide attempt was on Christmas 2008. I was all planned out and not going back. Crying out in separation. Gabriel, I need help and I don’t know what my path is meant to be. Show me a sign you are truly here and watching over me.

I had the drop plastic sheet set up and rope around the braces of the ceiling with alcohol that I know makes me collapse. This is it Gabriel and I am done. I heard you are meant to do something big, it’s too soon. I don’t understand I screamed into the air… I don’t understand! Show me… SHOOOOOW ME RIGHT NOW! I’m ready to hear… what is it!

I kid you not, a knock on the door came within seconds. I’m a f’ing mess. I am at the point of no return. I find myself at the door and it’s a friend. He was thinking about me and brought me supper.

Mikey Teaching at Airport
Mikey Teaching at Airport

The first thing out of my mouth was, “Why are you here at this moment in time!” He was thinking about me and knew I worked late and thought I would want him to bring me supper.

In my head I heard, this is your sign, you are not alone. I would meet Daniel honestly the same week which changed my trajectory.

I don’t believe I am meant to understand what my belief truly is. However, when I am in despair, I will whisper to myself, I’m in need of help. Keep me safe and show me the way.

I am not religious because I believe people can be good and empower each other if they desire that for themselves. 

Live within the light to try to find the good in people. Sometimes it’s harder to see through emotional barriers others may have. I believe most people are kind.

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  1. Tracy

    Thank you Mike for sharing this.
    I wanted to thank you for what you do, I don’t think you realise how amazing you are. This year my son had radiotherapy and I was with him hundreds of miles from home, away from our family as that was where the specialist hospital was and due to COVID my husband and daughter couldn’t come and visit. He spent most of the hours he wasn’t having treatment asleep. I had many lonely, worrying hours. Your CAL kept me sane and kept me company. Thank you. It was so nice to hear someone else’s voice – yours. During those 6 weeks I crocheted 2 C2C for Tanzanian AIDS orphans, Better together- for a friend in hospital and The Study of texture for Project Linus.
    Thank you for all you do and all you share.

  2. Mary

    Thanks Mikey for having the guts to say what happened in your life. I love that you shared your little tricks to overcome with us. You are a blessing to all who know you, either in person or on line. I hope your Holidays are merry and bright, and that you have a wonderful, truly NEW year.

  3. Helèn Schouten

    Dear Mike,
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I’m so glad I always told my daughter (19, with autism and looking for who or what she is) that for me it’s OK to be who she is, whenever she wants. That I love her anyway and will help her always when she wants.
    As a mother you have expectations and sometimes you have to adjust them, because your child ultimately makes his/her own choices. Your “job” is to let them make their own, guide them through those choices and ultimately respect them in the choices they make.
    My “daughter” has not yet decided. She is still young and gets all the time she needs.

  4. Sheri

    Thank you Mikey, for sharing your stories, thought’s and belief’s. I love reading them I can relate. Thank Gabriel for stopping you because you touch soo many of us whatever would we have done without you? So glad we don’t have to find out!!

  5. Jane

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing these mileposts in your journey.

  6. VM-US-DE

    We in The Crochet Crowd community are thankful to your friend for being there when you needed it the most. We are glad you are here❤️

  7. Aubrey

    Thank you for sharing. I’m a new teacher and feeling anxious all the time. I’m not religious either, but whenever I feel like I’m trapped, suffocating and giving up, I pray and read the Psalms. I ask for help and help would come. It happened many times which proves to me that someone out there listens, protects and guides me. I believe you. You’re an inspiration! Happy holidays!

  8. Ruth Richardson

    What an amazing read. I’m so glad you are still in all our lives. A nod to Gabriel.
    Your public speaking experiences were painful and brought back one very vivid memory for me. I was asked if I would be a guest speaker at our small town (yes, Cobourg!) youth service (I was still attending church thanks to my mother) and agreed. I shared my eventual misgivings with my Mom and she said, “don’t worry, God will put words in your mouth”. Apparently, someone forgot to tell God ’cause after I read a section from the bible, I stood there waiting for those words. And I waited, and waited – silent. Finally, an elder came and escorted me from the platform! It was never mentioned again – ever! Needless to say, I’m still not a public speaker (Oh, really?) but I can entertain a room full of people with my sense of humour and a litany of jokes (some of questionable colour) and funny stories. To speak formally? Ain’t never gonna happen. Thank you Gabriel for saving Mikey for us and bringing Daniel into his/our lives. We need and love you, Mikey.

  9. Cynthia

    Thank you for sharing ❤️

  10. Bonnie Ratcliff

    Thank you, Mikey, for sharing this. Your words always empower me to be better and keep moving forward. You are an amazing leader to many. Love and Hugs!

  11. Kelli Vickery

    Thank you for sharing this Mikey. I’m so happy your friend showed up at your house that night. ❤️

  12. Kelli Vickery

    Thank you so much for this Mikey. I’m so glad your friend showed up that night. ❤️

  13. Çhristine Ford

    Mikey, amazing of you to share your journey and your soul to us. The points in your journey where Gabriel reached out to you and you trust your spiritual connection to the point where you call out for help particularly struck me. You called and were answered because your heart was willing to receive. I’ve been struggling with my beliefs and what they should be. Your comment about not being meant to knowing what your beliefs really is was a lightbulb moment! Thank you for sharing.
    Thanks for your wonderful crochet and life guidance!!

  14. Debbie

    Thank you for sharing! In H.S. I shook and cried when I had to give a speech. 😪❤

  15. Anita VanDerostyne

    Thank you for sharing.companies only care about the numbers,or $$$. NOT PEOPLE.yet they know how to groom their staff. You have no idea how great you are!!. I can relate to what you say in your young years.thst happened to me. I had to give a long speech in world history class. Guys being do terrible,making fun of me ,I weathered through. Later in English we had to learn to give speeches.we all could pick what we wanted ,I choose tye dye.evrryone loved it. I was very shy,stayed with few friends at school.music was always my go to. Still is. Everyday I have to play my certain songs on a list I have on YouTube. You get your second wind.to continue. You have helped soo many of us to learn,and create

  16. OMG! I have suffered from anxiety all my life and felt emotionally connected to your life. Thank you.

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