The creative outlet of Anthony Munkholm: thanks for reading

Healing through my words:

Life doesn't give you the people you want,
it gives you the people you need:
to love you, to hate you, to make you, to break you, & to make you the person you were meant to be. -unknown

Love can and will come to those who still believe in it. Hope is the key. Even when faced with disappointment love will still find a way. Even after betrayal love will still knock on your door. Love will come to those who have been hurt before. I will never give up on love. I will even love those who no longer love me. Love is all there is and all there ever will be. -me

I believe I have been given an opportunity to share my successes and my struggles, my up's and my down's, the good and the bad with those who find their way to my blog. I feel I have been given a gift to write. I feel in my heart part of my gift to the world comes through my words. My greatest joy comes through expressing myself here. I write for myself but I feel compelled to share it with you too. I believe in love, compassion, and understanding which I share here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

No title would work for this one

Guilt is such a powerful emotion and it has been a rock in my rollercoaster of emotions lately.

Fact: I am now divorced.

Story I keep telling myself: It is all my fault, I could have listened better, I should have asked more questions, I could have gotten help sooner, maybe if I would of just behaved a little differently, what if, what if, what if.

Truth: I made a lot of mistakes in my marriage. I projected unhappiness and anger onto my wife that she did not deserve to deal with. This was a major downfall of my marriage and as I write this I am willing to accept that truth. However, on my eternal quest for inner peace and happiness the struggles I went through created a compassion for others within me that I believe is the greatest gift I bring to this life.

Fact: I did the best with the tools I had. I always tried to show her love even if it was not the way she wanted it. I loved her so much and I showed her love in the way that I knew.

Story: I allowed myself to believe that my love was not good enough for her. I allowed myself to believe that I did not deserve her. I created such an elaborate story within my psyche that was like a record on repeat: you are not worthy, you are not good enough, and you do not deserve this life. I allowed myself to believe that I was never going to meet her standards.

Truth: I showed her the most love I could and knew how with what I had at the time. I made her amazing dinners, wrote her beautiful love letters, bought her flowers, gave her back rubs, went to concerts I did not like, went out when I had migraines and was so dizzy I could barely stand just so she would not get mad at me. Could I have listened better, sure who couldn’t? Could I have gotten help sooner for my anger, absolutely? Does she have a list a mile long of all things I did wrong, most likely? Could I have... But I did not, for whatever reason I was not ready to face those parts of myself. But I was always there and never would have thrown in the towel on our relationship.

Fact: She decided to end the marriage. She was the one who did not want to go counseling, she was the one who checked out. She even told me she had checked out long before it had gotten to the day when she asked me to leave.

Story:  I have beaten myself up so much for the end of my marriage and I am a major contributor to how the story ended. I allowed myself for the last year to believe that I am the one and only reason things came to an end. I allowed her to manipulate me and make me believe that it was jut me.

Truth: We both fucked up and we both fucked up bad. The truth of the matter is she did what she felt she had to do; I cannot hold that against her. Our entire relationship I always wished she would be more assertive, put her foot down, not let people walk all over her. Well I will be damned she is no longer easy to pushover. She is assertive, what a gift I was able to give her and someday she will most likely know this. It is unfortunate it came about the way it did but the universe works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Fact: I went to war twice and it really fucked me up mentally.

Story: For so long I never talked about what took place, I still really do not. I have always felt that I should not have any issues from going to war because I was not the guy kicking down the doors, many of the people I was with did not appear to be afraid, because many of my close friends had it harder than I did.

Truth: Going to war is fucking scary. It scared the shit out of me, twice in my life I lived in constant fear and anxiety of when the next round may hit, what if the locals have a bomb on them, what if I do not come back home. These are legitimate fears that I faced and have held inside for so long. Yes I was up in a cherry picker when a rocket hit just outside of the base and yes it has left a major scar in my mind. I have never really slept right since I went to war, I rarely make it through a night, I still have nightmares sometimes, and I still have no desire to go watch fireworks. The fact of the matter is it was hard for me. It may not have been as hard for others or maybe it was that no longer matters. Right here and now I know that I was scared, I know that it was hard on my marriage, my family, and on me. I also know now that it is over I am so proud that I faced fear head on and the gifts the war brought to me are so profound. I wear a tattoo on my arm that says “we are all one” and going to war has instilled that belief in me. I know that war and violence is not the answer. I have so much respect for the military now and what they do. I have so much respect for the wives and families that stay behind and support those of us who are gone. I will never forget how Meredith would answer the phone no matter what time, not tell me about her problems so we could focus on me, I will always love how she stood relentlessly by my side while I was gone, I am so grateful for how my family would send me anything I need. Thank you. I am pretty sure all of those skeletons are not yet gone but it will come in time.

Fact: Meredith was absolutely amazing to me for the first few years of our marriage. Never had I had someone who supported me so much, she believed in me more than I believed in myself, she stood by me when I went to war, she helped me when I wrecked my back, she supported me when I was broke, she explored with me when I wanted to try something new, for lack of a better word she was perfect.

Truth: Meredith was amazing but the image I had held onto in my mind as our marriage got worse was no longer there. There are certain standards she held for me that I was never going to be able to meet. My efforts to redeem myself fell by the waste side because she checked out long before our marriage came to an end. For her my efforts came a little to late.

            My marriage to Meredith was an amazing time in my life. A chapter that come to a close. I have released the anger that I have towards her because I understand she did what she felt she had to do. I know I was committed to making our marriage work, and she too was committed to making it work. Our plans simply did not align and unfold in the exact same manner. I have been doing my best to release the guilt, looking deeply inside myself, praying for help and I feel as I am writing this I am letting more of that guilt go. I must forgive myself because there have been so many great lessons that have come from this already. So much growth I have made. I have become a better man because of the storm I just went through. I can see it in my eyes, believe it in my mind, and feel it in my soul.

I will always love Meredith but our time has come to an end. I wish only the best for her I will hold close to my heart the many great memories I have of her. I will never forget how cute she is when she gets cold or how great her smile is when she laughs or how beautiful she looks when her hair fell over her face just right. I am choosing let go of the guilt because I cannot change the past. I am choosing to let go of the guilt because no matter how much I beat myself up it will not change the past, it will not bring her back, it will not make her love me again. I am sad and I do believe I lost something great, but it is done, she is gone, I am here. I am scarred but I have healed and will keep healing.

I am not perfect but I have changed, am changing. She is such a beautiful woman and deserves nothing but happiness in her life and I am such a great guy that I deserve it too. The only true way to let the happiness come is to cut that final tie, to say my last goodbye, to look at myself in the mirror and say Anthony I forgive you deeply and completely for the mistakes that you have made. I am proud of you for learning the beautiful lessons of this chapter in your life. Anthony I have always been here, you are whole, and you do not need another because I have myself.

I am not perfect. I am cocky, I can be arrogant, and I can be selfish, I can be angry. These are parts of me that are as real as the parts of me that are love, and compassion, and hope. Just as Meredith is anger, sadness, she too is filled with beauty and love. Our time has simply come to an end. I no longer wish to regret what is gone but rather look forward to what is coming. I do not know what the future holds but I know that when I take a leap of faith and surrender to myself and my God the life I think I am suppose to have fizzles a way and the life I am meant to have will shine through.
As I sit here and write I feel like I am peeling away layers of myself. I feel like I am getting to the heart of the person that is me. I have searched for myself in books, in Meredith, in my friends, but never truly within myself. I have tried to make my life happen, make my health happen, make my dreams happen and yes effort is required but I have failed to stop so many times and just look at myself and say this is me. Right now this is me, I will become more, I will wish and desire more, hope to grow more, evolve more but right now this is me in the flesh.
I always believed right up until this next word that self-actualization was suppose to be some big dramatic moment in my life filled with an intense story such as the life of the Buddha or Jesus. Well here is my truth, my story is unfolding right here and now, in this life, not the past, not the future but right here and now. I am a powerful person. I had a great friend tell me that I am like a fire hose. I do not know my own power; just as a fire hose is reckless when unattended it will cause damage. However, when the fire hose is controlled and focused it produces so much energy that no fire is too big to be put out.

 So this is I guess a battled-tested human being. I am an intelligent, funny, cocky, selfish, selfless person. I like to get up early, I do not really like to drink but do, I love California, I like Minnesota, I love to kick my ass in the gym, I love to eat healthy, I love to write, I love to debate my views, I love how I do not know everything but I try to get educated, I love how some people like my brother in law challenge me so much, he really helps me affirm what I believe what a great gift, I love to be with my friends, I can be a real asshole, I can be very judging, I can be very warm, I will give you the shirt of my back. I believe in the power of my thought and practice affirmations daily, I am very liberal in some views, I think it is absolutely wrong that we are the only nation in the world that does not have universal health care, I think this country spends too much money, I love my family, I am so grateful that I have my dogs, I really miss Meredith sometimes, I tend to be too hard on myself, I am still searching for some parts of my life, I believe I do not need to find it all yet, I believe you are not suppose to every have it all, I like who I am, I have made some mistakes, I have made some poor decisions, I have made some amazing decisions, I tend to ramble, I love to listen to good stories, I love that Char stood by my side through the toughest time of my life, I love that last night I poured my heart out to her and she said the sweetest thing to me that melted my heart, I want to write a book but am afraid to fail, I love to open up now, I am like an unfinished story, I do not really care what you think of me, I will always be honest with you, I have learned from my lies, I get really anxious sometimes, so anxious that I feel like I am having a heart attack, sometimes I still want to do drugs but I wont, sometimes I eat an entire jar of peanut butter when I am feeling sorry for myself, sometimes I listen to my ego, other times I listen to my spirit, I spend too much money, I donate my time, I love beautiful women, I like to flirt, I am a great flirt, I can romance a woman better than most, I am trustworthy, I am good looking, I love how ripped my arms are. I love to be outside, I miss the ocean, I love to hike with my dogs, I love to get downright shit faced with Luke, Matt, Amanda, I am so grateful to be home because I love my friends and have missed them dearly. I am so grateful to be home because I love my family and it is nice knowing I can just see them.

So here I am feeling really good about myself knowing that life is not suppose to be perfect. Feeling like I have just made some peace with myself, knowing that the most important part of my life right now is to always have my faith.


  1. Hey Anthony, that was a very insightful piece. As your Dad all I can say is I love you and I am so very proud of you and what you have done!!!!!!!

  2. To know that there's a difference between fact and truth is no small thing. Hugs.

  3. Your list isn't comprehensve enough, Anthony; you are so much more than you can even see or give yourself credit for. You are far too hard on yourself, everyone makes mistakes. You are amazing, and inspiring, and a survivor. You are stong, both physically and emotionally. You are a great man! In the very short time that I have known you I have been inspired by you, had my heart soften by you, I've opened up to you, which isn't easy for me to do. I LOVE talking to you about health and nutrition! You get it, and I love that. You came out of nowhere into my life and have forever changed me. I appreciate our talks and look forward to them everyday. I am SO grateful that you are helping me heal my gut. I've struggled with it for so long. I could go on, but I'm already blushing as I'm writing this. I am so very happy that you moved home and that we work together.

  4. Anthony....Thank you for this.
    I can relate in so many ways to everything you have said in your story...I too was married for a long time and divorced a man that has said "I was a horrible husband to you". I was so heart-broken and sad,and 2 years later, I have healed but I am not yet whole. I am angry that the course of my life was changed by someone else other than me.
    Your story has helped me more than you'll even know.