Ryan O'Connor - It's okay to not be okay

Have you ever felt alone? Because we have.

In fact, our entire show – and the purpose for it – is predicated on the idea that other people, many people, have, too.

Over the course of our lives, we are conditioned to feel as though we might not be good enough for someone or something else. For some of us, it can mean the looming feeling of disappointing a loved one, or not living up to certain expectations within the confines of a relationship. For others, it can mean a lack of self-confidence in performing duties or tasks.

In Ryan O’Connor’s case, it’s meant everything across the board. And it’s been a feeling that has spanned his entire life.

The seemingly jovial 29-year old shares with us his story of parental neglect; how an absentee father – and the parental paradigm he was raised by afterwards – shaped him into an excessively generous and fragile-hearted people-pleaser. To this day, the now-married Ryan, struggles to navigate through his relationships – fearing, at any given point, that he may be left once more.

“I always felt like a burden talking about it, because there are so many more problems out there,” Ryan tells us. The reality, though, is that Ryan’s early-on abandonment snowballed into larger issues throughout his childhood – and, even, adulthood. Ryan reveals how it’s translated into his own marital issues today, and why he’s finally choosing to open up about it:

“If you don’t talk about it, you don’t get it out,” he speaks of the inevitable accumulation. “One thing happens, and you let it go. Then another. And another. And all these little things start to eat at you over time. If you’re not talking about what you need from somebody – friends, family, what have you - you’re just gonna continually feel like you don’t have any self-worth.”

Ryan reminds us that no one can truly function well without addressing their issues head-on: “I’m trying to learn how to care for myself first now.”

Ryan has recently sought therapy, noting that he needs to figure out his own truths before he can truly attend to anyone else’s.

We, at For the Hayters, frequently encourage our guests and fans alike to consider therapy as an option. For those of you who aren’t able to afford it, that is what our ‘Connection’ tab is for; to start the conversation, free of charge. Ryan’s story is important in that it applies to every single one of us; we have all felt neglected, abandoned, or unworthy at least one once in our lives. If we don’t talk it through, work it out, and move forward from it, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to achieve true happiness.

Tune in to Ryan’s episode Wednesday, May 22nd to learn more about his story, and how he’s choosing to rewrite it. He dives into issues of identity – both his own and that of his biological father’s – that anyone and everyone can surely relate to.

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