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  • Jani Brajkovic

From surviving to living

Updated: Sep 30

How AEQ therapy method saved my life



It's been a year since my last blog post. For a good reason though. I really didn't know what to write about. Training, nutrition, racing? Nobody cares. There are thousands of cyclists who do the same thing like me, day after day.


In the past year, you got to know me a little better. A small inside look into my life, suffering, battling eating disorder, positive test, trying to return to cycling.


But you only got what I wanted you to see, know. There's more. And up until this summer, I didn't know what it was. I had no answers, but so many questions.


Why I get to have so much injustice, bad luck, bullying. Why I can't talk to other people, feel so uncomfortable being around others. Why I struggle to express myself in a genuine way, express my feelings, emotions.


Throughout all these years things got so bad, I couldn't ask anyone for help. I dealt with everything alone. Even when it comes to cycling I was a "one man team".

I couldn't do any physiological testings at the university, so I bought a metabolic cart, and did it myself.

I couldn't talk about diet, so I educated myself, did everything myself. Test, fail, test again, fail again.

The same with training. I spent hours every day studying sports physiology books.

I had so much knowledge, but I couldn't share it with anyone. I was afraid somebody would say something negative about me and I couldn't deal with emotions.


Emotions:

I'm emotionally immature person. I can't take any critic, so I make sure there are none. First I beat down my body, draining my life energy, so when emotions come, they're not strong. Then I create a shield around my body, so emotions can't be expressed.

An eating disorder was crucial in the process. It also made me extreme introvert, so I always stayed home, by myself. Everything was organized around eating, there was no time for friends, even family suffered, A LOT.

At my worst, I wasn't able to take compression socks off with one hand, yet I got top 10 in WT races. All was good they thought.


Until it wasn't....


After nationals this year, I was really disappointed. I was flying before the race, but comes the race day, and I fail. I wasn't even close to my training performances.


Then, my training partner Domen Novak, also Bahrain McLaren rider, and an awesome human being, tells me about this guy...AEQ therapist


I take a plunge.


My first therapy answered all my questions from the last 20 years. It was tough.Two hours of talking. I never in my life opened to anybody, even my spouse didn't know everything what was going on in my head.


The thing is, my unconscious mind was fucked. It still is to some degree.

Everything that happened to me was my fault. Everything was just a reaction to my action. My self destructive action. Unconsciously, I believed, I wasn't worthy of success, happiness, love, laughter....I was ZERO in my head.


Every good result I ever achieved was achieved by surprise. When there's no pressure, worry, it's much easier to push through with sheer will, determination, motivation.

But when things get serious, with tons of pressure, unconscious mind takes over. And when conscious mind wants to go left, but unconscious wants to go right, you have a problem... Unconsciousness takes over, and disaster happens. At least in my case that's true...crashes, flats, getting sick, eating disorder reminder.


In one case I saw it happening few minutes before and I still took that line...I went down, had a concussion, and was out of the race.

It was 2017 Tour of Guanxi.

Going into the final 6km of the race, I saw a crash happening in my head, and few minutes later I was down. I was the same thing I saw, exactly the same...I still rode on the right side of the road, straight into the pile-up.

I did this to myself.


I've been working with my therapist for 4 months now. And with whole honesty, my life started a month ago.

The change I'm experiencing is incredible.

I was surviving for the last 35 years, now I'm finally living.

My relationship with spouse, kids is completely different. I loved them before, but I really didn't know what love is. I couldn't know. I never saw love as a child. Our parents fucked us, and we fuck our kids, and so on and so on...


The scary thing is, and also, I realized, my son was becoming a copy of me. Couldn't show, express emotions, not confident, always draw the shortest straw...If anything, I want to change for my kids.

I can't allow them to become like me, like I WAS.


In the past I was the bad energy in the room, now I'm the opposite. I can motivate people, find positives in any situation, conversation starter. I'm able to share my knowledge with fellow cyclists. I can do so much more than before.


There's still a lot of work to be done. Changing one's unconscious mind is a long and sometimes painful process, but it's worth it. I could never imagine I can be what I'm becoming now. And it's only the beginning. The future is bright, thanks to one person, Ales Ernst and his AEQ method.


I went from surviving to living, and it feels so good.



Much love


JB


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