Will Arm­strong

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

Well there were some life­style changes. You know, I’ll be hon­est with you, I was us­ing

Jan­uary 22, 2016

I’ll ad­mit, it was pretty hard. The first 60 days were prob­a­bly the hard­est and I went through a very, very dark time. I had some friends that just re­ally cared for me. I had friends that were stay­ing at my house and tak­ing care of my dog. I spent about six straight weeks in the hos­pi­tal.

Luck­ily th­ese do­na­tions kept com­ing in and peo­ple kept pay­ing my bills and telling me not to worry about it. The com­mu­nity was amaz­ing and my fam­ily was amaz­ing. I was over it. I had never up un­til that point had any in­di­ca­tion of any heart prob­lem. I was con­fused and in some pretty se­ri­ous de­nial for a long time and was just an­gry. I guess I went through all those stages of grief they talk about and just a lot of dis­be­lief about how this could hap­pen.

I see so many 40-year-old gay men die from steroid abuse and mas­sive heart at­tacks and I think I fi­nally reached a point where I re­al­ized that could have been me and that could have been the out­come in my case too. And I started to look at what I had been given as be­ing a se­cond chance rather than “oh poor, piti­ful me.”

That’s when things kind of shifted and I Above: Burly Bak­ers owner Will Arm­strong was di­ag­nosed with con­ges­tive heart fail­ure last May and is be­ing con­sid­ered for a heart trans­plant. (Photo by Pa­trick Saun­ders). Left: The De­cem­ber 2014 Ge­or­gia Voice cover story on Will Arm­strong and Burly Bak­ers. started get­ting some grat­i­tude about ev­ery day af­ter that be­ing a gift in­stead of me be­ing dealt a bum hand. Be­cause I can name three or four peo­ple just in the last two years that have died, seem­ingly healthy men but ob­vi­ously gym rats who are 250 pounds and chas­ing the dream and they’re dead. And I’m not one of them so for that I’m happy. But it def­i­nitely took me some get­ting there.

When did your busi­nesses start back up again?

I started the bak­ery up in June again but it’s on a pretty lim­ited ba­sis. Ob­vi­ously some of my IT clients had to choose other providers be­cause I was un­able to be re­spon­sive. I just now got free­dom to drive again.

So it’s been a slow start but I’m do­ing a lit­tle bit of both again and I’m re­ally look­ing to ramp back up for Valen­tine’s Day and just see what the fu­ture holds. I’m try­ing not to let it over­whelm me or get too stress­ful be­cause I’m at about 50 per­cent now phys­i­cally. I don’t want to kill my­self with it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.