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September 26, 2020

Author Anthony Blankenship on Breaking the Cycle of Dysfunctional Families

Speaker 1: 

Welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour with Dr. Mistry and Donna Lee .

Dr. Mistry: 

Hello and welcome to the Armor Men’s Health Hour. I’m Dr. Mistry, your host, here as always with my cohost, Donna Lee .

Donna Lee: 

Hello everybody. It is the Donna Lee show. Welcome!

Dr. Mistry: 

First. It was “Dr. Donna,” and now you’re taking the show?

Donna Lee: 

The Dr. Donna Show. You know, you told me to talk more, so I thought I’d throw that out there.

Dr. Mistry: 

Everybody asks for more Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right.

Dr. Mistry: 

I’m a board certified urologist. This is a men’s health show. We’ve had the honor and privilege of giving you the show here on KLBJ news radio on Saturdays, and currently rebroadcast on Sundays.

Donna Lee: 

Double whammy for free-ish.

Dr. Mistry: 

And so we’ve really enjoyed covering a whole wealth of health topics with you. Our practice started in 2007. We have practices all over Austin and have been gladly offering what I think is a different brand of holistic neurologic care. Really enjoy all of your questions and all the interaction. We are still accepting patients. We are seeing patients in a safe way. We are trying to accommodate you via telemedicine or in person. Donna Lee, how do people get ahold of us? Where do they find us?

Donna Lee: 

They can call us during the week at (512) 238-0762. We are in Central Texas: Round Rock, South Austin, North Austin, Dripping Springs. You forgot to mention our award winning podcast.

Dr. Mistry: 

Our award winning podcast, the award, just like the show, it’s self-awarded.

Donna Lee: 

The “Ding-a-ling and Yum-yums Award 2020,” with my label maker. So it’s legit.

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s okay. I mean, once we went to participation awards for sports, we’re just participating.

Donna Lee: 

We gave ourselves the gold medal.

Dr. Mistry: 

We’re [inaudible] gold medals.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right. You can send your questions to armormenshealth@gmail.com. And our website is our armormenshealth.com.

Dr. Mistry: 

Well, thank you, Donna Lee. You know, I’m a surgeon, right? And you know, the surgeon, they call them the captain of the ship in the operating room, but really it’s more like a king.

Donna Lee: 

A king?

Dr. Mistry: 

A kingdom.

Donna Lee: 

With the standing, a standup throne?

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s right. But the King gets thrown darts at all the time. Trust me.

Donna Lee: 

I bet you are sometimes salty in these , in the operating room.

Dr. Mistry: 

You think so? I’m such a wonderfully likable person. You think that I, you think I have an attitude sometimes?

Donna Lee: 

I bet you’re a diva, with the scalpal in your hand, it’s like your extended penis.

Dr. Mistry: 

Well, I like things my way, and I like them the same way every time. And there better be 80’s new wave on the radio. And so, you know, we talk to each other, we spend all these hours in the, in the operating room, and sometimes just like in healthcare and what we do here in the office, you don’t even realize kind of, what’s the depth of the people that are around you. And so a few weeks ago…

Donna Lee: 

Because you’re shallow and you’re not thinking of others?

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s right. Somehow I’m just kinda thinking of myself. Is that not like me? We do a lot of kidney stone operations, and during the operation, we actually have x-rays that are performed during the operation to know where we are instrumentally inside the body. The technician for the X-Ray machine, who I had have known for many years, blurts out that he wrote a book.

Donna Lee: 

Wow. Just blurted it right out.

Dr. Mistry: 

I mean, I can barely write three paragraphs.

Donna Lee: 

I’ve seen your writing.

Dr. Mistry: 

I’ve seen my writing. I thought that was fascinating. You know? And then to hear what he, what he’s writing about, I thought for sure, we got to have him on and really for one big reason: we here help people have babies all the time. I mean, people come in here upset about the fact that they’re having fertility problems, they have money, means, motivation to have a baby and a family. And you never think to yourself for a second that this is that if they’re a success, they’re not going to give every single thing they can into that child and invest. But sometimes you forget that, you know, not everybody comes from like the perfect, you know, nuclear environment and that people have to overcome things. And so it made me really think about cycles of care, cycles of healthcare, cycles of psychology–how do we get out of those cycles? So, Anthony, thank you so much for joining us today.

Donna Lee: 

Welcome!

Anthony Blankenship: 

Dr. Mistry, thank you so much for having me. Donna Lee, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Donna Lee: 

Anthony Blankenship is our guest today.

Dr. Mistry: 

So I got Anthony Blankenship, and he has written a book: “First-Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One.” And I thought, what an amazing topic to talk about? We don’t talk a lot about psychology and sociology on the show, but without a doubt, it affects our health, right? How we’re raised and what experiences we come from and how we view each other and our healthcare and our family. You know, I’d love for you to discuss what you wrote and what motivated and what we should learn from it.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Absolutely. Once again, thank you guys so much for having me. Dr. Mistry, it’s a pleasure to see you in such a relaxed environment. Donna Lee, believe it or not, Dr. Mistry is not only incredibly competent, obviously, as you can tell by the success…

Dr. Mistry: 

Competent. That’s the word I was looking for.

Anthony Blankenship: 

…not only as you can tell by the success of the practice, but he’s actually very caring to the people in the operating room, not only the patients on the table, but the staff around him. He treats us well. He tries to act like he’s grumpy at us, but you can tell he doesn’t mean it. He’s got his tie dye led and stuff. You know, he’s a good guy.

Donna Lee: 

Wears his cowboy boots under his scrubs?

Dr. Mistry: 

Yeah. Those days are over. Plantar fasciitis.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Thank you so much for having me again, the title of the book is “First Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One.” You can find it at my website, anthonyblankenship.com.

Dr. Mistry: 

And that’ll be on our Facebook as well.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Absolutely. And I’d love to just chat with you guys about it and how the thing came to fruition and the steps and everything else.

Dr. Mistry: 

Well tell us about your own experience I guess of being a father and how you think that was influenced by your own family?

Anthony Blankenship: 

Great question. So I should say that now I’m happily married. My wife and I have been married for almost 20 years. Wow. We have two beautiful children: a 12 year old boy and a 10 year old girl. Life is good, but it was not always that way. I come from a, quite a different environment. I come from like many people, the cycle of poverty, trauma abuse. My parents were never married. My mother was 18 when she got pregnant with me, dropped out of high school, kicked out of her house. My father had drug issues. He never graduated high school. So very early I was born into a storm of chaos and drama and conflict. And oftentimes that cycle of negativity is passed down, just like you said, it’s passed down unconsciously from parent to child because we have a lot of unhealed issues within ourselves that we don’t really address. And as men particularly, I should say, the point is valid for men and women about breaking these cycles. But for men in particularly, we don’t really have a place in society to oftentimes address the deep issues in our life. I’m a military guy. A lot of this book is written about the leadership principles that I learned in the army. I spent two years as an enlisted soldier, three years as an officer. I learned quite a lot about leadership. My point is, society doesn’t necessarily create a soft landing space for men to say, “I have these issues. I have these feelings. I have these uncertainties. I have unhealed issues within myself.” So we tend to hold them in. And oftentimes we tend to perpetuate cycles of broken families and we end up reenacting the same things that we came from: unsuccessful relationships, divorce , you know, negligence with our children and all these things.

Dr. Mistry: 

And that stress and uncertainty can manifest itself in very bad habits, you know, in terms of drinking and drugs and not taking care of yourself.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Absolutely. We develop negative coping mechanisms , which, negative eating habits. When you come from that environment, oftentimes it’s entangled in poverty, which leads to poor choices. I guess I got that one right? Was that the sound of me getting it right? I got it right.

Dr. Mistry: 

You know, there’s people that overcome it, whether it be sociologically or from a health standpoint. You know, kind of not coming from the right background, and there are those that don’t. You were in the military, it sounds like the military experience was something that was very formative for you and allows you to kind of overcome a lot of these things. What are some of the keys you think to getting into the mindset of overcoming kind of bad habits that have been ingrained in you that you’d like to share?

Anthony Blankenship: 

Sure. A very big question. And again, that’s, that’s the premise of the whole book. Someone can write a whole book on this and I did. But to boil it down, I’ve basically learned that, you know, two things: one, you can’t heal something that you, that you’re not willing to address. So again, the emotional and mental aspect for men oftentimes is we have trauma. We have hurt. We have pain from our past and we are uncomfortable being vulnerable, being vulnerable enough to say these issues hurt us. So we don’t address those issues, whether they be , you know, like I said, mental, emotional issues from our past. So we suppress them. We repress them, and they end up subconsciously driving our actions in ways that we don’t even understand. How many times have you seen a guy who’s been in a good relationship. He has everything that he wants. He completely submarines his whole situation. He blows his whole family up. He makes some crazy irrational decision and you go, “Why would you do that?” And the person has himself. He doesn’t know why he did it, right? This happens often. And the reason for that is people have parts of themselves driving their actions that they’re not even facing. They’re almost sleepwalking in a way. So the first thing is you have to learn how to face the issues from your past that have hurt you rather than just neglect them and turn your back on them and pretend that you’ve gotten over them when you haven’t actually really faced them and really healed them. Because when you do that, you can make conscious decisions to move in a different, in a different direction in your life.

Dr. Mistry: 

Yeah, we call those self inflicted wounds around here. And it’s the number one thing to avoid. The book again is “First Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One.” Our guest today is Anthony Blankenship, one of my friends from the operating room.

Anthony Blankenship: 

I’m moving up, I’m a friend now. I’m no longer a servant in the kingdom. I’m a friend.

Dr. Mistry: 

Donna Lee, we love, we love questions. And we love interaction from our listeners. How people can get ahold of us, and interact with us?

Donna Lee: 

Before we get to that, the release date for your book is October 15th, so it’s coming up.

Anthony Blankenship: 

That’s true, 10-15-20, although you can order it, you can reserve your copy now anthonyblankenship.com. And I have , I’ve received quite a bit of support. So thank you everybody for supporting thus far.

Donna Lee: 

Awesome. Well, our demographic here is men, so I’m sure that you’ll get some downloads for sure. But you can call us during the week at (512) 238-0762. You can email us and we will answer your questions anonymously to armormenshealth@gmail.com. Our website is armormenshealth.com and you can check out our podcasts wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also listen to this one again. So search this Armor Men’s Health and Anthony Blankenship, and you will find that podcast and we’ll be back.

Speaker 4: 

The Armor Men’s Health Hour will be right back. If you have questions for Dr. Mistry, email him at an armormenshealth@gmail.com.

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