Phone: 512-238-0762

Fax: 512-341-7370

September 26, 2020

The Life You Choose: Author Anthony Blankenship Talks Personal Responsibility

Speaker 1: 

Welcome back 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, joined as always my effervescent, ebullient office manager and partner in crime here, Donna Lee.

Donna Lee: 

Ebullient? I don’t know what that means.

Anthony Blankenship: 

I gotta Google that when I leave here.

Dr. Mistry: 

I don’t know if we’re using it right. That voice is Anthony Blankenship, our partner and guest today.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Partner now! You see how I keep moving up the chain, Donna Lee.

Dr. Mistry: 

I don’t know, we may have to…

Donna Lee: 

Surgery guy to friend to partner.

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s right. We may have to bleep that out.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Two weeks ago, I was, “Hey, you!” if you saw me in the hall.

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s alright. I make close relationships easily.

Anthony Blankenship: 

I see that.

Dr. Mistry: 

I am a board certified urologist. This is a men’s health show. Our practice is who sponsors and brings the show to you, NAU Urology Specialists. We’ve been very happily been able to provide this show to Austin through KLBJ News Radio 590 AM, 99.7 FM. And…

Donna Lee: 

Worldwide.

Dr. Mistry: 

And we’re worldwide.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right, Mr. Worldwide.

Dr. Mistry: 

Mr. Worldwide! So this is a men’s health show. Donna Lee, tell people where our offices are and how to get a hold of us.

Donna Lee: 

Okay. And so they don’t think we’re crazy, you can download our podcasts and we’ve figured out where people are listening in the other parts of the world. That’s why I say that.

Dr. Mistry: 

And my name is Dr. Mistry.

Donna Lee: 

And your name is Dr. Mistry: M-I-S-T-R-Y. So we’re not making that up. But you could reach out to us at (512) 238-0762 during the week. And you can send your questions that we will answer, I will respond to every one of them, armormenshealth@gmail.com.

Dr. Mistry: 

You know what really hurts me about people thinking that I picked a gimmicky name , “Dr. Mystery?”

Donna Lee: 

Because it’s been your actual name?

Dr. Mistry: 

And because they don’t think I would be, like, even gimmicky-er.

Anthony Blankenship: 

They underestimate your gimmickiness.

Donna Lee: 

Dr. Evil . “Hi, this is Dr. Evil and Donna Lee.”

Dr. Mistry: 

This isn’t Dr. Evil and Donna Lee.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Well, hold on a second. Now that you’ve teased us, what ? I’m sure you have one in the holster.

Dr. Mistry: 

I got nothing. I got nothing.

Anthony Blankenship: 

You got nothing?

Dr. Mistry: 

I got nothing.

Donna Lee: 

Yeah. We’ve talked about it. I thought you had a different name you would’ve come up with?

Dr. Mistry: 

That’s right.

Donna Lee: 

Dr. Sexy?

Dr. Mistry: 

No, no. There was a doctor in town named Dr. Les Wang. And I said, “I would never go with that. I would be Dr. F. More Longfellow.”

Anthony Blankenship: 

Oh man.

Dr. Mistry: 

That was, that was my joke to try and get more vasectomies. In any case , Anthony, welcome back.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Clean segue .

Dr. Mistry: 

Anthony Blankenship is our guest today. He is an author, but also someone that I work with in the operating room. He controls the X-Ray machine that we use during our cases. And when he shared with me a few weeks ago that he had written a book, I thought that was fascinating. For someone to have the patience , the fortitude, and really the vision to put thoughts into paper, and then actually go through the process of publishing them and believe in them. So it was really an awakening for me that , and so I was so impressed. And then when we talked about the topic and what, what you had gone through, I thought we could talk about on our show and, and how it relates to health. Anthony, what’s the title?

Anthony Blankenship: 

Thank you. Again, my name is Anthony Blankenship. Thank you so much for having me, Dr. Mistry. My book is “First Generation Father: How to Build a Healthy and Happy Home When You Come From a Broken One,” and you can find it at my website, anthonyblankenship.com.

Dr. Mistry: 

We’re going to have that in the show notes. If you look for where the podcast is, and it’ll be also in the show notes on the KLBJ news radio website. And how this relates to health is really this idea of where you come from says a lot about where you’re going to go, whether it be financially, socioeconomically, whether it be health–you have to work to break the cycle. And you and I grew up in very different places, but you made decisions that were harder for you relatively speaking than really what would have been a decision for someone else to really overcome things. We all make mistakes, but sometimes mistakes affect some people worse than others. Same with health. If you start off in a home in which you’re eating poorly and have very poor health kind of habits, you may have to make bigger changes, not only in your habits, but also your, kind of your mindset. I thought we’d talk a little bit about what were the formative events in your life that led to you trying to make real changes?

Anthony Blankenship: 

Well, you hit the nail on the head. Obviously you’re a smart guy. I appreciate that you think that I did something special in writing this book. It’s incredibly personal to me. The journey of coming from a broken home, parents that were never married, being surrounded by early trauma and dysfunction, and ultimately making some terrible, terrible humiliating decisions in my life led to me kind of going down a different path and growing and evolving out of necessity because I was literally on the cusp of throwing my entire life away. So you talk about decisions in this book is a lot about helping men or women make better decisions in their life regarding their families, their relationships, their finances–all the elements that go into building a healthy and happy home. So for me personally, and I talk about this in the book, I would like to say that I came from a tough early environment and just saw that I wanted to do better for myself and made better decisions right away. But like you said, that’s not how a lot of people learn. For me, I went the opposite way. I absolutely derailed incredibly early in life. I became truant from school. I was committing crimes early in life. And like I talk about in the book, when I was 15 years old on one evening, I was beside myself with anger and frustration with the way things were playing out in my life, lacking the mental and emotional maturity to understand what I was going through. I didn’t have a way to voice my frustration. I couldn’t even really necessarily comprehend my frustration. You can imagine going through puberty and having a contentious relationship with your parents that aren’t together and with society in general. I talk early in the book about my race and the racial dynamics and how that affected my life. My parents are, I am biracial. My parents are mixed. My father was black. My mother was white. There was a disowning early on. My mother put me in foster care at birth because we didn’t have a place to go. I wasn’t welcomed anywhere. All those things…and again, the book isn’t about ” woe is me.” It’s absolutely not that. It’s an empowering story. And I only talk about my early trauma as much as I need to to convey to the reader that I’m qualified to talk about these things. On this evening, when I was 15 years old, I found myself in the parking lot with a gun in my hand, robbing a gentleman who was coming out of a shopping plaza and taking all this pain and frustration that I had within myself and trying to pour it out onto someone else. So I break the whole story down. I was caught by the police. I was threatened to be shot by the police, and I could tell by his voice he was serious. And although I was at my wit’s end with how my life was going at that point, I wanted my life to change, but I didn’t want it to end. So I stopped my chase from the, from the police. They caught me, they arrested me. I was only 15. And that ended up being my saving grace because I was charged as a juvenile. I was sentenced to a year in a juvenile prison, several cities away, and that low point really was the awakening for me to go, “You know what, regardless of however many legitimate reasons I have to throw my life away, ultimately it’s my decision and it’s my responsibility. And no one’s coming to save me.” And from that point on, it still wasn’t a flip-the-switch and now everything’s just beautiful. It was a slow, gradual, progressive waking up and realizing every day that I had to be responsible for my choices all throughout my life. And since then, I’ve gone on to earn two college degrees, earn multiple awards in the military, both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer. Been married almost 20 years, have two healthy and happy children. Financially we’re stable. And in each level of life that I’ve progressed to, it’s been a challenge to undo the kind of underlying script that already runs in my mind–the normal that I learned won’t allow me to sustain my life as I want it. So at every new level I have to unlearn anything that I, you know, saw as normal growing up, and then replace that with conscious decisions. And in this book, I explain exactly how readers can do the same thing. I want people to understand that the book is about empowering the readers. It’s not so much about, “Listen to my story and listen to me.” It’s really about you. And I’m providing you the tools and understanding how to do the same thing in your own life.

Dr. Mistry: 

It’s an amazing journey and an amazing lesson about how decisions early on could fully derail you to never recover. And some people are fortunate enough either because of mental strength or because of the right mentorship or because of getting in the right environment to overcome that. And when it comes to health and you know, our general global, how we feel as men, whether it be health or psychology, that really comes down, what it comes down to, you’re not going to get better until you unlearn those bad lessons that may have been ingrained in us, whether it be how we care for ourselves psychologically, how we view marriage and our relationship with others. For you to be able to provide some your own story…you know, it’s better to get stories from people who were not perfect to start with.

Anthony Blankenship: 

…and still not.

Dr. Mistry: 

Health books from yogis who never were ill and grew up wealthy with all the things in life probably resonates a little less than somebody who had to go through those difficult things. So, Anthony, thank you so much for joining us today. Donna Lee, quickly tell people how to get ahold of us or ask Anthony a question.

Donna Lee: 

That’s right. You can send Anthony a question to armormenshealth@gmail.com and I will get that right over to him and get your question answered very quickly. You can reach out to us at armormenshealth@gmail.com. Again, for any questions you have, our phone number is (512) 238-0762 . Thank you, Anthony.

Dr. Mistry: 

Thank you, Anthony.

Anthony Blankenship: 

Thank you.

: 

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

 

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