Episode 329 Justin Crane From Rescues to Resilience Transcript

This transcript is from episode 329 with guest Justin Crane.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio. And today my guest is Justin Crane. Justin served for 12 years in the military, but he left due to medical reasons. Uh, and that left him in a depressive state after getting out of the military. And he’s here today to discuss his journey and importantly, how he was able to change himself for the better after getting out of the military.

But before we get into that whole story, um, welcome to the show, Justin. I’m really glad to have you here.

Justin Crane: Yeah. Thanks for, uh, thanks for having me on here, Scott. I really appreciate it. And I, I’m glad I have an opportunity and a place to share my story. So I really appreciate it.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, you bet. Um, for the listeners who aren’t familiar with you and your background, I know we’re going to get into your story in a little bit here, but I like to usually start off an episode with just telling people, you know, who is this person that we’re talking to and what, what, what’s your, your background and who are you and, and things like that.

So tell us a little bit about yourself.

Justin Crane: Yeah, thanks. Uh, yeah. So I grew up in a small town in Indiana. Um, I [00:01:00] figured out I was a normal, normal kid, normal family. And, um, in, in high school and up through high school, I really liked sports. I excelled in sports. I played basketball, ran track, played football, and then focused on football towards the end.

Um, but I really wasn’t a kid that really liked the academics and, uh, that kind of held me back for the, from the sports part. But, um, the reason why I chose the military is I didn’t want to go to college. And I knew I wanted to do something with my life and I wanted to get out of the small town that I was in.

And so I went to the recruiter and, uh, I said, I want to do something that was going to keep me in shape and athletic and fun. And they gave me an option of being a seal or being a rescue swimmer. So, um, I did my research and I thought. The Rescue Swimmer was the route that I wanted to pick, and so I did that.

And, uh, I didn’t, wasn’t a big swimmer, so Rescue Swimmer school was quite a challenge for me, like, just like everyone else that goes. So, um, I got through that, and then, uh, did the Rescue Swimmer typical gig that you would do out of a helicopter with a [00:02:00] squadron. And my first station was in Pensacola, Search and Rescue.

And, uh, so I went through three hurricanes there, got rescues in Hurricane Katrina, um, got a rescue off of a Coast Guard boat, and then, I decided to switch commands. I came up to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and was at another regular helicopter command that deployed. Um, and then I wanted to always be a SEAL.

After I became a rescue swimmer, I wanted to be a SEAL, but in my rating, it was really hard to do that. So I never had the opportunity, but I was presented a chance to go with a helicopter unit that did special operations. So I screened for that, and that’s what I did at the last, uh, probably Eight years of my military career.

So I did five deployments to Iraq, supporting all special operations inside, um, Iraq at the time from 2007 to 2010. Uh, and then I finished up my career at water survival training, teaching pilots how to an air crew, how to survive in the water. And then from there I had to get out. Basically we talked about, I had a medical retirement.

We’ll talk more [00:03:00] about it. And, uh, I was confused. I didn’t know what to do. I was kind of lost. And so, uh, I went back to school and then I slowly just saw myself kind of dripped away. I lost myself and I got into contracting. I was making good money. You would think on the outside looking in, my life was great, but I was slowly collapsing inside.

And, uh, it took me a long time to figure out what was going on. I was able to save myself. And, um, now I want to help others do that. And that’s why I am a mindset fitness and nutrition coach. So I help everyone that has lost, that’s lost their way like I was to get back on track and let them know that there is a way out.

You can fix yourself and you can love yourself again.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s a great message too, because I know sometimes we have those, those demons in our head that are telling us that We’re not whatever enough. And, um, You know, for some reason we listen to them, you know, anyone else [00:04:00] told you that? Like they walked up to you and said, Hey, you suck.

And you’re, you’re terrible and whatever. It’s like, you know, screw you, dude. Like, no, I’m not going to listen to that. Um, but for some reason we listened to that voice in our head and, uh, you know, maybe sometimes we do need to have somebody in our corner who’s like. No man, that, that voice in your head is stupid.

Like don’t listen to it. Yeah. , sometimes you gotta listen to the voice, you know, sometimes like, yeah, don’t do that stupid thing. Okay, listen to the voice. But, um, you know, when, when you got that voice in the back of your head that’s, that’s telling you stuff that, uh, is clearly not true. Um, you, you gotta have someone there to, to kind of help kick you out of it.

So, um, yeah. I wanna get more into your story here in just a minute. We’re gonna take a quick commercial breaks here, so stay tuned. Hey everybody, welcome back. Uh, Justin, in the intro, you were talking a little bit about your, uh, time in the military, the, um, you know, the work that you did as a rescue swimmer and then working with the special operations and, and all of that type of stuff.

Um, tell us more about your time in the military and, and specifically the transition out [00:05:00] of the military. We mentioned in the intro that you, uh, you left for medical reasons, uh, you know, what, what happened there and, and what, uh, was that, that whole situation like, uh, kind of leading up to it.

Justin Crane: Okay. Yeah, so like I said, I went through rescue swimmer school, my whole training for becoming a rescue swimmer and then learning to get qualified to fly in the back of the helicopter took.

About two years of my military training in the very beginning. And so I went through boot camp and then two years of training. And then I get to my first squadron, which is down in Pensacola, Florida. And, um, that’s a weird path for someone new that’s joining the fleet to go straight to shore duty at first, but, um, it was kind of unique because.

Um, they’ve done a way, the military has gone away with a search and rescue. The Navy has gone away with search and rescue units. Now it’s more for the Coast Guard and they, we, we do rescues on ships and stuff like that, but we don’t have the dedicated search and rescue. So it was really fun. So I, I got to work with Rescue Swimmer School, Air Crew School and Pilot School down in Pensacola, [00:06:00] um, doing, uh, bay operations.

And then also we were on standby for any rescues that happened and we were right there. With the blue angels. So my first tour was, was awesome. And like I said, I got to go experience Hurricane Katrina. And that was, that was just a kind of a breathtaking moment, like to be there. It was so surreal. And to look back at it now and just think about how sad that that was and being there and, uh, you know, I just felt blessed to be there, to be able to help and do, you know, everyone trains as a rescue swimmer to get rescues and, uh, not everyone gets to get rescues.

And, um, it was. Pretty cool getting to do that. And then, um, like I said, my, my, I wanted to always go be, go on and be a SEAL and go to training for that. But when you’re, you, the military spends a lot of money on you in the very beginning, they want to get your money out of you. And my rate was under, uh, undermanned.

And so they were not going to let me, my detailer was not going to let me go. And so I just kind of sucked it up, that’s fine. And, [00:07:00] uh, my commanding officer, he knew that I was a good sailor, I was, I was a good guy. And he’s like, Hey, we got up this, this unit, it’s called HSC 84 and they do special operations.

They go, um, over to Iraq and, but you got to screen for it. So I screened for that. And, uh, like I said, I went and did five deployments there. And I mean, there’s tons of stories from there. Um, it was a blast. And then. Um, from there I went on to water survival school, um, to teach, uh, people how to survive in the water.

Uh, and then that’s when everything kind of went sideways. I was in the pool and I got out and started getting vertigo. I’ve never had that before and it was the worst feeling. The, the rescue diver had to pull me out of the water because he thought I was, I thought I was swimming up to the surface. I was actually swimming down.

And, uh. Which was kind of just, it felt weird. And I just felt like I had like a blockage in my ear, I couldn’t clear. And so I went to medical, the doctors, there’s, there’s nothing in your ear. And you’re, you’re hearing in your left side of your, your, your ear [00:08:00] is, it sounds, it seems like you’re deaf. And I couldn’t hear anything for like a day.

And then it came back and everything was fine. And that just happened a couple of times. And then, uh, once a doctor or corpsman or anyone in the military says vertigo. and put it on your record, you’re pretty much done in any special programs. So, um, then my process out, um, gave me about a year. I didn’t have to go to any other command.

I was able to continue working, doing what I was doing. And then I had like a year to prepare myself to get out of the military. And so I didn’t lose pay. I didn’t do anything. And then I got a full medical retirement out. And, um, the VA rating, I got a really good VA rating. And, um, I was still pretty sad though.

Like that, like I did not want to get out and the way I had to get out was, was really tough. And, uh, I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t know anything else. And I just went to, I was like, you know what, I’m going to finish up college, [00:09:00] use the VA benefits and. I did that. And, uh, and that’s where I kind of, kind of lost myself.

And now I didn’t know I was losing myself at this time. I didn’t realize what was all going on until about 2020. So, yeah, that’s, that’s my transition out was kind of a tough one cause I didn’t want to leave.

Scott DeLuzio: Right. And a lot of people who get out on a medical discharge, this is something that just happens, uh, almost like overnight, like someone who gets, gets a serious injury.

Uh, you know, they, Lose a leg or something like that. And it’s like, yeah, maybe there’s some, uh, rehab time or whatever, but you’re basically like pulled out almost right away. And it’s like, that’s a tough pill to swallow because you may have envisioned a 20 year career in the military. And then all of a sudden.

That just goes up in smoke. You can’t do that anymore. And you’ve lost that ability. Um, you know, but it was good, I think, in a way that you had that year to prepare for getting out of the military. Now, did you know this whole time during that, that year time [00:10:00] period that, you know, you’re, you’re getting out.

It’s just a matter of when, is it, was that

Justin Crane: kind of how it worked? Yeah. So I had two things going. I had the doctor that I was working with, uh, for the VA. And he was skeptical on giving me what he thought was wrong with me, because he’s like, I’ve had a lot of top gun F 18 pilots that lose their career over this, and I don’t want to label it, but I was knowing in the back of my mind, talking to, um, the medical people down in Pensacola that make the decisions, they said, vertigo is already on your record.

It doesn’t matter. So I, and I, so I was confused at one, one situation. I knew I was getting out, but. The doctors were like, we don’t really know if this is what you have, but if we have to label it anything, it’s this. Okay. And so at that point, I made the transition and, uh, I suggest anyone that’s getting outta the military that, uh, for medical reasons is go use What is there available for you?

The va um, office, the every, every, uh, major, um, Medical facility on the, in the [00:11:00] branches, in the military, they have one, they have advocates for you. And I, I spoke to one and they helped me get the best rating that you could possibly get when you get out. And so make sure that you guys do that because, um, your ratings all on the work that you put in.

Um, to get

Scott DeLuzio: that. Yeah. And I like how you said that, like, use that before, you know, before you get out, because a lot of times when you’re going to these, these ratings, uh, the, the stuff that they’re, they’re looking for is. you know, what’s in your military records as far as your medical history goes. And if there’s nothing recorded in your medical history, it’s, it’s a lot more difficult to tie something to be service connected.

Uh, if, if it’s not in your, uh, your military record, uh, military medical record, I should say. So yeah, do that before you get out, um, figure out what it is that you need to do. Maybe you need to go make appointments and get something documented for, you know, like vertigo in your case or hearing loss [00:12:00] or whatever it is.

Get that stuff documented so that way when you’re getting out, you’re able to get the rating that you deserve as opposed to jump through hoops. Years later, trying to figure out, okay, how do I tie this back to my service? Because I never, uh, never went to medical, never, never got anything documented. I never took care of that.

That’s kind of a, you know, a big issue. No, you mentioned that you like you’re in college now after getting out of the military and you felt like you kind of were losing yourself. And I think that’s a common thing that people do too. They, but they don’t realize it at the time. What was that all like? And, and, and how did that situation play out for you?

Justin Crane: Yeah, so I went from a job in the military that I had to stay disciplined, you know, my, my pay rely and my, my job relied on if I wasn’t in shape, physical shape, I was not gonna be able to do my job and, um, So I’ve always had like a structure. When you get out of the military, um, you don’t realize how much you rely on the military to hold you, hold you accountable still, even [00:13:00] though you’re, you’re your own, your own self.

And whenever you get out, it’s on you to do that. And then I did something that was easy. Like I thought when I got out, when I was in high school, I thought college was going to be hard. Then I get in the military, then I go to college and I’m, you know. You just show up and you can pass, you can get through college.

It was, for me, it was really easy and I wasn’t challenged. And, uh, I stopped waking up at a certain time. I would get up when I would go. And then, um, you know, we could, drinking was something that was always around for me in the military. And I noticed since I had a lot more free time, I started doing that more.

Um, with my neighbors and just going out and then, uh, yeah, it was just a spiral after that because I had no structure. I had no, um, drive and I had no discipline anymore.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I think that’s, uh, another, unfortunately, it’s another common thing that happens with people getting out of the military is they, they lose that discipline and that structure, uh, because, um, the, the structure makes it easy.

To [00:14:00] stay on top of a certain routine, you know, okay, you gotta wake up at a certain time. You got PT, you got this, you got that, this training, that training, this is where you need to be. This is what you need to be wearing. This is what you, you know, they tell you everything’s laid out for you. And, um, and you also have a command structure that’s there, that’s looking out for you where you got a problem.

Like, you know, some of your medical problems, you could bring that up to your chain of command and be like, Hey, look, I gotta go get this checked out. And they’re, they want you to be, your peak physical mental condition to be able to do your job. Because if you’re not, then they’re not getting the best sailor, Marine airman, you know, soldier that they could, you know, depending on what branch you’re in.

Now you get out of the military and all of a sudden that whole structure, everything that we just mentioned, that’s gone. It’s you against the world. And there’s nobody out there who is. Going to check in on you and say, Hey, you know, why weren’t you in the gym doing PT today? [00:15:00] Or why weren’t you, uh, you know, if you skipped a class or something in college, like nobody’s calling you up and be like, Hey, what the hell?

You weren’t in class. Like nobody cares. And. And so that’s all on you. And you, for one person to have that motivation, when for years you had other people, the external motivating factors, like, well, I don’t want to get smoked, so I’m going to make sure I’m on time, you know, that type of thing, you know? So, um, like your college professor is not going to, you know.

Make you do pushups until you puke, uh, if you’re invited to class or something, you know, no

Justin Crane: accountability there. It’s none, none, you got, it’s gotta be on, it’s gotta be on you. And you don’t like, you don’t really, you learn that, but you don’t know how to adapt it really quickly when you get out. Right.

That’s what I mean. Anyways.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And it’s a hard thing for, for people, especially like we were saying, like coming off of, uh, being in that structured environment for so many years, um, you know, 12 years at that point, that’s a [00:16:00] significant chunk of your life, uh, at that point that, that it’s like, okay, well, I had this and I kind of got used to it and it’s kind of a nice, easy, uh, way of, yeah.

I don’t want to say it’s easy, but it’s, it’s an easier way of, uh, going through life because you, you do have that support system in place, you know, there’s a steady paycheck coming in, you know, that housing’s taken care of for you, you know, food, meals, all that kind of stuff that’s taken care of. You don’t have to think about those things.

It’s just there, even clothing. You don’t really need to worry too much about clothes. It’s pretty much the same thing every day, you know, you only got a few options. So it’s like not that big a deal. Um, I want to talk more about kind of. Some of the coping mechanisms that you, you kind of found yourself in and what you ended up doing to kind of pull yourself out of this rut in just a minute, but we’re going to cut to another quick commercial break and, uh, we’ll be right back.

So stay tuned, everybody. Welcome back to drive on. Um, we have Justin crane here who was talking about his transition out of the military, dealing with vertigo, which essentially made it. Um, you know, uh, [00:17:00] made him get out of the military for medical reasons, medically discharged. And, um, you know, he was talking about working to get the, the benefits that he, uh, was supposed to get coming out of the military.

And he had some good advice there earlier in the last segment about, uh, you know, making sure all your, your medical, uh, stuff is up to date before getting out. Work with the, uh, the, uh, advocates, uh, at the VA. To, uh, work on that disability rating and all that kind of stuff, especially if you’re getting out on a medical issue.

Um, but anyone, I think. This is good advice for, um, uh, certainly, um, would, would, would help, uh, later on if you have all of your, your medical stuff documented, no matter how small it is. Um, but, uh, Justin, you were, you were talking a little bit in the last segment, how you’re, you’re kind of lost your way and, um, you know, Drinking was a big thing in the military.

It’s kind of prevalent. I think that’s probably across branches. I don’t think that, I think that’s pretty much a universal thing. You know, Army, [00:18:00] Marines, whoever, there’s a lot of drinking going on there. Um, and you said you found yourself getting more and more into, you know, drinking and stuff like that after, um, you know, really not having anyone to hold you accountable.

You know, what, what, um, maybe a strange way of asking the question, but what was like the, the mindset there? Was it just like a coping mechanism for you? Or, cause you know, I, I always think to myself, like no one grows up telling themselves they want to be drinking all the time and be, be a drunk or, you know, be a alcoholic, whatever you want to call it.

Um, And I can’t, I also can’t imagine anyone wakes up one day and it’s like, Hey, you know what, today sounds like a great day to, you know, just completely blasted and not have a care in the world about anything else. So like, there’s always that lead up and it’s like, okay, well, like one more is not that big a deal.

One more is not that big a deal. Like what was that process like

Justin Crane: for you? Yeah. So like you said, it was just kind [00:19:00] of, I joined in 2001 and got out in 2013 and so it was. It wasn’t that drinking was glorified. It was just something that, you know, we did on the weekends. Uh, I remember in Pensacola, I didn’t really drink in high school and through the military, I like when going through training, I wasn’t old enough, but once I turned 21, I didn’t even go out and drink then.

But then eventually, I think around 23, I started drinking and just didn’t stop since then. You know, it was just, uh, every weekend going out, having fun. And then when I got out, um, I can’t remember how old I was. Like it’s still in the thirties. Um, You know, like 32. And, uh, I still had friends in the area. So we would go meet up on the weekends, just kind of like we were reliving the old days talking.

And then I just noticed people start, stop drinking. And I, you know, I was married at the time and, uh, you know, my wife’s family, we would get together and have get togethers was always drinking around. But what I noticed is I started doing it more by myself. So, you know, um, and I, [00:20:00] at the time I didn’t realize it was a coping mechanism, but it was because I was.

I was in a depression. Like I said, I didn’t know I was depressed at the time, but the drinking was just kind of like an escape, um, instead of using like working out and everything else, like I did, I took all my healthy habits. And then I didn’t do them anymore. I wasn’t getting up at a certain time, wasn’t holding myself accountable.

I didn’t care really what I looked like. I think a lot of us have like body dysmorphia. Sometimes when we really like lose ourself, we, we look at ourselves in a mirror and I always thought I was okay. I’m like, Oh, I’m fine. You know, I stayed in shape. I would work out three or four times a week still. I’m okay.

I can go do this. And then, you know, misery loves company. Sometimes. And so if it found like my friends that I was getting were people that were at the bars and so they would ask me to come out and you know, I’m an outgoing person. I like to have fun. And then, um, as time went on and I, uh, got done with college and [00:21:00] I went and started doing contracting, um, you would be gone just like you were in the military for four or five months, come back.

You know, one to two months to do nothing. And instead of being productive, I just made that time to say, I’m going to relax because I’m owed something. And, uh, I found myself just, you know, just. Partying like way too much, just drinking, traveling to go places to meet up with friends and just living the lifestyle that you don’t want to live.

And I thought I was just, I thought it was okay. It’s just like, whenever you do something for so long, you think it’s the norm. And then when you, you double down on it, you don’t realize how bad you’re getting. And people, I’ve had a lot of warning signs, like. You know, and I think it was around 2016, 2017.

I’ve had, you know, my, my wife at the time was telling me she thinks I have a problem. All my friends are reaching out. Hey, we think you have a problem. And I’m like, you guys just don’t get it. Like, you don’t understand what I’m going through. Like, I [00:22:00] used getting out of the military. as a reason to drink because you guys don’t know what I’m going through.

I miss all my friends. I miss being in as an excuse to drink. And so your mind, like you’re saying before, your mind will tell you everything’s okay. And deep down, I think I knew what I was doing. It was wrong. Like we all have a conscience. You gotta listen to it. And I kept just pushing it away and pushing it away.

And then on top of that, um, in 2018, I went through, you know, I was going through my, uh, divorce and I had a, uh, my, my son was born at that time and I was living across, uh, the country. We were in Washington state. And then, um, during the divorce, after my son was born. My, uh, wife at the time moved back to Virginia beach.

I stayed out there and I just went through a really bad depression, even worse, started drinking more. And then I went to the doctor and talked to them about my depression. And instead of not saying that doctors are bad, but instead of fixing the [00:23:00] problem, they just gave me, here’s some Xanax, you know, here’s some medication.

Take this if you feel depressed. And nowhere did they tell me, I mean, it says it on the bottle, but they don’t really go into detail saying if you mix. Xanax with alcohol, you’re really going to be messed up. And, um, so then during that time, that’s when I got a drunk in public. Um, and then like the next week later, I got a DUI and then it just kept snowballing from there.

And, uh, yeah, it was not fun. Um, and it just kind of got away from itself during that point.

Scott DeLuzio: So, so Justin, at this point, uh, you know, things, things are going downhill and you’re probably starting to recognize. Okay. Something’s wrong. Obviously you went to the doctor, uh, you know, talked about things were, were wrong and things are going even further downhill in the wrong direction.

At what point did you sort of have that light bulb moment where you were just like, you know, enough’s enough. I got to cut this shit out and I got to get [00:24:00] back on track.

Justin Crane: Yeah. Like, so I said before in 2020, um, was when I realized. You know, I went through, I went through my divorce and you know, that the divorce wasn’t from drinking and everything.

I was getting, we just, it wasn’t meant to be, but it just was horrible timing. And, uh, I saw myself, uh, missing time away from my son and, uh, I was just living a lifestyle I didn’t like. So in 2020 is when I realized I needed to make a change. But I didn’t know how, so I, I didn’t know that I was addicted as annex because the doctor that I was seeing just kept giving it to me saying it was okay.

And, uh, what happened is she ended up getting, um, fired from the, the place I was seeing. And she asked me to that sued for a malpractice for giving out too much medicine. And then I had a lady that came on and helped me afterwards. And she’s like. Was asking how much Xanax I was taking. And I told her, and she’s like, well, you’re not drinking on that either.

I was like, well, yeah. And [00:25:00] she’s like, you’re lucky you’re alive. Um, she’s like, you know, for what you’re taking and drinking at the same time, like. She’s like, I’ve seen people take one milligram of Xanax and have a glass of wine and not wake up from that and you’re going out and taking three to five milligrams a day and going out and drinking heavily with your friends like we need to stop this.

And, uh, that’s when I knew that I had like, because I was like getting these spells where I would, um, and during all this time I was having this time I was a director of training for a drone company here in Virginia Beach. I was showing up. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe they did know, but, um, I didn’t let work really see my problems.

And, um, yeah, so I, I started like feigning and having these like dizzy spells and passing out and I thought it was my, my vertigo and the doc, are you taking the Xanax correctly? And I said, no, I’m just taking it when I feel like I’m depressed. She’s like, what’s happening is. You’re taking Xanax and then two or three [00:26:00] days go by and you’re going through with the draw symptoms and that’s what’s making you faint and pass out.

She’s like, so we really need, she’s like, we really need to get you off this. We need to, I need you to stop drinking, but that’s another thing, but let’s worry about getting you off the Xanax. And so. She wanted me to go into an inpatient care where they monitored me for 10 days because you can really, if any of you guys are on Xanax or taking any type of those benzoids, I think that’s what they’re called.

Um, you, you have to be careful when you come off them cause you can die. You can go have seizures, everything like that. And so I, with my job as I can’t do that, she said, okay, well it’s going to take a very long time. So it took me about six months to come off of it completely. And I tapered off and then I got off off.

Off of that. And then I still had the drinking going on. And, uh, that was up until, um, earlier this year, um, about five months ago, I just. Ended it completely. I didn’t need rehab. I didn’t need anything like that. It was coming across the right person [00:27:00] who was doing the same thing I’m doing, a coach, and he spoke me, spoke to me in a way.

He didn’t cater to me. He was blunt. He was straight up and said, you have. A beautiful son, you know, I have a girlfriend I’m with now that I love a lot. And they’re like, if you keep doing this, they’re not going to be around. And so you need to change what you’re doing. And he just woke me up. And that’s, you know, where I really, really made the change.

But like I said, it was almost a three year process to get off of everything altogether.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And sometimes it’s not a quick process. And especially, like you said, with the, um, the prescription medications, um, you know, for anyone who’s listening out there. who maybe is feeling like maybe this isn’t the right thing for me or whatever.

Like talk to your doctor and don’t just cold turkey, stop taking it. Because like you said, that could cause some major problems. If you just start, stop taking certain medications, um, you might have to taper off, uh, over the course of. Maybe a couple of weeks or a couple of months, depending on how long you’ve [00:28:00] been using it or, uh, what dosage you’re on and things like that.

I know, um, you know, myself, my wife, we we’ve had certain medications over, over, uh, you know, the years for various issues and. It was, the doctors were, were insistent, like, don’t stop taking this, talk to us first, if you want to come off of it, you know, like, and that was good because, you know, I’m not a doctor.

I don’t, I don’t know all of these things and, uh, you know, neither does my wife. And so, you know, having that, that knowledge like helped us to, okay, taper off and, and it wasn’t the easiest thing to taper off, but once when, once in your off, it’s like, okay, now I can, I can kind of breathe again if, if something was wrong, you know, but, um, well, I want to talk a little bit more about, about this and, uh, Uh, get into some, maybe some advice that you might have for other veterans in just a minute here.

We’re going to take a quick commercial break. Uh, so stay tuned. So, Justin, um, we’ve been talking a lot about your background, your situation, the stuff that you’ve been going through and, uh, what you’re dealing with. Um, [00:29:00] but now you’re kind of on the other side of some of this where you’re now helping other people to

I want to start with like a little bit of advice that you might have for other veterans who are feeling either stuck alone, depressed, some of the similar issues that you are having. What do they need to do to start pulling themselves out of that dark place that they’re in?

Justin Crane: Yeah, so for me, what I did and what I think anyone can do is Just.

Realize like the trend, if you’re thinking about getting out or you’re getting out right now, like the transition is going to be tough. Like you’re, you, you had a brotherhood and it’s not there anymore. And when, whatever you’re going to go do after this, it’s going to be a tough transition because civilian life is not the same.

And so if you feel yourself getting depressed, what you really need to do is double down on the things that You did in the military that kept you, kept you going. So you need to have a good morning routine. [00:30:00] That’s one of the things I focus on getting, even though you’re not required to get up a certain time, still get up at a set time and give your time, so give yourself time in the morning to gather your thoughts and do something.

Uh, physical, whether that’s, I like to go for a walk when I get up, it kind of gathers my thoughts. I may think for the day and it just, it gets me, gets me moving. But what a lot of people do when they get depressed and they don’t know, realize how this is happening. This will happen to me was I was constantly letting myself down.

And so your subconscious mind sets in and you don’t know that like you’re telling yourself that you’re not, you’re not good anymore. So if you. If you’re, if you tell yourself, and I was doing this a lot, I’m going to get up tomorrow morning, I want to work out. I’m going to get up at five and I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that.

The alarm would go off, I would hit snooze. Every single time you do that, you are, you can’t even, you can’t even hold yourself accountable at this point. And so what you have to do, if you really want to make a change and find yourself like I was, [00:31:00] is you have to have a really good talk with yourself. And maybe you don’t, maybe you can’t realize it.

And I would say like, you know, getting help. is, is always an option. And that’s what I had to do. And mine, my mentor who helped me, he kind of came across just through YouTube. And then one of my best friends knew him, but what he was able to do was show me things that I didn’t know about myself. Like I didn’t know I was doing all this.

And so maybe having an outsider do this, but the first thing you got to do to get out of anything is you have to take an inventory of your life and realize. You’re in the situation nine times out of 10 because of your decisions. You’re living out the karma debt that you’ve dealt yourself. So if you got out of the military and then you didn’t do anything, like I did, like, I felt like I didn’t do much.

Once I got out of the military, I let myself go. I’m paying for all that lazy work and non work I didn’t do. And so I had to say, okay, I’m in this mess because of me. [00:32:00] I’m the only one that can get myself out of this. So what do I need to do? Let your conscious be your guide. So you take a list of everything that makes you unhappy.

And it sounds simple, but you immediately cut those things out. So whatever doesn’t make you happy, cut them out and then start slowly adding in some healthy habits. I could talk about like getting up in the morning, physical activity, start eating better. And you’ll realize that these little bitty things that you do every day, you start building your confidence back.

And I think fitness is like the key to any type of success. You add in a physical routine and eating healthy, it’s gonna carry over, it raises your frequency, it puts you in a better mood, um, they say exercising for an hour will last 12 hours afterwards, which releases these endorphins, it just makes you feel better, it just makes you a better person, so for me, it’s like, the feeling I get after the gym is better than any Xanax or drink that I’ve had, so it really does, and [00:33:00] if I don’t get it, now it’s, now this is a lifestyle, this is a habit, If I miss the gym for some reason, it puts me in a bad mood.

And if I, for some reason, don’t get my morning routine done, it puts me off. And so, uh, I just think the, the first step is realize that you have a problem and then realize that you, you’re the only one that can get yourself out. And it’s, it’s a process of elimination. Success is going to be. Subtractive. So you’ve got to take a lot of stuff out that’s in your life that’s not doing you any good and then add in some healthy habits and that’s how you get out of it.

That’s how I did.

Scott DeLuzio: And that makes a lot of sense too. When you have this negative stuff going on, uh, drinking or Just being depressed, staying in bed, hitting the snooze button over and over and over. It’s not helping anything, you know, and you gotta, you gotta do these things and, and subtract out the stuff that’s causing you that discomfort or the pain in [00:34:00] your life, right?

Right. Yeah.

Justin Crane: Yeah. And, uh, One of the things along the way is going to happen is you need to look at like who you’re hanging out with to who is your support system, you know, um, my mentor says, love is not lies. So you need people, you need some people in your life that are gonna hold you accountable. A lot of friends are not gonna hold you accountable because they’re doing the same thing and they don’t want to see you at successful.

You may think that your friends, and I found this out the hard way, I thought I had friends until I told them that I didn’t want to drink anymore and I don’t want to hang out with them because I didn’t like the lifestyle they were living and they immediately started hate on me. Like they don’t like that I want to be successful.

They don’t like that I want to stop and just realize there’s going to be a lot of people out there that are probably going to be against you whenever you do want to make that change.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s such a sad thing too. Yeah. Everybody just want the people that they know in their life to be successful. Um, I know, uh, like if I see a friend or a family member who has succeeded in something, maybe [00:35:00] they graduated college or they got a promotion or they started a new business or something.

It’s like, I’m happy for that person. I want that person to succeed. I don’t want to, it’s not like I’m going to look at them and be like, Hey, good luck with that. You know, you’re, you’re, You know, you’re, this might last six months or something, you know, like that, that would be like such an asshole thing to say.

Um, but there’s people out there who actually think that way. And they, I don’t know, I think you’ve said this before. Misery loves company and they, they just want more miserable people around them. Maybe, I

Justin Crane: don’t know. I think what happens is like, so for you, it’s hard for you to understand because you, you love yourself, you love your life and everything like that.

But if you’re in this low frequency, negative state, that these people are in, they do, they, if they see someone else do something that they probably at that one time wanted to do it, but they didn’t have the courage to follow through with it. So they see you and they like, well, you can’t do that because I wanted to do it.

So no way you’re going to do, I’m just going to hate on you. And that’s, that’s what I [00:36:00] found. And I found when I was like in the, the, the state I was in drinking all the time and, uh, you know, taking the Xanax. I wasn’t a good partner to a lot of people. Like my girlfriend for one and thank God for her. Like she stayed with me through all this.

And even though I’m not married to my ex wife anymore, we’re still friends. Those people really cared about me and they stood by me and they realized I had a problem. But. Um, yeah, I was in that negative state too. I was tearing everyone else down because I was miserable inside. So I can, I could see why that happens.

Those people are just, uh, they’re, they’re miserable too. So what you could do is as you’re rising up those people that are trying to hate on you, try to help them too, you know, try to, yeah, try to reach out and try to give them some advice, but they’re probably not gonna listen to it. ’cause no one’s gonna listen until they’re really ready to make the change for themselves.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I think that’s an important thing too, because you might find yourself, beating your head against the wall, trying to, uh, you know, try to help all those other people and trying to drag those people back up. But, [00:37:00] um, if they’re not ready to receive that advice or they’re not receptive to it for whatever reason, uh, you know, you’re, you’re not going to make any impact.

As a matter of fact, you may. Push those people even further away, uh, which may, maybe ultimately what you need to do is just say, look, these people are cut off and I’m, I don’t want to go down that path with them. Uh, you know, and, and they’re, they’re heading down a place that I just don’t want to be, um, And I, I want to make changes for myself.

And I tell this to my, my kids all the time, like, you know, sometimes they have issues with, with other kids or between themselves and, and stuff like that. It’s like, the only person you could change is yourself. Um, you know, you can try to affect some sort of change in other people. If they’re not willing to listen.

For whatever reason, or they’re not willing to make any sort of changes, then, you know, what can I tell you, they’re, they’re just not going to, and so, you know, focus on you, like, do the things that make you happy, and if that means that somebody else is [00:38:00] pissed off at you because you’re doing the thing that makes you happy, um, or, or is advancing yourself in some way, well, screw them, like, that, that’s not your problem, that they feel that way, you got to do what’s right for you.

Justin Crane: Yeah, and, uh, that’s, that’s a great point. One of the things I wanted to say, too, is, like, Whenever you find, so whenever you find yourself again, whenever you fall in love back with, back with yourself and you regain yourself, you have your purpose again. And what you’re losing when you get out of the military, you had a purpose and now you don’t have one.

And the way do you find your purpose is find yourself again, make yourself happy. And then you find something that you are wanting to do. And for me, that’s what I did. I found my purpose again, that was to get myself better, take care of myself. And then. To share that with the world and to help others do that.

And I have like, there’s the reason why it was so easy for me to quit drinking, which was the hardest thing for me is because I don’t like the, the, my purpose now is way more than the pleasures that I was seeking. So I don’t even think about it. It’s not even an option because it gets in the way of what I [00:39:00] want to do.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Because if you are continuously doing all of that. Um, you’re not, you’re not going to be the best version of yourself to be able to help the people that you’re helping out. And, and even if you were still doing what you’re doing now and helping other people, um, you know, they’re going to look at you and be like, well, you don’t even have your, your life together.

Like, why should I listen to you? You know? Um, and so, um, so yeah, when, when you have that sense of purpose, knowing that, okay, I can’t help these people unless. I get myself right. Um, then yeah, that makes it a whole lot easier because that purpose is bigger than you. It’s bigger than, uh, you know, whatever you have going on in your life.

Um, and so I think. I think that, that’s something that, that people need to understand too, is that they, that you need to have a purpose, somebody or something else out there [00:40:00] that is bigger than just you, that gets you out of bed in the morning. In the military, we had our, you know, our camp. Our leadership, our chain of command, whatever, uh, you know, whatever rank you were, you had somebody else out there who was like, I’m going to actually physically come and drag you out of bed if you’re not, you know, at PT in the morning or, or something, you know, you, you had that external motivation.

Uh, it’s like, okay, well, I don’t want to be embarrassed because I’m, you know, not making it to PT on time or, you know, whatever it is that you’re, you’re doing. You had that motivation. Uh, you get out of the military, you sort of lose all of that. Um, but having that sense of purpose. Um, you know, serving the people that you’re serving now, the types of clients that you’re working with.

Those types of people are your purpose. Um, some people, it could be their family. You know, it’s like, I want to be the best, uh, dad that I can be. I want to be the best spouse that I could be. I want to be the best, whatever. Um, That, that type of thing, I think is, is a, a decent motivating factor as well. For some [00:41:00] people, other people, maybe it’s not as big of a, a factor to them, but, but there’s something out there that will light a fire under you that will get you motivated to, to want to achieve a certain, uh, certain goal.

I know, uh, people do volunteer work. They, they find, uh, you know, places that, um, You know, tug on their heartstrings and they’re, they’re like, okay, these people that I’m going to serve, maybe they’re serving at a VA hospital or a, you know, veterans home or something like that. And they’re, they’re just volunteering and helping those people out.

Well, Hey, great. You know, you found your, your purpose and there’s a way that you, you can continue to serve these people. Um, and that, that helps tremendously because. You don’t want to let those people down. You know, you don’t want to let anyone down when you’re in the military. You know, why would you want to let these same, same type of people down, you know, now that we’re all out, you know, and, um, you know, that’s just, I think another, another way to give back and serve too, right?

Yeah, exactly. So [00:42:00] yeah, go ahead.

Justin Crane: Yeah. And that’s, uh, that’s another great thing that you brought up giving back. Um, the, everyone, I feel like we, in general, we want so much from everyone, but we don’t give anything. And, uh, you normally, you, you, Whatever you give, you receive. So, you know, if there’s something that you want in life, start giving that out to the world and then the world will give it back to you.

Scott DeLuzio: That’s true. Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, give, give it more than you receive sometimes. And, um, you’ll, you’ll start to see that what you get back, uh, maybe you can’t find it on, you know, a financial statement somewhere as far as what you’re getting back, but, um, you know, the, the mindset, the benefits that your, your mind gets, your body, uh, you’re just.

Overall benefits that you, you receive, um, those types of things I think are priceless. And yeah, when you are doing it and it’s something that you, you work at and you, you love and you enjoy, um, then you get the, that [00:43:00] financial aspect of it too. And that’s, that’s uh, you know, just a win-win for everybody I think.

Um, exactly. We’re going to talk a little bit more about what you do and where people can get in touch with you in just a minute. But, uh, we’re going to cut to another quick commercial break here. So stay tuned. Well, Justin, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today, uh, hearing about your journey and how you’ve pulled yourself back up out of the dark place that you were heading down.

Um, For people who want to learn more about what you do and, uh, the types of, uh, you know, work that you do now, um, who might need a little, uh, kick in the butt to get themselves back on track, uh, where can people go to get in touch with you, find out more about everything that

Justin Crane: you do? Yeah, so everything I do is through Instagram.

So it’s Justin Crane, C R A N E underscore fit. And you go to my page and I’m posting. Over 10 stories a day, just giving out, uh, helpful information. And then my, uh, my posts, they just talk about [00:44:00] different life experiences, show my workouts, what I’m doing. And yeah, I just want to spread awareness and realize, you know, if you can learn through me, I share my experiences.

I’ve gone through, you can learn through me and I could save you heartache and get you right back on track. That’s what I want to do with my passion is to help people. I. I’ve gone through so much and been in a really some dark places and I can save anyone from that. If I could say five years, one year, a month, um, then I’m doing my job and I just want to help as many people out there as I can.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s, that’s amazing. Um, you know, I, I think, um, obviously if you can help one person that it’s probably fulfilling, but the more people obviously that you can help the better. Um, so I will have the link to your Instagram in the show notes for anyone who wants to. Check out, uh, you know, your, your page and follow along and even reach out and, and get some advice and, uh, you know, maybe some personalized tips and things like that.

Uh, you know, whatever it is that you might be able to help them with. Um, I, [00:45:00] I’ll, I’m sure you’ll be able to do that. So, uh, again, the link will be in the show notes. Um, coming up here, I want to do a quick segment. I like to call it, uh, is it service connected? Um, like to wrap up these episodes with a little bit of humor sometimes.

Topics that we talk about a little bit heavy. And, uh, you know, it’s nice to end with a little, little, uh, humor, um, for the viewers who are not familiar with, is it service connected? It’s where we look at a video of a service member doing something stupid, otherwise getting injured. Uh, I like to think of it as America’s Funniest Home Videos for, you know, military edition.

Um, and we try to predict whether or not the injury that they sustain would qualify for VA disability somewhere down the line. Um, for podcast listeners who can’t see this video, I’ll do my best to describe the video for you, or you can tune it. At wts mtv.com to see the video. Uh, I may also post a video to social media later on too.

So follow drive on podcast, on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and you’ll be able to check out the video there as well. Um, so I’m gonna get this [00:46:00] video, uh, queued up here, but again, like I said, um, the, these, uh, these videos, they’re, it’s usually someone doing something stupid in this case. Looks like we got a Marine here with his pistol and.

He’s, he’s about to rock that slide back. That’s what it’s looking like. It’s starting off as, and, um, I can only imagine like where this is going to end up shooting something or. Or what’s going to happen? I don’t know, but let’s see, let’s see where this ends up.

Okay. So he’s trying to be a little bit of gangster here. Ooh,

and his hand gets pinched in the slide as he’s sliding it back the second time. Although I did see his hand. He’s, he’s pretty lucky. His hand did cover that, but the, the, the muzzle of the gun at one point. And, um, That could have gone a whole different situation. That could have been a totally different thing there.[00:47:00]

Turns out it was just a little slide pinch. So I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t think that’s really gonna, gonna qualify for any sort of disability there. Uh, I don’t know. What do you think?

Justin Crane: No, definitely not disability. Probably some trouble if that video gets out and his commands all that. So,

Scott DeLuzio: yeah, I’m thinking the way he’s handling that, that pistol is not really a, he’s going to need some additional training.

Let’s put it that way. Yeah. Um, maybe, maybe if anything, it’s the, uh, The, the mental side of things, uh, if this video gets out and, which now it is, cause, uh, we’re, we’re using this now and a bunch of people are gonna be watching it. So, um, you know, this guy’s gonna be pretty embarrassed by, by how stupid he ended up looking on, on this video here, trying to act all tough and acting like a gangster and everything.

But yeah, Let’s face it. You’re not. So maybe you’ve got something on the mental side. I don’t know. Yeah.

Justin Crane: Yeah. That’s not good.

Scott DeLuzio: Definitely not. Anyways. Um, Justin, thank you again for [00:48:00] taking the time, uh, coming on the show, sharing your journey. Um, really, it’s inspirational to me to hear people come through, uh, tough times and, uh, come out on the other side a little bit better for it.

Um, you know, and I, I think other people out there, uh, can take something away from you and your story. So thank you again for sharing. Thank you.

Justin Crane: Yeah, I really appreciate it. Um, and it was an awesome time and I thank you for the experience.

Scott DeLuzio: You bet.

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