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  • Writer's picturePeter Tanaka

Why I was gone, Hopeful return

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

Hello World! Some of you may be wondering what ever happen to WBETET. Wasn't I so excited to launch a bunch of programs? And then it suddenly dropped off the edge of the world. Well, the truth is, nothing has really happened to WBETET, it was mainly i, whom fell of the edge of the world. During the launch of WBETET, I was extremely excited. Perhaps too excited. Here are some examples of how excited I was.

Here I am balancing on a pole, sporting my WBETET shirt that I had made. I was convinced that marketing and PR were so important, that I went all into social media and branding. I think it's still true, but I went a bit overboard haha.

Here I am approaching a wild horse. Disclaimer: I did not know it was illegal to approach wild horses, because as we first entered the park, we were greeted by this magnificent horse. I felt I was invincible, but a horse kick would have definitely gotten through.

In this video, I am jumping into the ocean. Again, I am trying to focus on PR and marketing.

This video is a drug recovery celebration in Druid Park. It was a very interesting day, that gave me inspiration and calling to start WBETET. Druid park has always been a place of healing and relaxation for me. I have biked, ran, roller bladed, had deep conversations and much more memories at Druid Park. But this day was probably the most memorable. I was on my typical electric bike to Druid Park mood, and I noticed there was a large gathering at the park. I found out it was a Drug Recovery celebration, and I thought what an awesome idea, and great use of the park. I also met a bunch of people who were doing much more than drug recovery programs, trying to help and heal Baltimore, in whatever way they could. I was so inspired by all the good stuff going on, that I wanted to get in on the action. I met one man who was in a drug recovery program. He was trying to help others join the recovery program because he had had so much recovery from the program. He had even gotten a job and was getting back on his feet. He said the hardest part of his job was transportation because it was too far to walk, and public transportation was also difficult. I believe everything happens for a reason, and in that moment, I was a guy with an electric bike meeting a guy who desperately needed transportation. So I gave him my bike, because he needed it way more than I did. I could easily build another bike. I walked home happy that day. Later on, several people questioned me about my decision to give my bike away. What if he sold it for drugs? What if he was lying? Both valid points, but I believe in the good faith of people, and I think we all tend to be overly suspicious as reasons not to help. No matter what the case, the message was clear. I needed to use my resources to help people.

At some point, I realized that buying land in Baltimore was a step in making WBETET come true. After counseling with some mentors, I realized I get way ahead of myself, when there are much easier steps in between. Instead of buying my own property, I decided it was best to partner with Greenmount Rec Center, who I've already developed a relationship with, and they let me use their facilities to run programs.

As you can see from the above, I was running hot, and way too excited. I don't regret that high because it allowed me to be ultra motivated and productive. However, there was a downside to the highs. I eventually crashed and I crashed hard. I wound up in the emergency room, diagnosed with Bipolar Type II. The following months was full of ups and downs, but mostly down. I was full of self doubt and depression. When I saw how hard I crashed, it made me lose hope in everything. It's hard for me to fully explain, but in short, all I could see was darkness. WBETET went into hibernation for so long because I was dealing with all these mental health issues, and I was not coherent enough to think about starting an organization. I'm sad because I am worried about all the relationships that I may have damaged by going into isolation for so many months. I was afraid to face people because I thought I was a failure. I was also feeling very anti social. But I am finally feeling better. I am starting to see a light. An endpoint. A goal. Future updates to come (hopefully haha)

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