Trading Journey: Coming Home

This blog post is part of a trading journey series. For previous chapters, follow the links below:

After several months of intense trading during the beginnings of pandemic madness (see Chapter I. for context), I have arrived at my apartment feeling incredibly weak. Mentally exhausted but what’s more, in a very unpleasant physical pain. My stomach was on fire. It has been in ever-increasing pain for the last month and my mind started to go crazy about it. I knew that this time it is serious and I need to take a break. Little I knew that in a week’s time, I will be barely able to get to the car that will drive me to the border of my country. When Alex was saying that one day, no matter how it will all end up, I will have an amazing story to tell, I kind of imagined a different type of story. Story of heroic trading and massive trading success. Nope. Not yet. As the time of departure was coming closer, my condition got even worse. I could not sleep anymore with the stomach pain, I noticed I lost a lot of weight and started to have frequent cold chills. Feeling dizzy without any energy, my mind at that point went mental picturing all kinds of horror stories. I remember walking to Covid testing point, at the time when testing was in its beginning to some distant Wroclaw football stadium thinking that I might not be able to get there on my own. Waiting for those test results while living in the pain really tested me. Finally, an email arrived, I rushed to print all the necessary papers and I was ready to go. I called a guy I accidentally came across in the Uber who could take me to the border since no cross border public transport was available at that time. With the remaining bit of energy, I got myself into the car thinking if this is my last time I see Wroclaw. The only thing I could think of at that time was: take me home, I need to get my health back.

At home, I have completely detached for weeks. Slept a lot, visited all my doctors, and slowly started to create a plan on how can I get better. In a meantime, I have received a medical diagnosis that was not terminal but not easily treatable. The healing plan was put in motion. My mind could finally rest together with my body. I have started to take longer and longer walks and observed the amazing ability of my body to heal again. In a month’s time, from feeling at the lowest point I have ever felt, to my first run. My problems were still there, but the level of pain went from unbearable to livable. Finally, I could sleep normally. As I was getting better I started to slowly come back to trading. Showing up each day, at least for half a day, and doing my prep, all the routines, watching the markets, and slowly starting to trade was something for what I was looking for again. But now, I was a different person. Deep down I constantly questioned if it is all worth it. If the trading craft, the struggle, the pain was worth it. I also knew, that in order for me to continue in this journey, I must radically change something in my life. I was too attached to performing and succeeding. Even worse, I was defined by it. I have realized that my whole life, no matter what I have chosen to do, my self-worth was defined by the outcome of my work. From a long-term point of view, a recipe for disaster and unhappiness. Realizing that, I started to work with a coach that would help me go through the process of unwinding a lot of my old beliefs about who I am and who I have to be. As I was going through this process, I have realized the root cause of my many self-sabotaging practices that have manifested in my own trading. We all say we want to be disciplined, yet we don’t know what old and deep self-beliefs drive our lack of discipline. We all want to manage our anger and frustration better, yet we do not understand the root cause of our rage when things don’t work out as expected. When our plans have been shattered to pieces in front of our eyes after trying so hard. I have realized that in order for me to truly breakthrough I must clean as much mess of the past as I can, so I can create a little happier and more relaxed me while I am trading. As I was slowly changing, I had my doubts if the passion that ignited this journey won’t fade away. If it’s still all worth it.

As physical and mental conditions got better, I have slowly started to plan my come back. I knew that a different guy than the one who left in pain three months ago is coming back and I had my doubts if I still have all that it takes to compete at the level I desire. I was about to find out very soon. 

Thanks for reading. Until next time, trade well.


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Written by Jaroslav Kohout

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