I envision you are an individual who is seeking inspiration, clarity, peace, encouragement, wisdom. Perhaps you are in a moment of weakness. Perhaps you are lacking confidence. Perhaps you are struggling with overcoming the shackles of your own fear. Perhaps you’re crushing it and you’re looking for new techniques to stay on the razor’s edge.
My goal is to provide inspiration, clarity, wisdom, and encouragement through honest conversations. I want to not only share my personal stories of success and failure - but also highlight those of others, whom I respect.
I want you to understand, that I understand life is difficult. But, success and peace and greatness is achieved once choice at a time.
You are not alone in your struggles to create, to overcome, to love yourself.
I've battled with mental illness since I was a very young child. I grew up in abusive homes. I moved houses 12 times by the age of 14. Counseling started when I was in Kindergarten... and continued through Junior High. Late elementary was the first time I remember going to my mother and telling her I had an uncontrollable feeling that I wanted to die. I wanted to hang myself in the tree in our front yard. I planned it out. I fantasized. I'm not sharing these words to say that I'm special because I've suffered. But rather that I do suffer, as you do you. Only by the Grace of God I've survived. I want to be as transparent as possible with you.
A few years ago another very close friend of ours, committed suicide. Just a few months earlier that same friend had given a Green Bay Packers shirt to our son (he knew I was one of the few die-hard Cheeseheads in our North Texas town.) That shirt was hung up in our son’s room. I had looked at it daily.
That moment changed my life. It shook me hard, because I could relate. I knew the feeling when it gets so tough that you can't hear nothing but your own heartbreak. I knew the feeling of mental fog, that becomes so thick it drowns away memories of family, love and extinguishes all glimmers of hope. It scared the shit out of me. What if I was next?
I went to the Dr. I said, "I need help. I'm afraid.” I knew I needed something. I was a father now and it was more important than ever that I sought out professional help. I was afraid of what I would do, to myself.
We had a long talk. The Dr. did a lot of listening and writing. In the end, he disagreed with previous diagnosis I had received many years ago, manic depressive (bi-polar). I had always disagreed with it too. He said I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD (yes, just like war veterans), on set from early childhood trauma. It made total sense.
He prescribed me Zoloft and told me that it was one of the most studied and documented medications available. It was the number one prescribed medicine for veterans returning home from war.
The Dr. also recommended other key things that will make a direct positive impact on my mental health. Things such as exercise, family time, being creative, speaking with a counselor, drinking water and having social activity in my life. I also recognize that I feel better when my house is clean and I'm wearing clothes that make me feel comfortable and confident.
He urged me to proactively remove as much distress as possible from my life via scheduling, prepwork, organization, meditation and surrounding myself with positive people.
Today, I still suffer occasional bouts of paralyzing anxiety and depression. But as I'm told, the goal is to keep the bouts to less extreme shorter periods. Which I can say for the most part, this has happened.
There's no magic solution here. There's no magical paragraph that makes this all pretty with a nice bow on it. I just want to tell you, that I'm here and I understand. I hope to inspire you through actions, through my body of work, our conversations and by highlighting the stories of others.
You are special. You are unique. You are the only one of YOU that has ever been or ever will be. Please, love yourself.
I greatly appreciate you letting me share.