I envision my audience member is a photographer or videographer who is coming up in the world. My audience member is an artist who is seeking inspiration, education and encouragement. My audience member is perhaps lacking self confidence... perhaps they are someone who is struggling with overcoming their own shackles of fear.
My goal is to be open and honest with my daily life. To share my real life successes as well as my real life struggles. I want you to understand that I understand life is difficult, but it's our choice to get up and go. I want to fill you with inspiration, through showing my artwork and my creations. I want to give you inspiration by interviewing heavy-hitting professionals who are doing amazing things. But I also will show you, that just because these individuals are heavy hitters, they are also just humans. That just because this person is lining up shoots with President Obama, NFL players, Gary Vee, Lexus, nationally tour bands, getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, they are still just humans. Just like you. They started from the same place... from a point of passion. From a point of curiosity and a drive to pursue and reach their ultimate. They started from a place of wanting and needing to create in order to be whole.
Steady Focused is for creators. Who want to be inspired. Who want to be reassured they are not alone in their struggle to create and their struggle in self doubt. I want to show you, that I am a human and part of my DNA is struggling. I battle with mental illness, and I beam with with radiant joy of success... it's all within me. I want you to know you are worthy and you can accomplish great things. You don't need anyone's permission. You were given this by that which is greater that 'I'. But it's our choice. We've to respect the process and force ourselves to get up when we don't want to. It's important to surround ourselves with people who will help lift us up in times of despair.
It's so easy to get locked inside our minds, hidden away from the rest of the world and just exist. And for some, like monks, that is the ultimate goal... to be alone, to be one with the universe. But being that of complete mindfulness is not the same as being isolated and tormented by internal hate and doubt.
I've battled with mental illness since I was a very young child. Counseling started when I was in Kindergarten... off and on throughout middle school and Jr. High... Jr. High was the first time I remember going to my mother and telling her I had this uncontrollable feeling that I wanted to die. I wanted to hang myself in the tree in our front yard. I know I'm not alone in this. 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.
About two years and a half years ago a very close friend of ours, killed himself. 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 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 anything but your own heartbreak. I knew the feeling of the mental fog, that becomes so thick it drowns away memories of family members 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'd been on medication before, years and years ago. But, at that time, it didn't feel like a long term solution but rather a patch to get over the hump. But on this day, I knew I needed something. I was a father now and it was more important than ever that I do something about it. I was afraid of what I would do, to myself.
We had a long talk, the Dr. did a lot of listening. He disagreed with a previous diagnosis I had been labeled 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 trauma during early childhood. It made sense to me.
He prescribed me Zoloft, and for me it's worked. He told me that Zoloft 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 explained that there are other key things that will make a direct positive impact on my mental health. Things such as exercise (I enjoy walking and push-ups), family time, avoiding hogging out and over eating (for me it's a trigger), being creative, drinking water and having some sort of social activity in my life. I also know that for me personally it makes a difference 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, meditation and surrounding myself with positive people, as much as possible.
Today, 3 1/2 years later at age 36, I still suffer occasional bouts of overwhelming 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 is absolutely true.
There's no magic solution here. There's no magical paragraph I'm going to type that makes this all pretty and puts 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 portfolio and body of work, through interviews and through answering your questions and learning with you.
You are special. You are unique. You are the only one of YOU that has or ever will be. Never again will this exact DNA be on earth. I greatly appreciate you letting me share.
Until next week, I'm your friend...
Simeon Hendrix and this is Steady Focused.