The above photo is of the empty champagne bottle of the 2006 vintage of Cristal that I treated myself to after a decade of working to become a traditionally published author. Through hell and back, I never fully gave up on making my dream come true. I signed a deal with Rowman & Littlefield Publishing in 2016!

The Lies That Depression Tells Us Are Just That – Lies

Sitting in the psych ward in January 2013 (I committed myself) was a turning point in my life. I attempted suicide in 2011, but couldn’t quite fully hang myself and my wife rushed me to the local emergency room. In other words, I know my stuff here, so listen closely to what I’m about to say:

Negative self-talk needs to be recognized. I wasn’t taught what “self-talk” even meant until I learned it on my own in 2002 while studying programs on the psychology of successful people. While suicidal, the thoughts racing through my head and heart were ones of feeling like a total frigging failure, of anger toward myself (depression is often described as anger turned inward) and of reasons why I would continue to amount to nothing and always find a way to screw things up.

In hindsight, with a lot of self-therapy (and the paid kind when I could afford it), I came to realize that these negative thoughts were in fact lies. ALL of them. That’s where my next chapter of life started.

Learning New Thought Patterns Takes Time and Effort. Just START!

If you’re reading this blog post, you’ve got access to the internet. That means you have the world of psychology and tons of mentors at your fingertips. It has taken me a lot of time and effort to arrive at the confident, self-aware place I am now, but I absolutely promise you that all the crap I went through to get here has been worth it (though one heck of a heavy journey at times, I confess).

That’s the point: Nothing worthwhile usually comes without some kind of battle that takes everything we’ve got at times, but rewards us with strength, courage and wisdom that makes us a force for good in life. You’ve got to allow yourself a new start though. Nothing is perfect, so keep going! That is all that matters in the end. That’s what will change your life as it has mine. You’ve got to want better for yourself, no doubt about it.

None Of Us Do It Alone. Help is Always Out There if You Want It!

I have received a lot of help over the years from counselors, friends, my family and people in my community. As much as each of us must want to change to actually make change happen, we also need support from others around us, which can be a scary thing at times (as it was when I was rushed to the emergency room and as much as it was when I signed the form to be committed to the locked mental health unit 18 months later). It takes HUGE courage to seek help. That is what I call true leadership in the face of fear – admitting you need help and letting others help you!

I know it can be as scary as hell, wondering what’s going to happen or what people will think of you, but look at it this way:

  1. You’re taking the needed action to IMPROVE your life! That’s huge and it should be respected!
  2. If you kill yourself or keep making bad decisions, nothing gets better, so step up and DECIDE that you’re going to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep learning and growing. It’s so worth it! I wish I could reach across and show you just how much it makes you a force for good, how much it will change your life, but you’re going to need to trust me on this. I say it like it is, no bullshit, just raw honesty with an attitude that simply refuses to give up. That’s how you get to success in any area of your life.

KEEP GOING! This hell is making you stronger than you can know right now. As someone who has been through soul-shattering despair and the horror of many inner battles (including my Brother Ryan’s suicide), I’m proof that the harshest times teach us lessons and courage that have the power to change our lives forever.

Yours in purpose (as always),

Jeff