My childhood is one most would envy. I had a loving family, was popular, athletic, and was blessed intellectually. Always the smartest kid in the room, I was reading novels by age eight and completed my school’s math program three years early. My memories of that time are almost pure bliss, of happy Christmases, endless summers and street hockey games.
You can probably guess where this is going
Soon, my parents could no longer keep up the illusion of a happy marriage, and divorced after years of vicious fighting. My father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an especially cruel blow after watching his own father deteriorate and eventually succumb to the disease. Accustomed to a perfectly cushy life, this drastic change to my perception of my life caused me to act out. I became the angriest kid in the room instead of the smartest.
For the next 20 years, I spent my life in a state of muted rage and severe depression. I had a toxic or non-existent relationship with my family, attempted suicide at 13 and came close again at 26. I was kicked out of school, charged with juvenile crimes, blew every opportunity that crossed my path, and by my mid-20s, was addicted to opiates and started using heroin.
I worked hard to keep up appearances of stability to friends and family, but by age 31, I was in such bad shape mentally and physically that I could barely get up a flight of stairs, was engaging in self harm and was considering suicide in a more practical manner to finally escape the hell my life had become.
Just after Christmas in 2012, I fell into the most severe depression I had ever experienced. In yet another attempt at getting “help”, I went to see my family doctor who had been treating me with a high dose of anti-depressants for several years. After watching me blubber and cry for a few minutes, he left the room, came back and placed a different box of pills on the table, describing them as the “next big thing”. I declined, and left, devastated.
As I walked to my car, something happened. You might call it an “epiphany.” It suddenly struck me that I was alone. Utterly alone on my journey through life. Alone, despite having access endless resources and supportive friends. It became perfectly clear that it was up to me to change my life and take responsibility for my actions. I went home and threw away my remaining prescriptions.
My life truly started at that moment
Five years later, I have completely overcome severe depression and anxiety, opiate addiction, dependence on anti-depressants, chronic rage, negative body image, fear of flying, self-harm, laziness, and extreme physical deterioration. I’ve successfully quit so many things from soda to cigarettes to nail biting I can't even remember them all.
I now wake up every day feeling a deep sense of peace and satisfaction, and ready to kick ass. Negative emotions pass through me like a gust of wind over a lake. And I’m getting stronger every day. Now, I want to help you do the same.
That feeling of aloneness that I experienced wasn’t unique to me. You might also feel alone on your journey, but your true life can start today, just as mine did so many years ago. I’m excited to share this chapter of my life with you, and to help you to look within to uncover the only source of courage or answers you have ever needed. You are limitless.