Before there was a vibrant family of weekly listeners. Before there was a groundbreaking online course. Before there was stability and confidence… before all that there was a young man lost and alone with a bipolar disorder.
He was bright, but stuck.
Wanting release but not sure where to get it.
Deep down he wondered if he could ever fit back in amongst family, friends, and career… if he could ever be trustworthy enough to marry and raise little ones.
I didn’t have an easy transition into adulthood.
Right as I graduated high school and turned 18 I had my first foray into mental illness. It kicked off with a manic episode that built and built over two weeks’ time. The trigger was none other than a new job.
With very little sleep my mind burned through visions of grandeur that I wasn’t smart enough to keep hush. Nope! I had to let everyone know that I was destined for great things and that they would see it with their own eyes.
Actually, their eyes mostly rolled!
No matter. I pressed on giving 1000% of my passion to building my future. It was my first true experience of being “driven”.
But all horsepower and no traction meant that I was going nowhere, and I realized something:
I didn’t comprehend what had happened to me. There I was in my room, curtains drawn, curled up on the floor with a crumpled blanket, crying and having panic attacks.
I believed it was the end of my existence.
Gone were the days of enjoying my work and my friends. Memories of anything good were displaced by fear and anxiety and crippling embarrassment.
I was a former A-student turned college dropout. I didn’t even make it two years into my degree.
So many other parts of me that I took satisfaction in were now unfinished and scrapped.
No one knew where I had disappeared to.
I prayed that they wouldn’t care.
I wasn’t burnt out. I was all used up. And nothing, it seemed, would ever change that.
When at last the depression lifted I was staring out at the landscape of my life. Except now it looked permanently reconfigured. And the most painful reality set in:
Between the intense ups and horrific downs I attempted to carve out one existence after another. I was trying to figure out what my contributions should be and how I should go about it.
Yet the harder I worked, the more frustrated I became:
There was just no end to the sadness. No matter where I looked it stretched further and further. Being hospitalized for manic psychosis only held up a mirror to who I had become.
And yet, when it could not possibly get darker, change was happening right between my ribs…
Something stirred in my heart as I heard the news. That night, sitting up in my hospital bed, I reached out to take the little cup of medications the nurse had brought.
I had been offered psychiatric medications for over a decade but I always rejected them. There was something different now. For the first time in long time I heard a still small voice:
“You will do something good with this.”
I had no idea what that meant, but it was the only peaceful night I’d had in months. I was willing to believe.
The beauty of recovering from home is that I had a place to restart, and a gentle onramp to get back on track. I resolved to find and return every precious thing that I’d lost or left in the trash.
Connecting with my parents showed me that I was never truly homeless. And even though it was slow going, my progress began to build year after year.
Suddenly new enthusiasm was birthed, and along with that, courage and determination. I could change my situation and who I was going to be.
As my doctors witnessed this transformation they encouraged me to help others. And that gentle voice I’d heard years back in the hospital came to me again.
“I will figure out how to give to others from what I’ve done.”
Now I teach inside of my signature online training program, The Restart. I coach through the right actions taken in the right order to set up a powerful lifetime of resilience. Bipolar is a tough opponent, but I get my students in fighting shape.
The best part is, once they get a little experience, the whole process becomes fun. And that’s what makes our online community exceptional. We push for each other.
Your journey has been painful but it doesn’t need to be lonely anymore.
If you like my story and you want to see how yours can change, then you’ll want to check out my special "how-to" guides to make it happen right away.
..and maximizing your potential for mental health?
If I hear one more person ask me how my meds work so good, I will throw off my shirt and show them what true crazy looks like. (Anyone else fed up with being told that the right meds are the answer to everything?)
Because I know you’re already doing what you’re told to do.
And you’re willing to hear about new solutions.
That’s why you’re here.
That’s why you are mapping out a new life that doesn’t fit the mold.
That’s why you can’t stand it when this illness prevents you from doing the basics, like having an anxiety-free grocery shopping experience.
That’s why you’ve spent REAL hours and real dollars trying to understand more about your special brain and how you can make it work for you instead of causing you more trouble.
By reading this, you prove that you’re willing to invest some work - but you just want to be completely sure that this effort will finally pay off.
Start by exploring one of these planning tools: