How I went from "lost and alone" to helping others build a better life.
Before there was a vibrant family of weekly listeners.
Before there was a groundbreaking membership community. Before there was swagger, stability and confidence… before all that took place 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 would ever stop feeling like alien with nowhere to fit in… if he would ever be well enough to have a marriage and raise little ones.
A big scary “flop” and a ton of mistakes…
I didn’t have an easy transition into adulthood.
Right as I graduated high school I began to feel “off”. It was my first foray into mental illness, which officially began with a manic episode. It had been building for weeks. The trigger wasn’t extraordinary or unusual; I simply said “yes” to an exciting new type of job right as I was supposed to be focusing on college.
With very little sleep, my mind burned hot with future visions of grandeur. And I had the cockiness to announce what that new and enormous future would be. Before the looks of my family and friends I announced all of my big, world-altering plans, in a stream-of-consciousness that could rival many illicit drugs.
Their eyes mostly rolled.
No matter. I pressed on giving 1000% of my energy and passion to building this grand future, dropping out of college to help me work unrestricted. (Because, who the hell needs college to be a sexy multi-millionaire?) It was my first true experience of being “driven” to succeed.
But all horsepower and no traction meant that I was going nowhere fast. And I realized something:
“I can’t keep this up.”
The crash was rough. Walking away from it was even rougher.
I didn’t comprehend what had happened to me. There I was in my childhood bedroom, curtains drawn, curled up on the floor in the dark with a crumpled blanket. Crying came in waves. So did the panic attacks.
I believed it was the end of my existence.
Gone were the days of enjoying my work and my studies. Gone were friends. Memories of anything good were displaced by fear and anxiety and crippling embarrassment. It was classic bipolar depression.
I was a former A-student turned college dropout. I didn’t even make it two years into my degree.
Things that used to bring me satisfaction and joy were now scrapped and left unfinished.
No one knew where I had disappeared to.
I prayed they wouldn’t care.
I wasn’t burnt out, despite the endless energy and dreams of just a few weeks ago. I was simply despondent to attention and help. 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:
I learned that I couldn’t trust myself.
Many try-fail episodes ensued throughout my 20s
Between the intense ups and horrific downs I attempted to carve out my existence, one try after another. I was desperate and working hard to figure out who I was and where I belonged.
Yet the harder I worked, the more frustrated I became:
- People were profiting from my enormous creativity while I lived on tiny wages.
- I rebuilt a good name only to have it torn down by my own frustrations.
- I learned how to give help to the needy and support the struggling, only to find myself homeless.
There was just no end to the sadness. No matter where I looked my hopes stretched further and further into the future. And more and more unlikely. Being hospitalized for three weeks of manic psychosis only held up a mirror to who I had become.
And yet, when it could not possibly get any darker, change was happening right between my ribs…
I discovered a name for what I had endured. That name was bipolar disorder.
Shuffling through different mental institutions, I initially rejected help.
I was angry and confused. But something stirred in my heart as I heard the news of my diagnosis of bipolar I. 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 a long time I heard a still, small voice:
“You will do something good with this.”
I had no idea what it meant, but it was the only peaceful night’s sleep I’d had in months.
I was willing to believe.
I just wasn’t ready to act.
Many quiet years went by where I developed my unconventional “recovery blueprints” step-by-step
The beauty of recovering from home as a 30 year-old is that I had a gentle place to restart. And a clear “onramp” to get me back on track. I resolved to find and return every precious thing that I’d lost or left in the trash because of my mental disorder.
Connecting with my parents showed me that I was never truly homeless. And even though it was slow-going, my progress began to build and multiply year after year.
In small bursts my enthusiasm was rekindled, and along with that were growing amounts of 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 invisible voice I’d heard years back in the hospital came to me again.
“I will figure out how to give to others with this new gift of life.”
From then on, I began to assemble the high-impact components of my life plan with a mind to teach them powerfully.
Now I teach inside of my signature online experience, The Peace Plan for Bipolar. I coach eager learners through the right actions taken in the right order to set up a lifetime of resilience to this tricky and devastating disease.
Bipolar is a tough condition, but I jump right in and get dirty with the members of my audience whether they find me through the podcast, or through one of my transformative challenges.
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 one of my special in-depth “training” products to renew your recovery efforts.
OR maybe you’re ready to hear about the REAL, life-building strategies for downsizing bipolar’s threat,
…and maximizing your potential for success in mental health.
Either way I just need to get an “Amen” if you’re sick of people asking you why your medications aren’t working every time you get a little down?
Because if one more person tells me that a different medication is the answer to my problems, I will literally throw my shirt off and show you what TRUE CRAZY looks like! :-)
(As if medications make you perfectly balanced and have no complicated and messy side-effects to deal with.)
Can I get that “Amen”!
Because here’s what I know about you:
I know you’re already doing what you’ve been told to do.
I know you’re trying really hard and you’ve got some experience with bipolar, but you’re willing to hear about the more advanced stuff.
And you’re willing to put new work into new solutions.
I’m willing to bet that’s why you’re here. You want to map out a mighty existence that doesn’t fit the mold.
And that’s why you can’t stand it when a brain disorder prevents you from doing the basics, like having a job… or an anxiety-free shopping experience at Walmart.
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’re nodding your head that you are willing to invest some work. But you just want to be completely sure that the effort will finally pay off.
And feel confident that every ounce of effort and sacrifice is going to return to you one hundred-fold.
Ready to stand up to treatable mental illness and get REAL progress jumpstarted?
Move forward by exploring one of these handy planning tools:
“Bite-Sized” About Me
Award-winning artist and relentless entrepreneur.
Resides in a remote mountain village of Southern California.
Knows every lyric in the pantheon of classic rock.
A lover of hot sauce. And Honda automotive culture.
Geeks out to the lives of unconventional leaders!