If you tell one person about this blog and they tell one person and that person tells another, this whole thing might help one individual secretly suffering in silence. One of my most common answers was “I’m fine,” when in all reality I was far from it. I started this whole process in hopes of possibly helping even just one person feel a sense of belonging and hope… that we’re not alone as we may feel sometimes. I’ve been so inspired by others who have shared their troubles with me, that it’s inspired me to share my story.

Some stories are a lot more somber then others, but by remaining vulnerable I hope to give some strength to somebody who may need a little. I want to get this blog out to as many people as I can and the only way I can do that is with your help. Someday I’d love to turn all these stories into a book — at least that’s the goal. I’ve never been much for technology or much of a reader, so I can understand why some are not interested in reading something online. I’ve always been more of a writer, recording my words and thoughts in my head, looking for answers that are locked away somewhere within me.

Writing has always been my escape, somewhere safe I can go. I never imagined I’d ever be brave enough to actually share any of it. That’s the whole reason for a private journal. I always hid my true feelings within the lines, never considering my story might inspire or help others.

Throughout my writing I’ve shared with a select few, close friends and family that have seen me through the toughest times. I’ve always had the same response — encouragement and support. I had to push through a mountain of fear deciding to start a blog, placing my journal entries out for the world to read. I wondered who the hell would be interested in reading about me? Why would anyone be interested in reading about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, suicide and harsh realities? What good would any of it do? Where do I go, and how do I start?

Someone brought it to my attention, the real question to ask was…”why not?” I’ve already burnt through half of my life and everyday it shocks me how fast 45 years has gone by and God only knows how much time I have left. If I was to keep all this journaling secret, what’s the point? Perhaps I have some inspiration to pass on. Just maybe I could help one other person find some hope and happiness in this chaotic world we’re living in now-a-days?

With no kids to leave my legacy to, I leave it with all of you, my readers, my supporters. The comments that encourage me to keep writing and sharing my journey tell me I’m on the right path despite self-doubt. Since I’ve started this blog I’ve entered 38 stories, sharing my journey over the past four and a half years. I’ve only just begun; there is still so much to write about, like my arctic adventures and exploration, where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, the multiple ambulance rides and mishaps as a child.

Without readers like you I’m nothing more than pen to paper. With your help and spreading the word, maybe all of us together can help make a difference in someone’s life? As you read these lines, you’re making a difference in mine, and I thank you. Thank you for reading my blogs, my story, my adventures, along with my difficulties and struggles, because my famous one liner “I’m fine” has always been a crock of shit!

I was always a firm believer that people had enough troubles of their own and didn’t have time for mine, so when asked how I was doing “I’m fine” seemed to suffice. What I’ve come to understand by learning to listen and listening to learn is that most people are not as fine as they say they are. All they need is some compassion and empathy, not sympathy. Someone to talk to who will just listen and not necessarily try to fix the situation.

I had to smash the belief that no one wanted to hear what I truly had to say. What was killing me from the inside, not too many people have the capacity to understand — trauma, PTSD, clinical depression and anxiety problems. That’s when I had to finally start trusting in the professionals, after a lifetime of not trusting anyone or anything, and that comes with a lot of trial and error.

My psychologist in the psych ward taught me to ask myself questions like “what if things could be different, this time?” and rather than “why” all the time, ask “why not?” I was highly skeptical, yet doing the same old thing was getting me nowhere fast. It’s damn hard changing old patterns and behaviours, yet I can tell you it is possible, anything is attainable with the right attitude.

Don’t be afraid to be who you are. The world has a way of adjusting around you. If you’re not “fine,” find someone who will listen. When I’m at a loss to find someone I always turn to God. He’s always available, he’s a great listener and if you can quiet your mind long enough, he usually gives you the answer. Write your thought down, find a way to get stuff that’s bothering you out of your head — it’ll make room for good stuff to come in.

A small piece of advice before I end this off — next time someone asks you how you’re doing, try to find another line than “I’m fine” and whatever your answer is, be OK with it. I’m still working on mine and everything usually works itself out in the end. Thank you for being with me today. I hope you’ll stick around to see how this all ends — ’til next time.

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