I always knew I was different. When I was a teenager I was afraid to go to the counter at McDonalds and place an order for fear I would get it wrong or they would laugh at me. Humor became the perfect mask. If I could make people laugh they would not see my faults. I fell in love with radio. That “mystery man” behind the mic that would talk to me, I wanted, and got, that life. Although I was very successful I was running from an illness and eventually I crashed in February of 2011.
I have OCD, am bi-polar, suffer from depression and severe social anxiety disorder. I have been in therapy for nine years and my doctor saved my life. Depression is not just “being in a bad mood.” It’s a feeling of all other options running out and desperation. It makes suicide seem logical (as illogical as that may seem). So how did I do my job, be successful at it, and hide it from everyone? It started with alcohol. It gave me the courage to walk in a room, size people up, and own it. At an event I would continue to drink to feed the monster that wanted to come out. When that wasn’t enough I turned to drugs. Self medicating was the way I solved my problems before I found help. I was never a druggie in high school or college or in my early adult life but I can honestly say I became an addict. I have learned that addiction is a terrible disease and through the help of my therapist he has taught me how to control it and not let it control me.
I also found out that it’s okay to be scared. I don’t have all the answers to the tribulations we face in life but in 2015 I was in a coma for six days because I almost let that monster inside of me win. That was rock bottom for me. For the past seven years I have concentrated on fixing myself. For some reason God has let me survive to fulfill a specific mission that I have yet to discover. I have been blessed to actually see what awaits us. That first night in my coma the doctors were sure I would not see the morning. I truly am someone that got a second chance and that, among other reasons, is why I have decided to go home to Cleveland. It is my sincere hope that others that may have these feelings know they are not alone. My mom says I tell everyone everything and have no filter. She is correct but no one can appreciate the success without tasting the failure. Every new day is a blessing and there is no guarantee. Thank you for reading this and remember “never give up.”