Along my journey of success and failure I have always felt that there was something missing. An underlaying void that I could never fill no matter how deep into the ocean of emotion I went. I was stuck and stagnant and unable to grow so I did what any self-loathing artist would do, I masked all of my trauma and dark thoughts with women, drugs and alcohol and partied like tomorrow was for people who had a purpose and I definitely didn’t have one. I figured if I couldn’t get to the bottom of my problems, I might as well get to the bottom of another bottle. I did this for years until I finally hit my breaking point. I was on the ledge and ready to see if I could fly. I mean, why stick around? Money didn’t fix me, accolades and achievements only put a painful smile on my face and I couldn’t seem to find authentic love no matter how many times I would pretend “this is the one”. From the outside I seemed so put together because over the years I became so good at hiding all of my cracks. Mentally I was shattered and those who I let in in my dark hours would see nothing more than a broken person trying to connect to anything that would give him one more dose of false contentment. Pain, depression, evil thoughts and a feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anything was all that greeted me which is why I would constantly justify my drunken actions and why no matter how many times I would try to get sober, I always failed. Trying to heal your trauma and fix your mental state while still indulging in your vices is nothing more than floating in the sea without a sail. You’ll never get anywhere and even if you do, chances are it wasn’t where you wanted to go. I decided to move away from all of the evils that tempt me, let go of everyone and everything that didn’t serve me for the better and really take actions that would finally allow me to confront my demons. I joined a self-help group, changed my diet and went vegan, started reading and running and most importantly, I stopped letting my pride and ego control me. I’m now proud to say that I’ve been completely sober for seven months and found the inner happiness that I’ve always longed for. From experiencing mental and emotional darkness for most of my life I can tell you first-hand that lifestyle changes and mental endurance can seriously bring a light into your life that you couldn’t find before. You truly find your lighthouse that guides you home and you start to discover what’s really important in life. You start to become grateful for the small things that you once overlooked and you begin to appreciate things that you once neglected. And then, the astonishing thing starts to happen, the universe starts hiding little gifts that you would have never been able to find when you were lost. You get to a place where you realize that happiness begins in your mind and you have the ability to control the state of your mood which then turns into forward motion actions that takes you to destinations that you’ve always wanted to go. 

We have two options, stay in the dark or fight as hard as we can to find the sunshine. I believe in all of you and I wish you could just for a moment understand how important you are and how the world needs your ideas, your art, your writings, your compassion and your creativity. Never stop fighting.