Sometimes light comes from darkness, or happiness from sorrow. This is my story.
I now realize that i love connecting with people and am very good at it. It’s certainly one of my strengths that I truly embrace. I connect deeply with people of all ages whether they be male, female, queer, gay, bisexual, non-binary, professionals, labourers, students, drug addicts, those running from the law, those experiencing homelessness, those struggling with mental illness and those with not much time left. I know it is because I accept with no judgement.
It was not always this way. I always thought i was happy but something was missing deep inside. I followed my father’s career path for me, got married, raised a family and bought a cute little house and added my own white picket fence (literally).
The stresses of life with a business to run, three children to raise and an unhappy marriage soon took it’s toll. I became an insomniac and went to see my local physician for help. That began a 15 year addiction to several antipsychotic medications including benzodiazepines.
Not being able to think clearly and being addicted to so many meds, i soon lost everything that was important to me. I lost my marriage, my relationship with my children, two cottages, my two businesses, employee theft, fell victim to an internet scam and had lost more money than most would make in a lifetime. But i had my pills.
March 26, 2016 i walked up to the medicine cabinet after refilling all my prescriptions, opened each bottle and continued to swallow each pill one by one. Handful after handful until they were all empty. I went back to the couch where i lay down thinking what had I done. I made the conscious decision not to call the ambulance. I vividly remember a warm tingling feeling come over me and thought this was it. I saw a bright light calling me but i did not go towards it. I had a near death experience. I woke up the next morning admitted to the psychiatric ward which is where i would be for the next 15 months, in and out for months at a time. It was the first morning while laying in bed that i learned from the hospital’s head of Psychiatry that my trusted doctor for 15 years had just had his medical license removed due to medical malpractice and tax evasion the week before my suicide attempt. I was one of his victims.
After living with such an incredible amount of anxiety and depression for so long, i woke up on May 5th, 2017 without a trace of either. It has been that way now for just over 5 years. I feel incredibly blessed and so incredibly happy to be alive. I know that my life was saved to bring joy and happiness to others, no one can tell me different.
August 18th, 2019 i decided I desperately needed a change. After fearing homelessness in Winnipeg, i took everything i had left in this world and packed it all into my tiny tent trailer and trunk of my Lemon-Aid (1966 Mustang Convertible) and drove west. I stopped driving when i reached a beautiful mountain village called the Comox Valley. I had never heard of this valley before, consequently i had no friends, no family and no job to come to. It was a leap of FAITH!
Since then i have the most amazing career a man could ask for, i have met so many incredibly positive and supportive people that i can truly call them dear friends and i know i have made such a dramatic impact on the residents of this valley. So much so that this past May was declared the month of resiliency and my shenanigan “Kinder Pathfinder Day” was chosen to kick off the months activities. I was asked to attend a movie screening on resiliency and gratefully asked to give a talk on resilience on May 29th at the listening event at Filberg Park.