you have depression issues caused by child abuse or domestic violence, I’m not
going to pretend that what has worked for me will work for all of you. Still, I
think it necessary to at least give you the chance to use this powerful tool to
was a time before my book Informally Educated came out, when my life was much
different. I was a good man, a loving father and a faithful husband, but was
still writing bad checks on the incredible negative balance my step father had
deposited in my life’s checkbook. Somehow I had broken the cycle of child abuse
and did not visit his sins on my wife and child. Hear this; if I do nothing
else notable for the rest of my life, I have been a true success.
is the first step in healing and one most can never take. I was always telling,
it helped that my step father had been killed when I was fourteen; I had no
fear of facing him on a daily basis. I might be trucking along for a year, with
everything going well. Then it would happen, I would tell someone my story and like
an incredible cloud of doom my own past would settle over me and refuse to
leave my side for several months. I was never a person who considered suicide;
I had fought too hard to live, to die by my own hand.
the depression caused by simply verbally reliving my childhood would suck my
soul into a deep, dark pit from which it might take months to climb out of.
Thirty minutes with the brush, painting my story to someone would lead to
months of walking through the hell I had created on the canvas with my words.
forward progress in my life would come to a halt. I might quit my job, let my
business fail, stop attending church, drink heavily, try a few new mind numbing
drugs, lose old friends or gain some new ones that were not too desirable. Thus,
my life moved on, I would write that bad check with my mouth, and then do a
kind of nasty reset of my life which it would take many months, to get over. In
days, I might lose everything positive it had taken me years to build.
least once a week the incredible cloud of doom would visit and strangle me in
my sleep. I would walk among the living, but would be dead inside. Most times
there was no apparent reason for its visit, but it was real just the same.
Somehow even with all this, I excelled in most jobs and was married to the same
wonderful woman for twenty-seven years.
in my thirties the idea occurred to me to write Informally Educated. It was
more like ripping out my soul and regurgitating it onto the screen of my
computer. I pecked at and cried on the keyboard, late into the night for
several months. For a time, things seemed worse, but gradually they began to
improve. I may not have noticed it for quite some time, but eventually I
noticed the cloud was coming less often and stuck around for far less time,
when it did. For the twenty years since, I have continued to make progress,
those bouts of depression lessen with each passing year.
see so many of you who struggle to cope every day of your lives. I see so many
who try to commit suicide, only to survive and spend the next few months
working up the courage, to try it again. Write it down, even if you never show
it to anyone. Write for your life, your life is worth it and, in fact, your
life may well hang in the balance. Your miserable life is your abusers reward
for all the crap he or she heaped on you. Your silence gives them permission to
do it again, encourages them to continue their evil work.
not saying that this will work for everyone, but I am living proof that it
might work for some. I now live a vastly different life than I lived for many
years. Even with that I must continuously be on guard against that incredible
cloud of doom which hangs out there looking for people like you and me. We may
never be as normal people and cannot afford to allow depression to gain the
slightest foothold in our lives. Thank God that my writing has been my best
therapy and that my bouts of depression have increasingly lessened in intensity
and duration with the passing of time.
as your life depends on it because it truly might. You write it and if you feel
it appropriate, send it to me, and I’ll post it on my blogs and webpages, if
not keep it to yourself, but write it, bleed it, release it through the ink of
your pen. It will help you, and remember, you might save the life of another,
in the process.