If you ever want to see the impact that a celeb sharing, in detail, their own personal experiences & struggles, can have on changing & saving someone’s life, this is a great example. We are tied together more through our common challenges & life experiences than we will ever be by disorders/diagnosis alone. Thank you to Trent, Theo, & Kim for sharing this amazing story.
“As a young child, I suffered through being sexually abused. It was a very horrific experience for me that led to eventual alcohol abuse, gambling issues, & depression nearly 15 years later.
As I got older, I just tried my best to not let it get to me, but as I got older & realized what had happened, I suffered from anxiety not knowing how to tell anyone. It was not until I moved away from home for the first time & was living on my own in a large city that I started to participate in what I thought were coping mechanisms (alcohol & gambling). This led me through a very dark time in my life where I was depressed & did not know who I could turn to. For the first time in my life, my work was being affected, friends were leaving me & the friends I had that stood by me became very concerned. I was going out & drinking constantly, always sad & angry & was also very paranoid.
I started doing some reading & researching & came across @theofleury14’s book titled ‘Playing with Fire.’ Being the hockey fan that I am, I just happened to come across it & read it. It was then that I realized that this would be the starting point to making changes & eventually telling my story. Since Playing with Fire was released & I read it, I also read Theo’s next book “Conversations with a Rattlesnake’ & was able to watch the documentary & listen to his music. Taking all of these items into consideration as well as my own health at the time, I finally decided to tell my story to a couple of close, but trusting friends. They were all very supportive of me & while I still had an uphill battle, I knew that this was going to help.
Throughout the next couple of years I constantly read that book & watched the documentary while also seeking guidance & was open to talking about it with a few trusted friends. I speak on behalf of my friends & of course myself in thanking Theo & Kim Barthel (his co-author & friend), as well as the many counselors that I sought help from. About a year ago is when I finally started to tame depression, & I am now the happiest I have been in a long time. I was able to land a dream job of mine, become more open to a few more people, & I finally found a place that I could call home in a peaceful environment. While life is not always easy & I still have a lot of things I need to work on, I am happy & consider myself a survivor.
I also want to personally say thank you to Theo Fleury, Kim Barthel, and the We’re All A Little ‘Crazy’ #SameHere Movement for telling their stories & encouraging me to tell mine, as well as their support throughout the years in the interactions I have had. Without “Playing with Fire”, I don’t know if this post happens today as that was the first step in my healing process several years ago.
I’ve found that sharing my story & being open with several trusted friends, listening to music, exploring the city, networking, & writing all I’d been through on paper with hopes of eventually publishing a book.
While I am not ready for everyone to know my story quite yet, I am happy to be sharing it anonymously through this platform. I think I still have some work to do where I am at the point of telling a lot of people, but I hope this is another step in the right direction. I think there would be both a lot of shock, but also a lot of support.”