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I’d like to give you some insight into my life to help you better understand who I am and how I came to realize the fundamentals of myself, the world and REALITY.

I grew up the youngest of eight children in a small town in rural Indiana. My father died when I was just 18 months old, and my mother struggled with alcohol abuse and had a hard time taking care of us and herself.

I left home at the age of 13, sleeping on people’s couches or floors, in cars and at the local pool hall. I was arrested twice for drinking as a 14-year-old and spent time in a juvenile home and maximum -security juvenile facility. I took my mother to court shortly after and won the right to legally leave home and live with my brother. Eventually I took a job working second shift at a local factory so I could rent my own home, all while still attending high school. By the time I’d graduated, I’d been completely independent and responsible for myself for four years.

I joined the Army in 1997 at the age of 20 and was deployed to Germany and eventually Bosnia. I suffered a severe knee, ankle and back injury during an accident while working as an Army mechanic and was honorably discharged just days before my four-year enlistment was up. Those injuries would lead to decades of pain, surgeries, varying levels of disability, and a struggle with opioids.

I returned home and found work as a welder, metal fabricator, and home remodeling. I also found love, marrying a former high school sweetheart. We’ve been blessed with two amazing daughters, but with her pregnancies came debilitating postpartum depression and PMDD, leaving my wife mentally paralyzed and unable to care for herself or our daughters for months at a time.

Through it all, what I’m most proud of is my steadfast commitment to my daughters and my family. I’ve been a rock for my family, never asking for help or breaking from the pressure, despite my own ongoing health challenges that have made me rely on a cane and wheelchair at times.

Despite all the obstacles in front of me, I’ve found my way forward. I’ve overcome abuse, neglect, abandonment, addiction and life-altering injuries, just to name a few. I start each day not just in debilitating pain, but with the memories of a lifetime of emotional hurt and physical struggle. Yet, I don’t feel sorry for myself. In fact, I’ve never been more content and excited about my life as I am now!

A great deal of that excitement is because I can now share with others how I’ve pushed past the seemingly impossible situations in my life and learned to free myself from negative emotional constraints. Regardless of your individual circumstances, I promise you I will provide you a pathway to your own personal freedom – to help you clear your conscience from whatever has kept you in the dark.

I tell you all of this just to share some of the life experiences that have shaped me and my perspective. I know at some point I’m going to frustrate, trigger or offend you. I’m positive of this, so when it happens, I hope you’ll draw on some aspect of my life to help give you perspective and allow you to focus back on the topic. No matter how insensitive or direct I may be speaking, know it comes from personal experience and understanding, not from ignorance or malice.

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