What is your book called and what is it about?
My book is called I Didn’t Want To Die, I Just Wanted The Pain to End: Finding a Better Way.
This book is based on my journey; I battled through my teenage years with depression and anxiety (two things I knew nothing about) and subsequently, I lacked knowledge about my emotional well-being and mental health. This led me to multiple suicide attempts at 21.
The journey is filled with how dark the hole can be for someone suffering mental health challenges, and it shines a light on the lack of education around this throughout a child’s life. In the book I speak about the things I do to keep myself well and prevent myself from going down that damaging path, and how I continue to do my best every day, and how those around me were affected and how they helped.
Tell us more about you?
I always find this the most difficult question to answer. I’m a father of two boys, husband to Alicia and a sports lover. My passion is to do my best to help other people while attempting not to burn myself out while doing that. The darkest of moments, feelings and thoughts have driven me to always try and help others take a proactive approach to their mental health. Outside of this, I love playing cricket and being involved in sporting clubs. I love watching AFL and get to most games as a Collingwood member.
Let us get to know you a little better by answering these quickfire questions:
What is your favourite quote?
My favorite quotes do change from time to time. At the moment, I like: “This is just the beginning;’ because every day is a new beginning, opportunity and every moment is another chance.” My other favourite is: “You didn’t come this far, to come this far” — which for me is in relation to feeling really horrible but knowing that you worked your way through those shitty feelings and thoughts before, so you can do it again.
What is your favourite book?
Relentless – by Tim Grover
Option B – by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
What is your favourite podcast at the moment?
My own podcast, which I don’t listen to but I just really love having genuine conversations with people. Outside of my own podcast I like — Feel Better, Live More with Dr Chatterjee, Hump Day with Swanny & Friends and Good Banter with Tom Siegert and Evan Hocking.
Who is your role model?
I don’t and never have had a specific role model as I believe everyone has some amazing traits and I think I resonate with different people in different ways.
Who in your life has inspired you the most and why?
Inspiration for many comes in different forms, but the way my friends and family stood by me during my worst times inspires me to continue to strive to become a better version of myself every day. They didn’t stand by me through the hard times for me to just take the easy route in life. Every day I remind myself what I put myself and those close to me through and it drives me to be better. .
What is your coffee order?
Long Black with 3 sweeteners.
Someone leaving sharp knives in the filled up sink. Nothing worse than reaching in to do the dishes and nearly cutting your finger off.
What inspired you to write this book?
On the back of my own suicide attempts many people shared their story with me and it had a huge impact on my life. Then, when two people I knew well died by suicide within 8 months, I knew I had to get this written to help others. I couldn’t sit back and just have the idea of writing a book. I had to get off my ass and do it!
How did you find the process of writing and publishing your book?
Writing a book had its challenges as I relived some traumatic experiences and delved deeper than I ever have before about some of the darkest moments of my life. Outside of that, the whole process has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I’ll be forever grateful that I stepped into the challenge of writing a book. Family and friends have been super supportive, and the team at Dean Publishing did an incredible job at keeping me informed, relaxed, grounded, and educated on the whole process from start to finish.
What surprised you most about the writing process?
How well what I wrote came together into a book….
The idea of writing a book is great, but putting it together is something I just couldn’t fathom in my own head, so to see it come together really surprised me.
What do you hope the reader gets from reading this book?
Hope! I want those struggling to have hope that the darkest days aren’t always going to be there if they put the work in. I want family members and friends to have hope and belief in those who are struggling with mental illness.
I hope that all readers get a betwater understanding of how consuming a mental illness can be, not only the individual but the ripple effect it has on everyone, therefore having a flow-on effect into society as people can use empathy, compassion, kindness and consideration when around those with mental health issues.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know how?
If you have a deep passion or care for something in the world, writing a book is an incredible experience that is so beneficial. I didn’t intend to sell the book at the start but the more people I talked to about it, the more people said that people need to know what I’m talking about as my experience was a helpful tool for others.
If you have a skillset, a passion, and a love for something – then you have the ability to change lives… so, just start! If you don’t know how or where, just ask… because like you have your skillset, someone else can use their skillset to help your dream come alive.