Dear Mr. Hamilton,
I want to take the time to digress a moment and thank you directly for the Miss Annabelle story. It came at a very dark time. I have chemical depression and have gone through and learned much to fight it, but the time I refer to was dark enough that I did not know, could not say, if all that would be enough. I was rationing my food and was unsure if I could keep my apartment, and I had nowhere else to go. There were a lot of medical problems and I had to have procedures to correct kidney problems. I lost my health insurance going through a very heartbreaking divorce earlier in the year and so I could no longer afford my antidepressant medications and had to wean myself off of them. That was not pleasant at all, but I had no choice and couldn’t get medical help. I felt all alone and was in a very bad place. Only force of habit and what I had learned kept me going – and even that was a herculean effort just not to give up at this point…. and just then the Miss Annabelle story showed up.
I started to read it and I was glad to see the characters build friendships and work together to reach their dreams and build a better world. I will confess I cried a lot when I read that book. But it got my mind off my troubles and it gave a glimpse of light that carried me until I got what turned out to be another life-changing message. But that is getting ahead of the story….
Back From the Ashes… Again
A Neothink Story
This story has been told before – up to a point. It may sound familiar to you. If you were to ask those of my family or friends about me they probably would have said something like this: “Yeah, nice guy. Works hard… but he won’t get very far.” Often there is a lot of accuracy in these kinds of assessments, but how often do we follow up and ask why this is, and how it can be changed? If this is our situation, it has to be done, and if we can’t find the answers ourselves, we have to ask others for them. But it took a lot of pain and scars before I got to that point….
I was sad and depressed as a child, and an underachiever. No one could figure out what was wrong with me, and I can’t blame them as I couldn’t either. But these things made me different, and children tend to pick on those different from them. So, as a six-year-old child, I made a choice that was expedient for me and made perfect sense at the time, but it turned out to be a fateful one…. I withdrew from people. Instead of taking the time to learn how to deal with social situations and feelings and emotions and how to properly act on them – what children should do – I isolated myself as much as possible. In effect, I made a bad situation much, much worse, and badly warped my development. You can probably guess how that played out…
The sky fell in when I was 18. My “coping mechanisms” didn’t work any more and I was in all kinds of pain. I wanted to die, and had a plan to make sure that happened. I was faced with a choice: give up and prove the naysayers right, or try to fix the mess I had made of my life. It was very hard to do, but I chose to try, and entered a psychiatric ward on suicide watch, cried a lot of tears and tried to learn enough about how to constructively live life so I could get out of there and function.
I was released after three weeks. I was still alive. I had survived. An idea began to grow in me. I wanted to let people know that it doesn’t matter how far down you are, you can always come back – if you want to badly enough. Obviously I wasn’t very good at talking to people, but I could do music. I could write songs and reach out to them that way. I did not know it at the time, but I had found my essence. So I went to college and started writing songs.
This story could have had an upswing and a “happily ever after” end at this point. But there were a couple of critical issues that were not addressed. I can see now that this is where I started going down… again….
You see, once I finished college I had no idea what the next step to advance my music should be. So in effect I basically fell off the end of the earth, as far as that went. The forward progress stopped, for the most part.
And it didn’t stop there….
I had had a couple of near-death experiences that first year in college, ironically basically a year after I had almost come to killing myself. I won’t tell you my “famous bike accident” and “famous car accident” stories here, but there is a point here that is important: Your Experiences Will Never Lie to You, But You CAN Draw the Wrong Conclusions From Them. Sadly, that is what I did here….
I became very religious and altruistic, and I did my best to keep doing something I had always done – wrongly: I tried to rescue people, and this extended to my choice of life partners, and I made the same mistake twice. All I managed to do was make a bad situation worse. We might be able to help others a bit, but when you get down to it, people have to rescue themselves. So basically all I did was fail more.
Was I getting closer to doing my essence? No. Was I happy? No. Were the people I was altruistically “trying to help” for my own off-kilter not-fully-honest-with-myself reasons happy with me? No. They were not.
Life now began to show me the error of my ways – through my body – and my health began to break…
I had always had times in my life where it got hard to try and solve problems, and sometimes I could not think at all. These times were a big factor in my isolating myself. Nobody else seemed to make the mistakes I did; that stuff never happened to them. That and being depressed all the time – who wants to be the wet blanket in a crowd? But now, I began to lose my memory. It got very bad. I would sit down at work to do procedures I had done many times before… and I couldn’t remember how to do them! Now, not only was home life very bad, I was in danger of losing my job. I had to get help – and fast. Back to therapy…. Unbelievable….
I was now 43. I had accomplished nothing with my life. I was in a dying marriage and in a dead-end, underpaying job, and now I was losing my memory….
I was given some tests to confirm what was already thought. I was handed the verdict, and it was devastating to me…
*My depression was due to a brain chemical imbalance, and
*I also had attention deficit disorder, courtesy of the some brain chemical imbalance.
They could help me manage it, but…
I would NEVER BE CURED.
This was very hard to accept. Would I ever be happy? I had some hard choices to make, and the fallout would last long after I got the first letter from Mark Hamilton inviting me to purchase his books and become a member of the Neothink Society.
You may ask what my rationale for saying yes to Mark was. At this time, to buy the books was a real struggle. But I was down to looking for something pathetically basic: I just wanted to be happy. All I had believed in I found was not accurate and I had failed monumentally at some very critical aspects of life. I had to try something different. I had to see if being happy was still possible for me.
So I read the books. As I read those first three heirlooms, and was struck at how many times I found myself saying, ” I can’t argue with this; I just had it happen to me”, I was going through some very hard times. A partial list:
*I was in and out of the hospital for six weeks with kidney problems. I finally had to have surgery.
*My divorce became final.
*The company I worked at released me with 48 hours’ notice. The accountant who brought me in was released also, and I tried to help him as he rebuilt his practice, but money was in very short supply for a long time after that. I rationed food a lot, and only just managed to make the rent and stay off the streets.
*I lost my health insurance and had to wean myself off of my antidepressant medications. That was awful. PLEASE do not try this without a doctor’s help, but I had no choice as I had no money to pay for the meds, let alone a doctor.
Somehow I got through all of this, and then I got a message…
The Neothink Society was having a summit in Chicago. That’s about an hour and a half from me. If I was going to really find out about this Society and meet someone from it, this would be my one shot. Initially I was excited. But then, I began to think….
It’s going to be a crowd… social situations…. having to meet people and talk to them! Gee, I really don’t know if I can do this…
And what if it turns out to be just another disappointment? I really don’t know if I can do this….
But this would be the one thing I could afford to go to….
I went back and forth. Go ahead, you can say it – it was pathetic. This should have been relatively simple, but now for me it was murderously difficult. But to make a long story short…
I dragged myself down there. And I met Charlie and Steve. It is hard not to meet Steve, but on the morning of the last day, as I sat by myself, thinking about all that I was going back to, Charlie came up and introduced himself to me. Among other things, he told me about a phone call he and Steve hosted, called the Powers Call, and told me how I could get on it and listen and learn. He gave me some hope and I thanked him. The day came to an end and I drove back.
That meeting changed my life, as it turned out. I had read the books, but remember my brain chemistry? Sometimes I can’t think at all, and I just couldn’t get my mind to think like it had to so I could actually apply what I learned. So I would e-mail Steve and Charlie with all kinds of questions. We had a phone conference and it was agreed that Charlie would become my life coach.
But I would get on the call too, and call in with questions. Then I was asked a question…
Can you give a testimony?
Well, sure. I did, and it seemed to touch the listeners.
Then I was asked, Can you describe for us what it would be like being onstage, doing your essence?
OK…. so I did that, and people seemed to like it.
Then it was, Can you write a lyric and share it with us?
I did, and eventually I gave it music and put it on my album. But we’ll get to that soon.
Then it was, Can you write a theme song for this call?
Sure, guys. Whatever you want. So I did it, and people seemed to like it. It’s still being done.
Now, Charlie and I would talk weekly on the life coaching calls, and he began to say,”You really should try to come out to New York. People gotta hear your story. You can even play some music and then you can say you played Manhattan!” Eventually I got the money for such a thing, wrote a song specifically for the occasion upon request, and went out there. I gave my presentation – my story – and played the new song, among others. People liked it and it closes the Powers Call now.
I had suggested some ideas for presentations in the past and then I would be asked to present them. Steve and Charlie had put together a “Mentor the Mentor” program, which was helpful in seeing how they wanted to have these put together. Then with the last suggestion I gave, “What is Holding You Back From Your Essence?”, I was asked to present and I was told I would take over the whole call. I got a real appreciation for what these mentors go through every week, every call. I understand it went over very well. I hope people take the information and run with it.
So I will close this tale for now. I am grateful to still be around to experience the growth I have been able to accomplish with the help of others, and to meet those people. I have not yet recovered fully financially from all the hard times, but I have seen so much growth in so many areas that I am able, with help, to believe that this last puzzle piece is just a matter of time. I can see where my thinking has changed and I am able to do the hard thinking needed to be aware of what is going on around me and figure out what to do about it and how to go about it. I started a music publishing company and recorded my album in my apartment and got it copyrighted, and am working to reach a point financially where I can release it and get it out. I frankly admit that I am not there yet, but I am grateful to have come through all that I have and still be here to keep plugging. So I would say to you, if you still have any doubts about your own ability to do this: If there is room in the Neothink Society for someone who sometimes cannot think at all, surely there is a place for YOU.
GO FOR IT!