About 10 years ago, I was not the person you see standing before you today. Not only was I a little larger and had more hair, but I was also someone who was hurting. I was going through a period of my life that could easily be defined as my lowest point.
The year was 2004, I was living in North Carolina, and my life was falling apart very quickly. In January, a home my first wife and I had in West Virginia was damaged during a winter storm when the water pipes burst creating a hockey rink out of the carpet. Afterwards, we received some bad advice that prevented us from getting any relief out of the situation. In March, my first wife left me with a phone call and a note on the refrigerator door. It ended a bad relationship that was defined more by our inability to communicate than by our love for one another. By October, I was sitting with my attorney in a federal courthouse in Raleigh, N.C., describing my financial situation and why I was filing bankruptcy.
It was an awful year and I had more problems and pains than I could account for. To be honest, I needed help and knew I needed to do something to get through this season of life. So, I tried to get help by throwing myself into anything I could. I found a West Virginia University Alumni chapter that became a place of Saturday afternoon refuge from what was going on at home. I threw all my energy into a political campaign I was working on. I thought if we won, which we did, that I would feel better. No matter what I tried what often happened was that I only compounded the pain. I made it worst. I was still hurting. I could not save myself. Continue reading