Thank You, Pain!

Pain sucks! No one (well almost no one) wishes for more of it.

Even so, I’ve always believed that the toughest times in my life have somehow shaped me into what I am today. I believed it, but I really had no idea what it meant until I wrote my book. This book. This fucking book.

It started out as a nice self-help book. Basically, me telling you some of the more challenging things I’ve been through in my life and what I did to get through them and move on. I had some answers, and wanted to share them with the world.

On the advice of a friend, I reached out to his Content Editor. I crafted an email, attached the draft, hit send, and waited. She emailed back a couple of days later to let me know that she hadn’t read the whole thing. WTF?

Then, she asked me a question. Actually, the most important question of the whole process – “What do you really want from this book?”  I realized that I hadn’t known until that exact moment. It was like a spark, a shot of electricity. It went right through me. In that moment, my answer appeared. She already knew.

I’d written, but not deeply. Those tough times were easier to just reflect on, with a pat on the back and a “Yeah boy, those were tough times.” I’d looked, but not carefully. I remembered just enough to extract what I thought were the lessons, and then rambled on for a couple of pages about it without ever getting down to the nitty-gritty.

Yes I want to tell my story. But it’s so much more than that. I want to inspire people. I want to help people who ARE where I WAS. I want to give those people hope, and let them know that I’ve been there with them and I’m here for them now. I want to scream to them in my loudest voice that our abuse, our addiction, our craziness and our suffering don’t have to be the end of us. They weren’t the end for me. I’m still here! I’m still here! We agreed…the draft I’d sent her would never be that book.

Enter the memoir. My story. My truth.

I started over. I started from the beginning. I wrote. The worst things, the hardest parts, the saddest stories of my life. As I wrote, I realized that I’d healed in the past, but not completely. I’d mourned, but not fully. I’d known I was strong, but not really.

Writing. Healing. Open wounds closing. Scars softening. Inspiration bursting from my chest.

Thank you, Pain!

This book put things into perspective for me. Even though pain and hardship aren’t on the top of my wish list today, I try to meet them head on. Honestly, we’re all going to get our fair share before our time is up. But, in putting my story on paper, I realized what I’m really made of. I don’t have to be afraid. I can make it through anything. Much of who and what I am was shaped by really, really hard stuff. My spirit is strong because I’ve walked through that fire.

People sometimes tell me that I’m the most positive person they know. I’ll take that compliment any and every day! Much of that optimism and zest for life comes from the fact that deep down…really deep down, I know that if I made it through all of THAT, I can make it through anything. I know that no matter what I’m going through in this moment, and no matter how hard it gets, it’ll be okay in the end. I’m truly grateful to be alive.

I try…try to apply this knowledge when it comes to my family. When my teenage kids are going through something really tough and seem to be stuck on the bottom, it’s hard not to just try and fix their shit. Make the problems go away. Pull them from the pain. Keep them from suffering. We do give them advise and share our life experience, but when they don’t want to hear it, Lindi and I have to remind each other that it’s part of their journey. It’s molding them in some way. They’ll be okay. It’s fucking hard to remember!

We’ll all have to walk through our fire at some point. The lessons will probably burn, but they’ll be there if we’re willing to look for them.

I’m overjoyed to have my manuscript done. I’ll keep you posted on when and where you can get the book!

Big Love to you all!


3 replies
  1. Lisa Rinehart
    Lisa Rinehart says:

    I love your blogs and I love you! I am one of the luckiest gals to have a friend like you that wants to share your story, to help others who have been thru the same tragic events. I need you to know that I have been thru some terrible times, completely different from yours, but I am very inspired by you…YOU! I, too, am shaped by all that has happened in my life. The good…the bad…and the ugly. I’m so proud of you. I’m proud to still call you my friend and look forward to reading your book.

  2. Sherry Kleinert
    Sherry Kleinert says:

    Well said Brad, and big love to you too! I’m glad you are still here and I’m looking forward to your book. Thanks for your authenticity and vulnerability. We all could use a little more of that. Well done 😉


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