A ledge, a death, and finding myself.

:TRIGGER WARNING: Talk of suicide.

Five years ago I stood on a ledge. I mean this literally.

I was in the parking garage of the hotel and casino I worked at in Las Vegas. It was the end of my shift and I didn’t want to live anymore.

Over the previous six months, my grandfather passed away, I stopped considering my biological father as my dad, and I contracted shingles.

All of this is related to why I stood on that ledge.

I remember standing, the dry Vegas air blowing through my clothes, and not caring what anyone would think about me not being here.

I was mostly just tired. I felt like I caused a lot of pain and I was tired of hurting.

Something happened that day that was nearly the deciding factor for my life. A co-worker told me, “No one cares what happens to you. No one wants to listen to you talk about your writing anymore.”

Those words, completely full of venom and hate, led me to standing on the ledge.

I stared down at the pavement. Feeling the wind brush back my hair and rippled my clothes. Then, I don’t know why, but I stepped down and called my wife. I don’t have an explanation as to why I stepped down.

I explained to my wife what happened.

No one, not even her knew how bad my depression was. I didn’t want anyone to know that I’d lost it. I’m not sure if its a guy thing, though I’ve come to believe it had something to do with it.

I talked to her through my Bluetooth on the way home. She had no idea. I know no one I worked with did.

Today, I turned 43. Life got better after we left Las Vegas almost four years ago. I see my kids more, love my wife more, and take care of myself. I enjoy life.

One of the reasons we left was the toxicity of casino work. When we left, I was getting migraines 2-3 times a week. Since we left, I’ve had eight of them.

One of my goals after moving was to write fiction daily. I do that now. I’ve written eight books and I’m planning on publishing a book this summer on Amazon.

If you have thoughts of suicide, please get help. Please tell someone and don’t let some asshole you work with drive you to end things.

I continue to suffer from depression, but after trying Transcendental Meditation after my breakdown, because that’s what it was.

TM has become a daily practice for my wife and I. It changed my life, as well as saving it.

Not Giving up on what I want.

There are dreams in the world that happen because we take a chance.

We’re capable of doing great things, but there are moments when we falter.

The truth is, for most of us, fear runs our lives.

It keeps us from achieving greatness.

I used to be one of those people.

I feared people would read my writing and hate. But they’d judge me based only on my writing, not on who I am.

A year ago I sent off my first short story to a magazine. The rejections have come in ever since.

Not one of my stories has been picked up. I don’t know why, but I’ll keep going. I’ll keep improving. The only way to get published it to improve every day. The only way to do that is to write every day or if you’re not writing, at least be reading.

This year I sent off a novel. It’s been seen by three agents. Two of them still have it. The third sent a form rejection.

But I’m not stopping.

I have eight more agents on my list.

When I get rejections from all of them, I’ll shelve it and work on the other one.

I have a goal. It won’t be achieved until I’m published.

I’ve written seven novels, over 100 short stories.

Some of them good, some bad, but I keep writing.

I won’t accept being unpublished.

This year I’ve improved more than any year. My focus hasn’t wavered.

I’m starting another novel next month, another novel I’ll be editing,¬†and few short stories I’ll be submitting.

This road doesn’t end until I’m published.