Dear Anybody Who Might Need Help,
So, all of the events I don’t remember exactly. I do specifically remember that my cousin made me do things to him that no five-year-old should ever have to experience. To this day I remember everything about that. The smell, taste, where it was in the house. Everything!
All of this happened from the ages of five to seven. I remember him telling me that if I told my parents, he would beat me up. Being terrified of that kept me from ever saying anything.
In my teenage years, I would get major mood swings. For one week, every single month, I would be so sad. Depressed. Insecure. Quiet. Just not a fun person to be around. I never understood why this was happening but know now it was directly linked to my abuse.
Playing hockey when I was in those moods was the worst. The amount of nerves I would get was sickening. I couldn’t play the game to anywhere near my potential during those times. It was flat out terrible! I thought it would never end, and therefore I wouldn’t be able to pursue my dream of the NHL.
I believe these events in my childhood sent me down a terrible path. When I started playing professionally my career didn’t start the way I wanted it to. Consequently, I started making poor and unfortunate decisions. I didn’t know how to communicate or articulate my emotions. I would keep everything in, and eventually I popped.
I was sent down to the CHL during my second year of my entry level contract. I was in a bad place mentally. Smoking weed and drinking pretty much daily. I wound up making the worst decision of my life, and that was cheating on my now ex-wife, Annie.
It was that decision that led me down a road to recovery. I had a choice to make after that. I could’ve continued on the path of self destruction, and who knows where I’d be or if I’d be alive. Or, I could’ve started down the path to recovery. I chose recovery.
I started mental therapy twice a week for the next two years and made a significant change in my mental state. I was able to work through all of these past traumas and make sense of the things I did in my life. Thankfully at the time, Annie chose to stay with me and work through things. She saw the potential in me, and I’m forever grateful to her and her loyalty to me. Even though I broke her heart with that choice I made and it wasn’t an easy road, damn am I grateful for it all.
I’ve also made peace with my past and no longer allow it to define me and the decisions I make on a daily basis. I see every human through nonjudgmental eyes, and in doing so I’m able to realize that everyone is in some sort of pain to a certain degree, from their past. Knowing what I know now, all I want is for people to be aware of that pain and seek help. I’ve been on the other side of this, and it’s not a good or healthy way to live.
For anybody reading this, I want you to know that you, too, can make peace with your past. All it takes is you being aware that there is pain inside of you and then seeking help from someone. The world is a nasty place, but it’s truly just filled with people in pain. People that need help. But unfortunately, in most cases as was the case with me, it takes something catastrophic for someone to realize change is needed. For me it was the cheating. For you it could be anything.
My hope is that in bringing this stuff out, you can avoid that catastrophe and just get the help. Living life in darkness is catastrophic enough. I operate now out of pure love and happiness for life.
The book, THE UNTETHERED SOUL by Michael A. Singer, has helped me to detach myself from the negative thoughts and made me realize THAT WE ARE NOT THE VOICE OF THE MIND. WE ARE JUST THE ONES WHO HEAR IT. Buy that book, and I swear the moment you read the first word, you have mentally just won the lottery.
The mental health conversation is one I will never stop having. Wanting to make Earth a better place is what has inspired me to speak up. I will continue opening the minds of others to the amazing benefits of working through suffering. I WILL be a part of healing in the world.
Thank you for reading this. I love you all. Find me on Instagram, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Jake Newton (@jake.newton5)