Friday, December 14, 2012

Song for a new generation

Back in 1992, when I was a college freshman, I experienced a depression that came from the opening of a door into an unknown world. I remember when I spent the first night alone in my dorm room and saw only darkness.

I bade my family farewell as they dropped me off in the minivan and they headed back to the only world that I knew and the only comfort that I remembered - with my parents and my sister. I had indeed spent nights away, but this was the first time that I struck out on my own in a new place, a new town and a new world.

I remember the first few nights when I cried myself to sleep because I was merely a 17-year-old boy who was not quite ready for prime time. I was uneasy about what lay ahead of me because I knew that something was dying, and it was my youth.

What drew me out of my fog was a moment of inspiration. I chose to write down my thoughts and I chose to document my feelings. I compiled a series of poems that set me free to begin a new chapter of my life. And, I soon learned, it was only the beginning.

Twenty years later, I opened this journal and I decided that I wanted to honor that young man and his thoughts by publishing what can hopefully be a way for a new generation of young people to see that the road I trod alone is one that I can help others travel with less despair.

Don't get me wrong, there is a great deal of romance and optimism in my book. It was a time when I fell in love. It was a time when I marveled at a new president taking office. It was a time when I smiled and laughed through what now seem to be my salad days.

I encourage you to visit or to gain the insight that my past life can provide. Proceeds from my book will go toward helping young people get the mental health services that they need.

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