Books About Life Lessons: My Journey To Redefine Suffering – Authentic

books about life lessons
“An autobiography that can’t resist being a self-help book.”

Books About Life Lessons:

Brittle To Unbreakable: My Journey To Redefine Suffering is my life lesson.

Are you looking for something raw?

“An autobiography that can’t resist being a self-help book.”

Even one of my closest friends who read the manuscript when I wondered if it was good enough to publish said, “It felt like I was reading a raw therapy session.”

It was that entirely. 

I had to sit down and visit things I only recently began to discuss well in counseling.

When I set out to write my book, it began with my most painful memory and ended with my thoughts on everything I covered.

I decided to talk candidly about using psychedelics when I had given up hope for the depression that had been with me since I was 11.

Books about life lessons should be books that display intimacy.

Being intimate with words, I am good at leaving myself to feel hurt by what I write.

But the counseling and, most importantly, the journaling paid off. 

I found peace; you would have to read the book to know why.

There was no need to keep my sword raised against myself.

One reflection I took away from writing my book was we are often taught the importance of forgiving others.

However, no one ever tells us the importance of forgiving ourselves. 

Journaling opened that window to forgiving myself, culminating in my book.

What you will read and relate with me on that pain is unique to us all. We each have hardships, but it comes down to how hard we must fight to have them.

I put together that for everyone to read – a journey into fear and what it means to become fearless. 

The journey of forgiving yourself is what I hope to share with you all. It will change your life

“Who would have thought that a skinny kid whose bones were so brittle they could break just walking down the street would grow into a major bad-ass bodybuilder? Jeff “Unbreakable” Black’s story is of guts and grit and overcoming adversity beyond what 99.99% of us can even imagine. If you think your challenges are tough, dig into any three pages of Jeff’s tale. It will inspire you and kick your butt. And Jeff, it turns out, is a helluva writer, too! -Steven Pressfield New York Times Best Selling Author”

An Excerpt From My Book “Brittle To Unbreakable: My Journey To Redefine Suffering”

Acid, Shrooms, and Ecstasy, the whole lot of them, were scary to me for a very long time. That was until I got to the point where I knew the disease of death through suicide was creeping up again slowly beside me. Never ahead or behind me, it just stuck to me like the stench it is. Life remained a slow drudge for me. Mentally and emotionally, I was pretty good. I was grounded in being rational with my thoughts, which mingled heavily with depression. However, there was still this void in me. I became haunted, if not taunted, by the ugly truth that no matter how hard I tried to reconnect with myself or others, there was nothing but a dial tone for a reply and paralysis in my fingers. So close, yet so far away, was the despair that resided inside me.

Over the years since my breakdown, I played the role of the excellent patient for my doctors treating me as bipolar. I had scaled my anabolic steroid use back to what is known to be “cruise doses.” I relied more on peptides and other muscle-growing pathways to keep me progressing, as I did enjoy competing. I was not using the sport to run anyway from anything, nor was that something I did when I decided to step on stage for the first time in 2006. Every time I walked across the stage, I was transformed into a catcher, sitting back down behind home plate to defend my team. Most of us who compete hate the banana hammocks we have to wear and the floor stain for a tan we have to be sprayed down with. You smell, you are sticky, and you feel gross. If anything, it is a glorified beauty pageant. But, I fell in love with it for the competitor in me, and it brought back to life slowly with each outing.

The day-to-day routine that bodybuilding instilled in me was an anchor for me. Discipline kept me locked between the lines now, where only here and there would my tire touch a solid line before I would grab the steering wheel to tug me back to dead center. I was compliant with my medicine when I took them, even though I rotated through them. Some left me quiet and numb, others made me emotional and revved my mania, but none did the trick to alleviate my sadness. The perpetual dark stain on my heart refused to budge no matter the combo of the drugs. Sometimes, three or four of them were thrown at me as my doctor played Tom Brady, chucking Hail Marys my way, hoping one way or another that one would connect, providing me a win. When you are in the hole that depression is, there is no light, only grey. It is like walking in a swamp in the cold of night. Each step is in murky and damp water, which makes you feel bogged down, along with how grey and lifeless it is.

This is the place I was spending my quiet time in now. Sleep was still a struggle for me as the nightmares would find their way home at least once a week, leaving me still ravaged for hours following them. Because of this unfortunate reality, I had to face and embrace change. I decided to ensure I would be up and at the gym sixty minutes earlier than I had to be. This would allow me time to think and orient myself to the day. It also would lead me to be out of my loved ones’ faces first, as I was coming from what I had just endured by being smart and not saying a word. I think I feared pity more than anything from someone who loved me. I always felt internal guilt that if they went the distance with me, they would be caring for me potentially due to the effects of the disease eventually coming for everything, regardless of how hard I fought. I hate thinking like that because it makes me sad or down, but that’s a potential outcome as I grow older. Throw my bodybuilding in there in which I have a hip that needs to be replaced, spondylitis in my lower back, and a left shoulder that keeps freezing on and off; I am sure it isn’t a pretty ending for who gets stuck with me last before the merry-go-round of life stops on me.

I was doing everything a good patient does in counseling and outside. I journaled daily to help sort the confusion of words and feels out from the jumbled mess they were up there into the neat, straight line on the paper my pen touched. Daily, I would mediate, taking time alone to reorientate and sort things out that needed to be done. Anything my counselor, therapist, or a self-help book said worked, I would try. The awful truth is those kinds of books lie to you or at least do not sell you the unabridged version that life will still be messy for you even if you are equipped with the tools the “successful” and “happy” people do. You will not be repaired or made anew. You will still fuck up. That’s the way it goes, but if you can do things to position yourself to a better life for yourself and others around you more often than not, why not?

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