I’ve been through so much. So many years of ups and downs. In my struggle, the light in me shined bright, and the hard times strengthened my resolve. At times it seemed I wouldn’t last, at times it seemed like I had given up hope. My strength would be tested in so many ways; the nights I couldn’t sleep, the days I wandered through my daily life pretending to be joyful, a smile on my face was cover for a deep sadness. A man that was at war within his own mind. Depression took hold of me and wouldn’t let me go, I struggled and fought with everything I had but I was knocked down again and again. Inside my soul cried out to God for help but it seemed like he didn’t hear my plea. Who could understand me? Who would hear my cry? I contemplated day and night with a fury within me, I relentlessly sought peace but it alluded me. Peace of mind escaped me, the world turned its back on me. I felt like an outcast, a leper, certainly misunderstood. Even my lady shunned me, and turned her back on me when I needed her most. I was in a dark place, a place where many have traveled, where many have fought their last fight. Days felt like years and years felt like a lifetime. A ship lost at sea in a violent storm. I was ridiculed and derided by many; weak and soulless persons took joy in my suffering, I swore on my mother’s name that I would not fall to their insults. I began to use the negative energy around me and turn it into fuel to transform my mind; instead of my mind working against me, I forced my own mind and thinking to work for me. Quiet reflection, reading, music, positive inspiration, letting go of people who never cared for me, were all weapons of war that I utilized. I learned to calm myself and focus my thinking. Nothing and no one could harm me mentally, or otherwise. I decided to live and not just exist; I replaced my old thinking with new thinking, my old lady with a new lady who loves and understands me. In the darkest place I found my light. I found my life.