Last Thursday night I had the pleasure of watching an Erin Molan interview with the family of Stuart Kelly, the younger brother of one punch victim, Tom Kelly. Stuart committed suicide last year after incessant bullying, which resulted from his very public efforts to have hotels close their doors earlier after his brother’s death.
As I watched and listened I thought about my own situation.
About a month ago I penned a blog called, ‘My Apology’. As yet it remains unpublished – as so much of my work does.
In essence it was an apology to the people I may have been able to help had I not been caught up in my own personal struggles, a time of darkness which stood between me and my full expression.
Don’t misread this as an apology for struggling. That’s called being human.
It is what it is, or rather was what it was, and although it was a process that took a lot longer than I had hoped it was a necessary process.
The apology was because I had been holding back. I had allowed my struggles to stand in the way of me doing what I do best and that is to share important conversations and important experiences with others who struggle.
This I do incredibly well.
But I had gone missing.
As I watched Erin’s interview I went back to that blog and the intention behind it, to who I believe myself to be and to how many people I might have been able to help had they known I was available.
I guess I have learned you can’t help people if you are working in secret and false modesty doesn’t do anyone any good.
That said the apology is done.
To those I may have helped had I made myself available I am sorry.
Now, and perhaps more importantly I would like to quietly let others know I am here to help in anyway I can – even if it means taking the role of a good listener.
It is not my style to market ruthlessly in order to create a pain point that may or may not even be there.
I fell for that and suffered for it.
But I would like to say that I am here. And I understand struggle personally. As one young man said to me recently, ‘It’s like talking to a mirror’.
I get it.
Three years ago I wrote an eBook called ‘Saving Our Sons’. I posted it on facebook and then let it remain hidden.
It came up in conversation with my friend Mark the other day and it’s dormant life was further evidence of the impact my struggle has had on my ability to express who I am and the things I believe in.
Could it be better written?
Could it be better packaged?
But the content is excellent. It is honest and positive and as one parent told me once, ‘my daughter got as much out of it as my son’.
Importantly, it is neither negative nor defensive.
It is not written as a suicide prevention tool, but rather as a framework for the creation of a foundation for life where the person reading it, young or old, will be equipped to cope with and understand any experience or situation they might encounter.
You can find it here:
As I come out of my shell more fully I am blessed to be able to work with schools and athletic organisations as I strive to play my role in the creation of a global culture built around love, acceptance and connectedness, rather than selfishness, individual wants and greed.
I guess the gist of this piece can be summed up in just a few words – I’m here if you need me.
With Fire and Love
PS If you would like to check out my less polite alter-ego, Rusty Guthrie, head over to www.rustyguthrie.com
Rusty is continuing his exploration of the concept of fighting for something this week. But I think you’ll find he’s somewhat of a tease.