The Spiritual Phoenix is largely the repurposing of my journey with “Mental Health” issues and Addiction. The intent of this work is to show you what life was like before, during and after those experiences, what I learned/am learning and to offer hope to others going through other life difficulties.
It was through some of the most destructive, painful part’s of my life that I found strength and purpose.
Although I grew up in loving households, with parents that were able to provide my needs, their divorce in my early childhood inflicted layers of trauma in my developing psyche. Without the proper coping mechanisms or insight, I eventually turned all the hurt and pain I couldn’t express inwards. This started out as acting out, led to drug use and ultimately created a deep wanderlust that had me traveling all over the country subconsciously looking for a cure for my own mind. A great deal of harm was caused to myself and others by both my inward and outward journies but through that pain, I found purpose.
After experiencing a psychotic break and being told I had bipolar type 1 in the Summer of 2012 my life changed dramatically. Circumstances ended up causing me to move 3000 miles back to my hometown and essentially having nothing. I tried to sweep the experience under the rug and return to life as it had been before, which eventually led to me having another psychotic break, spending several months in and out of psych wards.
Through these experiences, I had profound, sometimes terrifying spiritual experiences. However, under the influence of western medicine and rejection of pervasive traditional American religious/spiritual modes of thinking, I disconnected from my own spirituality which left my life flat, purposeless and empty. Near the end of my psychosis, the delusions started to lead me down a road of self-healing. This healing process led me to find that some believe what western medicine view’s as mental illness can actually be a “spiritual emergence”.
Reconnecting with that element of life, rejuvenated purpose, hope, and faith but I still had one major demon to combat. My substance abuse. My decision to stop using Drugs, alcohol being one of them, came on Septemeber 2nd, 2016. A situation with a potential romantic partner and enough space from the depths of drinking exposed to me how juvenile, petty and broken I was. I had tried recovery man times before this time, but this time was different, I was afraid to change and afraid to continue how life was going. So I walked into the unknown.
The first piece of content I created for this website, came 2 weeks into recovery when I smashed my bong, pipes, scale, and vape. When the self-induced fog of my life lifted, I was faced with a huge internal mess to clean up. Thankfully, I was given the best, purest connection to source / higher power / higher self I had ever found. I began having opportunities to do things very soon after that would have terrified me. I began to draw from a wide range of coping skills, exercise, meditation, yoga, art, music, writing, etc. to help deal with the overwhelming reality of the mess I made.
After having some opportunities to speak to police officers in training and actual police about my experiences, I began receiving compliments on my ability to share my story, I decided to start The Spiritual Phoenix Podcast. Through the podcast, I was able to make myself vulnerable and expose air to the dark and putrid parts of myself. After getting comfortable with myself, I began to face the darker parts of myself that were coping mechanisms for the scared, fractured little boy that rested at my core.
The healing process was messy, painful, exhausting but also ultimately liberating and worth the effort. As of the end of March 2017, I was cleared to come off mental health meds, something I would have never thought possible. I was told I am the ideal patient because of holding myself accountable, developing healthy coping mechanisms and doing an immense amount of personal development.
The intent of this website is to inspire hope, offer alternative perspectives, show my art, show my talent, show my growth, show my pain, show my successes and mistakes. I intend to be as authentic, honest, and open as I can be to show the reality of my experiences.
Thanks for chekcing out my work.
Love, Respect and Growth,