Don't Miss our hilarious blog "Half-True Biographies: The Tales That AI Wrote"
Feb. 28, 2023

A shocking childhood made suicide feel like the only way out, until Chris found hope

In an unexpected twist, the floodgates opened, and Chris poured out his heart, sharing the raw, unfiltered truth about his childhood, and how that led him to nearly committing suicide. Here's how he dug his way out from that dark place.


If you love the show and would like to support it, please share this episode!  You can also Buy Me A Coffee! ☕❤️ https://www.buymeacoffee.com/coachjonm    

As an indie podcaster, that would mean the world to me!

 

When you hear that Chris spends most of his time raising his five kids, exploring world communities, and trying his hand at adventures like shark diving, ice climbing, running ultra marathons, and riding electric skateboards ... 

... and that in his spare time, he works with entrepreneurial and business experts, speakers, coaches, and leaders helping them market, monetize, and lead their own high-ticket mastermind (or group coaching) programs ... 

You would be shocked to learn about the tragic childhood he endured, and the hell he went through to get to where he is today.

And, so, when you see the brilliant, energized, passionate professional he is, it's even more remarkable knowing that he nearly committed suicide at 27.

This is possibly the most raw and real episode featured on the BTBA podcast until now, because few people have been willing to be this open about their past.

 

Looking ahead, here's the impact that Chris is desiring to create in the world today: As the world continues to shift, many experts are trying to build high-ticket groups for additional income, lead generation, or impact. Chris teaches experts how to generate leads, close high-ticket deals, and build strong, transformational groups. 

He has his own digital agency, leads two masterminds of his own, and has learned many of these lessons the hard way, so sharing his journey and offering strategies is why he is here. 

CONNECT WITH CHRIS: https://groupcoachnation.com/ 

 

CONNECT WITH COACH JON: 

NUTRITION: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com  ⁣

⁣YOUTUBE: https://jonmclernon.link/YouTube

⁣CRUSH YOUR CRAVINGS GUIDE: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com/book  ⁣

FREE 7-DAY CHALLENGE: https://www.freedomnutritioncoach.com/7-day-challenge

PODCAST: https://jonmclernon.link/btba-podcast  

MENTORSHIP: https://www.jonmclernon.com

Transcript

Welcome back to between the before and after a podcast about the stories that shape us. I'm your host coach Jon McLernon in each episode of bringing an inspiring guest with a moving story that shines a light on the power of the human spirit. I'm excited to share this story with you. So let's dive in. All right. What would you like to have five kids in the 21st century? 

I think this feels like a bit of a challenge. I'm, I've got one and already that felt like busy enough and uh chris here has five like that. He's able to do what he does part time so he can spend most of his time being a dad, which sounds pretty, pretty incredible actually the life that a lot of people would like. So we're gonna explore chris's story and figure out how he got to this place where this is now, what he's, what he's doing here. So welcome to show chris, Oh my gosh, Jonathan thanks so much for having me. 

Yeah, you say if I have kids and I'm like, oh my gosh, it's wonderful kids if you are listening, it's wonderful. Yeah, Yeah. What ages are your kids Their 15 to 22 now and so we're there all 6.5 years apart and so you know, just full on like little than full in elementary school and middle school and high schoolers now. 

We're getting that space where honestly they're really awesome kids and they have been for a long time, but like I really love it. Like we can travel with them. We can have fun with them, we can go places with them. Like they're cool humans and yeah, everything is work, just like anything is, but but I got cool humans to hang out with. That's a huge win, you know? Yeah, yeah. And and for those who are watching the video video feed here chris you look relatively young. 

I don't see a lot of gray hair, don't see a lot of wrinkles. I was like man, five kids in their 20 like you could pass for being in your like mid thirties, but I'm gonna thank you so much. Yeah, filters man, I've always felt like I don't want people to be like disappointed when they meet me in real life. You know, if they see like this perfectly. 

I'm like, no, I got some bags in my eyes. I got a kid, you know, I sleep five hours and end on a good night like because he's a great kid but he's not a great sleeper. And so you know, I want people to be like, oh I thought you looked like, you know, it's like, no, no, this is me and I, I don't have any filters in any of our cameras in the studio or out here and I feel the same way because I'm like when they see me speaking live there, like come down, meet me in the hallway. They're gonna be like, what the crap this guy's this guy's not 22, wait a second. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I like to be real and just just kind of human in the world here. And so yeah, we're gonna explore your story here and, and kind of how you got there. So it turns out you're not actually in your mid thirties. 

I assume you've crossed the 40 mark. Is that it's a better. Did you get started 40 six next week? Okay. Okay. You know, we'll probably, people will be wondering what's your secret to like raising five kids and still managing look reasonably youthful, You know, is there That's what I'm doing wrong dang. 

You know, I think, I think the moisturizer market for men really like took off in the last 10, 15 years. Yeah. It's rocking. I know the old spice commercials are freaking hilarious. 

There's so many good like I'm just loving yes, moisturized. And the commercials are funny to, you know, I kinda just diving on that. Like the secret for me to staying, Oh my gosh, I'm hesitating, saying this staying young. I feel like saying that, but when you say that, I'm like, yeah, but the calendar doesn't lie. So yeah, almost 46. But regardless of your capacity for workouts or your love of a good green salad or whatever. 

I think it's so much of this starts in our heart, in our mind and and making for me as someone who struggled a lot with severe depression, anxiety and suicidal tendencies and things that kind of drag you down and, and can age you really quickly and the habits and processes that come along with that, that don't add a lot to your life either. The things that I've been able to do through really good therapy and talking to really good people who helped me like actually make right changes in my life have been keeping my heart young. I'd say that's one of the biggest things that I keep going back to like making daily choices to do something that makes me laugh even when I'm stressed and do something that makes me go out and try a new experience when I'm just too tired to try anything. Like those are the moments that I'm like, I'm really glad I did that. I didn't want to the beginning and now I feel like I've just gotten better. Even if just for a moment, it's a good moment. 

You know, I love that and I can enter that. Like at the time recording this, my wife and I'm going to take a trip over to South Australia normally from Canada, but my wife is from Australia. So we're, we're been over here escaping the winter and spending some time with her parents so they can get to know my little boy. 

Um, but we're going to head off into the outback here shortly. Um, and we haven't spent much time there. There's no, there's, there's not a lot there seems like there's not a lot there in this dusty red desert, you're gonna drive a few hours through like nothingness to get to like these little oases here, but you know, we want to go there and what we want to, you know, check it out to be able to say like, you know, this this is this is something incredible and you know, it wasn't a lot of fun getting here, but now that I'm here, I'm really glad I made the effort to to get to this place. Yeah, definitely. A place you want to stay for a while and not a weekend trip, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um And so, you know, when when you started in life, you know, as a young person, did you imagine first of all you're gonna be like raising five kids and you imagine you're going to be some sort of digital um coach, you know, teaching people how to do what it is that you do, or what what were you kind of picturing, you know, your life playing out like that's a really good question, I don't think I've ever said this on the show before or any platform. 

This is gonna sound so silly. Okay, I've been an entrepreneur since I was a kid, like I know I'm an entrepreneur, it's in my D. N. A. I built my first business when I was 11, Okay, so I do this. Not most of them have not been successful. Okay anybody who's an entrepreneurship who tells you oh yeah I've been been winning. I'm running five businesses crushing it. That's bull. Your episode just became explicit. 

Okay sorry so maybe we'll dive in deep now. So the that's that's just not real entrepreneurship is a failure based game. You just gotta freaking know how to get back up and do it again. 

You gotta have the spirit and the attitude to keep going. And and interestingly a lot of people who are in entrepreneurial spaces or high levels of like energy output, success some type of high level like leadership whatever they've come from really hard backgrounds. That is a really common theme and I think that's part of the I don't want to just say the D. N. A. Of an entrepreneur because that's like what you're born with but it's part of the environment that your D. N. A. Has latched on to learning to survive and learning to thrive in difficult situations, really create something inhuman and that's a special thing. So I know you talk to people on this show that have been through difficult times. Like we all have we all have our stories own that ship like like that is your story and that is that is really hard and I'm really sorry for you and I'm really sorry for me. I would never choose to pull the books off the bookshelf of my life and read those by choice but that's not the way life works. The books are handed to you and you gotta make it through the end and and that's a cool opportunity to do something awesome. So hang in there, let's talk about this. You know? And I'd like to say I've never met a remarkable person who had an easy life. And that's that's also what I what I remind myself and you're right, every one of us has a story. Everyone has a story worth sharing. And of course that's why why we do this here. And so what was your your first business at the age of 11? What did you decide? 

Okay, I want I want to do this. All right. So it was cutting grass right straight up in the neighborhood. There's grass to be cut. People don't want to do it. I live in Memphis Tennessee. 

It's hot and horrible here. Okay. So what I what I did a really great by the way horrible here. Yeah. Um everybody is thinking about moving to Memphis. 

Just don't come in August as your first trip. That's gonna that's gonna push you away. So, I traded my next door neighbor know three neighbors down to the left. 

I traded them a lawnmower for working on their yard cutting their yard all summer long. All right. I'll cut your yard also along 20 something weeks worth of it. And I get the lawnmower at the end of the summer. 

It's mine and during the summer I get to keep it at my house. I'll maintain it, I'll keep the oil change, I'll do the stuff. That was the deal. They're like sweet. We've been wanting to get out of the lawn cutting thing for a while so you can have it and if you quit on us, who cares? 

We're hiring a service anyway. So I got a lawn mower, I got equipment, I got scale, I got a system with that move at 11. I didn't know what that was or how to call it, that was and then I could take that system, that machine and I went out and I found three or four other people like within walking distance right there and cut their yards and all of a sudden I got to scale up and use someone else's resources to do it. 

Oh my gosh, there's so many big businesses that do that. I just didn't know what I was doing yet. And then the next year I was like, okay, I need to have another lawn mower probably. And oh my gosh, I'm starting to get referred to people who were outside of my walking distance. And so I started figuring out how to build and formulate a client base built around my house. So before long I had 25 or so like clients within two blocks of my house and I couldn't keep up. So when I was, when I was 13 I hired my first team member. 

When I was 14 I hired a driver and when I was 21, we sold the business with three crews and tons of clients in a very tight geographic region, the perfect lawn business to sell. I didn't know any of that going into it and it was not by design. It was so successful. It was just that I started learning and hacking away at it and any entrepreneur or anything you're doing if it's, it's weight loss, if it's mental health, if it's relationships, if it's business, if it's something you're gonna do this like some adventure, you wanna plan, hack away at it. 

No failure is gonna come and dive in deep. Look for the failure points and jump over them. Like do it, do the work, You know, and I love that because you're also describing like an eight year, 10 year timeline here And you know, especially today, you know, in the 21st century, we're so accustomed to things coming very quickly and I think about how, um, with the idea of an overnight success, you know, we see in media showing these people that they've achieved this here and it looks like that's happened overnight. And in fact it's something that took place over time, there was a hard road with a lot of lessons along the way to get to that place and um, just to plug a little bit about what I do when I, when I started out in sort of nutrition coaching, weight loss space, I was like a typical macro meal plan training plan kind of coach? These are the tools we give people and so on and it took going through my own struggles, my own issues to discover that these were just like tools, it's not what people actually need, and you know, I started to uncover this idea of what I call it, brain driven weight loss really, and it was about figure out how our brain actually works, but I had to go through all the hard stuff myself, why can't I, why can't I know what to do and not do it and so on? And so I just share that as an example of like this, this is something that doesn't necessarily come easily and if, you know, you're an entrepreneur just like starting out in your first year, I mean, it's like, in a sense, I don't want to say, like, don't worry about your numbers, but I want to say like, don't worry about your numbers in the first year first, you know, most businesses don't make it make it to that point. 

If you're still alive and kicking after the first year, you're, you're, you're onto something good here now, you did say something kinda kinda heavy and we've sort of glossed over just a little bit here, but you mentioned dealing with some mental health challenges around anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, things like that, and of course listening to today, I mean I hear a very positive, a very energetic person. Uh but when did you first sort of bump into this kind of stuff? Early teens. I grew up in a really abusive home and I didn't know when you're a kid, you don't, you don't know what you're in. Um I don't think as a kid that you know how good your situation is or how bad your situation is and you're just a kid, right? 

I mean you're just looking for the chance to go outside and play in the playground, watch the next movie, play the next video game, whatever. And and so early teens, um I was like getting more and more into depression. I just didn't know what to call it then. Um dealing with things. 

I was looking back. I know, I know. Oh that's what that was. And then kind of middle teens, late teens, I was definitely on the track of like actively picking up sharp instruments and figuring out if there's a way I could end my life with those things. Um Yeah, hard, hard times, sexually abusive, emotionally abusive, spiritually abusive, just really really um tangled up family. So as I, as I grew started like you went to college and then got a job and started selling stuff, started selling financial products. 

I was 27 years old before I like figured out, oh my gosh, like I need help. And it was, I remember like I remember sitting it was october the fall day, we had a couple of kids at that point, and I remember, like, putting the kids down to bed and at that stage, I'm so scared to hold my own Children. This is just gonna go for it here. 

I'm scared to hold my Children in my lap. Because for me growing up, there was a lot of crap that went with that in a sexually abusive home and and I was scared that I was gonna do that to my kids because, like, you just don't know how to deal with it. I remember going like, I'm depressed, I'm suicidal at this point, I just don't know why my life is collapsing around me. I can't function half the day at work. 

Like, I'm just sitting there staring at the wall. I'm crying when I get in my car. And I remember going and sitting by the edge of the bed and just, I mean, just sobbing and telling Jill my wife, like, I don't I'm done. I'm looking I'm actively looking for a way out. And I don't mean of the marriage of the family, I mean, of life, like, I'm looking to end this. 

Just letting you know it's coming. I don't know what else to say. I'm so sorry, we have life insurance. Like, I don't know where else to go with this. And she really like, like, pushed me towards going and talking to a therapist and I thought that therapy wouldn't work because I had I've been going to a therapist for several years um to get help because my therapist was I was I was in the church at that point. 

This is not a religious conversation at all. But I was in a church that point. And my therapist was a minister who was skilled at these helping people, right? It turns out he was my dad. So he was saying everything was fine, you're good, let's keep moving. Let's not talk about this. My therapist was my abuser. My therapist as my as an adult was my abusive father. Like so fucked up. 

I Went to someone else and within like five or 10 minutes this therapist name is chuck. He was like, like take it back a little bit. Like, tell me your story a little bit. I was like, everything we say in here stays in here, right? Because I don't want to mess anybody's world up. 

He's like, yeah, I told him a little bit what I just told you. He was like um we need to kind of just dive in there for a minute because I think we got a place to start and over the next several years Jill and I like learned how to unpack our backgrounds and unpack our childhoods and unpack our families and and take everything apart and put it back together and what's become a really beautiful thing. But was then like you thought, I honestly thought I would like rip in half as a human. There was no way to handle the pressure and and lots of good and bad choices as on my own through all those stages just reeling through everything. But ultimately I've become, I've become not a whole person, I've become a person. 

I'm not saying that because I'm not, I'm not whole. I don't know if any of us are whole people. I don't know what that actually means. 

We all have dings and dents, we're all missing a few floor panels. We all got a lumpy tire floating around here in our in our vehicles of life. But I know who I am and I know how to serve my family, I know how to love myself, I know how to be part of a community and I know how to be what I want to be, who I am today. And that's a huge deal. I'll take that to the bank any day and that's what I want to be the rest of my life. I'm I'm glad I'm here. 

I'm glad I can say that and actually mean it. Yeah, that's that's incredibly, incredibly powerful and I appreciate your courage in sharing that. I think there's so many other people out there who have experienced something similar to what you've gone through who maybe have not even heard about heard of, you know, finding a voice, finding a therapist who understands. 

I think there's something really crucial here as well, it's like not every therapist is the right therapist for you. For starters in your case it was really messed up. But I mean not every therapist is right therapist for you and it's okay to go until you find someone that's like the right fit for what you've been through. You've been through some seriously heavy stuff. I've been through Probably seven or eight therapists over the past couple of like couple of decades. Um that's 1915, 16 years ago, whatever. Um Math is bad. So um but you're gonna find the right or wrong therapist don't give up and then you might find a therapist who helps you for a season of your healing and then you realize, oh this person help me to this stage now I need to go to the next stage and that's okay. Yeah. I'm curious what helps you to not, you know, a lot of people are ashamed of their past even though it's past, they wouldn't choose and they look at it and think well because there's this idea that I'm the reason this stuff happened to me and it's like when you're a kid, you're a kid, you didn't pick this, how do you how do you get past the shame of what you experienced to get to the place where in a public platform like this you're able to share your story and touch the hearts of many, many people I want to say it's a community. 

Whether whether whatever happened to you is is like as a child or as an adult as an adult, we make our own choices, but we don't create every choice that were pushed into making. Okay? So as a kid, yeah, you can pass the buck to the adults around you legitimately like, let's just be honest, adults should be protecting us as an adult. 

There's often situations that were put into that we find ourselves and they were like, oh my gosh, the people around me and the things I'm, I'm doing or not, the choices I want to make and that's part you part of them. Sometimes it's, it's complicated. I get it. So I want to say two things. 

Number one, go find a professional that's seen 1000 of your situations play out in life and ask them what's real. You can't see what's real from your current situation. Don't don't take don't take on anything until you talk to a professional and help sort out this is for me to work on. And this is for all those other people who I need to like deal with in a different way. 

That's for them to work on. That's not my crap own that separation. Talk to a professional. That's number one. Number two community, Jonathan. 

The reason the reason like the reason we're having this conversation, the reason I agreed to be on your show. The reason my team flag didn't say, hey, this Jonathan guy has the real deal is because this is what's helped me survive. My first podcast started in 2013 called I share hope and it's still out there. 

We haven't recorded episode in probably five years, but we get comments on all the time. We interviewed 100 25 world leaders who were using hope in some way. Whether it was through their faith or religion, their power, their money, they're just willpower, their athletic ability where they were born, um whatever just they were people of hope because when I started that I was not a person of hope. That community of people changed my life because they were willing to show up on my podcast. I wasn't nobody, I still am in the world. They were willing to show I got heads of state, olympians, nobel Laureates, heads of homeless shelters who were homeless for 20 years and now we're leading homeless communities, tribal leaders, olympians like you name it showing up, talking to me like answering questions about hope, why they have it, how they use it. Why is it productive? Why is it real versus bullshit? Like those people changed my life, Jill changed my life, my kids changed my life, my closest friends who knew I was going to change my life, it's the community around you and that is man you ask, why am I able to like step up and talk about this stuff. 

it's because so many people have done the same thing for me and invested in me this way and giving me a chance to then speak back and now it's normal to me because you dear listener right now dear viewer like whoever you are, wherever you are right now, you are okay, you're normal, You're not an oddball because of what's happened to you or what you've been involved in. There are billions of us on this planet. There are millions of people who've experienced what you've experienced, you're not alone find your people so so important because it seems to be the celebration of I did this myself. 

You know, we live in I think about how like social media has really sort of pushed this self made idea and and you know, we're not as human beings, I don't believe we're wired to live in isolation at all. You know, we wouldn't be sitting here talking over the internet, video conferencing. You know, if it wasn't for, you know, someone like Nikola Tesla who's like let me let me try something besides D. C. And let's let's try this this alternating current idea, you know, I'm getting into my physics nursery here. But anyways uh you know, like we have enjoyed a level of you know, to some degree of success in life, but we're only here because this guy had this visionary mind to go let me explore this concept and see what can happen. So the idea that any one of us is like self made or I did this myself is like the biggest, I think really one of the most damaging myths that we can ever really buy into because it takes us away from, you know, the thing that's so crucial. 

You've just been describing here community and our great need of that and how it elevates you and makes you better and you wouldn't be doing what you're doing without that. And so, you know, I'm curious then, how did you meet your wife Jill? And when you met her, you know, maybe you didn't spill us in like the First Aid or something, but you know, at some point in time it comes out like this is the things that I'm wrestling with in life. And was she aware of that before you got married? 

She was aware of it right before we Got married. I told her while we were engaged a very small piece and then she was fully aware when we were 27. Um, we've been, we've been together since we were 17. 

Um, so we got married, we were 21, had our first kid and we were 22, um, 23 somewhere in there. And so we, we kind of played life pretty fast. Um, and, And she didn't really know the depth of all this stuff until we were 27. Um, And so by then we had a lot of, I mean we had a lot of track record, we were 10 years into just like being together in so much relational capacity. Um but she was pretty blown away and shocked actually because me and my family of origin, um my parents, my sister is innocent and all this stuff but me and my family of origin like kept out such a secret that he had no freaking out nobody knew. Um and and that's the that's the deal with dark secrets, right? 

Secrets do really well in the dark, but when you pull in the light freaks everybody out, it's nasty sticky icky and moldy, but man, drag it out in that sunshine, dump a bucket of Clorox on it and let's start scrubbing. You know, I, you know, I often say in in the coaching work that I do and it's not that I try to play therapist, I have a background psychology, among other things. I never thought I'd be using this capacity was marketing psychology, but you know, it's amazing the crossover, but you know, creating space for people to wrestle with their demons in the light. Um being able to look at them free from the lens of of judgment. There's a time and a place for for discernment and judgment but free from judgment where we can say, you know what I want to understand this because judgment just makes us want to hide away. You know, like talk about secrets thrive in the dark and it's like when these sort of ugly parts of us come to the surface, these, these parts that might shock other people and might get us, you know, isolated ostracized from the community that we're in, you know, to create a space for somebody to be able to go, okay, I can actually talk about this and like I said, I don't play therapist, but I allow people to talk about whatever they want to when I, when I'm coaching them and it's, it's incredibly powerful and stuff that's come out is, you know, I figure I can't really hear anything. I don't think I'll hear anything that will really shock or surprise even your story. As surprising as it is. You're right. It's not an isolated incident. 

The number of people that I meet that I've struggled with things like health and weight loss and stuff like that because of this and they're back and they think it's because they don't know what they're supposed to eat and I'm like, no, there's so much more to it than this. Um, Jonathan. I love that about what you do because you're your authentic that way. And for any of you, like you're hanging out with Jonathan, you're hanging with me, you like his show, that's why you're here. So thanks for listening to me too. But like you already know and trust Jonathan if if weight loss, he coaches a ton in weight loss space, he coached a ton in the space of like helping people actually change what's going on in their minds, not just with like the daily activity of what goes on like food and exercise because there's so much more to it, lean in like lean into the person you trust that is step one to finding a person to help you with anything. It's your therapist. It's Jonathan. If it's another kurds in some capacity, find the person and lean in and start start taking the steps. Yeah. You know, I think about like the way that our brain is wired and for us to try to be vulnerable by ourselves, our primal biology really doesn't like this are personal brain really doesn't like this because of course vulnerable and alone equals my life is at risk and so we'll keep this buried. But once you start connecting to somebody who is safe and who you can trust, who says I've got your back now it's safe to be vulnerable because we might think like why is why is coaching even a thing In the 21st century in the age of Google the age of information where everything I could ever share with you, someone else has probably shared. It may be more eloquently why does coaching still exist? And it's because we're still human beings and technology hasn't hasn't solved or figured that piece out and probably never, will which is the wonderful, beautiful thing, about about being human so true. 

Yeah, I love my people. And so I'm kind of curious then, you know, you obviously mentioned the church and whatnot, you know, uh, were you raised in a religious home and, you know, did everything you've been through, change your, obviously to some degree, change your idea on faith and kind of spirituality and, and where did that take you? These are deep questions. 

Um, and I want to say this and I don't want to push anyone to or away from your, your beliefs or your faith. I just have so much respect for where people are in their individual lives. I think it's so important for me personally, the it was a roller coaster. 

Um, yeah, I raised in a very religious family obviously. Um, I think there was some faith, some true faith in that family too. I think there was a lot of religiosity though, which was not truly lined up with faith. Um, there's a big difference there, right? 

Um, and, and so I kind of pulled way back for a minute for a few years and then I then I totally got way back into my faith. Um, it was a christian faith and, but then over, over the years, it's just, it's just not resonated for me. I'm shooting you straight here. This is a really interesting question said, I don't talk about this very often in public. It's not resonated with me. 

I don't, I'm not finding anything there for me. I'm not, I'm definitely not shutting it. I'm not an atheist. 

I have no idea there's a God or not. Um, it's just I just don't find anything there. I don't know how else to say that. And and so, but but Jill, my wife and some of my kids are very like, legit serious people of faith who are very beautiful faith experiences and stories. And I love that. And I sometimes wish that was my story. 

It's just simply not. So currently at this moment, I'm not a religious person, I'm not a person of faith. I have no idea if that's where I'll be next year, but that's that's where I am today. 

If that answers your question. And I I think for for any of us, like right now, wherever, wherever you are in this moment, any any of us in this conversation listening in or having the active talking remote here be where you are in the moment, I guess the only advice I have is be honest with where you are and and put aside the jaded nous and the love or the hate or the attraction or dysfunction of any certain community, be honest with where you are, and be curious with where others are, and that takes away the judgment of yourself and the judgment of others. And it gives you an open mind to be able to say, okay, I know I am here and I know others are there. Let me ask questions. And that's that's where I'm at? And that's that's what a lot of categories in life, a lot of communities and people that don't make sense to me that I want to, I want to make sense of. And I I show up curious without judgment,  

best I can, I don't know if that's possible as a human to be pure in that, but that's what, that's what I'm waking up trying to do every day. You know, you mentioned, um, you know, at 27, you said to your wife, you know, I'm actively looking for a way out and, and you know, this is one of the things and I've had a few people who have gone through experiences like this before, where this is where their their brain is at, where it feels like they're, you know, I guess, I don't know where's your mouth, but it feels like there isn't another solution. It feels like that's the only way to escape everything that you're experiencing because you haven't found a solution in this life. And how did you get out of that space? And how did who helped you get out of that space? Because I think there's many people out there who feel like this is the only option for me. I don't see another way out right now, and, and this is an opportunity to share a little bit of hope here. How did how did you find your way out of that space and Yeah, I believe that, let you answer. Okay, yeah, I'm gonna go back to again, call a therapist. Um Call call a helpline. If you're really on the edge, call a suicide helpline. Is it? Um Is it 811? Is that the new, the new us nationally? I don't know. I shouldn't, I should know that us call a suicide prevention hotline. Like call it. It's okay. The cops aren't fixing to come pick you up. It's okay. Just go talk to somebody. Um call, call an online therapy place. 

I've never used better help, but I hear them all the time. Advertising, podcasting shows. I like so freaking love that. 

Find find the person, it's okay. Okay, that's step number one. Go talk to a professional. If I broke my leg running tomorrow, I wouldn't sit around for the next month thinking, oh my gosh, my legs at this weird right angle, what's going on? 

Like, I'm so I'm so like messed up about this, I should just cut my leg off and I'd be like, oh my gosh, I got to freaking go to the emergency room. Like, get some help our minds, it's just another body part, It's broken. It's messed up. It's got an injury, it's whatever. 

Don't overthink it, Go to the er that's all I gotta do. Ok. That's step number one, number two, I just want to say if that's where you are right now, If you're really depressed, you're really down and you're really thinking, is there a reason to stick around? 

I don't know what that reason will look like for you, but I didn't think there was a reason. I've talked to hundreds of people in the same space. I'm not a professional. 

I've just been able to talk about a lot with a lot of people. There's a reason your reason will show up and you know what, it might not show up tomorrow, you might get a glimmer of it in a month, you might lose that glimmer in another day and it might come back a little stronger the next day. It'll go up and down, get ready for the ride, but do the work, stay with us. Um just listening and I'm just struggling to talk. 

Let me get through this. I know I know that I'm here to help you know this right now. I know that I've been here to help other friends through this process. 

I know that I'm here as a business coach. I know that I'm here as a parent. I know that I'm here as a dad to my dog and my cat also, I'm here for real reasons and I'm so fucking glad I'm here and I didn't think I wanted to make it through it. But now I'm glad and it took work, stay the course we need you, we don't need you to be a superstar today, it's not your job right now, you need to heal, take your time, okay take your time. 

We need yeah, yeah, yeah. And you talked about hope and and how crucial it is to be able to move forward. I love that you've had a podcast. It was really about sharing hope and finding hope because that's the thing that keeps us going is if we think that there is something, even if I can't see it right now, there is something it's worth, it's worth moving forward. And so by the way that podcast was started without any hope, I started that podcast, not intentionally starting a podcast. 

My therapist said you need to talk to people who have hope and decide for yourself. It's really not before you make a bad or good decision. Besides I started talking to people, I thought I had hope in my town. Then I start recording if you on my phone so I can listen to them later and this is my friends are like, oh my gosh, you know, you should turn this into a podcast and you'll hear if you go back and listen to this episode, you'll hear me actively telling these amazing humans, Hey, I'm gonna ask you five questions just so you know where I'm at, I'm still on this track, I'm still not sure where I'm going person with this, will you just answer the questions honestly and the rest of us can make our own call. Like it's a really raw process. So that was me, ask ask questions, folks show up curiously ask questions. So at 27 when you shared that with your wife, your your marriage would have like forever changed. And imagine there's been, you know, that we're looking about almost 20 years ago now and imagine it's been a roller coaster ride. 

One thing I really admire tremendously is people who, who keep going together because maybe there wasn't this idea that this is this isn't like a happily ever after rom com. We're at this moment in time, you know, 20 even together for 20 married for what? 26 years, been together for almost almost 30 years now. You got you got a lot of rubber on the road together and a lot of ups and downs, maybe times wanted to throw it away, how do you keep it going? 

We've come dangerously close to throwing away a few times. Um Again, I'm gonna go back to some really good professional help from a relationship therapy kind of standpoint, had some good, good therapist counselors in our lives. I would say the number one thing that has helped us is we both have like made a legit commitment to stick it out unless somebody like, like we haven't cheated on each other. All right, I'm just telling you where we are, right, right? We haven't cheat on each other. Okay, So there's probably a few things that we legitimately would break the deal over, but we've stayed, we stayed true to each other, okay, But life comes and goes, and we are completely different people than we were when we got married, both of us. So I'm currently married to a girl that I didn't marry at age 21. She is a different human. 

I'm a different human. But but we've, we've determined early on and we've recommitted this multiple times. Not like with, sorry, not cheesy. 

Don't mean we've not like redone our vows or something, but we're like intentionally really like we're I am here, I am Jill Williams, I am here. And Jill has said, I'm here, I'm not quitting, let's sort this out. And so then it comes down to do we want this to be the most fucked up relationship ever where we hate it for the rest of our lives or do we want it to be awesome. And when we got that decision are always going to be awesome. 

Okay, we're committed to making this work. What does it take to get back to awesome? And that's a lot of work. But coming at it from that perspective gives us a chance to both show up, ready to learn, ready to own our own ship and ready to like be gracious with somebody else's and work and do the process. Does that answer your question? It does and what a fantastic answer. 

I think, you know, my wife and I, when we were first dating, like I was convinced in my heart that she's the one, like, there's something you just meet someone who goes click and you go, okay, I found that person and I feel incredibly blessed to to have found her. But we've had we've had some times where like, we made an agreement. He said, ok, like, I think we're both pretty serious about this and we both believe that if we're gonna get into this, we're gonna go into this without the intention of quitting. We're in this for life. Okay, So we made this agreement. 

We're not gonna go to bed angry at each other. We have stayed up all night, but for a while, and then we're like, yeah, through this, we were like a month later, like, yeah, we're still takes we should call some help. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So and and uh, you know, somehow, but I think what, I'm sharing this because there comes a point where it kind of just like what you just described here, where I go, okay, I have a decision to make here because we're both pretty stubborn people. 

We can either throw away everything up until this point that we've dedicated our lives to and probably regret the decision for the rest of our lives or we can say we haven't entirely figured this out. But what we do know is we want this keep going and we'll start from that place we want to keep going and I think, you know, I have something that all the money in the world can't buy Because I have invested nearly 20 years of my life into this relationship with her as well. That's a big investment. Yeah, all the money in the world could not replace her either. And so recognized, you know, when it sort of dawned on me, like, you know, because I was a bit of a long head, you know, in my early twenties, I was, you know, power lifting, heavy metal motorcycle racing, kind of, you know, hyper masculine, sort of overcompensating for the fact that I'm actually just an empath who likes to hug people, um you know, but uh yeah, so through all that, we just were like, do we throw it away and we keep it, you know, and I think it comes to a place and okay, we know we're gonna keep it, we don't have all the answers, but we're gonna we're gonna try to figure out so we're just gonna start taking forward steps again together and along the way the answers are gonna come, come sitting here staring mad at each other, you know, we might still have to work on it, but we're giving each other a hug and said, okay, we're gonna keep going and and that kind of that that gets us through and as you know, like raising kids man raising kids while dealing with all that was you were battling with in your head, like I am so grateful that because I went through trauma pTSD uh, you know, binge eating food addiction. 

I'm so grateful that I got the help I needed before my son was in the picture because now I feel like I'm amazing dad to him. Like I just, you know, he's a toddler, he's emotional, he's all over the place, he's a beautiful kid and uh, I just think, man, I am so different in how I interact with him. Like, yes, yesterday was having a hard day, he's a toddler. 

He's, he was tired and just chucking food out of his mouth and just feel like I don't want this, I don't want this. But what he was trying, he was just like, I don't know what I want. All I know is I feel all these big feelings I felt that way yesterday too. Yeah, yeah, we still get that as adults, you know, and I just thought to myself, I was like, this kid's not doing this to make my life miserable. He just doesn't have any other tools to say what he's trying to say and what he's feeling right now and what he needs for me is not to get mad at him and smack him and tell him to shut up, he needs me just to sit there and be like, I'm gonna help you regulate your nervous system even though you want to punch me in the throat because he does that, he's like, he's not actually aiming for my throat, but you know, because in my arms you just, yeah, I'm like, I get it, you need me to actually be a present and just share that to say like I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to work through a lot of my stuff before kids were in the picture and also tip my hat to you and my, my admiration for you working through this while also trying to show up and be a dad and be a husband and be a professional. 

That's that's absolutely remarkable. Thank you for saying that. Thanks for your sharing your story to you're doing a great job. Like I'm super proud of where you are, you're doing great. 

You know, chris imagine there's a lot more, maybe this isn't gonna be our last conversation. Um I've absolutely loved this and I have to admit this has taken an unexpected turn. I wasn't really sure when, when I first reached out because of course your story isn't necessarily out there in an obvious sense for people to to read, but you know, for for some reason, because I'm not sure how we originally got connected, but I don't know if it was through pod match or or some some other way, but I've had a few of your messages and whatnot in a few emails and things and, and all of them now have like a different, a different perspective, a different light on them, knowing more of your story and why you are the person that I go back to? I've never had a remarkable person who's who's had an easy life. And so the thing that I would like to ask people at the, at the end of the interview is um you know, if you could give people have listened to this and and imagine they would have this, it's a heck of a story and we've got to this point in the story. If you could, you know, give them just 11 thing that you would like them to take away from being being a part of this and sharing in this conversation today and and those who are listening and watching. 

Thank you so much for for for giving us the space to to go through this conversation. It's been, it's been amazing. What would you like people to take away from this today? That's super easy. I think from the tone of this conversation, find an independent person outside of your current situation, who can help you take the next step you need to take, if you don't know that next to this will help you define the next step. 

If that's a therapist. If it's a counselor, if it's someone you trust in your faith community or your local community, whatever it is, find a person outside of your current situation who you can trust and leaning onto and just start talking and saying, here's where I am now. What should I do next? Where would you advise me to go? Critical that they're outside of your current situation? So they have no bias, no, no dog in the hunt, so to speak, to influence you one way or another, they're purely just to give you clean, solid advice and counsel start there well, but chris, thank you so much for your courage and sharing your story today. It has truly been an honor being part of this conversation, Jonathan. It's great talking. Thank you so much for the space to do this for all of us. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for tuning into between the before and after. If you've enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review because that helps this podcast to reach and inspire more people. I love exploring the stories that take place between the before and after. The powerful experiences that shape who we become and I love human potential. I love the possibilities that lie within us. So whatever you may be up against, I hope these stories inspire you because if you're still here, your story is not done yet. So keep moving forward. 

Chris WilliamsProfile Photo

Chris Williams

Long Bio
Chris spends most of his time raising his five kids, exploring world communities, and trying his hand at adventures like shark diving, ice climbing, running ultra marathons, and riding electric skateboards:)

In his spare time, he works with entrepreneurial and business experts, speakers, coaches, and leaders helping them market, monetize, and lead their own high-ticket mastermind (or group coaching) programs.

As the world continues to shift, many experts are trying to build high-ticket groups for additional income, lead generation, or impact. Chris teaches experts how to generate leads, close high-ticket deals, and build strong, transformational groups. He has his own digital agency, leads two masterminds of his own, and has learned many of these lessons the hard way, so sharing his journey and offering strategies is why he is here.

Short Bio
Chris is an ultra-marathoner, and teaches experts simple methods for building high-ticket masterminds. He has 20+ years building hyper-profitable business models.