In this episode, I speak with my friend, Steve Simpson. Steve is an author, speaker, and advocate for suicide survivors. I want you to know that we're going to talk about it, we're going to have a conversation about it, and we're going to discuss...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e262-overcoming-limiting-beliefs-after-abuse-with-steve-simpson-trauma-healing-podcast/#show-notes
In this episode, I speak with my friend, Steve Simpson.
Steve is an author, speaker, and advocate for suicide survivors. I want you to know that we're going to talk about it, we're going to have a conversation about it, and we're going to discuss suicide.
As you know, if you have listened to the show for any time, I've dealt with family members, I've dealt with my community, my friends; it is something that happens in this world.
If you're in this position or place where you feel suicidal, you feel like there's no hope, like there's nothing left, I promise you that there is. It may not seem like it right now, and trust me like I fucking get that like life can be incredibly difficult and sad, and I feel like there's nothing to live for, but I promise you that there is and that you are not alone in this.
As for today's show, I'm very honored to bring on my guest Steve Simpson, an author and speaker, and just an amazing human being with an incredibly tragic yet beautiful story. I hope you will find empowerment, hope, happiness, and even some smiles with his silly jokes as we go through. And it's one of my favorite episodes because it's just such a beautiful testament to what our lives can be even if we come through childhood trauma and abuse.
So, if you're in this place in your life where you feel like you need help you need support, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline it's 800-273-8255
Come and Join Us as we dive into this episode!
Learn more about Steve Simpson at: http://www.powerpublishingcorp.com/
Learn more about Think Unbroken and Pre-Order my new book: Unbroken Man. Plus, learn more about the free coaching and other mental health programs. Click here: https://linktr.ee/michaelunbroken
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well wherever you are in the world today. I'm very excited to be back with you with another episode with my guest Steve Simpson, for over thirty years Steve has run a youth adult group called Together We Can Make It is an author and an incredible speaker. Steve, my friend and is an honor to have you on the show today, what is happening in your world?
Steve: Lot of exciting things actually by the way I wanted to be here with you as well.
Michael: Awesome and it's all my pleasure, I assure you. Steve for those who do not know you, I'd love if you give us a little bit of backstory and how you got to where you are today?
Steve: So let's start right off the old childhood, okay? We're talking for a second third grade, Michael you heard of a student that been a student but guy was a sees to it, okay? I was the opposite of an age student if there was a test, I was gonna fail it, if there was a class I was getting thrown out of it whether be fight, would be making jokes, maybe lot of jokes and the teachers didn't even wear sometimes just except for some reason that made them twice as angry me, I go but you left. Always failing, always from my lowest grade was a negative twenty and you can say how you get a negative twenty? Well, when I said idea was talking grammar school now I had this notion that if the kid had really good grade if he was smart he had the best home life. Now I was wrong discuss that during this interview but in my head back then I was jealous these kids not because they really have the great grades because my life was so messed up and hurtful and I thought they had great lives. So what I would do is during the test I like the nest the kid up they're halfway through the test right on his test, push his hand on her hand, whatever was gonna be and of course they had they crying, you know they go angry and I didn't once some teachers said if backing can you seat or whatever you get on taking up twenty points. I thought was been show her, I said not gonna even try by zero and instead she wrote negative twenty and she said now you're gonna need anywhere for nineties and even hundreds when you next test the past and I said back then I will never in my lifetime get anything in the nineties a hundreds Ma'am.
Now what was the deal with me I would still wanna pass but I would try to figure out how to cheat. I'd probably spent twice as long figuring had a cheat then most kids did study. My friend seventy why don't you just stay would take half the time. And now let's say what's to use so I believed if I’d study I feel anyway. I thought I was stupid, but I thought I was a failure, I thought I was unwanted. Now why these thoughts my alcoholic father was very abusive physically and verbally and as far as the physical stuff I like to see how would I call a snap temper, well he be tortured like we're talking and just to know it hit you, push and throw something at you and go in a rage and but to me personally the physical stuff was horrible because I was always not knowing like I always say I would eat as fast as possible to get away from the dinner table, to this day I still fast, my friends always says to me and slow down, so the guy was my the escape mechanism to get away. But it's the verbal abuse the call me be broken, it's constantly here since i was born didn't want you failure, stupid lot of occurrences I'm not gonna say the worse than the curse is the word sentences, okay? You're never gonna do anything and look at you of course you failed again. And that's why my mindset, that's all I knew, okay? So, I figured this is gotta be true, I would cut school in those early grades, I got away with it because no one's dreamed though it's actually cutting at that early grace but you know around go actually telling me of the lost self esteem. I go with the local library we had two libraries, I lived a small one quieter one, I go to that one, what do I do there? I'd read books and I always woke up the librarian and say can I have a pen paper? Most of give me a pad and some pen and I would write even since a boy short stories, homes, pros, I don't know the call closes back then but I write them and look at this picture this now. Here's the young kid cut in school but he's going out and he's reading and I looked back now be beyond my the average was reading copy in of a child that age and writing that's the opinion of a low self esteem. They just kinda get worse and worse, I always blame myself for my father's drinking because I was told that most people live in alcohol who relate to this, you get told this is your fault, this is because to you and I believe that I never times where he was so drunk he couldn't talk but he looked at me and point. And I know I met that in your fault. So for the time I was eleven years old, I started thinking and trying suicide by the way. Think about it all the time try it and I always say, I did wanna die, I just don't wanna live. I knew my say that's the same as exact thing man, no it's not, I had no idea would like being dead because I was never dead before but I did know what was like being alive. And it was pain, it was suffering and I honestly thought and this is key it was never gonna get better. See, I thought that was dumb but if I really knew it was gonna get better to kill myself but I was convinced it's not getting better.
And that’s time when was twelve started running away here and there I was switching account surfer which means I hang out of friend's houses and stay overnight and so on, skipping up a lot of long stuff back then, moved a lot neighborhoods custody battles and like parents they start the separate but eventually one of the parents the kids I stayed over call protective services and eventually ended up in foster home, it was in two foster homes. One for a month and month for a year I could only say wonderful things about these foster parents, I know there's a lot of negative things about us the parents out there but in my case it only had wonderful experience they just caring people who just really wanna help out children who had know to stay because I understand something the homes is not for criminals or it's this for a child where the parents messed up there's something going around it's abusive they cannot live in that house anymore.
Now as you imagine a company that you had to go to therapy now social services in charge and I also joined the self whole group, to me that was everything. And I go into these group thirteen years old, one of the first things I discover is there's smart kids there and I'm never saying what are you doing here? And one of them laughed and said I'm okay Steve, how are you just says you'll figure it out. Well some of these kids tried to suicide what times I thought about it and they had measurable lives even though they had the graves and that was a revelation for me because they started saying that their alcohol parent was calling them the same things my father was calling me that's me, I'm the most hated kid amongst the teachers, okay? You; your teachers parent you're a dream for a parent that's the point and this is the view, so this it was nothing to do with me what I did, what I did to, when I was smart through a bad student whether I was a male whether was female, whatever I was identify myself with the someone straight, whether this someone's is gay, it's not you and abuser doesn't abuse you because of what you are, who you are or what you do, it convince us it is an abuse, abuses you because they the abuser and they're gonna abuse any kids. So if these other kids were my father's kid he do the same thing to them that to me was such a revelation and then all the guilt because I found out you can't make an alcohol of drink, he was drinking before I was born, they can't make your parents get the divorced fast between them.
And then here's the big thing now, Michael how was they used the meetings up every week can I started doing that and some the kids said hey, I can't write like this; this is like really great like how can we not doing great in school and I know comes stupid but you can't be stupid right like this they actually taught me how to study, pay had to study and bit by bit first ended up the that year on the honor role, I went from failing to pass in the past by the next year guess what? Was getting nineties, pulling off a hundred average on two topics in two quarters.
Remember, I say I would never do that my lifetime now you honor society join wrestling just to get me busy, always had a winning record, during track for fun I run fast, got the equivalent the call the black letter is the MVP for the track team but here's the best part and I lap it to this day they made me student of the month. Now not just for my class for the entire eighth grade then the entire grade they hung my picture off for one month saying be like him model student. I used to walk but that sure and laugh because only two years before that same picture will be a dark board and it teaches faculty growth, okay? What changed nothing, I was the same person I was, when I was picking on the smart kids I was one of them I just didn't know that. And as you would say that became my broken is turning into being unbroken for myself then take school as long I just didn't finish school, I should still regard to this thing but that self esteem that confidence has made me successful from the business world.
As you know multi published author for books and print now and the was doing here for most of my life at this point whether it's media, whether it's can schools, share my experience and again like I said to me self esteem was everything for me, most of my trying to make others aware like we're doing right now the whole because unfortunately many people continue their lives and think they're stupid oh, they're a failure, it's like that voice inside their head unfortunately that really came from an aqua abusive parent and as far as soon all my store kicks something and out there too.
As far as suicide you know for your audience, I have known many people because of my volunteer work, by travels, who was including myself who tried suicide or thought about it, I did both for that and try it. And for those who of us who tried it and lived survived it like I did, not ninety percent, not ninety-five percent, one hundred percent of us are glad we never died, why? Things always got better somehow some way. Now if you're in school, I say go to the school social worker because they oh, I just say I know what they're gonna say, I know what they're gonna say, I was wrong, they said a lot of things I did know about they would help counseling, this community centers, churches gonna be religion even belong too but a lot of churches house self groups twelve step programs sometimes outreach programs, so those are also a great avenue place to get help from. And I recommend highly get the help things get done us so much faster than you think, I'm gonna have a little clean and most people look really what I was getting better I got into volunteer at a young age and helping other the kids and stuff so I'm gonna recommend also whatever whether you're in therapy, self help group combination, do some volunteer somewhere because even though you might save how I help other the people when I need home that's the point, it gives self esteem and gives self worth. I know with twelve step programs I think they're call service and it helped me, people I grew in both songs that was able help give my experiences and help of the kids out.
Michael: Yeah. I love that Steve and that's quite the journey and know it's funny there's so many parallels between your experience and mine. I found myself skipping school and going to the library in part because they had air conditioning and heat but also because I liked being in the solitude, I always felt safe and I think that also played a role in me being a writer and an author and in the whole nine. One of the things that you alluded to that I think is really phenomenal is being willing to show up for yourself even at such a young age. And I recall years and years ago someone told me hey, when you're at your lowest go and volunteer, go and be of service and I have found that to be such an incredible part of my mission in my journey I mean that's really what Think Unbroken is, right? It's about us giving people the tools to create massive change in their life.
I also grew up, the child of alcoholic and I think growing up as a child of alcoholic the effects of that and then also like the tie of bullying carries so much weight and I know many people who are listening the Unbroken Nation, they also resonate with our stories, having alcoholic parents, parents who are bullies you know maybe even a sibling things of that and it tends to carry so much weight in their life. And even to this day where they're just there maybe it's a stuck or a sadness or a longing or regret or feeling guilty or victimize. And so what I'm really curious about here Steve, talk to us about how someone starts to release take their life back especially after being a child of an alcoholic.
Steve: Why they want the key things is this. First off for me anyway is that I blame myself and so this is just me, it wasn't just me, it was the traits of being a child on alcohol always thinking that you're wrong, if you have a fight with so exposure for oh is your fuck even if you're a heading with friends and they get the fight you feel good somehow you started somebody you could have stopped it. So if you recognize your traits if you do accomplish something most alcohol or victims of child abuse you never gave yourself the credit if someone says that was a great job you think of instantly your head all the things you didn't do, right? You might even say well, I did that but I could've done that, I could've have done should done that, you can't even accept the compliment, you can't even say thank you. So for me the first thing is to realize this is not who you are, okay? This is just a symptom what you lived with, being a victim of abuse being a child alcohol, so that's the first major step that means if it's not all I am. And if it's just a symptom that I don't have to continue to think this way, I can be this way and that is so important whether your macular therapy method is written books on the topic where the method is against self or a combination, okay? But it is important to do that. Again, a love self help type of groups because the fact that you see other people the same problem with you; you realize it's not just me and that's critical and that one because it even affects your relationships. Many children alcoholic we get into relationships; we get into abusive of like to get abused by people again physically or verbally. Even something simple when you have friends you never ask for what you want always the movie they wanna see because you don't get them angry and you're friend to get them angry; always that people pleasing oh we've like trying to you know do the right thing because he might lose the person I fear of abandonment.
So again part of mine, you would say recovery you might say was to build that self esteem and say you know the person is gonna love me for who I am or the not, you know and it's okay to make mistakes you said the wrong thing what they friend you apologize. Real friendships don't fall part over that. I'm gonna tell you something when I was foster care one of the major things that I realized was, it wasn't that the parents didn't fight that wasn't the case, it was what they did when they argue. See it wasn't a fight there, was a disagreement who was an argument, okay? They didn't stop hurts each other around saying hurtful things each have a horrible thing but then threaten each other it's certainly that physically go after each other and that was a lesson for me the goes in health relationships that stuff's not supposed to happen and we do find ourselves we live these lives being in these hurtful relationships, okay? So again that's some of the things I recommend the people heavily with that.
Michael: Yeah, and I agree with you. One of the things that was really fascinating for me. I lived with thirty different families as a child just getting bounced around, getting evicted, never actually in foster care but being in foster homes, being in homes of church families, being in homes of strangers the list goes on and on and I think one of the really incredible things what you just alluded to was this idea that people could have conversation without violence. And I know that we as survivors and trauma warriors and people who have like picked their lives up, trying to move forward we can catch ourselves in one of those relationships where suddenly you're like oh, shit this actually feels very similar and I know that's very commonplace. And the word that comes to me when I think about that is this idea that like there is still hope available that you can shift that, you can have healthy relationships not only with yourself but with other people that are intimate and kind and loving and compassionate and have empathy involved in them. But I think unfortunately one of the things people hold on and this was my case for a very long time was feeling like this is what I deserve and feeling like I was carrying those scars and that because of those scars I was still had all this pain. And so Steve, what I'm wondering here is how can someone tap to hope in their life for things to be different for them ultimately to have these things that they always hear other people have that feel like a fantasy but I'm gonna say for myself personally I know are a possibility and I was wondering if you talk about the power of hope in this?
Steve: Absolutely. And I love what you said about deserve because we tend I deserve this and it goes back to that self esteem, maybe back to that tape plane of the apple parent saying you deserve the look what you did you messed up. And I love that and I'm gonna say oh by the way like for example how many times you heard yourself and say, every relationship I get and it ends up being some views or some guy the worst luck, it's not luck it's either are projecting something and abusers do keen on people like that they snip us out, okay? All we accept something and we're showing that we accept it instead of on the first day saying this is the first and last date we can continue because well at least they said something nice to me you know they might have been abusive in some other way. So I hope now it's funny to my hope because I always think of the power of hope and it is a power because when without hope, there are some time like there sometimes in my group that I run I have an answer you know, I'm like the old wise guy of a hill and sometimes I don't have a specific answer to that problem, I just don't not that day anyway. But that's not the mission there it's to give hope that things will always get better and they do answers come, sometimes God has you on a path you think is destructive and it's not. So for me the number one thing is not to be always have but to give the person hope, okay? Because when do you have hope everything goes then I'm fine. Again when I was younger, I wanted out because I lost stole my hope, I think was getting better anymore. You know I said eleven years it is that's enough but so again I hope about faith also whatever religion you are that's your business but I do find for me you know sometimes I've said over the years I don't see how I'm getting through this, I don't see how many gonna be happening again but I had lost it was a death, maybe something collapsed around my life, one of those days okay and I said what about personal earthquakes enough our lives happen. And here's the key of hope and faith, I realize I may not see a way out of it but God does and he's smart than me, knows more than me. I know twelve set programs the steps I think is keen to be the power greater than ourselves can we store sanity and I'm not gonna twelve the programs by the way but I love the steps and I'm gonna say that greater and just because I can't see way doesn't mean it isn't away out of this and when I hold on to I'm still responsible for trying, I'm still responsible again for seeking out help, I'm still responsible for if I am gonna be in abusive relationship with friendship or situation I need to get and I don't deserve they get out of it. I gotta tell you something so many times in my life when things, people tell me Steve this they're ain't not gonna work out or for a friend of mine I know why you're given a hope man, how was that gonna work out for her and guess what? It did work out. Maybe a different role than we before but it did work out and I was happy again and I was able to move on again whether gonna be a loss or disappointment even a mistake.
I gotta tell you something, I just have this discussion too my group recently is humor you know laughing and even laughing out our own selves and y'all make mistakes. And I think part of the problem too is we define ourselves as those mistakes, we're not on mistakes they're just things that we did everybody makes mistakes, everybody makes mistakes but we define ourselves as that or the result of that and that's false, you need to let it go and move on. And sometimes that laugh yourself it's okay not make fun of yourself, I didn't say that, laugh, well I can't if I said that I did that what you're gonna do. And it's okay that people laughing not at you but with you and there is this difference and just kinda of moving on with that and it's wonderful when you have people that can relate to you and I got discussed groups because the fact that they can say Steve I did the same thing man two years ago, whatever ten years ago and you just feel you're not the only one who does it. But it's so many celebrities do that they beat themselves up miserably sometimes of things that they just don't get its okay move on, no mistake is gonna devastated it so much we can't move on for it. I would say people think of a problem you had like five years ago and it consumed you and all your time by now that mistake is history it's gone. Think of when you had ten years ago, think of things in my childhood that would occupy my constant thought, those mistakes are they, so there no power it and that's the key for whole.
Whatever you're going through, whatever a problem you have it will lose its power it has to that all things must pass and it would dissipate and I think sometimes we believe we're stopping this mistake for the rest of our life, will never be, it doesn't work that way.
Michael: That’s beautifully said and I totally agree. I filled that in this journey one of the things that we have to face that's true about our experience is that the things that happen to us in childhood we are not culpable for, we do not take and we should not take responsibility for abuse, for homelessness, for violence, for any of those things and yet maybe it's doing documention or embedding or coercion however you wanna phrase it, there is this keen sense of shame and guilt that is often tied to our experiences. And you talked about this idea of letting go and I think from a hypothetical standpoint that sounds very simple for many people, right? They're like oh yeah sure, Steve, I'm just gonna let go. But I know for a certain from my case and I believe from many others that letting go almost feels like there's something deeper to it. And so what I’m curious about Steve in your journey and how you support people and together we can make it and with all the things that you do, how do you believe that someone can really let go of shame and guilt and that culpability that's actually not theirs, what does it look like to get to that place of actually letting go?
Steve: Well, I think you said documented I relate to that because that's what I was just told so it was reflex me to feel guilty and by the way even if we did something that the person have upset, you turned wrong, you knocked over the dinner table, whatever I'm saying or they already been upset but to abuse you over at absolutely positively not, okay? And we have to and it's like a reeducation almost and I think for me again that's why therapy is so important to hear that other voice or self whole group, hear those all the voices tell you that you are not responsible for your bill, makes no difference what you did. A lot of us think we're always busy, so busy front end all the time, like holidays how these were miserable for me? how was we home out of school and he was gonna drunk more? But when you're in school whatever was said had a great man, had a great time.
One out of thirty-five children today, he's a child alcoholic or a drug abuser that's a fifty-year classroom, okay? And there's something to think about and so that alone so first of all I think the key is the realize you're not the only one going through this, you're not the only one who's lived through this, you're not the other one unfortunately who feels guilty through this, and that's why it's so important to hook up with other people like this because they're gonna not their heads and they're gonna laugh but not laughing because they make it front of you like I would say things and he said this to me it's my fault, and say Steve, I did the same thing it's not your fault, it's not your fault. And I think so that's very important to undo document yourself but it's also key and I gotta say this, like we discussed earlier if you're gonna get involved in relationships that are abusive as you got older it's gonna be harder to get on propane, it's gonna be harder to heal and start this because you're gonna have new people telling you what your afford to shortfall for. So I gotta stress that too you know we have a need so barely to be loved, to be accepted just to house someone I used to equate in my myself esteem. When I had a girlfriend I'm full, I have one, that's all wrong man, we're supposed to be a hundred percent on our own and when you get the healthy relationship you add to each other but that person is not supposed to rescue you you're not supposed to rescue then you're not to really supposed to, I know it's sounds nice as a writer we complete each other you're supposed to be complete without them and I think that's paramount so and don't be so desperate that and the need to love you accept unacceptable behavior because when you're with healthy people, I used to conclusions when with healthy people relationships, friendships even, that's where that guilt starts going away when because you get treated like a human being. And someone say how do you feel about this? What would you like to do? So, I think that's just experience in healthy relationships is healing alone.
Michael: Yeah. I agree with that and I think also having a couple things. One a tremendous amount of clarity about what you want in a relationship that applies to friendship, that applies the business, career everything also leveraging your boundaries which I think is incredibly important and not bending who you are for the sake of not only necessarily just appeasing other people but connection because that's immediately going to be false and then also recognizing like respect is super important like I've come to realize like if you're telling people in your life like you don't feel respected you don't feel appreciated that's probably a sign that you need to move away from that, and I think people get so tied up in this idea that well you know what they still love me, so I can accept the disrespect and that becomes very dangerous because the truth about it is you deserve exactly what you're willing to tolerate and that's a hard thing to recognize and you deserve more than what you have tolerated up till now which means that you have to hold true to your boundaries, you have to say no, you have to say yes and put yourself in a position where you take power over your life. One of the things you said that I'm really interested in curious about that loops us back to earlier in the conversation is talking about being of service I would love if you take a couple of minutes and talk about why you created together we can make it, talk about the books, talk about why you wanna do. But before you do that I would love if you could speak to the people who they contemplate being of service and yet don't do it because I used to be that guy I'd be like one of these days and I never did until I did and I love if you give some words of advice for people who are in that place as well.
Steve: Sure and I think one of the reasons people wanna do it and has they think they can't a good job, they're gonna fail at it, you think that I'm not worthy, this is for someone else, I'm gonna mess this up, some better than me but we could do this. And so first all no one's better than you and just jump into it, just jump into it because the long you hesitate you're not gonna end up doing it. You'll think about it or I could be doing some help over here, some voluntary we're they're actually doing this, I don't know what if I mess it up but you know just go into it, that's number one. Don't think you are worry; you can do it, it's really is that simple because we learn things I didn't I'm feeling well what I do but I wouldn't like that overnight I mean, my fools and chips like oh, I guess I should never say that to someone had problem that could work and we learn that's okay, it's a journey. But take the journey, start the first steps of the journey. And again it's so important as far as my group I love that, it started because the fact that I know what I went through with that age and I know that it was is so important for me to have someone to go same time, every week that's the time period, my friends know, my business people know, don't bother this he's not gonna be turning the phone call that night that time he's with his group, okay? And just to know that matter what happens in my life I wanted to create something where I know that that's gonna be there for them and what the so nice I'm annoying to them oh they go Steve against that but that's okay I've been told this, you order a lot of cards that you repetitive them but I know you're there, I know you can sincere I can rely on you because a lot of us lived the lives that would live people are reliable we unfortunately our parents were that's for sure. So I would say again, I wanted just to let people know my google thing I do is if they responsible for the problem let's say they messed up, I still love them, we all show our love for that person still because that's okay because unfortunately today's times too when someone messes up today and they people abandoned them they jumped shit you know and they need some, I do know ones gonna go where, okay let's talk about how we don't do that again we don't mess up again but however that being said it's okay we still love you, someone's gonna make a joke about it somehow and that's a a level laugh together with the person and I carry it throughout but there's no all no of someone's hurting, we all know to call that person during the week too or text them just let them know hey thinking about you how's it going man, is everything going okay with you? You know just in case before the next meeting he need to talk with me we'll go and get something to eat, I'm always wanna go out in the way I love it my family things sit with a friend and just sit somewhere eat so I opened that invitation up.
And so again that's one thing and as far as my writing I wanted to explain I like fiction and non fiction and I combine them because the fiction part was in some kids was my escape, okay? The other writers sometimes give reason why they're write because of the art it goes to, you know, the talent, the art I'm artist, I started write because my escape man that was my fantasy world just to get out and start writing things. But one thing for me is, I put myself in my characters like matter how fantastic the story might be, whether this one of my science fiction books, adventure books, action, drama with the characters of so realistic because they can be children alcohol of because this victims of abuse runaways. I put that into my car as well make a long real now what I've also done is I wrote. I wanted to relay my personal experiences in writing how I boost to my self esteem, why didn't we put char let we get that a little bit too my transition because know you can't get from this from one space to the best place right away, how be patient myself. Boy why is someone always tend to be bullied what's going on with that? So the teenage young don't guide, okay? Survival handbook and that's an inserted in any my four action novel I put it in a now. Why I do that? Two reasons, one is that the young person wants the handbook it's okay the TH young adult a viable handbook if they just answer to the handbook, people why want that? It puts them on the spot because it's an insert in my fiction books because I just love these storage man. I look and the covers are all fiction covers and reverse if you wanna to give this information to young person whether you're a teacher, a youth group leader, counselor but when I was don't show all that stuff if you just told me I have a book for you on being child I heard the fork someone's thinking a suicide or maybe you're being abused or self esteem, I don't need that, are you kidding me? I would walk my way the fact it's an insert inside of my fiction books. Now, I know you love these kind of action stories it just like the movies you like the city that's why I ever hit my books these we like a great movie and then you got okay I'll read it and you just say, well they got it they're gonna say what's this on book inside here? And then they get the information. The key is just to get the information lives and information, I also give different places that can go to for help and number one thing is hope and then one thing I tried to accomplish even my writing is to let them know it is always hope this is not the end, this is not permanent if you will want to take the step forward and ask for help and try for help that's one of the main things I put out in the handbook.
Michael: Man that's so powerful. One of the things I wanna circle back to as well here is you talked about suicide and that's a the subject that hits home for me, The Unbroken Nation audience knows about my experience with it personally and in my family and I know that there are people listening right now who either been in a suicidal ideation situation or attempted or know someone who has unfortunately I think that you and I both know this is an incredibly common experience for many many people probably more so than we ever can imagine. And I'm wondering a couple of things were there periods and yes, I understand you were young but was there something that happened that not only changed your mind but has helped you progress to where you are today, that you've been able to hold on that's kept you alive and in this life? And then the other part of the question is there something that someone can do for themselves or for others that may be suicidal or need some help right now?
Steve: Yeah. So for me again once I got help therapy and self help I was able to start experiencing some successes and prior to that I know was collapsed around it, I just figured this is always gonna happen but and I was old by way I wanted stress something too, I was never walking around room doom, I was always cracking jokes and he stress that. We've had some celebrities as we know that always joke it around on hyper and yet they in the predicament suicide or tried it or thought automatic it. So I mean people would wanna me the lunch room table because I was always gonna do something different, so again if you looked at the face value of it this keeps cracking jokes all the time, he the way he's thinking to killing himself but I wasn't in pain inside, I was in such pain dreaded going, are you read turning that door on been going to the house? I could've got home later is possible that's what I wanted to do. So again once I got help you see all of a sudden that because I shifted things and relationships, I didn't accept them some behavior was gonna get positive things half of my life, I was able accomplish things then it wasn't always when there's a problem it's always gonna be a sad ending, I had some happy endings. And I think every problem is gonna result in a happy ending but the point is once I was able to experience they know things can really work out, I can be happy. I can really be happy; I understand all been happy that took away that I'm getting out of here towards the suicide because it's never getting better because I was able replace. Now, I go for things by the away not they haven't to had problems in an the adult like glove us but believe me things come our way we all have our storms that our lives are here but the difference is I know now come on Steve, you know getting through this just like you got through the other things that was devastating, that was devastating, that was a loss that but you're getting through this launch, you get into this failure or whatever I tripping as. So I think now the difference me if you read my mind versus my old thought was oh, no, no, not again, I can't do this versus okay we're gonna deal with this, I'm gonna say prayer right now, I'll say hail mary and then get up take a deep breath. And I always said people by the way if you are in school, go to school, if you're at work go to a work, not stay home that the temptation is, I'm not going today I would wanna stay home, no! Get out of that house and get with people get into the routine.
You may not be doing the best, I never years ago I've worked in a gym and when this was like a parallel these guys were incredible and sometimes they told the other going home man, my heads they thought not hurt myself he said don't, take all the weights off the bar, go through a routine with just the bar, they go, what? Just couple these guys were at this guys were really bench four five hundred pounds just the bar he says go through your routine don't stop their routine because you're gonna get out of it. And I take that on emotional level I say go through the routine you may not be the best in school that day, the best at work that day, the best of your friends someone's birthday party are you're supposed to go to. But just use the bar emotionally, go through the routine, get out of that house, stay that and I follow that myself religiously, okay? And that's why stuff's important to be have positive people in your life. There's also you're handing out people that drug it and drinking that's gonna make you more depressed, don't go back ex girlfriend's or boyfriends of their abusive that's a temptation sometimes and alone but I'm saying be with people that are healthy, that are happy. So again get out that, force yourself out the bed, out the door, hate that shower, come on go through that, get out of there and go to work. In fact one thing I've also learned I mean if there's a day where I can't beat with nobody to tonight I'm so right now or my friends are be around to tomorrow get to a movie for a moment, just go see it, go see it by yourself or we discuss libraries because there's other people around you, what I'm saying you go to a park or something to keep you busy, be around people, be around people I can't tell you and that's why I also mentioned to the volunteer thing because you know again I’ve heard many people over say potter holds me together and I wanna say this to myself is my volunteer because there are times here that little depression starts knocking on the door, you know, hey Steve, how you been? But I'm busy helping other people. I'm walking my talk now because I listen to myself hope someone else and give them suggestions and I start following it myself too. So I gotta also say, again why I say giving to other people and just keep that in your life it will keep you hate this it kept me out trouble, kept myself a steam up as well.
Michael: Yeah. I love that Steve and I'm right there with you. And again I'll just point to the fact that I mean even today you know with the volunteer work I do, running the show, I mean even people will say well there's COVID, you can't do things blah blah blah whatever I'm like start a podcast, do a blog, interact with people, online support groups, there's so much available for us right now. And I think that you have to be willing to have the courage to ask for help and the only way you're going to get that is by taking that first step, right? Commit to your life, make a decision follow through. And I want to agree with you Steve, I understand why people take their lives I was there, I understand it's dark , like you it's like I didn't wanna die but I just didn't wanna live anymore and on the the backside of that life is so much better and so if you take anything from this conversation it's this know that you're not alone, know that you're not a bad person for having these thoughts because guess what we all do and ultimately if you're willing to seek help and support it will be there for you but you must ask for help. Steve this has been an absolutely incredible conversation before I ask you my last question can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Steve: It is a website which is powerpublishingcorp.com not just for the books but even for interviews things like post things that they might help someone okay that's probably the easiest way to find me out there.
Michael: Amazing and of course we will put that link in the show notes. Steve, my friend my last question for you is what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Steve: For me it means again you said that we're gonna hope it means faith, it means that I know I could be happy, my life doesn't always have to be I say ending at the end of the story. Being unbroken also means that I can be in a relationships and be in healthy relationships and friendships, why? Because I'm not broken anymore and even in my success in my business to, success my writing all these things in my life today in fact I loved your show where I saw the name, I loved it because I said boy is that define me because I live a life of when I was going up that was broken there's no question about it but I live the life of being unbroken and I'm happy unbroken because again it's happiness and it just faith an optimism of what more comes in the future.
Michael: Beautifully said my friend, thank you so much for being here. Unbroken Nation thank you so much for listening.
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Young Adult Author
“I began writing to escape the problems and pains of my childhood. It was my only escape!"
Author Steve Simpson grew up with much of the same problems as some of the characters in the book. Steve’s books come from ideas he had when he was a boy.
Steve’s novels keep his readers on the edge of their seat with action and excitement that goes from page to page. The only intermission to the action is the romance and humor. At the same time the nonfiction aspects of Steve’s novels lets readers know they are not the only ones with their problems, gives ways for his readers to change their situations and get better, and gives them hope.
For over 30 years Steve has run a youth/young adult group called “Together We Can Make It” sharing his experiences and giving support to its members.
Steve has been a national public speaker as an expert of experience to help young adults survive their various problems and issues growing up (living in alcoholic homes, abuse, suicide, running away, bullying, depression and self-esteem issues). Steve loves to speak to schools where he sees the positive reactions from the students and enjoys answering questions for as long as it takes for each student to have their turn.
Steve has been featured on national media for years giving lifesaving information and hope to his audiences.