Hello I’m Jeff Johnston and welcome to LIVING UNDETERRED!
Many of us have an important story to tell. Throughout the last four years of my life I have encountered much. So much that it has completely changed me to my core and has made me the person I am today. Although it’s been over 4 years since Seth died, I’m still in pain, hurting and grieving. I am slightly angry and frustrated. Sometimes I’m scared and I’m often on my own - but never alone. I was an alcoholic. I was a compulsive gambler. I have ADD and I am restless often.
I am a relatively new member of an unfortunate club, one I did not ask to join and one I cannot quit - a parent of a deceased child from a heroin overdose. I am a statistic of divorce after a great 20-year marriage. Yet, at 54 years young I am the most fortunate person I know.
How can this possibly be? I have been afforded plenty of opportunities to become depressed, negative, spiteful and to claim to be a victim. A victim of what? Life? I am no victim, a survivor perhaps but certainly not a victim.
I enjoy writing, it’s become therapy for me, so I am attempting the next best thing, a blog. This isn’t a diary of my weekly ups and downs, there are plenty of those, rather it’s an opportunity to further expand and expound on some of the “discoveries” I stumbled across in writing my book. At times I have found myself in a fetal position, laid out on the ground unable to cry soon realizing I had no more tears left to shed. Often I have felt invincible almost bulletproof yet I am so swiftly reminded how deep the pain goes when I see pictures of Seth. I cannot articulate in words how much I miss him. I am no less of a Dad now since he is gone. Quite the contrary.
I am calling my blog “Living Undeterred.” A word I emphasize throughout my new book, This One’s For You-An Inspirational Journey Through Addiction, Death and Meaning. My story isn’t more tragic than most, it’s just different. I am not a life coach nor do I profess to have all the answers, quite the opposite. By allowing myself to become vulnerable and sharing my story with others I was able to gain valuable insight into trauma, addiction and death. 150,000 Americans die each year from alcoholism, suicide and overdose and the numbers are growing. My book allowed me to slowly crack open the doors and peek into a realm of new awareness, constant learning and to challenge conventional beliefs on addiction, death and meaning. Am I an addict? Absolutely! I am addicted to the truth, honesty, personal growth, new relationships and of course my health.
You are not alone, unless you choose to be. I am super excited about this journey I am on and I ask you to join me. Wherever you are in your life, no matter how strong you think you are, you’re always susceptible to getting pulled into the abyss. Maybe you just crawled out and your feet are dangling back over the edge of that dark pit, a helpless feeling for sure. I have been there. The good news is there is always hope. A lifeline is being tossed down to you. I encourage you to grab it and pull yourself up then throw it back down for someone else. Ask for help, ask to be vulnerable. Help others, help yourself. Together we are stronger. Build an impenetrable barrier around you. Become UNDETERRED!