Mental Illness Recovery Story: More Stories of Mine

Semi-truck flips over

I decides to go to college but needs money to help finance it. So he gets a job to build a sea-wall at a lake property at Lake LeAnn, for an elderly couple. However, Joe is not good with finding places, so Joe heads out to the place a day earlier to figure out how to get there.

By Lake LeAnn, there is a giant hill that goes downhill very sudden and very downward. As anxiety and mania was flowing through my brain, I notice a semi-truck tailgating me. Stuck on the thoughts of finding the road, I forget the vehicle is still behind me. As my car is going downward, I at the last moment saw the road I was looking for.  As I suddenly slam on my brakes, so did the semi driver, in order to avoid hitting me and my car.

The next thing you know, the semi-truck jackknifed and flipped over on its side. Much of the coal that the truck was hauling spilled on the ground, and the tires of the semi-truck tore up much of the grass alongside the road. Neither I or the semi-driver was hurt. The semi-truck driver got the ticket for failure to stop.

A day later, after I finished for the day doing the seawall work, the elderly couple decided to take me  and them for a ride. Unfortunately, we went by the scene of the crime, where I and the semi had its accident. Seeing the tore up grass and the coal, one said to the other, “Did you hear about that accident? Some bad driver was going down that hill and slammed on its breaks, causing the truck to flip over. Who could be that stupid?!” The other replied, “I don’t know. I bet there wasn’t another car involved with the accident. I bet the truck driver was either drunk or fell asleep.” In the back of the vehicle, I responded, “Yes! I bet that’s what happened!” No one in the car except I knew what truly transpired.

Montpelier Police

In the Tri-State area, I one night decided to cross the border from Michigan to go to a movie played in Indiana, about 25 miles apart. Running short on time, I decide to take a short-cut to make it to the theater on-time. Unfortunately, I take a wrong turn, and get lost big time. Not only do I not make it to the show that night, I almost also didn’t make it home, to my grandparents that night.

Driving several hours and in Ohio, my brain finally has a rough idea on how to get home. I heard of the town of Montpelier, even though I didn’t know exactly where to go once I there. As usual, manic and extremely anxious am I, as it is about 3 AM and I am still not in bed.

In Montpelier, I realize from looking at the map, I needed to find a certain road to get on the right path. So every time I see a road ahead I slow down driving to read the street sign, but then speed up after finding out it wasn’t the road. This constant “slowing down and speeding up” catches the attention of a nearby cop, who flashes the car’s red and blue lights, and pull me over.

I see the police lights; thus, I pull off the side of the road. Frustration caused my head to drop down on the steering wheel, like how an intoxicated driver might do. The officer tells me to get out of the car. I then am instructed to “take three steps to the right and then then two steps to the left.”

After the cop tells me this, I respond: “Is that three steps to the left, and then two steps to the right?”, or “is it three steps to the right and then two steps to the left? I was wondering because it makes a difference which path I take!” I wasn’t mouthing off,  I was just being manic!

The police officer then tells me to stare at the gold tip of his pen so he can look at my eyes. After hearing this, I replied, “Let me get this straight. You want me to stare at that gold tip in a pitch black dark night!” The next thing you know I was  riding to the Montpelier police station, in back of a cop car.

After I reach the police station, they do some further tests on me. Once the the police officers realize I was sober, I calm down, and explain to them that I was lost. The cops calls my grandparents, waking them up. Grandma answers, and the police talk. The cop on the phone told my grandma how I was behaving, and said to her “I don’t know if your grandson is okay or not.” Grandma replies: “O that’s how my grandson normally is.” The surprised officers then escorts me my to  car, and explain to me in how to get home. So,  in essence, the cops pulled me over and took me to the police station because they thought I was drink, when I had nothing to drink!

XMAS dinner

It is Christmas day and I am leaving my dad’s parents’ house. As I was headed out the door, someone suggested I should visit Dad on my way home. Fearing rejection from my father, I tried to back out of doing it, but I caved in.

“Yes, do it!  And brings these gifts to your father!”, another family member replied.

So I drove to the house I always went to see my Dad. Feeling social anxiety, I felt nervous as I walked up the steps leading to the house door. Knocking on the door, no one answered. So I knocked again, and got the same result. Thinking “it was only my father’s house and I was his son”, I should just open the door and say hello”. So I did.

“Merry Christmas, Dad. It’s your son”, I yelled out as I entered the house. Shocked I was, when I didn’t see Dad there, but a man in his underwear, with a little girl next to him, both watching TV.

“You aren’t my Dad”, I shouted out. In the end, the male stranger told me “this was his house, and that my Dad moved across the road.”


I was great at staying on an inter-tube while being pulled by a speedboat. It was a rush when the inner-tube flips over, and I am still hanging on, with me being underwater and under the tube, until the boat jerks, causing the inner-tube flip over and me still hanging on. This process would often take about ten seconds.

I often took a beating with my stepdad driving the boat. But I hung on, as I feared getting yelled at, not to mention, wanting to prove I was a great inter-tuber. I did great most of the time. I got another rush, when my arms hang onto the rope handles, and my entire body is off of the tube, and then the boat whips me around and around in a circle, just like the movement of a helicopter blade.

On a few occasions, I lost my shorts while on the tube. Thus, my naked body would bounce against the water. One time, when this happened, I was with a couple of friends, and I let go after a long while to get my shorts, but they were gone. So my naked body got in the boat, and then I took off my life jacket, and like a diaper, I wore the jacket around my waist and butt , to cover my nakedness. Unfortunately, Tyson had his grandparent’s visiting at his lake shore, so I had to wait in the boat for about an hour, until his family left, so they would not see my barely clothed.

Me as a Pewee baseball player

I never wasn’t that great of a baseball hitter, especially as a child. In one Pewee game, when I was batting, I swing at a pitch so hard and so early that my body and bat wrapped around and did a 360 % turn. When the swung bat went through the strike zone the second time around, the ball hit the bat sharply between the first and second basemen, for a hit.

Umping a Peewee game

I remember going to a Pewee game to watch, and because the umpire who was supposed to ump the game didn’t show up, I was asked to be the home plate umpire of the game. I tried to tell him, “I never umped before, and I don’t know the strike zone that well”. He said, “That’s all right! We desperately need someone to do the game! We cannot play without an umpire. Anyways, it’s only a Peewee game!”

I felt extremely nervous as I looked at the crowd. I worried greatly of screwing up. So I prayed to God for help. Concerned of the fact that I would yell out loud, “Strike” or “Ball” and make the kids feel like I was yelling at them, I just make the calls at a regular voice level. Unfortunately, the coaches, the players, and crowd would constantly asked me to repeat the calls, because they could not hear what I said.

So after a while, I started to make the calls with a loud voice. In one situation, when I called a third strike, one kid gave a sad face, and almost started crying. I felt bad then. I also got a few complaints over some calls, but in the end, I did well.


During my senior year in high school, I was on the track and field team. On the day, that I was supposed to run the two mile race, I felt sick. I told the coach, and he decided to have me to run the one mile, instead.

I never ran a long race before that day. Coach Daglow thought, because I was so hyper back then, I would have the “energy to keep on running the race for a long time”. He was wrong.

After the gun fired, I started sprinting fast out of the starting line. I was running very hard as I was ahead of the pack, who were pacing themselves. I thought “Man, I am doing good!” Unfortunately, before I made a lap around the track, I got overly fatigued and then walked the rest of the race, until they eventually disqualified me.

Coach was embarrassed. So I had to do push-ups the next day at practice, also in the rain. In reference to the stocking cap I wore the day of the race, I was nicknamed Abdullah.

Walking in women’s bathroom

One day, during a league track meet, I was talking to a female on our girl’s track team, as I was headed to the outside building of the men’s and women’s bathroom, as I had to urinate. As I walked and talked, I gave a quick glance for about a second or two to look for the word “MEN” (which indicated the men’s bathroom) that was painted on the wall, before turning my heading immediately to continue the conversation with the girl, as I head toward the john.

It is critical toward understanding what happened, is that “MEN” was painted on the left side of the building, and “WOMEN” on the right side, painted. Also, important, is there was another building that was close in front of the bathroom building, which partially blocked my eyesight view as I gave the quick look at the right side of the building. In essence, the building in front blocked the letters “WO” as I thought I read the word “MEN”. So, I walked into the women’s bathroom.

Walking in the women’s bathroom, I unnoticeably walked by an old lady and a little girl, as I was about to unzip my pants. All of a sudden, I realized I was in the women’s bathroom. So I embarrassingly, without saying a word, I walked by the startled two females, and exited the building.

Theater bathroom

I remember going to a movie theater in Angola, Indiana, about fifteen years ago, and headed in the men’s bathroom, as I had to take a crap. Unfortunately, the john and no stalls, just open space, right next to the urinal. It feel both weird and cool having a long conservation with a stranger, who was urinating right next to me, about sports.

Swimming in Coolant

During shut-down week, while working at a third shift factory job, I was using a power washer to clean shavings out of a hopper, when a friend started a water fight with me. He had a water hose, and I had the power washer; we were spraying at each other, as there were a group of machines between us. Manic, I was, I climbed up a ladder, welded on some huge cast iron metal structure.

After on top of the metal structure, as I was spraying water at Josh with my power washer gun, I walked further and further down the ledge of the metal structure. Unfortunately, as John was spraying at me with his hose, suddenly went behind me and unplugged the power washer machine. Later, after the water fight ended, I foolishly decided to jump down on what I thought was solid ground, rather than walking back from the ledge and back down the ladder and the floor. What I thought was solid ground when I jumped what actually a pit of machine coolant that I partially submerged into. Thus, I was swimming in a pit of machine coolant from one side of the pit to the other, and climbed out of the pit. So I went into the men’s shop bathroom and took my clothes except my underwear off and climbed into one of the huge sinks that when, you press down a handle, all the water comes down into a huge rug. I bathed in that sink and wore an extra set of clothes from the supervisor. Surpisingly, I didn’t get in any trouble for doing all that. Ironically, a month later, I lost my job running bad parts.

Locked myself into bathroom

About four years ago, I was looking for employment so I went to a temp agency, who had several people there, signing up for their services. Directly in the same room where everyone was at, was a one toilet bathroom .Having to use the restroom, I opened the door, which had the door lock on the outside of the door. So after peeing and washing hands, I went to open the door, and I realized I was locked in.

I immediately got nervous after several unsuccessful attempts of opening the locked door. I thought: “Oh great! Here I am applying for work at a temp service, and I locked myself into the john.” So I tried to “quietly” knock on the door, hoping someone would let me out. No dice. No one opened the door. So I tried to knock a little louder. No dice. I was beginning to sweat as I knocked louder and louder until I was banging on the door, until someone let me out. I am today unsure if the temp employer noticed me or not, as she didn’t mention it to me.

Mr. Row, our 4th grade teacher

We had a fourth grade teacher that overstepped his boundaries in his discipline to his students. For example, Jimmy often excessively talked and got out of his chair, so Mr. Row tied the kid up, to Jimmy’s chair with a jump rope, and then gagged him.

To Mike, for misbehaving, Row lit his lighter and made Mike put his hand over the flame. Mr. Row didn’t last much longer as our teacher, in our rural school.

Mr. Briner, our high school earth science teacher

Paul Briner, our earth science high school instructor, had a habit of wasting most of the class talking about non-class-related subjects, starting at the beginning of class. Sometimes he would spend the entire class time “shooting the crap.”  He would often give me dirty looks, though, as I couldn’t stop smiling at his behaviorisms, especially when he had chalk stains on the crotch of his pants.

Our substitute high school teacher

When I was senior in high school, our government / economics teacher was gone for a while from school. To our substitute teacher, someone suggested that we watch the Wall Street movie in class, since it was in relation to economics. You should of seen the redness of the substitute’s face and how quickly he became anxious, as he frantically ran across the TV, frantically fumbling around, trying  to turn the movie off, as a sex scene was going on in the movie.

Little Texas concert

I remember going to a Little Texas concert when they were popular many, many years ago. During their encore, I made my way to the front of the stage, in hopes of them seeing me, etc. After they got done, the drummer threw a drumstick in the air. I caught it, but someone got real mad, after I almost knocked over someone in crutches.

Travis Tritt concert

During the encore of a Travis Tritt concert, I was also near the stands. As Travis Tritt was touching the outstretched hands of his fans, I made contact with Tritt’s hand. As I moved my hand over his shoulder and shirt, he suddenly turned his back toward me. In my excitement of the concert, I accidently turned his body towards me again. Staring right at me, he looked shocked as he gave me a weird look. Someone nearby thought it looked like “he was thinking about decking me.”

Kenny Chesney

I saw Kenny Chesney three times. After the concert, he signed me his autograph and I said a few words to him. In another concert, someone from the local newspaper interviewed me, concerning what I thought about the show, and I was in the paper.

Casting Crowns

Right now, I mostly listen to Christian music and often, country music. Casting Crowns is my favorite artist of all music. On April 12, 2013, I went to their concert and had a very memorable experience.

I was always scared to drive in the big city; however, I wanted to see them so badly, that I drove to Flint anyways. The day before the concert, I asked prayers for a safe trip, as well as emailing people saying “goodbye” and giving “final thoughts” to many friends, etc. (I didn’t have any problems driving.)

At the concert, a girl who I sat next to, bought me an autographed, latest CD of the band. When Mark Hall – Casting Crown’s lead vocalist who I adored greatly – between songs, asked the fans if they had any questions, I nervously arose my hand to signal I had a question, and the group’s drummer came up to me and handed me the microphone. I told them who I was and asked “What is the story behind Voice of Truth?” After playing that song, Hall remembered and said my name, in front of everyone, and answered the question.

When I got home, I e-mailed Mark Hall telling me how much I loved the band, how much their music was an inspiration to me, and exhorted him, in case he may need it. Three weeks later, on a Sunday morning, he e-mailed me and I have a copy of the e-mail taped to my wall. That was a great experience!

Tony Dungy

In March of 2013, I met Tony Dungy, former NFL coach of the Indianapolis Colts, at a banquet in Jackson, Michigan. When I entered the building of the event, Tony Dungy was there, talking to his fans. When I conversed with him, I asked him “Who are you going to root for this year, the Colts or Peyton Manning and the Broncos.” He told me “that is a good question. I will root for both. But I am a Colts man!”

As the banquet began, I found a seat with a bunch of strangers. I didn’t say much at first, but after a while, I increasingly talked more and more. Vocalist Babbie Mason also sang a few songs.

A very surprising thing happened to me at the event. When one of the speakers said, “And not everyone, welcome the mayor of Jackson, Martin Griffin”, the guy who was at the table where I sat, ate, and talked to, was, at the time, the major of Jackson, Michigan.

I later got my picture taken with Griffin. And I talked to Tony Dungy again, and later got his autograph. I said, to him, in my final words to Dungy: “Boy, I am right next to Tony Dungy. I hope I don’t say anything stupid in front of him”. He then smiled as he signed his name.

Casting Crowns 2

I saw Casting Crowns for my second time, this time in Plymouth, Michigan. Even though nothing noteworthy happened to me, I really had a great time, hearing my favorite group again.

Building 429

I went to this concert with a female friend. The concert was awesome. During intermission, she got a back stage pass to meet the band; I got one as a good friend let me use his.

After the concert, me and my female friend got to meet, talk to, and get our pictures taken with Building 429 band. I asked the lead singer: “How do you like sleeping in your band’s van?” He responded to me by saying “It’s a bus. It’s not that bad. You get used to it after a while.”

During the concert, I also met the opening band member, as I got their autographs. The whole night was a great experience.

Third Day, Skillet, etc.

Third Day is my third favorite band. I drove to Ysplanti, Michigan, through a major blizzard to see them. I didn’t know if I was going to make it alive going there and back, but obviously I did!

During the opening act of a ten band group, when hardly anyone was in their seats, I was dancing to the band’s music. Noticing that, the leader singer said, before their last song, “I want to thank you all for hearing our music. Especially you!”, referring to me. Unsure if he was referring to me, I took a look around, and say there was a just a few people around me. After doing this, the singer said, “Yes, you” as he described clearly what I was wearing.

Jumbo Tran

One night, while attending an arena football game, I was dancing, and I found myself on the Jumbo Tran dancing.

Uncle James

When I was around ten years of age, I went to a church potluck, and afterwards, had a snowball fight. It was fun at first, until Uncle Jame broke my glasses after picking up stones, covering them with snow, and throwing them at me.

I also remember the day I was eating  fried chicken at my grandparents’ house, with my uncle present. While I was eating the piece on my plate, I was eyeing the last piece of the chicken in the pan. Unfortunately, my uncle was doing the same.
After I ate the chicken on my plate, I made my move with conviction. As I reached over the table to grab that piece with my hand, my uncle did something very unpredictable. He stabbed my hand with his fork; consequently, I had four small punctured holes in my hand. I wasn’t hurt. My uncle, though, grabbed the last piece of chicken and ate it.

Grandma Steers family

Uncle Tony, on my dad’s side of family, is a weird guy. He would talk about oral sex, during Christmas meals, while everyone is eating. My mother told me he did arson, and that he also stole a semi-truck. He also showed me pornos when I was about thirteen, which was sickening to watch. My mom’s mother calls him a “ninny”.

During one Christmas, I met his employee, Buddy, who also drives semi-truck, for the very first time. I could hardly stop from laughing when Buddy, after being confronted for not getting his family any gifts, said, “It’s not my fault for getting my family any presents. I just got out of jail, and I didn’t have money or time to get anyone anything.”

Before I got a DVR to tape sporting events, I would feel anxious about the fact that I would have to miss either the football or basketball game that was played on Christmas day, as I made my annual, “one day a year” visit with my dad’s side of family, around December 25.

What I did was this:  I would be upstairs with the family for a little while, and then tell everyone, “Boy, I got to go to bathroom. I’ll be right back!” I then watch sports for about forty-five minutes, until I go upstairs and repeat the process again and again, until the game gets over.

Friend’s forklift business

A friend from high school owns a forklift repair shop in Indiana. I don’t know if the company still has them, but one time when I visited his company, I noticed he had Playboy magazines in the men’s bathroom, and a vending machine that has Busch beer in it.

I  also remember during my short stint of drinking alcohol – I hated the stuff, I only drank because of peer pressure – when I was drinking and driving, my best friend tried to dissuade me from repeating that behavior again, by playing the “Eye of the Tiger” song, and then beating me up (constantly punching me in the stomach and groin).  He told me if “I drank and drive again, it will be much worse.” I don’t think I ever drank alcohol again.

High school chemistry class

In twelve grade, after I lit a Bunsen burner, and leaned underneath to see the solution’s chemical change, a tiny bit of my hair caught on fire. On another day, I accidently spilled a drop of hydrochloric acid on my neck.


When I moved to Litchfield, around the age of 31, I met Larry, a former biker who lived downstairs in the apartment complex that I moved into. One day, when I was in my apartment, he called me on the telephone, asking me “if I wanted to watch a football game with him in his apartment. Believing there was no harm in doing so, I said, “Sure. Why not?”

When I was in his living room, he had some books in a chair. He said, “Why don’t you sit on the couch next to me.” Thinking no harm in it, I sat on the same couch as Larry. As I started watching the game, he inched closer and closer to me. The next thing I knew, he flipped the TV station to a “nudist colony show”, and then put his hand on my thigh. I suddenly got real nervous, as he was trying to hit on me. I then found out he was a bisexual.

Inspirational Songs: Voice of Truth, Casting Crowns, The River, Garth Brooks, Standing outside the Fire, Garth Brooks

Inspirational Famous People: Norman Vincent Peale, Tim Tebow, Mark Hall, John Elway, Larry Bird

Favorite Bible Stories: David and Goliath, Joseph sold into slavery and becomes a king, Jesus walks on water

Favorite bands: Casting Crowns, Third Day, Tenth Avenue North, Garth Brooks

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