About TJ

Playing the Guit Next to a FireMy name is Taylor James (TJ).  I like to snowboard, play guitar, listen to downbeat music, and eat raw walnuts with no salt.  Ever since I was a little kid I’ve wanted to win a motocross race.  I have come a long way and am hoping to go another long way.  This blog is here to keep me accountable, focused, and to offer value to others. I’ve battled depression, and after trying everything, I feel I’ve got a good handle on the bastard.

My Story of Depression

I first remember having feelings of depression as a youngster.  My first memories of mood problems was when I was 10 years old.  I started thinking about some rather dark stuff for a 10 year old such as death.  I even once tried to kill myself by taking a bunch of melatonin, which thankfully just made me feel very rested the next day.

There were some family issues going on at the time which eventually led to my family splitting up.  Throughout Junior High I never really felt “good” about anything.  I was always in a fog and never wanted to really enjoy myself with other people.  I thought that everything was normal; I was just different.

Once I entered High School, my feelings of depression started to worsen.  My older brother got a rare form of peritoneal cancer at the age of 23 which killed him in a month afterwards.  We had to get rid of our dogs and cats when he was ill so that they wouldn’t bring home a disease which would kill him faster.  After my brother died, my family withdrew to themselves and I had no parental supervision for a few years.

During this time, I started to go down the spiral of addiction.  Not sure if I want to go into detail about my drug experiences, but lets just say that I have done large amounts of basically everything.  My friend who had been to multiple treatment centers said that I traveled faster down the spiral than anyone he had met.  I hit rock bottom several times, with one time almost committing suicide on my Yamaha R6 bullet bike.

There’s nothing quite so raw when hitting rock bottom as hitting rock bottom from depression and drug addiction.  I had suicidal thoughts everyday and eventually realized I needed a change.  I stopped hanging out with all my buddies that were deep into the scene and started running, eating healthy, and working out to try and defeat the beast.  It took me several years of effort until I finally reached a point where I only used once in a blue moon.

I was still depressed! What the hell?  So am I to go on being sober and feel horrible, or use drugs and still feel horrible? I finally started to realize that maybe I had “depression” and began my official journey on solving the real problem.

Journey Towards Mental Health

I thought it was my lifestyle.  So I began riding my bullet bike really fast.  I’d get a nice adrenaline rush, but that was it.  I worked out.  Which works for a few weeks but eventually I always returned to the hell of depression.  I ran a marathon.  That gave me a confidence boost for about 4 days until I became depressed again.  So I went skydiving, and this is when I realized the severity of my problem.

Imagine having your own parachute (I was training to get certified), flying up in a plane, jumping out of this plane, free falling at high speeds with winds rushing past the tiny spaces between your teeth, reaching over and finding that lifesaver of a parachute and yanking it out to your side, and safely landing on the green earth.  And not enjoying a second of it.  As I was walking back into the hangar, everyone greeted me with smiles and excitedly asked me, “How was it?!”  I shrugged my shoulders and replied, “Eh, not bad.”

After that I began digesting everything I could.  I meditated everyday.  Which helped a lot, but I still got depressed.  I tried positive thinking and eliminating bad thoughts, which also helped but thinking a positive thought doesn’t really help when skydiving doesn’t even feel good.  I exercised. I hung out with friends.  Nothing could keep me from the beast.

About to Follow the HearseMaking Myself a “Deal”
My friend of 17 years died.  I gave the first speech, was a pall-bearer, and followed the hearse to the cemetery on my friend’s bike.  I cut myself a deal.  I said I would do whatever it takes, and if I am still depressed by February 2012 I’d kill myself.

I then started an antidepressant.   This antidepressant would work for a few months and then they would have to up the dosage.  I started to become manic and they started experimenting with drugs such as lithium on me.  I decided medication wasn’t the answer either and tried to stop my antidepressant cold turkey, and realized I was dependent on it.  I thought I had tried it all…

Until I read books such as The Mood Cure and The Ultramind Solution.


I finally realized the last piece of the puzzle – nutrition.  I began eating healthy, testing out certain foods for allergies, and taking vitamins, magnesium, and supplements such as 5-HTP and DLPA.  I can now finally say that I am basically depression free and haven’t felt better.

I started taking Magnesium and Calcium at night to help me sleep.  I then went cold turkey off my antidepressants – and survived.  I used nutrition (and the other tools I learned throughout my journey) to cure my depression and feel good again, without the use of medication.

What’s Next
I work with NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness) and give speeches every few weeks to organizations about my success story.  I’m working with a division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to help represent youth in my state. I have 5 hours left to obtain my Bachelor’s in Psychology and am looking to own my own business or do health coaching.

Now that I have finally got all the pieces together for handling my depression (I am still learning everyday however), I am now determined to be a successful entrepreneur.  My goal is to make $5,000 a month before 2012 ends, and from there, I have plans to multiply that income many times over.  I can’t stop reading books such as The 4-Hour Workweek and The Education of Millionaires.  I want a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy the present moment and have the freedom to impact as many people as possible.

I want to travel and live in other countries. Help others become mentally healthy.  Achieve ultimate health for myself.

I may not be financially independent at the moment or be able to do all the things that I want to, but I will.  I’m hoping my journey can shed light on problems for other people, especially those that feel they are starting at ground zero with no resources to boost them up to the top.

Most of this blog (for now) will be setting goals and achieving them, while documenting the process.  Feel free to join and get my insight on growth towards a healthier life!