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As a child I was blessed to have many opportunities and loving, caring parents.  Yet, there was always something inside me that haunted me and made me feel less than whole, as if I fit in nowhere.  I sought comfort in anything that could provide me with short-term relief and allow me to fit in with others (most of which led to pain later on).

In college, I suffered from major depressive episodes, drank alcohol, used drugs, smoked obsessively and struggled to fit in.  I was a good actor though; you would likely never know that I felt out of place and how much emotional pain I was actually in during that time period.  Yet, after five years of college and no degree, I left school and determined the problem was simply my immaturity and a need to "grow-up." 

I turned all of my focus on career success because I thought that would help fill the void.  Again, on the outside it may have appeared to work because by my mid-twenties, I was a co-owner of a multi-million dollar business that achieved record growth since I had taken over its management.  I had a beautiful home in an affluent suburb of Chicago and many perks of a successful business. The 80-100 hour work weeks seemed well worth the sacrifice of negatively affecting my family, friends, and health.  Eventually, however, the success was not enough.  I struggled with low self-esteem, episodic depression that was becoming pretty regular, and a had an eerie feeling that impending doom lurked just beyond the corner.  I was not physically fit nor did I particularly care about the effects of my actions on my long-term health.  I smoked up to three packs of cigarettes per day, drank and ate obsessively, and used drugs to cope with what I thought were just typical stressors associated with success. The reality was that I was severely depressed, used alcohol and drugs to deal with the stress of life, and my moods were directly tied to how successful the business was that day, week, or month.

Then, something happened.  My success in business and financially could not drown out the pain I felt any longer, and I developed health problems that many doctors could not seem to solve.  I struggled with increasing anxiety and depression and could not see a solution.  I was able to stop drinking and self-medicating with different drugs.  However, the therapy and numerous anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications were not helping me.  My work began to suffer tremendously and sleep problems emerged. I hit a point where I was forced to reexamine my life and my priorities.  The result was a sort of epiphany: change my ways and the focus of my life, or live a disillusioned and unsatisfying one,... or worse.

Subsequently, I resigned from my business, put my home up for sale, and made my health (physical and mental) a priority.  However, I seemed to get worse before I got better. I desperately needed and wanted specialized help that could provide me with a comprehensive solution (physical, spiritual, psychological, career, social, and others), but there was not a company or a group that seemed to exist to supply me with such a comprehensive solution.  So, what did I do?  I assembled my own team consisting of a talented and caring psychologist, MD, personal trainer, nutrition consultant, and a gentleman who seemed to tie it all together as my mentor.  This was actually the birth of my desire to help others and eventually led to LifeSkills Authorities, LLC and our comprehensive solution for helping clients and their families. 

The process of working with this group of talented professionals along with a 12-Step program, absolutely changed my life.  It also taught me what did, and equally important, what did not work, for long-term lifestyle change and recovery.  Over the next year or so, many people commented that I looked and seemed like a new person.  Actually, I was a new person.  I became physically fit, joy-filled (I actually mean it), and developed an insatiable desire to help others.

As a result of my many changes that continued for several years, I developed a passion for learning how to help others make their own difficult changes and find true health and happiness. I have spent years studying and experimenting with the change process and learning from my own recovery.  Along the way, I have helped many individuals (afflicted with addiction, depressive disorders, and major work-life balance issues) while learning from experts in psychology and counseling, personal and executive coaching, stress management, fitness, nutrition, and holistic health. Contact me to see how I may be able to help you, or someone you are concerned about, make changes that truly transform life.

"This is the most comprehensive approach to addiction treatment I have ever seen" - Dr. Shantelle Whitehead, Clinical Psychologist

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