Life Beyond The Edge Of Suicide And Depression – Ep.004 – Mike (Dags) D’Agostino

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Episode Summary: Something that stood out to me about this episode was how Dags’ subconscious was calling out for help.

Think about that for a moment. The subconscious KNOWS what to do and was taking steps to help outside of what could seem like its normal means.

Guest Name & Bio: Michael “Dags” D’Agostino is a singer/songwriter and poet who lives in South Jersey just outside of Philadelphia with his wife and dog.

It’s there that he pursues his creative endeavors. He has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Temple University.

Mike “Dags” D’Agostino

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hello and welcome to the mindset and self-mastery show I’m your host Nick
McGowan and on this show my guest and I unpack the stories that shape us and the lives we lead on
our path to
self-mastery today on the show we have Mike the Agostino dagged for friends like you and me dags is
creative who
struggled with mental health for almost 30 years and it led him to attempting suicide so with a
rope around his neck
he realized this is not what I want and the story since has been beautiful I’m
excited for you to hear it and I think his story really resonates with more of us than will admit
as the all not in
unison so let’s not wait any longer let the games begin
foreign [Music] welcome to the show I’m excited to have
you on how you doing today I’m doing very well I’m very uh honored to be here so thank you for
having me yeah
absolutely I’m I’m glad that you’re here man I know we chat every once in a while but to give a
little bit of a context
who Mike is where Mike came from well I’ll leave the where Mike came from to him but Mike and I
have known each other
for 20-ish years at this point we were we were in a band together when
we were I guess babies by babies I mean like 19 20 21 something like that I
think we were just about legal to drink which was just about how we got into a lot of trouble in
the city of
Philadelphia so uh yeah there’s a little bit of context um Mike has gone through some stuff over
the past year year and a half and I appreciate the story that he has and wanted to bring him on but
Mike I want
you to give us some context to who you are but why don’t we start off with what do you do for a
living and uh what’s one thing that people may not know about you
I’m a reporting analyst for a small company that distributes cell phones and
uh I mean one thing that I’m very proud of is is that I’m a poet but not many people know this
thing about me so
I take pride yeah well you recently put out a book right yeah that’s correct I’m now a published
author something I always wanted to do and I went straight for it that’s pretty big man I know
you’ve kicked around that
idea for a long time Mike was actually the singer of the band that we were in so had incredible
lyrics and I think
when I was 20 some years old I remember saying hey man you should do some of this stuff you know
publish these or do
something with it so it’s awesome to see you’ve done that but do you want to get into a little bit
of what led you to not
only publish the book but what happened maybe a year ago around this time almost a year ago I I
tried to commit
suicide um I failed uh luckily it I started by
trying to hang myself and got 25 minutes into it and just told myself you’re not
going to do this and I was like you’re you’re you’re surely right I’m not going to do this but uh
um I ended up that later that evening getting incredibly intoxicated and letting everybody I knew
or no no what I
did and unfortunately got me into a crisis center and
um I learned a lot about myself especially that I’m bipolar and it turns
out an alcoholic and uh you know a lot of a lot of what’s going on in my life in the last year has
been learning how
to live with those two things and it sounds like a downer but it’s probably
the best time I’ve had in my life now that’s interesting to say that
almost committing suicide and then understanding or realizing or I mean the
grips with have bipolar and alcoholism to say that that’s the best time of your life I think we
need to step back
we need to step back and give us some context of where you came from and like how how did you get
to that point yeah
I’m a child of divorce and I think I go back to when that divorce happened I was
dealing with a lot at that time although I was a kid and I didn’t really take too much uh stock of
it because I was too
busy being a child as I got older I just realized how much of that situation led
me down a very dark path I was a very depressed uh child I was a depressed
teenager and and you know I just thought of it as oh I’m down sometimes but sometimes I’m up
you know it’s it’s great I know how to deal with this I just became so used to
living that way up until that time when I tried to take my own life I was living
through misery but just thinking this is normal you know and and essentially it
it got to the lowest lowest point and you know I’ve just been picking up myself from there yeah
it’s got to be
tough man I know we all go through stuff you know we all go through really hard times but we don’t
know what those hard times are for each other unless we actually open up about it so I’m really
thankful that you got
super hammered after you tried to do that and messaged a bunch of us about that that’s important
and if we really
break that down we’re not telling people like Hey try to commit suicide but don’t go Full Throttle
with it and then just
drink yourself silly in text a bunch of people that you did that thing that was one of the best
things you could have done to be able to actually tell people
like hey this is what’s going on and it’s funny because I’ve heard before that alcohol is a
truth serum and I think we all kind of experience that in different ways where like certain things
will come out because your inhibitions are down and
all of that but it seems like that was kind of trying to get out of you so did you feel better even
getting that out
yeah uh I’ve tried multiple times in my life but this was the one time like I
always did it in private I didn’t want anyone to know because it would be a sign of I failed at
life if people knew
that that’s where I was but this time it was just after I got incredibly intoxicated I was just
like I’m I gotta
let everybody know I mean I was finally crying for help because I don’t ask for help and and in the
past year I’ve
learned asking for help is a very good thing to do it doesn’t mean I’m a failure it just means how
am I going to
learn how am I going to grow if I can’t ask for help and this was my first cry for help and it put
me on a very
positive path so think of how many people are out there that going through stuff and they
don’t want to go from that bridge to cross over to getting help there’s like
that Delta of difference where they’re like I’m not sure I want to talk to people how did you
manage your mindset
in that moment of I have to get this out I have to have the conversation and I’m talking about the
day after when you
were sobering up and you’re like it’s out there and now we need to have these things oh I I felt
like utter crap uh
the day after because I had um let’s be honest 27 units of alcohol
which isn’t normal for anybody so I won’t go into it but 27 units of alcohol
on the 27th month of February after 27 years of drinking I got really into the
number 20 27 by the way so yeah I felt like crap that time but I had support
unfortunately there are some people who feel like they don’t have anybody back in them but me I
when I let everybody
know what it happened to me I had all the support you know one of my best
friends took me to the hospital along with my wife I I would say they were
understanding it’s it’s not really a hard I mean not an easy thing to grasp knowing that somebody
you love is trying
to uh do such a terrible thing to themselves but you know just knowing I had that
support really was the booster that I needed to go forward especially when I got to the crisis
center and you know it
was a crisis center but one of the best weeks of my life uh I gotta say
why was that um because when I got in there they said you can go to your room you know just
take your time whenever whenever you’re ready to to join us and I was like no
I’m here to get help so I did not stay in my room I I didn’t have anything
really uh but I just went straight for the recreation room and I met with the
people who were there talked to them about their stories and stuff I was just like I went to every
class that they had
I participated I was just like I need to get better uh I got a call from my
sister she was crying she was just like dude you need help and I was just like yeah I definitely
need to get better so
I’ve been hyper focused on not getting myself to that low low Point again and
and you know the people I met in the hospital I um
I got to know as friendly I wouldn’t be friends with them outside because we’ve
all gone through some things together but you know some people are really really at their lowest
point and me and
maybe several other people just lifted a bunch of people up during that week and I felt bad I had
to go but I was just
like I can’t take you guys home with me I have to leave and you guys will get better in your own
time but you know
that was my experience in the hospital in a nutshell wow so if we think uh from our perspective the
audience perspective my
perspective is the host it’s easy for us to think man that must have been crazy and try to put
ourselves into your shoes
but from your perspective of going through that did you feel better than you thought maybe you
could have
like with the worst case scenario happening you almost killing yourself and then having to be
exposed and all of
that do you feel like it was as bad as your mind made it out to be I would not label anything that
has happened to me
as bad I’ve looked at it in a positive light and I I’m sure you know me uh from
before I am not a positive person I am one of the most pessimistic sarcastic sardonic people that I
knew and
this this light in my eyes this light in my eyes is just like completely new and
I’m getting used to it when I was out of the hospital getting into recovery I
called you once and I was just like super excited about recovery but I now
know that I was super Manic at that point too but I was excited I mean I was
going down A New Path and yeah I had those ups and downs because I am bipolar
um you know it wasn’t on the right meds yet but now I’m on a nice little cocktail and uh you know
doing doing
fine so let’s Jump Ahead a little bit to today to where we’re at now you’ve gone
through a lot over the past year plus what would you give advice wise to
somebody who’s in that spot or two uh you know younger Michael what advice
would you have given to him well I mean just to ask for help you know I
felt like such an abject abject failure uh for most of my life and I thought
asking for help was the signal that you can’t do this it’s just important to
know that there are people out there who are backing you so throughout the days what do you do to
be able to manage your mindset about this and not slip back into that I go to daily AAA meetings I
uh brush up on DBT
which uh is called dialectical behavior therapy and that has been uh one of the
things that has most changed my life um for the better and that I I meditate
and only recently in the past three months I I’ve taken up on prayer I’m not
a religious person but I’ve definitely become more spiritual as a result of AA so those things are
very important to me
and you know somebody were to tell me it’s a joke I would be like it works for me you
know if uh what there was one time when I um I was taking CBD and so it was just
like that’s a placebo it’s just like but it’s working for me I can’t I don’t have time for you and
your negativity
is where I’m at right now on that note how do you deal with the people that were as negative as you
in your previous life um well currently I pray for them uh but
you know I I just know where they were I know I was there for quite a long time I
I don’t have to put on their shoes I wore out those shoes you know
yeah it it’s um it’s a tough thing to realize that everybody goes through a lot of stuff and we
don’t really know
what anybody’s going through or how they’re dealing with it unless they open up a lot of people are
afraid to be able
to open up so you’ve opened up and you’ve gone through a lot of this stuff do you want to give us a
little bit of background of what kind of got you to
that spot were there any major things that happened in life that kind of twisted your road and
ended you
up here yeah yeah um it it drinking was a huge part of it
um in conjunction with the undiagnosed bipolar disorder in the past uh you know
since 2020 once I was stuck inside of my house I mean I’m still stuck inside of my house because of
um I thought that New Jersey was going to close the the liquor stores so I
grabbed three big bottles of the liquor that I liked and I was just like okay I
gotta make these last but when I realized they weren’t closing the stores I went well I finished a
big bottle
every week and that what if that wasn’t a sign that I have a problem well I I
totally ignored it but it was the isolation the drinking the um it just
major depression I I loathed myself um it all just kept beating at me I know
early on in the pandemic I it was like two weeks of being home by myself
working I just broke down and cried because my mind was starting to think
suicidal thoughts and I was just like I can’t do this for much longer because
it’s only I don’t want to do this I I don’t want to hurt myself but my mind
was just like maybe maybe it’s time so that was early on and then I talked to a
doctor they were like you need to get therapy I was just like okay so I got therapy and I had a
really terrible
therapist um for a while but it it got me through yeah I mean I told him that I had
suicidal ideations he was just like but you don’t have them right now I was like no you’re like
okay that’s good like
that’s a red flag hold on time out there buddy yeah we’re not moving along yet but all that just
coalesced and came to
a head and led me to that dark dark time now you’ve gotten past that dark time
but I know that those dark times are still in the shadows those are still
there so this isn’t all uh this episode isn’t about all doom and gloom and all of that and like you
said you don’t see
any of it as a bad thing so let’s talk about the positive sides of this now that you’re beyond that
where where are
you at today well it’s totally the other side of the coin I I I I I hated myself for so much
so long that now I’m learning what it’s like to love myself to Value myself to
know that I have I have purpose you know I I create these things I’m a uh you
know poet I write songs I sing I was doing that beforehand but near the end
it was very hard to do those things enjoyably because I was so I was dousing
my brain and alcohol so much but now on the flip side I used to read so much and
I still read to this day but all the knowledge that I had there when I took the alcohol away it was
just like you
know all these things and it was just like a whole uh burst of of knowledge
just kind of came out and from there I had a burst of creativity which led me
to uh starting to record songs that I wrote long long ago just re-recording
them uh for posterity I enjoy what I’m doing and uh creating the book all these
things and that was during a very manic time but uh it’s it’s kind of
still going I enjoy creating things to hear that your creativity kind of
bloomed from your recovery it’s huge because think about us growing
up and the amount of substances we put into ourselves to create music you know
we’re gonna get drunk and do other things and whatever and be able to write jams and work through
that stuff I think
back to the days living in the city when we would go through that and we didn’t understand what we
were doing to
ourselves when those things tend you know to turn into coping mechanisms so it’s wild to hear
your story of your Enlightenment because a lot of people don’t ever get to that point to be able to
get through that
stuff to feel that enlightenment so now that you’re in that creative space how is that different
than where
you were before can you explain that a little bit for us um yeah it’s it’s different because my
mind is is working on all cylinders now uh before I was
you know deterred by the stuff I was putting
inside my body thinking that that was making me all the more prolific but I
have this I mean untapped energy available at all times I just pretty much
don’t think but I just feel what is right what I need to do when I’m when
I’m creating things and and I didn’t have that feeling before because I was so numb and now it’s
just I feel so
refreshed and when I create something it’s just like what’s the next thing what what am I doing
next and it and I
create not because there’s going to be some uh reward at the end it’s just
because it’s the same way like kids just like coloring I like doing it
because it’s going to make something and I can be proud of it my little babies or something
yeah the little jams they’re your little babies is it the process that you’re finding that is more
enjoyable now uh
being sober and being on meds and having that burst of creativity or is it more
of the checking off the things and doing the work and being accomplished it’s the process I mean
it’s like just a terrific
ride to go on and you know when I’m when I’m there I’m creating something if I’m
writing like I don’t know what’s coming next I when I write poems it’s not like I take 20 20 days
to write one poem I’m
usually doing it in one first one spurt um free association but
when I get done with it I’m just like I didn’t you know I’m piecing all these things together one
stands after the
other you know um it’s it’s an endless font of creativity for me and it goes into my music as well
you know it’s not easy it’s not like I write a song in five minutes you know that takes a longer
time but sometimes
when it takes me 30 minutes to write a song it’s it’s probably the best song I’ve written in a
while you know I think
it was Johnny Cash who said if you write a song in 30 minutes you know you know you got something
special there do you
feel like the uh the burst of energy and the focus comes from not only the lack
of alcohol but the meditation and the awareness oh oh yeah the awareness the uh
mindfulness I I I’ve meditated for the last 17 years but I never became mindful
until I took the substances out of my body um oh that’s huge
and that’s what they say in Buddhism is just like you know don’t don’t do
don’t do those things don’t don’t uh numb your mind because then you’re not
able to be present and I wasn’t present for a good long while I was becoming
less and less present but now I don’t I I I don’t live in the past I
don’t live in the future I I live in the present and it’s it’s actually beautiful to be honest yeah
isn’t it a beautiful
thing to be right here right now but then again when the episode comes out it’ll be the past yeah
you’re right
about that um I’m not gonna dwell on the past but I would like to hear this podcast when it comes
out yeah absolutely and that’s not
about dwelling it’s about understanding where you’re at where you’re getting uh and what you’re
doing it’s a beautiful
thing to be present it’s a very difficult thing to be present so to be able to hone in on where the
hell you
are right then and there is a thing that a lot of people have a hard time with and I think that’s
where people get stuck in life is they try to you know
kind of bandage things or just push things away and look at something different and make it easier
but how do
you manage right now again your your mindset of of fighting through that stuff is it a
fight or is it something where you’ve gotten yourself into a habit at this point where you’re just
moving and cruising along
and you’re not afraid to failing back it’s kind of like um you know Judo where
it’s you don’t you don’t force things you just kind of let them happen as they may that’s
that’s just kind of what it’s like for me it’s I don’t dwell on the past anymore because the past
to me it is is
an adherence I’ve learned from the past but I’m I’m kind of just shifting
forward not trying to make things happen I’m just watching them happen you know I’m observing
things more than trying to
control it because you know one of the things I’m really into is stoicism and one of the main
things is just knowing
that you have no control the only thing you have control over is your mind and that’s where I’m
right I am right now
it’s just understanding that I can’t control how somebody’s going to react to
me I can’t control the weather I can’t control absolutely uh bookkus in life
it’s just going to happen and the only thing I can do is just just kind of sit here and think
what’s the best way to
react because I used to be such a reactionary person I used to be super sensitive I used to be real
and as a as a result of dialectical behavior therapy I’m able to stop
observe and then proceed with but not with caution but just proceed
um generally you’re gonna break that down a little bit for us so I’ll tell the audience what that
uh what that therapy
is about and how it’s been for you basically a lot of it has to do with mindfulness staying in the
moment but at the same time they have something called stop
s-t-o-p the S is for stop T is for take a take a step back O is for observe and
P is for proceed there’s a lot more to it things called wise mind but it’s it’s
generally just not being hyper reactive I don’t know it’s just changed my life
you know break down what one of the sessions could look like for you oh that’s not really a session
they’re they’re like um tools I can reach out to
anytime uh in order for me to keep them going I study them every day along with
studying AAA it’s just understanding things like having boundaries uh
interpersonal physical mental boundaries uh you have to be willing to go forward
rather than you know shrink away from things it’s basically everything that I’ve been through
everything that I’ve
created post the suicidal uh uh episode
um it’s just all about moving forward no it sounds like it could be a lot of
stuff so you went through that rough situation and started to move into
recovery and to be able to get help we’ve already covered a bunch of different things that you’ve
done you’ve gone through you’re doing what you’re
you know uh what certain pieces are within your day that this could almost sound like too much
there might be
somebody that listens to this that goes yeah I’m going through stuff but God I don’t want to do all
that stuff just a
lot it’s work you have to put in all that work now how do you keep yourself going with
the work it’s just from knowing the benefits of it really I know that the
work that I’m putting in I’m going to get back it’s it’s a lot of return on investment you know
yeah yourself Roi do
you have uh any sort of morning routines or evening routines or anything like that any specific
habits that help you
yeah uh you know when I before I work I’ll read uh out of the 12 and 12 Steps
of AA you know I’ll study up on them I’ll do a prayer which is uh it’s called
an atheist prayer but it’s what I was looking for it’s generally just praying
for everybody to have happiness and to not have suffering to relieve people of
their suffering to give them happiness I I like I said I’m only new to prayer but
um I don’t want to pray for things for myself like I don’t want to pray for a big car I don’t want
to use uh you know
whatever the Supreme Being is as some sort of Santa Claus I I would much
rather people having it easy and and I don’t realize that when I pray for all
people I’m also praying for myself so that’s a big part of it but then I’ll of
course brush up on my DBT skills I’m looking at a a bunch of flash cards that
I I study up on each day just to make sure I keep my tools sharpened yeah it’s
almost like a workout yeah and I also I also exercise daily it hasn’t shown on
my body yet but it does really uh just knowing that I wake up get out of bed
and I go straight to exercising definitely sets Me In Motion for the rest of the day see that’s
huge right
there that’s a thing that uh some people tell me they get up and they work out and they’ll kind of
and complain
about it but like yeah I get up and I do this but I hate it I’m like well wonderful how is it it
sucks I’m like
that’s cause you hate it so why do you hate it What’s your deal uh and they they fight with that
were there other
people that will get up and they’ll jump into it because they’re excited to get into it now do you
get into it because
you’re excited or do you get into it because you see it almost like a priming of yourself to get
yourself ready for
the day it’s more of a priming myself to get ready for the day it’s uh body in motion stays in
motion that’s pretty much where
I am and I uh I’ve been exercising for a very long time but now that I do it and
with everything else that I’ve talked about it it really just invigorates my mind a lot of you know
mental training
uh and physical training it just makes my life you know studying a a and going
through my DVT I also like to just read a few pages out of a book that gives me wisdom one of the
books you gave me I
can’t remember what it what it’s called but it’s a it’s about the subconscious if that was a
subconscious mind yeah
that’s it um but I I I’ll read a couple pages of that I don’t read it all in one chunk I
just when I read I like to find nuggets of wisdom and and I read books with
wisdom in them just to again like I exercise just to invigorate my mind my
body uh everything not something different this year than you had done a
couple years prior right when you were reading you weren’t just reading for nuggets of wisdom I
mean I was reading
for nuggets of wisdom I I’ve always been trying to solve whatever is wrong with me but now that I
know what’s wrong with
me I don’t use it as a crutch saying oh I’m bipolar you know but I’m like I’m
bipolar yeah and and I I look at it like it’s something that I like to lean into
I learn from it when I was younger uh you know when you knew me I was starting
to get really anxious like I didn’t know what anxiety was really until I moved to
the to Philadelphia but once I learned that I had anxiety I was just like okay
so how are we gonna deal with it you know I still will get anxious but I know what it is it’s like
knowing the name
knowing the symptoms you just kind of learn how to not make it Define you but
you def you define yourself essentially yeah it sounds like awareness is a major
point to that because if you were not aware of what your problem was or what the issue was or
anything you wouldn’t
have been able to do anything with it so now that you’re able to absorb that and have that as a
piece of you and
understand that it is not just you that it’s a piece of you big thing man I mean it’s again being
mindful of the situation and again I credit DBT that I’ll stop
talking about that but you could talk about the things you’re passionate about I mean that’s part
of the whole deal
with the podcast is to be able to talk through this stuff kind of unpack these things so now that
you’re healthier you’re
growing you’re healing what does it look like for you moving ahead wow that’s a that is a great
because like I said I don’t live in the past I don’t live in the future but where am I headed
you know I have no no huge goals but I am working on a second book right now
um I’m I’m excited about that I’m gonna continue working on music because it
makes me feel good I’m going forward I’m I’m just focused on you know continuing
with AAA doing Service uh I want to be a sponsor to somebody eventually but uh
you know that that just kind of comes as it comes but I’m looking forward to more so helping people
and if I see somebody
in pain and I want to be there for them I’m not going to be a knight in shining armor or anything
but I just want to at
least be an ear that they can talk into because it’s it’s good to talk
you know yeah I I have a therapist now I get to talk with him for an hour
sometimes I just shoot the other times we get into some really deep things that I didn’t even know
I had on
my mind but when I talk to people I find sometimes that they get comfortable with
me and they they find themselves in a comfortable space where they can be vulnerable and revealing
and it’s not
like something I use as a uh a weapon against them it’s because I generally
care about them and whatever they’re going through I’m not going to like
dishonor their trust but that’s that’s who I want to be going forward is I I
just want to I just want to be there for people who are in pain and suffering that’s uh it takes a
lot to be able to
get to when we think of how people hurt people and hurt people hurt people
they typically don’t look to be able to help people because they’re hurt even of myself there have
been different times
where I’ve said screw this person or screw that or what have you because I don’t feel good about
to the fact that you’re in a space now where you’re looking at servant leadership and wanting to be
able to
serve and love on people that’s a huge thing because you’ve actually gotten through the stuff that
you’ve gotten
through to be able to get to that point so for the people that are in the audience that aren’t at
that point what
do you suggest for them to be able to do to actually get to that point um there’s there’s a quote
that I came
across recently um and it’s Eugene O’Neill he said God
gave us mouths that close and ears that don’t that should tell us something and
one of the first things I did when I got out of the hospital was I went to a sensory deprivation
chamber and I just
closed my mind for a good hour and I expected to have some sort of spiritual
experience but I was forcing it so at one point I just kind of breathed in and
out and I I just started hearing this white noise and then I had that spiritual experience I was
looking for
and the main thing was shut up or it was shut the f up and listen and if you are
going to get better you’re gonna have to listen and
take somebody’s advice and not get in your head about it and be like they don’t care about me you
know that’s
unfortunate and that’s that’s how it feels and I know that’s how it feels because I lived it for so
long but once
I really realized there are people in my corner it opens up the door of possibilities to get better
so in short
shut up and listen yeah makes total sense it’s such a
simple thing yeah you’re totally right it is such a simple thing it’s a simple and a stupid simple
thing where you just
need to do it it’s also funny how some people think God or the universe or
intuition uh or the genius or whatever you want to name it we’ll speak to you in certain
eloquent ways I always think when people are like when and all the thighs and vows and all that
stuff like I don’t
expect I don’t expect God to show up be like valves does this thing I’ll be like what are you
kidding me but I’ve also
heard that too where not the shut the up but I’ve heard the different things that are just
Extremely Loud and
they’re full through your entire body where you feel every bit of it but you’ve got to be able to
get to that point where you get past yourself to be
able to actually be open and listen because if you’re not yeah and your brain’s just going and
going and going
and you’re just pouring on top of it and trying to clean it up yep that’s just a shitty situation
um I think a lot of people think they know so much I mean they’re in tune with their brain that’s
because they spend so
much time up there I spend a lot of time up there you know I had cozy Furniture
um you know I didn’t clean up as much as I wanted to but uh now I I’m I’m keeping
it clean and I stay out of there I mean I use my mind as a resource I don’t use
it to put myself down and I and I know that I don’t know everything and that’s just okay and
beautiful wow so do you
think some of uh some of your healing is because of your coming to grips with yes
short answer yes I I one of the one of the things in in AAA is the fourth step
where you have to write down all of your resentments um there’s more to it than that but I
only took it as I had to write down all of my resentments because I did it to a team what the book
was telling me to do
but when I read all my resentments to my sponsor I just realized to myself I was
just like it’s so much energy to to keep up those resentments that I just
realized I don’t care anymore I don’t care enough because uh you know I I had I had my parents on
there I had my
siblings on there because my siblings used to pick on me so much when I was a kid it’s no wonder
that I became so
sensitive I did not Harden Like a Rock because of that I just became softer and
more vulnerable and thinking that the whole world was going to do something like that to me for all
my life but I
definitely forget them I love my siblings to death and we have a strong bond
because of what we grew up through I’m not going to throw that away because I’m upset that my
brother threw a sock at my
eye when I was a kid you know stupid things like that like we were kids they didn’t know what they
were doing it’s
not like they knew the the ramifications of of picking on their little brother so
for that All Is Forgiven but there are there are other people I had on my list that uh I probably
haven’t thought about
in years um there was one guy Nick McGowan who I had on my list and not the same Nick
McGowan I’m talking to there are many neck begones I hope you know that there’s only a couple
no yeah you did you did make the list and and um it was such a petty thing most of the
things just became so petty in the long run it was just no reason to dwell on it
you care to share what that petty thing was well with you there I think when we
knew each other I felt a lot of the time like you were trying to sell me on something and trying to
get me to do
things that I didn’t want to do and that’s what the petty thing was and it sounds like a big thing
but it was
because I was just it’s because that’s what I thought and everything I thought
was just complete and utter and that’s just because my mind
had that chatter and it was just like you know everybody’s trying to fool you and like
no they’re not my wife told me one time because she knows how much I’m in my head and she
said Michael you do realize that nobody gives a and and it was the nobody
gives a kinda you know the positive nobody gives a it’s just like nobody’s is hyper focused on you
hyper focused on you and that’s where I was for such a long time and now that I don’t have to worry
about that
weight lifted off my shoulder yeah so the uh the story of us and what
you tied to to me is one of many stories of different
people that you’ve tied different things to so how have you changed those stories because that
story is still there until
you change it so what have you changed that story too uh I mean like I said
it’s it’s it’s my story and I stuck to it you know I
I don’t need that to be my story anymore it’s more objective than subjective you know that’s why I
observe rather
than sub serve is that a word no that’s not a word but
um no no I just I have to realize that everything that I experienced in the
past I don’t remember the same way that I did when it was actually happening
and and it’s easy to let go because I know
deep down to myself that I wasn’t in my best mind at that time so it’s easy to
it’s easy to forgive why do you say it’s easy to forgive because everybody’s deserving of
forgiveness in my in my view I mean look at us I thought that I’d
never talk to you again when when we stopped talking but you know I created this thing called I am
human it’s just
like a little Facebook group you know a couple hundred people but it’s where I I
believe we reconnected just because it was just people that I knew on Facebook and I just wanted to
have a place where
we could be vulnerable and support each other and uh that’s basically what that was you know you
jived with it and it’s
not like I said hey let’s give Nick another chance it was just like hey I want to reconnect with
Nick because I haven’t talked to him in a while and
then what I but when I uh met you again I realized we have changed immensely
since we knew each other in our early twenties just so much life had happened
and it was so much of a good thing I was still going through it when we when we
uh reconnected but I think I was in a cocoon you know I was I was big I was just aching to pupate
you know now I’m a
little butterfly let me Flip Flip Flip Flip those are my wings flapping if you
couldn’t see it you could hear it well you set up that group think
subconsciously to help yourself yeah I was subconsciously to help myself and I I find myself using
it less and less
because I’m I’m helping you know but uh that group was a result of one night
when I got incredibly drunk I call my drunk self drunk Mike and drunk mic
rakes and a lot of bad decisions but I am human good decision telling people about my suicidal uh
Tendencies good
decision you know they only led to good things in essence when I tried to commit
suicide I basically did away with my old self Phoenix yeah rising from the ashes
and I feel my mind feels fresh like a newborn baby it’s perspective right oh
if you’re always in the negative and you’re looking at negative then guess who your mind’s gonna be
the negative
if you’re looking at the positive side of things and you’re always looking at the positive side of
things and you will always look at the positive side so
there’s balance to that as well you don’t want to have those complete tosses and turns from going
back and forth but
finding balance and it sounds like stoicism has helped with some of that as well you want to go
into uh why you kind
of went down that path because somebody called me a stoic once and I was just like I don’t know
what that means then I
looked it up and I was just like oh yeah maybe I am a stoic and I’m not as I I
did honestly before I wouldn’t see myself as a stoic because you know you need a really good
Constitution to be a
stoic and it’s not about like I’m exactly where I want to be right now I’m not overly positive I’m
not super
negative I’m somewhere in the middle and it’s and it’s a wonderful place to be and that’s what I
see stoicism as it’s
generally controlling your mind and luckily I fell into AAA and they have
something called The Serenity Prayer you know God grant me the serenity to accept the things I
cannot change the courage
to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference and it’s the wisdom to know the
that I’ve been overlooking for the last several months but I was in a meditation
AAA group um the other night and I and I was just like you know the one thing I didn’t realize the
best part of the
Serenity Prayer is the wisdom to know the difference to know that you have
completely no control and that’s just okay because as long as you have control
over your mind that’s the thing you can change you can change your mind and the
power of the mind is just amazing I’m sure you understand that especially you
know if you read that book about the subconscious it’s just what you can do I know in that book um
stop me if I’m
talking too much no um I know in that book there’s one thing that I really enjoyed with was um saying
like you’re the captain of a boat and your subconscious is the people in the lower decks who are
just like shoveling
the coal making all the Machinery work if the captain tells them to go this way
they’re not thinking about the the overall ramifications of it they’re just like okay you want to
be negative I’m
going to be negative it’s a mind shift that to somebody somebody who’s going
through a lot of bad things at this time it’s somebody could say oh you just flipped
the switch it’s that easy it’s not that easy that is one heavy switch to flip but you can do it as
long as you’re
telling those uh gentlemen in the lower decks this is where we’re going right now we are steering
away from those ice
caps what’s the tool that you use that others could use to be able to
steer the ship like you’re talking about and get to their subconscious I don’t want to say fake
until you make
it because that doesn’t seem right but it is generally that it’s telling your mind that things are
better than you
than they seem you know I trained my brain to understand that the darkness
isn’t such a terrible frightening thing I learned from the darkness you know I
went to very dark places I thought very dark things I know what they do I know the the same way
that I learned from
being bipolar I just learned how to live with the darkness and at that point the
darkness was just like well if he’s not going to play with us I’m taking my ball and going home so
has the darkness
totally gone home ah still there it’s uh it’s in the Deep recesses of my mind
it’s not like I’ll never have a sad thought again but when I do have the sad thought I
will observe the set thought and the sad thought will go away it’s basically like uh storm clouds
they’re not there the
whole time they eventually just go away unless you’re in some part of the world where there’s
always storm clouds but
that’s a whole other thing but I I just understand that let’s stick with the
clouds you know it’s a great day but behind the clouds you know the sun’s still there and that
sounds corny as F
but it’s generally the way I think about it well some people uh learn by
visualizing things seeing it with their eyes some people learn by touching things other people
learn by hearing things so uh I know that visual in my
mind’s eye allows me to understand that you’re totally right like we can look at the gray sky and
think it just
it’s gonna be a terrible day it’s gonna rain all day long but little do you know that that cloud
can go by and it’s
beautiful almost like when you’re flying you know you get up through a storm and you get above that
and it’s just clear
skies you’re just cruising along it’s like a whole different world at that point I feel that that
awareness of
understanding if there’s something beyond that is huge the wisdom to understand that that gray
sky sucks but I know what’s behind it does not and that makes me feel better instead of just
looking at that one
cloud and going the world’s to at this point yeah and if I do have a sad day that’s the
one thing that’ll just keep me going just knowing that the pain is temporary it’s not forever I
mean it felt like
forever for a very long time for me but you know I’m finally on the flip side
I’m glad you’re on the flip side and I’m glad that you’re healing and I’m glad that you’re on the
path that you’re on what sort of tips would you give to
anybody that’s on a similar path towards self-mastery good question well um you
control your mind you you are in absolute control of your mind and keep that in mind first and
foremost I follow
my instinct a lot I I uh not Instinct I feel my instinct a lot and
when it comes to what’s the good decision what’s the bad decision I try not to dwell on what could
lead to
failure anymore I just follow what my heart feels and I I know there are some people who
are going to listen to this and be like I’m not that wishy-washy what are you talking about but I
mean generally if
somebody’s going through what I’m going through or I’ve gone through I know that they’re a feeling
person because the
only reason I found myself in that dark recess of my mind was
because I felt way way too much and
it’s it’s it’s a very hard thing to bear so if you’re going through it I honestly
can tell you as a person who’s gone through it myself that it will get better but it’s up to you to
make that
change you’re the uh master of your own soul can’t can’t tell you any plainer than that that’s a
beautiful way to be
able to put it Mike man I appreciate you being on the show with us today and I hope that everybody
got something out of
this I really appreciate you being honest and open and um being willing to talk about your story
like where can I
where can people find your book where can they connect with you you know tell us your details uh
yeah I have a website uh
that has all my music uh links to my music it has uh the link to the book and
when the new one comes out uh it’ll have a link to that too but um yeah dude
thanks for having me on here you you are very welcoming and anybody who’s on the
show with you will have a great time and I appreciate that thank you again Mike for being here it’s
an honor to be able
to walk through that stuff with you at different times that we do we have a friendship outside of
this podcast I
appreciate that friendship and man I just appreciate where you’re at what you’ve gone through
because the person you are today is vastly different than
the person you were even a year ago or even a couple of months ago Dude I think you’re doing a
great job
um keep on with it and anybody that’s listening to this feel free to reach out to one of us feel
free to reach out to
somebody that you know that you trust or you feel you can talk to you just need to be able to talk
about it so again
thank you very much for being with us Mike to the audience thank you for listening and take care
another great conversation on today’s episode of the mindset self-mastery show
something that stood out to me about this episode was how Dag’s subconscious was calling out for
help think about
that for a moment the subconscious knows what to do and was taking steps to help outside of what
could seem like its
normal means what do you think though I’d love to hear your thoughts on the conversation today and
if you enjoyed
the episode please jump over to iTunes and subscribe rate and leave a five star review it’s very
much appreciated and if
you really enjoyed the show today go ahead and share it with your friends we covered a pretty tough
subject and got some great tips that really work for all
of us and check out the show notes for more info and contact info for dags and
check out the other episodes on the mindset and as well
as our YouTube channel the mindset and self-mastery show thank you again Mike dags for being on the
show and being
honest real and raw with us and thank you to you the one letting us share deep personal
conversations I hope it’s as
meaningful to you as it is for us and thanks for hanging out with us today and with that remember
your mindset matters
and so do you [Music]

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