When I recently shared my untold story, I was unaware of the impact it would have. Within 24 hours, I received a public speaking opportunity, along with a number of tweets, comments and DM’s from others who related to the story.

I write about some pretty personal things at times, and many I find easy to write. I find them easy, knowing that my experiences will influence the future. It’ll influence my future and those around me.

Writing my thoughts down is something I’ve adjusted to, and tears still pour out, when I have to relive dark times in my mind and dark times I never thought I’d share publicly.

The tears pour out, as remembering the past isn’t the nicest feeling, but the past is now my present and future.

A journey has its ups and downs and why don’t we share the downs as well as the ups? Many people I speak to about the subject, mention they’re scared to open up. They’re scared to be judged.

Well, everyone has a story and I find opening up liberating.

I feel by opening up, not only am I helping others, but I’m helping myself. I’m helping myself by showing that the past is the past, but it can still influence the future.

When I talked about suicide in the blog post, I had a message from a close friend sharing their experience. The story highlighted that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and how you do it is up to you. It’s the same with influencing the future. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do you and find what works for you.

Writing personal posts for me lets go of the demons I once had, and teaches me more about myself than 13-year-old John could imagine. It teaches me that yes, life freaking sucks at times, but we can use it to create positive experiences. We can use the past to influence our future; not letting a crappy moment ruin what we set our hearts out to do.

The past happened for a reason. I now get that. I now understand that to be the person I am today, I had to be challenged. I had to be tested to the brim. I had to be torn to pieces to fit the jigsaw back together.

The jigsaw has been put together and there’s more pieces to create a much larger puzzle.

The puzzle has developed more pieces with a hunger to do more. A hunger to say “Hey, shit times, you listening?! You might have beaten 13-year-old me to a pulp, but 25-year-old me is having none of it!”.

Influencing the future doesn’t have to be a sure plan or a goal, as I’ve found it happens in time. It happens when life strikes you and a gap opens up to share that experience.

Gaps can come and go, and it’s up to us to decide whether we take the opportunity or not. I saw speaking in my local university as an opportunity to share my story, and now in any meeting I attend, my mental health battle is discussed.

All it takes is a moment of inspiration to tell your untold story and when the time is right, the opportunity will be there for you too.

A massive shoutout to everyone who has supported my childhood MH story and know, I’m always here to listen, if you want/need someone to talk to.