“Grubas” is a nickname given to me as a kid, and it means “fatty” in Polish.

For the longest time I was the slimmest kid you know. My mom just called me”Grubas” because she thought it was cute. But then life made it not so cute. “Grubas,” said God in the shit storm that became my life, “meet depression.” And from then on, depression became my shadow. In those five depressed years I did become chubby. For the first time, I was a  true “Grubas.” I was ashamed, I  hid away, and I was awkward.


After five years of this,  I climbed out of depression and social anxiety. Oh, depression’s not completely gone, but when it rears its ugly head I give it one stern look and it scurries back into the shadows. And I lost the weight. I’m now back to being the skinny Grubas I once was. “Grubas” is no longer a shameful name.


My little brother still  fights depression, so I write him weekly pick-me-up emails.  My emails to him have all the  wisdom I’ve read in the now at least 50 self-help, psychology, and philosophy books I’ve read over the years. You could say I’m a self-medicated warrior. But I wouldn’t call me an expert. I’m just a person who’s been in the depths of despair and pulled myself out using wicked books as my rope. I’ve been the person bleeding in the battlefield running around with rubbing alcohol burning myself for a better life.

If you’re hurting so badly you cry every night, go see a doctor. It could be a chemical imbalance. If you’re thinking of suicide, tell someone. It could be the turning point.  If you’re somewhere in between –feeling crappy, just waiting for a nice kick in the ass–read on.

Before you ask: No, I’m no genius.  But I know this from experience: It gets better. It will even be good. Very good.




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