We’re coming up on the year anniversary of the start date of this blog and there’s a lot to reflect upon. This blog has literally saved my life, saved my sanity, and at the same time become so much more than I ever imagined that it would be. I think it has become bigger than me in some respects.
When I first created Letters to Daniel it was done with the notion to thank you and to tell you how much your work has affected my life (all for the better). But it quickly morphed into my memoirs. A place where I could tell my life story in an honest, open, and frank and direct manner.
You, in effect, became my silent witness. I mean, I knew you weren’t there. That perhaps no one was listening at all. But Letters became my voice when I felt like no one understood or that no one could understand the turmoil I had gone through or was going through. All the while I knew better things lay ahead. Better things had to lay ahead lol in some cases they couldn’t get much worse.
What I quickly saw was that there were others going through what I was going through. That I wasn’t alone and that there were lots of silent witnesses out there who were listening and understanding and going through pain of their own. They were finding solace in my words and that meant a great deal to me. It helped with my daily recovery and helped keep me on an even keel.
My blog quickly became more than that. I had a selection of the letters formatted as well as adding introductions by friends and a publisher to give it context. I self-published it as a memoir and it became an Amazon Bestseller hitting #2 on their list. It was a thrilling accomplishment and made for what at the time my third bestselling book.
I continued to write on the blog there was need in me to keep writing on it. It morphed again when I read that Imaginarium was having a film festival along with its writing convention. When I told Stephen Zimmer what I planned on doing things started to move very fast.
And while there were some unfortunate losses, and brutal attacks the documentary inspired by this blog got made. It was bigger, stronger, better for the re-edit and I feel like people are going to receive it well. I even got up the nerve to enter it in the prestigious Austin Film Festival and the Rendezvous w/Madness Film Festivals.
I worry that my dreams often exceed my grasp but I believe on some level for anything to work the dream has to be huge. When I was in my early twenties I was a shell, shattered, unable to even care for myself. The idea of creating this blog, of writing books, of seeing anything clearly was so far beyond anything I could’ve done at the time it isn’t even funny. Not even in the ironic sense.
But you see there were quotes that I lived by. And a quality I had in spades. Never, never, never quit- Winston Churchill. And If you are living on the downside of advantage, and are relying purely on courage, it can be done—Russell Crowe 2000 Oscar Speech. Perseverance, medication, and a hell of support network. My psychiatrist, my group therapy ladies, and therapist, and of course the usual suspects Missy Goodman and Pam Turner each, not only responsible in their own way for my healing, but each responsible for seeing to it that my film, Letters to Daniel: From Breakdown to Bestseller got made.
At this point special shoutouts to my Aunt Debbie and Uncle Frank and my mom and dad, without them, no film either. I know mom and dad take a beating from time to time on this blog but they, even as they run hot and cold I know always that they love me and that is essential in anyone’s healing process.
And of course your work and unbending ear as I talk to you, or at least how I imagine you as a silent witness would be.
I am forever grateful to you all and if I’ve missed a name please forgive me, as I’m very tired.