The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

“Everybody gets lost somehow; it’s where we were meant to start”

  • Zachary Britt

Last month marked the fifth anniversary of The Renegade Press, as well as the first anniversary of a friend taking his own life. I had originally planned on creating two separate entries to celebrate my achievement and commiserate the loss of a loved one. But after a few failed attempts to produce either piece, I eventually decided to let the month of July pass without posting at all.

In hindsight, I’m thankful for the writer’s block that stopped me from blogging about either occasion. It seems macabre to revel in the success of a site that began as a means of coming to terms with my demons whilst mourning the loss of a friend who never managed to overcome his own.

So much has changed in my life since I first started blogging in 2012. Over the last five years I have beaten anxiety and depression, watched my father survive a health scare that should have killed him, had my heart broken, received death threats from readers, published a book and severed ties with its producer, lost friends to suicide, and found a way to connect with perfect strangers across the globe through posts just like this one.

Although many of the moments that define me have been tainted with heartbreak; I have managed to find myself amongst the chaos and cacophony of life, and right now I am happier now than I have ever been. When I look back at my earlier work, I can no longer relate to the angry young man crying out for help through posts laden with vulgarity and angst. I’ve stopped writing about masks, depression and violence. The contempt that fueled me to create pieces with an acid tongue is long gone. These days I prefer to create posts about cultural acceptance, flowers, and a girl who has been a drop of honey spilled into my soul.

I still don’t know if I’ll get to celebrate Christmas a day early with her; or if she’ll let me be hers. But the hopeless romantic in me hopes that one day I’ll be able to write another post about her. She just has to tell me that she’s ready to open her heart, and I’ll sweep her off her feet and make sure they never need to touch the ground again…

A reader recently sent me a message to say that she was struggling. She said that her life wasn’t where she thought it would be; and that she felt lost. We talked for a while, emailing back and forth about our own experiences. I told her about some of my darker days, and she shared hers. When we finished talking, I told her that although it may not seem like it right now; she’s not alone. And she is exactly where she needs to be.

There was a time when I felt exactly like she does. I was lost and alone. I was confused and I couldn’t see a way out of the sickness that was inside my head. I used to write horrible posts about death, depression and loneliness as a means of coping with a feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I thought that blogging about my despair was a healthy means of expressing myself. But it wasn’t. Because when those close to me expressed their concerns about my words or behaviour, I would shut down and become even more volatile than I already was.

I spent years thinking that I had found a way to manage how I felt through writing aggressive bullshit. But I was disoriented, journeying down a path of bitterness and depression. Eventually I became so lost that I couldn’t even see where I had come from. Chris Nicholas the young man with the world in front of him was gone; replaced by a boy so angry and afraid that people constantly felt the need to ask if he was OK.

But then something changed. I stopped barreling down that trail of heartbreak as fast as my legs would carry me. I looked around and realised that I had no idea who I was, what I stood for, or what the fuck I was doing with my life. I began to understand that perhaps I had always needed to become so lost that I was forced to start over.

I realised that maybe losing sight of who I was could be the best thing that ever happened to me.  

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When I started over, I had a chance to learn from my mistakes and become the one thing that I had always wanted to be: happy. That’s not to say that I suddenly became the best-selling author that I always believed I would be by now, or that I’ve settled down and started a family, brought a house, or seen the world. I still have a day job, I’m currently trying to convince a girl that I’m worth taking a risk on, and there’s still so much of this world that I’m yet to experience.

But what it does mean is that by becoming lost I realized what true happiness means to me. I now understand how wonderful it feels to be able to share myself with the world like I do, and that it’s a gift to have found a place in the lives of so many people. And I recognise that there is nothing more magical than the moments you spend with your loved ones, or with someone who just smiles and takes your breath away.

It’s been almost two weeks since I last spoke to the reader who inspired this post.

But I’ve thought about her a lot since then. I’ve thought about how the moments that have pained me in my life allowed me to reach out through time and space and connect with another soul who was going through what I had. I’ve thought about how alone I used to feel, and how I never want anyone to feel like I did.  And I’ve thought that maybe by acknowledging that sometimes we need to become so lost that we’re forced to start over, I could show the world that it’s alright to not be OK. And that things can, and will get better. They just take time.

If you’re reading this post and you feel like you’re lost, or alone, or that the world is pushing down on your shoulders so hard that your spine may break; I want you to take a deep breath and tell yourself that everything is going to be OK. If you’re not brave enough to do that just yet, then allow me to say it for you: You’re not lost. Not like you think you are. You’re finally at the place where you were always meant to start. Now that you’re there, it’s time to begin moving forward so that you can understand what it is that will truly make you happy.

If that’s to write like I do, then pick up a pen. If it’s to have a family, or to fall in love; then get out there and find your drop of honey and allow them to fall into your soul. Once you’ve figured out what it is that you want in your life; do whatever you must to make that dream a reality. Because even if you fall a little short of that fantasy, you’ll find contentment in your efforts. I promise.

Five years ago when this page started, I thought my happiness would come through being a best-selling author, and that anything short of that was failure. I never imagined that I would be twenty-eight years old with a day job, writing about honey to make a beautiful girl notice me, and producing books and blogposts in my spare time. But now that I’m here, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I closed out out my first ever post by saying that I wanted to “look depression and misery in the eye, and tell it to fuck off”. But I don’t need to do that anymore. When I started over, I learned how to beat depression with kindness and human compassion. So instead of beating my chest and ending this post by saying that I’m not lost anymore, I’m going to tell you that if you’re struggling like I was, it will get better. You’re not lost. You’re just at the place where you were always meant to start from.

39 thoughts on “Kairos

  1. Vivian Zems says:

    This was a wonderful read. I like the way you described your journey and i quite agree… you will find yourself until you lose yourself. I liken it to falling down a deep well- when your feet touch the ground, you’ve got a firmer surface to shoot up from. And your girl…… she’s got a treasure in you! All the best! 🙂 🙂

  2. Absolutely beautiful post and something I needed to read in this moment. Thanks for sharing.

  3. What a journey youve been on! I love your honesty and authenticity

  4. Sometimes, it takes a very long time, looking backwards, through all the pains you’d weathered through, to realize just how much you’d grown up, matured psychologically, and how much you had already overcome, and, in realizing this about ourselves, that, is what makes us become more complete.

  5. karen kuzsel says:

    This was heartfelt writing that reveals your evolution. There is so much pain in the world. I have joy for you to be emerging from the darkness and finding warmth and hope in the light.

  6. Alyson says:

    Thank you for sharing. I suffer from anxiety and depression myself, and have been struggling for a while to get back to my writing. It can be a very dark hole as one struggles to climb free. I’m so glad to read you are climbing out. Don’t ever give up 🙂

  7. Nikki says:

    A lovely heartfelt post 👌🏼
    I lost my Father to Suicide and I have had periods where I’ve struggled as well. No matter how bad you might feel at the time… the knowledge that ‘the sun will come out again’ is what has helped me. That and keeping fit and running…. a lot…. 🤣

  8. sueterbay says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Your writing speaks of hope and sometimes that is all we have at times.

  9. Beautiful post. Could relate with it

  10. Wow…did you ever click on a post and realize it was kismet? I literally journaled so many of your words before writing this. I’m lost, I have been so angry and fighting so long that I don’t even have the fight in me, and all I ever wanted was to connect with happiness and peace.

    Thank you. You’ve given me hope.

  11. lauracurwood says:

    Touche. Have a look at my blog Chris: I have been on a crazy journey myself finding myself. https://lauraplatasso.wordpress.com/
    As a gift from me to you. Also re-blogged.

  12. As someone who is still struggling with an immeasurable grief for the past 5 years, I find your post inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  13. I really enjoyed reading this. I needed to read something along these lines today. Thanks for posting!

  14. This is a very inspirational post and I applaud your openness and honesty. I sometimes feel lost, but I have a wife and two kids that keep me from drifting too far from shore. The only thing that talked about, that doesn’t quite fit my own narrative, is how you’ve stepped away from writing about the dark. I completely understand the concept of how doing so can reopen wounds, but I believe in the cathartic affect of writing and I’m always more apt to write/be inspired when I’m unsettled or feeling lost. I don’t know if I’d be ready to complete the journey if it meant losing the various shades of blue that often show in my writing. Does any of this make sense?

  15. Beautiful, authentic, and sincere. You open your heart in this post. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I like the idea that we are where we need to be when we are in pain and that we can heal, move forward and find happiness. Thank you again

  16. Well written, Chris. Sorry for your losses but I love your optimism. 🙂

  17. Kairos … chronos. Sometimes I waste so much time regretting and worrying. Tough sometimes not to do so, because the heartbreaks are real, as you noted. But then I breathe in … and breathe out. I hear the windchime outside my open window. All beauty, all goodness, is in this moment. Nothing, no one, is lost. As you say, we are right where we need to be. Thank you once again.

  18. Phil Huston says:

    Well told. We are the choices we make. Even the ones that piss us off or cause us to write angry, caustic bullshit. Knowing that makes right here look better than the rear view mirror, and all the as yet unmade mistakes insignificant.

  19. Dominic Sceski says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you for speaking out. God bless you.

  20. My heart burst with each sentence. You are very gifted and I could sense that you see the world like I do, it’s very refreshing. I too used to feel very alone and recently I’ve been able to break away from myths that told me that being alone was depressing. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I’ve seen a a lot in my life. In order to not feel alone you must be grateful for all that you have, whatever you have and as long as you have you… that’s all you need because WE change the world the world around us by starting from within. Also, I too like someone but, honestly today I decided to not give up on the possibility but, to move forward to other possibilities. When something is meant, it will be. We can sometimes try to match our energy with other people who may not be where we are. The waiting may work out but, life is meant for exploration. I hope it will work out for you too!!! I certainly would love it it worked out for me and who I like but, in the meantime I will continue to do what makes me happy.
    Thank you so very much for this post!
    Blessings to you!!!

  21. This hit home… Thank you for posting this. I stumbled onto your blog about a year ago and I’ve always wanted to comment more than just “thank you” but I could never correctly word exactly what I wanted to say. Your blogs, even past ones, have always hit home for me in one way or another. So, thank you Chris.

  22. Graham says:

    Great post. Thank you. I think I’ve been a bit lost since leaving my job nearly two years ago…I’ve been doing voluntary work but opportunities and desires haven’t quite appeared like I thought they might…but now just maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Fingers crossed.

  23. Raney Simmon says:

    Thank you for another elegant and beautiful blog post. And I agree with you completely. There have been times when I’ve felt really down in life. But now, things have actually gotten tremendously better for me. I know the reason behind it and have taken the necessary steps to insure I don’t have to worry about what was making me feel that way again. And now that I’ve done that, I feel a sense of peace I didn’t have with me before.

  24. This is exquisite, Chris. What you did for the girl that inspired this post, and what this post means to so many reading it. You have a huge heart and compassion for humans. The honey you have recently found – be patient and kind, I know you have those qualities. She most likely adores you already, but as you know, everyone has a past. Great things don’t happen overnight. They take time. Anything worth having is worth waiting. 😊

  25. Thank you for sharing your story Chris.

    My ex husband killed himself and it took 12 years for me to get over completely.
    Now I can declare that I am very happy!! Even appreciate for the experience that I have gone through.
    Because of this experience, I could have started my study of “Happiness”.
    Struggled, analyzed, tried to think different ways… so much learning process.
    Now I have completed a theory of “Happiness”.

    Every year, I post a message to myself on Facebook as “Happy Re-birthday to myself!” on anniversary of his death.
    It is the day to celebrate myself being nothing special after all tragedies happened to me.

    Everybody can be happy. No matter what happened. But at first, need to commit being happy.

  26. SWEA says:

    Loved it! God bless

  27. Megha says:

    Amazing content. A must share one. Some are strong enough like you to come out of their miseries on their own and some needs a guide to show them the ray of hope and a new dawn. Loved the write up. Quite inspiring 😊

  28. uma197 says:

    What a beautiful post. I went to put my phone to charge and it said someone had liked my post. So i thought i will have a quick look at who it was and accidentally hit the gravatar which took me into your blog. Out of curiosity started to have a peek and couldn’t put the phone down. So happy that you have restarted your life and are able to smell the flowers and feel sun shine.

  29. bobritzema says:

    Well said. Your post reminds me of the start of Dante’s “Divine Comedy” where he found himself in a dark wood. We all find ourselves in that wood somewhere along the journey. It’s what we do from there that makes the difference.

  30. terrepruitt says:

    🙂 I love that you decided that you needed to change.

    I have something I want to share: My boyfriend told me something very honest. He didn’t say that he would always make me happy, he admitted that he might make me cry. It was real and honest. (Sometimes feet need to touch the ground or sometimes you might not be able to help it.) We’ve been married 19 going on 20 years.

    🙂

  31. Jonathan Ike says:

    Awesome work Chris. Thanks for sharing.

  32. ThienGiang says:

    only until today I started reading your blog when you writing style got lighten up, though for some reasons i followed you around 1 year ago? i knew your words were beautiful, i just couldn’t handle “mask, depression and violence” when i looked at your posts previously. But they all are getting better reflecting a more positive soul 🙂

  33. NewMoonPlan says:

    I think your honesty will get through to people who need to hear what you have to say. As much as people love positivity, there is no true happiness without knowing negativity. Thank you for writing about your past self and how your past experiences helped shape the person you are today.

  34. olivera77 says:

    Speechless! Just wishing you all the very best in life! You have earned it and you deserve it!

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