Colin McConnell via Getty Images
I'm here to tell you that I'm not playing along. If my talking openly about being vulnerable makes you feel uncomfortable, then tough shit.
Keyshort via Getty Images
I used to live in the moment, and that moment was usually an all-consuming desire not to just escape, but to annihilate -- to numb everything inside of me. I was suicidal and wanted nothing more than oblivion. I can remember the morning I walked out of that hospital like it was yesterday, but in fact, it was 7,328 days ago, and I've been clean and sober ever since.
mihtiander via Getty Images
Resilience has very little to do with surviving, and everything to do with awakening into where you are at this very moment. When we distance ourselves from, or anaesthetize ourselves against trauma and loss, we inadvertently diminish the potential breadth and beauty of our life.
James Peragine via Getty Images
I am an elite athlete, and I'm known for running insanely long distances, and for brushing up against the limits of human endurance. But over the past 4 years, I've quite literally run myself into the...
chinaface via Getty Images
Even though I currently find myself on the other side of depression, I am ever so aware of how thin that veil is between me and fragile mental health. It's times like these, when I'm feeling my strongest, that I realize how important it is to bring depression to the fore.
scarletsails via Getty Images
We often think of resilience as a manifestation of the human spirit's ability to survive the unfathomable -- those grand disasters and tragedies that populate news headlines and our social media feeds. It's as though we don't believe resilience could possible be at play in the midst of our own "mundane" life.
Like many people around the world, I too, felt the shock waves of the election and Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States. Many of us are in disbelief that someone so brash and caustic is set to become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet. Yet, here I sit at my computer feeling grateful... Grateful that I'm an addict in recovery.
Christopher Kimmel via Getty Images
Is there anything more tragic than going through life "unseen," feeling crushingly alone despite being in community? That's exactly what living with the stigma of compromised mental health feels like.
Chalabala via Getty Images
A characteristic of resilience is having an ability to make decisions without having all the answers figured out first. I believe this comes from a faith that no matter how something works out, you will either have success or you will learn something important about yourself.
A few years ago, I disclosed to my wife that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse -- a secret I thought I would harbor in my soul until the day I died. What is someone to do when the person they so dearly love shares such searing pain with them?
James Thew via Getty Images
I think it's safe to say that as a society, we are rather risk-averse. We are eager to walk a smoother path, and are naturally drawn to life hacks, shortcuts and workarounds. But are we doing ourselves, and more importantly our children, a disservice by sidestepping the lessons of adversity?
PeopleImages.com via Getty Images
Have you ever wondered what separates those rare individuals who are able to step forward after trauma and adversity from those of us who are stunted, derailed, or in some way consumed by similar life circumstances or events? As a society, we tend to gravitate to the "bounce back" narrative so often espoused in the media, and one that is particularly true of the stories most commonly shared on social media.
If you drop me, I bounce. In fact, as crazy as that sounds, for much of my life it certainly felt like that was true. As is the case with far too many children around the world, I grew up in a violent home and it was within this violence that a nascent spirit of resilience began to germinate.
NeSlaB via Getty Images
As an elite athlete, I'm hyper attuned to my body and what it's trying to tell me. One of the privileges of being a high-profile athlete is that I have the opportunity to speak to many organizations, school groups, and fitness classes. I'm often asked what motivates me to sacrifice so much in order to train at the level I do.
Eric Audras via Getty Images
As our muscles respond to stress by becoming at first strained and later stronger, so too do we build up our tolerance for withstanding adversity by allowing it space in our life. Courage rises to the fore when we adopt a new mindset, a new lens from which we approach our life.
Blend Images - Mark Edward Atkinson/Tracey Lee via Getty Images
I don't consider myself "old," but then again, I'm not sure if one ever does. Yes, I have more aches and pains than I used to have, and my scars and bruises may fade, but they never really completely go away anymore.
Looking back on my childhood through the eyes of wisdom and years, I think the most heart wrenching part of it all is how invisible I felt as a child and how easy it was for my mind to so subtly transform pain into shame. How does a child even begin to process such adult emotions?
oksix via Getty Images
I was overcome with an immense feeling that can only be described as grief -- knowing that when the lights of the cameras dim, when the trial is no longer part of the news cycle, and when Jian Ghomeshi puts all of this in his rearview mirror, the loss and trauma will continue to reverberate in the lives of these three incredibly brave women, just as it echoes in the lives of survivors across the country and around the world.
I may not be popular for saying this, but guess what -- people relapse; that's a reality on the path to recovery. And if anything, over the years, I've discovered that the more people who know I'm in recovery, the more support I'm exposed to when I might be struggling and prone for a relapse.
I'm coming up to my 19th anniversary of becoming clean and sober, and this time of the year for me is typically a moment of reflection. I'm still not sure how I went from standing alone on a subway platform with the intention of taking my life 20 years ago, to standing in front of an audience of 200 people looking to me for guidance and hope.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
As I suspect is the case with many other people across the country, I am closely watching the Jian Ghomeshi trial. There were times yesterday when I found myself holding my breath, wishing that this very public trial might be a pivotal moment in our society -- one in which we can finally begin to openly and honestly address the prevalence of sexual violence in our communities.
EpicStockMedia via Getty Images
There are stories I come across in the news that leave me feeling angry, frustrated and, at times, bewildered. But hearing the news that parole had been granted to Graham James, the disgraced former hockey coach convicted of sexually abusing young boys in his care, left a hollow ache of deep sadness in me.
Cristian Sabau via Getty Images
For my entire life, I've been on the run -- at first it was as a child, "running away" from the violent and daily physical abuse that took place behind closed doors in my home. From that moment onward, I kept everything inside of me, and around me, off in the distance. And thus began many years of escape that came in the form of a destructive alcohol and drug addiction.
After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.