Before I Leave You Episode 184, May 5, 2020
Author, Robert Imbeault, shares his journey from childhood trauma to addiction and suicide attempts to living a life filled with gratitude as a loving husband and father. Discover how a suicide note turns into a life-saving book.
“I turned to writing and wrote a secret goodbye. I wanted to explain why death seems better than living.” ~ Robert Imbeault
Rob and Andy share some common experiences, including childhood sexual abuse, doubting the memories of such abuse, addiction, a long-term longing to die, and multiple suicide attempts. Rob opens up about the power of a safe space, unconditional love, and Walden Pond, as well as the difficulty men have in creating deep, authentic friendships.
This is the story of a man who hid so well behind his mask of a happy-go-lucky, party guy that nobody knew about his multiple suicide attempts or his plan for one more. From the outside, it appeared as if Rob had everything, but inside there was just pain until he couldn’t cover it up anymore.
TRIGGER WARNING: There is open talk about suicidal thoughts and attempts in this episode.
If you are contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741. Outside of the US, get more numbers here.
Topics and Questions Include:
- (2:22) How are you and your family doing?
- (3:09) As someone with a history of suicidal thoughts, has this time been extra challenging in any way?
- (4:11) Many suicidal people write notes, but you wrote your book, Before I Leave You, with the intention of killing yourself once it was complete?
- (5:36) At what point in the writing process did you realize you weren’t going to kill yourself?
- (8:17) How long were you writing this?
- (9:48) Did anyone know about your attempt or that you were suicidal?
- (10:29) Had you felt depressed when growing up?
- (12:28) Andy’s experience with remembering childhood sexual abuse.
- (14:17) You’ve done some pretty cool things, meeting the Queen of England, building successful businesses, swimming with Great White sharks… was suicide always lurking in the back of your mind even then?
- (15:41) Did you write suicide notes for the earlier attempts you made?
- (16:59) Could ever see that life was conspiring to keep you alive or did you think you were an idiot who couldn’t do it right?
- (17:56) Did anyone see your self-destructive behavior as suicidal?
- (18:39) During the suicidal times, is there anything someone could have said to you?
- (20:28) Understanding repressed memories.
- (25:25) The power of a safe space and unconditional love.
- (28:13) Was getting clean, just a decision one day?
- (29:52) Was their one moment when you thought, enough of this wanting to die shit and started to climb out of the darkness?
- (32:14) Was that the first time you thought, I want to live?
- (32:58) Do you have real friends now?
- (36:26) How were you so seemingly successful?
- (38:29) What do you do to maintain your mental health?
- (41:04) How did you learn what it means to be a man?
- (42:30) Did what you absorbed and modeled serve you?
- (43:50) What makes a great dad?
- (45:26) Can you share a habit, practice, program, or book that has helped you?
- (49:47) Is there one thing you wish more men knew?
- (55:12) What are you proud of?
- (1:02:16)How can people get in touch with you?
“Writing itself was therapy for me. I was able to be vulnerable without being vulnerable to someone else.” ~ Robert Imbeault
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Learn more about Robert at BeforeILeaveYou.com.
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Read Rob’s book: Before I Leave You. And maybe explore recommended reads; Wild, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Playing With Fire or some works by Henry David Thoreau.
The suicide prevention training the Rob suggested from LivingWorks.
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