For the past few months I kept hearing the name Allan Kehler, Allan Kehler, ALLAN KEHLER. The name had been coming up in my conversations with friends like Clint Malarchuk, Health industry personnel and media folk. Allan's mug even popped up in my Facebook feed under "People You May Know". But I didn't know him.
It seemed Allan Kehler's name is a trusted one, and my friends told me he's a Mental Health advocate, motivational speaker and best-selling author out of Saskatoon. "You've gotta meet him," they kept saying. "You two'd hit it off!"
And then this week, out of the blue, I got a note from Allan saying he was going to be in my city and he asked for a meeting. As I've learned in Recovery when someone opens a door for you, you walk through it. So we set up a time to meet on Friday at the studios of my daily sports talkshow.
That in itself was a gong show and Allan would have his first "Welcome To Rod's Life" moment as he had to adjust his schedule for my antique Jeep breaking down, which threw a kink into our plans. Then he had to wade through a staff barbecue in our studio parking lot being thrown by retired NFL'er-turned-TV analyst Tori Gurley. (Allan graciously accepted a hotdog).
Once inside the IKS Media building, we closed the glass door to a nice air conditioned conference room and got down to business.
You see when two people in Recovery and in the "helping people" business connect, you get to the heart of the matter real fast and the conversation can last for hours. The rest of the world doesn't *get us*, so we cherish the few who do. ("Why would you help somebody else with no expectation of a return?" is the popular refrain from the earthlings).
Anyway after briefly sharing our stories and scheming how best to team up our services, Allan handed me four copies of his latest book MENtal Health - It's Time To Talk, with the foreword by famed broadcaster and Mental Health speaker Michael Landsberg.
I promised Allan I would read it over the weekend but in truth, I crushed it by noon on Saturday. That's a testament in two ways: 1) I couldn't put it down, and 2) The book is framed in small, bite-sized chapters which makes it easily digestible. If you have a passion for this stuff, you'll blaze through it too.
And what's different about Kehler's fourth book is that it's tailored specifically to men. It examines the stats on men's Mental Health issues versus women's, how they affect each gender differently (inward versus outward reactions), and much, much more.
|With Allan Kehler (left) at IKS Media|
And that right there is the biggest key. I'll admit there's a tornado of stories encapsulated in the 181 pages which can be a lot to absorb in one sitting. But one key message kept coming through over and over:
You need to reach out for assistance if you're struggling. Nobody can do it for you and once you're tired enough of living in the storm, it's up to you to take the first step. And if a door or two gets slammed in your face, don't be discouraged. Try another door. Keep trying doors until the right one opens because you'll find it.
The publication is also rife with little nuggets that'll stay with you forever, like: "You are the author of your life. But the universe is the editor". That one came from the guy who was running barefoot downtown in a hospital gown. Maybe he's not so crazy after all.
MENtal Health is a collection of stories from the winners who kept fighting and came out on the other side. They didn't give up no matter how much adversity was shoved in their face.
Who doesn't love a good comeback story?
And one other thing about 2020 not being so bad. There are have been countless horrible things go on this calendar year which are largely out of our control. However we are also in the midst of the digital age and no matter where you live in the world - no matter how remote or even how congested it is - you can find all the resources and the "right door" online.
Shame, embarrassment and stigma are no longer viable excuses for not getting help.
Allan Kehler's book gives you the keys to get your life back.
Order yours direct-to-home from Allan's website: https://www.outfromtheshadows.ca/shop/mental-health-its-time-to-talk/
or at your local Indigo/Chapters.
Pedersen Recovery Inc./The Recovery Hour