Guest Post: An Excerpt from Author & Advocate Steve Austin’s Upcoming Book

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Steve Austin was the very first guest I had on my podcast, “The Depression Files”. I had reached out to him after I had learned of his advocacy work and his book, “From Pastor to a Psych Ward”.

Steve is now about to release his fifth book: “Catching Your Breath: The Sacred Journey from Chaos to Calm”. Steve is a skilled writer who gracefully shares his story in the hopes of supporting others.

Please enjoy this excerpt from his upcoming book. If at all possible, please check out his Kickstarter page in order to support the launch of this important book:

When I was just a little boy, our family was vacationing at a motel on the outskirts of Nashville. My dad’s best friend from high school lived in the area, and we always had such a great time with their family. I was standing on the stairs at the shallow end of the pool, mesmerized as I watched my Dad take a deep breath and disappear under the water.  Dad has always been in fantastic shape, and I just knew he could do anything. I stood there, anxiously watching and waiting for him to return from the other side of the pool. It felt like he was down beneath  the surface of those deep waters forever and might never return.


For the first few seconds, it was so cool, but to a kindergartener, staying under past the count of ten seemed either impossible or superhuman. Dad finally returned, and I cheered. “Whoa! Dad! That was awesome! I counted all the way to 100 while you were underwater!” As incredible as it was, I always felt better when my Dad was near me. The water was an uncertain thing to me, and I didn’t like feeling alone.

It’s interesting to note that children can’t hold their breath as long as adults, but the older we become, the longer we teach ourselves to hold it in. The same is true in life. There are many people holding their breath and fears, just waiting to exhale. Every day, we have an opportunity to exhale all the pain, anxiety, anger, and everything else we have been holding on to and breathe-in calm and newness.

When I was much older than the little boy in the shallow end, I became acutely aware of what it feels like to hold your breath so long that the pain and shame feels like drowning. For me, the end of the rope looked like waking up in an ICU room after a serious suicide attempt. This was the point where I started to learn how to breathe again. I’m not a medical professional, I’m just a guy who has survived a shipwreck and found the courage to talk about it. Not everyone has an official mental health diagnosis, but  everyone knows what it’s like to feel completely overwhelmed by life.

Much like the day my Dad returned from the deep end, laid his head against the edge of the pool, and finally exhaled, my journey from chaos to calm started after years of holding my breath. No matter how superhuman someone may seem, we have all been overwhelmed at one time or another, and we are all looking for the safety of the shallow end.

– Excerpt from Steve Austin’s upcoming book, Catching Your Breath. Support the Kickstarter campaign today at kickstartmybook.com and get more details on this powerful new book at catchingyourbreath.com.

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