It was just a normal day like any other. I was finishing college and getting ready to transition to graduate school, and I was as happy, healthy, and well-balanced as my peers. I was out doing what I enjoyed playing golf when on finishing up on the eighteenth hole I felt an extreme darkness wash through me. I shivered, even though it was a warm day, with a clear blue sky. I felt an unexplained sense of doom and despair overtake me for the very first time in my life.
I felt ill at ease, in-equipped, and as though I was dying inside. This is not a fictional drama; it is the story of how I fell deeply into depression and other diseases, and then many years later found my way out. I’m hoping that my story provides useful tools and hope for others who find themselves sick and feeling otherwise hopeless and helpless.
All of this, I found out later, is how major depression often begins. It sneaks in eclipsing what was an otherwise happy life. I was soon to graduate with a degree in psychology but now felt submerged in real sadness and fear, and not the theoretical stuff I was learning about in my classes. To make matters much worse, this was only the first of many lifetime chronic treatment-resistant conditions that I would develop and struggle with for many years to come. I did not understand that these conditions were very much interrelated and that resolving one meant likewise repairing the others.
Looking back, as terrible as my journey was, it was also a test and training for who I am today. If I had known what I know now, depression and the conditions to follow it would have been just as productive as they were, but less painful, harrowing, and heartbreaking. I will not show you how to avoid disease, or offer you magic instant cures, as these are the promises of a snake oil salesman. But I will show you how to squeeze compassion, success, love, and a deep and productive life from the depths of despair, if that is what you truly want.
When disease descends upon us, we cross our fingers, pray, and hope it’s just a phase. But soon, after consulting doctors, shrinks, medicine men, or even clergy, this is a personal burden we must face and overcome. In my case, it was years, a seemingly hopeless and endless catastrophe. Then one day, I accepted healing myself, living my best life is up to me, and that I just needed to find the answers, like any other complex problem. I had to find my way once I exhausted other “cures”. The “doctor yourself” concept by Dr. Andrew Saul became my mantra.
As I developed a full range of health problems: arthritis to ulcers and everything alphabetically in between. It often felt as though I was going backward, despite an increasing amount of time, money, and effort to find answers. Just imagine feeling indescribably miserable, but not even being able to escape it for a little while, even in sleep, because you were also struggling with insomnia.
Agonizing days and months passed by with visiting specialists, reading endless books, listening to podcasts and focusing alternately on diseases and healing. I wanted to heal more than anything but couldn’t find my way to wellness. Part of me felt hopeless and went through my days hoping that I would just get hit by a bus and out of my misery, while the other half of me pressed on, seeking the truth.
Doctors do their best, but time after time they prescribe partial cures for symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of sickness and wellness. I rue every time I took stomach acid reducers when, in fact, my stomach acid was already dangerously low, causing through their advice to continue to make a bad condition worse. When in a deep dark place, it is tempting to seek a savior. But in my case, and in many others, someone wears a stethoscope isn’t the one we should listen to any more than our own common, informed sense, especially when you have, “been there, done that.”
One day I stopped taking the acid reducers, which eventually allowed me to reverse my chronic indigestion without drugs, or the doctor’s approval. It became the first of many pharmaceuticals I began refusing. I started finding the answers to health optimization through dedicated research and application of certified no-conflict of interest studies from the National Institute of Health. I had declared my health independence. On my road to wellness, I had become a biohacker, neurohacker, and a strong, able promoter of health optimization.
I found myself consumed and fascinated with health optimization and mesmerized by the endless possibilities inherent in human potential. People noticed the shift in me. They sensed that I had turned a corner and was a force for well-being. They asked me health-related questions and listened carefully to my answers, transforming themselves.
I became like a mad, healthy scientist combining safely proven health and medical sciences studies with biohacking and neurohacking. I always knew I was capable, but I never expected to become an expert in the domain of health and healing. And after conquering my long-time dark experiences and health problems, it compelled me into this space.
Equipped with my, “I’ll find the answer attitude”, I founded Optimize Better to aid other people with depression and other allegedly chronic diseases. After 13 years of research and trial-and-error, to solve lifelong neurological and biological conditions, I decided it was time to make my research experience and findings available for the public good. Nobody should have to suffer in ignorance and darkness the way I did. I knew all I had learned could help reduce or even end the suffering of others.
The emphasis of my work is looking at the body and mind through the lens of true interconnectedness. This creates a context of health in which disease is a temporary educational experience—useful and beneficial, but always temporary. Making the endless research and experience I unearthed easily available was the next monumental challenge. Accessibility and ease of understanding to the right information at the right time is a key to super health.
Science shows us that disease lies within the human genetic code. Our own unique genetic code combined with lifestyle choices made over time can impair systemic function. Systemic dysfunction can negatively alter multiple pathways within multiple systems of the body. This further moves the body and mind from being able to run at an ideal level and thus heal itself.
Optimize Better is the current culmination of your and my healing journeys. There is no attachment to any single ideological health or belief system. We discuss what works without catering to agendas or extremes. We stay open to receiving and reviewing new evidence and findings with the ongoing evolution of our health and its fixes. We are a bright light shining on the pathways to health, with a commitment to your health and happiness focusing on the shortest, most easily understandable path and action steps that can lead to the super health we all deserve.
“If we have been able to see further, it is because we have stood on the Shoulders of Giants.”
— adapted from Sir Isaac Newton
Dedicated with love and total respect to all the seekers of truth, past, present, and future.
Your Friends in Prosperity
I am a San Diego, California-based biohacker, neurohacker, plants, nootropics, and health sciences researcher..
Prior to starting Optimize Better, I spent 14 years as an amateur scientist optimizing myself.
Optimize Better is the user-friendly health sciences integration portal, built for health optimizers seeking the better, safer, smarter way.
As well as holding a master’s and bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University and the University of Arizona, I write, research, and speak on all topics around the biohacking and health sciences space.