Michael started with loss very early in his life when his mother got killed in a car accident leaving behind two boys and their father. Michael was 8 weeks old at the time and magically recovered after having almost all the bones in his tiny body broken.
It took Michael a big part of his life to figure out how to deal with grief, depression, and suicidal thoughts at the same time while creating a legacy by offering programs to create awareness in young people about drinking and driving.
Michael shares how working with a therapist helped him look at the ways in which he had modeled avoiding his feelings of grief and what tools supported him in overcoming his suicidal thoughts.
She hit me pretty hard the very first day when I was going in there thinking I’m going to talk about my aunt and my father’s death. Her first question was: hey let’s talk about your mother’s death and how that impacted all your relationships. I was like… I was stunned. I was like there’s a knockout punch. I didn’t want to talk about that even at age 47 I still didn’t want to really talk about that in-depth, but she was right, I had to.Michael Gershe
About this week’s guest
Michael Gershe is a survivor of a drunk driving crash that killed his mother and nearly himself when he was 8 weeks old. Despite breaking almost all his bones in the crash, he went on to become a collegiate swimmer, comedian, speaker, author, college educator, and photographer. With over 25 years of experience on stage, Michael has presented his programs at schools, colleges, military bases, courts, and even a TEDx talk. He uses humor, audience participation, and his story for an educational and inspirational message. In 2015 he founded The Magic of Life Foundation, a non-profit organization, that helps his mission of eliminating impaired driving making communities safer, and empowering people to make better choices in life. In 2019, he published his memoir, The Magic of Life: A Son’s Story After Tragedy, Grief and a Speedo.
His website: The Magic of Life Foundation
Topics discussed in this episode
- Loss of mom, father, and aunt led to the understanding of what had been modeled about dealing or not dealing with grief
- Suicidal thoughts, depression
- Learning about healthy ways of grief, and anger, instead of hiding the pain
- Drunk driving – wanting to make a difference through his programs
Resources mentioned in this episode
- The Magic of Life Foundation
- EMDR Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
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