Inspiration Page

Dear Wendi

I am a 32 year old woman who has always suffered from depression, and, from age 11 to 21, I used self-injury as my exclusive coping technique. It has been a long struggle to unlearn that behavior and develop new, healthy ways to process emotional pain. As an adult, I feel like I’ve really accomplished my mental health goals and I spend more time feeling ‘normal’ and connected than not. However, a few years ago, I began to feel depressed again. I was in a one-sided relationship and my job required me to work long, physically exhausting shifts. I didn’t have time for friends or any of the other activities I enjoyed. I would often come home to drink and eat take-out alone, just to have some pleasure in my day. Of course I’m a loyal TMS fan and at this time in my life, I remembered hearing several Therapy Thursday segments where you mentioned the potential positives of being a single, child-free adult and how it was always possible to change the direction of your life. Due to my rocky past, I always valued stability above all things and never thought of travel (or any other big change), but when I heard you plan and realize your move to Sweden, I began to think differently.

I took advantage of an opportunity to travel to London for a conference. During this trip, I met the person who would become my best friend. This friendship led to an invitation to move to Santiago, Chile with a bit of a support network. Ten months later, I was stepping off the plane to start my new life. Now I’ve been here a year and although I’m penniless and far from the comfort of familiarity, this is genuinely the best I’ve felt in a decade. I still have bad days. Being an immigrant with poor Spanish skills means that I often struggle with simple things, like going to the doctor, paying my bills, or making friends. However, I also struggled with loneliness and isolation in the US. The difference is that here in my beautiful new home, I can honestly believe these problems are temporary. In the past, I was so used to settling for survival that I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel truly happy and present in my own life. I’m not one of those types to over-romanticize travel: I definitely took all my “baggage” with me. That said, I am now a huge advocate of taking risks to get healthy. If I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my comfort and stability in the short term, I might have continued on for years feelings hopeless and without direction. So, thanks for that little push I needed! Sometimes you just need to know change is possible. Maybe now I can be the one to inspire someone else to do the same.


Wendi –

I’m a felon in his mid 30’s with two kids and a beautiful wife. I have one degree in marketing and am finishing another in computer science. I’ve managed depression and am still trying to manage a weight gain problem due to stress eating. During all of this I have found inspiration through Therapy Thursdays on TMS. It motivated me to write a book to try and help others. I just want to say “thank you.”

-James Wieland

Here’s the standard marketing email:

I am writing today concerning the nation’s growing felon population. I have written a book that may help some of your state’s population get back on their feet as a contributing member of society. Estimates put the total felon population, those in and out of prison, at roughly 20 million. A felony conviction restricts a person’s ability to find decent housing, secure employment, and a beneficial social standing. Along with these restrictions is the increased chance of re-offending due to the lack of resources available to offer felons help.

My book, Chains of Change, provides the general path of success many people may take to improve their lives. It is written from my perspective, that of a convicted felon, to offer help for other convicted felons, their friends, and family. This guide focuses on simple and straightforward advice to help felons get back on their feet and deal with the public sigma of “criminal.”

This book is meant for any felon or their family and friends that may be trying to help get a loved one’s life back in order. It goes through the steps in organizing the life of a convicted felon and how to approach many of the hurdles that get in the way of simple happiness and security.

You can learn more about the book at where there are links to purchase the book from Amazon in both paperback and digital formats. Thank you for your time and I wish you the very best in your endeavors.

-James Wieland
Queen Creek, AZ