My own life has never been easy – including right now, when both my family and I are going through some important changes that’ll help to dictate our future, some of which I’ve already mentioned in past blog articles.  On the other hand, in many respects, I’ve been luckier than most people, as far as my own life’s concerned – and not just because I’ve avoided the more serious pitfalls that have, more or less, driven those to commit acts that have gotten them in serious trouble, even to the point of committing suicide.

   In 1990-91, I had my own setbacks and eventual nervous breakdown as far as my own mental health was concerned, which landed me in several mental hospitals in the summer of 1991 – the result of several factors, including the stress associated with taking care of my late father, when a stroke crippled him for the last ten years of his life.  It’s now almost twenty-five years later, as I now look ahead to my own future, with plenty of help and guidance from the appropriate parties (including my own brothers), one that I hope will become less complicated as far as everybody’s concerned, including myself.

   Looking back, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I should consider myself lucky that I’ve avoided ending up in a mental hospital or prison for life – or worse, an early grave.  And I’ve come to realize though I have my own problems – they pale in comparison to those who are worse off, including several people that I’ve known throughout my lifetime.  For example, Patrick “Goober” Zeitler, Jr., whom I’ve known since childhood – and whose life become more complicated and troubled as he grew up, as he faced the same troubles that I might have faced in my younger days, and which would have destroyed me in the long run if not for the concern, kindness, and guidance shown by my family, friends, and various professionals working in the mental health industry.

   I’m also lucky that in almost the past twenty-five years, I haven’t done any foolish or dangerous that’s threatened and/or ended the lives of those innocents who ended up in the crossfire – the kind of act that lands you either behind bars or in a padded cell.  Or worse yet, the same actions that drive you to commit suicide via automatic weapons, the same fate that befall Adam Lanza and others driven insane by personal demons that are difficult to explain – and which, for the most part, defy explanation (though recent news reports are only starting to reveal the circumstances leading up to Lanza murdering his mother and subsequently unleashing the shooting attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in mid-December, 2012).  If you have mental health issues but are better off that you realize, thanks in part to the efforts of those who are greatly concerned about you – every time you read, watch, or listen to a news story about a senseless shooting spree committed by someone dominated by his own personal demons, a particular thought might be racing in your mind: “The person behind that shooting spree – that could have been me!”  As as you feel sympathy for the shooting victims and their families and friends – you also feel a bit sorry for their killer or killers, not because they committed the crime, but because their lives didn’t turn out the way that they and their families (and friends) had hoped it would be.  And you wonder if the killer’s families, friends, and other important figures in their lives could have done more to help influence them towards the path towards better lives with the socially acceptable goals and ambitions that would have helped make a difference.  But that’s part of the human experience – in which nobody can truly predict one’s future, despite how far we’ve come.  And we realize that only we can shape our own destinies by channeling our creative and personal energies in a positive way, while continuing to care for those who love and care about us – so much so that we can return that same love to our families and friends, the kind of action that can result in a better world for all concerned, while avoiding the violence and tragedies that has already shattered and destroyed the lives of those who showed promise and who had a lot to offer to humanity.

   In many ways, nearly all of us – including those who’ve overcome most, if not all of their personal demons – are very lucky, partly because there are those who love and care about us very much, and who know that humanity, including those less fortunate than us, still counts for something.  And that’s the way it should always be.

   John Lavernoich is the author of three books (including the first two Chameleons, Inc. novels), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (, as well as his pages on Facebook (, MySpace (, Twitter (, LinkedIn (, and WordPress ( Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube‘s website (, his own Author Spotlight page on Lulu Books‘ website (, his own Profile Page on Amazon Studios‘ website (, and his Chameleons, Inc. and Pictures Shop websites via Weebly (Chameleons, Inc. website:; Pictures Shop website:

©2014 John Lavernoich & Highroad Productions, Inc.


About johnlav

I've written five published novels -- including the first two in the CHAMELEONS, INC. book series -- as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in both print and on the Internet.
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