For many in the Greek community, depression is a silent killer. There is still so much stigma attached to the diagnosis, and indeed to all mental illness, that many suffer in silence rather than share their struggles or even seek help.
The results can be devastating.
Alex Broches, a Greek-American living in the Chicagoland area, wrote about his personal struggle in a memoir entitled A Dark Path To Light. He spoke with The National Herald about his book, the writing process, and his goal of helping others through sharing his own difficult experience and how he turned his life around.
As noted in the book description, “Nine-year-old Alex Broches’ life is suddenly turned upside down when his father is arrested for a shockingly violent crime, sending his family on a downward spiral of shame, fear, and even bouts of homelessness. An outcast at school, Alex finds solace in figuring out ways to make money to support his family. But early success turns into spectacularly public failure and humiliation, sending Alex into a depression so deep he plans his own suicide. But that night in the woods, with a rope in his hands, something happens that he never imagined. It is that something that leads him on a path from the darkness into the light. That night in the woods, would change Alex’s life – Forever.”
The 29-year-old Broches told TNH about his Greek roots, “My mom’s father is from Kandilla, Tripoli, Greece. My mom’s mom is from Pyrgos. My father’s parents are from Tripoli.”
When asked about the writing process, he said, “The writing process was quite difficult. Since my book is a memoir, I had to write a detailed outline at first. I started writing it 4 years ago and finally finished it 2 months ago.”
Broches added, “I hired several editors to help me put the outline all together in a coherent book. Some days, I would write first thing in the morning before I started working. Other days, I would write at the very end of the day.”
He told TNH, “Writing a book has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done.”
“My goal is to help as much as I can, now that I’m doing better. There is a light for everyone,” Broches said.
Though he is currently single, he hopes to marry some day and have kids. Broches noted, “The most important thing is this: I want my story to inspire those who could use it. Depression is a very deep and painful experience that I went through for many years. It started at age 9 when my father went to prison. I talk about this in detail [in the book]. In the last few years, I’ve been able to do much better mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially. It’s about ‘thought control’ as I talk about in my book.”
After struggling for many years, Broches now runs a business that serves northern Illinois called The Junk Removal Dudes, www.TheJunkRemovalDudes.com, and has published his memoir which is already making an impression on readers.
“As of now, my book has over 15 reviews on Amazon and they are all 5-star rating,” he told TNH, sharing some of the reviews he has received including one, “from a fellow Greek who read my book yesterday.”
The reader wrote in his review that he was so engrossed in the book, he could not put it down and “blew off work to finish it.” The reader then thanked Broches for sharing his story, noting that it is “Very inspirational!”
Other online reviewers also found the book inspiring. James Altucher, bestselling author and venture capitalist who is quoted on the book cover, said, “Alex has been through hell and back. His story is an inspiration to me on not only survival but how to thrive from the middle of darkness.”
A Dark Path To Light by Alex Broches is available online. More information is available at: www.ADarkPathToLight.com.