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It was truly an honor to be a guest on Randi-Lee’s podcast Write or Die.

I always enjoy when a host can create a safe place for a conversation and that is exactly what Randi did. I was able to share some of my lived experiences, even those that were emotionally charged.

I particularly liked the term “Truth Bomb” that Randi used which focused on us speaking the truth. Shows such as Write or Die do just that as they provide a means for us to speak that truth.

I found it very easy to share my stories because Randi knew the right questions to ask to keep our conversation flowing. Her point about making bad decisions struck home for me on a number of fronts.

Relationships are important to us today in fact even more so with struggling with COVID and what that has done to our conversations and how we communicate. Having lost my wife and best friend to cancer in February of this year there is a void that I struggle to live with.

I touch on a lot of these issues in my second book which is entitled “You Are Not Alone” which is set to be published January 17th, 2022. The book speaks to mentoring and mental health and how mentoring can be a part of the support structure for mental health and mental well-being.

You can also take a look at my first book “The Gift of Mentoring” which is available on This will give you the foundation of mentoring processes and concepts.

If I could leave you with one thing that would be to “Ask for Help” – reach out and get the help you need to begin and continue your healing journey. 

Doug Lawrence

Posted in blog, PTSD

Guest Peter Topside

I had the pleasure of being invited as a guest on the Write or Die Show several months back.  It was my first interview about my horror trilogy (Preternatural), and was also going to cover some very sensitive and extremely personal topics concerning mental health.  So I was nervous as a cat walking into it, but Randi ran the entire thing so well, that I felt completely at ease.  I opened up quite a bit and was as honest as possible, which was made so much easier with her encouragement.  I think we actually spoke for an extra 30 minutes beyond the actual interview, and both had a blast.  

I also really want to emphasize that the things said during my interview are my lived experiences.  I am not claiming to be an expert of any kind, but hope that my experiences can be of use to others.  Even though Randi and I joked a bit, we did so to create a warm, inviting environment to discuss my mental health struggles which included PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, alcohol and drug abuse, etc.  Having been through my own journey, stemming from an upbringing centered on stigmas about the topic, discouraging mental health services, and being taught to just ‘act normal,’ I know how hard it can be to change your mindset.  But I encourage anyone who thinks they may be having a mental health challenge to reach out and talk to any of the multitude of appropriate professionals for the proper treatment options.  Mental health is a very critical part of overall well being and everyone deserves to feel their best.

Thank you again for everything, Randi!

Peter Topside