How I Lost Millions: Depression And How I Dealt

If you have not read the first two pieces, then what I am about to say will not make a great deal of sense, but for the sake of brevity, here is the TL;DR version: 

At 18, I made millions.  Within two years, it was gone.

So, I am laying it all out for you to see.  This is my truth.  I am letting you into my personal and private side.  It is time to have, as Aristotle put it, a cathartic release.  I am Andrew Fashion, The Renovatio.  I am rising like the phoenix from the ashes.  I am making repairs, going through a paradigm shift and going to show you, the reader, what it is has been like to go from broke to rich to broke to working back to the apex, the pinnacle, the top.

My story is not like so many others.  I was fortunate to have the correct skill set at the correct time.  I did not have the acumen to balance what I had with any forethought.  What I am, now, is learning. 

Do not be fooled: I learned much, experienced much and achieved the apex rapidly but fell slowly all the way to absolute rock bottom.

I am broke and in debt.  This does not change me, Andrew Fashion, in the least.  I still have my drive, motivation and ambition like I have had since I was in 6th grade and learning how to design a website.

Debt does, however, affect me.  I have hard times, get angry and have outbursts that could likely be quelled.  This song, Master Shortie – Why (Interlude) gives you an idea of the turmoil that tumbles inside.  Listen to the song; read the lyrics.  There is a chance you will slide into me, into my state of being or at the very least, grow closer to how I feel daily.  Song allows me to ruminate on my issues and, strangely, drives my motivation.  A song can describe my emotional state to the point of perfection, and perfection gives me hope.

anger, angers an emotion that can turn to rage
my mind’s been on that chapter
felt impossible to turn the page
caged, mind state left me irate
seeing in a blind state with no sense of love
visions of hate towards people who’s imagination led them to create
the anticipation of devastation having my heart racing
fair, see me in this placement
enslaved, anxious, acting brave
is this how i’m supposed to behave?
the days of seking knowledge in a cave
man, do you understand? looking within, asking self

i wanted you to hear me out
there’s just a few things
i want to talk about yeah
it’s been on my mind for so long
and finally yeah it’s coming now

i’ve been pushed down so many times
i feel this is my last, as i lay here fading
my memories have been invaded by my past
rast. i’ve been beaten in the past
have you ever had a particular feeling
in your stomach like it’s empty and you need feeding
whilst a preceding of beating is taking place
and people are screaming “allow it” just leave him he’s bleeding
just leave him. whilst watching another human being getting beaten for no reason
by the fact the he’s achieving
i feel sad every day i can’t let them no i’m grieving
i’m lying to myself, aka i’m decieving
have you ever felt so alone?
you cried tears when you on your own
i’d rather hang myself then be alone
god take me away so i can feel at home
come on

i wanted you to hear me out
there’s just a few things
i want to talk about yeah
it’s been on my mind for so long
and finally yeah it’s coming now

It is a strong suggestion, again, that you go back and read the first two parts of this epic tale.

ECSTASY   

Drugs cannot hold a candle to the pure ecstasy that comes from earning two million dollars in under two years.  There is a feeling of pure control, and at 18, invincibility.  I was not a drug user and did not drink alcohol.  I drink more alcohol now than I did then.

Cash in the bank means you can do what you want.  You can buy your freedom.  You can tip any amount you want to whom you want.  Cash speaks volumes.  Cash will speak when everything else is silent. 

The feeling of making two million dollars in less than two years is a drug more pure than ecstasy.  There is control within your power; all based on a piece of paper.  I was an unstoppable juggernaut.  Keep something in mind, reader – I did not use drugs or alcohol.  I drink more alcohol now than I did then.

Cash is king.  Cash gives you power to do what you want, when you want, how you want, with whom you want, where you want.  This goes for everything from buying groceries to flying to Asia first class.  You can all but own people with the simple flash of a bill or two.  Doors do not open.  Doors are ripped from the hinges and lie in splinters on the ground before you while someone cleans the debris and puts down a carpet for you to cross over.  The very notion of the “Fast Track” is as distant as a world lit by fire alone.

The “Fast Track?”

The “Rat Race.”  It is the 8 to 5 drudge of working to make someone else money now and likely until death.  At one time, people could be comfortable on a pension and some government security of some degree.  Today, you can qualify for your employer’s 401(k) for retirement, health benefits and stock options.  In other words, if you want better for you in the long run, you are responsible for you – no one else or the government will do it for you.

I hurt when I see someone who should be enjoying their retirement years at a local Wal-Mart.  This does not mean I am better than you or anyone else for that matter.  I ache because these people have worked themselves to this point, need the security or have to make rent for the month.

The “Fast Track” is when all of this is anathema.  The “Fast Track” is working for yourself, making investments you want to make and being in charge of your time for you.  You built a business, made investments to supply a steady income and cash flow and are living the best life.

Feel like Hawaii tomorrow?  Done.  Asia in the next week?  The plane is on the runway.  Curious to see what London has to offer?  Step this way, sir/madam.

There is time.  Precious time for the woman you love.  She can take off work at a whim for weeks at a time.  You can give her anything she would like.  Her smile grows as you see her with you.  You can buy the time you want for you and your particular endeavors.

This is who I was.  The truth was surreal.  I believed it to be a dream.  It was absolute joy.

This was my truth until July 2008.  I left L.A.  It was only a few months more until it happened.

I dropped.

FALL

Going from nothing to two million is one thing.  Going from two million to nothing is completely different.  MySpaceSupport.com tanked after we ‘renovated’ the site in June 2007 during a trip to Miami, Fla.  I stayed in L.A. for two more months after the initial drop.  MySpaceSupport.com continued to fall.

Rather than doing something intelligent like move from L.A. and its exorbitant rents, I sold my two most valuable sites: MySpaceSupport.com and PerfectionApparel.com for $100,000.00 minus $20,000.00 commission.  I had approximately $80,000.00 in cash.

I returned to Denver and my home there.  I figured it was about time to pay my taxes for ‘06/’07, as I was a bit late.  I owed much more than I had calculated by an amount that made me less than pleased.  I was short and facing two years of penalties and interest.  I had $400,000.00 set for taxes.

I did not have enough.  This should give you an idea of how badly I was in arrears.

I am not going to share amounts with you because of my current debt situation.  Then, looking back, I thought I had options and ways out of this fiasco.  I did.  I chose not to do them.  Instead, I continued to spend on nothing – things, my girl, food, toys and the like.  I emptied my SEP-IRA for the cash.  I sold my truck, photography equipment and my prized BMW M6.

All of this netted me about $83,000.00.  This seems like a lot of money.  It is.  However, when you can drop $20,000.00 on a trip to Las Vegas and not blink, it is not that much money.

Today, I have my house.  That $83,000.00 – gone.  I burned through that money in a year.  The money I used to cash it out – gone.  I planned on paying 30 percent of my debt and reinvest the remainder – did not happen.  Some of the debt was paid, but I could not justify $30 to 80,000.00 on debt at that time.  The cash is gone; the debt is still very much there.

Depression kicked in.  In fact, it is fairly recent.

have you ever felt so alone?
you cried tears when you on your own
i’d rather hang myself then be alone
god take me away so i can feel at home
come on

As you can see, I have nothing to hide.  I have teared up and bawled.  The debt has gnawed at me from the inside because at times I feel the debt cannot be repaid, and the apex of life is out of my reach.

It is worse when I am alone.  Reality sets in.  Reality causes my mind to spin with intense pressure, and I question – what can I do, where can I do it, how can I continue to make debt, how can I save my house?

I do not think of giving up or saying this cannot be done.  I am instead questioning the way.  I could resolve everything with a quick $500,000.00 and be in good shape.

I am alone, lonely, unwanted and incapable.  There is a lack, a depression.

This how I have been for some time now.

RESURGENCE

It started with a happenstance.  My partner at the time, Jamie, and I landed an investor for beModel.com.

Suddenly, I had hope.  There was a feeling all would be well.  We amassed $20,000.00 for the project and shared real confidence in its success.

Here I was depressed and still able to raise even more money.  I realized – I am capable.  I can do this.  I have skills.  There is a path out of the dark.

It took two days to reach 15,000 users on the site.  We held beModel parties in Boulder and Denver with real success.  

We found a way.

Very little can stop two men with a drive.  Two ambitious men set on creating a destiny, chasing dreams and catching them, turning those dreams into reality.

Dreamers dream.  Jamie and I create.

Do not be fooled.  This is not an easy road.  There is still a long way to go.  The difference is I have hope again.  The drive has always been there and is not going to go anywhere.  I have a drive and desire to be successful.  Money is the byproduct of success.  The money is secondary to my success.  Success will bring wealth, but the value is my driving force.

I want to be seen as greatness and be looked upon with awe and splendor.

I am not “intelligent.”  This adjective is reserved for those who do great things – send men to the moon, invent chess, do quantum physics, heal people and the like.  I am a normal person with a rabid drive to succeed and earn value for me.

This leads into BEMODEL

Andrew ThompsonComment