Persistence. Perseverance. Resolution.
Resilience through connection. Connection through vulnerability. Vulnerability through courage. Success through hard work. Lessons Sheridan learned and teaches us by example, the highest form of leadership.
Hello, my name is Sheridan Taylor. I’m a combat veteran, former corrections officer, and suicide survivor. I write and speak about mental health and addiction, the stigma of mental illness, and how to reduce the harm they do to us as individuals and as a society. I work to help the addicted and mentally ill, the victims of our society’s myths and misunderstandings. As an Indigenous person who has been battling mental health issues for decades, I am invested in your success.
I was dependent on medication to maintain mental stability for years and never knew a night without fear. I want you to have something else. To sleep without nightmares and wake without loneliness. As someone who’s undergone most forms of treatment, with mentorship in Indigenous Healing ceremony, I speak from a place of knowledge and empathy, as well as authority. I want to show you the paths there are to a life of fulfillment, contentment, even joy. I want to show you how to have the life you deserve!
I grew up in the 1970s, the son of Metis parents, in various small towns across north-eastern Alberta. I learned how to fit in and not to get attached. I learned following your passion might not be the wisest financial decision, and poverty crushes any fulfillment love of occupation might bring. I enlisted anyway. Never regretted a day. I miss it terribly. I learned nothing is more important than having someone to love, no matter how crazy they make you. A lesson that served me well in my first marriage. I met her when she was seventeen and me eighteen. Our marriage lasted twenty-three years until her death. It serves me today with my marriage and our two sons.
The army taught me lessons as well: the value of chasing your dreams, hard work, discipline, and teamwork. In my service I saw the very worst and best that humanity has. I’ve seen injustice on a grand scale; war and prison do that. I walked among heroes and monsters, and I try to see the humanity they’ve buried. The most important lesson I’ve learned, from the army, my marriages, and my struggles with PTSD, depression, alcoholism, grief, intergenerational trauma, and anxiety, is perseverance. To never quit.
I’m not a soldier anymore, but I’m still a fighter. I fight alcoholism, PTSD, depression and anxiety and win, daily. I fought grief and loss when my first wife died a slow death because her demons took her. I fought suicidal ideation three times in my life. I fight the apathy and casual brutality so prevalent in our culture. These are battles without end. But the monsters of the world, and the monsters in our heads, can only win when we stop fighting. The greatest gifts come from the hardest lessons, and diamonds are made from applying pressure. I also learned that ya gotta laugh. Beats the shit outta crying.
I live in beautiful southern Alberta, in the beautiful foothills of the beautiful Rockies, with my beautiful wife, my two beautiful sons, a beautiful Border Collie, and a horrid little Lhasa Apso.