There’s hope for us all

by Martin

in Depression Self Help

I’m really happy to publish this guest post by David Small. I think he captures a very important point that can really help in bringing about recovery from depression. It was certainly something that helped me.

The image, by Martin Grover, is his interpretation of the single “Don’t let me lose this dream” by Aretha Franklin.

The NHL lockout is over, and many of my friends and colleagues are returning to the rinks across North America. That used to be my world, on the ice everyday, hours on the bus, criss-crossing the country. Although I’m still involved in ice hockey, it’s no longer the centre of my universe – happiness is.

2010 saw a few highs and lows for me – on one hand I was named the Director of Operations for Team Canada Juniors at an international competition (an honor that is still a highlight of my career) and then a few months later I was fired from a coaching position that I had held for nearly 4 seasons. It sent me into a tailspin downwards. From 2006 to 2010 I was making a name for myself in the hockey world. I was winning championships on the ice, I was helping young men get NCAA scholarships, I worked for an NHL hockey club as a scout, and saw dozens of my players drafted or attend NHL camps. Then it all came crashing down.

Leadership is so important in coaching hockey – and when I was diagnosed with depression in 2009 I wondered if it was right for me to continue to coach while I was struggling to control my feelings. While I was meant to be calm, cool and collected as a leader – I felt like I was in constant chaos in my mind and heart. Hockey is a tough game, and coaches aren’t supposed to feel “sad” or “depressed”. I went onto anti-depressants to help me control my emotions, good and bad.

As I began to search for a new job I sank into a deep depression. I didn’t want to get out of bed – there was no reason too. I spent almost a full month just lying in bed watching Seinfeld reruns on TV. Finally – I decided that I needed to do something. One day I was on my computer and I found some old short stories I had written back when I was a kid. The stories were just simple, fun stories about growing up in a rural town. As I read through the stories I began to think that maybe there was something here to work with. I enjoyed writing, and maybe I could go back through these stories and make a little collection with them.

I began to re-write the stories one by one. Fixing the spelling and grammar, changing some bad teenager writing, and put them together into a collection about growing up in a small town. As I was going through the process I found that slowly it gave me a reason to get out of bed. It was a project that I could focus my mind on each day, and slowly the depression birds began to fly away. Page by page I started to get confidence as a writer, and confidence that I could be a leader and coach despite my illness.

My book was submitted to a publisher, they sent it to an editor who hacked and whacked some of the stories, and then one day I got the mail and there was a copy of my book, printed, bound and in my hand. It was an incredible feeling.

In reflecting on that period in my life, I saw that this project gave me hope. In my most recent book The Hope Project I explain all about what a hope project is. Basically there are 3 requirements to a creating a hope project

1. Your Hope Project must be something that you enjoy doing.
2. You must have some talent in this area.
3. Your Hope Project must enrich someone else’s life.

I found by following these 3 steps I was able to occupy my mind, fight off those feelings of depression, and then find hope in sharing with other people. Now a days I always have a hope project on the go, maybe it’s a new book, a new challenge, or something with my company.

If you want to learn more about Hope Projects I’d be happy to send you a free copy of the book. The Hope Project debuted at #1 in it’s category on and is just a short, simple read about my story and about starting a Hope Project. If you can find the post “Free Book” on my blog then there is instruction on how you can get a free copy.

Depression is sometimes a lonely place. A place that isolates you, zaps your energy, and steals your passion. Try starting a Hope Project for 90 days and see if anything changes in you. It changed my life to be able to focus on a small project for a few hours each week.

Much Love Friends,
David Small

You can follow Dave’s blog at
You can follow Dave on Twitter at
You can find Dave on Facebook at

David Small is a professional ice hockey coach, currently serving as Head of Coaching for a club in Northern Italy. David has been a coach for the past decade and has traveled all around the world coaching ice hockey. David is the author of 3 books; Small Stories is his first published work and is currently being reprinted in a special edition to support the charity The Kids Help Phone. The Hope Project is David’s second published book that debuted at #1 in it’s category on Amazon. The Wandering Leader is David’s third book about leadership and personal development and is expected Spring 2013. David is an avid public speaker doing lectures and events all around the world. You can catch David speaking this spring at the 2013 Advances in Leadership Conference in London England.


Nick Lowe – Hope for us all:

Aretha – don’t let me lose this dream:

About the Author

Father, husband, writer and website publisher, discontented in his day-job, he writes here about depression - his own and in general. You can follow Too Depressed on Twitter. Please share the content on this site with all your friends, followers and contacts using the buttons above.

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Last revised on February 7, 2013

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