Learning How To Breathe – Adam Ambrose’s Story


Hi, my name is Adam Ambrose and I am a singer-songwriter. I recently released a song called “Breathe” which details my mental health journey and how I learned to believe in myself. Through this song, I hope to inspire others to take that first hard step of loving who they are even when everything seems against them. This post outlines my own personal story, along with details of my CMHA fundraiser.

“Learning How to Breathe”

True courage is waging war on the demons that lay inside your own mind while knowing that you might not be able to tame them.

This was a hard lesson that had to learn after my first suicide attempt in high school. My life was difficult, at least that was the way I saw it.

My family life was full of yelling, name-calling, and constant fights about money. My personal life was that of a teenager, drinking and making bad decisions. I had a lot of friends and I was popular, but I was too afraid to tell anyone who I was. I was a drug addict, a liar, and I was suicidal.

Behind my smile was a feeling of being unwanted. I had this same feeling at home, at school, and with every person I encountered. My family loved me, but times got hard and people weren’t mean to me, but all I could see was the pain. All I wanted was a way out.

My dad remained strong through everything. I can remember him holding me and saying “Adam, please don’t do this again,” crying, gripping the back of my t-shirt.  My mental health always had a different idea and never really got better until my dad bought me a guitar. It was cheap, not well made, and my dad got it for 10 dollars at Value Village, but it was still a guitar. Music had always been my escape. I would be sitting in my room blasting music until my ears gave out.

Songs of love, hope, and wisdom got me through the hardest of times and they still do. Now, how did I go from being suicidal in high school to talking to you now? Learning forgiveness is how. I will admit I always struggled with anger and my temper was short, but I found a way to calm myself. I would sit and think about the future I could create and breathe every time the anger got worse. I took the weight off my chest and learned to allow myself to breathe. Now, with every tragedy, there is a song and with every happy moment, there is another song.

I found my way out and the support that I needed, but I know that not everyone is as lucky as me. Some are still lost in themselves and lack the support they need and want. To everyone that is reading this and needs to hear this, let me say this to you in the most personal way I can. You matter you are needed, and there are people who love you so do not lose sight of that.

The power of forgiveness, I think is the strongest tool we have as people. So forgive the past, unless it needs time to heal, and love who you are whatever that may look like.

My story is what inspired the “Learning How to Breathe” fundraiser, happening November 29, 2019.

The money will be raised through merchandise purchases and donations made on adamambrose.ca. 50% of merchandise profits and 100% of donations will go to CMHA Calgary to support their programs like Peer Support, Recovery College, and Family Support.

Our Peer Support program services can be accessed over the phone at 403-297-1402 or through email at peer@cmha.calgary.ab.ca.