Interview on CBC Radio – The Early Edition with Rick Cluff

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I spent a lot of time listening to CBC Radio when I was young. Most of my summer break I would live on a small island named Bowyer, just outside of Vancouver. My grandmother and me loved listening to The Vinyl Cafe with Stuart Mclean.

When I came back from Colombia, I went to live on Bowyer to remove myself from distractions (there is no power, public access, and many days me and my dog were the only ones on the island). I had the same routine every for months. Wake up, make coffee, turn on CBC Radio on my grandmothers Sony Sport AM/FM Boombox and work on editing Five Weeks in the Amazon.

Our national radio station provides unique cultural and social insight gives a (mostly) unbiased view of world news and current events. The liberty to be myself and express myself without the fear of true contempt is something that’s been given to me carte blanche. Growing up in Canada, I can speak freely.

When I published Five Weeks in the Amazon, it set a personal goal to somehow get on CBC radio. Just over a month after my book was published I was is an interviewed for the morning show, The Early Edition with Rick Cluff. If want to hear the live recording it can be found at right here. CBC Radio on air

Sean Michael Hayes pens book about journey to Amazon

Former pro skateboarder Sean Michael Hayes writes about his journey to self-discovery

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Jan 14, 2015 1:30 PM PT

Tsawwassen, B.C., native Sean Michael Hayes seemed to have had it all: he was a pro skateboarder as a teenager, and by the time he was 25, he had been featured in SBC Skateboard Magazine, travelled around the world, managed other pro skaters and earned a six-figure salary while living in California.

But by the time he was 28, Hayes’ life had come crashing down. He lost his job, his marriage fell apart, and nothing he tried seemed to lift him out of a deep unhappiness.

In 2012, the now 31-year-old travelled to the Amazon in Peru to seek out a shaman who he believed would have answers for him. Last month, Hayes self-published a book, Five Weeks in the Amazon to document his journey to self-discovery.

“I thought as humans, we’re quite natural, and I figured what more natural place than the Amazon,” he told The Early Edition’s Rick Cluff.

Hayes was diagnosed with depression in his early 20s. He said he tried to treat his depression naturally, through healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

“It didn’t work. I could do all this hard work and still end up feeling devastated, and I wanted to figure out why.”

He spent five weeks in Peru with a shaman, searching for answers.

“I was able to clearly separate what I now know is mental health illness and continue to go forward in my life while managing that and not let this unknown darkness take control.”

After he returned from the Amazon, Hayes started taking medication for his depression.

He plans to continue travelling and writing. He has a one-way ticket to Thailand that departs next Saturday.

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