Instead of speaking to you with clinical language that can be cold and academic, or flowery "woo woo" language that is unconvincing and unapproachable, I use this platform to speak from one person to another, based on my own experience and research as a mental health patient.
By doing so, my goal is to reduce stigma surrounding the subject of mental health, and demystify topics in that arena that you may have previously found unapproachable, irrelevant, complex, or simply unaware of. If I'm successful at that, I want to help a lot of people, and live a life of meaning that's an authentic expression of who I am.
That's what Clues Dot Life is about.
Perfectionism and a relentless pursuit of achievement became my dominant coping mechanisms following my mom's death. Whether it was winning in sports or performing at the top of my class academically, it became my drug.
I was the straight-A kid, captain of the sports teams, and went to a top 20 university. Ultimately, I ended up working in the technology industry in Silicon Valley where I built a successful career as part of several breakout startups. By the time I decided to call quits on my career, I had been a part of 9 startups that each went on to become worth $1B+, either as an employee, advisor, or investor in the business.
Still, I had a lot of old emotional wounds that I continued to suppress. After jamming down the pain from my childhood for nearly two decades, it all came to the surface in my late twenties. I had sudden and chronic panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and a long list of behavioral issues that could all be linked to the rough patches I had as a kid.
Overwhelmed by fear that I would become severely mentally ill and die, as my mom had, I decided to answer the call to change and initiated a process of emotional healing that continues for me today.
It started with seeking a therapist, reading books, taking a small amount of medication, and practicing basic cognitive-behavioral methods I learned through therapy. That helped some, but it wasn’t enough to establish the sense of internal calm that I was seeking. My journey expanded beyond a standard Western clinical approach to psychology, and into a broad search for any clue that might ease my suffering.
Along this journey I've spent 45-days in an addiction recovery center, walked the 12-steps program, used psychedelic therapy with Ayahuasca and Psilocybin – both in the U.S. and the indigenous traditions of the Amazon – and spent several thousand hours absorbing as much information as I could about the human mind, the human condition, and how to find our way in this experience that we call life.
After much healing, and a radical transformation away from how I once lived, I turned to service with a commitment to help others heal and transform. I'm on the board of Heroic Hearts Project, which is a non-profit that helps military veterans with PTSD. I also write a newsletter where I share the clues that I discover about what it means to live with more fulfillment and less suffering.
And now I'm here, building Clues Dot Life to help others and continue my process of healing through a commitment to service.
About me, Andy, the Creator
How do I do it?
What About Money?
(1) I'll do it (mostly) for free: I saved and invested money intelligently during my prior career in Silicon Valley. That’s given me the financial flexibility to stomach working on this for a few years without significant financial strain or the need for outside investors. Beyond that, I’ll eventually need to get a job again. I hope donations from readers like you will be enough to sustain me in the long term so that I can continue to earnestly build this.
(2) Lots of software: Instead of hiring a team of people to build this app, which I can’t afford, I’m doing nearly all of the building myself with the assistance of many software tools. I use Webflow to run my website, software like Figma for various design needs, digital banking and fintech services like Novo and Stripe, and a host of AI tools (e.g., Runwayml, Midjourney, Amazon Polly) to create images and audio, conduct research into new topics (ChatGPT) and edit my writing (Grammarly) so that it’s simple and straightforward.
(3) Assistance from experts: several subject matter experts have volunteered their time by conducting podcast-style interviews with me. They sometimes connect me with other experts who similarly route me to other sources of vital information, and so on. I then synthesize the information they make available to me so that I can make it available to you.
That said, it's important that I generate some revenue from this app. There are two reasons for that. The first is that I would like to cover my basic living expenses and the costs required to operate this website so that I can continue building it. I can’t afford to do this for free forever. The second goal of generating revenue is to reinvest profit in the form of more tools and content for my readers. In the same way that a technology company will invest profits into research & development for future product innovations for their customers, I want to reinvest my earnings to create more mental health resources and tools for my readers.
Currently, I have two sources of revenue. The primary source is donations from readers like you who wish to access my premium content and support my work (click the "Support Me" button at the top of this page). Any amount helps, even if it’s $5 a month.
A second, minor source of revenue is via Amazon affiliate links. Whenever you buy a book I link to from this website, I receive a small kickback from Amazon. Importantly, I want you to know that I only link to books I believe to be highly valuable resources and have read myself. If I think the book is trash, no matter how popular it may be, I won’t write about it simply to generate affiliate fees. Typically, I earn $1 - $3 for each book that is sold through the affiliate links on this site).
The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material on the clues.life website are for informational purposes only. The content is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding your condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Reliance on any information provided by clues.life or others appearing on the website is solely at your own risk.
If you are in crisis or you think you may have an emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. If you're having suicidal thoughts, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to talk to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area at any time (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). Call your local emergency line immediately if you are outside the United States.
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