Voted Top 10 Mental Health Podcasts for Women in 2022!
March 1, 2022

Finding out what you're truly made of. Gage Terry's story.


I have been following Gage Terry on Instagram and TikTok for a while and everything he talks about just hits home for me so I just wanted to have a conversation with him. He is only 23, but has been through a-lot. Gage says in his bio, he grew up being overweight, surrounded by a lot of drama. He had an alcoholic father, drug addicted Mom for a while, and he was just lost beyond belief. But within a span of a couple of years he was able to put his life together in a way he never believed possible. His parents are currently sober and their relationships are getting better. Gage shares his knowledge and wisdom on what he has realized on his journey to seeing what he's really made of. He asks such great thought proving questions to himself that makes him think. Then he often turns that into content for Tiktok and Instagram. Gage shares some great life advice and really inspires people to take a look at themselves to see what they are truly made of.

Connect with Gage Terry:
IG https://www.instagram.com/gzterryofficial/
TikTok:https://www.tiktok.com/@gzterry?lang=en

___________________________________________________
Thank you to our sponsors:
BetterHelp - Visit https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife to join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional.

Special offer for The Bright Side of Life listeners... get 10% off your first month at https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife

Visit our website:  https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/


Support the show (https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/support/)

Support the show (https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/support/)

Transcript

Gage Terry:

After a while, I just stopped holding on to that peace between other people and started trying to find it within me. And I was like, this isn't worth it anymore. I don't I don't need to be a mediator for other people's issues three years ago, that's when that happened. That's when that happened. Like I started doing things for myself.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host Melissa bright. If you have not yet subscribed to the podcast, please be sure to do so on your favorite listening platform so you never miss an episode. And if you just love, love, love the podcast so much. And you would like to support the show, you can do so by writing a review on the website, sharing your favorite episodes on social media and with friends and family. Or lastly, you can make donations by going to the donate page on the website. Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to support the podcast, I am very grateful. And also you can do all of that stuff right on the bright side of life. podcast.com and today I am talking to someone that I am very, very excited to hear his story. I have been following him on Instagram and Tiktok for a while. And everything he talks about has always just hit home for me and I wanted to have a conversation with him. So today I am talking to gauge Terry and he is only 23 years old, but has gone through a lot in his short 23 years. And gage says in his bio that he grew up being overweight, surrounded by a lot of drama. He had an alcoholic father and a drug addicted mom for a while and he was just lost beyond belief. But within a span of a couple of years, he was able to put his life back together in a way he never believed possible. And now his parents are currently sober and their relationships are just getting better and better. So, Gage, welcome to The Bright Side of Life podcast. How are you doing today?

Gage Terry:

I'm doing all right. I go out that intro here and that read back to me. I got cold chills. I don't even go to LA. I've never like I remember how to get but are topping it out. But when you read that back to me I got cold chills was like yo, that sounds crazy. Oh my gosh, I'm doing okay. I'm doing okay.

Melissa Bright:

It's crazy to hear sometimes, like when you read your life and like three sentences or four senses and you're like, oh, shit, but that is my life. Okay, yep, I got to own it. Now. It's out there in the ether.

Gage Terry:

Yeah, I didn't know I was sitting there listening. I was like, bro, you really have been through the wringer. Oh my goodness. Yeah. You know it for yourself. But whenever someone else is like saying it to you, it's like, nah. Well, who? Like as heavy as heavy? So?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So I want to say a couple of things. First of all, so one I'm so excited to talk to you just because of your accent. Love your accent i Where are you from in Tennessee?

Gage Terry:

I'm from the Tri Cities so it's like eastern Tennessee Johnson City. Bristol kings were area. So it's eastern Tennessee.

Melissa Bright:

Perfect. Perfect. Okay. So how I always like to tell people how I discovered my guests and I seek out people that I want to have genuine conversations with I don't bring on people just to bring them on just to fill in the podcast interview just to have one. And I came across gauges tick tock first and his stuff. His his content is absolutely incredible. He is always talking about thought provoking stuff around mental health or trauma or healing or everyday stuff that people are going through and I just literally got done telling him that me as a 36 year old woman getting something out of a 23 year old guys like content, that's huge. Like, I would take that as a compliment. It just shows how relatable he is. And if that doesn't prove anything, well, he has and I don't even know if you've done this math but between Tik Tok and Instagram, you have over 800,000 followers almost a million

Gage Terry:

Yeah. I haven't done math because like I said here to here and it actually you can concept or not even conceptualize it but like understand in your brain that Oh look a big number. But like it's gonna be insane one day to see even just like a couple 100 people in front of me. If I ever end up speaking like to see just a couple 100 people in from Andrea realize that every single number on the followers, like list, I guess, yeah, is the actual human being. Yeah. I try not to focus on that. But also, it's crazy to even comprehend, right that many people that actually listen to words. Yeah, it's crazy, honestly.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, it is so awesome. So, okay, let's go ahead and get into a little bit of your story. And PS if you ever do want to talk on to a stage, you better say right now, like speak it into existence, you say when I am talking on stages? Okay.

Gage Terry:

I'm getting better. I'm getting better. I'm trying.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Okay, so I know I mentioned briefly, um, you know, how life was like growing up. But if you can just tell me briefly, who were you when you were younger? What were you like, were you liked outdoors? Or? Yeah, Funimation. Paint that picture for us?

Gage Terry:

If I can be honest, it's something I've been trying to think about. Over the past probably a couple months. I, I'll be honest, I don't remember a lot of my childhood, Mike. I remember bits and pieces. And I've seen a video somewhere like if you have bad memory, you have PTSD. I was like, Well, that makes a lot of sense. But I just don't remember a lot. I remember bits and pieces. And the bits and pieces I remember is I liked football. I like sports, trying to be involved in sports. And I would love to like I would like to say I was introverted. But I had friends like I talked to people in school. And I enjoyed school. Honestly, I liked school, to an extent. I would say overall, probably just introvert, like introverted, in the sense of like, I didn't like people coming home. Like, I didn't hang out with a lot of friends outside of my house and hang out with friends. I didn't bring them home to my house. So it was pretty lonely for the most part. Um, other than that, like, there wasn't a lot. Like there was moments, but I don't remember a lot of happy moments. And it sucks, cuz I know, there was more than what I am leading on. But right. You know, when there's a lot of bad that happens, you start to kind of focus more on that than you do. Any good moments that you had before. So yeah, it's a little hard to explain. I just don't remember a lot about my childhood. Just bits and pieces. Really?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So I am in no way a therapist, but when I started my therapy last year, um, I, my therapist told me along the same lines of as you were kind of talking about, and I did grow up with an alcoholic mother and drug she actually was a nurse and got caught stealing painkillers because of her addiction. And she had to go, she was forced to go to rehab to get better. So I was not aware of this because I was so young. But my therapist says that a lot of times if we don't have memories of our childhood, it is because of traumatic events. And that's literally our brain protecting us. So we are not constantly having this in our memory, you know? Yeah. And so that would make sense for you if you don't remember a lot of it.

Gage Terry:

I mean, like, I know, I played football, like I was involved in sports. I played football, I played basketball. Or eating talking are we talking about like early early childhood?

Melissa Bright:

Whenever Whenever you want to talk about Yeah,

Gage Terry:

well, I liked sports. I loved watching football, outdoorsy, not so much. But I did later in high school I did. So this is not even like five years ago, I did start to really love hanging out with my friends outside of my house. But in school, you know, I had friends. I enjoy. I made good grades. I liked making good grades. For a while it was because it was kind of like it was expected from our parents in a way but then they just stopped caring. Honestly, they just stopped caring. But I still, I guess held the standard. I don't really know how to explain that. But as I enjoyed making good grades, it made me feel good. Yeah, but other than that, like, I don't exactly know who I was, like when I was a child. I just I liked playing video games. There's only little things that I remember liking. I don't know exactly what I was back then. I was kind of a mediator, if you will, between family members late in middle school, and then pretty much all through high school. Yeah, so I didn't have hobbies. I had problems. That's that's about it. That's what Remember,

Melissa Bright:

yeah, so we obviously know what a mediator is. But can you kind of go into detail like what that meant for you? And like what that entailed?

Gage Terry:

Well, early, I'm trying to remember pinpoint an exact moment, probably. early high school, is when things kind of got severe in regards to just my family overall, but early in high school is when I started to really get get some courage, get some get some balls, if you will, honestly, and kind of not talk back, but stand up for myself. And because before it was kind of just, I would be agreeable, just for the sake of no arguing. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, I do not want to have this conversation. Because with my dad, I was talking to a brick wall essentially, like, no comprehension whatsoever, or recollection of anything that has happened. So for the most part, I was going between parents, my parents were divorced at a very young age for me. So it'd be often chit talking between from my dad's point of view about my mom, and then my mom trying to be like, Hey, that's not true. This that the other thing? Like, it was always something going on that I was trying to navigate through. Yeah. But early in high school, I started getting, like I said, some balls and some bravery a little bit and started pushing back a little bit. And, you know, it felt good. But it ended up you know, costing me a little bit as well, because that's what you get. And then, yeah, I'll be honest, I kind of lost my train of thought. But But yeah, that's, that's what mediator was. for me. It was like problem solving, trying to keeps both sides cordial. Yeah, just so there was some kind of peace that you could hold on to. And after a while, it just stopped holding on to that peace between other people and started trying to find it within me. And I was like, it's, this isn't worth it anymore. I don't, I don't need to be a mediator for other people's issues. So three years ago, that's when that happened three or four years ago, that's when that happened. Like I started doing things for myself, like I left the situation. And when you leave the situation is scary. It's all you ever known is all you ever known this scary? terrifying, but that's when everything began to get better for me. So

Melissa Bright:

yeah, awesome. So okay, so that, I feel like there's always a point in somebody's life that either they have like a rock bottom, they have, like, I'm done with this, I can't continue like living this way, whatever it is. So that sounds like this was kind of like, you're like, I got to get out of here. Um, and it seems like even just for the age of 23, and even four years ago, you were very, very self aware of things. I mean, it was obvious that maybe you are growing, you're in some dysfunctionality. But it just seems like you were so much more self aware than maybe even most people that age. So what made you know, I don't want to say what made you but how did you find the courage to leave the situation and know that was the best choice for you?

Gage Terry:

I'm going to give two answers. One, I think when I lost weight, like I was 300 pounds through most of high school, like around around about, and I've been struggling with weight loss for a long period of time. And near the tail end of high school, my senior year, I'd finally started like losing weight. And I was on my weight loss journey. And then the year following my senior year, I'd lost my weight down to the one like weight I wanted 200 pounds. And going through that was one like if you look at the success rate, I don't know what the percentage is. But I know if you can look at like individual stats. So like I lost 100 pounds, if you compare that to the world, in total, that makes me part of the 1% in that category. So I started thinking on that I'm like, I'm 1% Maybe not and everything else, but like, I'm the 1% that completed the tasks that was successful on this. And I think that gave me a little more belief in myself and confidence as far as like what I'm able to accomplish. And like it didn't make me second guess myself so often. I still did sometimes, but I think that was one big thing. But the other one, and I haven't thought about it since since then that much, but it was the hope for the future. Like so. My rock bottom per se was when I finally moved in with my best friend and his family I lived in my best friend's basement, if you will. It wasn't even a room. Actually, it was a den. There was no doors, there was just three walls and open area and I had a bed in the corner and a little dresser cabinet from our clothes. And I remember when I took that set my friend, I sent him a video of what was going on at the house. And there had been a TV thrown off of the second story deck, clothes thrown out. My dad's girlfriend was crying on the porch. And I was just so numb to everything. I recorded it and I was like, Hey, boys, it's a good night, ain't it? I was just recording everything that had happened. And I send it to my friend. I was like, that's exactly what it sounds like. I said, Good not. And he said, Dude, are you okay? I was like, I'm fine. I was like, this is kind of a norm. Just thought I'd show you what kind of not has happened. And he asked me he's like, you want to live with me? And I thought about and I was like, Can I actually dude. I was like, I don't know. I said, bro, don't play with me cuz I swear I'll pack my bags right now. He asked his mom, his mom said, Yeah, I packed my bags right then. And I left. I left didn't know what was gonna happen. You know what was gonna, I was gonna do but I was like, hey, it's my. It's my buddy. So let's see what happens. And it took three weeks for my dad to notice I was even gone. Yeah, it's, it's strange. Like he just didn't understand it, because I wasn't at the house often anyways, right? But I remember that. And as soon as I walked in those doors at my best friend's house, some just happened. And I just started crying. I hugged him, and I broke down and started crying. And he just patted me on the back. He's like, you're gonna be okay, like, we're gonna, we're gonna get through this. He's not very emotional. But like, he's an emotional dude. But it's just telling me like, we're gonna be good. Like, it's gonna be all good. And I'll live there for six months. And I ended up moving back in with my dad. Because he had changed, changed, evidently. And I moved back in. And it didn't change, not for for long. And this is the moment I'm trying to build up to is, I told my dad, when I walked in there, he was, it was after he was on a bender. And he was passed out. And I walked in there at 3am into the living room, and I just had a talk with him. I said, can I talk to you? He's like, Yeah, I was like, I'm moving back in with my buddy. I can't do this. And he was like, I don't see why you got to be dramatic about it. Like we argue sometimes. But it's not like anything crazy. And I told him, I was like, You don't understand, I'm going to hate you, you are going to cause me to hate you for the rest of my life, I will resent you, until the day one of us dies. I was like, I don't want that. And that's, that's what I'm trying to get to is the faith that one day, if I have kids that my dad may be around the idea that my dad possibly can get better. And in order to do that, I have to let him do that on his own. And I wasn't, I couldn't stay because if I stayed, I'd enable the behavior. But also I'd end up resenting him. But if I left, I was at least solving half the problem. I was like, I won't hate him as much. That's a possibility. I won't resent him because I'm not around him to know and be have reoccurring pain continuing to happen. And that was that moment was the idea that maybe he will get better. And maybe it will get better. Like, I'll have a family and my mama will be there. My dad will be there. They'll all see it unfold. And like, I want that. But I can't have that if I continue to stay in this. And that was that was the big turning point for me was that before that, but that night that talk with my dad, that's what that was.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And that's, that's huge. And it for you to like notice, to first have hope to notice that also. And to Okay, so I'm kind of going in circles here. And I want to ask you this, because and so I lost my dad last January and we did not have a good relationship. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't there. A relationship didn't exist. And I always resented my father for that because I'm like, What the hell is wrong with me for my dad not to want to be in my life. And it wasn't until somebody brought this to my attention of me realizing that he obviously had something going on inside of him like some kind of trauma. He only knew what he knew from his parents, which from what I hear my my grandpa wasn't great to his kids, either. Have you ever thought about that? Like, do you know if your dad's ever went through like something traumatic or

Gage Terry:

I'm glad you brought this up because people have asked me how do you forgive someone you know, how do you not hold resentment? And sometimes, I don't like I know how to answer it but I hate to answer because like, I shouldn't know this, I'm 23. Why do I know this? But it's just something I do. And part like part of forgiving is that is figuring out why people do what they do. And realizing it's not all about you, like, realizing that what someone else projects onto you doesn't always mean it's about initially what you did. It's about a reaction to something that happened to them years prior to that, yeah. Or when they were a child. It's instilled into them. And when I was on that whole thing, like, at first, when I was living with my buddy, I hate I hated my dad. Like, I love them, but I hated them. And I hated that. I hated that. I loved them and hated them. It didn't make sense. And I just always asked myself, Why me? Why is this happening to me? What did I do? And I don't know what happened over time. I just got tired of asking that. So I started asking me like asking, why did it happen? Instead of why why was it to me, but why did it happen in the first place? So I started getting curious, and I knew things a little bit about my dad's childhood. Yeah, but if anyone knew anything better, it was my mom. My mom, they got together when he was a teenager, or when she was a teenager, but he was in his early 20s. So I was like, let me ask her some things. And she told me some about my grandparents, both of them are patent they passed when I was younger, and, and through high school, but so I started asking her and she gave me some insight. She said, You know, it wasn't the best. My dad's very money centric, money oriented. The way he shows love is by gifting, like by buying things, being able to help by giving you money that doesn't know much about the emotional side of things. And on top of that, he's a narcissist. So it's, it's an interesting, interesting, dynamic. But I started to realize that, like, if you can just connect the dots, like let's say, Oh, his dad wasn't emotional, or his mom and dad were always focused about money and making money. How did that play into his life? How did that help him raise up into an adult? And now why is he the way he is? And part of that, like, it's hard to identify what parts of them like of people are them and what parts are results of different things. But that's how I kind of understood that. It's funny, it's the funniest way that I can explain it. It's like, like my, without going into too much detail. My dad, like, all his both of his parents have passed, his sister passed away from cirrhosis, my aunt, and honestly, when you start to kind of take a tally of everything that's happened through someone's life, I looked at myself, I said, Well, hell, I'd be an alcoholic, dude, to be quite honest, like that. That's a lot like, right? It's like, you don't want to, like you want to be like, that's wrong. But also, you can't blame someone like, right now else. We're only human, you know. And at some point, you got to treat it like so people make mistakes, and understand that things happen, or things did happen. And if you hold it against them for the rest of their lives, even when they're not still playing the part of the person that ruined your life, you may never have a life with them. Right? And that's kind of what helped me. Stop being so angry. And stop. Just stop in general, just stop trying so hard to understand everything and blame myself for it didn't make sense. So it takes a little bit. Just a thought. Yeah, it takes some time.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. But once again, that's just incredible that you even thought about that, because that took me a long time to consider like that being an option. I'm like, well, first of all, it's not about me. Second of all, it's probably to do with his past. Yeah, there's way more shit going on than just like me not being in his life. And for you to show compassion. That's huge. And that takes a lot of courage to do. But so much of that is also for your own well being because if you are just in that anger all the time, that's not mentally healthy for you. And I know it ate me alive. Oh, a lot of times when I could have been spending my energy doing something else else, you know? Yeah. So that's, that's big for you.

Gage Terry:

Yeah, I wish I wish I could open up my brain and allow people to see just like exactly how I like how it is like go about things because I don't know how to explain it all the time. It just is kind of instantaneous, like it just happens. And dots start connecting and things start happening and I start thinking I'm still working on how to honestly make something that people can actually understand. So that can be more comprehended by a lot more people to go about it. But I think it just takes, it just takes it does take time, I'm even gonna lie like, it takes time. And it takes there's, there's a thing I saw about, I think like domestic abuse in relationships. And they say, most of the time, people who are involved in domestic abuse, like our abusive relationships, will go back more than twice or more than once. Like, it takes that many times for them to get it through their head that this is not good. And it's gonna keep happening, because I keep showing up. And that's exactly what happened. Me. I mean, it's just the love you have for somebody it it blinds every logical bone in your body every logical sense and nerve like, you don't comprehend it. So you go back, of course, because the love is there. And you know, in your heart, not in your mom, but in your heart that it's worth it. It's going to be worth it. But sometimes it just something clicks, something clicks, and you don't understand what that is. I don't even understand what the clicking moment is. I don't know how to explain it, but it just clicks and you start

Melissa Bright:

just off. Yeah, I love that. I love that. So how do I say this? When? Okay, so you've been on this journey for a couple of years? Is that correct? When I say this journey? You don't do you live at home anymore? Or no?

Gage Terry:

No, I live with my brother me and him split rent at a house and my mom actually just moved in with us because of a situation that happened. So she's living with us. But yeah,

Melissa Bright:

gotcha. So how long have you been like creating content for Tic Toc, I like really want to hear how this all came to be. I want to say I've been following you maybe for like three or four months.

Gage Terry:

Um, so I started rod around two and a half years ago is something like that. It's been two and a half years and a search on Tik Tok. And my buddy told me about it. And I was like, Okay, looks interesting. So I got on there. And I was just fooling around with it. And then I was like, I seen some weight loss vids, or videos that were on there. And I was like, let me post one. I had a crazy transformation. I lost 100 pounds. Let me see. Let me post this. So I posted it. And I got like 50,000 views. And I was like, hey, that's kind of crazy. So I was like, maybe I can post weight loss content. I knew I wanted to do something to help or benefit somebody. I think that I at least know that much for sure that that's instilled within me, that is no result of anything else. That is who I am like, anything I do, I would love to, for the end result to be people being left off better than when I first met them. Like, that's the goal for me. So that's what I did. I started weight loss content, did it for a couple months. And I was I got up to 10,000 followers. And I was like, This is crazy. But something wasn't right. Something wasn't right. I was like, but I don't enjoy this. I don't like talking about weight loss. Like it was simple. Like, I did the research. I did the work a what I needed to eat. And I lost the way I was like, what how many more ways can you talk about it? Like you can show dot plans, you can show workout routines, and I hated it. I didn't I don't like working out. I don't want to record my workouts I want to leave here. Why would I do this? So I didn't enjoy it. And I was like, Well, what else can I talk about? And I started Steve Harvey has some video where he was talking about the idea of like, understanding, you know, what you're good at is like, you know, what is it that you already do for free? Pretty much what is it that people come to you for? And you've never really looked at as a string. And that was talk like talking about their problems? Yeah, always wonder why I was like this. Like, people gravitated towards me to talk about and complain about their problems. And I was like, What is going on? So I thought about it. And I was like, Am I good at listening? I mean, there has to be like, I'm good at listening. But am I good at giving advice. So I kind of kept that in the back of my mind, and kept talking to some friends when they would do it. And I started using it as practice. I started talking to people for the sake of practice, I was like, let's see, let's see what I can say. Let's see if I have some good ideas or insight based off of what I've been through. I started to realize that it was something I did for free already. I was like, I already talked to people about their problems, why not talk to the world about problems? So I mean, post content, let me post my experiences I may post different things that I know at least that I've learned from what I've been through. And at first Angola it was cringy It was awful. It was the most was sad videos. I mean, I still buy some sad videos. But those were like, my goodness, I hadn't completely gotten over some things, I was still trying to figure out how to be me on the internet, because I'm good. I'm not good at that. So I was like, well, let's play around with it. And that's how it started. Like, I just kept making videos. And every time someone would message me, that was like, more motivation to keep making some kind of content. I was like people are hearing it. And it actually makes sense. That was a biggest one of my bigger fears was People would misunderstand or miss comprehend what it is I was saying, right? And when people kind of understood it, and they just said it was helping them in their own way, I realized it doesn't matter if you understood. It matters if the perspective like if it's understood from their perspective, yes, I get a lot of messages about relationship problems. My content isn't about relationships. Not usually, it's about some fucked up family shit, not about no relationship. It's about that, but people take it and they apply it to themselves. Yep. And that's what I started to realize over time. And all of a sudden, I'm here. That's kind of how it all got started. I just kept doing it. I don't know.

Melissa Bright:

It's, it's like, I'm just like, amazed by your content, because I will literally sit there for ever and ever. And I'm the kind of person that I actually just found. There's a girl named Rachel Peterson, who's apparently is like the social media queen. Like that's what her name is. And she talks about how she doesn't schedule out content. Because if it's not aligned with what she's feeling, it just doesn't feel right. And that's how I've always been, I want to post as I'm feeling this emotion right now, not posting it for Tuesday, and then having to like, engage with people then. And so I always like wondered, I'm like this, he just like something pops in his head. And he just decides to start talking about it. Because you have such this like calm presence, you know exactly where what you're talking about where like, I'll get tripped up over words, and you just keep going. And I'm like, Oh, my God. So what do you what does that look like for you?

Gage Terry:

It looks exactly like what we're doing here. Like, it literally is me in my car. And I usually set out some time to either think of stuff. I have a lot of things in my notes app where I'm like, Yes, like, if I have a thought, and I don't want to make content on it right, then I want to elaborate on it. So I'll think on the thought to get more, more of a understanding of what I want to say, generally. And sometimes it doesn't translate well to video, but most the time, like I can get what I was wanting to say on something out. So that's kind of how it works for me is like, I'll sit my car. And usually I'll already have some kind of idea of what what I want to post or make like video wise. But a lot of the times videos like ideas just pop in my head. And I'm like, I don't even know why this is going through my head right now. But maybe it's something to talk about. And I'll think about it until I found a reason to talk about it. And also inspiration from other things. Like I'll scroll through tic toc. And I might see someone talking about something that maybe I hadn't thought about maybe it was just something that they're using for their experience. And I'm like, now how can I relate what they said to me and my own personal experiences with things that I've been through as like? Well, let's play around with it a little bit. And I'll play around with a little bit and see what happens. Yeah, I like keeping it off the top of my head because I find that that's where a lot of the best things are said I didn't even mean to sound like a poet sometimes I don't even mean the ROM. I don't mean it. It just happens. Like, that's kind of how it happens. Like, I just think of stuff. And just think and think and think it's exhausting sometimes honestly, but it's just my approach to content creation. Like I don't have to think so much about what to make. Because when you've lived it, it's I mean, it's you. Yeah, like it's part of you like you have a lot to say. And that's the great thing about the internet is you don't need permission. Yeah. With people I couldn't go to everybody and tell them everything that I say on the internet every time I see him because it get annoying. But the internet luckily, people may get annoyed people may not but they follow you because of a reason. Yeah, but that is like I get to talk about whatever it is I want to talk about what I'm feeling and that's the best thing about it.

Melissa Bright:

Yes, I love it. I love it. So while we are talking about tick tock and Instagram, I'm going to go ahead and tell you what what it is now don't go there yet because you guys still have to let finish listen to this episode. And if you don't get it now it will be in the show notes. But for tick tock if you go to att GE Z Terry T E, rr y G as in Greg Z. G has engaged Zachary. And then for Instagram, it's GZ. Terry official. And I will link those in our in our show notes so you guys can go and just binge watch all of his awesome content. Do you feel that you posting content has helped you heal in a way, thank you to better health for being our sponsor, if you guys think you might need to see a therapist better help is amazing. They are online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you have the options to message them, you can do a phone call, you can do a video chat, whatever you feel comfortable with doing, they have several different types of therapists, if you need couples, or for marriage and family therapy, it's also available to individuals worldwide, better help is a monthly subscription. So you're not paying per session, and financial aid is available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com/bright side of life, that's better help.com/bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month, you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash Bright Side of Life, the link will also be in the description section of this episode.

Gage Terry:

Um, I'd say so I'd say has some kind of something to do with that. Because mainly, I used to feel crazy about the thoughts that I have. And it's not like some deep, intrusive thoughts, but it's like, it's about just the way I view things. And I noticed over time that people just didn't see things similar. Like, most people didn't at least, like I just they didn't view things the way I did. And I was like, bro, there's something wrong with me. I don't know what's going on. And then I was like, maybe there's not anything wrong with me. So I started posting. And that kind of reassured me that I'm not indeed crazy. I'm just different. Like, I just have a different viewpoint on things. I've just been through different things than everybody else like. And it kind of just gave me a little more security, and who I am like embracing the weird parts of yourself that you think. But it's different. It's just different than what everybody else is. Yeah, I think that was something that kind of saved me honestly, it saved me a little bit. So yeah. Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

That's, that's huge. Like just knowing okay, I'm not the only one that's thinking these crazy things or whatever. I definitely understand. I understand what you're saying there.

Gage Terry:

Your mind if I ask a question. Go for it. How did you get involved, like, you know, started with podcasting? Like, what's, what was how that happened?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, so I'll give you the short version. So, okay, I lied, I'm going to give you the long version. So I had my daughter whenever I was 16. And then I lost my mom at the age of 25. So my mom was my absolute best friend, my support system, I was a single mom. And so when I lost her for the next 10 years, which would be the last 10 years, I really would not process that trauma that I was going through. So when COVID hit i i was a travel agent, I was not doing anything travels shut down. And I didn't have a purpose. And I like just felt empty in the world. So I was listening to a podcast. And somebody said, I found my purpose by looking out into the world and asking myself what made my heart hurt. And so I'm like, is that how you find your purpose? You just look out into the world and ask yourself what your heart like, what makes your heart hurt. I'm like, Okay, well, that's an easy one. I know. People. Being alone in their struggle makes their heart hurt, makes my heart hurt. So then how what am I going to do about it? I have always loved listening to podcasts, be it Joe Rogan. Jay Shetty true crime, I will listen to anything and everything. And so what I wanted to do is I've always been good at having conversations with people. I wanted to talk to people that have been through really, really hard things through trauma, grief, tragedy, and then how they ultimately found their path back to the bright side of life. Because I've lost my mom, I've now lost my dad. I've been through a lot of trauma in my life, and I don't want that. I want to be on the bright side of life and not let the dark side define me.

Gage Terry:

That's amazing. That's how I decided

Melissa Bright:

oh, that's

Gage Terry:

that's really cool though. I kind of locked that like, finding someone's purpose is by looking at like, what? What was it what hurts their heart

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, so you like, look out into the world, like, it could be as simple as oh my god, I hate like when I see a little puppy stranded on the side of the road, like, Okay, so maybe I want to go in to be a vet or something like, yeah, it's a great way.

Gage Terry:

Yeah, I heard a thing you were talking about the purpose, like you're just your purpose overall. And I'm more like, as far as understanding, like, I'm not a big fan of rah rah type motivation, like people screaming and stuff. It's never been my thing. I'm more of having conversation and trying to understand a point. And there is some kind of TED talk or something. This guy was just giving a speech. And he was talking about the idea of purpose. And he said, people tell you find your purpose, like what are you? You know, what are you good at? What are you destined for? And he was like, he was bringing up a bunch of charts with studies and stuff. And he mentioned he was like, How true is it that our purpose is not something that we find, but it's something that is already instilled within us. And it's something that was instilled within us by what we had, like, what what we were when we were kids. So for example, like, if you didn't have a great childhood, like, I mean, even me, I didn't have the best childhood. What was something that was a necessity for me? Well, survival, survival was one. And then the next thing was, I never liked other people to feel as bad as I felt. was me. So how much how true? Is it that our purpose is not something that you start you're in search of? But you already have? Yeah, you just don't see it as something of value. Yeah, I think that's I think that's it blow my mind. I was like, a, hey, that's interesting.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that's, that literally is me, I can remember way back from to a little girl to high school, I absolutely hated people feeling left out whether that was like literally left out. Like, they weren't the popular person. And so you couldn't talk to them, or being left out because they were poor, because like, I grew up in a trailer, so I didn't have money. That was one of the things I didn't like people feeling alone and left out. And so I always made it a point to be nice to people that didn't, that people might have judged. And so even now, like, if I ever go to a place an event or anything, and people are like, I don't know, they'll say something that is definitely showing their insecurity, I'm always that person to be like, do not feel that way. Like we're all here. Like, say it's I feel silly dancing, like, I will immediately try to make them feel comfortable being like, we're all looking like idiots dancing right now. Um, I definitely think it's instilled within us, we just have to reflect on it. And look, you

Gage Terry:

know, yeah, that's what's interesting, as well as, like you were mentioning, having people not feel left out. So you'll make the effort like that, that explains me a little bit to a tee. But the craziest thing is, is like, if you do it on the reverse, whenever I'm feeling insecure, or upset about something, I won't mention it. Like, I won't talk about it. And and it may stop me from doing things. And that's what's so like, interesting is like, to this day, there are still moments where I feel insecure, and I lack reassurance from a lot of people. I give the impression that I'm okay. Most most of the time, and I don't like talking about it when I'm not okay, because it's like they won't understand. And people. It's awful to say for me personally. But anytime I've talked to people about stuff that's going on in my head, it makes it worse. It makes it worse. So it's like, let me see how much I can do to figure it out. And I find it interesting that so much that you want to not have people feel left out. But you're so like, you're used to being to like, lift out. Yeah. And that's, that's part of the whole purpose is already instilled within you like, it's part of just you. Yeah, something that you had to build upon, or that was built upon over time.

Melissa Bright:

Yep. I'm curious to know, when if you can find that TED Talk, let me know cuz I would love to watch that. For sure.

Gage Terry:

Yeah, it was like a tick tock video, and I would like to listen to the actual thing. Yeah, the whole talk, but I think I have it saved. Or I like that one. I think it's somewhere through that library, I guess. But, yeah, I'll definitely I'm going to search for an hour. If I find it. I'm going to send it over to you.

Melissa Bright:

Perfect, perfect. Okay. Just a couple more questions for you. Okay. If you if you had to look like on these past three or four years, what would you be? What have you learned the most about yourself? We'll start there.

Gage Terry:

Over the past three or four years,

Melissa Bright:

like when your life has really turned around and you've Yeah.

Gage Terry:

Hmm. I've learned the most about myself. I'm like a cockroach. I go out like, but it's just you can't you can't take me out like, You can't kill me. You can't like there's part of it sad. Part of it's sad because it's like, I'm so not numb per se. But I've you know, you take so many hits after a while well, you don't feel them anymore. Yeah. And it's like, I'm so kind of numb or accustom or used to emotional damage, emotional pain, that in no matter what kind of things come my way, for the most part. It's just like, it's not going to be enough to determine, like, yeah, I've realized that, like, if I set my, like, if I set my mind to something, and the purpose is there, like if it makes enough sense to me to go after it, there's not going to be one single thing that's actually going to take me off of that, like, whether I take a little break, because something happened because life happens. I'm going to hop back on that, like that road, and it's gonna, I'm gonna keep traveling it like, yeah, I've think I've learned that because I didn't expect to have 700 and some 1000 followers, honestly, not not even close. I didn't expect to be on Instagram and have so many people like, engaging with my content, I didn't expect to get paid for content. These were thoughts I had years ago where I was like, that'd be really cool if that happened, but the chances of it happening like, you know, you know, it's not in your favor. But why don't we try it anyways, and see how how much we can actually accomplish here. That's kind of I love that idea is to see how far you can take it. Like, just see what you're made of see how far you can take an idea, or take your words or whatever it is you're doing. I think I've realized that is like, I'm a hell of a lot stronger than I ever give myself credit for?

Melissa Bright:

Yes,

Gage Terry:

I'll take that.

Melissa Bright:

I love that you're like, let me just see what I can do. Because like, before, the before I started my podcast, I really like struggled with like self worth and stuff, because I didn't have my number one supporter. And so I didn't think that first of all, I was worthy of any kind of success or anything like that. And so that's like, since my podcast started, I've been on this whole healing journey. And I just think it's awesome that you are just like, let me just see where I can go. Like, because Believing in yourself is going to take you way further than other people like believing in you. That's huge.

Gage Terry:

What's even greater like, what's like, just to add on to that is when you start just seeing how far you can take something, the more that you actually see progress, and the more you start, I heard it like probably a couple months ago, my cousin actually said is like keep the promises you make to yourself. Like once you actually start going through with what you say. And you notice it you're like, did I actually do that, like, that's crazy. You start building up confidence, like the you know, it can start to be a little scary when you have back to back to back failures. You know, like nothing's panning out, nothing's working. But you have to have faith that something is like it's eventually gonna happen is eventually gonna happen. No, like I've had, oh, Lord, I've had so many things that I've done. I've ran businesses, I've had clothing websites, all of them flopped. Every single one of them. I was like, well, on to the next one. I guess that eight minutes. So let's see what else I can do. And that's I learned a lot. Yeah, just keeping on. Yes. keep on keepin on. Is that what it is? Yes,

Melissa Bright:

yeah, is one of the best quotes I've ever heard. And it was told to me last year by a good friend, Tim. He said, fail forward, like just keep failing. Because if you are so scared of failing, you're just going to stay in the same spot. But if you try that thing, and you fail, okay, well, now you know how to do it better or not to do it that way next time. And then the next time you're going to try something, okay, you might fail. But now you've gained just a little bit more knowledge about that. And then you just keep doing that. And I'm like, Oh my God, because that's where I was, I was so scared of like, failing, and now I'm just like, fuck it. Let's fail. Come on, because then that's just gonna get us closer to the thing we want to do.

Gage Terry:

Yeah, something I did and salience like, it was probably just because I didn't want people to know. So I built these websites like for apparel and like drop shipping stores and I started landscaping business. I didn't really tell nobody about it. And the only reason why is because like I was like, I want to see how far I can do it without having to tell people and also, I would just prefer not to hear people's mouth about it. I just prefer not to hear their opinion. So let me just be quiet about it. I didn't tell anybody I had Tik Tok until I had I think over 100,000 followers only I still Didn't willing we tell people they found me through Tik Tok. My friends and stuff. They're like, Bro, why didn't you tell me you had a call away? I said, A Oh no man, I was just vibing. Like, that's what it is. But the idea of failing forward, I like that. But the thing is, I think people get so stuck. When they do fail. They focus so much on the negative, they're like, I failed, I am a failure, embrace it, we are all failures. And that thing is failing. You're failing forward regardless, or not. Like you have to think about it that way. Like, switch the mindset of, I failed. I'm not going to try anything again to failed. What did I learn? I failed. What's next? Like, I realized through doing the websites and stuff, I'm not an analytical person. I don't like numbers. I cannot stand numbers. I don't like running ads on Facebook, because it requires a lot of numbers. And a lot of things like to look at numbers, and you have to sit behind a computer. I hated it. And that's what I learned. So moving forward, that was a failure. But moving forward, it helped me succeed, like succeed. It gave me a learning point. It's it's all just learning and knowledge, like, failing is not fun. But you'll realize why it happened later on.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. So let that be your lesson. Guys. Go out there and freakin fail. And then come back and tell us what you learned.

Gage Terry:

They're gonna cry like I failed everything. What do you want? What do I do? Keep failing? Oh, no. Okay,

Melissa Bright:

give me like, You're the worst advice person ever. Like awful? Yeah. Oh, my gosh, that is so hilarious. Okay, if you could give advice to somebody that's 23 has a similar story to you. But hasn't quite made the moves yet. In terms of you know, they might lack self worth, they might not believe in themselves, they might have the courage. What would be the advice you would give to them today?

Gage Terry:

To gain more of that, like to get just in a better spot overall?

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, like, like, say they're stuck at home with, you know, like, parents that might not be the best or, you know, alcoholism or dysfunctionality or anything, you know, they're just like, I got to get out of this. What would you say to them?

Gage Terry:

Oh, would say, take the leap. Honestly. It's scary, except it's going to be scary. Except that it's possible, every bad thought that you have had that may happen will happen. It is possible. You you run that risk when you take the risk, like that's part of it, you know, nothing is guaranteed. Yeah, if you think you're going to always be sad or depressed, or in a bad spot or destined for heartbreaks, and just awful things, nothing is guaranteed, not one single thing, there is always a solution to problems, there was always a solution. You may not know it now, but you keep trying to, you know, it's like busting down a wall, you keep hitting at that same spot, the wall is gonna eventually collapse, you just have to be willing to keep hitting the spot and not give up on it. But I think those are some things and honestly, gain experience. That's, that's probably the biggest thing. I think that has helped me overall, and just finding who I am, like one you got to get out of the situation, but to gain experience as much as you can, like, I've had, I've had 18 jobs, traditional jobs, I've had 18 jobs. I've been to interviews and interviews and interviews, and I don't like working for people. That's just me. But it gave me something to go off of to learn about myself. When you're stuck in a childhood loop of who you're meant you were supposed to be based off of what your parents said, or people when you were young what they said to you. When you've lived in that for so long. You don't know exactly what's going on. You don't know who you are. So you have to be willing to try things even though you may think they're not going to be beneficial. They may be in comfortable I don't like that No. The person you like the person that they created you to be doesn't like that. You don't know if you actually like it or not. Have you ever even done it? It's like your your parents didn't like going hiking? Did you ever give it a second to think that you might you know, there's just so much to learn about yourself and don't be scared to try things even if you think they're not beneficial if you've never tried it. Don't say you don't like it. That's it. That's what I will say if you've ever tried it, don't say you don't like it.

Melissa Bright:

Yes. Oh my gosh, I love that. Okay, before I ask you my last question, is there anything that you want to talk about or you want to say before I do ask you my last question. One that we maybe didn't cover that you want to talk about.

Gage Terry:

I'll be honest, my brains moving at 1000 Miles right now to sit down and try and stop it for a second to grab a thought. Oh Lord, it is too much it it come out and jumbles it just come out and ramble and people be like, Who the hell is he talking to? Like, I don't know, at this point four of you, Bob. Oh my gosh. I think I think I'm good. I think I'm okay. Perfect.

Melissa Bright:

Well, you've done great. And I you just have one more question and then you can be out of the hot seat. I asked all of my guests this gauge, in your own words. What does the bright side of life mean to you?

Gage Terry:

I was about to I was about to be like You mean this podcast? Are you talking about the term? Yep. brought to me that when I hear it, it's just perspective. Perspective, there is no light without the dark. And to be able to focus on the bright. You have to be able to go through the dark, the bright side of life. Podcast, the bright side of life in general. There is a bright and there is a dark, most of the people who are listening or who even listen to the just the general podcasts about improving your life or getting better. You're in the dark. You're in the dark. And to be able to get to the bright side. You have to be willing to fight the dark face it. I think it's about perseverance. I think it's about struggling and accepting it. Taking responsibility and accountability for your life. And being like, Pa Oh, glory to God, I'm getting to that broadside. I'm going there. And then you'll have more perspective and you could have imagined you've been through the dark. You've experienced the light. Now you know about boats. I think that's all of life.

Melissa Bright:

That is such a great answer. Thank you. That was so good. So so good. Okay, I just realized on your on your thing it says Zachary Terry. Whatever gauge his name was gage it's fine. Sorry about that. Yeah. Okay. Thank you so much for coming on here to share all of your knowledge guys, please go check out his stuff on Tik Tok on Instagram on both he his content is so incredible. And I promise you, I swear to God, like even if you watch just three of his videos, you're gonna gain some kind of insight. He is just so relatable. And it's awesome. So thank you.

Gage Terry:

Well, thank you. I appreciate that gassing me up. Before we get off here, man, make me wanna run them. All right, now go back into the gym. Go back to the gym take around. Thank you.

Melissa Bright:

Thank you guys for listening to this week's episode of The Bright Side of Life. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Gage was so much fun to talk to. And like I said he is only 23 years old and he has been so much been through so much. And I just love the self awareness because I feel like I really didn't go like I've always been self aware. But I wasn't really on this like healing journey self awareness stuff until like really in my mid 30s. And I just think it's awesome that he is already there. And that's just going to make his future that much more brighter. No pun intended. So I just think it's awesome and I encourage you guys to go check out his content. Like I said the his handles will be in the show notes. And as you know, guys, if you know anyone that may need to hear gages story, please please share this episode with them because you never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Zachary Terry Profile Photo

Zachary Terry

Content Creator

My name is Zachary Gage Terry. I am 23 and live in East TN. The backstory of my life is complicated but I will try my best to simplify it. In a short version growing up I was overweight, surrounded by a lot of drama, had a alcoholic father, a drug addicted mom for a period of time, and was lost beyond belief. Within the span of a couple years however I put my life together in a way that I never believed was possible for myself, not that I’m doing over the top amazing but in comparison to who I was and who I am now…. I’m impressed with myself. Just to make it even better my parents are both currently sober and my relationships with them are slowly getting to a decent spot! I’ll be honest not sure how to do a biography, never thought I’d be writing one yet here I am lol. All I do know is for the longest time I wanted to do something that meant something. Not only to me but to people as well, and through the past couple years I was able to overcome and persevere through a ton of obstacle and past baggage in a sense, and make sense of all of it. And because of the struggles I’ve faced and gone through that was what was gonna be my ticket to creating something of impact! Although I shouldn’t probably have so much experience in a lot of the things I do, it was the hand I was dealt and I gotta take it for what it is ya know. But I don't want for another hand because the one that has been given to me I think I’ve done a lot with considering how bad the deck was. Had to throw Just a little analogy in there lol. But anyways that’s a short summary of my story, and I’m happy to see what it is that I’ve been able to create from it! Thanks for this it’s been pretty cool, never worth out my story or told it, feels good!