#BeReal – BYRON HAMEL

Byron Hamel is my #BeReal guest today.

There are many things I love about Byron. I think he is the kind of REAL that changes lives. But I don’t want you to take my word it; I want you to discover him for yourself.

Here are a just a few of his stories. If you are like me though, you won’t stop with these posts.  Because his stories are real.  They will stick with you.  And  you will want to know more.

I AM A KILLER

YOU WILL NEVER SEE YOUR OWN FACE

DANCES WITH WAITRESSES

I FEEL UGLY

Not only does Byron work hard on being the person he is, he inspires others during the  process. He inspires me.


Author Pic
We share so much of ourselves these days. Raw form mixed with carefully crafted persona to varying degrees. The presentation of the self, or of one’s endeavour, is a skill. It is a craft that can be practiced, trained, changed, upgraded.

A true self is neither a raw form void of external influence, nor the sum of influence void of the individual. The true self is essentially the union of several entities. It is perspective. It is attitude. It is circumstance. It is nature. It is planning. It is choice. It is culture. It is practice. And on and on and on…

Become who you want to be, slowly over time, with attention to detail. Without the lie of the quick fix. Without the snake oil. With the proper tools and materials and education.

As with any craft, there are things you can take on, and things you can leave behind. There is no perfect instrument. Only variations and versions. Extensions and evolutions.

Pay attention to the quality of your output and of your character. Own them and hone them. It’s not about rooting out the faults. Its about trying and failing and learning and growing and understanding and applying and focusing and mastering.

Master the crafting of your true self until you have made something beautiful.

What does being real mean to you?

To me, it’s fairly absurd to think I’m stuck the way I came into the world, without the possibility of evolution or upgrading. I say this from the point of view of somebody who suddenly stopped having a crossed eye after cosmetic surgery when I was 17, and battled Anorexia to grow a body I like, with muscles and fat on it.

It’s so much deeper than my body and face though. I’ve had to retrain my brain, practice and grow a quality character through the racism and misogyny and extreme violence I grew up around.

The real core of who I am is nothing like the sum of what I’ve created around that core. The real me is that whole me. That mix between what I am naturally, how I have been trained, and how I’ve taken the reins of my own life and become the person I want to be, slowly over time, through practice, brutal honesty, self-examination, and a willingness to become more of my ideal.

How do you think people see you when they only have an image to go by?

Well, some people cross the street to avoid me when they see me coming. They’re scared or intimidated by experiences they’ve had, I guess. And they associate me with those. I carry myself with confidence too. And I’m kinda big for a little guy.

A lot of people tell me that I’m attractive. I tend to think of that as less my physical image and more this magnetism I seem to have.

People are drawn to me. I like when I can make friends that way, but magnetism isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes the people drawn to me are dangerous people. Sometimes, they are misled by feelings they have about me based purely on how much they like the way I look, or the friendly vibe I give off. I guess I could take advantage of that a lot more than I do, but I don’t believe in doing that.

Generally, people just know I’ll be there for them. They seem to know I will listen to their stories and pay attention. Strangers will walk up to me on the street and tell me all this deep, dark stuff. I’ll care, and I’ll offer advice, or just an ear. I don’t know what gives that away. Eye contact, maybe?

What do you think people are most surprised to discover about you?

Nobody believes me when I say I used to be a pretty bad guy. Honestly, I was raised in an extremely abusive home, seeing or being the victim of violence on a daily basis. I lived in the projects, where the only rule is survival. I was homeless, and tried to scam people on a regular basis. I’ve been involved in crime, drug addiction, racism, misogyny, general bigotry, and all the things that come with being left to fend for yourself as a kid.

People say things like “I’ve only ever known you to be a pretty decent guy”. I’m proud of that, because I used to be a total fucking asshole. I’ve worked very hard to become a crime-free, drug-free, and well-intentioned person who wants good things for others. And I’m not just willing to help people, I’m good at it.


BH Compliment FisherByron Hamel is a writer, musician, and award-winning journalist living in Manitoba, Canada. He sings in the bands “Person” and “Ticklish Brother”, and has a series of dark poetry based on cheesy films called “Movie Poetry”. Visit moviepoetry.com and download it for FREE!

He also blogs at Trauma Dad where he talks about growing up hard and severely abused by a father figure who was convicted of infanticide, and is currently on death row. Left with a legacy of traumatic stress and an eating disorder, he is determined to be the best dad he can possibly be to his two girls. Follow his journey as he learns and loves and grows with them.

Byron is also a filmmaker, working on his first feature length documentary, which is about tough bikers who protect abused kids! Read about his current project titled: A BREAKING CYCLE


If you like the idea of the #BeReal campaign, and want to share your views on it, please link up with us. You can help make this a bigger, brighter movement than it already is.

All opinions welcome – it’s about being real, after all!

To help spread the message, read and share one another’s posts.

And remember – be YOU! #BeReal.

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34 thoughts on “#BeReal – BYRON HAMEL

  1. I’m definitely drawn to people like you, Byron. Hearts like yours, mixed with the kind of hardship and strength your story portrays equals my kind of people. I admire your confidence and will. Not everyone can rise out of the type of ashes you have my friend but that’s ok, because there are people like you that will always reach out a hand to help them. Great write.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad, Dawn. 🙂 Thank you! I wasn’t able to do it on my own. A lot of good people have helped me along the way. In a lot of ways, I do what I do because of them. I hope they’re out there somewhere reading this and feeling like it’s good to take credit for that. Truly, I would not be here without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are proof of self change. Of survival. Of adaptation. You are the kind of people I want in my life, the kind with understanding, empathy, compassion and drive.
    Thank you, for being you, for rising above and being strong.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m a big fan of the real you. I’ve read some of your stuff, which you may not be aware of since I happened to not be in a place where I could comment or share, but what I read blew me away. Your raw honesty mixed with sensitivity is a beautiful thing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dang it… I don’t have time to meet new bloggers… I have two books in final edit… writing a song… kid keeping me busy… got stuff to do… but I got to get to know this guy… also, I still want to do this but you know I have no idea where to start…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ok, I tried to leave a comment on one of his posts, and it wanted me to prove who I was, but didn’t make it very easy to prove who I was and I gave up. I know, this is a flaw in my character, but I can only follow blogs that let me leave a comment without filling out forms and providing ID…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel like Byron is the male version of me- only, I’M already the male version of me.

    Byron, you’ve helped me understand that my dark side is part of who I am, and how I can use it to seek the light. And to maybe help others. I’m almost at the point where I can say I love my darkness.
    Almost. xoxoxo

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve found that to deny and fight myself inside has served only to rip myself apart. The times I’ve tried to do that, I’ve become self-destructive to the point of becoming seriously ill with my eating disorder, or ending up on suicide watch. Here’s the thing though: sometimes you need that darkness. Sometimes it’s right. It’s better, in my experience, to mediate between my lightness and darkness. I hear them out and see what they have to say. I mean really listen to both sides thoroughly. And then I step in. The individual who is me. And I determine what the best course of action is from there.

      I believe it’s a simple fact that we cannot destroy a part of ourselves without destroying the whole, or at least leaving ourselves maimed. It’s better to retrain the whole of oneself in order to attain some form of unity that is acceptable to the whole.

      In that way, it’s not imperative that you love your darkness. It is, however, important that you do not deny its input, nor ignore the importance of its maintenance in the grand scheme of your well-being.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This is wonderful, Byron. I’m with everyone else who said you’re the kind of person I’d want to call my friend. And I can absolutely see the “softness” in your appearance – that compassion, that guarantee that you’ll lend an ear.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mr B, my dear chap – you are amazingly, outstandingly, astonishingly awesome. I love how you are so determined to overcome the hand life dealt you, and FURTHERMORE, are so set on redeeming your darkness by using it as power to bring others into the light.

    You are a beautiful, shinybright soul, and I think you’re utterly wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can see how people would be drawn to you. I am. I feel a distant kinship since I haven’t always been a good person either. I guess that really isn’t the correct way to say it, I was a sick person and on some level I guess I still am. I appreciate raw honesty and that is exactly what I see and hear when I read this. I have no doubt that you are very good at being a help to others. No doubt at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: #BeReal – TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS | hastywords

  11. Pingback: Happenings

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