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Originally published November 7 2005

Interview with Terry McBride, E. coli survivor and author of The Hell I Can't!

by Dani Veracity

According to organized medicine, Terry McBride should still be in the clutches of a massive E. coli infection, unable to walk because of extensive nerve damage, suffering from debilitating back pain and coping with a colostomy. In reality, Terry is a healthy, robust man in his 60s, who doesn't even experience the "getting-older" ailments common for someone his age. In his groundbreaking book The Hell I Can't! and powerful Everybody Wins program, Terry shares the strategies he used to defy mainstream medicine and become the healthy, walking individual he is today. I recently had the opportunity to interview Terry about his experiences and his mission to empower others, and the interview ended up teaching me a few things in the process.

Dani Veracity: I recently received a copy of your book and I just loved it. I read it over and over because it was just so inspiring.

Terry McBride: Thank you. I appreciate that very much.

Dani: Well, one of the things I noticed is that, while you were putting together your personal strategy for conquering your infection, you combined a whole bunch of different teachings into one, which a lot of people don't do. When many people read, they become very absorbed into what they read, and they adopt that particular belief system. I'm wondering how you managed to read but still use discretion.

McBride: Well, in the beginning – when I trusted the doctors to fix me, when they changed their mind and when it moved past what they thought would work – I realized that I never wanted to believe anybody again, if you will. I never wanted to put all my eggs in one basket. And so, whenever I started reading from then on, what I did was ask, "Do I want to believe like this?" I knew the author believed like that, and I became very careful: "Do I want to put my trust in this?" It was that kind of thing. I began to see that most of these books all agree that consciousness creates reality – "as you believe, so shall it be done unto you" – that kind of thing. But then, they went on and said, "…and yet this is the way it is. You've got to hold your hands this way, hold your feet this way, whatever." Well, that's just their belief. The question is: "Do I want to believe like that?" So, I just started making it. Rather than drawing from one specific discipline, I'd take a little from here and a little from there and a little from here, and then make it up in such a way so that it worked for me.

Dani: So, when you realized that the doctors couldn't help you, it was almost like a good thing, don't you think? I took notes about your realization that modern allopathic medicine didn't have all the answers. It was almost like that saying, "hitting rock bottom."

McBride: It was. It forced me to go and say, "All right, you know, now of course, I'm looking at being paralyzed," but it was really a very good time for me because it forced me to begin relying on myself instead of other people. When we grow up, I don't know about you, but we grow up listening to everybody – we listen to our teachers, our coaches, our music teachers – and we let other people tell us who we are.

Dani: I definitely agree with that.

McBride: Yes, we let our friends tell us whether we're good dancers or whether people like us, and what I got early on was, "I'm not going to let anyone tell me who I am anymore."

Dani: That's wonderful. I wish I could do that in my own life, but I guess it takes time.

McBride: It does, and even now, I can be in a good mood and turn on the news or read the newspaper when I'm traveling, and in 20 minutes, I'm depressed! There's all this war or all this killing or all this crime, and it's the same thing. What we allow into our mind affects us.

Dani: And you had so many people trying to convince you negatively – the doctors. I mean, I just couldn't believe that part in the book when a psychiatrist is trying to get you to accept the human limitations.

McBride: Yes. You know, as I said in the book, it wasn't that he was a negative guy. He just studied disease and how to deal with it, and I was studying wellness and how to create it, and they're not the same things. Then, I said, "Look, I don't want to learn how to live with my disease!" And he said, "Well, you need to!" "Well, I don't want to! You know, I'm studying something else." But people don't like that sometimes when you tell them, "Well, that's one way to make it up, but I don't make it up that way, and I don't want to make it up that way." Then, they go, "Well…" So, it can be difficult to be our own teacher, if you will.

Dani: Well, in your book, you said that to this day you believe that anything but absolute freedom leads to depression, and that's a really good point. It's like mental freedom, too.

McBride: Yes, I think so. You know, the number one health challenge in the United States today is supposed to be clinical depression.

Dani: I believe that, definitely.

McBride: This is the country founded on freedom and the pursuit of happiness, so why are people depressed? I think it's because they're beginning with, "Well, you have to do this, you should do this, you can't do that," and so on."

Dani: We're not allowed to ever really develop our own identities without outside influence.

McBride: Right.

Dani: Now, what basically does the program you created entail?

McBride: I think everybody has to figure out how these tools of choice work for himself or herself, and that's what the Everybody Wins program is about. It's nine weeks, and it's self-taught training. So, people do exercises that are real simple everyday, and as they go through it, they listen to the same CD every day for a week. It's all on CD now. We haven't changed the website yet, but we just redid it, so it's all on CD.

It's me talking about these ideas, and then they have to go apply them in their workflow. So, what happens is, as they're using the program, they get an experience of, "Oh, this is how it works for me! This is how I can use this concept of affirmation. This is how I can use the concept of goals," instead of me saying, "Well, this is how I do it. This is how you need to do it." It talks about these ideas, and then it gives them five-minute things they have to do every day, and after nine weeks, they find out, "Oh my gosh, this is how it works. This is how I can use positive affirmation." So, it's the take-home training on mastering the tools of choice.

Dani: And those are the same tools that you used?

McBride: Yes, they're the tools I use – the goals, the plans, affirmations and visualizations. Just as I said, I knew these tools. When I was sick I had to use them all the time I was in the hospital, but when I got out, got a job, got out of college, got a house, I was too busy. Most of us get so busy, we don't use these things. Everybody Wins is a really simple little thing that takes less than 10 minutes a day, and it forces the person to use these principles every day. What happens is they start applying what they know instead of just thinking about it.

Dani: And what's great is that someone could even listen in his or her car, on the way to work.

McBride: Absolutely. The CDs are about a half-hour long, and every day they'll listen to that, but it says, "Don't sit down and listen to it. Just do it while you're walking. Listen to it when you get out of the shower. Listen to it while you're driving in your car." So, that's about a half-hour long, and then right at the end of the CD it says, "For five minutes right now, go do this." Then, they have to write down stuff. They have to apply what they're being taught in the lesson, and what that application does is make them tailor the tools so they work for them. And so, it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Dani: Oh wow – that's great! I mean, what a good way to change your life.

McBride: It's just life transforming! I get letters all the time from people who say, "God, I've done this for 15 years. I've read more books than I can shake a stick at, but your program assisted me to go apply what I know."

Dani: Well, exactly, because when you were first reading other people's books, you didn't like that fact that they were saying you have to do this and that. It's great that, when you created your own program, you made sure you didn't do that.

McBride: Yes, as it says in the book, when I had that one surgery and (the doctor) said, "It's almost in your hip," I found that when I applied (these tools) every day, it was like, "Oh my gosh, I know how to do this! I can!" You know, and I just figured it out.

Dani: What you overcame was amazing. I mean, there are some parts in the book that are just so dark.

McBride: Yes. I just spoke Sunday up in Oakland, and what I was telling the group was one of the greatest things about my healing. It was in the beginning, when I found these ideas that we could make a difference. I did not believe I would ever get well. So what I was telling the audience is, "Look, you don't have to believe you can make your dreams come true, but you can start right now and move in that direction because when I started, I would hope, but I didn't believe I would ever get well. By then, I'd bought into the system, but the great thing about these ideas is you can start right where you are and move to create a new belief system."

Dani: Like you said, it's all about power and self-determination, just visualizing what you want and the steps to how you're going to get there.

McBride: Yes, and bringing all those together, getting clear on your intention, getting clear on: "What do I need to do? How do I put myself in follow-through, doing what I said I was going to do? How do I hold my mind positive?" You know, it's the same stuff you use in your life. And you just bring all those together – every day a little bit, little bit, little bit – and pretty quick you're going, "Wow! I can do magic!"

Dani: Small steps, exactly!

McBride: Yes.

Dani: And you're in good health today?

McBride: Perfect. I'm just about to be 62, and I'm perfectly healthy.

Dani: Oh, congratulations!

McBride: Thank you! Yes, and I keep using this stuff, as I was telling somebody the other day. They said, "Don't you have any pain from all these scars?" And I said, "Sometimes I wake up with pain, but what I do is immediately go to my work."

Dani: You take your mind off it.

McBride: Yes, because, especially when a person moves into their 60s, there's so much that says, "Well, you know, now that you're 60, this starts to happen, and your body starts to do this," or whatever else it is, and it's so easy to buy into that instead of saying, "No, this is who I am. This is how my body works."

Dani: Exactly. It's like, "Oh, this is how I should be." It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy: "I should be feeling this way," or "I have to not feel well."

McBride: Yes, exactly.

Dani: Well, thank you so much for your time. It was wonderful talking to you.

McBride: Oh, you too. Thank you.

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