Before I lost my mind, I was a successful marketing executive, business owner, husband and father in Atlanta, Georgia. I had it all and I lost it all; I monumentally screwed up my whole life due to a cocaine addiction. My addiction led to mental illness that eventually landed me in a psychiatric hospital and ultimately left me homeless. For two years I was “lost,” literally and figuratively. I believed insane things. Really believed them. For a while, I even thought I was Jesus. I’m not. Which is probably best for everybody.
I broke my brain with drugs. Most people who have lost their minds never find their way back to tell the story; I was lucky. Not only did I find my way back (with a lot of help); I found something more; more “mind” than I know what to do with. I no longer believe insane things, but the way my brain works has fundamentally changed, and for the better.
My forthcoming book, Jesus Goes to Hollywood: A Memoir of Madness, provides cathartic detail of my journey through addiction, insanity and redemption. A condensed version of that story was published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution: Head Case: Tom Matte broke his brain with drugs. Now he sees things you don’t.
My illness opened new pathways in my mind; I now easily see connections and reimagine information and data in ways that would not have made sense to me before. I have insights into mathematics and physics that I previously had little interest in. My blog, Madness, Math, and Marketing, is an exploration of this new way of thinking.
Now I work with mental health marketers offering marketing strategy and insights into connecting with individuals or families going through a mental health crisis. I also tell my story through speaking engagements, interviews, and the written word. I think different-because I see differently. My neurodivergent brain can help mental health organizations, treatment centers, and businesses who want to learn how to better understand and work with the mental health community.