My name is Cheno and this is why I started IBLV
I come from very humble beginnings. My family is from the small town of Madrid in Colima, Mexico. The violence, corruption, and poverty you hear about when people talk about Mexico is very common in our home town. My parents did not graduate from high school, both having to drop out by the time they were in middle school in order to work and help their families.
They couldn't teach me any textbook knowledge. All they could teach me was the wisdom they gained from their struggles in poverty. My father passed away when I was one, forcing my mother to be both a mother and father for my sister and I. We lived in a one bedroom house for about 14 years with 5 other people. I had grown accustomed to sleeping on the ground or on the couch because the bed would always be too crowded.
When I was in middle school, I fell into severe depression which lasted about 2 years. I would have uncontrollable thoughts of harming my family and myself. It got so extreme that at one point I wanted to separate myself from my family out of fear that I may not be able to control my inner demon and hurt someone I loved.
Alcohol, drugs, and crime were common in my community. While playing with my friends in the trailer parks nearby, I would constantly see drugs being sold, drugs being used, and lives being destroyed. I grew up thinking this was cool, and even idolized some of the drug dealers and drug users. As a result, I became a heavy drinker which then led me to use heavy drugs. It got to the point that I was in my bathroom, sitting on the floor, holding an open gallon of bleach up to my mouth because life was too hard. Luckily, I had a strong support system who believed in me and pushed me to finish school and go to college.
I never had the privilege of a luxurious life because we were constantly working to make ends meet. I was born into a family who had nothing under their name. All my family had was love and a work ethic you can't fucking imagine. Because of my struggles, and because of where I came from, I never thought I was good enough to excel in school, sports, jobs, and in my life
Because of where I came from and what I had gone through, I never believed I was good enough to achieve anything great. The day after my 24th birthday, while I was hungover and trying to recall what had happened the night before, I realized that I needed to change. I realized that I needed to stop using my past and my pain as an excuse not to show the world my gift.
One thing I have always lacked was self-belief. I soon came to realize that believing in yourself is an important quality in success. If I wanted to be great in any path I decided to take, I first had to master the skill of self-belief.
As a result, I created IBLV(I Believe). I wanted to give people an idea that would empower them and help them achieve their true potential. I also wanted to use IBLV as a way to express myself to the world.
I used to be ashamed of where I came from and the struggles I had experienced. But now, I am grateful for all of it for it has made me the man I am today. Because of my experiences, I can understand someone in poverty, I can understand someone going through depression, I can understand someone going through drug and alcohol abuse, I can understand suicide a little better, and I can remain humble even in my greatest of successes.
I am not suppose to succeed. Statistically, I am at best an average worker barely getting by. But it is my culture, my family, my past, my pain, my suffering, and my failures that make me strong. These qualities, that to many may seem like faults or setbacks, are my strengths. Through IBLV, I want to prove to the world that a rose can grow from concrete.