Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom Feedback

posted by Smiling Tiger on June 29, 2010


Tell me what "Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom" means to you….

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101 Responses to “Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom Feedback”

  1. Nita Vernon said...

    Love this book, its honesty and the tonne of tiger in it. Everything shows a raw courage and everyone of us needs that. Heres to a wonderful rich tapestry of life.

  2. Karen Pozzebon said...

    Steve’s story is truely inspirational and I would recommend the book to my friends and family. I had the pleasure of doing Steve’s course and meeting him and I would say he taught me a lot about myself and I have changed as a person. For this I am very thankful. I hope Steve’s story is heard by a lot of schools as he is certainly a role model for a lot of people. Keep staying strong kind regards Karen 

  3. Leah Keating said...

    Wow, such a heart breaking recount of his school life before his accident, understandably with the shocking treatment he went through at school.   Post accident – OMG what he went through in recovery, his strength throughout the pain incredibly, so many people would have given up.  The layout of the book is great to read and having other peoples input was interesting.  Just incredible to see Steve today and in awe of how much with determination, strength and willpower,  how you can change your brain and 'Bounce Back when you hit rock bottom."
    Highly recommend it to everyone to read. Thank you

  4. Ian Kirkwood said...

    After hearing about his story, I bought and read his book. I have now recommended his book to my wife and my sons to read. It is truly an inspirational story of achieving something against all the odds. It's about not giving up and of staying focused on a goal, even when the pain was intense and the 'sensible' thing would have been to have given up. I recommend this book to anyone of any age, and I specifically recommend it to all Higher Ed students. Dr Ian Kirkwood, Associate Dean, James Cook University – Brisbane Campus

  5. Kelly-Anne Mitchell said...

    To be totally honest, this extraordinary book would not be a read I would normally gravitate towards.  However, I am so fortunate that an opportunity presented whereby his book and I crossed paths.
    Steve's style of writing is so infectious and raw that before you know it you have flipped through 50 pages or in my case, my 1 hour bus trip to work flew by – I almost missed my stop a few times – I was so engaged in his story that I just needed to know what happens next!
    Steve takes you with him on a real life rollercoaster of emotions.  There are tears, cheers and laugh out loud moments as his incredible true story unfolds.  There were times where I needed to 'rest' the book for a day or so just so I could fully reflect and absorb what I had just read. This is after all, someone's story and deserved the time and reflection.
    My takeaway from Steve's story is pretty simple: Horrible things happen in our lives.  How we process these events is what will ultimately define us as human beings. It's not money, power nor job status, but how well we rise after falling or in Steve's case – "Bouncing back when you hit rock bottom".
    My life is certainly richer for our paths crossing.
    Yes! Yes! Yes!
    Kelly-Anne Mitchell

  6. Arthur Walz said...

    i have just finished reading Steve’s book and the first 30 pages ripped at my heart and bought tears to my eyes, reliving my own childhood at school of being bullied. What you suffered and endured as a result of falling off that cliff, puts you in a long list of people who have suffered horrendous accidents but the difference for you was that throughout you healing process you continued to fight to get back to where you left off and put yourself out there to encourage others to pick themselves up and dust off and move on with their lives.
    Steve’s story is embedded in my mind and has a powerful effect on me.The greatest Christmas present that anyone has given me is this book.
    Arthur Walz

  7. Robert Galea said...

    This is an incredible book.  It is raw, occasionally gut wrenching and provides a deep insight into Steve's life.  It was almost like picking up someone's diary and reading their inner most thoughts and feelings.
    Quite definitely the most 'real' book I have ever read.  Powerful, challenging and ultimately inspirational. I feel privileged to have Steve share his story with me.  

  8. Laurene Coates said...

    This book really changed the way I thought about a lot of things in life!  My thoughts were that if Stephen could do what he did on his road to recovery then the smaller things in life cant really be that bad!  Having heard Stephen speak some years previous, I don't know why it took me so long to pick up this inspirational, intriguing, sometimes comedic insight into someone's life which you would not believe possible.  The thing about reading this story is that is has never left me and is often in my thoughts.  I am so looking forward to hearing Stephen speak again soon and share his story with some really important people in my life.

  9. Adam Houlahan said...

    Just occasionally you come across a book that touches you deeply, this is one such book. Having met Stephen before reading Bouncing Back gave his story a powerful impact. 
    Even more rare is a book I read and decide to make my children read it too, again this is one such book. It is more than just Stephens story, it is not theory or best practice. Bouncing Back shows that persistence and backing your own judgement in the face of overwhelming odds, whilst not an easy path can reap the greatest rewards.
    Well done Stephen on writing such an important book.
    Adam Houlahan

  10. Ocean Reeve said...

    One of the most difficult aspects a writer tries to achieve when relaying a personal story is to create a visual representation of the events and also evoke a series of emotional reactions throughout. Stephen Dale's 'Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom' is an excellent representation of both those factors. I found the publication to be a living, breathing entity that took me on a roller coaster of emotions. As an independent publishing consultant for over a decade, I am always on the search for a hidden gem in regards to the ability to paint a vivid picture with text. Stephen has achieved this with ease and shown that no matter what adversity we may face, there is always the available opportunity for us all to 'Bounce Back'. Well done Steve on an excellent publication.

  11. Julie Richman said...

    WOW!  I read this book in 48 hours and found I could not put it down.  Every second I could, was buried deep within the pages and even deeper within the emotional context.  I have a nephew with Cerebral Palsy and have been searching for a way to connect to a deeper understanding of what life is like for him.   For me to write  my nephews story and share with the world, I first needed some inspiration.  Stephen Dale gave me that inspiration.
    What became even more interesting is that while reading the book "Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom" I connected with the areas that Steve lived during his rehabilitation and then felt even more involved within the processes and seeing how this can enrich not only my life, but my nephews, my sister, my mother, my children and all my clients within my business.
    Thank you Stephen for sharing and opening up your world for others to read about, learn from, absorb and mostly be inspired by the words, thoughts, emotions and struggles of your long journey to recovery.   When we met for coffee and I purchased your book enthusiastically, you mentioned about why you ended the book where you did.   I believe I have understood exactly why you did what you did and can see the book as being complete.  There is a very subtle message behind the story.  It is said in many words but also not in so many words :)    I guess it is the same as how my sister reacted when the doctors told her that her son would never walk and never talk, yet the results have proven the world wrong, proven the so called "Experts" wrong in so many ways…  :)   
    I am so deeply grateful knowing that I can be free to write more now about my nephews life than I have been able to in the past and thanks to you Steve, have showed me a pathway forward which will change Joel's life forever.
    I look forward to your next book very keenly.
    Kind Regards

  12. Desley Scott said...

    This book is not for the faint-hearted, evoking tears, fears, laughter, surprise, but most of all wonderment at his dogged determination, infinite patience and sometimes impatience, courageous beyond any heroic character, and with a never-accept-defeat attitude.  The long journey back to physical, emotional, mental strength seems almost unimaginable.  Just recalling his openness and self-effacing writing style draws me back to reread and to once again marvel at what a remarkable man he is, strong, standing tall, speaking with great authority and authenticity and with great passion to use his experience to inspire all who will listen and have the courage and fortitude to take their own journey to impact this world for good. 
    As I listen to Steve talking from the heart to 800 students, I see before me a miracle of a man, who fought back from near death to now be a sought-after speaker, trainer and mentor who inspires so many young people and adults alike to reach beyond their present circumstances to aspire to make a difference in this world.  I never tire from listening to his words and hearing the retelling of his story which I believe is capable of transforming lives. 
    Steve's book is a very personal insight into his early life, those experiences which shaped him and fashioned that daring desire to show no fear, but then following his fall, the spirit within him to survive.  You are remarkable.   
    Steve, we salute you for being who you are, and for always making yourself available to lift the spirit and improve the lives of others.

  13. Di Perkins said...

    I have just finished reading Bouncing Back and need to commend you on writing it – how painful it must have been to go back through all the trauma, the pain, the recovery period and trying to get rid of the demons, the result of the bullying which you attempted to eradicate with drink and drugs.  Just tragic…  I cannot, cannot understand the teachers not acting – they should have been aware big-time of what was happening. 

    At my last school,  I was the Year 8 Co-ordinator for years, as well as teaching Senior classes.  We did heaps of Personal Development and prominent in that was anti-bullying techniques.  Anti-bullying is theoretically mandatory in every school. I remember vividly some specific cases of bullying that we resolved – it was so important to solve these basic issues, and, thankfully, the kids felt able to approach me, knowing there would be action.  I apologise, on behalf of those negligent teachers, to you, Steve… they let you down and didn't deserve to be in that hallowed profession.

    My gut feeling is that the bullying aspect was the catalyst for your whole misadventure…  what a pity those little turnips can't be held to account now, even after all that time.  I cannot imagine the daily, perhaps hourly, pain that you still suffer as a result of those injuries..  Your recovery is indeed a miracle, Steve.. undoubtedly a lot of prayers from many people, together with your total courage.  Very pleased you have a beautiful wife to give you all that love and support that you richly deserve.

  14. CJ Dear said...

     I believe Stephen Dale’s book “Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom” is a book worth reading twice. Just so you really get the message. Self worth, belief, physical strength, mental determination, down times, up times, goal setting, listening, patience- that’s half the message. Stephen proves that “doing” is the actual key. The solution.
    It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me, with the turn of each page I could feel the daily grind and sheer determination necessary for this young man to keep going, to keep believing he could and would make a full recovery. I kept telling myself I had it easy, stop complaining. The light bulb moment was on page 150…”It is nice to complain about the world, but every second that I complain, I am not looking for a solution”.  I reread those words many times until finally it sunk in.
    Thank you Stephen Dale for telling it like it is.
    C.J. Dear

  15. Peter Stuart said...

    I met Steve and this was a life changing event not only for me; but for a number of people with Aphasia as well as Speech Pathologists.
    I was astounded by what he has gone through and acheived. Here was a person with an infectious personality who wanted to change the hospital culture of a generic “one size fits all” treatment and rehabilitation.
    Steve accepted my request to be the Key Note Speaker at an Aphasia Conference. Each person in the audience felt as though Steve was speaking to them personally as he spoke of his fall and his injuries. His extreme methods of recovery and willingness to persevere through the pain, rejection and hardships left us all with a look of shock and horror. When he shared his thoughts and feelings of isolation from his brain injury, many commented afterwards “that’s what my feelings are”; and finally amazement at his determination to recover. He certainly had a profound effect on the audience. After listening to him, two of the group restarted their speech rehabilitation exercises as soon as they had lunch. The result of hearing that constant rehab exercises DO WORK as long as you persevere.
    However, Steve’s presentation did not prepare me fully for when I read the book "Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom". His early life, his devastating bullying, his life while undergoing treatment in hospital and his own self rehabilitation in trying to get back into society was extremely hard to read. His descriptions are so vivid and so often too close to the bone, but such a motivation!
    Stephen is an incredibly charismatic person who has made it his mission in life to help to stop bullying in schools, to help people with Aphasia and to speak to Health Professionals to remind them that they are treating a person and not just a 10.00 am appointment.
    Steve has taught me how to learn to relax and to listen to my brain and my body and not force myself to keep going at all costs.
    I am proud to call Steve my friend and highly recommend his book to everyone who needs a reality check.

  16. Annelise Kirkham said...

    Recently, I was browsing in a second-hand book store and the name on the spine of a book caught me completely by surprise as it literally jumped out at me…”Stephen Dale”.  As I slid the book off the shelf and caught sight of the title, I immediately knew it had to be the same person that I had nursed some 24 years ago. For ages I stared at the front cover, reading and re-reading the title and the authors name, and tried to connect it all, tried to comprehend how it was possible  – the young man I had once nursed during such an horrific brain injury surely had not been capable of writing a book??? When once, he couldn’t string enough words together to make a complete sentence?  I read the back cover and stood there shaking my head in disbelief… incredible! I was immediately filled with a rush of emotions…memories from the ward came flooding back, the helplessness of watching him struggle to cope with his crippling, intense pain; the depth of his bravery and courage; the uncertainty of his prognosis, but the almost certainty that is was very bleak; embarrassment and regret at letting the natural progression of life selfishly get in the way of continuing to be a support to Steve;  pride and awe at how brave Steve must have been to overcome the monumental hurdles he had surely faced since the last time I had seen him. Clutching the book to my chest, I looked around bursting to find someone to tell of my unexpected and exciting find! I rushed home and called Cynthia, my high- school friend and fellow student nurse at the time of Steve’s accident….she too was completely and utterly amazed!
    Almost unbelievably I discovered upon reading the book, that Steve’s sister Kathy had been both of my children’s grade 4 teacher, in 2005 and 2009, at our local school!
    Reading the book brought about a bizarre mix of memories from the ward and further insight into the person I had nursed but didn’t know before the accident so never really understood who he was, other than as a patient. Distinct memories that I had were featured in Steve’s book…it was so strange to be reading of  the characters and knowing that it was my friend and I because not only did I recall the event Steve described so perfectly in his book, I also recalled what had happened before and after the event! Reading it also produced vivid memories of watching and listening to Steve in pain, which to this day I don’t fully understand how he was able to continue to face each day. I remember holding such fears for Steve, so much concern for his future which didn’t even bear thinking about at my tender age of 18. A huge sense of relief washed over me throughout the book as I realised that this was in fact the same person, and that somehow almost unbelievably, he had recovered and repaired himself to become the man he is today.
    In the following days I somewhat nervously made contact with Steve via his web-site, unsure if he would recall my name when I typed it. He did, and my maiden name at that! There followed a number of emails back and forth, both of us excited to be in touch, dumbfounded at the quirk of fate that had brought our paths once more to cross, with both of us hopeful to one day meet again in person.
    And so it came to be, one sunny afternoon that Cynthia and her son, my family and I met with Steve and his lovely wife Alison, 24 years down the track from Steve’s horrific, life-changing accident. It was an incredible experience. Steve, Cynthia and I all had bits and pieces in our memories that came together as one, like the many varied shapes that make a puzzle. Alison asked some questions about how and what we had remembered of Steve, and wondered if we were surprised by the Steve who sat with us now. Cynthia and I both agreed that we were rather speechless, truly shocked, yet inspired from how we had envisaged life would turn out for Steve. It is such a privilege to have witnessed his miraculous recovery.
    Both Alison and Steve expressed their deepest gratitude; however Cynthia and I believe we were just doing our job and that the true hero in all of this is Stephen, for never giving up.
    (Yes, i’m one of Steve’s nurses in the book!)

  17. Fay Haynes said...

    It was my pleasure to meet Stephen, firstly for a brief chat early in 2013 at an Aphasia Support Group coffee gathering which is held monthly at a Northern Suburbs Library.  Most members of the group suffer varying degrees of Aphasia, brought about mainly by a Stroke or some other brain injury which impairs the language centre of the brain.  The attendees are all members of the Australian Aphasia Assoc. Qld.  The members form a very strong, dedicated group of people who wish to promote the knowledge of Aphasia in the broader community.
    Aphasia, from Ancient Greek, language disorder – ranges from having difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write.
    The initial address by Stephen was short, however, he left such an imprint on those present, we all had such empathy for him and many were so inspired from this short talk they endeavoured to put some of his coping strategies into their lives from that initial contact, and were enthralled to hear that Stephen had accepted the invitation to be the keynote speaker at a mini conference which was planned for later that year.  Understandably, his address was eagerly awaited.  His recollections from his early life were profound, his will to live while enduring such pain left one inspired and most of the delegates at the conference were able to relate intimately with Stephen's rehabilitation after the accident. They felt his frustration, his pain, his anger, the discrimination, and his fear of not being able to express himself after the accident, and having the feeling "this is as good as it gets" instilled upon him.  They didn't realize they were dealing with STEPHEN DALE.
    Personally, it was my mission to read "Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom" during a recent holiday.  Once I started reading, finishing it was very easy to achieve – I couldn't put it down, as the saying goes.  I was enthralled.  I'm sure most people have had some traumatic experience in their lives, may it be from bullying, family estrangement, substance abuse, or injury etc.  My heart really ached for Stephen, such a load for one person to carry.  I also had my 'giggle time' (as I called it), and emailed my thoughts on one section to Stephen.  I wondered if he was dealing with amnesia, aphasia, or just a plain old typo!  His reply came back, 'the whole lot'.  Typical of Stephen's humour.
    I would pick the book up every night as soon as I got into bed, which could at times be quite late, as we were on a cruise. Bed lighting isn't always the way one would like it to be and I had to consider that my husband wanted to go to sleep.  My desire to continue reading found me having to implement ways around the situation so the light was bright enough for me to read and dull enough for my husband to sleep. I was already learning coping strategies from Stephen.
    Most mornings I would give my husband an update on certain paragraphs I'd read the previous night.  They usually ended with both of us saying sentences like "oh! that poor man" or "how on earth did he cope with that situation".  I would personally love to see Stephen's book converted to the Talking Book range, so many people are unable to read as a result of having Aphasia, this would be a wonderful asset for those affected.
    It is very easy to continue with superlatives regarding Stephen's management and rehabilitation, however, I will end by relaying a particular statement Stephen had sent to me  -  THERE IS ONLY ONE OF YOU AND THE WORLD NEEDS MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU, yes they do, definitely more people like STEPHEN DALE.

  18. Hilary Knights said...

    Stephen, Just have to say how moved and inspired I am by your book.  Your journey was such an incredible experience and shared in such a personable, honest and moving way which really reflects you!  I went through so many different emotions reading your book from laughing at your digs at yourself and your delightful sense of humour, through to feeling your pain and frustration and of course pure joy when you achieved your goals.  Your book has given me a diffferent perspective entirely and as someone who has experienced eight spine operations I now realise thanks to you that life is about taking one step at a time and acknowledging achivements.  You are truly inspiring.  Thank you for sharing your story – my life is so much richer for having read your book.

  19. Teaki Page said...

    I'm not joking when I say it is up there as one of the best books I've ever read! I can not even find the words to describe how amazing it is, just wow. I feel very privileged that I was able to meet you

  20. Imogen Turner said...

    My English Task at school was to talk about a hero that we have been inspired by from either an auto-biography or biography. And instantly I thought of Stephen, as my dad had previously told me about his incredible story. As I began reading Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom; I fell in love with it. I couldn’t put it down. It is such an admirable book, because it teaches you what life has to offer and not to give up on your dreams. I finished the book astounded. So I then presented my English oral; everyone was amazed at his recovery and what he has done with his life and how he overcame a massive accident. Stephen is a true hero to me. He has inspired me to never give up on what I want and always believe I can do it. Thank you Stephen.

  21. Melissa Gray said...

    Such an incredible story Steve! I had brain surgery 6 weeks ago to remove two life threatening tumours and this book has been such an inspiration and helped me with my own recovery. The operation left me with blurred vision out the left side of both eyes. When my husband showed me your book 2 weeks ago I was just starting to be able to focus on reading again. I could read for about 5 minutes at a time before I tired.  It was hard to put down.
    I would often miss words on the left of the page because of my damaged eyesight. However, your story of determination motivated me to keep reading. After a sleep I would read more and I would use the commitment you spoke of to improve my own stamina. When I read the part about your eye doctor visit, this was a turning point in my recovery. You had faith that your eye would heal and made it clear what you thought of pessimistic doctors. I put the book down, prayed and believed that if your eye could be restored, my eyesight could too. After a sleep I was so excited that about 20% of my vision had returned on the left side. I stopped skipping words on the left of the page too.
    Your story is an absolute miracle and addresses many issues that everyone can relate to. It was so well written, congratulations on your incredible efforts. Thank you for sharing your story Steve!

  22. ANITA SONNET said...

    My hubby is going on a visit to the UK to see the Oldies and is taking your book to pass round. We both loved it! You are such an inspiration! My daughter met you and won your book in school. She was able to recite your whole life to me. You really touched her! Thanks.x

  23. Maree Slingsby said...

    Having finished your book early this morning, I just wanted to touch base to tell you how much I enjoyed it. The lessons in the book are ones I already knew to be true, lessons have been learned at much lesser personal cost. Having said that, despite knowing things to be true, it is great to be reminded of them in such a powerful way, as it does tend to refocus the mind on what needs to be done to get to where you want to go. I hope that in leaving your book on a desk or two at work, your message may resonate with others in my circle.
    Maree Slingsby

  24. John Enright said...

    A policeman I have been
    Many serious crimes and terrible things I have seen
    In 2002 from a stroke I did suffer
    And for a while I became quite a duffer
    With my brain still being a wee bit shonky
    Sometimes I still will act a bit wonky
    Thanks to ABIOS and its STEPS program so good
    Your inspirational talk I did hear as I think we all should
    This twisted my arm your book to buy
    So I left with my wallet some dollars shy
    Now from reading a good book I get much pleasure
    Your book mate I will always treasure
    I have been reading books for 70 plus years
    Not very many to my eyes have brought tears
    Well…”Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom” certainly did
    Down my spine I felt a chill so algid
    Written by a man with outstanding courage
    A man living a life whilst carrying immense personal baggage
    Thank you Steve for sharing with us all your traumas
    Pray God upon you are dropped no more dramas
    Jonathan Norberg Wright (J N Wright)

  25. Pete said...

    Just finished your book. A lot of it made me uncomfortable – the way
    you wrote with such honesty about your life and your pain really
    hooked me, but made me wince! 
    I wanted to say WELL DONE (x 10,000) in getting through everything you
    did, and thanks for writing your book and sharing your story. Your
    never give up attitude is inspirational and I'm so glad to see you're
    taking it to people as a speaker…that lecturing job interview
    couldn't have gone better, she was a smart cookie to point you in this
    direction :)  
    Thanks, take care and keep doing great stuff

  26. Joanne Ryan said...

    My usual book genre of choice is crime fiction not 'reality'. After I heard Steve speak at a Summit event recently I was gifted a copy of his book 'Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom'. Steve spoke with such passion and integrity at the event that I had an idea of what was in store for me once I turned the first page.  I was not let down.
    This book touched my heart and confirmed that anything is possible if you believe and are willing to make a change that is aligned to your values and what you hold important. Each page of this book shows in its purest form just what one individual can do to succeed against all odds. Steve has written this book, putting his reality out there for all to see. The reality of Steve's past and what he is doing in the present, inspiring and motivating others, leaves me no doubt that his future will be wonderful and remarkable. This book is a 'must read' and if you get the chance to see Steve present, jump at the opportunity.  I have a new book that isn't crime fiction, gracing my bookshelf now!
    Steve, all the very best.

  27. Harriet Clark said...

    Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom is definately one of the most inspiring books I have ever read!
    I have heard you speak twice now, Steve. First at the Logan City of Choice Summit and today at my school. You are definately one of my Heroes and I hope the rest of the students at Flagstone got as much out of your presentation as I did, especially those who really needed it.
    I definately recommend your book to everyone! It made me laugh and cry! Sometimes I forgot that the story was real. It just seems too amazing and hearing what you had to go through seems almost unbelievable, especially how you managed to recover! The messages can be adapted to nearly every situation and I now know that I can do anything I put my mind to. You are amazing.
    Thankyou so, so much!!!

  28. Garry Hargrave said...

    I read one or 2 books a year.  Probably start a dozen or so and put them down.
    Not so with Bouncing Back – I read it from cover to cover- even reread a few chapters.
    I recommend it to anyone.
    Garry Hargrave, President of Redland City Chamber of Commerce

  29. Ken Chadwick said...

    Dear Steve. I’m not a man of words like you, so I find it difficult to express fully my admiration for your book and the story it tells. I started reading it I could hardly put it down, as it seemed to flow on with your thoughts just tumbling out. That is what I admired most, your honesty in the telling. I’ll never know how you coped with the pain, the confusion of what was happening etc. 99% of people would have given up, and I know it was in your mind often. But then your amazing courage and will to live kept you fighting.
    Setting goals and achieving them in spite of the pain. I’m a great admirer of achievers. People who succeed against overwhelming odds. Nelson Mandela, and the chap who cut his arm off when trapped by the rock, to mention a couple. You rate up there with all of them Steve.
    Thankyou for sharing your story, of amazing human courage, and determination.
    Ken Chadwick. OAM.

  30. Paul Davidson said...

    I am a physiotherapist and first came across Steve at the Beenleigh Chamber of Commerce where he was a keynote speaker. He had the photograph of his fall and I thought OK this could be interesting. He started to speak and there was a connection, wow!
    Here's why, I have not had what you might call the "normal" route into my profession. I come from a little place called Northern Ireland and worked in the city of Belfast. I was a police officer from 1982-2001 and saw a few things that I have tried to forget but they (memories) won't let me, I was quite badly injured in a car crash in 1996 besides having been shot at, stoned, petrol bombed, and so on. As a result of the crash I had to learn to cope with painful rehabilitation, chronic pain. I was told I couldn't do things, but I wanted to prove the experts wrong – just like Steve! I eventually had to retire from my job beacuse of my injuries and entered Uni in 2001 at 38 years old and graduated in 2005 with a BSc (Honours) in Physiotherapy.
    Steve’s talk got me curious as he was talking about post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but not mentioning it. I suffer from this everyday and my loved ones and I have coped with it for a number of years. I thought I've got to read this book and when I read I couldn't believe some of the paralells to my experiences. This book is probably the best I have read dealing with taboo subjects of bullying, alcohol, substance abuse, and self destructive behaviours. I learned all these things as an escape from the things we had seen and dealt with until I met a special person who pulled me back from the brink of the abyss.
    Reading Bouncing Back there were tears of joy, laughter, and sadness but throughout the book there was a common thread of an unbreakable will to succeed, a willingness to undergo change and acceptance and perhaps the simplicity of not what I can't do but what I can do. It has been said that "what we were makes us who we are", Bouncing Back illustrates this to such a degree that it is quite stunning.
    Seriously do yourselves a favour and read this book, it's worth every cent and perhaps it's weight in gold!

  31. Matt Fitzpatrick said...

    A tremendous story of courage and persistence. To triumph over such adversity demonstrates remarkable willpower and a relentless pursuit of one's goals. It is difficult to truly fathom what Steve has endured but in reading this book it inspires you to push your own boundaries, meet challenges head on and become a better person. I really enjoyed the writing style - tales are sprinkled with generous amounts of humour that had me chuckling at all hours.

  32. Tanya Burgess said...

    Steve I write this with tears running down my face as I have just finished reading your book.  I came to know of your book after my 13 year year old son came home from school with a copy of your book. He is not always the easiest child to deal with, and was most upset that he was to be sent to the Principal the following Monday as he had forgotten to put his phone on silent and it rang during your presentation. However instead of just leaving he approached you after you had finished and apologised to you for his phone ringing, and not because he was made to. You left an impression and told him that you appreciated his manners and gave him a copy of your book. He will finish reading your book these holidays but suggested that I would like to read it first. I have read many biographies in my time but have never felt compelled to write to an author.
    What an amazing story. I can not even find the words to adequately express what I'd like to say. Your story is nothing short of inspirational, we certainly have no excuses for not trying to be all that we can be. Your determination over such an extended period of time is amazing. Most would give up. 
    I am so pleased that you have found peace and wish you continued happiness throughout your life.   Regards, Tanya

  33. Alex Marot said...

    Wow! What an absolute inspiration! Reading "Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom' is a real reminder of the true power of the mind and what one can achieve when there is real determination, focus and desire. A brilliant book (and one that I often refer back to) that is written in such a way that makes one literally stop and assess every day 'life obstacles' that we often perceive too difficult to overcome! I've often made reference to your book not only when we started up our business in a new country but also to both of our young children and the effects that bullying might have on them. Thank you for making us aware and bringing up a subject that they may be too fearful to bring up themselves. You are truly amazing and a real inspiration to us all! Wishing you all the very best in your journey ahead and thank you for having the courage to share with us all, Stephen.

  34. Kerry Green said...

    Thank you Steve for sharing your inspirational story. It was a pleasure to meet you late last year and since you came and presented to our senior management team I have read your book twice!
    Personally your story pulled me through a difficult time in my life and professionally I still have your diagram of clarity on my whiteboard in my office, often refering to it in coaching and counseling sessions for staff.
    Thank you once again for having the courage and tenacity to share your story and encouraging us all to have the power to keep going even when we are in our, or what seems to be our darkest hour.

  35. Alan Watts said...

    What an inspirational book, Steve. I found it hard to put down and read it in a day.I knew you and your family in the 1980's but moved from Brisbane in the early 1990's. I knew about your accident and have wondered many times what happened to you. You tell the story, warts and all, without worrying about people judging you for the actions you took in life. Your acknowledgement of your parents faith and unconditional love for you is a tribute to both you and them.Bullying at school can have lifelong consequences and you certainly have shown this in your book. The importnace of forgiveness of both others and yourself was something I think everyone should gain from your book. How often do we read and hear of forgiveness of others but not of ourselves.This is part of the healing process I had not considered before.Whilst not a Christian book, Christians need this message to understand "Loving your neighbour as yourself”. God saved your life for a purpose. Telling your story is part of that purpose. I wish you well in your business and with this book. I thoroughly recommened it to others.

  36. South City Bulletin said...

    Book Review from South City Bulletin

    After reading Stephen Dale's frank retelling of his near fatal accident and agonising recovery I think, perhaps for the first time, I know what it's like inside someone else's mind, writes Kim Bauman.

    Bouncing Back is about a young man who fell off a steep cliff onto exposed rocks below; the shocking injuries he suffered, and the resulting brain damage. It is about Dale's rediscovery of his identity and his long road to healing facing what seem like insurmountable obstacles with sheer doggedness.

    But beyond the accident itself, Dale begins his story as a child, well before that fateful day on the cliff. He takes us through the daily torment he suffered for years at the hands of schoolyard bullies and how his methods for coping gradually become his worst enemies. An overbearing attitude along with drugs and alcohol would literally become his downfall.

    Dale's broken body took a year to mend, his damaged brain much longer. His present-tense recounting of his months in hospitals, the searing pain and coming to terms with cognitive failure is never sugar coated, but is told with a self effacing wit that often had me laughing aloud.

    Whilst reading, I lived through the embarrassing helplessness and crippling depression that Dale describes with blunt eloquence. Although it was his unique ability to illustrate the confusion, paranoia and disassociation of brain damage that was truly insightful.

    For this reason alone, I would highly recommend Bouncing Back to doctors, nurses and family members of patients suffering from brain injury. Likewise, the realities and repercussions of bullying make Dale's book essential reading for education professionals and parents.

    As for me, I don't fall into any of these categories; but taking Dale's journey of determination with him was truly inspirational and proved to me that with willingness anything is possible.

    Kim Bauman

  37. Ché Phillips said...

    I first met Stephen back at the end 2010 at a support meeting for Acquired Brain Injury on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. I suffered a brain injury in 2009 when I lost control of my motorbike and I fell 40 meters down a cliff while riding on Springbrook Mountain on the Gold Coast. When I first received Stephens book ‘Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom’ it was so soon after my accident that I found it hard to read. Even though I was reading about Steve, it brought wave after wave of difficult emotions over me and it hit way too close to home so to speak. But I have since stumbled across his book again and started reading it – now I can’t put it down!
    I love how real and honest Steve is, and now the parts that affected me originally; I can really relate to and now draw comfort from. It won’t matter who you are or what you have experienced, you will find this book both touching and inspirational.
    Ché Phillips

  38. John Milne said...

    Congratulations Steve! Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom is the most powerful and moving book I've read for many years.Your story of the ten year battle to recover and to re-build your life is real and raw. With incredible courage and persistence you fought your way back to life.Thank you for your bravery in re-living the physical,mental and emotional pain you endured as a boy and as a man.This would have defeated a lesser person.;it is humbling to recognize you as a true overcomer. I was inspired by your desire to teach us new lessons.Every day your successful,speaking,training and coaching business is giving women and men of all ages a future and a hope!Power on!

  39. Christopher Fitch said...

    After reading only part of the book I already felt that I knew you personally. I've never had a book do that to me before. I relate to many of your school experiences and childhood. You write in such a powerful way….as if I was actually there experiencing. I am able to understand the pressures, pain, trauma and the intense battles involved with severe brain and bodily injuries. I have already told people about what an amazing guy you are and the difference you are making to my life and to anyone lucky enough to be touched by your shining light of inspiration. Your a true kingpin. Cheers, Christopher.

  40. Val Smart said...

    What a book.
    I cannot recall reading anything like this before, especially in first person. I could not rush through in my usual style. The journey back ( or should I say bounce?) was such an incredible and traumatic experience. Even to read about it was a real journey. And although your words were superb they can only be a shadow of the reality you have experienced.  I am still staggered and amazed. Thanks for the sharing with us.

  41. Trish Jenkins said...

    Loved the book!
    I picked up your book and couldn't put it down. I alternatively wept and marveled. Not only is it a moving and inspiring story, but you remain relatable in it. It’s not just about recovering from unbelievable injuries, you reveal other issues that society can and should address such as bullying. This is a book that should be read by both policy makers and high school students. You have messages for so many levels of society. I pray it becomes a catalyst for change!
    Thank you for telling your story.
    Trish Jenkins, Brisbane

  42. Vicki Lennox said...

    Just wanted to thank you for your book, "Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom". I have to tell you that although I didn't experience the bullying you did at school at the hands of your fellow students nor did I fall off a cliff and suffer the physical trauma and pain you did, I totally related to you almost every step of the way. My teachers were the bullies because I happen to be left handed. I learned at a very early age that I "wasn't good enough". I carried this with me and allowed it to severely limit every endeavour and aspect of my life for fifty years.
    I too, have chosen to use all those experiences and the lessons learned to inspire and motivate young people to find their purpose and live it and their life to the full. Reading your book has helped me get over the remaining self-doubt and fear to say “Yes, yes, yes" and "have a go". Thank you, Stephen for inspiring me to get back in the game.

  43. Emma Sedgwick said...

    My goodness, it was an extremely vivid and traumatic account not only of his upbringing but of the accident. At times I laughed but most times it made me cry. It was such a gripping account. Steve’s determination and will power is phenominal and something I have taken away from reading the book amongst other lessons in life. So for that I am thankful. It must have been so tough reliving it all but at the same time, somewhat thearaputic and no doubt would have provided Steve with closure and the ability to close certain chapters in your life and look at moving forward and opening new chapters. It was difficult to put the book down. Steve, I honestly wish you every success, you're an inspiration to us all. Best wishes, Emma

  44. Vince Whelan said...

    I am writing because I have just finished your book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had the brain anuerism and hemorrhage after a motorbike accident. Your situation was immensley worse than mine, but I found lots of small similarities between your recovery and mine eg. gym workouts, the urgency to get license back and thoughts of self-doubt. I also have deep regret for the grief I put my family, by doing something stupid (riding my new motorbike to fast). And strangely I also owned a baby shit yellow Datsun 180B for my first car. I look forward to catching one of your motavational talks one day. You are so inspirational with your recovery.

  45. Christopher Elliott said...

    Very vivid account of what happened, extremely inspiring story of rebuilding a life. Took my emotions on a journey through horror at what happened, revenge towards bullies, forgiveness, celebration and amazement. Who said there is no God.

  46. Annie Grossman - Annie's Books on Peregian said...

    I first met Steve in my bookshop, where he told me his incredible story of a life spiralling into disaster, culminating in a horrific accident which brought him very close to death.  This accident, according to Steve, saved his life!  I recently held a small event for Steve, and although I felt that I already knew the story,  finally picked up and read "Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom".  I can honestly say that, in around 50 years of reading, I have not read a more personal book, and there are not many stories which have moved me like Steve's.  The book is written in the first person, which gives the reader direct access to Steve's physical, emotional and spiritual pain and suffering.  The book begins in his childhood, where much of the emotional injury occurred, continues down the route which led him to that cliff on Phillip Island, and then across the excruciating years of recovery to where Steve is today.  His story is simply amazing.  That a human being can survive being torn apart  emotionally and physically,and find the will to overcome immense hurdles, is ecouraging and inspirational.  It's a tough read, travelling by Steve's side through the day to day terrors and tribulations, but well worth the journey.  Congratulations, Steve, on presenting the reading public with a jewel- a book which is fascinating, compelling and potentially life changing.
    Annie Grossman
    Annie's Books on Peregian

  47. Martyn Fleming said...

    How did I come across Steve's compelling story?  I first heard Steve speak at a business networking event, then at another event and then a few more. After bumping into each other here, there and everywhere, I started to spend some time with Steve off-line and I finally read his book, "Bouncing Back when you Hit Rock Bottom".  Getting to know Steve first made for an even more captivating reading experience, where I found myself drawing the dots between Steve's earlier years (before and after his horrific 'arrival') and the Steve I know today.
    There are many relatable stories throughout the book. One that comes to mind is the upside-down photo in the library book – I can think of many people whose lives are similar (in denial about the relationships they're in, their capabilities, how much they enjoy their job, etc)! The book takes you on journey where you'll wince, be uncomfortable, be challenged, inspired and laugh out loud.
    One of the strongest messages I received while reading Bouncing Back would be about discovering your purpose in life, finding your inner strength to achieve it and shrugging off the noisy nay-sayers, disbelievers or other negative influences in our lives and then beating a path to achieve your success, one step at a time!
    Steve is a very brave man in who much he reveals in this book, cutting to the very core of his own frailty and weakness, but balancing this with some extreme feats of strength and endurance. Most people would be flat out being this honest with themselves, let alone publishing it in a book!!
    There are thousands of reasons this Tiger should be smiling… Excellent work, Steve!!

  48. Lester Weston said...

    Bouncing back when you hit rock bottom is a raw,honest inspiring book portraying the absolute resilience of a man in the greatest struggle of his life. I also am a nurse and would encourage anyone who works in the health industry to read this book before your next shift as the professional you are now will change after reading this.And thank you to Steve for sharing your life with us so honestly and comically.I wish Steve further prosperity in his business and would certainly recommend him to anyone wanting a dynamic speaker and a man of integrity,then he is the person you require.

  49. Trish Symons said...

    When I first met Steve, I was amazed and enthralled by his story and the amazing life he has led.  His approach to life has motivated me and empowered me to achieve things I never thought possible..
    However, after reading his book, and the personal pain he suffered, my respect for him as a survivor has grown to even greater levels.  He has highlighted to me the massive pain that bulling has on the individual and the life long affects that this has on victims of this hideous cruelty.
    I hope that this book changes the lives of those who struggle with their past and pray that this book gives them the encouragement to  tackle life with a renewed committment to overcome the afflictions that life often deals to us all, some to a greater extent than others.
    Steve Dale is truly an inspiration to me and I am sure his story will change the lives of many.

  50. Tom Burnard said...

    When I was first given this book to read I mentally classified it as another accident victim’s long road to physical recovery similar to other people’s hospital experiences. I was in for a shock for this book deals so graphically about mental trauma brought about not just by physical brain injury, but also past demons of school bullying and subsequent substance abuse. Written in first person, the author’s account of his harrowing recovery from his shocking injuries, sustained from falling 30 metres over a rocky coastal cliff at Phillip Island in Victoria, is  very confronting and at the same time enthralling to read. At age 21, the extent of his injuries, including a shattered scull, a dislocated and fractured spine and ruptured internal organs should have killed him off. But he escaped death’s door by a tenuous thread only to begin a tremendous battle to regain his sanity.
    The back story of his formative years as a sickly asthmatic child, small for his age and with a strict Baptist upbringing saw him become the victim of constant and vicious bullying at High School. I was astounded at the sadistic and brutal treatment he suffered and discovered that those feelings that I had when I was a child at school paled in comparison. He was between a rock and a hard place- on the one hand he tried to live up to his parents’ religious tenets of forgiveness, gentleness, loyalty and politeness, yet he was receiving the exact opposite from his peers; his world was filled with pain, guilt and fear. He started to wonder who he really was to deserve such bullying and what he was supposed to believe. To survive he started to smoke, drink, take tablets and talk trash like the rest of them. Post school the habit continued through his unproductive career until his tragic accident at Phillip Island.
    The description of the next seven months spent in hospital is told with rare candour and honesty. His journey as seen through an injured brain and a body contained in a cast and racked in pain is both engaging and enthralling. His symptoms of confusion, dizziness, concentration, poor memory, mood changes, embarrassment and failure are all there to see.  I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster close to tears as I tried to understand his inability to read, write and speak. Theories abounded about brain trauma but no one had written a firsthand experience of what to expect. Through it all and ever present in his mind was the battle with his guilt and failure syndrome, versus his doggedness and determination to go the hard yards, stop complaining and think through positive strategies. Re-engaging with life is described with brutal clarity; he was unemployable, could not move freely and living in the grip of constant pain. We can all thank him for having the courage to revisit the demons of his past and his medical experience is an invaluable guide to surviving brain injury. His ten year battle to mend his broken life has seen him emerge as a successful motivational speaker and coach. Remarkable as the story is, it is extremely well written and unforgettable.
    Tom Burnard

  51. Lisa Allen said...

    Steve, your book was a reality check for me in two ways.  Having two children 10 & 12, who have on occasion mentioned bullying at school your story woke me up to the reality of what that means for them and how I can support them.  Secondly, having been injured in a fall two years ago and struggling through 3 surgeries with another to go, I often felt, although strongly supported by my amazing family and friends, alone.  Your book allowed me to feel supported in a way I hadn't felt, in reading your struggles, realising others have lived through this too, and more importantly survived.  You have given me the mental strength to keep going.   I now refer to your book at times when i'm low because it allows me to find ways of coping.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for writing and sharing your story.  You have made a very real difference to my life.

  52. Sarah Lock said...

    Steve’s inspirational and powerful book rewrites the story of neurological injury and outcome. His interest is in regaining and revealing ability rather than dwelling on disability. Steve teaches us that strength of spirit, faith, willingness and dogged perseverance can overcome mountainous physical and psychological hurdles. He gives voice to the frequently unspoken or unrecognized thoughts and internal drives of people imprisoned by communication difficulties after head injury or stroke.
    Steve’s narrative illuminates the transformation in function and everyday life that is achievable even years after neurological insult, and beyond what most rehabilitation professionals facilitate or acknowledge as possible. Steve is proof of the power of positive thinking and positive action over the brain: he could have been one of Norman Doidge’s ‘case studies’ in ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’.
    ‘Bouncing Back’ is essential reading for all medical and allied health professionals working in rehabilitation. Steve’s inside story tells us more about the effects of head injury and the personal resources that can be harnessed to overcome them than most text books, and forces us to reconsider the extent to which our professional intervention helps or hinders outcome.
    Sarah Lock, Speech Pathologist, Sunshine Beach Speech Pathology.

  53. Faye Caughey said...

    We recently had the privilege of having Stephen Dale as the Keynote speaker at a workshop with our clients.  Stephen’s story resonated with us as business coaches as well as the nearly 70 business owners who were in attendance.  Stephen’s amazing journey reflects the journey of business in so many ways.  His message is insightful and impactful. 2 days after the workshop I read Stephen’s book cover to cover in 6 hours – I couldn’t put it down!!  Thank you very much Stephen for sharing your journey with us; for reminding us that if we are willing we CAN achieve the seemingly impossible.  You truly are an inspiration.
    Rob and Faye Caughey, Directors Kaizen Coaching Queensland (representing ActionCOACH Business Coaching)

  54. Tricia Tanner said...

    I wanted to say how I enjoyed reading Bouncing Back - such a personal story that at times must have been pretty difficult for you to re-live and put into words.  I'm amazed at your strength of body and mind to overcome such major disabilities and come out the other end a positive and even stronger person for the experience.  Then to become a public speaker and share with others (friends and strangers) what you had to work through during those years, what you learnt, your goals and aspirations, and to then go on to inspire others.  A great achievement of the human spirit   Well done Steve!

  55. Lou Guevara said...

    WOW!  What a ride! Anyone who thinks they don't need to read this book is deluding themselves. Steve’s story tells exactly how he got over his challenges. We are lucky that all we need to do is read this book and learn how to apply that simple lesson – just be willing! Thanks Steve for sharing your life. 

  56. Mark Ryan MP said...

    "Bouncing Back" is an amazing account of the life of an amazing person.  As a society, we often underestimate the power of words.  But Stephen's words provide us with an inspiring message – it is a message of hope, courage and questioning.  His words challenge us to love life and to use our talents and experiences to be positive role models.  "Bouncing Back" is essential reading for those who are seeking fulfillment in their lives.  Stephen, well done on your book and all that you have achieved to date – I know that this is just the beginning!

  57. Andrew Gallagher said...

    Stephen you are an incredible speaker and a true survivor. The first time I had heard you speak inspired me to make sure others heard your story. I was privileged that you came and told your story to our Chamber of Commerce. I also brought my teenage son to hear what you had been through. Since then you have become an idol for him and your goals showed him what a person can achieve if they are willing. I even bought several of your books just so I could help others look at how they can attain their own goals.
    Thanks again Stephen, you have definitely gained a fan here.

  58. Phil Box said...

    Just finished reading the book. Great read. A lot of it resonated in me through having experienced some of what you had gone through. No, I haven’t had a brain injury but I can relate to the bullying at school. I went to about 16 different schools and at every one of them the tough kids had to find at how good I was at fighting. Being that my mum had told me to never hit back and I was a good boy who thought that I needed to obey my parents I was indeed a target.
    I was particularly interested in the theme of fault and blame. The book for me diverted away from that theme towards more of his recovery which is fine, still was riveting nonetheless. I’d love it if Steve was ever to write a book majoring on the theme of dealing with fault and blame. The book really dealt well with such a difficult subject. Thanks Steve for baring your entire soul and giving me a very deep insight into your life. Congratulations on such a great book. I only wish you the very best success for your every endeavour.

  59. Fellow Journeyman said...

    This is a tough book. The raw honesty of it cuts into the heart, ripping away illusions, and confronts us with a shared reality that might just be too much for some. This is not a book to take lightly. Anyone planning to read this should be prepared for something unlike any other autobiography they might have read before. There is no glossing over things in Stephen's book, no smoothing out of the rough; it is gritty, hardcore, in places unpleasant, unsettling, and very uncomfortable: but then truth so often is all of that and more. If you hunger for truth, for reality, and you are tired of the Hollywood style, motivational superstar, the secret, the 'you can do it all!' fluff that we seem to be drowning in these days, then Bouncing Back is definitely the book for you. If you're hurting, hiding, and feel so very alone, this is the book for you. Stephen demonstrates tremendous courage in allowing others to take a glimpse into his very soul and experience that which we so rarely know about others, what they are really like inside. I know what darkness is like, I have lived within it for most of my life, and Stephen's story felt for me like the reaching out of someone, the touch of their hand, saying "You’re not alone in this! I've been there! I've made it out! You can too!" Only someone who has been there can really understand the pain those like me suffer through, and Stephen's story is a glimpse of light in that dark place that we feel trapped in. If you know someone who is suffering, who struggles with depression, self-loathing, whatever it may be, you would serve them well if you gave them a copy of Bouncing Back. It may not change their life, it might not fix anything, but for certain, it will bring comfort to them. And if you are one of those fortunate enough not to dwell in, or to have known this darkness, then it is worth the read, because it will make you a better friend to those who have and do.

  60. Barry Lane said...

    Wow. What an amazing read.  You took me on a roller coaster ride of emotion – there were parts throughout your story that made me feel sad, made me laugh, made me cry and made me cringe.  What I learnt from your book is how amazing the brain is and how powerful is the will to survive and succeed. You are a walking miracle – you deserve every future sucess that life brings to you.
    Barry Lane, The Coffee Club, Springwood

  61. Terri Cooper said...

    In a word… WOW!  I've heard Steve speak on a number of occasions, but this book really delivers the full story of just how determined and powerful Steve is.. I had no idea of the trauma and difficulties Steve had been through. What did it mean for me?  You really don't realise how lucky you are and we take simple things like being able to walk without pain for granted. It also made me see that everything is mind over matter and if you really want something, then there is nothing that can stop you from achieving it.
    Thanks Steve for an inspiring book and for sharing your very personal journey with us.
    Terri Cooper
    Terri Cooper Networking Events

  62. Kristen Higgins said...

    After finishing 'Bouncing Back' nearly a week ago, I wanted to think long and hard about the words I would offer on such an incredibly honest and personal story. The story is crafted by the hard work and determination of a man bold enough to expose his weakness, fragility, and his deepest and darkest moments. Steve shows the world that it is only when you have given up on yourself that the battle is truly over.
    I've spoken to friends and colleagues reading this book and we've used words like 'confronting', 'inspiring', 'powerful', and 'incredible'… All of which I'm sure you have felt too as readers! What is most 'confronting' is the challenge posed to the reader while reading as Steve challenged himself with the same question 'Who Am I?' I found myself looking at my own self talk, my own weaknesses, my psychological approach to the day as the sun rises to boot me out of bed in the morning.
    Steve's journey challenges us all in different ways. What you feel, the way you react, and the well of imagery and untapped memories that present themselves are in fact your own demons and your own personal struggles. The bravery of the author who bares all for his reading audience struck a chord with me, and made me wonder if I have ever been as honest with anyone in my life before.
    Steve, you have an incredible determination in life, a passion to learn, to teach, and to be someone you are proud of. This book says an phenomenal amount about your calibre as a person and as a mentor! Congratulations on creating something so unique and special through your ability to present the reader with the facts, the questions, and the opportunity to challenge themselves in their own space.

  63. Joslyn Gardiner said...

    What a brilliant book.  I could not put it down.  How he adapted and changed to the circumstances and challenges is a testiment not only to the courage and determination of Stephen but also to the plastisity of our brains.  Never Give up and Never submit to "conventional Wisdom".   The absolute power of Mind control, determination and pure guts.  We can DO anything, so long as we believe we can and keep moving forward.  Well done Stephen and Thank you. 

  64. Kerry Hargreaves said...

    After hearing you speak at Key Business Network I needed to know more about your journey. I started reading your book and did not put it down until it was finished. Every parent and teacher should read this book. It lets you get inside the head of a victim of bullying and helps you to understand their thinking and their pain. It is not enough to say ignore and it will go away because it obviously doesn't. Congratulations on having the courage to take the journey once more to help others avoid that painful path so they do not have to arrive at the end.

  65. Debra Jarvis said...

    Steve, Great Book!!
    Very Gutsy, how you had the courage to mentally take yourself back to the events of your life, I'm sure you would rather forget, to encourage others is remarkable! I couldn't put your book down, read it from cover to cover within 3 days. Well written, easy to understand, and great message, I'm sure that it will become life-changing for the many people who will read it, inspiring them to make better decisions, make any decision, decide to live life with purpose.
    Breaking through the pain barrier as you have done is no mean feat and as a person I met you before I ever heard your story or read your book, you were already someone I held in high regard due to your 'presence'.
    Through your book you have challenged me to focus on solutions (and I thought I already did that)!
    All that's left to say is read Steve's book "Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom" It's possible and Steve lives it!
    PS He's also a great Motivational Speaker! Debra Jarvis  :-)

  66. Ken & Lynne Hare said...

    Your recent presentation at the Caboolture Business Enterprise Centre was inspirational.. All to often we allow ourselves to get in our own way… with percieved rather than real problems… Your story has emphasised, anything is possible if you truely believe.. Recommended reading for my business group (for anyone else read it) it reminds me of the quote "When your going through hell, keep going" the journey makes us who we are!!!!!!  

  67. Vicki said...

    Amazing recovery and willpower!!   Rock Bottom is not always rock bottom – if your willpower is not strong enough, you can sink further than you thought was possible!  But the heights….. !!!!!   I read the book in 2 days and now it's making the rounds of my family!
    Our choices are only limited by what we think – others beliefs have no relevance in our situations – this is exactly what your book is saying. A must read for all!

  68. Peter Burrows said...

    Steve, yours is truly and amazing and inspirational story. Yet for me, this is not just your story, but a story about everyone of us.We all suffer from our own fears, adversities and self blame. We often blame others for our situation and quick to deny any responsibility. It has been our past decisions and actions which have resulted in where we are today. However the real message in your book is we all have a choice, we can all change our lives if we are willing to do so, if we are prepared to work hard, if we really really want to.
    As a business coach I took many learnings from your story and will use them as examples to clients how they can make changes in their business if they are prepared to make changes in themselves. For my clients your book will be mandatory reading and I would also recommend it to all other business owners or anyone in business as a must read.

  69. Marilyn Shackel said...

    Steve, what an amazing account of your life! I found it very hard to put down.  Every person who has ever been a bully needs to read it, in fact it should be compulsory reading at schools. At times I found your book very raw and heartbreaking but amazingly inspiring, I will never complain about going to the gym or aches and pains again! Your speech at our Key Business Network meeting just gave me a small peek into your world but your book gave me so much more. Thank you so much for having the courage to fight for your life so you could inspire the rest of us to never give up.

  70. Nantha Lingam said...

    Found this book very 'raw' and powerful. Had to read it over 2 sessions as I found myself getting worked up by what was happening in his life. Steve’s life was a life I could not imagine. But his style in writing made it alive to me! I've not stop talking about the book and its been several months now! His insight into what bullying does, has made me more aware of the issue especially with those around me.  Steve’s courage and determination to recover and his ability to forgive is an inspiration for eveyone. I look forward to more from him.

  71. Lily said...

    My name is Lily and I am 14 years old. I got Steve’s book from the “Dream It Up” foundation at Logan where he did a speech. At first I was unsure about his book but I soon realized how heartfelt and amazing Steve and his book is. i don't do drugs, drinking (water yeah..) or anything like that but the way he recovered and never gave up and fought everyday made me rethink my outlook on life and what people have to go through each day. Thank you Steve for giving me a different look on life (and obviously i'm not thanking you for falling off a cliff because that would be sick.) Please if your stuggling with life read his book. It'll make you cry tears of rage,joy, and sadness. It also made me laugh a bit. It’s an interesting book when you get into it and is hard to put down!

  72. Clare Edwards said...

    Thank you Steve on behalf of everyone who has needed a kick up the proverbial for writing this book. At times it's hard to reconcile everything as the book is so well written, yet his candour and frank style brings us back to reality with a thump. God knows why some of our journeys are so much harsher than others; yet I am sure the ripple effect of his lessons in life through this book will be so far reaching he may never in his lifetime get to comprehend.
    This book is as good as the amount of people it can reach and I for one will be finding a way to help Steve get his message out there on the impact of bullying, courage, tenacity and the willingness to do whatever it takes. Thank you oh Grand Master Bouncer! :-)

  73. Shaun said...

    Hi Steve, really appreciate the opportunity to speak to you on Between the Lines on 31 Digital and looking forward to seeing the show air in a few weeks time. Well done!

  74. Glen Smith said...

    Well done Steve, you are an inspiration! Enjoyed your book and you write well. Thought you were a little hard on yourself as you were only a kid at the time. What happened to Lucy and Mr Green BMW?
    Best wishes for the future, you really deserve it!

  75. Julie Bannister said...

    Steve, Congratulations on completing your book and having the courage to go back 'there' , to relive it (to an extent)  and to share your experiences. All of us that have read your book and those who will read it in the future are truely blessed to be able to share and experience it in our own way and to get a different perspective on abuse as well as rehabilitation.
    I had heard your story several times when you had presented at our Key Business Network meetings before reading your book. I have since heard you tell your story after reading your book and it makes your story even more powerful.
    I asked my son to attend one of our meetings that you were presenting at. He had been feeling quite 'down' and feeling life was against him and did not have a real purpose in life. He came along to hear your presentation and it has totally changed his outlook on life since then. You challenged us all at that presentation that we have to be  'willing to do what it takes' to make changes in our lives and that is what our son is now doing.
    Thank you Steve!!!

  76. Myra Williams said...

    Well it didn't take me long to finish this book, and I have to say after what has already happened to Steve I can't wait to find out the next chapters of a book relating to his future! If he's come this far with everything going against him, what's going to happen in his life without so many obstacles!
    'Inspiring' is just one word you can use to describe Steve, however there would be soooooo many more – 'inspirational', 'determined', 'intelligent', 'crazy', etc etc – the list goes on…
    The first time I heard Steve speak I thought 'wow' thats an amazing story, there is truely nothing wrong with this guy to show what he has gone through. However it isn't till you read his book that you really understand his life. Each page filled with obstacles that came from other people, his own personal dilemmas associated with normal growth and society, and then each painful, self willing inch's of determination he endured to gain the life he has now. A life that is still a life in pain, but a life where the pain is overshadowed by love, fun and happiness.
    I feel honoured to know such a wonderful person, have him talk at one of my fundraising events already, and I know that he will inspire and help people around the world who face many of the obstacles he has already endured. And the biggest lesson he teaches us is - you have to really want something more than anything else to achieve it, be willing to go the hard yards, stop complaining and think positive, and you to can come out on top!!
    So Steve – thanks for sharing your journey!!!

  77. Sam Cawthorn said...

    Steve, what can I say but just INSPIRING!!!!!!
    Your passion and pure zest for life is contagious. What an incredible remarkable story. I can relate to it a little through things that have happened in my own personal journey, but learning more about your journey of discovery has really helped me in mine. Receiving an email from you today just cemented your true sense of character and strength. it read… "I can honestly say that my worst day was the same day as my best!"
    Well done mate. I am truly a better person after reading your book!

  78. Wendy Hurley said...

    Thanks Steve for sharing your story. I wish I had this insight when I was a neuro nurse 25 years ago. I would have done a much better job of understanding people with head injuries. I also thank you for sharing your journey of recovery which has helped me on my own journey helping my son recover from a catastrophic brain injury. It is such a long hard road.

  79. Lindsay Stainton said...

    This is an amazing read on many levels. Coming from a medical background I found it fascinating to hear the journey directly from the person who experienced the entire journey. I found the first few chapters quite harrowing and the section about bullying was also difficult to read. Definately a book that I will need to read again. Am very proud of your efforts Steve to put your story in writing and sharing with us all. Truly inspirational on many levels and a must read for many!

  80. Joe Piovesan said...

    On first hearing his story found it hard to imagine that a human being could go through such a traumatic event and still survive, what appears to the naked eye, rather well. However on reading this book I was blown away by some of its contents and the effect they had on me.
    I was amazed at the feelings I had when I read about the bullying. I discovered that those feelings that I had when I was a child at school were still there and continued to resurface as I read through the book. I became quite angry at times that these feelings were still present and though I was tempted to put the book aside I could not stop. It will always be a reminder to me that others have done it tougher than me and that my bullying experiences, or for that matter any other mishaps, were not a scratch on yours.
    I was also struck by the severity of the recovery process and the many stages of pain and suffering you went through. It also serves as a reminder to what the human body can endure though I wonder if I would have had your faith and determination to get back to as near as normal life as possible as you have done. This was truly an amazing story written in a very engaging way. Congratulations and best wishes Stephen- you have truly deserved it.

  81. Bruce Cook said...

    Steve.  What an amazing read. Having been the recipient of some pretty severe bullying at school, as a result of my Mum teaching at the same school, you managed to bring a lot of life and realism into the thoughts and reactions I had at the time. Your book should be compulsory reading for school bullies, and their victims.
    Sometimes the best coaches are the ones who have had the biggest journey, and thats why I know your story and book will be a huge inspiration to a lot of people. I know you will keep sharing your journey, because thats what happens when you find your life purpose. Cheers Steve, and I look forward to your next book.

  82. Ewan said...

    Congratulations on a great read.  A must to any one from all backgrounds, professions and age groups.  If you were the bully or the bullied or the disadvantaged or just the 1 who didn't quite fit in, this book is a must. Steve seems to have experienced everything, yet through all things he kept his resilience, persistence and a weird sense of humour to conquer each obstacle as he experienced it. Well done.

  83. Matt said...

    Steves' story of life "AD" truly shows that belief, determination and hard work can take you anywhere, however long it takes.  I first heard Steve's story several years ago, and have heard Steve several times since but I never fully comprehended the extent of the injuries and recovery until I read his book.  I will be reccomending this book to my friends and family.
    Steve I'm proud to call you my friend dispite your unwavering support of the Maroons.

  84. Cheryl Simons said...

    This book shows that persistence and willingness to move forward regardless of difficulties and obstacles put in our path does enable good things to happen. Steve yours is a truly amazing and inspiring story. Your style of writing, although confronting, gives your readers the experience of being there with you.
    Your insights into bullying are illuminating for the many people in our society who have been victims, whether it is at school or at work, who feel isolated and alone because of their  experience.
    Your willingness to overcome the obstacles you faced is an inspiration and challenges all of us to be willing to do more with our lives.

  85. Karen Phillips said...

    Steve, I have just finished your book after meeting you at a Key Business Network breakfast 2 days ago.
     I became totally engrossed in your story, and your style of writng made me feel as f I was right  there – which was very emotional at times!  Thank you for having the courage to put your life into words so effectively, and the grace to share it. 

  86. Darren said...

    A great account of a tremendous battle – written in the first verse it is very confronting but at the same time enthralling – you just dont want to put it down.  I cant believe how descriptive it is – still gagging from the the part of the book when Steve has his body plaster removed. Could almost sense the freedom!

  87. Jen McCauley said...

    This book has a special place for me – and for anyone who has ever lacked 'willingness' due to physical, psychological or experiential situations.
    The best part was reading it after hearing you speak – I am loaning it to everyone around me and they are enjoying it also

  88. Julie Bragger said...

    I can't put words to this book. Or should I say I can but it just doesn't seem to explain adequately what Steve's life was like up until now. I have spoken to many people about this book and I sound like a raving lunatic.
    I found myself reading at stop lights. I even parked my car next to construction site knowing i was blocking a concrete truck and I thought he will just have to wait until I have finished the chapter.
    Steve, you have jolted me into gear. Wasn't that your purpose??? Thanks for writing the book, I am very happy that you found the confidence and had the strength to finally write it. You are one inspirational guy!

  89. Anthony Willis said...

    Determination and persistence are the cold steel rails on which Steve achieves some lofty goals. With strong focus, Steve manages to overcome massive obstacles and proves that the human spirit can be supremely resilient.
    Winston Churchill's cry comes to mind – "Never, never, never give up! "
    Steve himself is living evidence, that we actually can reshape the person we falsely believe ourselves to be and behind it all, of the incredible power of praying parents.
    I finished the book in a day even though I was cross-eyed at 3am, it is compelling reading.
    I am using Steve's encouragement and mantra and creating the evidence I needed to bring about change personally and at my business..
    To experience 'The Smiling Tiger' is to get a kick in the pants and an injection of steel in the backbone.
    Thanks Steve – I really needed that !

  90. Wayne Jones said...

    Steve, I just want to congratulate you on your book. 
    It was in parts inspiring, confronting and quite emotional.  I have heard you talk about willingness but I think your story goes beyond that.  It describes a level of determination and resilience in overcoming rejection and setbacks that can only be imagined by those of us who have not walked in your shoes.  For those people that supported you through your long rehabilitation process they are to be admired, but I think you have done them a wonderful service in making the most of your life and writing this book. 
    The book goes beyond a story of recovering from a brain injury and is a handbook for those suffering in their lives, and should be a wake-up call to those who have led blessed lives.  Some people leave footprints in their lives for others to follow and I believe you, and your story, will be amongst that group of special people.
    All the best.

  91. Jo Hall said...

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this book Steve! It is an incredibly personal story that must have been extremely difficult to write.
    I found "Bouncing Back" a really easy and enjoyable read and I loved hearing from other people's perspectives as to what they were experiencing at the same time as you.
    I am not usually a non-fiction reader, but would highly recommend this book to anyone. It is so much more than a story about your accident, it is more about life and lessons learnt. There are passages at the end of the book that are particularly relevant to everyone. I have highlighted them and know that I will read them again and again.
    Congratulations Steve, I look forward to hearing you speak!

  92. David Smith said...

    I was so honored to be sent a copy of Bouncing Back that I was determined to devour its contents immediately; fortunately time permitted and less than half a day later it was completed. As the last page was turned all I could think was “wow”!
    Steve, your book took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Many times I found myself close to tears as I tried to associate with your pain, only to be inspired a few pages later by your doggedness and determination. You are indeed a stubborn bugger (of the best kind), that much has NEVER changed; you clearly showed what can be achieved by simply not giving in to your circumstances.
    I thank you for writing this book and now understand why it has taken so long to come to pass. It must have hurt to reflect on these issues, but I am sure that many people will be helped and inspired by your thoughtful words. What I appreciated most was the openness, honesty and candid nature of the book – nothing fluffy just to glorify a story.
    Whilst I will never suggest that falling off a cliff is a good way to change your life for the better, I am just so proud of what you have become and your journey of getting there. Phillip Island still haunts me, but after reading your book, I am glad that Robin and I did everything we could to keep you in this world.
    Yes … I am the David Smith of chapter eight

  93. Cathy Singleton said...

    Stephen – thankyou for your courage, honesty, and willingness to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have long believed that the fortune is always in the follow-through, and you are living proof of that.
    Your book is about to appear on my required-reading list in the office! 

    You're doing great work, Stephen.

  94. Ian Coombe said...

    After listening to Stephens amazingly spellbinding chat at a morning business breakfast, i had no hesitation in getting 5 copies of his book for some special people in my life – friends, family and clients – and for me.
    As soon as i got home, i opened it up with a cuppa. Many cuppas later … i had to put it down for a while to absorb some issues that it addressed. It sits on my lounge for my cuppa breaks! Each break brings a new aspect to think about. I will post another comment when i have finished … but so far … the inspirational aspect it has brought to me is that no matter how fatigued or defeated, just keep putting one foot forward in front of the other.

  95. Lorraine Day said...

    Steve' book takes the reader through his emotional and painful journey so one can understand where his motivational techniques were based on. A very interesting and hard to put down book. Iwould highly recommend it.

  96. David Stock said...

    Wow!! I congratulate you Steve on writing such a thought provoking book. I feel it has been a previlage to get to know you better through this book. You are an inspiration to all who are searching for answers on how to move forward in their lives, either in business or their personal life.  You have given me clarity, direction and a willingness to persue my goals with a dogged determination. I can't thank you enough.
    Everybody should read this book and learn that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve all your hopes, goals and dreams.

  97. Bonnie Ries said...

    Steve I heard you talk at a breakfast meeting and was inspired by your story. I bought your book and couldn't put it down it only took me a couple of days to read. Even waking during the night to read another chapter. A very inspiring story. When I am having a bad day I will take inspiration from your story and courage you have showed.

  98. Karen Schmidt said...

    I have been waiting eagerly for this book to come out and read it in 2 days. Having finished it, I now have a far greater respect for the man who wrote it.
    Steve’s book is confronting. There are parts that, if I’m honest, I didn’t read all the way through because of the level of detail he included. There were other parts where he left out details and invited the reader to fill in the blanks for themselves. Both were highly effective methods for getting his message across. Steve really does make you think about what you are willing to do in your own life to be successful and reach your goals, whatever they are.
    If nothing else, I hope this book is a catalyst for everyone to take a good look at the issue of bullying, both in schools and workplaces.
    Since finishing Bouncing back I have been recommending it to friends and clients because it is so powerful.
    I can’t wait for his next book to come out . . .

  99. Glenn Twiddle said...

    I saw Steve speak and invited him to speak at my Qld Real Estate Agents Summit. He blew us all away with his talk but I had no idea…
    I have bought dozens of ebooks, actually I would suggest hundreds, and I never have finished a single one. It just is a pain in the butt to read them on your computer screen….all except Bouncing Back.
    I read it from virtual cover to virtual cover, in two sittings, in my bed, as uncomfortable as anything, both from having my laptop in bed with me, and from the amazing content in the story.
    What a book. I was laughing, in tears and everywhere in between. I told my seminar in the days following my reading that book, that they simply had to buy it. IT wasnt a request, it was a demand.
    I feel like when I meet with Steve now, I want to be a better version of myself, and Im a little embarrassed that over the years I haven’t always been the best version of myself that I could be. Daily I try to improve however, and Steve’s book was a wonderful way to hold a mirror up to myself to continually be a better me.
    From the bottom of my heart Steve, thank you. To anyone reading my words, here, stop, buy his book, and start reading Stephen Dale’s words. Truly inspiring,
    Glenn Twiddle

  100. Matt said...

    Steve's book is absorbing, sometimes tough, often very funny and occasionally jaw-dropping.  It's an inspiring read for anyone who thinks that it might just be all too hard.  Because Steve is brave enough to expose his doubts, his failures and his shortcomings, we come to understand the full meaning of his successes.  His book offers wisdom we can all relate to, and it's one helluva story.  Highly recommended.

  101. Andrew S of Brisbane said...

    It is not a book you can read once. I think it's one I'll revisit again and again. There are so many instances in it where a particular mental outlook led to a particular result for Stephen that, rightly or wrongly, taught him lessons that readers can share and take for themselves.
    I would highly recommend "Bouncing Back When You Hit Rock Bottom" to anyone who wants to think in a way that shields them from self defeat and mental habits that hold us back. 
    Andrew S