EP 122: A Child Defending His Mom With A Frying Pan: Erik Allen

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence Leave a Comment

We have Erik Allen on the show this week with a powerful story of overcoming child abuse, neglect, and drug addiction. Find out what led up to Erik, at 13 years old, having to defend his Mom from her boyfriend with a cast iron pan. We talk about how he survived after being kicked out of the house at 14 years old. Erik candidly shares how moving to different homes, going to jail, and getting caught up in drugs affected him. Things started to change when he accepted an invitation to church from a pretty lady! You will not want to miss this exciting conversation we had!

Full transcript below!


Erik Allen, raised in a broken home, battled addictions, jailed at 18, bankrupt at 21 only to turn everything around. 16+ years sober, beautiful wife, two kids, podcaster, speaker, & now helping entrepreneurs get known and noticed online!
Quick bio:
– Broken Home
– Beat my mom’s boyfriend up with a cast iron Pan for hitting her when I was 13
– Jailed at 18
– Bankrupt at 21
– Battled addictions
– Gave my life to Christ in 2004
– Now breaking chains of divorce, abuse, and addictions
– Married for 16+ years
– Sober for 16+ years
– Host of The Erik Allen Show (Ranked #133 on the US Apple Entrepreneur Chart in January 2021 – Ranked #202 on the UK Apple Entrepreneur Chart in October 2021)
– I help Entrepreneurs get known and noticed online


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Erik Allen transcript

[00:00:00] [00:00:33] Diana Winkler: Hello everyone. Thank you for being here. Thanks for coming back. If you were listening last week about the story of Tamar, that’s what we were talking about, last week, doing a little bit of Bible study, learning more about, the prominent people in the Bible. and yes, it was a rough story to digest and [00:01:00] swallow, but thanks for coming back.

[00:01:03] So I wanted to give you guys an update because y’all have been praying for us about a few different things. If you have been listening to the podcast, you know that my husband Brian, has been sick and we’ve been trying to get some disability benefits for him since he isn’t working and we had an appeal to get his disability benefits, and a few days ago we got the letter in the mail stating that we won the appeal.

[00:01:35] So that was a big answer to prayer because we have struggled greatly this year, and being a one income household is very challenging. I know that some of you out there do that as well. And taking care of a sick loved one is an additional, uh, stressor. His healthcare costs money.

[00:01:58] and so we are [00:02:00] just very thankful that we have been approved. And we are in the process of trying to apply for permanent disability. SSI here in the States. And so that’s the first step of the process.

[00:02:15] And so yes, you can still be praying for that. To get permanent disability instead of temporary. Life throws things at you. And we were rejoicing over that win, as I call it. And then we went to go to our accountant of 10 years, somebody that we have a great relationship with, a wonderful lady, and we went to go and do our taxes.

[00:02:40] and uh, normally we either get a refund or we break even and we didn’t know what was gonna happen because of this crazy year we went through. And, after we went through all the accounting and crunching the numbers, we owed [00:03:00] $9,000. That is a lot of money to owe the IRS. And we just, we were shocked. Now we knew it was gonna be probably higher, and the reason for that was we withdrew Brian’s 401k, his retirement plan.

[00:03:16] They tax everything. uh, they also taxed, marketplace, our healthcare for six months. Now we get a discount based on how much money we’re bringing in. And so when he wasn’t getting disability benefits and I lost my job, I could afford a discounted rate from marketplace, um, also known as Obamacare.

[00:03:43] And what my accountant told me was, when Brian withdrew his 401k, they seemed to think that, well, you have money in the bank now, and so

[00:03:56] you don’t need that discount. And so we had to pay [00:04:00] back those premiums. So that was probably why our taxes were so high.

[00:04:05] But anyway, we went ahead and just paid it. Um, I’d rather eat ramen noodles every day than, owe the IRS.

[00:04:15] We were just trying to survive and the IRS, our tax system just crucified us. Isn’t any other word for it, in my opinion. Anyway, I’m going on a rant today. Uh, probably overshared this morning, but the good news is I do have a fantastic guest today that you’re going to love.

[00:04:39] I’ve invited Eric Allen on the show. I heard about his story and I felt that he would be a great guest for you guys because he has overcome his past.

[00:04:54] I’ll read a little bit about his bio here. I know that you’re gonna be blessed.

[00:04:59] [00:05:00] Eric Allen was raised in a broken home, battled addictions, jailed at 18, bankrupt at 21, only to turn everything around, 16 years sober. Beautiful wife, two kids. He’s a podcaster, speaker, entrepreneur, and also helps Other entrepreneurs get known and noticed online,

[00:05:25] so we will hear about him coming to Christ and a little bit about his podcast, the Eric Allen Show and some of the groups that he is a part of that’s really helped him in his healing journey and has helped become the man that he wants to be, and that his family deserves.

[00:05:48] And you’re just gonna love him. He is a really great conversationalist and

[00:05:52] he’s a very interesting person,

[00:05:55] Get yourself a cup of coffee or your other favorite beverage, [00:06:00] and sit back and listen to my conversation with Eric Allen

[00:06:04] all right. Please welcome Eric Allen to the show. Thanks for coming on today,

[00:06:10] Erik Allen: man. Oh, Diana. Thank you so much for having me on. It’s truly an honor to be here. I appreciate you having me

[00:06:14] Diana Winkler: on. I read about your story, your childhood, and all these terrible things that you went through, and, I appreciate you coming on the show to share about that with our listeners..

[00:06:27] Before we get into that, tell the folks that don’t know you, what you’re about and what you do.

[00:06:35] Erik Allen: Yeah, so my name is Eric Allen. I’m the founder and owner of Eric Allen Media. It’s a podcast, the Eric Allen show. Uh, it’s also video content creation for brands. So like how to videos, explainer videos, type, uh, box openings, things like that, and voiceover work.

[00:06:50] I love doing that type of stuff. And I’m a John Maxwell certified coach, uh, that I went through in the last year and been working with, uh, the Maxwell team and really just excited to be part [00:07:00] of that. And, and I’ve been married. 18 years and two awesome kids and yeah, just, uh, out here to break the chains of divorce, abuse, addiction, and

[00:07:08] Diana Winkler: rejection.

[00:07:10] Well, we’re gonna talk about all those things today and yeah. Nice. You have an MMA podcast as well?

[00:07:17] Erik Allen: I did for a while. So I started a company called Top Rated MMA in 2012, and then I started the podcast version of that in 2017 and ran that through 2021. After 256 episodes, we signed off the air.

[00:07:31] Diana Winkler: Are you a martial arts practitioner?

[00:07:35] Erik Allen: I’m not. Um, I mean little bit of box when I was a kid, but I never, never competed it. It was just more of a fan, uh, more than anything and loved being around the fighters and understanding their stories, and that’s why I started the podcast. So yeah, big, big fan. Um, though I haven’t watched it probably for the last two years.

[00:07:53] Diana Winkler: Yeah. I’m a martial arts practitioner. Awesome. And, I love, Bruce Lee movies. That’s [00:08:00] probably my favorite. They never get old. No, never. I’ll definitely have to binge some of your MMA podcasts as well to, hear some of those stories.

[00:08:10] Erik Allen: Yeah, it was fun. I, I interviewed a lot of up and coming MMA fighters, some of which ended up going into the U F C.

[00:08:15] I’ve had Ken Shamrock on a couple times, Dan Caldwell from Tapout, you know, and, and been blessed to speak with a lot of folks from all over the world, and it was fun. Um, their shows are short. Probably 15 to 20 minutes, but I really like to deep dive in and ask them that question. Like, why do you wanna get in a cage, go punched in the face?

[00:08:30] Right. You know? And so , um, that, that was the, the main question. And I had no idea what I was doing when I first started that. I was in a walk-in closet and bad lighting, bad microphone, didn’t even look into the camera, you know? And, um, was really up uploading to YouTube and sharing a link out to Facebook and calling it my podcast.

[00:08:46] And then someone said, well, how can I listen to one on Apple? And I was like, what the heck is that? Man? I didn’t even know what Apple was when I started, you know?

[00:08:51] Diana Winkler: You know, we’ve all started there. All these podcasts have started in the last few years and yeah, we, we kind of just learn as we go. . [00:09:00] [00:09:00] Erik Allen: Totally.

[00:09:00] Yeah. It’s, you just, it, I’m always trying to get better.

[00:09:04] Diana Winkler: Cool. So set the stage for us what your home looked like when you were young?

[00:09:11] Erik Allen: Yeah, so I grew up in eastern Washington state and, um, a typical household, I thought, you know, little league, went to Sunday school. My dad, he would take my, myself, my buddy and uh, Dave and myself out to like these dump areas in the area.

[00:09:26] We’d go try to find treasure and my dad would literally throw us in dumpsters on Saturday mornings and, uh, behind like big retail stores and say, go find treasure. You know, like that. We just, it was fun for us as kids to go do that, but, That was type of stuff we just did as a kid and I just, I thought that was normal , you know?

[00:09:40] And did you find anything really good? I mean, at the time it would be like we’d find like gun shell casings out in the desert or something like that, or you know, I think my dad found a fridge one time that was working, you know, like we just always did that stuff. And Dave is actually still my best friend today, so 36, 7 years later, he’s always brings it up, man.

[00:09:56] Hey, remember when your dad tossed on that dumpster? I grew up in a typical household. I thought I [00:10:00] didn’t see my parents argue very much. Um, I lived close enough to the elementary school that I went to that I would walk. Um, and Dave lived down the street and, and I would spend a lot of time at his house, but my parents got divorced when I was 11 years old, and I didn’t know that word.

[00:10:14] I didn’t know anyone who had gotten a divorce. Was brand new to me and so I, I don’t know who made the decision, but I was basically lived with my mom and my sister, who’s four years younger than me. We went to, stayed with, stayed in that same house with my mom. My dad moved out and uh, then my mom got together with a guy who was very physically abusive almost right away that I remember,

[00:10:34] you know, since the very first moment. And I thought it was just weird that she decided to stay with that guy. And I remember there was moments where they’d be fighting and he’d be hitting her with a cordless phone, like, I mean, just craziness. And I would call the police and they’d show up and my mom wouldn’t press charges.

[00:10:48] And I thought, man, this is the weirdest thing ever. And when I was in the middle of my eighth grade year, well, they had gotten. Uh, my mom and this man. And then, uh, in the middle of my eighth grade year, they decided to move us from Washington state to, [00:11:00] to Stevensville, Montana. It was population 1200 people and, uh, we had five acres that we rented this house on.

[00:11:06] It was beautiful property, two ponds right by the Bitter River. Awesome. Promised the house had three bedrooms and it was one for them. And it was one for my little brother who’s a couple months older this time, and one for my sister who’s four years younger than me, and they basically said, Eric, you go live in the garage.

[00:11:21] So I had this plastic tarp down the middle of the garage and I had my bed on one half. Luckily my half had the fireplace and the other half was where the truck pulled in. And so I would live out there and I had a TV and I played a lot of Nintendo out there and tried to escape kind of what was happening inside.

[00:11:36] Um, and there was one night when I was about 13 years old that came home, arguing. Wasn’t anything different than any other night, but I remember brushing my teeth and I felt like God was going, dude, you gotta turn around and see what’s going on. And so the way the house was set up was behind me was the kitchen to the pantry, to the garage door where I was.

[00:11:52] And as I turn around the corner, I see this man on top of my mom just boom, boom, boom. One shot after the other to her face. I [00:12:00] had this 20 seconds of courage and felt God was saying, dude, you gotta put a stop. And so I walked up and I grabbed a cast iron pan. I swung as hard as I could, and I split the back of his head open.

[00:12:08] Amazing.

[00:12:10] Diana Winkler: Was like the first thing that you could see that could do some damage?

[00:12:14] Erik Allen: Yeah. Yeah. There was a cupboard that was by him and I opened up the cupboard behind him and just grabbed it and just first thing I could find. Yeah. So, uh, I took the swing, didn’t knock him out.

[00:12:23] Um, and he turned around and he said, what the? As he said that I took another swing, split his forehead, Still didn’t knock him out. I had swung so hard. I fell over the second time and I remember him standing up over me at that point, blood coming down his face and he was yelling at me and my mom jumped up and went into like, mama bear mode.

[00:12:39] Landed like six punches in a row. There’s blood on the wall, right? Cops finally show up, take him to jail. I’m thinking I’m the hero. Of course, my mom doesn’t press charges. And it wasn’t long after that that I got kicked out. I had three months left in my freshman year of high school, um, at that point. And so I went and lived with my buddy in downtown Stevensville.

[00:12:58] It was Forest. And I would sleep on the [00:13:00] hardwood floors of him and his dad’s house and we’d walk to school and, you know, it was moments like that that kind of set me on this, this path of destruction for the next 10 years after that.

[00:13:08] Diana Winkler: Well, I’m just like listening to this. There’s child neglect going on here.

[00:13:14] For sure. Yeah. That your mom, your stepdad putting you in the garage. I mean, Montana’s freezing. It’s, it’s

[00:13:21] Erik Allen: cool. It was, it was pretty cold some nights. Yeah. I remember having like 10 layers of blankets on and it would keep me semi warm, but once that fireplace went out around midnight, it was,

[00:13:28] Diana Winkler: it was pretty cool.

[00:13:29] I don’t know how they got away with that. And then kicking you out at 14, you’re still a minor. You can’t be kicked out of your parents’ house at 14. That’s just, yeah, it was pretty wild. So the police didn’t come and wonder what happened?

[00:13:47] Erik Allen: Yeah, they never ever came after that.

[00:13:49] And, and basically once I finished my freshman year of high school, I moved back to live with my dad in Washington State and kind of left them to be on their own. I, I didn’t feel like I was welcomed and, I went through some crazy stuff in [00:14:00] Montana outside of that, my mom was always late, I wouldn’t have lunch money, things like that.

[00:14:04] And, the one time in my whole baseball career that I made all stars for baseball, I was so proud to be on the All-Star team. My mom never showed up to a single game, not to, not to all-star tournaments, like set me on the road with my coach. Like, like just moments like that. I look back

[00:14:19] as an adult and go, man, that was really bad parenting.

[00:14:23] Diana Winkler: Very bad. My parents, divorced when I was 14, but, I certainly didn’t go through what you went through. I didn’t have abusive parents or family. we didn’t understand divorce. This was back in the eighties. Sure. That was probably one of the few people that their parents got divorced and we didn’t know how to deal with it.

[00:14:44] But, what did you think of God at this time going through all this?

[00:14:50] Erik Allen: You know, I had a really strong foundation for God when I, as I was a kid. I remember like going to Sunday school on my, both my grandparents and my mom’s side and my dad’s side, my grandma and [00:15:00] my dad’s side.

[00:15:00] Um, really loved the Lord and, and I felt prayers, especially for my dad’s mom. My grandma who’s still alive today, she’s 89, and, um, still spends so much time in prayer. But, uh, you know, I really felt. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my dad’s mom and she just spent time with prayer. And we read Bible and we read scripture.

[00:15:19] So I had this knowledge sort of as God, uh, or of God. But as I was going through those years, I was lost. I didn’t, I wasn’t spending time praying. I wasn’t spending time in the word. I was just trying to survive and kind of ignore what was going on in my household. Mm-hmm. . And, you know, my mom, she tried to put us in church.

[00:15:38] There was one time where she took my sister and I was probably again, 13 maybe, maybe I was 14. But she took us to a church in a small town called Victor Montana, was up the road from Stephenville and dropped us off for a church service. We went to the children’s service and this was before cell phones, but my mom never came back.

[00:15:57] We were there for like six hours and they were [00:16:00] like, where’s your mom? And like the church was like, we’re just gonna put a movie on and hopefully your mom comes back. Like it was moments like that, that just was like the weirdest thing looking back. But yeah, no, I didn’t even think about God at the time.

[00:16:12] I was just kind of living life to survive at that point, but never even thought, Hey man, God, I need some help here. I just was trying to survive.

[00:16:21] Diana Winkler: Hmm. . And then you started going down the hill after that .

[00:16:26] Erik Allen: I did. Yeah. Yeah. So what happened was when I moved back to, with my dad back in Washington, um, he rented a house for him and I, and it was about probably a couple miles from the high school that I was gonna go to.

[00:16:36] So starting as, as a sophomore to new high school, I knew some of the kids there. But, uh, my dad would put 20 bucks in a lunch, in a cup for lunch, money for the week, and then he would fill the freezer with hunger Man meals and cereal, milk in the house. And then he would go stay the night with his girlfriend.

[00:16:52] So I would see my dad in passing a couple times a month and basically had my house to free roam, whatever I wanted to [00:17:00] do. Mm-hmm. . And it became the house where we would get stoned in the backyard and, you know, we were doing a lot of drugs and drinking and partying at my house. Cause I knew that my dad wouldn’t come home.

[00:17:08] And so by the time I was 18 years old, I, I got arrested for having a bong, which is in Washington State at the time, in 1998 when I was a senior. It was illegal to have that, it’s legal now, but at that time. So I had to go to jail. Um, literally had to, I wrote my dad a note and said, I’m staying the night at Danny’s house.

[00:17:24] And then, Drove up to the jail myself, checked in and had a black and white chain gang outfit on bright orange slippers and had to go into this open cell with 15 other people. I was 145 pounds. Scared.

[00:17:35] Diana Winkler: For a Bong? that blows my mind now.

[00:17:39] Erik Allen: Yeah, totally. Yeah, totally. Um, and it was just, it was scary as could be.

[00:17:44] I was still going to school and then two weeks after I graduated high school, I woke up to a post-it note on the bathroom mirror that said you can’t comply with house rules. You have 48 hours to get out. And that was it. And so I was like, well, I gotta get outta here. So I went and lived with my aunt and uncle for a bit, but between the age of 18 and 21, I moved [00:18:00] 21 times.

[00:18:00] Uh, living in a house here, a house there, three days there. Made a move to Seattle, Washington with a hundred bucks in my pocket. Slept on floors for a bit and, Living off of credit cards. So by the time I was 21, I was $28,000 in debt and ended up having to file bankruptcy. So meanwhile, the whole time I’m doing drugs, I’m drinking, and living off this credit card, When I got it to Seattle, it was for me, I’m a big music fan, so I knew that Seattle had this music scene.

[00:18:24] I was like, I wanna work in the music. And I was working at a CD store and a guy walked in and said, he worked for Universal Records. And I said, Hey, how do I get your job? Just kind of joking with him and he’s like, oh, you gotta be an intern. And uh, he’s like, oh, you gotta be in college and then you gotta contact this person.

[00:18:37] And I’m like, okay. So I go down to local community college and I paid $350 for an internship class, took my receipt. emailed at the Universal Records, said, look, I’m in college. I’d love to be an intern for you guys. They said, great. You’re in. I became an intern and I never went to a class at the college.

[00:18:54] and that’s how I got into Universal Records. I worked there for a year and lived a rockstar lifestyle and I mean, I was drinking [00:19:00] at two to three concerts a week. Mm-hmm. and, uh, had backstage time with rock stars and just craziness. And so yeah, just led to this destruction. And then I got laid off my one year anniversary, uh, during the Napster days if people remember Napster.

[00:19:12] Diana Winkler: Oh yeah. So . Oh, that sounds like a dream job. Except for the drugs part. I’m a musician, but I was like, how do I get that job?

[00:19:21] Erik Allen: right? Yeah, yeah. You know, it was, it was so much fun and I just showed up, um, for six months, never got paid. Six days a week. I was just like stuffing posters in the mail room as an intern.

[00:19:30] And then they hired me on, as a mail room coordinator. So I was setting up meet and greets and I was tracking sales, which was fun. And I ended up taking like probably 25 CDs home a week. And, building up my collection. It was, a dream job for me to be there. I didn’t care how much I was getting paid.

[00:19:43] I just wanted to like be there.

[00:19:45] Diana Winkler: You don’t play any music. You enjoy listening to

[00:19:48] Erik Allen: music. Yes. I’ve owned two guitars, never played them. My wife owns a guitar. She doesn’t play , but yeah, we both love music, but yeah, I’ve never actually learned to play anything.

[00:19:58] Diana Winkler: I primarily play the [00:20:00] piano and I sing and my husband plays drums. Oh, nice. Uh, and I tried to take up the guitar, but I, I can’t get past that bleeding finger stage , right? Yes, sir. they’re hanging on the wall right now. I’m just sticking with the piano . That’s awesome. So you went through some addictions.

[00:20:17] Was that as a result of that party lifestyle that you had? Yeah.

[00:20:21] Erik Allen: Yeah. Did a lot of pot. I was smoking, opium and hash and whatever I could get my hands on in high school even. I started, taking acid to mushrooms and, there was a point where my buddies and I realized that if we drank a bottle of Robitussin DM in high school, it had the same amount of, basically morphine would give you the same effect as

[00:20:39] $5 for a hit of acid and morphine or the Robitussin DM was $2.50, so it was less for us to go and just buy a bottle of Robitussin DM. We would chug that and hallucinate for a bit. Yeah, did all that and, and there was a small stint in my Seattle days where I ran into a buddy in downtown Seattle and he is like, Hey, let’s go party at the house.

[00:20:56] And he said, you wanna do some drugs? Yeah, I’ll smoke a bowl. And he goes, no, no, let’s do some drugs. And he [00:21:00] laid out some coke and I’d never done coke before. And that I did that and it. it was good. And then I was, at that point I was like, okay, now I want this more. Right? And so I, but I caught myself early enough where I didn’t get into this point where I was like, I need to have this.

[00:21:12] But I remember these moments where like, man, do I call him? Do I get some more? And, and I just ended up just not doing it. And I think God just had a plan and kind of starting to work my way out of that scene at that point.

[00:21:21] Diana Winkler: Yeah. Just, just so the folks know Robitussin DM does not come in that form anymore.

[00:21:27] Erik Allen: you can’t get it. Oh, it doesn’t? I have

[00:21:28] Diana Winkler: no idea. That’s awesome. No, they don’t make that. Oh, that’s awesome. . Yeah. Same thing with they’re starting to get rid of the, cough syrup, with the codeine in it, yeah. So you’re wanting to get out of this whole situation.

[00:21:40] Where was the turning point for you in this?

[00:21:44] Erik Allen: So there was a moment, which is really funny looking back now, but there was a moment when I was at Universal. It was near the end of my time there, but I was working at a concert and I was doing a meet and greet session and there was, and I’m in my early twenties.

[00:21:54] I’m probably 23 ish, somewhere around in there at the time. And I remember seeing a lady that worked [00:22:00] for another record label there, and she was probably in her early to mid thirties. obviously that’s not very old at all, but at that time I’m looking at her and I had this thought that has stuck with me.

[00:22:10] I remember looking at her going, I don’t wanna be her age and still doing this every day. I don’t wanna be her age and still out partying. I wanna have a family. And I don’t know why, but God planted that seed in me. And it wasn’t long after that that I got laid off from Universal and I went into this kind of depression for a bit.

[00:22:24] I was working at Starbucks as a night manager, and I’d get off work, I’d grab a six pack of beer, go to my, Hollywood video and rent a movie. VHS and then go back to my ghetto apartment and drink myself to sleep. And there was a moment where a girl had come into Starbucks and I’d seen her a couple times in there.

[00:22:40] She would, she was studying and she had come up to me one time, had 20 seconds of courage and said, Hey, we’ve got a college age event down to the church. Would you be interested in going? And I was depressed. I had no friends and in my mind, she’s good looking. Yep. Absolutely. What time do I need to be there?

[00:22:54] Absolutely. And, uh, so I go to this church event and I end up running into guys that I had known [00:23:00] or met four or five years earlier. On the other side of the state where I grew up and it was like, man, I haven’t seen him for five years. What are you doing up here? And they were church interns that had interned at this church now, and it was about a month later.

[00:23:12] It was Easter 2004. I remember going out and partying with this band I was managing and woke up. Easter morning and surrounded by probably 10, 15 guys. And I remember waking up and God going, dude, you’re going down this path that’s gonna end your life real quick. You need to start making some changes.

[00:23:27] And in that moment, I decided to give my life to Christ right then and there. And I quit cold Turkey drugs, drinking cigarettes, everything in that moment. And I never went back. But it was in that moment that I gave my life to Christ. And I text that girl and I said, Hey, thanks for inviting me to that church event.

[00:23:41] Maybe I’ll see you at the church, uh, or at the store sometime. And, about a month later we’re dating and now she’s my wife . Hmm.

[00:23:49] Diana Winkler: Wow. I mean, I’ve heard a lot of stories of, either, a guy or a gal that they were dating and got them into church just for that very [00:24:00] reason that he was good looking or she was pretty, and yeah.

[00:24:04] And nothing wrong with that. I guess the Lord uses even those things to get us into the church so he can reach us. Sure. Yeah. So I heard that your wife is your hero.

[00:24:16] Erik Allen: Yes. Yeah, I feel like she has spoke, uh, so much life into me over the years and, just the fact that she decided to stay with me through the years because obviously I didn’t know what a good marriage looked like.

[00:24:30] Um, I knew what I didn’t want in marriage, but I didn’t know what a good marriage looked like. And she came from the broken side as well. Her family’s kind of, uh, messed up as well. And so we came into this kind of. Carrying a bunch of yuck with us and we spent the first five years just getting to know each other.

[00:24:45] We went camping and we went down and we did missions trips to Mexico and we, went through counseling early on in our marriage cuz I wanted to figure out why I was feeling like, I was feeling, like why was I still angry and why was I, feeling kind of depressed still, even after I had given my life to Christ and.[00:25:00] [00:25:00] It really helped a ton to go to a Christian counselor and spend time with them and really just start to talk. And I had never really told people my story up until that point, unless they were in my inner circle mm-hmm. and, uh, so yeah, I really think my wife has stuck with me for almost 18 years next month, uh, that we’ve been married.

[00:25:17] And not every year is rainbows and sunshine. Right? But like we know that coming in like to this marriage, when we said I do. We meant it and we knew that there was gonna be tough times, there was gonna be times that were great and there was gonna be times that were just, might be blah. But we knew that when we said I do, we meant it.

[00:25:35] And we wouldn’t even bring up the word divorce. And my kids to this day, they see us argue, they see us disagree. They see us make up, they see us kissing in the kitchen and dancing in the kitchen. Right? They see that whole thing. And that my wife, is my hero. She, made decisions in her life that got her to where she’s at today and she helped me get to where I’m at today too.

[00:25:54] Diana Winkler: Amazing. I love that story.

[00:25:57] Erik Allen: And we were both born at 1:41 PM [00:26:00] on our birth certificates. Which was pretty

[00:26:01] Diana Winkler: crazy. You compared birth certificates?

[00:26:04] Erik Allen: It was interesting. We were on our honeymoon and this before passport days were required. We, so you could travel international with just your, uh, birth certificate.

[00:26:12] And so we went on a cruise for a honeymoon and we were standing in line for like three hours trying to get on this boat. And I was looking at my birth certificate. I said, Hey, what time are you born? One forty one. I was like, I was born at one forty one. That’s how we found out. So it’s just, Put on a world record.

[00:26:27] Not the same day.

[00:26:28] No, not on the same day. Uh, or even the same year, but the exact same minute, which I thought was funny.

[00:26:32] Diana Winkler: I haven’t looked at my birth certificate in a while. But, obviously all this stuff that went on in your past had to have some effect on you. Yeah. Even though, you know, you did give your life to Christ, like you say, and you’re trying to serve the Lord and have a good marriage.

[00:26:48] How did you heal from all that stuff?

[00:26:52] Erik Allen: For me, it was, um, getting involved in the church and finding a men’s group [00:27:00] that I could be with and, when I first got saved and I started going to church with my fiance, my wife, um, I immediately replaced the drugs and the drinking with men who had

[00:27:11] great marriages or had great businesses, had great walks with Christ, they were involved in the church and pre podcast days would take them to Starbucks and say, tell me your story. I wanna know what you’re doing. How can I do what you are doing to get to where you’re at? And so I started just, I had to change the environment mentally.

[00:27:27] And physically. But once I did that, it kind of helped me get on this path of like, okay, now what do I do? I know that my past and other people’s opinions of me don’t define my future. And so once I realized that, and I started spending more time in prayer and just really putting it everything at God’s feet, because I felt a lot of shame, I felt a lot of guilt, I felt a lot of, um, just embarrassment from , my previous life.

[00:27:52] and just said, man, how can anyone forgive me for this? And I think as, as Christians, the hardest person to forgive is always ourself, right? And [00:28:00] so I struggled with that for a long time and, uh, I’m 43 now, but I didn’t share my story publicly until I was 39 years old. I held that in for a long time.

[00:28:09] And once I started to release my story and people started to email me and message me going, man, your story helped me through this, or your story helped me through this. And not bragging at all. But for me, that was encouraging to me go, all right, maybe God’s got me on this right path. And so that’s where I really started to realize that, you know what? God’s got a different plan for me than to just sit back and watch the world happen.

[00:28:30] It’s time for me to get in the game and start impacting people.

[00:28:34] Diana Winkler: Yeah. A lot of people that went through all the drug abuse and that kinda lifestyle, they don’t do it cold Turkey. Yeah. Usually go to a rehab facility or something, but you just, you quit cold Turkey. That is amazing.

[00:28:50] Erik Allen: Yeah.

[00:28:50] Yeah. I just made a decision, you know?

[00:28:53] Diana Winkler: And you didn’t have any withdrawals or anything?

[00:28:56] Erik Allen: No. Yeah, I really didn’t. It was just kind of one of those things where I felt like God [00:29:00] just interceded and said, you’re done. And I was like, all right, let’s make this happen.

[00:29:04] Diana Winkler: And you said something very important- replacing.

[00:29:09] The crowd from your old life with some godly people in your circle. That is really, really important. And, I tell the people that I help in abuse situations, you have to get out of that old life. You have to get out of that environment. You’re never going to move forward. Yeah.

[00:29:28] So now you are sober. Mm-hmm. , 16 years you’ve been married to your wife? Uh, I’ll be 13 with, with my hubby in March. Nice. In this day and age, even 13 or 16 years, that’s a lot .That that counts. Yeah. Oh yeah. That counts for a lot. Yeah. And, so what are you doing now?

[00:29:49] Erik Allen: So, I’m, a John Maxwell certified coach. I got certified through John Maxwell because of his beliefs and his alignment and Christian values. And for me, I just wanted to have this personal development, and grow in that area for me.

[00:29:59] So I have [00:30:00] this biblical perspective, but also a business perspective in life. And so I just try to encourage people through my daily videos that I release. Instagram. Most days, not every day, but most days, I try to get a video out every day. Uh, but really just try to encourage people and, and help them to realize, look, our past and other people’s opinions of us don’t define our future.

[00:30:19] We can decide to change in our life and change in that moment. Mm-hmm. , we just have to take action. Right? If you’re stuck in an abusive relationship, you can get outta that. You just have to actually physically have to leave, right? Like, you can’t just say, I’m going to leave, and then stay there and try to protect yourself.

[00:30:34] If you are getting abused, you need to get up and go, and it’s gonna be tough. You might have a situation where you go to where you’re like, I don’t have a place to stay. I, I, I’m lost. But get yourself outta that situation. And so, I really just try to encourage people, like make the choice. If you’re not happy at work or happy in a relationship, or you’re getting abused by family members or whatever it is, you get to choose who you want to be with, who you wanna be, where you wanna be, [00:31:00] and you just have to take the action to do that and find that strength deep down to get out of there.

[00:31:03] And yes, it will hurt. Yes, it’ll be uncomfortable when you stepped outta that, but man, if you can just put your foot in faith and know that God’s gonna take care of you, just take that one step. , he’ll do the rest. And, um, I just love to encourage people to do that.

[00:31:18] Diana Winkler: I mean, you’ve lived through it, so, what you say is so true.

[00:31:23] Now, I know John Maxwell, the name. I’m not a big fan of, you know, the, rah rah groups, the positive thinking. Yeah. Fluff communities. I’m not gonna name any names cuz I don’t wanna get any hate mail, but Yeah, yeah, sure. What makes, John Maxwell’s group that you’re a part of different than, the fluff people out there?

[00:31:48] How, how can you filter through all that stuff to find a good group? Maybe, John Maxwell isn’t their thing. How do you find a group that’s actually going to help you?

[00:31:58] Erik Allen: Yeah. Uh, one I [00:32:00] would start with your local church.

[00:32:01] Um, I would, I, there’s always, most churches are gonna have a men’s group or a women’s group or a small group. If you’re married, like a married group, something like that. And a lot of times, a lot of churches have a recovery group, right? And so, If you want to make a change, go get involved in those and I get it that it’s uncomfortable to go somewhere that you may not know somebody, but you gotta step through that fear.

[00:32:21] You gotta step outta that comfort zone to get. Any action moving forward, right? You have to get uncomfortable. And so I will start there. The reason when, in 2022, I said that I wanted to be a coach, but I didn’t wanna just call myself a coach. So I did a lot of research, right?

[00:32:37] I’m big fan of Tony Robbins and what he’s done. You know, big motivational guy, Ed Myled, a bunch of guys out there that are these big entrepreneurs. Mm-hmm. Ultimately landed on John Maxwell because of his Christian values. He’s written, almost a hundred books and he started out as a pastor.

[00:32:52] So he is got a a, a pastoral background and when he started writing books, he was realizing that more people that were in the secular world [00:33:00] were buying his books than Christians. And so he thought, well, maybe I’ve got a ministry here. And so he stepped out of pastoring. He had like the 10th largest church in the nation when he was pastoring and stepped out of pastor pastoring and just started doing that.

[00:33:12] And I just think his story is awesome, the way he approaches people in a worldly. Setting, but then brings the biblical truth to that. That’s what’s inspiring to me. Because our job is not to judge anyone. My job is just to love you where you’re at, whether you love God or not, or you identify something like that.

[00:33:28] Like if you’re not hurting yourself or someone else, then that’s fine with me. I just wanna love you where you’re at. So I just love those values and so that’s why I went with John Maxwell. One. It’s definitely not one of those. Uh, I , I understand there’s a lot of groups out there that hoorah rah sort of groups and they just like, everything’s positive.

[00:33:44] But John, I love that he just talks about real life. Mm-hmm. you know, we’re gonna go through struggles. We’re gonna feel like, man, we’re not worthy. But then you can step into that. And so, I would say like if you, if you want to make a change your life, surround yourself with the people that are living the life that you wanna live.

[00:33:59] Go, find people in [00:34:00] your church or, step into a networking group in your town. Um, but get outta that relationship. Get away from negative people because they’re gonna drag you down. Uh, and, and so that’s what I had to do. I had to cut a lot of people outta my life at that point.

[00:34:12] Diana Winkler: That was a few things that I didn’t know about John Maxwell.

[00:34:15] I thought he was still a pastor. I didn’t realize that he had stepped down.

[00:34:19] Erik Allen: Yeah, he still speaks, at churches. But he, he stepped down from a head pastor, probably 40 years ago. But I love his books that they kind of speak to the secular world, but they have very much biblical intention within them.

[00:34:32] Diana Winkler: Right. It’s like, oh, you think you’re listening to a motivational book, but you’re actually sprinkling some other things in there though. Totally. Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. Can I ask about your parents, your mom? Sure. Are you still in contact with them? I mean, what’s your relationship with them now?

[00:34:51] Yeah,

[00:34:51] Erik Allen: so that’s an interesting question. So, my sister ended up moving to Houston, Texas. probably just outta high [00:35:00] school and. She has a few kids and, she’s nurse, super proud of what she’s done with her life. But she somehow got, or I dunno if she was her, but, my mom ended up also moving to Houston and then my dad just moved to Houston.

[00:35:14] So all three of them are down there. , though my parents were not married. Um, I don’t really talk to my mom because she still brings up a lot of just negativity stuff, always, trying to buy lo love, here’s a free gift and here’s this and that, and a lot of lies. And so I just said, Hey mom, you know what?

[00:35:32] I’m 43 years old and I don’t need my mama. I’m praying that you get to live your life, but like, I don’t need the negativity in my life. So I had to kind of cut that off. It’s very, very minimal contact with, with either of them. Very much a text relationship with my dad, probably once a month kind of checking in, things like that.

[00:35:48] And he’s, I wanna say, I think he’s 65, no. Yeah, he’s, I think he’s 65 this year. But it’s very much. A text conversation relationship with my family. And, my [00:36:00] wife and I, we moved from Washington state to Idaho in 2014. Mm-hmm. And, her family does not have our address.

[00:36:06] We had to cut them off. And so we came here, we didn’t know anybody. We just said, God’s got us on this plant. We’re gonna start fresh. And we initially were down in Boise area and we came up north in northern Idaho in 2016. And this was the best decision we ever made. We’re not close to anyone that we know, uh, family members and no one can just say, Hey, I was in the neighborhood knocking on my door, like, it’s not gonna happen.

[00:36:26] And so we’re very protective of our family and our family time. And so us four are breaking the chains. Our grandparents were great, but my kids’ grandparents, unfortunately were not. Mm-hmm. And so we wanna be that replacement. So hopefully at some point when my kids have their kids, like we wanna be that new generation of grandparents that can just love on people. .

[00:36:46] Diana Winkler: I know that people want to say, well, just forgive and forget. Sometimes when you draw that line with your circle, it’s gonna be your family that you have to draw those boundaries. Totally. Yeah. And those, the [00:37:00] ones that you did are hard boundaries. Yeah. Now I didn’t come from an abusive family, but we weren’t perfect and they were days that we didn’t talk to each other cuz we were mad at each other for one reason or another.

[00:37:11] But my husband’s family, he’s got kids that don’t want anything to do with us. I’ve never met his kids. Most of his family, were abusive towards him. And, we had a death on his side of the family around Christmas and one of the people that abused him was going to come in to the hospice.

[00:37:29] And I said, you are more than welcome to go and see this person, but I am not. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I am not going to, and oh, but you know, it’s unavoidable. I said, no, it isn’t. Right. I can draw that line. I don’t have to subject myself to that abuse. Yeah. And neither do you, right? No. Sometimes, we have to, draw those lines and they’re painful.

[00:37:55] Mm-hmm. And, but that maybe someday it will be [00:38:00] a reconciliation , but until then, you have to move forward and take care of your kids and your family. and there’s nothing wrong with that.

[00:38:09] Erik Allen: Right. Yeah. It’s, it, my wife and I would look at the relationships that I had with both my mom and my dad, and I think there was abuse, different types of abuse in both, where, the physical side was on my mom’s side.

[00:38:19] The mental abuse was on my mom’s side, and then my dad just left me to be free and do whatever I want. So it was the girls, it was drugs, it was drinking, all of that. I had never had a sex talk, never had a drug talk, never had a, don’t do this talk. So I look back and I, and as an adult, I look back and go, man, my dad, he caused a lot of grief and like depression in my life just by letting me be free and do those things.

[00:38:44] I had no authority in my life. And there’s times where I still struggle to let go of the relationship with my dad. I’m easier, it’s easier for me to drop the relationship with my mom, but there’s definitely moments where I have to go. Okay. I have to think, I have to remember that my dad he [00:39:00] is part of the problem that I went through mm-hmm.

[00:39:02] Um, but for some reason I have struggled over the years to fully let that relationship go, even though we have kind of a monthly sort of like text chat, but, um, I’ve really had to cut it off with my mom, and I still struggle with that relationship with my dad at. I dunno what that is. It’s a weird, father-son thing, I guess.

[00:39:19] But, that’s something that I’m working on for sure.

[00:39:22] Diana Winkler: That’s the key is that we’re working on it. Yeah. Well, God’s working on it, behind the scenes. Totally. You never know, but yeah. I know we’ve covered a lot of ground today. Was there anything that, we didn’t talk about that you wanted to mention?

[00:39:35] Erik Allen: Yeah, I think you, you pretty much covered it, which was awesome. I love this conversation. I think that people just need to realize that, no matter where you’re at abuse or just feeling depressed, like there are options to help you out. And, I personally found experience in getting changed by going and finding people at the church.

[00:39:51] And spending time around them, right? Like, go find people that are living the life that you wanna live and spend as much time as you can with them, and just being around them will motivate you to be better. [00:40:00] We always have a choice to get out of relationships or negative situations. Um, and so we just have to find the strength to do it.

[00:40:07] I wanna give

[00:40:08] Diana Winkler: you, of course space, to, tell the folks about your resources and how they can get in touch with you and listen to your podcast. Yeah.

[00:40:18] Erik Allen: Awesome. Yeah. The Eric Allen show. It drops every Friday at 7:00 AM Pacific on all formats from Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Spotify, all that fun stuff. And, I’m on Instagram.

[00:40:28] That’s probably where I’m mostly at. It’s Erik G. Allen, e r i k, and then G Allen is my handle on there. I respond to every comment, every dm. So if you have a message or a question, feel free to shoot me a dm. I will definitely respond back. The website’s just Eric Allen media.com. Again, it’s e r i k and on there you can find a ton of free resources.

[00:40:48] I also have my paid services on there, so I coach people on how to launch a podcast. I do podcast consultant. I’ve done about 450 plus episodes and been featured on NASDAQ and over 150 other [00:41:00] podcasts, and so love to just be able to help people. I’m passionate about podcasting, so if you have questions, reach out.

[00:41:05] Click on the resources tab. I’ve got a ton of free stuff on there as well.

[00:41:08] Diana Winkler: I appreciate you coming on the show and, I know that a lot of people resonated with your story and that, a lot of folks are gonna be inspired and encouraged to get out.

[00:41:23] Definitely keep in touch, man.

[00:41:25] Erik Allen: Yeah, absolutely. It’s such an honor to be on your show. This is a great, great show. Thank you so much for having me on. God bless you. God bless you.

[00:41:32] [00:42:00]

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