WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Mark Stewart still remembers the anguish of going to school.
“I went through hell as about as close to hell on earth as you can get,” he said.
He was bullied from third grade through high school suffering both verbal and physical abuse.
The emotional and psychological damage would take a toll on him even years later as an adult.
“I was full of anger. I had so much anger,” Stewart said.
Stewart says a series of disappointments around the time he was 24 years old and recalling the hurtful things bullies said to him lead him to a dark place.
“I had enough and I was just going to do the world a favor and check out,” he said.
Fortunately, Stewart didn’t go through with taking his own life. He credits a religious experience he had when a friend invited him to church.
He says that was the beginning of healing -- learning to let go.
“Something in me broke that night. I just balled my eyes out,” he said.
Stewart has since taken his pain and turned it into a passion for helping others.
The Winston-Salem author recently published the book "Names Will Hurt Me: Healing for Victims of Bullying."
The book is intended to validate victims’ pain and help them begin the healing process.
“We have students right now who are committing suicide. I want to be one of the people that’s reaching out and saying, 'You’re worth something, don’t believe what they tell you,'” Stewart said.
Stewart’s goal is to speak at high schools and colleges sharing his story.
His book is available on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble.