My name is Derek Hanjora and I am the host of Suck It! Podcast. I started this podcast to help with my mental health and to further my career in entertainment as well as help others like me realize they are not alone in their daily struggles.
I was born in Oberlin, Ohio on April 9th, 1981 and my family and I moved to Florida when I was 8. From a young age I was obsessed with music, movies and comedy. I was always emulating Michael Jackson and trying at every turn to get people to laugh because that was the only way I could get people to like me. I was the nerd who got picked on and bullied daily. I never had confidence in myself or who I was as a person. I spent my elementary years in a Catholic school where I was tormented and beat up because I was the “poor kid” and the nerd. Not being the most athletic kid, I studied martial arts to help with that and help build my confidence. Though, looking back, my athleticism is the only thing that grew. So comedy became my copping mechanism. I learned to get others to laugh in hopes it would help me to stop thinking I was worthless.
I convinced my parents to let me move to a public school in 7th grade, however I quickly realized that the bullying would follow me, and it was no different. It was not until High School that I thought I had my place. I found that in JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) and found my mentor, in my instructor, LTC John Bennett. He taught me to accept who I am and it was ok being who I was and to learn from my failures, but I was about to find out that wasn’t always the case.
In my junior year of High School, I decided that I wanted to go into the Army, because of my time in JROTC taught me a lot and I was set on making that my career. So, I finished my junior year and tried to enlist in the Army in the delayed entrance program. I went to get my physical and was denied because I have lazy right eye with uncorrectable poor vision. This denial sent me in a spiral downwards. I felt lost and angry with no care of the repercussions. I ended up failing my senior year of high school and had to go back to finish.
When I left school, I had no path for my future and my dreams crushed. I had a job at the time that I liked so I decided might as well just stay there, but I always thought I was meant for more. While working there I really started to pursue my dreams of music and being a lead singer. So, I looked for bands to join while working my job and even being promoted to assistant manager at 19. It was at this time I met my girlfriend, who then became the mother of my first child. We had our daughter on December 27th, 2001. I had to put my dreams on hold in order to care for this new life that depended on me.
She and I split up a year later, I was now a single dad that had a household to support and my one-year old daughter that depended on me. I kept on moving forward and put my life dreams on hold to ensure make sure my daughter had the life she deserved. I met my first wife a few years later, life seemed to get better. When we met she helped me get better visitation and time with my daughter. She also encouraged and helped me pursue another dream of mine, and that was being a professional wrestler. I went to a training school and learned from one of the best, Dory Funk Jr. I went off after and started working all over the south for many different independently owned companies.
During this time, my life began to change, my wife became verbally and physically abusive. It only got became worse after she became pregnant with our first child. During this time, I ended up having to work 2 jobs, plus as well as attempting to pursue a dream. I was almost never home, which made our home life even more tumultuous. We had our daughter in January of 2007, and things only continued go downhill. After her birth life became more hostile, and I was slowly dipping into the worst depression of my life. Wrestling became more of an escape than a dream. When I was in the ring, I got to be someone else, someone that Derek wasn’t. My character was strong, confident and was always the toughest guy in the room, but the moment I left the ring I had to go back to reality. My reality sucked, I had 2 jobs to where I was always working and an abusive, failing marriage at home. A few months later things escalated to the point of no return.
One day, I came home after working at both jobs for 16 hours that day, my wife wasn’t home, as she spent the day with her family at Disney. I sat down for a second, to relax, just as she came home. Without saying hi, or asking how my day was she immediately asked “Why aren’t the dishes done?” just as she walked in the door. It was at in this moment, I finally gained the confidence I never had in my 27 years of life. I told her I wanted a divorce, to which she responded by taking off her wedding band, and putting inside a dirty diaper and tossing it away. The divorce was long, hard, and very dirty. In the darkest time in my life, I found my light. I met my soul mate. Christina came into my life in November of 2007, and she became my wife in June of 2010.
Christina supported every dream I ever had, and never left my side. While working still supporting now 2 daughters, I continued to pursue wrestling and began dabbling back in the music scene again. Christina and I had our daughter on August 21st 2010, and even then she told would not let me give up. So, I did, until again everything nearly ended. I eventually left music, as the scene was drying up in my area. Then in September of 2013, I was rear ended at a stop light, which resulted in a broken neck that finally ended my dream of wrestling.
Again, it was time to reevaluate my life and all the lessons I had learned and turned them into something productive. While the changes in my life were devastating, it was also pretty damn funny. I started to pursue standup comedy, and did so until the pandemic hit. I didn’t want to lose my touch and wanted to continue my comedy, but I couldn’t at least not in the traditional way. So, that is when I started my podcast. I have always been a theatrical person, from my wrestling days so I knew that I could hold the attention of an audience. I still have great stories to tell, happy, sad, devastating, exciting and some others wouldn’t tell such as my 2 suicide attempts. I am bi-polar with high anxiety and I wanted to help people who had the same issues by talking about it on the air and also being funny at the same time. By doing this I hope to help people by realizing they aren’t alone in their struggles. The show began with no strategy, no format and no plan, but has now morphed into a Celebrity interview talk show, this allows me the unique opportunity to talk about mental health and life now on a bigger scale. The show now gets 7000+ listens per episode or 35000 a week as we are live 5 days a week. I not only put out the show daily on all podcast platforms, I also broadcast live each night on Twitch to give the audience a different view of the on goings with the show.
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Podcast available on all major platforms, such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and more.