MAHWAH, N.J. — Although Greg Wetterau of Mahwah spent much of 2012 in a haze, everything seemed crystal clear to the then-21-year-old one night the following March.
He was going to end his life.
At 86 pounds, Wetterau lingered on the railroad tracks waiting for a train to come — but suddenly something stopped him.
"I was meant to be," said Wetterau, 25. "And with my entire will, I 'stepped off the ledge'."
That's when life truly began for Wetterau, who has since been able to find happiness through friends, family and, most of all, fitness.
The personal trainer is currently four weeks out from his first body building competition, and the results he gets from the discipline he employs every day have become his greatest motivator.
"Fitness puts me one step further from the life I used to live," said Wetterau, who works at 24-Hour Fitness.
"Your body is an external person, and to connect that with your mind allows you to get to another level."
Wetterau says he's always had trouble fitting in. The bullying began in elementary school and only seemed to get worse through his first two years of high school at Bergen Catholic.
"I came home crying a lot," Wetterau said. "I gained weight through food and wore a cup to school."
He began exercising to help take off the weight and switched back into the public school system feeling with a new sense of confidence 60 pounds lighter.
It wasn't long before he began dabbling in drugs.
"That's where I fit at that point in time," he said. "People accepted you no matter what — that's what drew me to that lifestyle."
At 20, he entered his first serious relationship and had been clean for one year. But the break-up was bad and Wetterau needed an escape.
"That put me through a spiral," he said. "That's when the real drug addiction happened."
If he wasn't using bath salts in his basement, Wetterau was playing video games in his room — hallucinating and depressed.
"The only thing going through my head at the time was just wanting to stop -- the drugs, the hallucinations," he said. "And it seemed like [suicide] was the only way."
Soon after, Wetterau was in rehab. He completed a two-week detoxification, but officials at the facility told him that if he left he'd relapse and die.
"I said, 'No. I have something in me that says I don't want to do it anymore'," Wetterau said.
"I got out and went into the gym under the wing of this big body builder, and from then on, I just kind of started lifting, being healthy and caring about my body."
Wetterau says the true test came in September 2015, when his father committed suicide.
It was then that the trainer learned how strong he really was.
"Not having relapsed through that shows my mental fortitude," Wetterau said. "There is nothing that can ever bring me down to that level again."
In fact, he says it's fitness that brought him up during that time -- and continues to every single day.
"It brings me to another level," Wetterau said. "It's the utter feeling you get from the endorphins, from lifting, from seeing your body change every single day and doing things you never thought you were capable of."
And for the first time in his life, Wetterau doesn't feel that he has anything to prove to anyone but himself.
"I don't feel like I need to fit in," he said. "I'm fitting in with myself. I'm comfortable with being who I am rather than who everyone else is.
"Coming from where I am and seeing where I’m going inspires more people than I would have ever dreamed of.
"I want to inspire other people."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.