I suffered through a horrible season of depression in the years after my mother passed. 12 years to be exact. I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel until I stopped my pity party and started finding ways to help others by what I had experienced.
I was actually three years into this sentence when I was sent to Minnesota as a way of my home state addressing their growing prison population.
I found myself in the library seeking self-help books on emotional distress. I came across a book by Daniel Goldman called “Emotional Intelligence”. The book opened my eyes to the destruction I was sowing in my life by repeated cycles of behaviors.
Shortly after I identified the root problems within my thinking I was invited to a program that spoke to “at risk” teenagers about choices and consequences. I became a participant and when I began sharing the story of my life I realized that what I was saying was impacting lives. Nothing like a room full of crying kids and adults to confirm the power of a message.
My point in all this is, some of us will be chosen to endure horrific circumstances in life. Those times of adversity don’t have to be the end of the story. We must endure, regroup, and share our knowledge and experiences. Our ability to help or guide others through dark days isn’t a job for those who counsel without the benefit of experience. Stay strong and hold on. I have to remind myself of this daily but I hold to the hope that when I come from here I will be a better man for what I’ve had to endure. I don’t know what you may be holding onto or hurting from but I promise you that sharing your experience will unburden you and shine a light to a much more purposeful life.