You Can Only Connect the Dots Looking Backwards

All the lonely nights.

All the panic, anxiety and soul-crushing depression.

All the moments when I thought ending my life would be better than continuing it.

All the pain, discomfort, and sadness.

They all led me here… and I’m grateful.

Whatever you are going through at this time, regardless of whether it’s spiritual, mental, physical, emotional, or anything else: JUST KEEP GOING.

We don’t know how the future will look. We don’t know what blessings God has in store for us.

Our Heavenly Parents can turn any disappointment into an appointment as we trust in Them, grow through the pain, and never give up.

I believe in you and your future.

It’s 10,000 times brighter than the pain you’re experiencing now.

I promise.

No Dragon, No Gold

Some of my favorite growing up involved tales of adventurers taking long journeys through snow, rain, forests, and deserts. They had to fight trolls, goblins, and ogres. They faced sickness, fear, and disappointments. Finally, at the end of the adventure, their final task was to conquer a big fire-breathing dragon and win the treasure of gold.
Who would’ve thought that life would be a lot like those tales we read about when we were kids?
There’s adversity, battles of the mind, heart, body, and soul, and moments when all we might want to do is turn back instead of fight the dragon!
But guess what? We don’t get the gold without the dragon.
We don’t appreciate the victory without the loss.
We don’t feel the joy without the pain.
Life’s gold is different for everyone — to some it may be financial wealth, to others it may be spiritual prosperity, still to others it may mean freedom from addiction or a better relationship.
Regardless of what it may be, I hope we can all keep fighting, keep pushing through, and keep getting back up when we fall, because we are more than capable, greater than any fear we may have, and stronger than any opposition that may come our way!
Let’s take on those dragons, and claim our gold!

My Personal Experience with Suicide

When I contemplated suicide at the age of 19, I did so because I couldn’t see any other way to end the emotional and mental pain I was facing.

I thought my life was a disaster.
I thought I was a failure.
My days and nights were crippled by anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.

5 minutes before I was planning on ending it all, I thought I would call a friend.

If they answered, I would stay.
If they didn’t, I’d end it.

5 years later, I’m forever grateful my friend answered.

5 years later, I’m forever grateful for God’s grace and mercy.

5 years later, I’m forever grateful I went through what I did so that I can empathize with and help those who face similar challenges.

5 years later, I want anyone reading this to know that I understand your pain if you’re contemplating suicide; but I want you to know that WE NEED YOU HERE.

Most people end their lives because they feel isolated or like they are a burden. I promise you are not a burden, and I promise you have people who care about you.

Stay with us a little longer, and I promise that sooner or later you’ll be able to connect the dots.

Call for help.
Reach out.
You are needed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255
#SuicidePreventionMonth

Storms and Rainbows

A couple of nights ago I felt like a failure.

I felt dejected, alone, and like I didn’t matter at all.

I didn’t think I deserved love, or compassion, or happiness.

It was really tough.

As I was feeling things things, a quote from a TV show came to my mind…

“Will there always be storms?”

“Yes. But that means there will always be rainbows too.”

My brief message today is for anyone out there who is going through their own storm right now.

I understand how painful it may be, but keep pressing on.

Look for the rainbows.
Outlast the depression and despair.
Say a prayer.
Ask for help (my wife was my rock).
If needed, take your medication.

Remember that this feeling won’t last forever.

Hope you have a better weekend.

Pornography

From the ages of 12-17 I dealt with pornography addiction.

I’ve never talked about this publicly — but in the hopes of lighting the path a little brighter for those who need it, I feel compelled to be vulnerable.

I got involved in it because I was severely bullied. Day in and day out I experienced emotional pain, soul-crushing loneliness, and a feeling that I’d never be good enough in life.

I turned to pornography because I thought it would fill the emotional space that was empty within me.

It didn’t.

I turned to pornograpy because I thought it would help me learn what love was, because I didn’t feel any.

It didn’t.

Pornography did the exact opposite of what I thought it would do.

It taught me what true love WASN’T.
It left me feeling MORE lonely and forgotten.
It made me feel shame, remorse, and guilt.

It wasn’t until I started building my personal relationship with Jesus Christ that my eyes were opened and I learned who I was and what my future could look like.

Christ taught me what TRUE love is.
Christ helped me OVERCOME my addiction.
Christ loved me THROUGH my pain.
Christ SAVED and REDEEMED me.

To anyone out there who is bound by the chains of addiction, sin, or negative habits — reach up and reach out. Jesus Christ died for you. If you were the only person on earth, He would’ve still gone to Gethsamane and Calvary for YOU.

Your Heavenly Parents love you and want you to come back to Them.

Repentance isn’t an event, it’s a process — but it’s the most beautiful and merciful process we could ever need in this world.

In addition, there are amazing professional resources as well you can access to help you.

I’m your friend. Jesus is your friend. We believe in you. Keep going. Don’t give up.

Kindness is the Essence of a Superior Life

Kindness is the essence of a superior life.
Will you join us today in spreading kindness to those around you or close to you?
A simple text, tweet, phone call, get together, compliment, listening ear, hand-written note, hug, or video chat can go a long ways in helping someone feel loved, noticed, and appreciated.
The time to start a kindness revolution is right now!

The Semicolon

I attempted to “end the sentence” when I was 19 years old.
Many reading this have experienced the same thing, or are going through it now.
Please remember, you may not want to exist right now, but someone is happy that you do.
Continue your sentence.
Rewrite your story.
Reach up and reach out.
You are not worthless, and if you feel that way — ask for assistance. Our minds can be a dangerous place.
STAY WITH US.
YOU ARE NEEDED.
Your life is more than the pain you are experiencing.

It’s a Disorder, Not a Decision

To whom it may concern (yep, totally original),

I hope you find sincerity and honesty in these words, as my intent is to help you better understand me and my friends.

As much as you’d like me to think my mental challenges are “all in my head” and can be healed by “just thinking more positively,” it’s actually more complicated than that.

I’m not making excuses, or using this as a crutch to keep me from reaching my fullest potential. Quite the opposite, actually.

I’m confident these challenges are helping me become more empathetic, understanding, and loving towards those who struggle with any disability.

In fact, I know they are.

I invite you to take some time and learn about those who fight these battles within their mind and soul. We’re stronger than you think… and we need all the advocates we can get!🙏🏼

Sincerely,

Your friend Drew

#endthestigma

Friends, we need ALL of your help to #endthestigma that mental illness means mental failure, mental weakness, or mental ignorance.

Just as we wouldn’t tell someone with a cancer diagnosis, “good luck, I’m sure you’ll figure it out on your own,” we need to come together and help those suffering with dark craters in their minds.

Here are some wonderful things you can say to someone struggling.

“I don’t know exactly what you are going through, but I am 100% here for you. Whatever you need, I am here.”

“You are not a failure. You are not a loser. Most people would crack under the mental and emotional pressure you face daily. You are incredible.

“I’m bringing you over your favorite ice cream and we’ll just hang out. If you want to talk we’ll talk. If you want to just cry and cuddle up in a ball, I’ll be there to comfort you.”

Here are some things you should NOT say.

“It’s all in your head…. stop complaining.”

“Have you taken your meds today? Cause you’re acting really annoyed.”

“Just pray more. Obviously this is a faith issue.”

We can do this TOGETHER, but it will take a team effort.

If We Ate Our Words, Would They Make Us Sick?

If we had to eat our words, would they make us sick?

I gotta admit, sometimes mine would.

Not only are the words we say to and about others impactful, but more importantly the words we say to and about ourselves can create a life of misery or a life of prosperity.

I hope today we can choose to speak kindness; kindness into others’ worlds, and kindness into our own worlds.

Try it and see how you feel.