Voice of Strength: I was never alone

(soft orchestral music) – I have my own story. I’ve never shared it with anyone, but hearing
a very personal story from someone today actually made me change what I was gonna talk about
completely, and to share my story, because it really pulled at my heartstrings, and I
don’t see why I shouldn’t share my story to possibly pull at someone else’s heartstrings. You know, 10 years ago, we were going through
a lot, my family and I. We lost everything, basically. Lost our restaurant, lost our home, we lost
or almost lost our home, and I felt like a burden to everyone. I just lost my girlfriend at the time. Of course, you know, when you’re in high school,
that’s a big deal. I had contemplated taking my life. I’d even wrote the note, and was about to
do it. Luckily, the minister caught me. I remember what it was like to be hopeless. I remember what it was like to feel alone,
and beside yourself, because, during my struggle, there was people there for me everywhere,
everywhere, and I was so consumed in my own self, and in everything that was going on
in my struggle. I let that struggle overcome me. I let it have that power over me. It was something that’s not even human, and
it’s a feeling. I let a feeling totally take hold of my body. I did check into a behavioral health, and
I got help then, which was really hard for me. I need that help. I needed to be there. I needed to see someone, and there’s nothing
wrong with that, but I think, as I got older, or as I get older, and as I’ve learned, it
doesn’t make me a weak person, as I thought then, for seeking help, but I think the most
valuable thing that I may have learned while I was there was that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t secluded like I thought. My mind was playing a trick on me. My thoughts were playing a trick on me, and
I was never alone to begin with. You know, I’ve heard jokes be made about mental
health issues, and about suicide, and seeking help, and jokes about those hospitals, and
it’s not good. It’s real demoralizing, more than anything,
to have someone joke about it. I’ve had individuals confide in me with similar
issues and struggles, and because of my experience, I knew kinda what to say a little bit. I knew kind of what to do. I’m lucky for what I went through 10 years
ago because it helped me be a better person, and it gave me that personal growth that I
need. I’m about to have a fiancee. You know, we’re gonna get married probably
within the next year or two. I wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t for me seeking
help. You know, vent to someone. Don’t bottle it up. Always be there for someone. You know, we’re all in this together. That’s my biggest thing, is, you know, we’re
all in this together. We all need to encourage each other to reach
out and to seek help more.

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