This past Saturday I had the privilege of speaking at an event called Campus Revolution, which served to equip adults with the tools to help teens deal with the major issues that affect them today (addition, drug abuse, mental health, suicide).
I was able to share my story about how I went through a series of terrible events (abandonment, rejection, verbal & sexual abuse) which led me to experience years of depression & anxiety, and eventually two suicide attempts. I told them that the same issues that plagued me are the same issues that torment the minds of young adults now, the only difference is that I was suffering secretly and young men and women these days are suffering openly.
While I grew up in a church and had a large circle of friends in school, I knew better than to express my pain because I had seen other do so and be openly condemned for being openly in need. It wasn’t until recently when I was led to a genuine, loving community that is equipped to handle such pain and heartbreak that I was able to experience freedom in exchange for sorrow.
Afterwards, I was able to express to the teachers, counselors, parents, and church leaders who were at the event that instead of hoping and praying for change they should learn how to be agents of change. I mean, I’m sure it’s not just God who wants people to be equipped with the knowledge and compassion to help people. Even people who don’t subscribe to a religion are longing for a safe place to land or a community to call home… for strength when they are weak… you know, stuff like hope and a reason to live.
Instead of looking for someone else to do it, I’m thinking that maybe those who are out of the quicksand can help those who are still sinking.
Maybe its time for people to act… to do more than pray, send positive thoughts/vibes, cross their fingers and keep hope alive. To use their hands and feet because talk is starting to get cheaper as time goes by.
Just a thought…
TO CLARIFY: this isn’t to say that ALL churches/schools are ill-prepared and unequipped and not a good place to go for help, support, and healing. However I do believe that there are WAY TOO MANY institutions that are not up to the challenge, and it is time for that to change.
For those of you who are still struggling, I believe help is on the way. Stay strong, survivors. You are so loved.
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