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Patrick Herb Jr

Depression and Anxiety. Addiction. Recovery. Who cares to admit defeat? I for one have been fighting my reality up until about the last few years. More and more I am finding freedom, joy, happiness, a way to manage my life from day to day with HELP FROM OTHERS. That seems to be the key. The missing void that fills the vast emptiness that leads to suicidal thoughts, plans, actions, hopelessness, powerlessness, not knowing which way to turn.


Since I was a kid I’ve always struggled with acting out. Visits to the school guidance counselor with posters announcing INTEGRITY that seemed to have only made me feel even more different and angry and lost. Experiences of one of my counselors saying to me ‘what do you want me to do?’ with a kid who was bullying me in middle school. I felt so helpless. I was afraid. I didn’t know who to turn to for comfort.


Then I discovered alcohol and drugs. Substances that made me NOT feel anything which worked for about 10 years until it didn’t work anymore. Then one day my co-worker at the salon where I was assisting discovered a chink in my ‘indesctructible’, so I thought, armor. A moment of grace, a crack in the doorway of which up until that point I thought was locked. A pathway to a new life in many ways. 


So it’s been about 7 years of hard work. Defeats, successes, hopeless moments along the way. No matter what I keep moving forward even if it hurts! And it often does. I have surrounded myself in the middle of a fellowship who think and feel and experience things like I do and I feel more and more a part of what I choose to call my family. 


I have hope. An ounce of hope. And when it fades, I know what to do to keep going. I pray. I laugh. I cry. I ask for a lot of hugs. I let people hug me until I start to accept their love. And it works.