Journeyman's Row
         Discovering tomorrow's future starts by discussing yesterday & today.
***  October 11, 2016  -  June 30, 2021  ***

Click here to edit subtitle


More of the unexpected

Posted on January 19, 2017 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

With the lengthy recap of the last one hundred days advocating for mental health and awareness taken care of, I want to begin the next one hundred days by revealing a source of inspiration that I had not expected was important to this website. The reason for this was because the film itself came out in theaters, for the US, on September 16th last year and I hadn't been able to watch it on DVD until just a few days ago after purchase from eBay. Once I watched it for the second time ever, I had an epiphany with how inspiring the film was and then I thought back to when it came out in relation to my website blogging. One plus one equaled two and I knew in my heart I just had to give credit where credit was due.

Even though the film, and the person the film is based on, is very controversial especially here in the United States I simply could not ignore or deny the effect the film and its cast members had on me. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring the gifted actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film was Snowden. Yes, the very same. The film based on the life and courage of Edward Joseph Snowden between 2004 and 2013. I know some of you hit your breaks as soon as I mentioned his name, if for no other reason than to ask what he or this film have to do with mental health and awareness. Or you have not seen Snowden in the same light I have and feel he is a traitor. Your opinions are well justified and appropriate, but if I may insist there is more here than meets the dotted i.

While both before and after this film hit theaters I personally and humbly believed in Snowden's innocence. Let's face it; very few people were close to the events that surrounded him and what the film is based on. I could sit here and debate the merits of his actions in real life, but it is the value of the film which impressed me the most, in such a way and at just the right time that it served to give me courage I hadn't realized until now when watching the DVD of the film. None of us were there, but the film did as films often can do which was to bring those events and heroism closer to our level of understanding and have them unfold for each of us to experience for ourselves. What any of you take away from this, I humbly hope, is the concept of what Snowden portrays about standing up against an immovable force to do the right thing and make a difference in the lives of other people anyway.

On one hand, it would be a stretch to consider the film as an analogy for social stigma and mental health because comparing it to immoral US Government surveillance spying is simply irrelevant. Right? One thing has nothing to do with the other. What struck me was how one person, Edward Snowden, risked his career, his happiness, his wellbeing, the love of his life, his family, and how he risked his future to do what he felt was the right thing. He sacrificed himself for the hope of helping other less fortunate people. Snowden blew the whistle on a force so powerful that we could cower in front of our own computer screens, and keeps people silent against its influence. If opponents were to speak out they would be shut down and silenced. If you stop there for a moment doesn't this pattern of risk and oppressive behavior sound oddly familiar?

It should. The general forces at work are intimidation, bullying, suppression, pressure, fear and silence; all forces that social stigma uses against people like me with mental health conditions. Bam! It seems that I made that analogy work after all, not that critics of Edward Snowden need to question their judgments. Just keep focused on mental health and I will continue, even though my hands are shaking a bit from the inspiration still fresh in my mind. Essentially and if I am write as portrayed by the film, Edward Snowden sounds like an advocate doesn't he? He chose to stand up against oppressive behavior by his peers and speak out to make the right choice. Based on the principles, this shouldn't make Snowden an adversary any more than I am.

Forget for a moment the fact that Snowden was involved in secret government surveillance and spying across the globe, or for revealing those national secrets to a stunned global population. Set aside your doubts and apprehensions about Snowden and notice the fact that he did stand up against Goliath as David once did in the Bible's Old Testament. How can I possibly compare to Snowden? First of all, I have nowhere near as much overall risk at stake as he did. Hands down. Neither am I trying to suggest I do have that much at stake to come across as conceited. By now, enough of you know me better than that. To be completely honest though, I really wouldn't mind having that much of myself at stake because I truly am committed to the cause of improving mental health and awareness to the point that I would sacrifice as much. I really would.

Secondly, I don't have the level of intelligence or experience moving abroad that Edward Snowden has. The farthest from home I've gone without my family is Chicago in 2003 when I traveled with a best friend on a trip. This alone affords invaluable social experiences and professional opportunities that sets Snowden a world apart from anything I have done up to the present time. He has worked jobs I can't even imagine and made incomes I couldn't dream of for the max $11 an hour I've made to date here where I live. He was fortunate to find an independent and strong willed woman, who not only weathered much of Snowden's stress but also stood valiantly beside him when he was forced to Russia for sanctuary from the Obama administration's US Government influence.

Clearly I cannot compare to Edward Snowden, but this doesn't mean someone as below average and ordinary as me, or most importantly that any of (you) can find powerful inspiration in someone like him. If I've been the honest, genuine, and humble person who I hope I have convinced all of you that I am, perhaps I too can be an inspirational force for good. Like Snowden, and even Gordon-Levitt when he accepted the responsibility of portraying him in the film and potentially risked his career, I too have made the decision to stand up for what I believe in. And I believe that people around the world have the right to have access to the best treatment for any mental health condition they may have, and especially not to be oppressed into silence by social stigma.

However, unseen by everyone are the consequences I am most likely facing from blogging about these controversial topics. I guarantee you the first time I mentioned my weak overdose attempt, which was back on October 20th in my post entitled "Before inspiration came the Dark Side", I bet I popped up on scores of employment radars that will black list me. If not then, I surely was at greatest risk on New Year's Eve after I admitted to my 2014 relapse with contemplating suicide - which I never followed through with. Criticizing the likes of employers, especially larger corporations, for contributing to the fear and stigma that keeps people they employ silent about needing help with mental disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder, will eventually result in employment rejection quietly based on what I say here.

And I will need a resolution this year to the career anxiety and employment issue, or else my situation will become very precarious. Am I afraid of sharing my experiences particularly with depression and suicidal tendencies? Honestly, I am not as fearful right now and probably until the fear manifests itself in repeated employment rejections and social media backlash against my honesty here. Am I prepared for the inevitable backlash? I may feel confident but I am not ready because I've seen the sheer ferocity with which people like actor Steve Martin are mobbed by bullying haters who hammer a person until they crack. In Martin's case, he decided to take down the heartfelt condolence to Carrie Fisher's passing. I can only hope I have the strength to endure forces that overwhelming...

All comparisons aside, I should give equal praise not just to Snowden but for the very talented actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, to portray him as a very convincing and inspiring individual. Beginning with the film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, continuing with his masterpiece performance in Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Walk, Gordon-Levitt has impressed me very much from his ability to act with immense integrity. If I have seen him on screen, I follow his character's every moment and action, so when Snowden came out I knew he was a natural talent and perfect choice as the title character. Gordon-Levitt is very much someone I would love to see in future roles and performing as inspiring characters to test what new heights as an actor that he can achieve.

Mr. Edward Snowden, Mr. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and actress Ms. Shailene Woodley, if either of you read this blog post I want to thank you for being the inspiring people you have been for me and hope that you all can be convinced of my advocacy to share it with everyone you know who could benefit from it. Why Woodley, you ask? Because she portrayed a strong willed, independent minded woman who stood by her husband as Lindsay Mills did when it mattered most. Just because a film is considered and labeled as a box office disappointment, without regarding the film's worldwide success, doesn't mean that the film Snowden isn't worth every second for the true story it portrays. Thank you.

Before I knew how much I had written, just now I took in the length of this post and I feel proud for how an inspirational influence can make me speak so passionately about a topic I believe in. I face adversity as an outspoken advocate for mental health and wellness and I will face worse in the months to come. If nothing else then for what I am about to begin discussing, which has profound consequences to people throughout history and all over the world: suicide.

Time to throw out the race card

Posted on January 17, 2017 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

This next barrier to mental health and awareness has, here in the US, been a very confrontational topic during the last eight years. Racial issues and racism have extended across the world for centuries, so a lot of people are already familiar with it. How race involves mental health and availability to treatment options is what I will focus on more here. Hopefully, with my experiences and views on race issues, racism and anti-racism, already laid out I can more easily include people into this journey despite your many racial backgrounds and beliefs.

After reading about my history with positive racial experiences, I expect at least some of you reading this to feel that I'm just exercising a world view of mental health. Yes, everyone should be included, but no not everyone's needs are the same. Why point out every little difference instead of saying everyone and moving on to the next subject? I want to refer to and include as many people as I can to make sure everyone who reads my blog can feel welcomed and is assured that I advocate for them. There is no hidden agenda or sneaky ulterior motives on my part.

The less of a reason for any of you to feel different the more likely social stigmas won't interfere with you either getting the help you need or learning to understand and help a loved one. Race, religion, nationalism, and what countries you live in all go hand in hand influencing how people deal with or perceive matters of the mind. The way people from one country regards depression, bipolar, or suicide will vary from others in much of the same ways religions would. Yes, I am beginning to refer to other countries only because I am ambitious and don't want to exclude anyone who may suffer from mental illnesses. No, I don't have primary source material on Asians, Russians, Europeans, Australians, and so forth and how they deal with mental health.

The fact is that mental illness affects human beings as a species. It does not discriminate least of all by race or how we segregate ourselves on a routine basis. Just because I live in the United States and haven't lived or been to another part of the world doesn't mean my ambition to improve mental health stops along the borders of this country. Heck no. I wouldn't be human if I was so meek. If my ambition intimidates you still, I encourage you to share your points of view using the Contact tab above to reach me. Any and all correspondence will be kept confidential and I will do my best to professionally and genuinely address such concerns to earn your respect and help you see the benefit of greater awareness with mental health.

If there comes a point that I cannot convince you of both my sincerity and willingness to help, does that make you an adversary to mental health? Absolutely not. I don't presume to know what it is like to have mental illness based on how a particular race understands it. I wouldn't mind knowing so I could better adapt my advocacy and challenge myself to see if I can overcome those such barriers. But I do recognize that race may dictate considerably different opinions, acceptable practices, and potential differences to how people of different races deal with mental health conditions.

Should your race be an issue with seeking the right help for your particular mental health condition, or if you are the one creating the barrier out of anxiety, know that just because you are of a certain racial background doesn't make you any less deserving to be helped with the difficulty of your suffering. Talk to others of your race, discreetly if need be because of social stigmas. Trust in my encouragement to not let barriers like race, or my being a lighter skinned American of backgrounds that include German, English, Irish, and French, to influence you not to continue on this journey with me.

Everyone stands to gain so much from my advocacy, and that from other mental health advocates, because mental illness affects so much of society on many different levels. A lot of the time it hurts; it plain and simple hurts to deal with some of the conditions on a daily basis. If you can trust in me and on your own can objectively decide what is right for you, then I hope to continue to empower all of you to continue along with me.

After all, tomorrow will be an interesting milestone if you've been keeping track.

Let's be ambitious, shall we?

Posted on January 4, 2017 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

All this talk about mental health, mental illness, suicidal tendencies, positive energy, negativity, really got me thinking to take the initiative and pursue another barrier to mental health and wellness. But which one, pray tell? There are so many, or there seems to be so many out there. Go put your boxing gloves and protective gear on and I'll hold them off for you. I thought that after beginning with religious barriers I would focus next on what seemed most likely to think of. And since talking about social stigma and mental health barriers is more important than I'd originally thought, I created a new blog category "Barriers, No More" to draw more attention to them at any given time. Now, let us begin by exploring the barrier between people with mental health conditions and those without.

But how? This barrier, for several different reasons, feels completely untouchable. You either have mental illness or you don't; you either know what it feels like or you don't, right? Not necessarily, which is where advocates like me come in handy and especially people who have a keen sense of perception or awareness. It doesn't matter if the barriers to mental health and wellness seem or actually are difficult to bring down. Think of how people felt about the Berlin Wall while it was being torn down, not before it was. Through individual and group effort, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, we will still be here next year if I have anything to contribute. So let's tackle this barrier.

The first notion is that people without mental health conditions can't experience them as we do for an effective first hand point of view. Technically, this barrier can't be breached even if it were possible to enable people without mental illness to experience these conditions because that would be unethical anyway. They will never be able to feel or see what it's like in order to be aware and sympathize accordingly, let alone to reach that point quickly enough to help us better. As I've come to learn by my habit from notoriously over-thinking things, the solution is much simpler than it seems.

In fact, I am doing it right now. Give up? For each person who can share what their experiences are like, openly as I am or discreetly to a few of your closest considerate peers and loved ones, the gap of knowledge is reduced. This is not to say that I expect or believe everyone suffering from mental health conditions should speak out, because that is what advocates like me can do for you. While advocates work together en masse to repel social stigmas, by sharing intricate details of our experiences with mental illnesses we also help speed up reducing the knowledge barrier so people without them can learn what it is like first hand from people like me. The more I can describe of my own experiences, the quicker the general public can learn what it is like and generate momentum for it to happen faster.

That will take time though, so what can I do here and now? What could I say to the people who don't understand or know what it is like in more precise terms? I will say that it will not be easy to understand the many mental health conditions affecting people every day worldwide. The most important suggestion I would offer is to have patience and compassion. Whether you are the parent, guardian, sibling, relative, friend, in a relationship, to be engaged, or the spouse, and you feel something is wrong with your loved ones but don't know what to say or do, there are some options you could try on your own.

If you decide or feel it is necessary to have a sit-down discussion because of the symptoms present, do not talk down to them. It doesn't matter how concerning the symptoms may be; talking down to someone with mental health conditions does not create the reassuring bond needed to earn their trust. For the victim, it may be awkward or difficult to share their true feelings. Even to someone they live with or are close to. Some mental health problems involve a feeling that the victim needs to hurry up their decision making skills, or handle their emotional stability quicker than they are able to do. Perhaps they are having trouble attaining lasting employment, so putting them under more pressure may only make it worse.

Just try to give your loved ones enough space, compassion to what they feel or are going through, even if you believe you are the cause for some of their tension. Caring about their welfare and being reasonably attentive can go a very long way, especially if the person's symptoms manifest in force and on a daily basis. After some time you may feel unable to maintain the bond to help them because it is taking too long to overcome short-term symptoms. Do the best you can either actively involved with their mental health or passively being supportive for as long as you can. The moment you exhibit disinterest or a lack of fair attentiveness believe me the person will pick up on that easily, and it will not help their stability or confidence.

Be strong for them whether they confide in you or not. If at first they don't share their feelings or concerns with you, keep trying to encourage them to talk about what bothers them. Use the best tact and timing you can, ask them how they are feeling that day, ask them questions if you don't yet understand their symptoms once you've gained their trust, and reassure them each time that they just need to hang in there. Become the bridge that separates you from them. If you don't know what it is like to have mental health conditions, you may come across as alienated from them just for that fact alone. Try to learn the extremes of your loved one's conditions and adapt accordingly, keeping in mind knowing who and when to call for help if need be.

Yes, it takes a certain level of commitment that a number of people don't feel comfortable with because they have obligations of their own lives to handle. Some people tend to be apprehensive or fearful that a person may become violent to themselves or those around them, as well as suicidal. They don't want to risk their own safety or to have the guilt on their conscience if they offer the wrong advice. I deal with this every time I help someone, and it only gets better with practice, compassion, and time. Do the best you can, and that is all anyone will ever expect above and beyond. Believe me your efforts to learn about what affects your loved ones will make a world of difference, and usually they will sense that and feel better about themselves slowly but surely until better help can be found.

If you decide not to help or be their confidant, for a person who is not comfortably close for you to help, the next best thing to do is try to encourage them to get proper help and listen to them talk about their feelings when you can. You don't necessarily have to help everyone who has mental illness symptoms, but you are obligated to if you learn about someone in need of the help. Again just ask questions, listen to them, and do the best you can. Should you believe it is not the best option to have a casual discussion, don't push for one. The fact that mental health is complex and complicated shouldn't deter you from the goal of providing moral support, because these issues can take time to deal with. Patience is your best friend when it comes to the long-term.

Take my situation, for example. Thirty fives years of age, stricken with career anxiety among others that has caused considerable decision making problems, and still living at home with my parents whom have both retired by now. Something you might not realize is that there is an age factor, which if the victim is over twenty five years or older, the expectations of the real world apply immense pressure to the situation. Have I tried to share with my parents about my intricate feelings or my symptoms? Honestly, yes but not much because they are unfamiliar with mental health from their upbringing to be able to help. But they have been patient, especially since June of last year and overall in recent years.

Since I am in my mid-thirties the pressure is very acute and unique, but not uncommon. There really isn't much I can do but to somehow overcome my longstanding career anxiety, so how my situation is alleviated or resolved will hopefully be revealed as this year progresses. But even I have been knowingly keeping my parents in the dark and not confiding in them because they are under a lot of stress about me anyway. Sometimes I seem to have all the answers, yet you will be surprised that I do not. I just try my best. So far, it has brought me to a higher level of positive energy, an exercise routine, and more hopefulness for the future.

Bridging that gap between people who don't have mental illness or don't know what living with it can be like, is not easy to accomplish. Commitment, compassion, patience, and understanding the symptoms such as they are is how this barrier will slowly be reduced and eliminated. At the right time and with the best approach, I will share everything I have been blogging about here with my parents when appropriate. It isn't their fault for not having been exposed to mental health issues during their life experiences, so it will also depend on me to bridge the gap between them as well. Where there is a loved one, there will be a way.

Now, to take some time away from such seriousness I wanted to do another Famous Person blog post since I've been so caught up in mental health and awareness since November. Who I have in mind is so well known for his work in filmmaking that just his last name is widely recognized by many people.

Without further ado, I present to you Mr. Steven Spielberg.

No barriers to healing

Posted on December 23, 2016 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (1)

As I refine my techniques to advocate for positive mental health and wellness, one of my goals is to identify and prevent barriers from making it difficult for victims to seek help or that may discourage any of you from trusting what I share. With my writing in particular, the first way I want to do this has already been a point I've touched on last month. Given the Christmas holiday coming up, I feel compelled to encourage everyone regardless of your religious beliefs that what I write is not intended with religious overtones. The fact that the roots of my religious belief is Protestant Christian is not meant to alienate anyone. When I say I hope my writings of healing and inspiration can reach people across the world, I also mean to respect everyone who may read this too. Allow me to explain.

Whether you believe in Christianity, Islam, Gnosticism, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Atheism, etc., I do not mean to undermine your beliefs by anything that I write about. This occurred to me when I acknowledged Thanksgiving, since it is a celebrated United States holiday by the calendar year. Christmas loomed larger in my mind because some of my friends are not Christian. I already respect other people's religious beliefs, so I wanted to convey that through here as well. Obviously, if I abstained from blogging content-wise on every holiday that would cut down the amount of blogs I could write for advocating mental health. While I will post a non-content blog on Christmas Day, I don't want this action to turn people away from the genuine healing I am working to share.

If anyone reading this is not of Christian religious background it doesn't matter what your beliefs are, I humbly encourage you to trust that my intentions are meant for the betterment of mental health. Everyone is welcome to join me on this journey, and I will make every effort to respect my readers such wonderful people that you are. Another reason for going out of my way to keep religion from becoming a barrier is the still tender tensions involving Muslims, particularly in the United States and Europe. For many people in recent years, the conflict with terrorism has shone a most unfortunate light upon the otherwise peace loving Muslims that do outnumber the violent offenders. If it is in your culture to regard my writing differently, please apply the most helpful aspects of what I share here so that you can find the strength you need to stand up against mental illnesses. So, please pardon my religious tone as I further explain what I mean.

During studies of history from grade school up through earning my Bachelor's degree in History at Penn State Altoona, naturally I have a very unique perspective on religion. I have covered countless civilizations with infinitely different religions, so yes it is true that overall my study of history has in some form influenced my own religious beliefs. If I have the terminology correct, I consider myself a Christian Pantheist. The roots of what I believe in is Christianity and my savior is Jesus Christ, but because of my history studies I have widened my beliefs of how I perceive God as universal to all other cultures. God is of all and in all, a professor of mine once said. So while my Christian background could discourage people of other religions and turn them away, I wanted to explain this because of my degree. I have a worldview of God, because I humbly believe we all perceive Him in a different way.

This doesn't mean since my religious roots are Christian in nature, that the wisdom and healing I encourage with my advocacy can't be applied to everyone who may read this. Everyone is welcome, and I insist with genuine generosity and respect. There is no ploy to manipulate anyone because as you have well seen, I tell it like it is. I also recognize that mental illness does not discriminate between religious beliefs. The effect is just as detrimental to a Christian as it can be to a Muslim. Hopefully, by touching on this sensitive topic I have made it clear why my study of history has encouraged my open-mindedness towards other people and that my message of healing can transcend this as well as many other boundaries.

You don't have to celebrate Christmas as it is, but regardless of your religious beliefs I already accept all of you into my heart anyway. I intend to extend the same amount of effort to help you with your struggles against mental illness no matter what your beliefs are, and I hope you will accept my respect in kind as well.

James 1:1

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

While the interpretation of Bruce Wayne's Batman persona created the identity for my hero complex, or overt desire to actively help people, the true source of inspiration actually comes from a Biblical source. First, I want to put everyone's concerns to ease so that as many of you continue to keep an open mind despite the inclusion of potentially contentious topics.

In short, my world view on religion versus faith comes from growing up and exploring my religious background but ending up embracing a much broader faith overall. That doesn't mean I am not a Protestant Christian, just as it does not mean I necessarily identify myself with a specific religion. A collective Christian pantheism forms the basis of my spiritual beliefs, no doubt. But through my own journey of faith I have taken quite strongly to the acceptance of all "peaceful" religious beliefs that many of you identify with abroad.

So, any time I explore or discuss religion I personally wanted to show respect for the many non-violent peace-loving religious people who may read my blog posts but feel apprehensive that I may intend to disagree with your beliefs. I will not, as long as they are generally peaceful and considerate. Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Hindus, and so forth. As my Dad often told me while growing up, to never throw stones into someone else's path, I especially want to exercise that here. Not to manipulate for the benefit of keeping people interested; just simple, genuine respect. Hard to come by these days, it seems.

The exploration of my religious background began after the first passing of a close relative in my life. During early 1997 my maternal Grandfather took to rest, after which I asked my parents for a Bible and a cross. Later that same year I was in 10th grade at the Senior High school, and a dear Italian upperclassman also gave me a green covered copy of the Gideon New Testament. So, I focused first on the New Testament in what I read the years after. Most notably in the King James version of the Bible my Mom had given me, which was given to her by my paternal Grandfather at her wedding, to my surprise I found a passage that seemed to be written for me specifically.

James 1:1

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting."

At the time I was in the midst of my fear-invoked depression symptoms, but just like the character of Bruce Wayne this passage stuck with me ever since I first read it. Of course there is more to the Epistle of James as is to the Bible itself. Faith is a discovery each and every person should undertake on their own. A journey of the heart and soul.

As time progressed, all sorts of fundamental beliefs were called into question particularly during the sleepless night of my attempted weak overdose in 2003. The Christian origins of my religious beliefs had transcended as a result because at that point I had tried to kill myself. In some corners, that sin is unforgiveable. Yet the James 1:1 passage, among others, never lost their significance in my heart from then on. I just could not yet figure out if or how it fit in with my tumultuous existence.

To merely blurt out, Oh I think that passage is implying that I act or I am prophetic and then claim I am a Servant of God, is just plain ridiculous for me to say of myself in my humble opinion. I am no saint. As I do frequently repent my sins for forgiveness. So, in the present time how would I apply my longtime connection to the James 1:1 passage with my hero complex inspired by Bruce Wayne's Batman? I'll tell you.

No one can ever truly know this much of themselves, of their inner spirit, without strong faith-driven practice and devotion. For me, right now, these pieces feel like a stronger connection than anything I have felt in years. What I took away from this passage was that perhaps I was meant to serve, or now guard, people in this life. As far as the here and now are concerned, this is my mantra:

"I am a guardian. Then a Guardian I shall be.

I will guard your Darkness, and guide your Light." (my words).

A guardian, indicating anyone can be as I am; empowered by the ability to help other people on a deep level. I am not the Prophet, nor am I a false idol. I am no one, yet I can be any one of you. Selflessness at its purest, which I have already been identifying with all through my volunteer work. In order to take ownership of the positive empowerment, I refer to myself as a Guardian because of the commitment I now intend to engage in. I was a guardian. Now, this is my persona of commitment that I shall be. Minus a mask, because I am just like all of you.

As Batman's was to strike fear into the hearts of those who prey on the fearful, the essential of my mantra is that I will guard your Darkness and guide your Light. Remember back to my blog post about Professor Xavier being able to help others because he can and that it is there? I can and have withstood the Darkness of my life, therefore I can guard it, absorb it, channel it, and will do so because the need from you is there.

Allow my words to reassure wayward souls that the end, giving up, is not the only option. I am still here because something continues to work, and I will not rest until I can share that to change lives for the better. Therefore I will guide your Light by the wisdom I offer, acknowledging that there is not only goodness and light in everyone's hearts but that people can find some sense of salvation without resorting to violence upon others or themselves.

And to think that this journey has only just begun... ;)