In early December my ongoing battle with depression had taken its toll. I had been in and out of Avera 3 times in less then 3 months. I had hit rock bottom on December 5th and decided I could no longer fight the fight and decided to end my life. I overdosed on a medication I had and sent out a text to say goodbye to some close friends and asking for forgiveness. Immediately my neighbor was at my door and taking me to the ER. I was transferred by ambulance to Sioux Falls Avera hospital for observation and later sent to Avera Behavioral Health for the 4 time in just over 3 months.
I was blessed to have my community in NW Iowa as well as my church family cover me in prayers. But something even better then my healing of depression came out of this stay. God introduced me to a man who had a drug addiction.Being a small town boy and not having much contact with a person like this I had my mind made up these people were no good and undeserving of my time of day. I was quickly taught something entirely different. This man showed me love and was a shoulder to lean on and a huge cheerleader for me.We soon became best of friends sharing stories of our battles and eating every meal together.
He was transferred to Keystone the Monday before Christmas and saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I had to do. I was able to visit him on New Years day and he is doing great. Both he and I may have days ahead that are not easy but with prayers and God walking beside us we will both beat the battles we fight.
I am convinced that I was there this last time to learn a lesson on loving EVERYONE despite what their past is.
Please pray for both of us and that our friendship grows and we can live life one day at a time with a new and happy ending at the close of the day.
Brian De Jong
Many children's sports leagues now reward all participants, but some say this doesn't promote healthy competition, which builds valuable life skills.