My name is Monty Austin.
If you think that you are alone in your struggle, you’d be surprised. One in four Americans struggles with anxiety or depression. Many of us have been told things like, “just pull your bootstraps up” or “this too shall pass” or my favorite “you just need to read your bible more and PRAY HARDER.”
In some cases, this might actually work, but if you were ever at a place mentally, all those sayings did for me was pour gasoline on a hot fire. Those people must be really crazy if they didn’t see what was happening to me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t keep anything clean or organized, so I was always paying late fees or worse. And all the doctors would do was say “try this new miracle pill” blah, blah, blah. But, it isn’t covered by your insurance, and they cost $3,500 a month with this special coupon.
Suicide became a daily thing. How could I get away with it, and still leave something for my kids? But, my wife had already taken that option out several years before. So, how could I leave that legacy for my kids? “When things get bad, you just check out!”
Well, there is hope. I can relate to the darkness that you might be feeling. Where it seems like everything you touch or do will become a failure. You feel cursed. There is a cloud surrounding you, and you can’t even breath because everything is overwhelming you. I know, I’ve been there.
Without sharing my entire story let me just hit some of the stressors of my life that made me feel like giving up.
- from an early age, my father was mentally and emotionally abusive
- my mother was physically abusive and abused drugs and alcohol
- my older brother was the golden child, 2nd in his class, served a mission for the church, marriage still together after 35+ years. Both kids graduated from college.
- Sister died as a result of a drug overdose
- Baby sister was daddy’s girl and was helped like no one else in her early life.
- Career ending injury in college ended football career.
- Lost scholarship in college due to the code of conduct violation, sent home with a 3.8 GPA washed away.
- I went home got girlfriend pregnant. Got married at 19 and had 4 children (the best thing in my life) before 24.
- Wife cheated on me multiple times, then she filed for separation then divorce.
- separated from my children for several years.
- Mother of my Children committed suicide.
- Lost job after job because of undiagnosed mental illness.
- Started and failed at several businesses.
- Disfellowshipped from my Church.
Although that is not even close to everything that happened to me, it gives you an idea of what I was dealing with.
This all ended up with me becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. Running with dangerous people became my daily life. Dealing with drugs and living a completely violent immoral lifestyle. The worst of my character defects.
My goal at my lowest point was to get myself killed by putting myself in the most dangerous situations and places I could every day.
If you can relate to any of this story, you might be able to see how anxiety and depression had taken over my life, and it was completely out of control! And because of my actions and behaviors I was far from God. He was always there, but I didn’t know how to find Him.
I had no way out. NO HOPE! and I was not a person the world needed for sure! And I was already living in hell as far as I could see, how could there be anything worse that this was the script going on in my head continually.
In my desperation I cried out to God, “PLEASE HELP ME!” I don’t want this life anymore. If I am going to hell just send me now. If there is hope for me, please show me how.
I got checked in to rehab, again, and I picked up a bible. It was a recovery Study Bible. I read it in the three months I was in rehab. I started to see some hope. But, still didn’t know how to get from where I was to where I wanted to be.
And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. James (Jacob) 1:5 TPT