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Friday, March 1, 2013

It's Okay to Ask For Help

This is one of the rare times that I am going to step away from writing about technology and education on this blog and take advantage of having a large following to send out a personal message. If you want to skip this post, I understand, but I hope that you don't skip it.

This afternoon I received a phone call from a friend who informed me that one of our friends from college had taken his own life. The details are still fuzzy and the "why" may never be known by anyone other than our deceased friend. On the outside though everything looked "normal." He was a teacher at a small Christian school in Pennsylvania, a youth pastor, had a lovely wife (I was a part of his elaborate marriage proposal on New Year's Eve, 1999) and two young children at home who will now grow up without him.

I wish that I could ask Grant "why?" and remind him that no matter how down and dark you're feeling there is help available and that life will improve. But I can't now. I can, however, share my  story and tell you that it is okay to ask for help because people want to help you. A very small circle of my closest friends know that a couple of years ago I too struggled with the same depth of depression that I'm sure Grant was feeling. That changed on the first Friday of April, 2011 when that morning I walked into my principal's (Ted Moccia) office and with tears welling up told him that I needed help. Ted dropped everything that day to get me the help that I needed. That day my life turned around for the better, but it wouldn't have happened if I didn't ask for help. And believe me, asking for that help was emotionally the hardest thing for this New Englander to do.

I'm not sure how to conclude this post other than to say that whatever you may struggle with, there are people who will help if you ask. And if you don't have any struggles, help those who do.

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