About the Author

I have worked as a roofer, sack-boy, grounds/floor/maintenance man, janitor, and shoe salesman. After I received my Bible college degree (BCE) from God’s Bible School & College in Cincinnati, OH, I entered pastoral ministries. I served eight congregations either on staff or as the lead pastor during nearly 40 years of ministry. After seminary at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS (MDiv), I taught at a Bible college in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky for six years. 

Panther Canyon (3)In 1999, the melancholy mood that I had since childhood turned into full-blown depression. As a result of my severe, recurrent major depressive disorder, I had to leave full-time ministry.

I went to work as a substance abuse case manager/group counselor for a regional mental health agency in 2001. In a few years (2005), I had earned an MEd. in Mental Health Counseling from Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, KY. Subsequently, I started an Olmstead program, which served people with long mental health stays in hospitals to reach the least restrictive environment in the community. Later, I became the head of the emergency response team, too. 

In 2006, I was promoted as head of a multifaceted department in the agency that included a residential substance abuse program, a residential mental health crisis unit, a crisis line, and the emergency counselor on-call program. Things were going so well, but it was not to continue. A second round with depression (2007) resulted in hospitalization and a demotion.

The agency assigned me to be a counselor for consumers with co-occurring disorders in a federal grant funded study. In 2008, depression and hospitalization ended that position. With my marriage breaking up and facing another demotion, I quit.

2010 found me employed as a counselor in the largest private foster care agency in Kentucky. But in 2013, I had my fourth occurrence of depression that ended any hope of working again. 

My marriage was breaking up for the final time and I was showing signs of PTSD. During a highly stressful moment, I had a dissociative episode during which I attacked two police officers. Although I had/have virtually no memory of the event, I was advised to plead guilty to assault and serve 360 days in county lock-up.

In many ways, jail saved me. While there I was able to rest and recuperate. It was there that I renewed my relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior. I started to grow spiritually and came alive to the things of God.

Toward the end of my jail sentence, the jail doctor took away my depression medication and I started sliding toward another episode. Upon release, I was hospitalized for the forth time. It was then that I gave up all hope in self-healing and jumped head-long into a treatment regimen that included regular psychiatrist appointments, med checks, therapy groups, and individual counseling. I continue to work that plan to remain stable.

I have since remarried to a lady who was my high school sweetheart. She has three adult children and five grandchildren, two of whom we are raising. I have three adult children and three grandchildren. Life is good.

Through my brokenness I hope to help others. 

INTERESTS:

  • Depression
  • Mental Health advocacy
  • Restoration or the church’s response to the fallen
  • Current events, politics, and whatever inspires me during the week

My prayer is that you may recover hope and receive encouragement from this blog – enough to take another step, to live another day. 

Thank you for reading and the LORD be with you,

Jay

 

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