On January 24, 2018, my best friend, one of the best friends I’ve ever had, Nathan Beals took his life. Nathan was so many things to so many people. Most often, he was an encourager and unwavering supporter when people around him were feeling hurt or abandoned. We were each other’s support system for our mutual mental illnesses. In fact, one of our very first experiences together as friends was him taking me with another friend to a psychiatric hospital in Holland, MI. for a 3 week stay. It was the same hospital he had recently been released from. He was always giving. He burned himself out. Gave not from his excess, and left nothing for himself. That would not be my mistake. Not my story moving forward.
I received the call of his passing late in the afternoon of the 25th while at work. At the very moment, I heard the words “He killed himself,” I knew what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had met with a local leader in organizational development in 2016 and gone through all of the things that made me me-a list with him of all my passions. When it was all written down, when it was all said and done, the gentleman said, “It appears to me that you are waiting for some event, some sort of catalyst to launch you in a specific direction with all of these great things.” At the moment of hearing of Nathan’s passing, those words came exploding back to my brain. This was that catalyst. This is what I was going to do. I began to explore ways to help people, to reach out. At the time I was currently leading a memory verse small group at my church. It was there that I began to flesh out the idea of writing a book about my lifestyle. One of the members in the class, Megan Deweerd, encouraged me to share my story and struggle with others. And that is what I am doing here. Welcome to Broken People.