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You all know me by now. You know that I have high ambitions, and you know many of my greatest challenges and some of my closest friends. I have realized, however, that there is one friend of mine who you do not know, because I myself did not know until recently how close the two of us were. But that is not the subject of this issue.

Instead, this issue will focus on what changed for me after I discovered—as I thought—the solution to the crossroads which I had been enduring.

You may remember me writing an issue about the isolation that I felt right after the the national guard option was presented to me. I explained it, in later issue, by telling you about my social life. But I have recently discovered that this was only part of the problem, and that the real cause of my state of mind—which has been constantly getting worse up until now—is a much more complicated thing of which that is only a factor.

Wednesday, (January 18, 2023)

There was no doubt that something was wrong. At first, I thought it was the situation with my brother that I briefly described in a previous issue, but that didn’t seem right. at any rate, I feared that I would be unable to talk to my parents because of how conversations of this nature usually went with them. Not that they did not care, but that I was always unable to communicate my feelings to them effectively.

So I went, quite by accident, to someone else. This was not someone I knew, nor had ever even met. This was a person I had met through an online Discord community set up for Bryan College. It wasn’t very big, but I had noticed this one particular guy whose profile said that he was an iconographer.

Now even though I have no particular interest in iconography, I did want to see how these particular works looked, because this was a guy from Bryan College. Unfortunately, however, I could not find them, because I was not typing the profile name in correctly.

So it began, on the day before Christmas Eve, that I asked this young man to help me find his work.

We chatted occasionally here and there over the next month, and I learned that he was actually an online student. But we never actually talked about each other or ourselves. On this particular day, however, I was browsing through the list of similar people that I would chat with, and his name was the last one that I encountered. But instead of hitting the ‘X‘ as I had done with the others to close their conversations, I accidentally opened the chat and read the past few messages, which had actually been exchanged earlier that day, where he had mentioned not minding my chatting with him sometimes.

So I opened up to him. He encouraged me to talk to my parents, despite my earlier inability to effectively do so, and then I decided to change the subject, and we ended up talking for a while about one of the things I was working on.


I tried to talk to my parents, but it was in the flow of another serious conversation that did not end until 1:30 am, and I was completely unable to say anything at all that I really wanted to. So I went back to my mysterious classmate.


I woke up that morning and knew more strongly than ever that something was not right with me. I went to class, of course, as I do every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. But on that particular day, I was also extremely concerned about something, and I did not know what.

By the end of that day, I was beginning to be afraid of myself. I do not believe that in the final moment that I could actually commit suicide, but I knew that I had to do something. So, the next morning, I basically hit the panic button.


I started reaching out to the people I knew, telling them that I was not well and to pray for me. All of them asked in general what was up, and I told them in general that I was fust feeling more depressed than I had ever been. But one of these people, a man named Eli, whom I mentioned in passing in an earlier issue about the Summer Institute, somehow managed to get me to talk to him about it in great detail.

He did not coerce me, or somehow pry information out of me. I was not unwilling to talk about what was wrong, and I did tell a few people. But what made Eli different from everyone else was the fact that he, in a different way than anyone else, stayed right there by my side. Even though we were not actually present with each other, he made me feel his presence right by my side and assured me that he was there. And in that way, he helped me be able to open up.


Apparently, the people at Bryan College whom I told about my state of depression were remarkably concerned for my safety. They reached out to the office of Student Life, who in turn reached out to my mom and told her that I was considering suicide, alcohol, or drugs.

First, let me put everyone at rest by saying that neither alcohol nor drugs ever crossed my mind as solutions. And as I said, I do not believe that I could actually succeed in committing suicide beyond simply hurting myself.

But what this did allow was for me to open up to my parents, because my dad asked questions in such a way that I was able to clearly communicate with them.

Saturday, (January 28, 2023)

On the evening of the next Saturday, I talked with my parents again. and this time, I finally discovered a very likely explanation of the mysterious issue that had been bothering me so severely, and this will be the subject of the next issue.

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