For the longest time, I saw obstacles as roadblocks that kept me from reaching my goals. I thought that if I faced resistance, I should either turn the other way or go around. However, I believe that challenges are a means to a better future if we view our obstacles as opportunities for growth and development. I now see obstacles as opportunities to strengthen a part of us, that when developed, can serve us to reach our goals.
In my book, A Life Worth Living: Pursuing Your Best Life by Escaping Darkness, I write about my challenges dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, what I went through and how I made it through. Here are three questions you can ask yourself that helped me see those opportunities in any situation, whether it’s with mental illness, work, family, a significant other, or just life in general.
1. How can I turn this challenge or obstacle into an opportunity to learn or develop?
Having mental health issues helped me realize that I needed to take care of myself and be my top priority. Besides God, no one else will care more or take better care of me than me. I learned that I needed to develop my sense of self and find confidence through practice, getting out of my comfort zone more and having the courage to say things to others that I used to be afraid to say.
2. What am I allowing to hold me back or unable to let go of from facing and getting through my obstacle?
It was tough for me to want to seek help from going through my mental illnesses. I allowed my pride to get in the way to reach out to others. I thought I could handle things on my own. I thought that men are not supposed to have mental health issues. They can’t show weakness, especially being in the military. We are supposed to be strong for others and disregard our own problems so that we can take care of our responsibilities. This is so far from the truth. Seeking help IS a sign of strength and truly saved my life by doing so. I let go of my desire to have a macho attitude and ask for help and utilize the resources designed to get back on my feet and strive to be a better version of myself.
3. What am I living for?
When I was experiencing my darkest moments during my episodes of suicidal thoughts, one thing helped me get out of my dark pit to climb out and move towards the light to a better life – my two kids, Hazel & Jax. I wanted to continue on to live for them and pass on principles and values that helped mold me to be the man that I am and whom I become.
“What you will get with David is a new sense of hope and he will show you that there is light at the end of your tunnel!”
– Stephen Dela Cruz
David is a man who has been through so much! He has definitely turned his trials into triumph. His knowledge of the subject will bring new light to any circumstance you may be facing today.
David has spent the past three months working diligently to complete his book, A Life Worth Living, as self-therapy to get through his dark days and to create a survival guide for those who don’t believe their better days have yet to come. His transformation into a believer of God helped him do a complete 180º in his life to use every experience, good or bad, to develop himself to serve others better.