By: Keith O'Neil

What is my purpose? I ask myself that question everyday. Purpose is defined as the reason why something is done or used: the aim or intention of something. When I was at my sickest moment, confined in a psychiatric hospital, suicidal, unemployed, completely desperate and plagued by an illness that controlled my mind, one of the things I prayed for was purpose. My life thirsted for it but my illness deprived me from it. I was spiraling into a dark hole.  I felt as if I had nothing; a feeling I can’t define with words. The only feeling I had was the feeling of wanting to end it all.

I truly believe everyone needs purpose.  It’s what keeps us going. What would life be with out purpose? It’s meaningless, worthless and empty. I know because I’ve been there. I spent over two years in the depths of mental illness fighting everyday for purpose.  I couldn’t work, exercise, or communicate with others. I would go through days with out leaving my bed or even eating. The saying “an idle mind is the devils playground” was more than fitting.  I was going insane.

I finally found purpose, I found purpose through you, through this computer screen by spreading mental health awareness.  I found my purpose by speaking to high school students about never giving up and the importance of mental health. I found purpose by starting a foundation that funds research. I found purpose through mental illness, the very thing that tried to kill me.