A Story of Struggle and Hope


This is our friend, Scott Hackman, and his story of struggle toward mental health and stability. Our upcoming Laughter is Sacred Space: Human Faces Tour will invite stories and photos of every day people who also struggle. These are sacred stories of being human, discovering God at the core. If you’d like to share your own story, please follow this link. Photo by Steven Stauffer

By Scott Hackman

I have been impacted by suicidal thoughts and self-destructive behaviors at key stress points in my life. I have mostly understood my life story as a process of recovery. I was misdiagnosed, over-medicated, and poorly counseled for 15 years. I was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression a week after my 30th birthday. In the hospital, I learned the stories I had been telling myself were not true: I was not sick. I was not a series of mental illnesses.

I am a person who needs structure, accountability, and meaningful relationships to stay sane through the ups and downs of living. I continue to benefit from grounded counsel, which is re-shaping my identity. I also gain spiritual insight and support through a 12 Step Program. I am learning that naming my feelings is part of my healing journey.

Because I grew up with mental illness within my family, and also struggled to maintain mental health, I have a unique ability to relate to people who either experience or love someone with mental illness. What I have learned, is the only way through the pain is to feel it, name it, and sit with another person who understands it. I am deeply grateful for what Ted is doing with this tour, and I hope many people come to know themselves through its message in a new way. Humbly, Scott.

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  1. Kendra Rittenhouse on August 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you, Scott, for your honesty and vulnerability. I think that if everyone were honest, we would realize that mental health problems are as prevalent as near sightedness.

    Thanks also to you, Ted, for your beautiful ministry. It’s the best pastoral care ever.

  2. Margaret on August 9, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Scott, Ted: mental health difficulties do not discriminate, there is potential for everyone, including each of us, to be impacted. To tell the stories, to hear the honest struggle of everyday people, goes a great distance to overcome the stigma. A understanding community can be the path toward healing and hope for the future.

  3. Emma on August 12, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Scott You are Amazing guy♡ I have and always will respect your open and honest heart ♡ Your smile Laughter and personality always is special and warms my heart everytime I see you.I Love seeing your mom when she brings your wonderfull Busy children to breakfast. You have a beautifull Family♡♡Thank you for being YOU♡

  4. Sally on September 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Scott, it’s been a long time since we connected. I was so moved by your story – your courage and resolve to face into pain and whatever has kept you from living into your full life. We all struggle with this, but some of us aren’t quite so honest. Or courageous. peace to you. Sally