From: [name removed]
Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009
Subject: Thank you
Good Morning Mr. Tuman,
I found your website after thinking of your name this morning. It's been a long time since I sat in the Mt. Pleasant High School gymnasium with a couple hundred classmates and heard you speak. I say heard because back then there were times when I would not truly listen to anyone, but surpassing all the voices and all the ideas in my head that, I heard you.
I felt separated him alone, as though no one understood. You, though you did not know me or speak to me personally, carried a spirit of knowing. You spoke what I felt inside and showed me a new perspective. I heard you that day and continued to hear the words you said over the next two decades. I wasn't one so affected at the time that I didn't continue to struggle with depression, anger, resentment. I did in fact continue on to struggle and stayed quite sick with mental medical diagnosis bipolar with relationship troubles, family struggles, and finally to find that I struggled with alcoholism. I found a solution, thank God!
I felt that I should share with you how your words back then, how your heartfelt words, affected me. I believe that it was those words echoing in my head, that experience in the gymnasium that day long ago which was a big part of keeping me from successfully committing suicide five times. I stayed unsuccessful at any relationship and at any ability to control life and death for a long time. I've made plenty of messes in my life, but none were so horrible that the change in my heart of my last couple of years hasn't mended, and I will always be grateful to you for sharing your story and your perspective. Sorry that I didn't hear more fully and take to heart more fully the ideas you presented, I can only hope that I am able to share my own story and help people who struggle as I did from this point on. Your words help to shape a course in my life, as long as the road was to get to the truth and the solution to troubles and resentment. Your ability and willingness to share what you learned and experienced became a life experience that helped me to see God as real and helped me to see that I was one of the self centered kids who was trying desperately to make the world revolve around me. I pray that others don't take so long to take your words and your service completely to heart.
I'm sorry it took longer than most for me to learn the lesson, but through the life I have lived I am now dedicated to helping others in any way I can to overcome the struggles with that depressive self-reliance that got me nowhere fast. I can only believe now that my life was lived in difficulty for so long to give me the opportunity to see how important it is to help others to be a part of the larger community, and to understand community and grace.
I wanted to say thank you because your words, your story, saved my life more than once over the years. That experience in that gymnasium still sticks with me these many years later and has become a part of my own story of success over the struggles of pain and youth, addiction and resentment.
Grant Public Schools Notre Dame Prep
Northern Highlands High School Holly High School
Lakeland High School Portage Public Schools Portage Central High School
Real Life Heroes The Leadership Initiative Robert Humphrey
Kimie Ueoka Chase Petroelje Plainview-Old Bethpage High School
Dustin Peltz Boyne City Public Schools JFK High School
Lowcountry Graduate Center Mancelona High School Email Letter
Mancelona Schools Zeeland West High School Rogers City Schools
Royal Oak High School Vicksburg High School Walkerville Public Schools