Home Blog Press Releases Congratulations To Our Scholarship Winner Ronald Pan!

Congratulations To Our Scholarship Winner Ronald Pan!

 

In Ronald’s submission, he shares an inspiring and beneficial message about mental health awareness and we are proud to award him with the $1,000 Asana Scholarship to help him in his journey to becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). (Submission below)

I am passionate about mental health because I almost lost my life to suicide. That said, I deserve a scholarship because my goals are the same as those of Asana Recovery: to support addiction treatment and serve others. Ultimately, I want to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) to reduce the number of suicides in America’s youth due to depression and lack of addiction treatment. My journey began with a presentation.

“You’re up,” said Mrs. Hirayama.

“Don’t trip!” I screamed to myself.

As I stood, I fell straight on my face. The class erupted in laughter. I did not know what hurt more: my face, or the fact that Mrs. Hirayama was laughing too.

I limped to the front of the room, where my knees started shaking like Shakira’s hips. When I opened my mouth, the only sound came from the ticking clock. My lips quivered.

I stared at the students as they stared back at me.

“Fatty!” yelled Chris.

Deprecating remarks were typical of my teen years as I struggled with obesity and depression. I ate lunch alone every day. My addiction to marijuana only added to my lethargy, and my weight further reduced my self-confidence.

I felt trapped. There was, however, a way out. I devised a plan to shoot myself with my dad’s gun.

When it hit 4 pm, I went to my mailbox to search for papers to write my suicide note. I cried when I read a postcard from my friend Nehemiah.

“Get busy living, or get busy dying. I love you!” he had written.

Something in me clicked. As I walked toward the gun, I trembled with the conviction that I was loved. At that moment, I challenged myself to start living.

I saw a psychiatrist, who prescribed antidepressants. I also reached out to Nehemiah for coaching, and I lost 100 pounds over two years. I broke down in tears several times in my journey. However, in my lowest moments, I remembered Mrs. Hirayama laughing at me and resolved to never let that happen again.

As my health improved, my self-confidence grew. I created new friendships, and my depression lifted as I grew to care for other people. Eventually, my drug addiction was replaced with self-love. When I fully accepted myself, I no longer needed marijuana to hide from my self-hatred.

In turn, I became an inspiration at my church, created the Fitness Association, and helped hundreds of people in turning their habits around. For example, Mr. Li set a goal to bike to work three times a week, and he lost over 40 pounds. I inspired people to change their lives.

After transcending suicide and reclaiming my life, I have decided to become a PMHNP to help those struggling with suicide. My own journey with depression and self-murder will allow me to give empathetic care. Ultimately, I hope to be a patient advocate so that no young adult struggling with depression or addiction picks up a gun to take his own life again.

Ronald Pan

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