Paul Gallagher: A Perfect Walk: One Man’s Lifelong Struggle with Anxiety, OCD, and Suicidal Thoughts

Paul M. Gallagher wrote A Perfect Walk to encourage youth and adults to open up about their mental and emotional battles to someone trustworthy . . . to confide their anguish caused by childhood accidents, injuries, illnesses, etc. As early as age four, Paul battled severe anxiety that morphed monstrously into anger and suicidal depression. If you have emotional and mental issues that debilitate you a little—or a lot—Paul’s story will help you realize you are not alone. Many suffer similar battles. His story will also help you find help. He wrote A Perfect Walk, his harrowing life journey through mental illness, with two audiences in mind. First, our youth, ages twelve to seventeen—“the crucial years”—who are battling mental health concerns including anger, anxiety, and depression. He also hopes to help their parents, guardians, teachers, and other youth leaders recognize the signs of mental illness early. He desires that our youth have the courage and safe spaces to discuss truthfully their thought processes and feelings with those who are trustworthy before anger, anxiety and depression results in debilitation and harm that steals joy from them in everyday life and negatively impacts others. His second audience is adults who did not receive the mental health help they needed as a young person. As an invaluable preventative offering, Paul shares with transparency and in-depth honesty his life story, hoping to prevent youth and adults from making the same mistakes he did well into his adulthood. His heart and mission are to help prevent and address anger and severe anxiety issues, depression, and other serious mental health issues, to help “nip ‘em in the bud”—before the grave concerns become debilitating. A Perfect Walk offers sixty “life lessons” and very practical tips that will help you—or a loved one who is struggling. Recommendations include youth and adult sports participation, which facilitates respect, teamwork, communication, accountability, sportsmanship, lessons learned from winning (humbly with class) and losing (an opportunity to learn and improve), and self-identity. Paul’s life story is rooted in the core help of the Gospel (good news!) of faith in Christ Jesus and an imperfect walk as human beings with our divine Creator who is at work in all things for the good of those who love Him.

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