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Bradley Hayes

I am 41 years old and have lived life to the fullest. It has always been a big desire for me to make people smile. Anyone who knows me realizes how I love to aggravate and joke with people. I accepted Christ as my Savior at a young age of 12 and have always been raised in a Christian family. I can’t tell you how blessed I am for that. I have made many mistakes down the road and have been at rock bottom, or what I felt was rock bottom. Guess who was always there? The Man above was always there to catch me.


I could go on for days, but the point I want to share is dealing with anxiety. I remember 15 years ago having my first panic attack. You think you are dying, but it finally leaves, and you are good for a while. The reason I am sharing this is because you don’t want to hide it. It’s the worst thing you can do. Most people would never know that I even had a problem, but as I got older things changed. I put more pressure on myself wanting to have a lot of things - that I didn’t even need. In my mind, I was really doing something, but in reality I was actually destroying myself.


Something to remember is that I know you think you’re the only one hurting, but you are not. Your loved ones, such as your spouse and your children are hurting too because they don’t understand why you are acting the way you do. Trust me, my wife is strong because it would have been so easy for her to walk away. My children worried I know because I wasn’t the fun, outgoing person they had always known. Two months of this was definitely torture but remember that it doesn’t have to be because there is help.


About 2 months ago it finally hit me. I thought my world had ended. This was when I realized I had to ask for help. I made one of the hardest calls I ever had to make. I have worked for Pyles Excavating for 17 years and letting the company down was never an option for me. That morning I was on the job site, and I made the call to Danny. I told him I had to go because I needed help. I remember him saying, “You do what you have to do to be healthy.” I talked with my wife, Lisa, and my mom. I got an appointment with the doctor. That week could have been the worst week of my life. In my mind, all I could think of was my family and my job. Every morning I woke up praying and I went to sleep praying. Things are much better now, but I know there are things to work on. Anxiety will possibly follow me for the rest of my life. The positive part is I have opened up and have people to talk to that will support me during tough times. Who knows, with the Lord’s power I may never have to face this situation again.


I have so many people to thank. I want to thank my wife, Lisa, my mom, Cozetta, and my sons, Connor and Brady, for having to put up with me. I want to thank my brother, Derek, for being there. I also want to thank Danny Pyles for supporting me and giving me the time I needed to get help. Plus, I want to thank Mike Loy for all the talks and being there for me. I also have a couple coworkers who have been a constant support as well. Most of all, I thank the good Lord Who was with me through it all.


I said all of that to say, if you have anything like this in your life to not be ashamed to talk to people. It’s amazing how many people deal with this but hide it until you share your story. I know God had me share this for someone. I am willing to listen to anyone. That’s what we are put on this earth for is to help each other, which is another chapter in itself. Despite age, just having someone there for support is priceless. Mason and I have spent countless times in the truck talking after work. Sometimes I needed support, sometimes he needed it. The point is to reach out to help someone in need. If you are thinking of someone to pray for, I’ll always be glad for anyone to keep me in your prayers. God is awesome!