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My name is Dave Cummings and I’m the curator of To Rise Above. I say curator because while I may write some of the posts along the way, frequently I will re-source the writings, videos, and podcasts of others that can provide insight and encouragement to those of us who struggle to stay mentally healthy.

I have a BA in English Literature and a PhD in Microbiology and I serve on the faculty of a small Christian college in southern California. I teach courses in infectious diseases, cell biology, biochemistry, and tropical ecology.

I also live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which means that I have episodes of intense anxiety that aren’t always easy to explain. But since my diagnosis in 2014, I have been learning to live with the condition and, more importantly, learning to manage and even prevent it.

As a scientist, I have great admiration and appreciation for psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists, and have learned a great deal from them. I also come into this journey with a certain skepticism – Show me the evidence to back up your claims before I’ll believe you. I hope that this balance brings a rational, logical approach to living with mental health disorders.

Most importantly, though, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. More than 20 years ago, he picked me up from a sad place that was leading to misery and death, shook me out, and gave me a second chance. I have learned day by day, step by step, that he is a leader who I can trust, a leader worth following. It should come as no surprise to you, then, that nothing influences my life’s journey more than Christ Himself.

Now that you know a little about me, I hope you’ll share a bit about yourself. What brings you to this forum? What has your journey looked like so far? And where do you hope it will take you?

Together, may we find the “serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” (From Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer)