Volesky shares how he overcame depression

By Crystal Pugsley of the Plainsman
Posted 6/8/24

Volesky speaks with NAMI

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Volesky shares how he overcame depression


“You can’t unscramble eggs,” Ron Volesky says about his struggle to overcome depression, “but you can take those eggs and make an omelet.”

Volesky, a local attorney and pastor, spoke about his journey through the depths of depression Wednesday at NAMI-Huron, a local mental illness support group. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

“I was the second youngest person ever elected to the state legislature,” said Volesky, who basked in the novelty at the time. “I started to believe my own press. I fell into bad habits, I did things I’m ashamed of today.”

Emotion colored his voice as he remebered isolating himself from the world around him.

“I was ashamed, and I hid away,” he said. “For a year or longer I would walk down the alley to get to my office so I wouldn’t meet people.”

Volesky said his world turned inward and the sadness grew as he continued to isolate himself from others. “You can’t find help until you admit it,” he added. “It’s okay to say I need help.

“Turning inward makes it worse,” he added. “Only turning outward brings peace.

“Baby steps, it’s setting small goals, achieving something,” Volesky said. “Don’t think you will throw the cloak of gloom away in one afternoon. Get out of yourself, get to the point you want to help others.”

He thinks of his adoptive parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Volesky, who opened their home to him after the heartbreak of losing their 3-year-old daughter in a tragic accident.

“She was the light of their life, but on Seventh and Beach the little girl was hit by a car,” Volesky said. “One day my mother and dad were out walking when a lady, a foster mother, came down the street with a stroller with two little Indian babies.”

The woman and her husband were planning a vacation and couldn’t take the babies along. She wondered who could take care of them for a few weeks.

“Mrs. Volesky picked me,” Volesky said. “They were still recovering from the grief of losing their daughter. They felt the best way to deal with it was to help someone else have a better life.”

Volesky, who was later adopted by the couple, never forgot the story of how that chance encounter helped his parents overcome their grief and also gave him a new life.

“I can’t think of anything better for yourself than helping others,” he added. “The key is if people are willing to be vulnerable and willing to take a risk stepping out of the shadow of their life to help someone else.”

Depression affects close to 300 million people in the world today, negatively affecting how they feel, think, act and perceive the world around them.

“There’s a wrong way to address the pressure, isolation, bitterness and anger,” Volesky said. “Turning inward makes it worse. Only turning outward brings peace.

“Peace like a river is something I strive for more than anything else,” he said, adding that his faith played a strong role in his recovery.

“There is always hope.”

NAMI-Huron meets each Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Don’t Spill the Beans. Everyone is welcome.