On the surface, Holy Idea Tees is a T-shirt company, but it is so much more than just that. It is a company with purpose. When I started Holy Idea Tees, I didn’t know what the name meant, I only had a logo lodged in my head and faith that my good intentions would lead me to where I needed to go.
What were these intentions? They were to use 10% of the money I earned to give to charity each month. I didn’t know what charity, I just trusted that would be revealed to me as each month came to a close. I followed this plan for a while and, while it was rewarding, I never felt passionate about it. As the months fell one over the other, I realized that in order to feel passion in giving, perhaps I should consider my past.
I was raised in a solid Catholic Christian household with parents who loved me and wanted the best for me. However, as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” My life’s story is riddled with situations I look back on now with realization that my future self was shaped by those moments. It wasn’t until I had almost reached the age of thirty that I realized this and didn’t have to be defined by it. I’m lucky because some people never realize it.
With encouragement from my wife, I sought the medical help I needed and over time began to understand myself, my thoughts and what all of life’s little experiences meant to me now. I also got diagnosed with a debilitating case of obsessive compulsive disorder. Not the kind where you have to wash your hands constantly or repeatedly check the door handle to make sure it’s locked (although it does manifest itself that way occasionally), but rather a mental condition where I couldn’t shake particular thoughts. These thoughts would crush me to the point of immobility. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to live.
Many people like myself go through life without ever addressing their mental illness. It is a serious, debilitating issue but because it doesn’t manifest itself as a physical issue (cancer, AIDS, that mole on your lip, etc.) it is “pushed under the rug” and many are forced to just push forward. This can carry on for a while but eventually the weight of it all will crush them like it did me. This is a moment of pure Hell and it can go one of two ways: they can continue to tell themselves they are stronger than this issue or they can lower their guard, admit there’s something wrong and talk to someone.
Therapy is a beautiful thing. I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for the help that was offered to me by just talking to someone. It took me almost 30 years to realize that it’s okay to not be okay. It changed my life. I want others to feel that change too and find that pure and righteous heart they were born with.
Holy Idea Tees is grounded in faith. Not just a spiritual faith, but a blind faith in people as inherently good. Sometimes we just get a little lost and need someone else to help us find their way back.
And thus I’ve found my passion in giving: Mental Health Awareness.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
– Plato and/or Ian Maclaren
To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived
This is to have succeeded.
– Author unknown
For more information on Mental Health and some related charities, check out these links: