Nearly a decade ago, Eric had his first panic attack. Over the years, the attacks escalated to a point where Eric says life was "unbearable." He would endure 8 to 10-hour panic attacks, something he describes as a "horror." The only escape he could find from the anxiety and pain was in alcohol.
"I honestly believe that had I not found the gospel that I would probably be dead or in a mental institution right now," Eric says in an LDS Living video.
In his darkest moments, Eric says, "I started reaching out to God, praying like I've never prayed before." But Eric didn't know if anyone was listening.
Then one day, while in the midst of another panic attack, Eric saw a link a friend shared on Facebook and found himself watching Elder Holland's general conference talk "Like a Broken Vessel." For the first time in his life, Eric felt hope.
Eric reached out to the friend who had shared the video. His friend, in turn, suggested Eric receive a priesthood blessing. "I didn't know anything about a priesthood blessing. It sounded very, very crazy to me," Eric says. But he agreed, desperate for help. Eric walked away from that blessing with hope and a Book of Mormon. The message and comfort of that blessing stayed in Eric's mind, even as he returned to a life of alcoholism and despair.
But then Eric had an experience that he couldn't turn away from or ignore, one that led him to the Savior and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After this heart-to-heart with God, two sister missionaries arrived on Eric's door who offered to give him a tour of the church meetinghouse. At one point during the tour, Eric says, "I looked at these two sister missionaries that I had never met in my life and I knew that I met them before. I knew that I was a member of this church before. And I knew that I was finally home."
Watch Eric's full story in the powerful video below: