VIDEO - Drawn To Forgiveness Through Depression

Drawn to Forgiveness


drawn to forgiveness

Ron Thompson is a fascinating guy — an artist with a pen, a poet with words. His video, Drawn to Forgiveness, incorporates both of these strengths. It is about his journey from “a dark and angry place” to forgiveness.

Ron and his production partner, Sharon Taylor are from Horizon House in Philadelphia. Horizon House serves adults with psychiatric or developmental disabilities, drug and alcohol addictions, and those that have experienced homelessness.

Ron’s video is part of the collaboration between OC87 Recovery Diaries and public television station WHYY. The partners teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create a new series of videos that tell inspiring journeys of recovery.

I felt that I was angry at everyone. I was so depressed. I felt like I was alone. I was unhappy.


Ron grew up in North Philadelphia with his parents, grandmother and younger sister. When Ron was nine years old, he started to experience a negative relationship with his parents. Anger and frustration took him to a dark place, which left him scared and angry at them.

I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t have any girlfriends back in the past. I didn’t have anyone because I was so alone and angry.

drawn to forgiveness

During Ron’s childhood, he discovered art could be a way of healing his anger.

When you do art, it heals your soul, what’s inside your heart. What you’ve been feeling and what you’ve been going through all this time.


It helps me a great deal, what I’ve been going through with my family, and I feel better doing art. It heals me. It’s like God taking away all your pain and all your problems and placing it on Him.


And it makes me feel good and better when I draw and sketch.


I like to draw certain things like trees, nature, that sort of thing. Houses. It’s like drawing a story around you. You see the future of yourself. I see my future – a nice person, that’s what I draw when I see myself. I see myself in that picture. Married, have a couple of kids. You know, house, career. I see myself in that.

drawn to forgiveness

In 2014, Ron sought the help of Horizon House to get his life in order.

I feel they help me. They support me every step of the way. And they want to see me succeed on getting me another job, on getting my life in order, and getting my career as a photographer and artist.

After receiving counseling at Horizon House, Ron learned how to deal with depression and anger. During group sessions he has shared his own experience with others.

drawn to forgiveness

Sharon Taylor from Horizon House collaborated with Ron on his video

I think my therapist was right. I must forget about stuff that happened in my life, and learn how to forgive myself through all those troubled times I’ve gone through.


Life is too short for being angry and depressed. Holding that anger inside, not telling anyone. That’s no good.


That’s why I always believe what my grandmother told me when she was alive. She always said, “Learn to forgive people. Don’t hate them. Just learn to forgive and learn to see the good in people.”


Ron, from Philadelphia, lives with a roommate in a supervised home and receives supports from Horizon House that promote his goals of independence. Ron regularly attends a young adult group, visits often with his family, works out at a gym, and is an active member of his church, where he is an usher every Sunday

Ron was recently accepted into the Center for Creative Works (CCW) in Wynnewood, PA., an arts-centric vocational program for adults with intellectual disabilities. At CCW, Ron will learn art making techniques, compile a personal art portfolio, and explore opportunities to exhibit and sell his works.

drawn to forgiveness

There are more videos in the OC87 Recovery Diaries and WHYY collaboration series. Watch them all here >>

OC87 Recovery Diaries and public television station WHYY have collaborated to team up with first-time filmmakers to create a new series of videos that tell inspiring journeys of recovery. A special thanks to WHYY’s Craig Santoro, Director of Media Instruction, Lisa Wilk (2015), Sarah Milinski, and Steve Dixon, Media Instructors at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons at WHYY for their technical and storytelling support; and to WHYY behavioral health reporter Maiken Scott for giving her support and a workshop on interviewing techniques. OC87 co-director and documentary filmmaker Glenn Holsten is the project facilitator. Bud Clayman is executive producer of the project. Follow this link to watch all of the videos in this series >