Depression….. aah that horrible subject that is taboo. I have to talk about it periodically. I refuse to be silent anymore.

Depression entered my life when I was fourteen. By all accounts, I should have been happy. For the most part, I had a great life but I was lonely. A lonely that made no sense. I was sad. A sadness that made no sense. I no longer wanted to live and that made no sense. I felt guilty for feeling the way I did, which made it even worse. I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I felt shame for having my feelings. I knew that telling my mom would just make her upset and she would tell me to pull myself up and get over it. She wouldn’t be being insensitive but she didn’t understand depression. She truly has no concept of it. I read a book called Lisa, Bright and Dark. The girl was going crazy and then I wondered if that was what was happening to me. I must have read that book a dozen times. I related to her.  Why was I so sad for no reason? I would pray to my god every night to not let me wake up. This went on for years. I got involved with smoking, drinking, drugs, even sex to try and make me feel better. Every day I thought about dying and how I didn’t want to live anymore. I thought about ways to kill myself. I had a knife to my wrist more times than I can count.  No one would listen I was supposed to be happy so I faked it the best I could. Eventually, I went to visit my dad and he took me to a therapist. That man was the first to save my life. I didn’t see him long but enough to give me tools to keep going. I continued my destructive behavior for a long time but no longer was praying or wishing to die daily.

Flash forward a few years. I was doing much better until a boyfriend and I broke up. We were going to get married. I was the one that decided to break it off but it was so painful. I just knew that no one would ever love me. I was unlovable and always had been (in my mind). I remember being in my apartment in school and just sobbing that I wanted to die and crying out for my former therapist. Somehow, my roommates and I tracked him down and I called  him across the country. Funny how I had seen him in the Philippines and this was preinternet but I found him here in the states. He and I are still in contact to this day. I was is patient in 1984.

After that incident, I managed to plug along with very little depression and few if any suicidal thoughts for years until 2008. Things collapsed for me then. In 2007, we had a string of deaths in our lives:  One of my favorite football players was killed Jan 1st., Dr Bustamante, Kieth, Carly, Ray, Sam, Mrs Faust, My grandfather, Kit, my cousin, and even my dog.  I actually think there were a couple more but I cannot think of who it was. It was emotional turmoil. I was struggling so hard to manage and survive all the pain and heartbreak around me. The first week of January 2008, my husband told me that he no longer wanted to be married to me. That was it. After a year of crying for deaths, I felt like my life was over. I told him he could have the kids because I knew I would die. It wasn’t very long after that I was making a plan. I was drinking almost a bottle of wine every night. I was researching all my meds to see what combination would definitely kill me. I did NOT want to fail this too. I had failed everything in my life, or so I thought. My husband would yell at me daily to pull it together. That just made me worse. My eldest kid had no idea what to do. My husband would yell at me to go get help when I told him that I wanted to die but he never took me for help. I have no idea how many times I TOLD HIM THAT I WAS GOING TO KILL MYSELF. He never took my pills away, never spoke to our doctor, never asked anyone for help. Maybe he was hoping I would do it. I don’t know.

My turning point was being in the car with my youngest. Someone was passing someone else in front of me. I had to put on the brakes to avoid them. My first thought was to hit the gas and unbuckle. That would have been so easy. I had thought about driving off a mountain so many times. I didn’t want to fail my suicide. The only reason my brakes were used is my son was sitting next to me. That was my wake up call. I went to my doctor and was put on antidepressants and started working with the tools I had learned all those years ago. The ex got  angry that I “only went on meds” because he didn’t understand that I already had the tools. I gradually got better and when he eventually filed for divorce, I swore to him that I would not let him kill me.

Last year, I got my semi-colon tattoo for suicide awareness and prevention. My story is not over yet and I am determined to never let that demon take over in my life again. I will speak LOUDLY and PROUDLY of my success. I will be here for anyone that needs to talk. If I can save one life, it is worth the tears I cry every time I recall that pain and loneliness. I no longer am ashamed of having depression. It is not my fault. It is not a weakness. It should no longer be a stigma.

Advertisements