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    Default My own battle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

    In light of Robin Williams death, I thought that I'd like to share my own story. I've seen a lot of differing reactions out there, and one thing is clear to me. Some people still don't get it. Clinical depression, being suicidal, isn't something we can just get over. It's not about just being sad. It doesn't matter what, or who, we are surrounded by. Money can't cure it. Fame and respect don't soothe it. A box full of kittens won't ease it. Being that depressed is being fundamentally broken on the inside.

    My own story starts as a teenager. I was an angry child. I had rage issue. I hated myself, even though I never really could pin down why. Back then, it was just brushed aside as common teenage angst. Something I'd grow out of someday. And I did. Or, I thought I did. Adulthood brought me some good friends, good jobs, and eventually a wife and child. I was happy. The demons, however, never really went away. Even in my happiness, I found myself wondering if everyone would be better without me in their lives. They don't really like you, I thought. They just pretend to laugh at your jokes. If you weren't related to them, your family wouldn't choose you. For the most part, I was able to fight those thoughts off. I didn't really take them all that seriously. And anyway, I was too busy drinking those voices into oblivion to pay them any mind.

    Yeah, I drank. A lot. I had to do something to deal with my increasing feelings of self loathing. As you might expect, it didn't help. It only made things worse. To make a long story, well, slightly less long, I wound not drinking away my emotions, but my family instead. I lost almost everything. The wife and daughter I thought I'd never have moved away. So I withdrew from the world, drinking and licking my wounds. That's when the demons really kicked into high gear. All that old self hatred came back in a big way. "See," they told me, "we were right. You are worthless. You screwed it all up, just like we said you would." So I drank more to shut them up.

    Finally, I wound up on a couch at my mother's apartment. There, roughly two years ago, I gave up. I won't call what I did an actual suicide attempt, but I knew that I could die from my actions, and I didn't care. I drank all the beer I could afford to drink, then added a handful of pills into the mix. Then another. Vicodin, Zanax, whatever I could find. I never said to myself, I'm going to die today, but I sure as hell didn't care if I did.

    I came to two days later. I wish I could say my experience was uneventful, but it was not. I lashed out. I said things I can never take back. I nearly drove away my entire family. But I lived. Everything I did, all the things I said, that damage is repairable because I lived. Had I not, the last memory loved ones would have had of me would be that of a hateful, drunken fool, doing his best to hurt them. Thankfully, that's not the case. Call it the grace of god, call it dumb luck, call it what you will, but I'm still here.

    Since that day, life has improved a great deal. I went on to find another good job. I've made some good friends. Hell, I even managed to fall in love again, even if it didn't last. I've carved out a nice life for myself. Here's the thing, though. I'm not cured. My depression didn't magically go away. In moments of weakness, I can still feel like I don't deserve any of it. I still feel guilty for the things I've done, and that I'm the only one that can properly punish myself for them. But now I know I'm strong enough to fight those thoughts.

    This is how I look at it. I'm on a winning streak. I've beaten suicide for thirty five years now. I beat it this morning when I rose from bed. I beat it just now when I took that breath. I have to stay on guard, though. I'm the one that has to keep winning, because suicide only has to win the once. So I take the small victories and run with them.

    My point in all this, if I have one, is to let folks know that they aren't alone. There are others out there who are going through what you are going through. I don't know the exact nature of your pain. I probably never will. But I know what it can do to you if you let it. And I'm telling you today, you don't have to let it. Reach out to someone. Call the suicide hotline. Look online for like minded people that can help. Just don't go through this thing you have alone, because alone, the odds aren't in your favor. Know that you are strong. Know that you are loved. Know that you deserve the good things you have in your life. And if you feel like you don't have anything good yet, know that those things are coming. As a teenager, I thought I'd never be truly happy. I had to wait a while, but I did find that happiness. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait. So please, don't go through this alone. You are stronger than you realize. After all all, you've been beating suicide your entire life.
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    An inspiring testimonial Nik, thank you.... i have a similar story but i didn't loose everything before i came to terms with my shortcomings but the suffering was intense anyway. At the height of my depression i nearly took my life but found a way through to the other side. Some in my family and group of friends were not so fortunate.
    Get busy living or get busy dying, your choice..this is something i tell myself every morning in the mirror and i also say the Serenity Prayer.
    Blessings for your health and happiness Nik.
    We are all interconnected, please be kind.

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    The news of Robin Williams' death & thread are making me cry, Nik.

    I'm glad you survived your battle & are alive to post your experiences w us.

    Be well.

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    I'm *****footing around sharing my own struggles. I will say this. I can go for months, just fine. But there are moments... stretches of days when the battle is daily... where I teeter on the edge. I usually can pull myself back but there are moments when I can't pull back. I've gone over the edge twice... and I had a thorough plan for ending it another time.

    Robin Williams' death strikes a chord... asphyxiation was my last attempt as well, different but close.

    Today is a so so day. And tomorrow, I'll wake up and fight through in order to live, I hope. My friends in the know have made me promise to reach out to them before doing something final. But the thought is there, it floats around.

    Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God - Maya Angelou - 2014-05-23

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    Great post, Nik, thanks so much for posting your experience and struggles with depression. I've been in that deep dark pit, and spent many years trying to get out of it. But like you said, I have to stay on guard to prevent myself from ever getting back into that damned black hole again. I still have bouts of depression, but I'm able to get out of it fairly quickly now. I got very depressed yesterday after hearing about Robin Williams, but I'm okay today. I monitor my "self-talk" every day, countering the negative thoughts with positive thoughts, reminding myself there is always hope, and daily prayers detailing everything I am thankful for.



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    now I know why you lashed out at my stupid post in the Williams thread. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I too am suffering depression, not real deep, but it's there all the time. I think my son is suffering too. stay strong!

    I'm sorry I drug politics into that thread and I'll delete it. so insensitive, which I tend to be anyway. thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyTheranna View Post
    I'm *****footing around sharing my own struggles. I will say this. I can go for months, just fine. But there are moments... stretches of days when the battle is daily... where I teeter on the edge. I usually can pull myself back but there are moments when I can't pull back. I've gone over the edge twice... and I had a thorough plan for ending it another time.

    Robin Williams' death strikes a chord... asphyxiation was my last attempt as well, different but close.

    Today is a so so day. And tomorrow, I'll wake up and fight through in order to live, I hope. My friends in the know have made me promise to reach out to them before doing something final. But the thought is there, it floats around.
    Keep fighting the good fight, Lady, and never give up hope. I get that "floating around" thought too, but it's just a thought. I heard a preacher say, "It's one thing for a bird to land on your head, and another thing to let that bird build a nest in your hair." Lady, when the suicide bird lands on your head, shooo him away. Don't let him build a nest in your hair.



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    Quote Originally Posted by shamrock View Post
    now I know why you lashed out at my stupid post in the Williams thread. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I too am suffering depression, not real deep, but it's there all the time. I think my son is suffering too. stay strong!

    I'm sorry I drug politics into that thread and I'll delete it. so insensitive, which I tend to be anyway. thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
    I'm also sorry, shamrock. I jumped in with both feet on your post, and I probably shouldn't have. You don't have to delete anything on my account. I appreciate your apology, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge Bob View Post
    The news of Robin Williams' death & thread are making me cry, Nik.

    I'm glad you survived your battle & are alive to post your experiences w us.

    Be well.
    I will, thank you. I'm not cured, but I'm better. Well enough, at least, to know I want to help others like me. I hope other posters see that I didn't create this thread to grandstand. I honestly and truly want to help. But other than starting this thread, and maybe posting some stuff on Facebook, I just don't know how.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyTheranna View Post
    I'm *****footing around sharing my own struggles. I will say this. I can go for months, just fine. But there are moments... stretches of days when the battle is daily... where I teeter on the edge. I usually can pull myself back but there are moments when I can't pull back. I've gone over the edge twice... and I had a thorough plan for ending it another time.

    Robin Williams' death strikes a chord... asphyxiation was my last attempt as well, different but close.

    Today is a so so day. And tomorrow, I'll wake up and fight through in order to live, I hope. My friends in the know have made me promise to reach out to them before doing something final. But the thought is there, it floats around.
    I know what you mean, Lady T. The fight never really stops. All we can do is win the little victories. We can drag this war out, because the longer we fight, the longer we are alive to fight.
    This space for rent, inquire within.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Notorious View Post
    I will, thank you. I'm not cured, but I'm better. Well enough, at least, to know I want to help others like me. I hope other posters see that I didn't create this thread to grandstand. I honestly and truly want to help. But other than starting this thread, and maybe posting some stuff on Facebook, I just don't know how.
    What i did when i got clean and sober and some strength back was speak at meetings..AA, NA and Alanon and anywhere that held meetings for people in crisis. Still do it some 25 years later. You'll find your nitch.
    We are all interconnected, please be kind.

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  32. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonnie Lou View Post
    What i did when i got clean and sober and some strength back was speak at meetings..AA, NA and Alanon and anywhere that held meetings for people in crisis. Still do it some 25 years later. You'll find your nitch.
    I'm glad you are out there helping out. We need more people out there willing to speak up about this.
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    A very strong OP, Nik. Took a lot of courage to post that.

    I had my struggles when I was younger, mostly because I was savagely bullied throughout my entire childhood. I had very little self worth and thought of ending it, but I sought help and recovered strongly. My depression was situational, once the situation improved my mentation did.

    For some folks though, it never resolves.

    I always thought of being in a situation like that, where I knew it was going to bother me and affect me for the remainder of my days, what would I do?

    Personally, if my chemistry was that botched I would abandon all hope of a "normal" life and do the extraordinary, forget all worldly aspirations and dedicate my life to helping others. Join the Peace Corps, work for a Soup Kitchen, become a Priest.

    If my life was going to be torment, my revenge would be to make other's lives better until my dying breath, as an old man.

    This is the key thing, a life has to have MEANING. There is nothing stopping anyone from having an extraordinary life if they are willing to forego personal needs and security. To die after a full life of caring for others despite your own anguish is incredibly noble to me, and its always an option. Being dead means that cannot happen, all of those people who would benefit from you would miss out.

    Being dead solves nothing. Robin Williams could have done so much good by just giving it all away and devoting himself to making others happy and secure. That meaning would have been more than enough to get up every morning and face the day, no matter how bad things seemed.

    Hang in there, bud. Life is for the living and you are among them, there is no reason to ever quit.
    People will tell you anything but what they do is always the truth. P. J. O'Rourke

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    Amen, torey. Outstanding post, thank you.
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    Nik (and others).
    your description was a good one. I too battle with depression and alcohol.

    I am sober most of the time,
    and not depressed most of the time.

    But ya never know when those monsters will come back.

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