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  1. #1
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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.
    This space for rent, inquire within.

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  3. #1141
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwil59 View Post
    Massachusetts? Seriously? I thought you were a southern lady my friend
    Originally, & hopefully some day Iíll return to Dixie.

    But right now Iíve a child in school & already relocated to be closer to the employerís new location. I donít want to disrupt her life moving around too much.

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  6. #1142
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderingrover View Post
    Interesting that I saw this tonight. I don't really come here that often, but I've just been diagnosed with severe depression today. I hesitate to even type this, because I know the labels that get put on this type of thing. As such, I've known something was wrong for a while (and suspected it was depression), but have been telling myself to buck up and deal with it since I had the stroke.

    I've never been actively suicidal per se, though there have been times I have been tempted to just lay off the meds I am taking for diabetes. At any rate, one of my friends (who has been in treatment for depression for a while and recognized the symptoms) basically told me I was going to the hospital today if he had to drag me kicking and screaming.

    Long story short, I went and am suppose to meet with someone next week to discuss long term treatment.

    I've accepted that there will be a lot of judgment, but at the same time I realize it is something that I have to deal with to truly get back into good health. I have been set up in a group therapy program that I start Monday night. We'll see how it goes.
    Hope your group therapy went well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge Bob View Post
    Hope your group therapy went well.
    Yes - that went well. I'm suppose to meet with the doctor today to go over overall treatment responses - so things seem to be progressing well.

    Thanks for the responses everyone. One thing that has kind of surprised me is just how many people are dealing with this. There were 10 in our group Monday, and it seemed like many of them knew several others who were dealing with it as well. And, of course, I've seen several in this thread who are dealing with it.
    Hurricane Donald is now a Category 5. Please take all proper safety measures.

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  11. #1144
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    Well, had my doctor appointment today. Now, I've got to have an MRI done and see a neurologist as well. When the Dr. was looking over my old MRI from the stroke, he said that one area of damage could potentially be causing this. He wants to see if there has been any further damage since, and work with the neurologist before deciding on medication levels and all of that, as the neurological component could play a significant role.
    Hurricane Donald is now a Category 5. Please take all proper safety measures.

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  14. #1145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge Bob View Post
    Originally, & hopefully some day I’ll return to Dixie.

    But right now I’ve a child in school & already relocated to be closer to the employer’s new location. I don’t want to disrupt her life moving around too much.

    I hear you my friend. We do miss you down here tho
    ďWrinkles will only go where the smiles have been. Ē
    ― Jimmy Buffett

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  17. #1146
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    Iíve got to give up soon (phone needs to go back on charger). I wouldnít be lying if I said I wasnít part of the problem here. I am.

    I got mad & lost it this morning with my husband. And maybe this is the final knell in an already strained relationship.

    I used a sick day yesterday due to migraine problems, which included vomiting. He seemed more concerned with me losing time from work than how I was doing.

    Iím in a different position, but Iíve been with the company for 20 years. Nice way to show concern for your spouse.

    Finally he was going on with our daughter about some expenditures, & I hear an old, oh so tired line ďI work hard for my moneyĒ, and just exploded with WHO DOESNíT?! and Pandemonium ensued.

    Iím tired of constant running of the mouth that really isnít constructive or helpful, that just serves to make one person feel better. He hasnít accepted me in years, if he ever did, & I can only change so much.

    Itís difficult to respect someone who runs his mouth & criticizes, all the while occupying a spot on a couch; chewing tobacco; & wondering why heís gaining so much weight.

    Why should anyone be with someone they donít even like? If itís not my hair, itís the wrong pair of glasses, or the wrong kind of smarts, or a health problem that nothing seems to help for very long, & Iím tired of doctor visits. Let him find someone he DOES like, DOES want to be in the same room.

    And outside interference hasnít helped. The stupid (instaban word) I have blocked just calls on another number.

    Maybe some people arenít meant to be married or family people at all. At 50 Iím too old & not attractive for that & sort of like life with dogs & cats, anyway.

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  19. #1147
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    Sponge, he's fired!

    Dump him, move on, go forward. He is the one not meant to be married or family people.

    Enjoy your last years with your daughter at home without this drag on your heart. The second half of your life can be a grand adventure with a free and happy mind, free of migraines, shared with your pets and adult daughter. I mean it.
    Take care and hugs.

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  21. #1148
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderingrover View Post
    Interesting that I saw this tonight. I don't really come here that often, but I've just been diagnosed with severe depression today. I hesitate to even type this, because I know the labels that get put on this type of thing. As such, I've known something was wrong for a while (and suspected it was depression), but have been telling myself to buck up and deal with it since I had the stroke.

    I've never been actively suicidal per se, though there have been times I have been tempted to just lay off the meds I am taking for diabetes. At any rate, one of my friends (who has been in treatment for depression for a while and recognized the symptoms) basically told me I was going to the hospital today if he had to drag me kicking and screaming.

    Long story short, I went and am suppose to meet with someone next week to discuss long term treatment.

    I've accepted that there will be a lot of judgment, but at the same time I realize it is something that I have to deal with to truly get back into good health. I have been set up in a group therapy program that I start Monday night. We'll see how it goes.
    I'm glad you're on the road to feeling better! The good news is that today's society is more understanding than you might think. The younger generations, especially, have become much more open about mental health. It's much more openly and compassionately discussed in society. While there will always be judgment from people who don't understand, there are also many more people who do understand. Some will open up about it, others try to carry it silently, but opening up can really help find the people who will be supportive. You are far, far, far from alone in this!
    ďI seek the truth. Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. Thatís who I am.Ē
    Words of Radiance

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  24. #1149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge Bob View Post
    I second that!

    I don't know if this will help anyone here.

    But usually, when I exercise, I listen to music.

    Last few times, I've just listened to the sounds of birds & traffic, and find it's been kind of nice. Even makes my walks more calm, serene.
    In some spiritual practices, "walking mediation" is a very real thing. Maybe you can look up tips on how to maximize that effect--I would guess it has a lot to do with mindfulness.
    ďI seek the truth. Wherever it may be, whoever may hold it. Thatís who I am.Ē
    Words of Radiance

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  27. #1150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sponge Bob View Post
    Iíve got to give up soon (phone needs to go back on charger). I wouldnít be lying if I said I wasnít part of the problem here. I am.

    I got mad & lost it this morning with my husband. And maybe this is the final knell in an already strained relationship.

    I used a sick day yesterday due to migraine problems, which included vomiting. He seemed more concerned with me losing time from work than how I was doing.

    Iím in a different position, but Iíve been with the company for 20 years. Nice way to show concern for your spouse.

    Finally he was going on with our daughter about some expenditures, & I hear an old, oh so tired line ďI work hard for my moneyĒ, and just exploded with WHO DOESNíT?! and Pandemonium ensued.

    Iím tired of constant running of the mouth that really isnít constructive or helpful, that just serves to make one person feel better. He hasnít accepted me in years, if he ever did, & I can only change so much.

    Itís difficult to respect someone who runs his mouth & criticizes, all the while occupying a spot on a couch; chewing tobacco; & wondering why heís gaining so much weight.

    Why should anyone be with someone they donít even like? If itís not my hair, itís the wrong pair of glasses, or the wrong kind of smarts, or a health problem that nothing seems to help for very long, & Iím tired of doctor visits. Let him find someone he DOES like, DOES want to be in the same room.

    And outside interference hasnít helped. The stupid (instaban word) I have blocked just calls on another number.

    Maybe some people arenít meant to be married or family people at all. At 50 Iím too old & not attractive for that & sort of like life with dogs & cats, anyway.
    SB, my friend, I hope you feel better soon. Duck
    This week under President Trump the DOW reached over 23000 & we're talking about something Trump said. WOW!

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