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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. #16

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    I wish hugs and love were enough. Thank you all for sharing your battles but especially for Nik for starting the dialogue as well as HJ who did so on another thread. I watched my late sister deal with depression and self-medicate and I always felt helpless and powerless and those who love you often are. Hopefully RW death will not be in vain and people will not be afraid to reach out for help and to speak freely about the real pain depression and other mental health issues bring to the lives of good people. God bless you all.
    [

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  6. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Island Bob View Post
    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.
    All you can do is hang in there, Bob. I know you can beat the monsters. You already have. The next battle is just as winnable as all the others.
    This space for rent, inquire within.

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamy View Post
    I wish hugs and love were enough. Thank you all for sharing your battles but especially for Nik for starting the dialogue as well as HJ who did so on another thread. I watched my late sister deal with depression and self-medicate and I always felt helpless and powerless and those who love you often are. Hopefully RW death will not be in vain and people will not be afraid to reach out for help and to speak freely about the real pain depression and other mental health issues bring to the lives of good people. God bless you all.
    I can't say this with any degree of certainty, but I know that at least in my case, love is enough. Love for life, love for family. If not for my daughter's love, and my love for her, I doubt I'd still be here today. But I knew, even in my most messed up of times, that my death would leave a daddy sized hole in her heart that nothing would ever be able to fix. So I hung on for her until I was strong enough to hold on for myself.
    This space for rent, inquire within.

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  11. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Notorious View Post
    All you can do is hang in there, Bob. I know you can beat the monsters. You already have. The next battle is just as winnable as all the others.
    I have outlived Robin Williams. If my **** ever takes me down it will be inches before the goal line.

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  14. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Notorious View Post
    I can't say this with any degree of certainty, but I know that at least in my case, love is enough. Love for life, love for family. If not for my daughter's love, and my love for her, I doubt I'd still be here today. But I knew, even in my most messed up of times, that my death would leave a daddy sized hole in her heart that nothing would ever be able to fix. So I hung on for her until I was strong enough to hold on for myself.
    I have adored your stories about your sweet little girl over the years here Nik. I will keep you in my prayers. You're a good man. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us. I am so glad for the bond and love you both share.
    [

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  17. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamy View Post
    I have adored your stories about your sweet little girl over the years here Nik. I will keep you in my prayers. You're a good man. Thank you for sharing part of your life with us. I am so glad for the bond and love you both share.
    I was able to bring her out for a visit just last month. She was here with me for most all of July. The new stories I could tell would fill another thread.

    And thank you for your kind words. If I can help someone out there who is suffering, I'd share my entire life story.
    This space for rent, inquire within.

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  20. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Notorious View Post
    I was able to bring her out for a visit just last month. She was here with me for most all of July. The new stories I could tell would fill another thread.

    And thank you for your kind words. If I can help someone out there who is suffering, I'd share my entire life story.
    Excellent. I bet she loved it as did you I am sure. I remember you from the start and that little one was the light of your life. You are blessed. You have made a difference. Trust me.
    [

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamy View Post
    I wish hugs and love were enough. Thank you all for sharing your battles but especially for Nik for starting the dialogue as well as HJ who did so on another thread. I watched my late sister deal with depression and self-medicate and I always felt helpless and powerless and those who love you often are. Hopefully RW death will not be in vain and people will not be afraid to reach out for help and to speak freely about the real pain depression and other mental health issues bring to the lives of good people. God bless you all.

    Thank you Dreamy, it's really important to know that people care. So sorry about your sis. I wish I had some words, but I don't. I've had 2 close calls, but it was when I was very young and felt completely hopeless. The "secret" for me is knowing there is always hope. Unless I'm on my deathbed, and even then there is hope in a life beyond this one. I'm so very sad about RW, but like you said, hoping this tragedy will somehow be positive by encouraging people to talk about our fears, our hurts, our depression, our struggles with life. I'm very glad we have a Safe Haven where we can talk about things like this.



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  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyJude View Post
    Thank you Dreamy, it's really important to know that people care. So sorry about your sis. I wish I had some words, but I don't. I've had 2 close calls, but it was when I was very young and felt completely hopeless. The "secret" for me is knowing there is always hope. Unless I'm on my deathbed, and even then there is hope in a life beyond this one. I'm so very sad about RW, but like you said, hoping this tragedy will somehow be positive by encouraging people to talk about our fears, our hurts, our depression, our struggles with life. I'm very glad we have a Safe Haven where we can talk about things like this.
    I am also glad there is this place. Thank you HJ. My sister did not commit suicide in the true sense but her addictions which I believe were the result of mental illness and depression did take her down and sadly the drugs killed her but in some ways her depression was really what led her to the addictions and then her death.I believe much of those who abuse are self-medicating to relieve the pain mental illness brings.
    [

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  28. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamy View Post
    I am also glad there is this place. Thank you HJ. My sister did not commit suicide in the true sense but her addictions which I believe were the result of mental illness and depression did take her down and sadly the drugs killed her but in some ways her depression was really what led her to the addictions and then her death.I believe much of those who abuse are self-medicating to relieve the pain mental illness brings.
    I think you are right about that, Dreamy.



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  30. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Notorious View Post
    All you can do is hang in there, Bob. I know you can beat the monsters. You already have. The next battle is just as winnable as all the others.
    Thank you Nik, you are a champion.

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  32. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamy View Post
    I am also glad there is this place. Thank you HJ. My sister did not commit suicide in the true sense but her addictions which I believe were the result of mental illness and depression did take her down and sadly the drugs killed her but in some ways her depression was really what led her to the addictions and then her death.I believe much of those who abuse are self-medicating to relieve the pain mental illness brings.
    It sucks.
    I've dealt with more of that than most people can stand. (well I am still kind of standing)
    What do you need? I'm there.
    Last edited by Long Island Bob; August 13th, 2014 at 8:30 am.

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  35. #28
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    Today, when I woke up, my issues were shouting at me... despair... loss, no solution.

    Then, my phone rang and I was offered a job. I did a phone interview on Monday and I did a live interview yesterday. They said I'd hear from them at the end of this week. They called me 21 hours after the interview. For now, my spirits are boosted.

    7 days ago, I tried to end it and today, my life has change. I'm not at 180 yet but I'm stepping in the right direction. I'm going to take the elation of that phone call and hold on to it.

    And as I'm typing this, another company where I did a preliminary exam yesterday, just called me for a phone interview.

    The light shines.

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

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  37. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyTheranna View Post
    Today, when I woke up, my issues were shouting at me... despair... loss, no solution.

    Then, my phone rang and I was offered a job. I did a phone interview on Monday and I did a live interview yesterday. They said I'd hear from them at the end of this week. They called me 21 hours after the interview. For now, my spirits are boosted.

    7 days ago, I tried to end it and today, my life has change. I'm not at 180 yet but I'm stepping in the right direction. I'm going to take the elation of that phone call and hold on to it.

    And as I'm typing this, another company where I did a preliminary exam yesterday, just called me for a phone interview.

    The light shines.
    The evidence has made itself clear.
    You rock!
    Sooner or later the world would recognize that fact.

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  40. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyTheranna View Post
    Today, when I woke up, my issues were shouting at me... despair... loss, no solution.

    Then, my phone rang and I was offered a job. I did a phone interview on Monday and I did a live interview yesterday. They said I'd hear from them at the end of this week. They called me 21 hours after the interview. For now, my spirits are boosted.

    7 days ago, I tried to end it and today, my life has change. I'm not at 180 yet but I'm stepping in the right direction. I'm going to take the elation of that phone call and hold on to it.

    And as I'm typing this, another company where I did a preliminary exam yesterday, just called me for a phone interview.

    The light shines.
    You are not alone. Please know that. That light shining by the way? That light is you.

    So happy you are getting some positive feedback Lady! Yeah for you.
    [

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