How are you doing? That's a pretty easy question to answer, isn't it? We answer that question at least a dozen times a day. The most common answer to that question is either "fine" or "well". Truthfully, that is not aways the case. It is the easiest way into and out of the conversation that a lot of us either don't want to have or don't really want to know the answer to.
I've answered that question thousands of times in my 55 years on this planet. And for decades, I was flat out lying about it. I wasn't fine or well. The fact of the matter is, I was pretty fucked up. I didn't know this at the time, but I had been battling depression and anxiety since childhood. There were many factors that came into play. I'm not too for sure how comfortable I am about going into all of the gory details. Perhaps, once I let loose here, I will become more willing to elaborate.
I'd like to start with this. Since being diagnosed and subsequently treated for depression and anxiety, I learned a few things about them. One thing I learned is, everybody's situation is different. We can either relate to another individual's situation or we can't, but what they are feeling is absolutely real. Another thing I learned is, none of this is a competiton.
As humans, we tend to compare things. What may have been a walk in the park for you or I could be the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. And perhaps it isn't just one thing that caused the depression or anxiety but rather a series of events that went untreated and the trauma manifested as depression and anxiety.
A third thing I learned is, nobody afflicted with mental health issues is walking around with a big ass stamp on their forehead notifying the general public that one is afflicted with any mental health issues. I'm no doctor. I won't pretend to be. I'm guessing that there are dozens of different diagnoses and I am guessing that there just as many ways to treat these illnesses.
The 4th thing I learned about mental health issues is, most of the cases go undetected/undiagnosed for various reasons.
What I'd like to do is to open a dialog about mental health issues. I know how personal these things can be. I'd like to be able to let afflicted individuals know that it is okay to seek professional help. It is also okay to talk to a friend or, you can talk to me. I will do what I can to help you find the help you need. I would also like to say that it isn't necessary to struggle with this trauma.
We as humans have the ability to just suppress all of the shit that happens to us, and try to move along. Trauma after undealt with trauma, we keep plugging away and eventually something pops. This "pop" is as different as all of the different trauma that helped cause the mental illness.
Again, these trauma are not comparable. They are however very real. If something happened to you and it is affecting the rest of your life, it is an issue and it is very real! Nobody gets to take that away from you. Nobody gets to discount what happened to you and at the same time, your trauma nor the depression has to be your identity!
Before I go any further, I would like to clarify that I am not a doctor or a clinician. I am not qualified to diagnose or treat any diseases. I am however a person whose been battling this shit for as long as I can remember. It's been brutal but I have found some peace and I want that very same thing for every person out there.
Okay, now I am warming up a little bit so let us get to the meat of the sitatuation. I'll do what I can to stay on point. Please remember that I am 55 years of age, and trying to write all of my history on this blog would be nearly impossible. I am going to start with being diagnosed...
Getting diagnosed was one of the hardest things I ever did. I did it easily 20 years before I actually did anything towards getting help. I guess I am kind of a hard learner and I had to get everything about as fucked up as it could be before I got help. I put my life, my family and marriage on the line before I pulled my head out of my ass, manned up and sought professional help. Statistics show that a lot of us do that. As it turns out, we aren't too special in those regards.
So, trying to get the balls to actually stepping up and doing something about this... My wife and I had more than a couple of discussions about depression and how it might be affecting me. She could tell something was amiss and the easiest and most straight forward way of getting to the bottom of anything is to have a discussion. Like I said, we had a few discussions before I finally decided to go see our family physician.
I chose this avenue as my ice breaker because I had a good report with my doctor. I called and made an appointment and only briefly suggested that it had anything to do with my mental health. For one reason or another, the receptionist scheduled my appointment as the last one on one of my days off.
I wandered into the office waiting room and took a seat. Nobody else was around. The nurse came out and invited me back. She asked me what was going on and I just said, "I don't feel right". She took my blood pressure, listened to my lungs... all of the regular stuff they do and told me that the doctor would be in to see me.
Doc walks in, shakes my hand and said, "What's going on?" I tell him that I thought that I was depressed but I didn't know why. I discussed that I had recently lost my father and before that I lost my grandfather on my maternal side. He suggested that those are valid reasons for a guy to find himself depressed. I said, "Don't we just process this shit and get over it?" He said a couple of things. The first was, "Is anything that easy?" and "Chances are that there are many things that caused this."
We talked for a few more minutes and he suggested that I take this quiz. He handed me this multiple choice test, just like the ones we used to take in elementary school. His instructions were, "Be as honest as you can with these questions, and take your time."
I ripped through the quiz quickly. He took the quiz and excused himself for a couple of minutes. When he came back into the examination room, he had a differnt look on his face. More somber than I had ever seen him look before. He sat down in front of me on his stool and said, "Brice, you scored a 90% on this quiz, and that isn't good. This test shows that you are "clinically depressed". That scared the shit out of me. I thought I was off to the psyche ward where they would dope me up and throw away the key. (By the way, nowadays my diagnosis is something like "severe depression disorder w/ anxiety.)
I looked at him and said, "Now what?" We discussed a game plan which was going to include an antidepressant and speaking to a therapist, when I got more comfortable. We agreed on the path that we were going to take and off the drug store I went.
Seeing the doctor took a little sting out of things. He assured me that I was not "psycho", that sometimes "things pile up" and that we often need help getting out of the weeds. I liked that better than saying I was fucked up... but I was fucked up. I started taking the antidepressant and that too took just a little bit of the edge off of things. And as I normally do, I stopped with furthering my treatment. I just kept taking the pills and assumed all of my shit would just go away.
It doesn't work that way.
I kept taking the antidepressant. Through the years we adjusted the amount I was taking but I neglected to follow up with a mental health professional. And, although the meds relieved a little bit of the pressure, other things were happening that I was not properly dealing with. (I refer to this as the shit heap.)
I had a shit heap. Now I was adding to the shit heap. It was easier to just toss another load on to the top of the heap than it was to effectively deal with these things. Some, even most of these things were out of my control. That was part of the issue,I would later learn... but that is why I just kind of tossed them on top of the pile. (out right lies, broken promises and no way to really hold anyone accountable were some of the things that went into the heap.)
By this time, my little family began to grow. With that, more things. More stress. If you're a parent, you know. Now, my past... my work, my family, myself and the shit heap were the things that I needed to take care of. I concentrated on my family and my job. I was married to my job as well and even early on with my career, there were issues. I knew something was wrong. I couldn't see it, but I could feel it in my gut. Maybe previous experiences were trying to turn a light on for me. I don't know. Naturally, this too added to the heap.
A second child was introduced into my little world. I figured we already had the family starter kit, might as well round it out. Life was good. On paper, I was living the dream. A wife, a couple of kids, a house with a white picket fence. All of that was great. And I was still packing around an untreated mental illness. This was the least of my worries.
I ended up losing my maternal grandfather. I learned more about life from this man than I did from any other person. He was my go to guy for all things. There never was any judgement, just support and advice. Did I ever let him down? I'm positive of that, but he was there to teach me how to right the ship. Now that's gone. I didn't feel "alone" so to speak. I did still have my dad, but his and my relationship was almost always contentious. (There is a lot more to this relationship than I am not going to get into now. You'll just have to trust me.) He and I struggled to have anything that resembled a normal relationship. Truthfully, we were far from that but he was my dad. I loved him and needed him.
Shortly after this, my dad died. Despite our on again/off again relationship, I needed him. I needed him professionally (since I worked for him) and I needed him personally. I had 1000 questions that I had been meaning to ask him, and now I couldn't.
Depression started getting real thick and dark. I began drinking more than I should. I wasn't eating right. One bad habit lead to another. Depression was fueling it all. And it got real bad when I went to the doctors office for a regular check up.
My blood work all came back upside down. Good cholesterol was bad, bad cholesterol was bad. I was deficient in many minerals. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had ballooned to 365lbs. My blood pressure was upside down. I knew things were awful. My doctor sat me down and said, "You keep paying your bill and I will keep givng you the best medical advice money can buy. That's my job as your physician and I want to help you. But I can't do everything. You have got to do something or you'll end up dead."
Yeah, he was that blunt. And you'd think that a guy in my situation would straighten up and get to work. Not yet. Now was about the first time that I had a whole snap shot of the shit heap. This thing was massive, complied of dozens upon dozens of little problems. Looking at the heap, I just figured that there was nothing I could do at this point. What's scary is, I didn't really care.
I didn't want to leave my wife and kids alone. Suicide wasn't an option. I couldn't do that, but I reached a point where I didnt know if I had the ability to get out of the way of a vehicle traveling in my lane. That is surely the road I was on, but I also didn't have the energy or focus to address any of this. The heap was insurmountable. My thinking... "Fuck it" and I kept plugging along.
Deeper down the rabbit hole I went. I'm not for sure that I can paint an accurate picture here. You've got the shit heap to look at. I was exhausted. I was exhausted of playing like everything was okay. I am talking physically exhausted. It's a giant drain to pretend that things are okay when they really aren't. Helpless... Hopeless...Restless... and to almost everyone I knew, things appeared normal.
Work began to be an issue. I was getting in trouble for things that I didn't even do. Getting chewed out at work was pretty regular and far too often there were private discussions in the office about how easily replaced all of us were... I knew that didn't apply to "everyone". It was directed at me. I had a list of broken promises to reassure myself that this was headed in the wrong direction. There were more "promises' that were in line to be broken. I was the only guy keeping his word, and this shit started immediately after my dad died.
There were 2 reasons I moved to Wyoming. #1 was to try to build the relationship I wanted to have with my dad. The other was numerous promises about the future. All I had to do was come up here and learn the family business from the ground up.
As I anticipated, my dad and I started to have a couple small issues. Just regular disagreements on a personal level, not professional. Professionally, I was wired pretty tight when I got to Wyoming, or so I felt. I knew how to work hard. I was a good listener and I was a team player. Whenever any barback or doorman called in sick, I would be at the bar in a moments notice. So professionally, things were fine.
The first fall, my dad wanted to build a barn for his horses. He asked for my help and obviously it had to be done around my work schedule. Every day for a couple of weeks I was working at the bar and then hand digging the footers for the barn. Again, I had no problem with that. Working with the old man presented some challenges but for the most part, it was fine.
I had 2 consecutive days off on the schedule. I asked if I could take one to go fishing. The old man agreed. The morning that I was going to go fishing unraveled in a way that I never saw coming. I don't know what was going on in my dad's mind... I woke up, walked to the garage and grabbed my fishing gear and my ice chest. I fired up the truck and went inside the house to grab a sandwich and a 6 pack. As I came out of the house, my dad was walking towards me. His color was off... he didn't look like himself. As he approached wearing his carpenters belt/bags, he grabbed a hammer and told me to "get my ass on the working end of a shovel".
He was pissed off! He was talking through gritted teeth and walking towards me with that hammer in his hands. I knew that I wasn't going to let him assualt me with a hammer. I didn't even know if it was going to come to that, but it sure as hell looked like it. I told him, "Drop that fucking hammer. If you want to talk or fight, we can do that but you don't get to act like you're going to hit me with a hammer." He kept coming. I grabbed my pistol off of the seat of my truck. I said, "Go ahead and fucking try me and see what happens."
My mind was racing through the roll-o-dex of things my dad and I had fought over in the past. It just kept spinning and in the mean time, I was trying to figure out what in the fuck brought all of this on. 24 hours ago, we had an agreement. Now he wants to come at me with a hammer? Things that I had totally forgotten about were flashing right before my eyes. I was reliving all of them in fast forward.
I was sick to my stomach. I thought I was going to have to shoot him. No frigging way was I going to get my ass kicked with a hammer. Especially not by him. This was my dad, and if we couldn't have a simple discussion or even an argument without the threat of violence, what did we have? (Can you imagine the thought of having to shoot your own father? I'm disgusted by that and everything about it.)
His demeanor changed. I don't know if he came to his senses or what. He lowered the hammer, turned and walked towards the barn. I followed him, asking him what in the hell was the matter... He looked at me and said, "Just go fishing."
This was my first opportunity to hit the road and leave Jackson. I wanted too. I also wanted a relationship with my dad. No way was I ever going to be able to forget this. Would this happen again? When? I didn't know. The next year or two, things got better. I was out of his hair and personal space. I had moved in with my girlfriend (soon to be wife).
There were a couple of opportunities for me to leave after we got married. I won't get into those details here... they involve other people and I am not going to drag them into this.
I was managing the bar by now. All of the promises kept coming my way. I don't know if this was his and his business partners way of keeping me around or what. I began to feel as if I was being bullshitted. The promises, no matter how plentiful or no matter who they came from just started to smell like bullshit. I could taste it and since I could taste it, I couldn't help but stand up for myself again.
After he and I got into it face to face, I came home and told the wife that we were going to sell all of our shit and get the fuck out of here. It didn't really catch her off guard. She was kind of involved at this point, but I won't get into those details here. She was like, "Okay, what are we doing? Where are we going?" I told her "I'm tired of being fucked with and now he was fuckng with you and the kids... Ain't gonna happen."
Someone organized a meeting. Before the meeting, and I found this out way after the fact, my dad called and apologized to my wife and asked for forgiveness and begged her to not allow me to pack up and move. I quit trusting my gut and decided to stick around. I didn't see the manipulation. It was there and it bothered me, but I didn't see it as manipulation.
Our relationship improved. I don't know how or why but I am grateful. One thing for sure was, I was never, ever going to forget these 2 events. I started to become hypervigilant with him and business in general. I was going to try to keep our relationship close but I was also going to call the shots. I was still young. I figured that I could go anywhere and do anything for a living. Any place else would be more affordable and I was confident that I could find a job with a comparable wage.
Shortly after this, I had my first blow out with my dad's business partner. Ugly? Oh yeah. Plenty fucking ugly. I refer to this as the "baseball bat chat". Use your imagination. He was irate. Considering the circumstances, I understand the anger. It was a bad deal but there was no way that he could be that mad at me. Nonetheless, there we were.
Another incident happened not long after this. I told my family that I was going to quit. I told my dad that I was done. He gave me a week off to think about it. I imagine he and his partner talked about this. And again, for some dumb reason, I decided to stick it out after more promises.
I would later regret every opportunity I had to leave. To me, I kept looking like an asshole in front of my wife and kids. Its like I wouldn't be resepcted by them for not being able to make a decision and stick with it. I thought I was looking like "all talk and no action" to them. This was about the time that my mental health started to come unglued.
BACK TO THE STORY:
So now, my father died. Dynamics at the bar changed immediately. I didn't know what was happening between my step mother and the partners, but I was being treated differently. These little discussions about how easily any of us could be replaced started happening.
They erased every promise ever made by simply saying, "There are no promises..."
The partner and I got into a beef. Our second. This guy tunred into someone that seemed so foreign to me. We used to go hunting together, fishing together and now this... basically telling me that there are no promises and that I could be replaced in a second. Just like that... after all my years of dedication, I could be replaced just that quick?
What got me most about this was his talks about how important "family' is, and I was included in this "family". My family was included in this "family'. I realized that I was being manipulated and used. During this fight, I quit. I told him that I was done and he was done talking to me like that. I'd had enough.
His wife contacted me. She said she didn't want me to quit and that she didn't know what was going on but insisted that I take a week and just relax.
It was about the 2nd or 3rd day off and the partner showed up at the house. I thought he was going to want to have a "hammer chat" like my dad did. Instead, I saw another side of this guy. Softer than the good side. He apologized, told me to take as much time as I needed and that he wanted me back at the bar. I thanked him for stopping by and told him that I had to think about it.
Yeah, I went back. For years, I was promised that this place was going to be the only job that I would ever have to have. The joint would be mine one day. Of course that looked great to me. It was what I was focused on. It was the American Dream for me... and I worked for it.
I kept thinking about the staff... I kept thinking about the promises, even though I knew they were hollow. I kept thinking that if I walked away from this, it would be the final nail in my coffin. I felt "trapped" and I kind of think that they knew that.
So, now let me put this all back into persepctive. This was about when my physical health started to go to hell. I was packing on the pounds, eating shit food whenever I could and drinking way too much, way too often. A buddy of mine kept uring me to get into the gym. Another buddy kept getting on my about getting into the gym. I got into the gym, started making progress.
I went to see a dietician. I started to see the doctor on a more regular basis because checking in with him was the only thing that felt good. I'd drop 10 lbs or so between visits. Everntually, I lost over 100lbs. I was feeling good about that.
I had more good days than off days, but my off days were more dark. Kinks at work started to show up again between the business partners and myself. My stepmother was having issues as well. I felt as if they were trying to push me out of the way... then perhaps she (my stepmother) would follow.
I had a couple of hours in the gym a day. I was dedicated to at least this. This was my religion and my wife did everything she could to make sure this could happen. I think she was somewhat surprised by what was happening. To me, I found relief in the fact that my physical health was now in check.
Work or should I say interaction with the partners was leaving a sour taste in my mouth. There was nothing positive at this point. It was all negative. The shit heap turned into the mess that it had become and it was also ever present. My gut was telling me one thing and my mind was telling me the other. I fought with trying to appear normal, like I had my shit together, but I didn't. The energy I blew at the gym was my saving grace. After I'd lift for a couple of hours and listen to heavy metal, I didn't have the energy to think about some of the shit that I classified as petty.
My daily routine would be to wake up, help get this kids ready and send them down the road. Catch a nap, iron my work shirt, do some chores and then hit the gym. I was in the gym for about 2 hours a day. That was my time. Nobody got to interrupt that. It was were I felt best.
On this one particular day, I worked out real hard. Walked back into the locker room and noticed that I had 3 missed calls. That was pretty unusual. It was the partner... and he was pissed! The first message was mostly unintelligible but he was literally screaming at the top of his lungs. The second call I was able to make a little sense out of it.
It was the off season. We had off season entertainment which was typically of lesser quality than we usually had. Don't get me wrong, we showcased a lot of local talent and most were good but some weren't. For years, that's just the way it went. Now all of a sudden, he is pissed. He wasn't even in town and somehow (i know how) he found out that we had a bad night, business wise.
We had a talk about a year prior after having a bad band. It wasn't as much as them being bad, they were just rude and inconsiderate. He told me that I could fire the band if we had a similar circumstance.
Well, this wasn't that. This was different. It was just slow. It was slow all over town and he is yelling about how bad he heard the band sucked and that I was supposed to fire them and call the talkent agent and get a new one.
The thing is, he hired this band outside of the talent agent. He was responsible for the band, and they just werent that bad. Calling this talent agent and chewing his ass was barking up the wrong tree.
The third message was just more bullshit and he told me that he "didn't pay my cell phone bill so that I could not be in contact with him, whenever he needed". That was my que.... I knew this was going to end poorly. I sat there for a second before I hopped in the shower. I tried to form a reasonable response for when I called him back. By the time I got out of the shower, it was go time...
I called him back when I got outside of the gym. From the start, he was blaming me for shit that he did. I told him that he couldn't do that. Naturally that made things worse and my temperature kept rising. As he was yelling at me, I yelled back and I dared him to meet me at the bar. I told him that I quit and that I would sit and wait for him to personally hand him the keys.
I was going to kill him. I couldn't think of anything else. I have no doubt that if he would have shown up, I'd be writing this from a jail cell.
I remember hanging up. I called the wife and said, "Ill be home soon. I just quit and I am going to kill this fucking guy." Upon my wifes suggestion, I called to inform my step mom. She met me at the bar and tried to talk me out of it. I was shaking. I wanted to see this guy so fucking bad. Nobody had ever talked to me this way... Nobody that I ever had any respect for nor anyone who ever had any respect for me. 20 years of my life were given up to this joint and to these people, and all for nothing.... I knew this was how it was going to be since my dad died.
More ugly shit happened in the aftermath, but my step mom wouldn't quit trying to pound into my head how important it was that I not do anything that I would regret. "He's old. There is nothing in this for you, Brice. You can't hurt this old man...." I wanted to more than anything else. We managed to have a meeting after this, and it went just as you might think. I wanted this guy to try to touch me. I was going to fuck him up. Not only for this most recent thing, but the lies, the manipulation, the bullshit, for every person who I got in a fight for while protecting his shit... it was going to be ugly, but we never got that far.
Getting out of there was the best thing that I could have done. Timing sucked. I ended up finding another gig, but it wasn't paying the bills. We were living off of credit cards. The debt I once had was nothing compared to what we were accruing. I had side gigs which I had to dedicate more time to.
I was done mentally. Exhausted, frustrated, confused about everything. Mad at everything. Mad at everybody.
Then I hit rock bottom... I did the one thing I will always regret and never forgive myself for. Killing this dude would have been far easier to forgive myself for. I won't go into details, but its fucked up.
Now, I don't even know myself anymore. I knew I had to go get help if I was going to try to live anything resembling a normal life. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew I was going to have to tell the truth about everything to a therapist and pretty much anyone that had the time to listen. I know how lucky I am to have had my wife and kids stick it out. They could have left... turn the tides and I may have left, but she stuck by me. I owed her this. I owed my kids this and I finally felt as if I had to get something done.
I really didn't know what "fucked up" was until this point. I turned into a guy that I didn't know and certainly a guy that I didn't want to be. Like an addict, I had to get to rock bottom and man, I was lower than whale shit at this point.
I was so full of anxiety. I had no idea what was going to happen. I was mad... mostly at myself for letting things get this far out of line. I was mad for the damage I caused my family. I didn't know if they would be able to forgive me. It didn't seem realistic, but here we were.
I was seeing 2 therapists once a week. One to try to tighten up the family and the other to get to the bottom of my issues. We managed to work through the first therapist. In the mean time, the two therapists were communicating and trying to get me in the right lane.
Every visit to the therapist started out the same way. I'd tell the story, the whole story of my life from start to finish. The more I talked, the angrier I got.
Stress? Holy shit.... Un-fucking-believable stress and I brought it upon myself.
I showed up at the therapist office for my meeting. I said, "If you make me tell this story one more fucking time, I'm going to explode!" She looked at me and clamly explained what she was trying to get to. I didn't understand what she was trying to say or do. I was about to just give up. I felt hopeless.
After months of therapy, I was still mad, still holding on to the anger. The therapist asked, "Why Are you holding on to this anger?'' I said, "Its my fuel... I'll never let anyone fuck me over again. I will not ever be fucked over again." She rephrased the question. "What are you getting from holding on to this anger?" The word "Nothing" came out of my mouth, without even thinking about it and I literally felt this giant burden lifted from my shoulders. The shit heap was gone. I sat there with this dumbfounded look on my face in complete silence. The look on the therapists face said it all.... I asked, "Did you just feel that?" She said, "You certainly did." My life began to change right then.
I was far from out of the woods. I had a lot of work to do with my family (which was most important) and then continued work on myself. I started reading a self help book a week and would tell the therapist about it. She finally asked me to knock that off and just work on the things that I knew I had to take care of. She told me that she wasn't going to set an appointment for the following week. She went as far as to tell me, "I think we've gotten to the point where I can let you work on your own. Keep my card and call if you ever need a tune up."
This was about 11-12 years ago.
Do I still suffer with depression? I wouldn't say that I suffer much anymore. What I have has been identified. What was making me feel awful and now has an identity. A name and a face, if you will. I learned a few things that allow me to live my life and limit the amount of time that I feel depressed. Some things, even trivial things used to bother me for days, weeks and sometimes months. Now I have an off day. I've learned a few things that allow me to identify and process what I am feeling and I now have the ability to get that all squared away in a timely fashion... thankfully!
(I've heard so many people say, "I was depressed once." I don't believe that is accurate. Depressed, probably not but sad or grieving? I'd buy that. Sadness and grieving are just different animals. These things tend to pass with a bit of time. Depression is always there and all too often, we don't know what it is that causes this. Sometimes its a chemical imbalance... a series of events that we didn't properly deal with and sometimes its a combination of a lot of things, but it doesn't go away on its own.)
(I've also heard people say, "What do you have to be depressed about?" This was probably the most insensitive thing I ever heard one of my friends say to me. He wasn't trying to offend me. I think he was envious of what he believed my life to be like. I was married to the woman I love. I had kids that I loved. I had a "good" job. I had a house with the white picket fence.... On the outside, it looked as if I was living the American dream, or so he thought. On the inside, not so much. When I heard him say that, I just sat back and listened. "I can't even find a girlfriend worth sticking around for. I pay rent, not a mortgage. I have bills out the ass."
Apparently what he didn't notice was, I too had bills out the ass. I had a mortgage. I had insurance bills. I had car payments. My job wasn't as wonderful as he thought it was, and I had a thousand other things that were fucking with me every single day!"
Something that I feel is real important to say here is this. Nobody has the right to compare your life to theirs. They don't know YOUR life. All they know is what they can see. The things that happened to me may be a walk in the park compared to the stuff you've been through. These things are mine... they are my baggage and if I don't know how to properly digest them and put them away for good, they will sit and bother me for ever or until I learn how to process them. Ill never forget these things. You can't unring a bell. But I am better qualified to deal with these things now.
I don't know why we try to compare trauma or why we try to compare our lives to other peoples lives. Its one of the biggest disservices we can do. We cannot control other things. We can however control how we react to things. It might take a long time to learn this lesson. It did for me. For some damned reason, I thought I had to be in control of everything. I'm guessing that there are hundreds of variables daily that I have no control over, and that used to bother the shit out of me! Then I learned that some of these things don't even make a list of priorities of things to worry about and that I could control how I reacted and then effectively dealt with them.
And for the record, there are a lot of things that contributed to my depression that I did not mention. They are things that are very personal. In a face to face meeting, I would probably bring them up, but on here, I feel as if they are too personal.
In closing, I will say this. There is help avaiable for you if you are struggling with your mental health. There are many options and a good therapist can get you on the road to feeling a lot better. Don't be afraid to reach out to a friend, or me for that matter.
You're not a pussy for talking about your problems. You're injured, and its not like a broken bone. We can't put a cast on whats going on inside, but we can look at it and find a way to digest it, then accept it and then put it in the past. And, its hard... but if you're like me, once you "set the beast free" you won't be able to stop talking about it, once you make that initial break through.
The help is there. Please, please reach out. Suffering in silence is unnecessary. Its also unproductive and it gets in the way of celebrating all of life's little victories. Talk to someone... It was far easier for me to talk to a stranger (therapist) than it was someone I know. There is no judgement. Nobody is going to judge you.
I wish everyone who reads this the best in life. You do deserve it and you can have it if you work for it. It is the most rewarding thing I've ever done and I'd like for you to be able to enjoy that too.