One year ago today my brother committed suicide. Although he fought hard, he was not able to overcome his disease and insurmountable suffering. On September 28, 2013 Tony lost his battle with his demons. Several months before he died he wrote this story. He said he hoped it would help others better understand depression. I want to honor his wish by sharing this. Perhaps someone will recognize this pain and these signs in themselves or a loved one and with the right treatment there will be a different outcome.
DEPRESSION: ONE MANS STORY
It’s hard to figure where to begin. I’ll start where my life is now. My soon to be ex-wife says for the last two years I spent it in bed. Not able to be there for her or our beautiful twin boys. She fails to see that I wasn’t there for myself. Some days it hurt just to breath. I can’t repute her take on the situation, she’s correct in what she said. For the life of me I haven’t been able to understand what happened to myself. Don’t get me wrong I’ve dealt or not dealt with my depression since I was 3 or 4 yrs. old. Then about three months ago she moved out. Her being a nurse I would expect her to know more than she showed about depression.
Months after she left she admitted to myself that she should have been supportive of my situation. On or about April 15, 2013 I attempted to overdose. I wasn’t looking for attention I just wanted to stop the pain. People don’t realize that no one wants to die they just want the pain to stop! Throughout my life I have attempted to stop the pain by taking my own life. The first time I was only 8 yrs. old. This last time was 3 or 4 months ago. How did I get here? I grew up in a physically, sexually and mentally abusive home. My father, who still haunts me (even though he went to hell when I was 19) was an evil man. Growing up I watched him attempt to kill my mother at least twice. I watched him beat her. When he was beating one of the children, she would get in between us and take the beating. He abused all six of us in different ways.
That still sticks with me. Being the youngest he had mellowed out. So you can imagine what my siblings had to suffer. While suffering such abuse it made me feel ashamed and useless. I would avoid eye contact with everyone. I would stare at my feet while out in public. I felt like everyone knew what was going on and I was ashamed. I take responsibility for not fixing myself after 47 yrs. There is no one else to blame. I’ve lived thinking I was the only one that felt ashamed, that I was no good, that my life sucked and it always will. I have learned that my safe place, tucked in bed under the covers where the demons that haunt me can’t hurt me is common among people that suffer the DISEASE called depression.Depression is a disease.
Ask yourself this, why would anyone want to be depressed? It doesn’t make sense. Who says I want to get Cancer or MS or any other debilitating disease? No one! Some have a misunderstanding of depression. They think “just get over it or pull yourself up, stop feeling sorry for yourself.” Let me reiterate IT IS NOT A CHOICE TO HAVE DEPRESSION! I can honestly say I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. Probably still fighting my demons. I hope in some way my story has helped some, both people with depression and those that don’t understand it. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes you really don’t know what they have endured.