Let me begin by stating that I am a two-time suicide failure. My Depression was finally diagnosed as a chemical imbalance. Thankfully, with the proper medications and some very supportive people, the depression is mostly kept at bey. But there are still days when even breathing is almost more effort than it’s worth.
I come from a family who all exhibited signs of depression, but it was never discussed. When I had deep funk days, I was told to “quit feeling sorry for yourself” which, as you can imagine, was most helpful in alleviating the desire to disappear. And, no, I didn’t spend endless hours weeping. It was that nothing seemed to appeal to me in which I could feel happy. In fact, the first warning sign my parents actually took seriously was when I calmly swallowed all of my mother’s Valium right in front of her, because I was tired of, for lack of a better way to word it, not feeling. I felt nothing. No happiness, no joy, no excitement, no sadness…just nothing.
Two months in hospital and I was sent home with giant bottle of Prozac and a battery of appointments with psychiatrists, which I was told “cost money we shouldn’t have to be spending on such nonsense.”But I faithfully went to each appointment and just sat there saying nothing. I knew there was no way anyone could possibly understand and I knew the psychiatrist didn’t really care because he was getting paid by the hour whether I spoke or not. So we spent our time watching the clock.
My second attempt came when I was in my mid-thirties. I had been on Prozac and seemed to be functioning enough to finish college, get a job, get married, and become a Dad. We had our issues and fought almost constantly (first time she screeched at me was on our wedding day because I didn’t get the car door open for her fast enough and she got rice in her bodice). Everything came crashing down one night when I came home after working night shift to find everything in the house gone, including my daughter. I did find a note that contained only two words demanding that I perform an act upon myself which was, and is, biologically impossible.
In the hall closet was a coat I seldom wore. She had left me that much. In the pocket of that coat was a pistol. I took the pistol racked a round, put it to my head, pulled the trigger and heard *click*. Figuring it to be a misfire, due to the bargain ammo I had purchased for it, I tried again. Again, I got *click*. Then one of our mutual friends who knew me very well and knew my struggle with depression called because he had seen my car home and knew that my wife had gone. We talked, I told him what I was trying to do, he took me to the hospital, where I spent another 10 days (insurance wouldn’t cover anything over that).
So now, every day is taken day by day, because the struggle is still very real and very alive. I do take meds, which help, but there are still days that I feel absolutely nothing except the intense physical agony of just breathing.
“Depression is living in a body that fights to live with a mind that tries to die.” – Found On The Wall Of the Hospital Lavatory
Am I ashamed of struggling with depression? No. If my struggles can be of help to someone else, then I have had a purpose on this Earth.