If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
I have suffered from depression since I have been a kid. The darkness that hung over me became more suffocating and debilitating every day I woke up. As a sixteen-year-old, I felt life was not worth the trouble. I went into my father’s room uncovered his Smith & Wesson 357 Magnum Revolver from the deep right-hand corner of the top drawer of his dresser. I grabbed a few bullets that were strung under his clothes in the same drawer and loaded the revolver. Walking slowly to his bed I sat, looked at the gun and placed the barrel of the gun gently in my mouth. The black steel was cold in my mouth and heavy on my tongue as it scraped across my teeth. I laid back placed my finger on the trigger and just laid there for about an hour.
Years passed as I continued to ineffectively carry the staggering weight of the world on my shoulders day by day while every night I would fall to sleep to the sounds of my mind screaming out the oh so familiar phrases like “you’re no good!”, “Nothing will change!”, “You’re a failure”, “Life is better without you”. Every morning I would wake up depressed as I realized I would have to face another day. I hated mirrors, windows or anything that would show my reflection. I hated myself, even worse I hated looking at myself.
Through out the years, I have gone to several funerals of friends who were more determined than myself in ending the voices in their heads. As I stood over their caskets I would find myself jealous. In the years that came, I found myself standing over my wife as she performed CPR on an 18-year-old neighbor who place a gun at an ‘X’ he carved into his chest with his little brothers pocket knife, and put a bullet through it. That day I stepped into reality. The romantic vision of a casket, funeral home, flowers and mourning loved ones were gone. What was playing out in front of me was a young man covered in blood, on his back patio, a parent wailing and screaming, while my wife’s CPR efforts escaped out the hole in his chest. Fifteen years later I still couldn’t believe that this young man gave up what I wanted to give up when I was 16; prom, graduation, marriage, college, children and more. However, I still found myself in my 40’s still trying to end my life, hoping my life insurance would pay out to take care of my wife and children. They would be better off with out me. Darkness still enveloped me and the internal conversation became deafening. I wanted out.
I found a way out. It was and continues to be a long process of trusting, talking, rediscovery, professional help and medication. I now can keep my head above water. Please understand that my chin still hits the water every now and again. Sometimes I even get a mouth full of water but I am not drowning. The internal conversation has changed to “You can do this.”, “It is worth it” and “You Got This!”
It was not an overnight solution but it was worth fighting for. If you are suffering from something similar please know you are not alone. There is help! Call a suicide hotline, talk to friends, get medical help and medication. Do something. What ever you do don’t give up. Life is AMAZING. Believe me!
I could not let this week go by without telling this story and encouraging all those that suffer. You can do this. Get the help you need!