Do you struggle like me with depression?

This blog is not one that I advertise to my family and friends.  I am free on this blog to post what I am really thinking and feeling.  So you can imagine to my horror when I created a post earlier and ended up sending it out on my main site: wadleystheology.wordpress.com.  It wasn’t anything major, just thoughts that were not intended for my family to read.  That being said, I want to switch gears to a new topic that I rarely, if ever talk about: depression.

I don’t know how many people in the world struggle with depression.  I don’t know if it is something that is more prevalent in Western style nations where consumerism rules the day and the value of the individual out weighs the value of the community.  Regardless, I struggle with depression.

bed depressionIt hits me in spurts.  In the past 7 days I have been hit with it three times, typically lasting most of the day and sometimes carrying over into the next day.  Nothing happens to trigger it that I can tell.  All of a sudden I feel very sad and it literally feels like a soft ton of bricks has been attached to my entire body.  I want to crawl into a bed (comfortable or uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter) and lay there…thinking…letting it consume me.  Sometimes it hits with thoughts of suicide if I am having a particularly difficult day where problems or conflicts are arising – regardless of the outcomes or how genuinely serious they are.

This year has been a rough year so far with depression.  I changed jobs this past January and took a $20K pay cut to do so.  I work in the government contract world where you desire job security but that security only last as long as the contract.  In this case I left a contract that only had a year guarantee for a contract with a four year guarantee.  In doing that I also gave up on moving back closer to family in the southeast, as well as starting my own business.  My wife and I had already made plans to make a go of things without a set job in place to put food on the table.  But I took this job in the hopes that it would lead to more opportunities.  Once here, I realized that this job is a dead end as well.  The depression hit fairly quickly and super heavy.

Back in October I had some rough patches and we ended up selling our shotgun because I knew that if it stayed in the house I would kill myself with it.  Guys go big when we commit suicide.  We won’t typically take pills or slice our wrist.  We use guns and ropes.  We want immediate relief and release.  When I was sitting on my back porch holding one of my sons after scaring the ever-living daylights out of my wife and other son through my seething anger (no physical violence but the intensity of my anger would definitely fall into the abusive category in anybody’s house), and I debated going into our closet to get the shotgun and end my life, I knew it had to go.

That was not a turning point for me though.  It wasn’t until about a month and a half ago when another anger episode hit coupled with my vice/sin of looking at pornography reared its ugly head that my wife threatened to leave me if I didn’t get help.  I called a couple of buddies of mine who have been there for me through the years and they both basically called me out.

They said I was being selfish and indirectly it made me realize that they were right, and that I had created the misery I was in by my choices.  I chose to move to the Southwest to chase money in hopes of providing for my family.  I chose to have four children.  I chose to get married.  I chose to look at porn.  I chose to give up on moving back to TN to start my own business.  If I don’t like my life then I need to point the finger at myself.  Own my mistakes.  Own my decisions.  Stop being selfish, and move forward by realizing that I am never going to be this amazing guy that I have always been told I would be, or that I believe I would be.  If all that I can do in life is work a fork-life (I don’t currently, just hypothetically) then I need to accept that and get over myself.

I had setup an appointment to see a counselor with the Department of Veterans Affairs but I canceled that in order to take a test for a job that I am trying to get selected for.  I need to follow-up with a local counselor, but I have yet to do it.  Things have been better for a while, but one thing that is huge for me is SLEEP.  If I am sleep deprived then my emotions get crazy, depression and anger kick in, and I am good for nothing but to be kicked to the curb.

My wife is aware of this now too.  My schedule varies from day to day so on days when I ask for a nap in the afternoon after having to wake up at 4:00 a.m. in order to get to work on time she typically is understanding.

This is a complicated issue, depression.  If it is something that you struggle with I highly encourage you to talk to those close to you and tell them that you need help.  Tell them not to give you a shoulder to cry on but to give you the truth and to kick your butt verbally and physically if they have to.

And if you are in the middle of trying to follow through with a suicide then STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You are lying to yourself and things can get better.  Sleep it off.  Go help someone else who is in need.  Exercise and coaching tee ball have helped me tremendously in getting over some of my rough days the past three weeks.

bear hugAnd remember, I love you.  You are a stranger to me, but I love you.  My God loves me and tells me to love other people in the same way – unconditionally.  If I could reach through this computer and give you a hug I would bear hug you so tightly that the love would squeeze out of all of your orifices.  Don’t visualize that, it is pleasantly nasty.

Ok.  Enough said.  Thanks for reading.

Keith

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