I was just in a session at NorthernVoice that I both didn’t want to miss, and dreaded to go to: COPING DIGITALLY: Breaking Stigma and Healing Mental Illness Through Blogging and other Social Media.
Why? Because I’ve suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts since I was about 15-16, maybe earlier. It wasn’t until 2004 that I started getting real help for it.
Anyway, I’m sitting in the session, listening to the powerful, touching, raw, and open words from Airdrie, Tod, and Isabella, and it’s all welling up to the surface.
All the truths. Feeling like you don’t deserve the good things. That you’re a fake. That someday someone is going to say, “wait, this guy has no idea what he’s talking about…”
I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. There are some awesome (really awesome) things going on for me right now. Work, relationship, friends…
But the darkness is never far away. It’s never completely out of sight or beyond my senses.
It’s like a cold knife’s edge or just that intermittent icy draft that you just can’t quite find to stop.
I’ll say flat out I was-am-on the edge of tears during their talk. As Tod was retelling his breaking point story, my own came to the fore. Talking to my mom on the phone. Sobbing. Feeling like it’s all not worth it…
Obviously I got through that. I went to see my doctor and got my first medication. Like Airdrie I really resisted medication. I didn’t want-egotistically-anything messing with my mind. I felt like my mind, the way I think, was really all there was to me and medication would take that away.
I’ve had some pretty close calls since then. There are a few that come to mind right now and for the friends who are reading this, the ones who I was leaning on, clinging to: I lied.
I was very, very close to end at those points. Very.
You all and maybe some stubborn piece of will in my mind, kept me here. A lot was you.
Thank you is rather trite at this point, but well you know the deal.
I’m writing this post for the very same reason Airdrie, Tod, and Isabella did their talk, to raise awareness, to lift the stigma, to motivate even one person to get help, to let others know they aren’t the only ones.
This is my story.