For the 1st 9 years of my life, I was a normal kid. Things were pretty good. My parents didn't have a lot of money so they worked a lot. So of course I was at Grandma and Granddads house a lot.Being the only Grandson I was extra spoiled by Granddad. He was my hero. When he came down with cancer I was completely devastated. The cancer ate at him for months. He had brain surgery to remove a tumor and that paralyzed him on 1 side. Of course by then it had spread almost everywhere. Before the cancer he was an active healthy man. He was in very good shape for someone in their 50's. Still quite young. To watch him wither away was the worst part. He was about 5'9'' and 160 lbs before he got cancer. He weighed 80 when he passed away. When he died a big piece of me died with him. After that, I was different. The world seemed less important all of a sudden. I eventually got back to as normal as I could. Then when I was 14 my other grandfather died. It was rough but I had already learned to swallow pain. A year later my best friend was hit by a car as he was riding his bike. It threw him over 100 feet. He died instantly. Once again my life had been shattered. Young people were not supposed to die. I almost lost it. Finally after a couple years I was able to push back the hurt and anger but it was always just around the corner. When I graduated High school, I joined the Army. I had decided when I was a child I wanted to be a career soldier. I never made plans for my life after the military. I always figured I would go 30 years and then live out my retirement at the lake. Not long after I joined I shattered my ankle. I just slipped on some ice while we were training. Of course since I was in the Infantry my injury presented some problems. It was obvious I wasn't gonna be able to stay in 30 years. So I was medically discharged. My chosen career was gone. My future had been stolen. That was in 1993. The next 3 years I just worked at a factory and drank a lot. I had all kinds of "problems" in my life but they were all in my head. In 1996 my mother convinced me to talk to my DR. about my "problems" . I was 25 years old but I was having trouble handling my life. I wasn't working at a stressful job, I made decent money. I was single with no kids. The only person who I had to keep happy was me. I really had no reason to be so unhappy and bitter, but I was. I was having trouble drinking, dealing with anger, trouble in my relationships. Basically I was messed up. The DR. put me on Prozac and that helped some but I still wasn't quite right. About a year later my Mom came down with cancer. My Mom beat the cancer eventually but it took a lot out of her and for some reason, me too. I grew even more cynical and bitter. In 1998 I met a girl who I thought was the one for me. Soon after we were moved in together my "problems" were became worse. We got married in March of 99. By may of 99 I was a basket case. I couldn't keep a job. Instead of trying to help me, she left me, several thousand dollars in debt. That was the straw that broke the camels back. I couldn't function. I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating, I didn't have any family within a hundred miles. I decided to end my life. I called my mom to basically say goodbye and luckily she knew what was going on. My parents came up that day and got me. We got all my stuff and packed it in the garage of my parents house. My Mom was online constantly trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Since I was a disabled veteran my parents took me to the VA hospital. The DR. at VA said I was suffering from severe depression. We told him about my past problems and that just reaffirmed his diagnosis. We never realized that depression was such a serious disease. He started me on a Ferris wheel of different drugs. None of them seemed to work. My Dad didn't understand what was wrong with me. I guess you could say he's from the "old school". He thought I was being a wuss. He was just telling me to "be a man". I love my dad but he is not the most open minded person in the world. Until one night I had a serious episode and he saw it 1st hand. I was thinking about committing suicide and I guess when he saw my eyes his whole outlook changed. It would have been a lot easier for both of us had he listened to my Mom when she was trying to tell him that I was suffering from a disease. He was raised that way so I really cant be too mad. I'm just glad that he finally realized what was going on. I think those few weeks we were trying to just find out what was wrong with me and how to treat it were the hardest. I felt as if my very soul had died. I had always been a moderately religious person. I didn't really go to church as often as I should have but I prayed on a regular basis. But now, as my depression got worse, I went from praying to cursing God. I felt no joy, Nothing was fun anymore. My body was feeling the strain too. For most of my life I had been an insomniac and now I was getting severe intestinal problems. My stomach acid was eating my esophagus. The VA DR. gave me sleeping pills and some medication for my stomach. It helped but I was Taking about a dozen pills a day. It was quite a shock for me. I never really had been a pill taker in my life. About halfway through 2000 I was starting to feel halfway human again. I met another girl but this one was different. I have had a couple episodes since meeting her but she has stuck with me. I finally found the right balance of medication and sleeping pill that keeps me in check most of the time. After learning about depression and what it does I realized that I had been depressed for 20 out of my 30 years. I wish that I would have heard about this when I was young. I have trouble remembering my youth, maybe its a self defense mechanism by my brain. I don't know but I feel as though my memories have been stolen. I have tried therapy but to no avail. I plan on trying again someday. I sometimes feel as though a monster is still waiting around the corner. I know I'LL never be cured until I am not afraid of losing it again. I think I am getting better and so do my loved ones. At least now there is hope where as before I felt no hope at all. I pray that one day they will find a cure for depression. I'm thankful that at least nowadays at least it can be treated. I wish that no one would go through what I did. The person who called it a cancer of the soul hit the nail on the head. That's exactly how it feels. It can eat you up and never let you go. It can warp your soul and steal your life. It can shatter your faith in God. It can tear up families and leave you a shell of a person. I have had a considerable amount of health problems. Some not related at all to my depression. I would rather go through any of my physical problems than go through some of the mental hell I had. I had it pretty bad but I was by no means the worst case. I feel sorry for everyone who has had it worse than me. I also have the utmost respect for them too. I consider myself a pretty tough person but it almost broke me forever. The scars run deep. I have read about several people whose problems were worse than mine but have returned to some sort of normalcy. I think those people must be superhuman. You people truly are an inspiration to all of us.
Return to main page