For the last twenty six years of my life I have been fighting a losing battle. I’m been embroiled in a war wherein there is no victory, only survival. It has been the toughest fight of my life, and the worse bit is, that the fight is not over yet. This is a fight I feel that will remain with me for the rest of my days. This fight has been my torment, my frustration, my constant companion, but such is life when you battle against depression on your own.
From the moment my bother passed away, only a few hours old, when I was six, my world was forever changed. Looking back, I believe that this moment, shattered my innocent view of reality. As much has life had been confusing up until that moment, I could never quite understand the constant tensions between my parents back then, I still had a feeling that everything would work out the way it should, but obviously, it did not.
It was from that moment on, as the tears came often and sudden, after watching my brother’s casket being lowered into the ground, that pain, and sorrow became my constant companions. I did not understand it then, but I believe this is where my battle with depression began.
My grip on reality was forever altered at this point, forever since this moment on I sought and created within the confines of my own mind, a more favourable reality, realities that confined with my world view, my whims, my desires, my hopes.
I always knew these were nothing more than figments of my imagination, but yet I indulged them, often in public, in the vain hope that should they be indulged enough, imagination would become reality. This would lead to an awkward phase wherein I believed my own deceitful tales and flights of fancy. This phase roughly lasted around eight years.
During my teenage years, things became progressively worse. Aside from the raging hormones that surged through me as my body began to morph into that of an adult rather than a child, there was also the concern that I would be unworthy in the eyes of the girls that surrounded me. A feeling of worthlessness and loss of confidence had announced itself, leading to the point where I attempted to commit suicide, on two separate occasions.
At the age of fourteen, I lost my two closest cousins, two people who I loved more deeply than I understood at that point, to circumstances beyond my control. This further spiralled me into the mindset that I was a destructive influence on the world around me, that the world would be a better place without me in it. It lead to me to travel to a high precipice, with the intention of allowing myself to fall, my friends intercepted at this point and talked me out of it.
The pain was becoming my torment however, and a year later, after facing rejection from a girl I had been in love with since I was twelve, continually turned to others for love and affection rather than me. She was the closest friend I had, and someone who I would have given my entire world for, but I was her best friend, nothing more, and that killed me. One night, after arranging plans to go out socialising with a close friend of mine, I held a knife to my wrists, as he used the bathroom, and was about to cut my wrists, but my friend intervened, and again, I did not see my thoughts through to completion.
At seventeen years old I was bereft of confidence, self worth, and full of loathing for the actions that I had undertaken over my teenage years. I was sitting in her living room, talking to her, when I decided I would drink whiskey and mix paracetamol with it until I become comatose. I had drunk enough whiskey to finally see it through when my friend noticed the paracetamol that now were fizzing in my whiskey glass, and chucked the glass to the other side of the room. At that point, she held me until I sobered up, and then held me as I cried, those few moments in her arms back then, meant the world to me at the time, and removed all thoughts from my mind for the time being.
Since then, my depression has been an constant presence in my life, and a struggle that I have had to endure for over two and a half decades. There has been no attempts on my own life since then, though I have had dark moments when I have contemplated the thought, only to dismiss it out of hand. Fifteen years on, it is my love for my children that keeps me going, day by day.
I used to be a very sharp dresser in my youth, my front of vanity during my teenage years, along with my expensive taste, meant that I had to look good, despite any limitations set by the weather, or by my budget. In a way, all that is lost now, I have little to no regard for my appearance, and my body confidence is at an all time low. I used to go to the gym in my youth, and enjoyed the muscular appearance I had, that now, is nothing but a memory. I was always a calm yet emotional individual, these days I cry no tears, but I seem to shift into bouts of contentment, and then into bouts of anger, pain and sorrow.
Things became really hard during the early part of this year, and the last half of last year. Despite my attempts to control my depressive notions, I again struggled. This lead me to visit a doctor very early on in the year, who gave me some advice which frankly I found useless. The notion that simply talking to others about it would bring a resolution to my depression, considering that I had endured for over twenty six years was sheer fallacy for me. So feeling rather frustrated, I resolved once again, to deal with things on my own.
In May of this year, as many of you will know, my unborn child passed away in the womb, and the effect it has had on me has been devastating. I can feel myself sliding towards the darkness once more, towards a world full of sorrow and pain once again. I find myself fighting with every single drop of will and strength in my entire body. There are times where I wish to hide myself away from the world, and drown out every single sound and person. However, ever single time I look at my children, I am reminded of what I am fighting for, of what I have to live for, and it keeps me going.
My struggle goes on, and will do, I believe, for the rest of my life, there is nothing I can do about that to be honest. However, my children are my shining light in a world of darkness, and my wife, my rock to which I cling to. There will always be thoughts, but they will never be suicidal again, for now I have too much to lose, too much to live for. My struggle with depression will continue for the rest of my days, and I may not win the war, but I will certainly survive…
Until next time,