Author: The Shroud
I wish I could be like the normal people out there, the ones who don’t understand the suffering and the struggling people like me go through. Mine started I think as I was 12 going on 13. My childhood was like any other person’s and my parents always did their best. My older brother and sister are like my best friends and they always try to help me when things go wrong. Even if they’re just giving some advice, they do what they can. So it was not all bad growing up. Things were not even that bad when I was in the military for several years. In comparison from then to now I had it easy with my depression. Sure I had moments that were bad; I considered suicide twice in my teens and was close to following through. But I didn’t. I experienced the waves when things would be great and I felt good and then would fall down and was depressed. That in fact was the only thing I realized early on that I could count on. That the darkness of depression would swarm out of the recesses of my mind and turn things to shit.
When I got out of the military back in 97 I had some plans and was on the way to get them going a few months after I was out but the woman I was dating at the time had other plans for me. I had figured that I was going to marry her; I had not made up my mind just yet and then she told me she was pregnant. At that point I decided we needed to get married and that I needed to get work to support her and the child. Over time she was treating me pretty shitty, and I pretty much spent 5 years in a constant state of depression. I eventually left and made sure that my son understood that it was not his fault and I stayed in touch with him and saw him as much as I could to make sure I still had a presence in his life. After a while I ended up with my current wife who I have known since I was 15 and have loved since day one. I knew I needed to try to fix things to make a better living and while I did what I thought was best I never really tried to get off my ass and go that extra mile. The reason? Even though I was happier I was still depressed and suffering, it was still coming in waves. I had also gotten to the point over those five years where I am lazy partly because I could never get my X to lift a finger unless it was spending all my money and depriving me of sleep after a 12 hour night shift. So I stopped doing shit and just did whatever to hide in a game or at a party with friends.
As I rolled through my 30’s I kept telling myself to get off my ass and do something to improve on myself, to get that better job in something I might enjoy, to get away from the call center horse shit that is a major trigger for my depression right now. But the laziness and the depression won every time. I also started to gain a lot of weight. My ideal weight range is around the 180 to 190 mark; now, I am around 270, I think. I feel like shit. I look like shit. And my mind is in the same boat – caught in black waves. Any time I look at trying to get into something to better my position that dark foul monster inside whispers in my ear about how stupid I am and how I am never going to amount to shit and I shouldn’t bother trying. Who am I to think I deserve a shot to improve my station and be comfortable? Who am I to think I deserve anything but misery? Who am I to think I should be able to try and find something I might for fucking once enjoy doing or even love doing?
Then it happened.
In Nov 2012 I landed a position in a place that I heard was cool as shit to work. I was going to be in training for two months and then would need to pass a test and I had a position waiting for me. I would have the schedule I wanted, the pay I had always wanted, and I would be doing something I had interest in doing and learning more about. I’d finally be in a position to do many other things I just had never been able to afford. My depression started to lift; I was happy and high as a kite. For two months I lived a good life, the depression was at bay for the most part and even though I was stressing a bit over the material I was sure I could figure everything out. Then it happened, I took the final and did not feel so good about it. Things were not right and I was unable to figure some of the shit out. I went in Dec 9th only to be let go. I was devastated. The depression came writhing out of the dark recesses where it had been hiding, waiting for its chance to put me in my place as it were. I got in the car I was using to go back and forth to drive the nearly two-hour drive from the learning center. I started to break down and I was overcome with a flood of emotions: grief, anger, sadness, self-loathing, feelings of stupidity and inadequacy, all mixed in together. As I was driving I started to hear those little whispers in my head from the darkness that was over taking me. I feel like on that drive I was beginning the fight for my very existence because this monster was having a field day in my fucking head. I could feel myself being slowly convinced to end it. The voice was saying you should just end it now. Don’t go home to show your wife and kids what a sad little pathetic loser you are because you couldn’t seal the deal. You knew better than to do this, you knew you would fail because you are too fucking stupid to do anything but lowly shit grunt work on a phone all day. See that over pass over there, just do it and get it over with quickly. Hit the gas and ram the car into it and end it. Your kids and family will be happy to be rid of you.
Obviously I somehow managed to keep myself on the road and not do it. And from then I began to hide from my family what was going on. They knew I was depressed but not how badly it truly had gotten. Just after X-mas, I took an interview with a very cool company and people and I love that aspect of it but I was going to be doing exactly what I tried to escape from. I told my wife I really did not want this because I just don’t have what it takes to do that work anymore. I hate it, I am the ash left over from a burn out and the wind is slowly blowing me away into nothing. I had been considering just trying to enter the truck driving business like my brother in law. Sure it would be hard because I would have been over the road on the first year but I could try to get on with someone after that making decent money and be home at night. We hatched a plan and talked to my family who seemed to be supportive of it but then later said don’t do it. I had taken this job and now I was exactly where I did not want to be again with no way out now. I was trapped again and the small life line I thought I had evaporated into nothing.
I could hear that sinister laugh in my head and it was wrapping itself around me even more. The darkness just began to swallow up what was left of me. I look in the mirror and I don’t know who I am, what I stand for, what I want, what I would enjoy doing or maybe even love doing. I stopped caring about a lot of things and stopped bothering to take care of myself. Everything that I had been up to Dec 9th and what little was left of me until I took that new job seemed to just disappear into a sea of emptiness. Every morning my wife has to get me out of bed because I just can’t seem to do it myself. I go to this place dreading the long day of packed phone queues and never ending back to back calls. I got so depressed that I was physically feeling like shit, and a few times I had to leave work because I was having issues. I became silent and moody, not giving a fuck if I got fired, if I showed up and many a time had to fight to not just walk out saying fuck this I am done. I felt like I had been abandoned by my family who backed my little plan earlier and then later said no don’t and trapped me in this shit. The bills are getting higher the rent is going up to 1150 and this shit duplex is not worth it but I have nowhere else I can move because everyone and their mother is moving here and fucking causing rent to go higher and squeezing out the locals like me who just barely make enough to survive. I sank so far that I was having a hard time even functioning. I finally told my wife things were very bad, so bad she had no idea and I promised to talk to her and tell her everything and I also talked to my sister. I poured out all this shit and it came out like a flood and I ended up feeling spent and empty of it because it was finally out. She made a lot of good points but I still have the same problem. I am still trapped in the misery of my situation, I want out of this job, I want out of this duplex, I want a chance to rid myself of them for a while to stop and focus on myself. I know that if I were to lose the job I would have to leave this duplex. Even though I know my sister would take us in at her house it would be crowded there. I feel like the underlying message was you just gotta do what you gotta do but I am failing at the job. I hate it so much and I am so deep in this pit of depression that I can’t perform like they expect and I know that eventually they will get rid of me. My father hated the last job he had before he got too sick to work, long before he passed in 2006. He was at work one day and at lunch had a mild heart attack and went back to work. The doc asked him the next day if he was crazy and he said I had to do what I had to do. I never knew that until my sister told me in that conversation and it stuck in my head. I realized something, I am not my father and I do not want to end up having a heart attack at work like that. Because what if I am not so lucky and die there? I will have not had the chance then too stop and take a break to figure out my shit and try to take a new direction. What if what I gotta do is leave this job, leave this duplex and find another way to clear my head, get help and take the step to a hopefully better future? I need desperately to find out who I am, what I believe in, what I want and what I could possibly do that I might actually be able to at least like a little.
Somehow I need to find my way through this dense and horrible forest of dark misery, despair and find some kind of stability, find something I can live with doing and maybe like it. I am going to see my doctor on April first to ask him for help, to see want kind of medications I might be able to take to help try and stabilize this mess in my head. I am still going to hate this job I have, hate my situation, hate this depression that is causing me so much pain but maybe just maybe I will find the path out?
It’s a manic world.