I want to tell people what happened to me, and what its
like now. I never knew depression existed. I did not know what it was.
As I look
back, I see what has led me here battling the beast. My story begins with
stomach surgery at 16 years old. Then two more stomach surgeries after that. I
remember sitting in front of a panel of doctors asking me questions like, "how
does a 16 year old perforate an ulcer?" I can not remember what I said, it was
too long ago.
I can answer that now, I was a nervous wreck and worried about even
my homework not being done. Being at this age I was introduced to all kinds of
drugs, not good for a teenager.
When I was growing up, there was a lot of
competition in my family and in the neighborhood. You just had to be the best
you could be in this small coal region town. Football, baseball, and track, all
character building sports. Wrong for me.
I was different from the start, and I
got to believe that I was always less than average. And this feeling of being
not good enough, or you could never do enough, got to me. With this
perfectionist attitude and never ending work ethic, I was headed for burnout. I
always felt like there was something wrong, unresolved discontent is the words I
use to describe the way I felt. I just could not put my finger on it, what was
Through my 20's, 30's and 40's, I learned that if you worked hard, you
were entitled to drink hard, and I mean alcohol. I could say I had a drinking
problem. One day my wife told me that she did not have to live like this
anymore, me drinking the way I was. We had some problems and we were going to
separate if I did not stop my drinking. So I decided to try AA. I did not want
to work the program for the first few years, but eventually got serious about
being sober. I think I drank to hide the depression. Did not know how to ease
the pain of not being normal. All through these years I ran from this feeling of
not being good enough or not being able to do enough.
I worked hard at the jobs
I got. In my present job is when things came to a head. Awhile ago when I was
working in this present job, years I mean, I had an industrial accident that I
wrote about in my introduction. I fell about 10 feet through a ceiling. But
before this accident I had crying jags and felt hopeless for a number of weeks.
Some one from AA told me I was going through a midlife crisis. I had no idea
what that was all about. I felt so hopeless after this accident, that I went to
the doctors and they diagnosed me with GAD and depression. I went to a partial
hospitalization program, was put on meds, and had some counseling. It was a bad
time in my life. I remember not wanting to leave the partial hospitalization
program because I did not feel any better and had no answers for what I was
going to do about this depression and anxiety.
I had to learn how to exist with
not feeling good and having no answers to why I felt so bad. After two months I
decided if I did not try to go back to work, I would be stuck this way
indefinitely. I started back to work part time. I did almost turn back the first
drive to work, I was shaking so bad. I remember picking up a pipe wrench and
thinking how in the world am I ever going to lift this thing let alone work with
Little by little, day after day, I got a little stronger. Progress was very
slow. I think when I put that effort out to get well is when the meds started to
work better. I am back to work full time and still fighting the beast. I have my
good and my bad times. I get involved in my hobbies and you know how that goes
when your battling the beast. I feel like I am even with this thing at times,
but then I get set back when big stressors hit me. I do not drink to hide the
pain, and I managed to stop smoking for over a year now with the help of
Listen to this, you will laugh I bet. How can a person fighting
depression play guitar in a praise band. That's a contradictory of terms I
think, depression and praise. Well I try, and I play guitar. And I go to sing
for people in an old folks home. Doing these things does not put me above the
depression, but when you force yourself to do things for your benefit, it can
help a great deal. In fact sometimes I can not do them, and i fall backwards
But so far I have come back from the rough and sad times. I think my
biggest enemy is myself. I have always gone back and forth with exercise
programs. I like yoga the best and continue to train in it, and try to work the
physical job of being a maintenance man in an industrial plant.
I just recently
read an article about the marathon runner in the articles section, and i find
what she said above over training very wise for a guy like me.
I never really
stuck with an on line group such as this. I am trying to make a difference with
this writing and this group. I have to start somewhere. Why not here. thanks for