For You

I wanted to explain this to you in a different way. My hope is this will bring you some comfort during the upcoming days,
I am writing this to you to bring a little understanding about depressive thinking and the unending cycle that comes with it.
I wanted to reach out to you specifically to explain a bit more about me so that maybe you will understand a bit more about you and the things you’ve faced in your past.
First and foremost, please allow me to officially explain that you are far from alone. There are millions of us out there, lost, unsure, uncomfortable, and unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Before going forward, please understand that I make no assumptions about you or your pain; however, I am offering this explanation to make sense of one of the most senseless kind of deaths known to man,

I was young when my depression started. I was certainly too young to understand what depression is.
I just knew there was something different about me. I knew I was uncomfortable. I was unhappy, which was hard for others to see or notice because to the rest of the world, I was just this little, ordinary, everyday boy. But I wasn’t. At least, not to me.

I was small. I was much smaller than the others kids. I was too thin, too weak, and too uncoordinated to be an athlete.
I tried though.
I wanted to play sports but I never played very well and the pressure to perform was too intimidating to me. I would quit as soon as I felt challenged. I would fold inward (so-to-speak) as soon as I felt socially claustrophobic. What if I said the wrong thing? What if I did the wrong thing?
God forbid!
God forbid you made a mistake.
Or say, you slipped or fell—God forbid someone sees you at your worst because to me, kids (and this also goes for adults) are opportunists. Think about the gossip mills. Think about the rumor factory. Think about the water coolers at work and the damage these places generate.

Think about the way people laugh at others to keep the focus off of themselves . . .
God forbid you stutter when you read. God forbid you can’t add or multiply, God forbid, nothing in school makes sense; meanwhile, every other kid in class sees this and points at you, as in like, “Look at the idiot!”
God forbid you become that “Special” kid in class and catch a label.

This is where it started for me.
This is where I began to turn inward. I hated school. I hated the classrooms. I hated the hallways, the teachers, the principals, and the kids that picked on me. I hated the social groups, the cliques, the good looking, and the “Cool kids,” or the different divisions of popular personalities. I hated that I couldn’t be me—but then again, I didn’t even know who I was.

“Me?” What does this mean?

Yes, this could be where it started. This could be where I began to implode. This might be when I first thought of ending it. I was only eight at the time. I was sick. I had just come home after being in the hospital for a little more than two weeks.
I saw myself as a drain on everyone around me. I believed (wholeheartedly) the world would be better off without me.
I was only 8 . . .
What the hell?

I was 8 years-old and unimpressed. I didn’t have any real friends. I didn’t like feeling the way I felt. I didn’t like being uncomfortable in my skin. I hated the way I felt about myself and the contrast between me and other people.
I hated my appearance. I hated that no matter how I tried, nothing ever seemed to work for me. I was caught in the barbwire trap, which I call the deception of my perception.
Everything seemed difficult—everything was a chore. Nothing made sense and more tragically, I was this beautiful little boy that had no idea about my beauty, my worth, or my value.

One night, I came to a decision. I believed this world would be better off without me.
I had no idea where Mom kept the medicine but I knew where the Tylenol was. I knew that if I swallowed too many piles, my teacher said I would die. But here’s the thing; it’s not that I wanted to die as much as I wanted everything to stop. And yes, I can express this now, but I am expressing this now as an adult. I was only a kid then. I couldn’t even spell the word depression, let alone, define it for myself and explain this to anyone else.

I never told anyone how I felt because I was afraid I would be in trouble. I was afraid they would put me in a room where “Special” kids go—which would only make things worse because I knew what the other kids thought of the “Special” kids.

I would see others experience joy or happiness and wondered if I would ever be happy like them. This is not to say that I did not experience happiness or joy.
No, I had moments of happiness. I had times of joy. But more so, I always saw happiness as this fleeting thing, temporary at best, like a moment that passes too quickly.

I believed I was alone.
Even in crowds, I saw myself as the boy on the outside looking in. I was uncomfortable around people because I believed I was dissimilar.
I didn’t know how to fit or coincide with others. I was angry for being uncomfortable and frustrated because I felt awkward.

I tried to fit. I tried to get along. I tried to create an identity and say the right things but nothing ever seemed natural. Everything was forced or coerced. There was no fluidity; there was only me and my clunky delivery.

I remember hearing adults and doctors tell me, “But you’re just a kid.”
They told me, “You have so much to look forward to,” but to me, I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t see anything so wonderful.
All I saw was more of the same, which meant more of my awkwardness. This meant more uncertainty.
I was told, “You have you whole life ahead of you.” But this was not inspiring. In fact, the fact that I had to go on as me being me was uninspiring at best.

I did not believe that I had the ability to feel better. I did not believe that I could improve. As far as I was concerned, nothing worked.
Nothing could ever make me feel better permanently . At best, all I could do was grab the tail end of a quick moment—and when finished, I would have to climb back down into the terrible hole where I’d hide.

I didn’t know Tylenol couldn’t kill you. As far as I knew, I could eat a bunch of pills, got to sleep, and I would never wake up again.
I wanted to go . . .
I was done . . .
I was through feeling the way felt—and I mean, sure, I knew my folks would be upset. But I swore this was for the best. I swore they would be over it. Besides, they had no idea how I felt. They had no idea how much this hurt me.

I said my goodbyes . . .
But the night didn’t turn out as I planned,

I just wished I could have been the son they always wanted. I wanted to be the little brother my big brother was proud of.
I wanted to be the kid that everyone liked. Instead, I believed the lies in my mind and thought I was the kid that no one wanted.

I always felt like there was a joke, which everyone else knew about—and everyone else was laughing, except for me. Know why?
Deep down, I believed I was the punch line.
I thought I was the joke.
I must be the joke.
I mean . . . look at me . . .
I couldn’t really do anything. I believed I was stupid. I was picked on and couldn’t defend myself.
Like I said, I was the punchline.
I was a joke, and at best, this is all I would ever be.

I grew up this way, imbalanced, unsure, scared to death there was something wrong with me and even more petrified to find out I was right.

There is a reason why I write about this.
I wanted you to understand this was me. I say this was me because this is not me anymore.
It went this way for a while. I struggled. I thought there were times when I would never find my redemption.
As far as I knew, I was diseased.
There was something wrong with me. And whatever it was, there was no way something so complicated could be described or defined by one word—depression.
I believed, at best, this would always be me. I never believed it would be possible to find my own sense of redemption—to be redeemed—to be reborn, to be whole, intact, comfortable in my own skin, and to be better.

I knew there were ways to find help but help only worked for other people. There was no help for me. Depressive thinking is like an angry python wrapped around its pray—each time you inhale to breathe, the snake squeezes tighter.
(This is what I meant by feeling social and mentally claustrophobic.)
Maybe I just wanted to breathe. Maybe I just wanted to be somewhere it didn’t matter if I was able to inhale or not. Maybe I just wanted to find a sense of relief.
Maybe . . .

Maybe I just wanted it all to stop. I wanted the shame to go away. I wanted the impending doom to go away.
I wanted the guilt to stop.
I wanted pain to leave me alone.
But nothing stops.
The drugs help. Drinking does its thing but the cost on the back-end only proved to make matters worse.
The world just kept on spinning. After a while, the crazy ideas began to make sense to me. I knew I would hurt the ones I loved but I also knew the pain I felt would never let me go. I was trapped. I was stuck. I wanted to run away but there was no place I could hide from me.

My last attempt, and yes, there was more than the one from when I was eight—I woke up on the bathroom floor with the make-shift noose dangling from a sprinkler pipe in a drug rehabilitation’s bathroom.
I survived . . .
But how?

I know this means something different to you. I know the pain hits you differently for different reasons.
My Mom once asked me what I was thinking.
She felt so helpless.

Someone in my rehab told me suicide was a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. I just say that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get away from myself.
I wanted to rest but I couldn’t. I wanted to get the shame to stop but it wouldn’t go away.
I saw no other way out.
Mom asked, “But didn’t you realize how much I love you?”

“Why didn’t you come to me?”

“Why didn’t you even try?”

The answer . . .

I just couldn’t.
Mom though this was her fault. But it wasn’t. There is no fault or blame here. There was just me and my own tragic thinking.
I wish I had me back then. I wish I had someone that knew or understood.

What do I say to people that think or feel this way?

Be mindful of the inner-narrative.
This voice is not your friend

Stay clear of interacting with self-destructive thinking’
And if you feel this way, reach out to someone.
reach out to anyone

I don’t care who it is
Just do it

And if you feel as though you can’t find someone to reach out to then reach out to me. I promise, I answer every email and every phone call because trust me, you are not alone

So help me God.

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