I’ve talked about depression, I’ve talked about anxiety, and I’ve talked about PTSD. Well, truly, I’ve only skimmed the surface of those topics. Trying to describe what I feel has been difficult. It is a hard thing to do, to be completely honest with yourself. What makes it even harder is to watch your loved ones have to go through the same thing you are, but on the outside looking in. That’s the ugly truth behind all of this. It isn’t just about me. It is about my wife, my two beautiful daughters, my entire family has been changed by how severe some of these things have been. Countless hours driven, countless hours spent waiting, countless hours just wondering if everything is going to be alright.
Through all of this my wife has been my rock. The person who has held the family together in a time where I have been unable to. I try my best to be honest, and the more honest I get, the more difficult it becomes. I know that it scares my wife to see me this way. To see the depression and wonder if it is something that she’s missed. See the anxiety and know that there isn’t much else she can do to help. The countless ER trips and trying her best to hide it from my daughters.
That has been the amazing thing through this, five ER trips, countless doctors appointments, different medications, different theories, my daughters have no clue what is going on. It hasn’t been my courage which has been amazing, it is how steadfast my wife is in her loyalty and devotion to our family. She is the person who bares the brunt of how I am right now. She’s the one who lays awake at night, thinking, wondering, hoping that everything will get better.
All the focus right now is on me. How can people help me, what can people do to help me. This is an obstacle I have in life right now. The truth, I have no freaking clue how people can help. Some days are good, some days are bad. Some hours I feel like myself, some hours I don’t know who I am. The one the thing I do know, the one constant that I have, is my wife.
Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, they are difficult things to talk about. Worried how people will judge you, worried whether people will think you are faking it, worried how you’ll feel the next minute, those are the ugly truths behind this. With all those things, those ugly truths, there’s still a family behind the scenes.
The one question that I haven’t been asked, and I think it is probably the most important one, “What am I doing to help myself?” It’s like staring at a blank chalkboard, waiting for something to appear, but I’m the one who has to write the words. I have to remember, that not but two months ago I was the rock of our family. It’s not that I can’t be anymore, and I know that if me then could have predicted this would happen, I would have one question for myself…”what are you going to do to help yourself?”
So what am I doing? I am writing (obviously). I have been talking with people a lot more (which I never did before). I have been overwhelmed with the support that I have gotten from people. I have been surprised by some of the people who have reached out, not thinking I was a blimp on their radar. I think that has been amazing because I couldn’t imagine how hard it is to start that conversation. “Hey man, heard you have PTSD, depression all those cool things, so how’s life been?” That has to be an awkward thing to do. I thank those from the bottom of my heart who have done that. I have such an admiration for you, it is a courageous thing to do. So talking with people has helped tremendously. I’m seeking therapy, which is a whole different world to me. I’m not used to being the person who is talking about my weaknesses or deep thoughts with someone. I am taking medication, which I hate, because it makes me feel like a shell of myself. I’m honest with my wife about how I am feeling, which is difficult because I should be the rock.
I am in a place in my life right now where I have never been. I don’t fully understand it, I’m not sure why now, and I have a hard time expressing it. Truly expressing it, how it feels, both physically and mentally. There’s almost a frustration there that it is happening to me. I was supposed to be a rock, and the ugly truth, I think constantly trying to be the rock is part of what got me here. I’ve never displayed emotion. I’ve never let anyone see me be weak. I’ve never really let people in. I’m the one in the family that doesn’t call that often. I don’t make a big deal about things that should be a big deal, because it would mean that’d I would be showing emotion.
So again, I ask myself, “what are you doing to help yourself?” I am changing those things that I mentioned above (as the tortoise goes). I am making it a point that every day, no matter what, I call someone to just see how they are. Look out for a phone call, I have limited friends (don’t screen me, or I’ll find you!). I am making it a point to write. It’s therapeutic to me. I am being honest with my therapist, hoping that we can mentally work through some of these things. I am going to yoga (even have my own mat). I want to get off of the medications I’m on, so I can feel like myself. I am working on being open, to anyone who wants to share the journey of self-healing with me. I am working on being the first person to say happy birthday. I am working on making small things great big things, because my family deserves that. The ugly truth, I wasn’t being the best me, and I have to work on that. I’m not saying I’m here, in this mental space because of those things. I’m saying that it is something I have realized during this. I wasn’t being the best person I could be, and I am going to work on that.
I will get through this, and I will get through it with the people who are reaching out and with my family. So if you ever have a need, have a question, or recommendation, you can always privately message me. There may be times I’ll ask if I can use one of your comments in a blog post. However, if you’re struggling with something, and haven’t let it out yet, join me. I will be your voice, but we will get through this TOGETHER!