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My Depression Controls Me


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Unfortunately, I can empathize with you, my friend.

For my depression controls me, too.

It is not a passing state of mind, nor a feeling.

It is something we survive through every day.

Sometimes, on certain days, it’s not as intense.

But it is always there.

A lot of people may never guess because I try to hide it.

I hide it by staying to myself.

And by pretending like I am concentrating and hard at work.

I am introverted…

…because I don’t want to pull other people down with me.

If my friends didn’t invite me to do things with them…

…I would constantly isolate.

A lot of the times I say “no” anyways because I am “busy”.

I know I am not alone, but a lot of the time it feels that way.

It ruins my intimate relationships.

It makes me run away from those who love me.

This depression sucks the happy out of me.

Even on sunny, beautiful days, all I can see is gray.

I sleep – a lot. Because depression numbs me.

I get frustrated with myself all the time because of how things are.

I don’t want it to be this way, but it just is.

 

 

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 08/11/2016 in Depression

 

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The Sickness and the Seal | [Short Story]


Contextual background: A brief history of Ür and its rise to greatness is given along with the story of how affliction came to be.

The walled city of Ür had not always been the great fortress in which Catharsis had dwelled. It was once a lonely oasis in the desert, won by nomadic herdsman who had battled for its possession in order to nourish their herds and provide sustenance for their families. A place of healing in the middle of a harsh, windswept, barren land. The grand-eldest male by the name of Ür, gave the fertile gem its name – earliest in the elder tongue.

Soon after, blood clans made pilgrimage to the lush gardens of the watering hole and joined their families of the original community. They brought with them their customs and beliefs, families, and herds. They added their lands to the original estate and struck its edges to mark their claim with altars to their deities.

Down through the time of unrecorded and recorded history, the oasis community of Ür matured in size and prestige, quickly mounting to power as an unrivaled city-state and controlling the land to its horizons. Through many generations did Ür prosper under a golden age. It basked in its splendor, taking in travelers far and wide. All who knew of Ür knew of its greatness, even far beyond the horizons of its realm. It prospered in its glory and was regarded as a bastion to the weary, lost, disheartened, and broken.

Its strength came in its acceptance of its citizenry’s diversity, welcoming all who wished entrance, save for those whose lives consisted of the worst of mannerisms – greed, pride, lying, thievery, conceit, ill will, bigotry, and murder. Nay, even those lost souls were granted sanctuary if they received the king’s oath of fealty, making their pledge of faithfulness and good will to both their master and fellow man. For only the pure and good willed were permitted stay within the city’s walls.

But it soon came to pass that an unnamable sickness came to the people of Ür.

It was an invisible sickness to most – only visible and comprehendible to those who endured it. It was so believed to steal freely throughout the walled city, creeping like some menacing fog yet without detection. It could not be fought because it could not be seen, and a sense of mistrust and paranoia soon descended on the land. From whence did this pestilence emanate? Why did it torment the people of the glorious citadel? How could it be routed out? What were its ailments? Was it escapable?

Soon whispers in taverns and alleyways gave rise to the belief it was a punishment from the gods of the soil, water, and heavens for man’s abuse of their resources. Man’s lack of respect for what the deities had preciously and graciously imparted unto them.

Whispers soon turned into a dark, unspoken secret realization that it was a torment conjured from the Wahrlog – the evil demon lord that lay beyond the Marshlands of Melancholia and deep in the Quagmire of Hopelessness. Sent to plague humankind. And so this belief held steadfast amongst the citizens within the city’s walls.

The people named it affliction.

Sacrifices were made to appease the demon who created affliction. Fruits, flowers, and grains were laid before the great gates and in the marketplace. The blood of animals was shed and smeared on the doorposts and windows of the earthen hovels of the city. Great warriors were sacrificed.

But to no avail.

Affliction still swept its invisible hand across the land like some gray blanket of hopelessness.

It did not exist completely unseen, however. For those afflicted showed similar signs of the invisible illness. They could identify each other for they were the only ones to see it. It was not invisible to them. They held another certainty in their common – they were all visited by the Wahrlog.

To not be afflicted, one had to know what was to be looked for so that it might be named and identified. “Those who do not see” were blessed amongst the masses, for they would never know the loneliness that gripped its prey. They would never feel the talons of melancholy nor the depths of the deep dark pain it spawned.

Catharsis could see clearly, the others whom had been afflicted with the same torment with which he himself lived. He could sense their numbness, almost smell it as they wallowed through their daily lives cocooned in their catatonic shells. He could see the lethargy and apathy in their eyes as clear as he could see the noonday sun, or the abundance of his crops. He could see that their solitude and isolation were manifestations of the affliction of the darkness – that constrictor which grips its victim and strangles him of life.

Catharsis had lived with these things for the grander part of his life and it greatly added to his confusion about who he was as a man. He oftentimes felt alone in his struggle. Wishing this affliction would leave him. Often times wishing for his own life to end to escape his life of grey.

*          *          *

Affliction soon found its way to the royal family and took the life of the regent’s heir – it had not preference nor prejudice against whom it took. Shock and panic drove through the city’s streets. How could this sickness have impressed royal blood?! How could it taint such pure bloodlines? What mockery was this?

And so, to combat affliction an edict went out from the royal family and the priesthood: those who were tormented with affliction would be scarred by the branding man’s iron for all to see. They would be labeled with the eternal mark upon their forehead to be ostracized, outcast, and stigmatized.

Identified by the seal, shunned, and avoided so their inexplainable poison would be naught able to disease others.

 
 

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This Depression Thing


The whole issue with this depression thing – it has sucked all life out of me like some soul harvester.

This past year has been one of the most relentless struggles I’ve had to endure. It gets worse each day I aimlessly trudge through my daily dosage of hours like a walker. And I don’t see an end in sight.

I feel like I stare at an hourglass in front of me. Glossy-eyed and lost faced, watching each grain of sand tumble through the bottleneck , building up the mountain in the chamber below that represents time passed.

The sand falls in slow motion.

Maybe you can relate?

shades_01I don’t see the sunshine. I’ve had this gray film over my life. It is a sunny, bright, 82º outside my Norfolk, VA apartment. I can’t see it. I don’t feel the warmth in my soul. I keep all the blinds shut. It’s not the kind of depression where you can simply open the blinds and the gray is gone. That doesn’t work. Our friends will suggest it…to open the shades and let the sunshine in. But those who don’t live with it can’t ever understand that just doesn’t work. It’s a fog of war. It stays.It permeates the skin and sinks down to the core. It’s a wave that has to be ridden.

I’ve been riding the crashing part of the barrel for months.

I have no drive. It’s really hard to continue when you feel so hopelessly apathetic. I get so sick of looking at the hourglass and longing for sleep. If I feel inspired to do something I change to something else before I finish what I started. So many things left unfinished. I wander back and forth in my apartment sometimes feeling that I’m going crazy. Most people that don’t live with this affliction would quickly suggest to exercise. All the other articles and advice out there scream that, but how can you bring yourself to that if you can’t even walk across the street to the beach on such an ideal day?

I’m numb and I don’t feel happiness. I don’t feel the happiness that other people feel when it’s sunny out. I should. I want to feel it. I want to feel “normal”. I want the chemicals in my body to react like that. I don’t want to be numb anymore. Catatonic. Zombie-ish. I’m trying to blog it out because journaling is supposed to be the best form of therapy for depression. It hardly is for me. It’s not cathartic. I’ve had an impossible time dragging myself to type this post and hardly feel any form of relief or healing from doing so. Getting a buzz from drinking (exactly the opposite of what I need to be doing, I know) used to give me a tinge of happiness. Now, that doesn’t even work. I’ve lost all interest in all things: writing, drinking, walking on the beach, reading, drawing, sex, photography, being a dad, friendships. I’ve thought a lot about dying. Not being suicidal, but just as a quiet way to end the mind numbing hourglass watching.Quote_gray_001

I fail at relationship. I isolate. I drive people away. I drive myself away from people. I isolate myself from those who love and care about me. It makes me drive those away who love me. 

I’ve lost a foothold in my faith. I used to find peace when I read the Word and prayed early in the morning. That has been sucked away too. I don’t have the same happiness that I see on other believers’ faces, like when I used to go to church. I want that simple happiness of just waking up and being happy. I know they have their own problems, and sometimes that smile is just plastered on, but I just want to feel the Spirit move me to happiness.

*    *     *

How does your depression make you feel?

Maybe all this strikes a cord. If it does, please remember: you certainly are not alone.

 

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on 08/04/2016 in Depression

 

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When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide? | [REBLOG]

When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide? | [REBLOG]

I’ve been Tweeting with a friend whose site is based on raising suicide awareness, especially for those who need answers to “why?”. I wrote this some time ago and am hoping it helps a little in the way of explaining my personal experience.

surviving the specter

NOTE: Dear reader, this post talks openly about suicide. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time. Thank you. May peace come to you in your valley.

I attempted suicide on 9/14/14.

I had been on the noose for about 45 minutes.

I am fortunate. I had friends that saved me.

I hope that my words may provide some closure for those that may still be seeking answers. A small bit of understanding to answer the question, “Why?” My family and friends are fortunate because I am able to answer those questions for. I am fortunate to be alive and explain it to them.

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“It’s the easy way out.”Psh! Friend if you’re that deep, it’s the ONLY way out.

“He just wanted attention.” I wanted peace.

“He was so selfish.” I wasn’t thinking of anybody.

So when does it all become too much to…

View original post 622 more words

 
 

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Catharsis and the Angels


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Catharsis hung there.

Limp. Swaying from the rafter that supported his mud and straw-thatched roof.

He could hear the cord stretch and groan from his weight as his eyes became heavy.

Back and forth.

Back.

And.

Forth.

His eyes began to close as the cord tightened and choked off his life wind. Choking his hope. His will to live. His resilience.

He hadn’t the will to raise his arms and save himself. He could have he supposed. But he refused. He felt a calming peace blanketing him as his life energy fell through the soles of his feet, leaving his body forever.

Finally.

Finally he would be free of this torment.

Finally he would have peace.

Peace from this Wahrlog of the Darkness.

The Darkness. A darkness so consuming, so debilitating, that each day was a struggle. A struggle to rise each morning. A struggle to tend to his fields. A struggle to continue life. A life coated with apathy.

He had hid it well from his fellow villagers. Masked it behind his toiling in the fields. Masked it behind his inward solitude. Disguised it with the will to be alone. To remain undiscovered and unbranded with the Stigma.

He knew others who had been discovered. Who had been branded on their forehead with the seal of their affliction – their illness. He remembered seeing the searing iron hissing as it sunk into their flesh. Leaving a soft cloud of smoke as it pushed deeper into them.

And their screams.

Their screams.

They were forever labeled in society by those they knew. Those they loved. Those they had children with. Their families. Their neighbors.

Branded.

Shunned.

Stigmatized.

Some, like himself, afflicted with the darkness – the deep, dark, debilitating depression he knew since he was a child.

Others, afflicted with the fear – remnants of some past traumatic stressing life event that had ripped their soul in half, and forced them to relive their past horrors. Manifest in the forms of flashbacks and tortured by the night harpies of terror. He could hear their screams at night.

Alone.

In the darkness.

Others, afflicted with the rage – elevated, hyper levels of anxiousness brought on by some outside trigger. Issuing in a brain pandemonium of paranoia and irritability. Lashing out at those whom they held closest as they wandered through their personal fog of war.

Through his closing vision, Catharsis could faintly make out the Specter emerging from the darkness. Moving closer. Stretching his pale white claws from his cloak, his talons scratching the walls of Catharsis’ mud home. Digging into the hardened clay and leaving deep cuts as chunks of adobe were ripped away. In and out of his slumber, Catharsis thought how they resembled his fields that he had just returned from. Their perfect rows whose cast shadows aligned harmoniously in the setting sun.

This was his last thought of peacefulness as Catharsis’ eyes closed.

And Specter’s grip closed around his throat.

*     *     *

At the instant the beast secured his grip to claim his prize, a magnificent burst of white light flooded the room.

Specter shrieked like a hung pig being bled dry and lurched back from the blazon firestorm that enshrouded the hanging body.

Two forms took their place next to the body of Catharsis. On either side, like stark angelic sentries sent to protect him from the Wahrlog. They raised their hands and in a fluid motion brought them down, lances appearing and striking the mud floor.

Specter hissed and the sentries lowered their weapons, tips pointed at its open throat.

A sentry stepped forward a crouched in the dirt, bracing itself with its weapon. Slowly and deliberately it scratched a line across the floor, fire following in a steady trail.

It retracted and regained its position.

“Though shall not pass” the two sentries whispered.

Specter lurched through the flame and in one swift movement was impaled on their spears. Instantaneously, Specter disintegrated into the light, taking with him his shadows and his darkness.

*     *     *

As one sentry held fast the body of Catharsis, the other swiftly swung its lance at the noose, cutting him free.

Lowering him to the ground the sentries whispered, “you are safe child.”

 

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Killing Myself | Part 2

Killing Myself | Part 2

*TW

Hello my little failure, we’ve been waiting for your return

We know our pressure’s way too much, we know for what you yearn

A little song of sweet respite, to whet your pathetic appetite

We promise to close the lid real tight, and flood our darkness in to your light

*     *     *

I made a drink of 100 proof, my razor blade of choice

To drown out demon voices, to cut their endless noise

I mixed it full with anger, and hurt, and hopelessness

I drank it quick, I drank it fast, I drank it with relentlessness

*     *     *

Callous words are spoken, when we all need love the most

I needed grace, I needed kindness, and to vent without recourse

Maybe one day we’ll be able, to cast aside our pride

And give the tenderness we need, and put ourselves aside

 

 
 

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Thought Someone, Right Now, Needed to Hear This


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“To the world you may be one person.

“But to one person you may be the world.”

I remember when I’ve been in the throws of my Specter, and consumed with such hopelessness and misery I believed no one else endured. That depression demon who is currently being held at bay in his cage of Lexapro and Abilify, but can attack at random times with a sucker punch to the kidney, leaving me without the breath for life. It’s at those times that one person can change your life. They are there. You just have to find them, reach out to them, and hold onto them. They will be there. You mean the world to them.

If you’re wearing the other pair of shoes and know of someone who needs to be reached out to. Use this post as an excuse to do so. You may save someone’s life.

 
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Posted by on 06/04/2016 in Depression, Quotes

 

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Living with a Depressed Male | [Chapter Summary]


Depression jacks up my relationships. Intimate or non-intimate.

I’m not pawning my behaviors off on depression.

Just explaining where they come from.

To improve myself, I must understand myself. unmasking male depression_001

And I’ve found a lot of my answers in “Living with a Depressed Male”, Chapter 14
of Unmasking Male Depression, by Dr. Archibald D. Hart.

Having struggled with depression, not knowing this information led me to feel “crazy”, something a lot of us who survive with mental illness feel. Every. Single. Day.

Though chapter 14 is “primarily for wives” (p. 225), it really helped me understand myself a lot more.

I’d like to unpack it for you.

NOTE: Dr. Hart is a man of Faith but you don’t have to believe for the majority of this information to “make sense”.

*    *     *

I like bullets.

So does my A.D.D.erall.

So instead of summarizing his points in paragraph form I’m presenting them as bullets with page references. My hope is for you to take something away from this and relay it to others.

Here are the points that helped me understand how depression impacts me as a male.


“The Best Things You Can Say to the Depressed Man in Your Life” (p. 231)

  • “I love you and always will because you are important to me.”
  • “I can’t really feel what you are feeling, but I want to understand.”
  • “The best I can offer you right now is to be your friend.”
  • “You don’t have to apologize for the way you feel, because I know you can’t really control it.”
  • “You are not alone in this; I will stay by you until it’s over.”
  • “This won’t last forever, and when it’s over we’ll sing God’s praises together.”
  • “God isn’t causing this. He wants to help you bear it.”
  • “Some of God’s greatest servants have also suffered from depression – and God helped them through it.”

“The Worst Things You Can Say to the Depressed Main in Your Life” (p. 235)

  • “Get your life together; you are a man and can control yourself if you try.”
  • “God isn’t pleased with your life at the moment. Maybe you have unforgiven sin.”
  • “Stop feeling so sorry for yourself and just try a little harder.”
  • “I don’t know how much more of this I can take. You are driving my crazy.”
  • “Remember that there are many people in this world who are worse off than you.”
  • “I’m beginning to think that it was a mistake for me to marry [be in a relationship with] you.”
  • “You should stop seeing those quacks and taking those pills because they’re changing your brain.”
  • “Believe me, I know how you feel because I was depressed once and I didn’t make a meal of it.”

Men are a problem to women but rarely is this intentional. They are to an even greater degree a problem to themselves.

-Steve Biddulph

(p. 225)

How Depression Effects Men & Makes Them Act

  • Depressed men frustrate and alienate those they love the most. (p. 226)
  • Depressed men become monosyllabic, self-absorbed, disinterested in almost everything, and very irritable. (p. 226)
  • Your loved one has not chosen to be depressed. If he could, he would gladly give it up. (p. 227)
  • …depression saps energy and diminishes self-esteem, and it will make your loved one feel worthless and unwanted. Guilt hangs … over every depressed man’s life, and thoughts of dying are very common. (p. 227)
  • …you can …count on there being a major communication problem. Depression shuts down our need to connect and incapacitates our socializing skills. (p. 227)
  • Depressed people become very sensitive to even the slightest rejection and jump to all sorts of negative conclusions and self-blame. (p. 228)
  • Don’t give advice…Men want reassurance that all will be right again. They also want reassurance that you love them and won’t abandon them at this dark moment in their lives. (p. 229)
  • Men express their depressions differently, and this difference revolves around irritability and aggression… (p. 230)
  • Let’s make no mistake about it: men don’t become “nicer” when they are depressed; they often become nastier. If they were mildly irritable before the depression, they become grossly irritable after. They can’t necessarily help it, as it is a by-product of the depression. Depression robs you of all control and turns you into a prickly time bomb. (p. 230)

Caves (e.g., retreating)

  • Caves are bad for depressed men. The problem is the cave’s effect on rumination. The so-called cave experience is deadly to depression because it offers a lot of time for rumination, and rumination feeds the depression just like logs feed the fire. (p. 233)
  • The cave has a soothing effect on men who are depressed, which is why they seek it. But here the soothing feeds feelings of dejection rather than providing a time for escape. Distractions are good. Retreating to solitary confinement isn’t. Depressed men need to be taken out of themselves, not allowed to retreat into themselves where they shut the cave entrance with a big boulder… (p. 234)

So…do you have a depressed male in your life? What has made sense to you here? What do you not agree with? What are your experiences? Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

SOURCE: The words contained in this post are largely the intellectual property of Archibald D. Hart from Chapter 14 of his book, Unmasking Male Depression.

 

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There’s This At Work…


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My daughter helped me design this board at work.

I was prejudiced.

I prejudged.

I didn’t think that an office of  400+ onsite/offsite employees would support this.

I didn’t think a firm of 10,000+ employees worldwide would support this.

No, endorse this. Embrace this with such open arms.

This month of #mentalhealthawareness.

A good friend of mine (who I’m talking into guest blogging in the near future) organized the activities that make up this month’s Mental Health Awareness Campaign at our firm’s local office.

When she first started out, her goal was to raise $400 by having folks donate money towards the senior leader they wanted to “get pied” for charity. The leader with the most votes/money towards their name will get pied, while the leader with the least “votes” will get to do the “pie-ing”.

She surpassed that goal and employees have donated a little more than $600.00. She had to set a higher goal of $1000.00.

I work at a really wonderful firm.

I am fortunate.

I am blessed.

And I am thankful.

 

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An Update About My TMS Consultation


Last Friday, the 13th, I wrote about exploring the area of TMS – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – as a therapy (wish I could type “solution” there) for my depression…my mind that won’t light up.

This past Tuesday I had my consultation and while I am a candidate for the treatment (sirrrrrPRISE, SIIIIIIIRprise) my first important piece of information is that the therapy isn’t covered by my insurance. In fact, the regional manager told me, my insurance was the only one that didn’t cover it. He went on to explain that my insurance currently has a lawsuit against them for not covering the program.

Out of pocket the program will cost $7800.00. Ain’t nobody got pockets that deep, yo! But even then, I would totally go on a payment plan, it’s just these other payment plans I’m on are going to prevent that.

The good news is that there is still a chance my insurance may change its mind when the policy is reviewed at the end of this month.

I’ll keep praying.


If you’re brain won’t light up and you are interested in more information. I’ve included some links here. You can also peruse “TMS” on YouTube.

Links for further reading:

TMS Neurohealth Centers

http://tmsneuro.com/help-beat-depression-with-tms-therapy-treatment/?gclid=CM725YOd58wCFQWUfgodsSwJ8g

The Mayo Clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/home/ovc-20163795

Neurostar TMS Therapy

https://neurostar.com/neurostar-tms-depression-treatment/

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 05/19/2016 in Depression, TMS

 

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Catharsis and the Wahrlog


Catharsis left his field and began to trod the dirt path back to his home. The sun was setting behind him over the walls of Ǚr and he could see his dark shadow extending in front of him with each step he took closer to his home. His tools were slung over his shoulder. Burning a hole through his burlap shirt. Reminding him of the long day’s work.

When he felt it he stopped and turned around.

Something strange.

Perhaps nothing.

He squinted his eyes to see what was there.

Nothing.

He turned around and continued to press onward down the dusty road to his hut in the village. He could see it in the distance and smell the open wood cooking fires in the courtyards wafting towards him in the warm breeze.

His hut sat there amongst hundreds of others, at the foot of the great citadel. That place reserved for his Paladin and the village’s safe place against the Wahrlogs of the Encroaching Hinterlands.

Shh! That place must never be mentioned he reminded himself.

Catharsis’ body was sponged with tiredness. Dull pain from the constant hammering of his joints fighting the thick rocky soil of his field. His field, sat with others against the edge of the small kingdom. The village fields ran almost two-thirds of the way around the inside of the kingdom’s circular wall. Extending from the wall itself inward until they touched the edge of the village.

He looked back again, and this time his vision extended down the single cart road all the way past the Inner Gate and on to the Great Gate. Through the square steel he could faintly see their neighboring kingdom, Ǚruk. As the disappearing sun silhouetted the city black, his gaze came back inside the wall, scanning its base where the thick clay scaled downwards to meet with the growing crops.

“Hmph,” he grunted to himself as he turned and continued walking.

Catharsis was a complicated man. At least he thought himself to be. A man full of emotion simmering just under the surface of his tanned, taught skin. His head like a steadily simmering cauldron full of voices chattering incoherently about self-examination, guilt, shame, ineptness, and social inwardness. But also of helping those in need. These other voices spoke of selflessness, servitude, and exuding grace. Either way, his voices never stopped.

On the outside, his neighbors observed that he was a quiet soul. A soul that preferred to be alone. None would have guessed his social awkwardness and so he preferred this life of his. This life of toil. Where his efforts were manifest in the abundance of his crops.

As he arrived and entered the open doorway to his mud hovel he sensed it again.

Stopping.

Turning around he caught the blur.

Perhaps just a menagerie from the day’s heat and dehydration. Nothing a swill of barley grog wouldn’t take away. But then, he knew that was a remedy he wasn’t permitted, for it tainted the effects of the Elixirs—those magical potions prescribed by the Mediciner to help diminish the effects of Affliction. That ailment – no, that torture, which he had endured since childhood.

He also knew that this Reaper was here to claim his soul.

Setting his tools down at the adobe threshold, he entered and cautiously lit a lamp on the table in the center of the room. Slowly raising his eyes and scanning the dim outskirts of the dull glow.

Now he felt it full force.

There it was in the corner.

The only reason he knew it was there was because he had lived this situation many times. Felt it so many times before.

Been broken by it.

This visit by the Wahrlog of Darkness. This Specter.

Catharsis knew it was lurking just out of sight. Where the light faded into the darkness.

As he squinted, he could see its pale face under its sackcloth shroud push from the dark recesses. Its black, hollow eyes. Its sinister, unsheathed dagger teeth glistening in the shadows. Its chipped, stiletto nails sliding around the corner and scratching the walls of his soul.

Suddenly all the horrors of his life appeared at once. Those Tormentors that haunted his days.

Frustration.

Resentment.

Despair.

Rage.

Hurt.

And Hopelessness.

The loss of his family. The hurt for his estranged daughter. His numerous failures in Relationship. His anger. His stonewalling and defensiveness. The ever present Darkness. When all of these forces gathered on him at once it was impossible to face.

The darkness enveloped him. Specter’s cloak spreading out from arms that spanned what seemed to be the entire breadth of the single-room dwelling.

He couldn’t stand to face this apparition again. Not with the incessant intensity with which it came like so many others.

Often times leaving him crippled fetal on the floor, crying like a baby. Stripped of strength and will. And hope. Begging for it all to end.

Not this time.

In desperation he looked around the room for something to fend off the beast – this harpy. He could feel Its presence growing stronger and reaching towards him.

He couldn’t fight any more than he already had. The Wahrlog slashed at his eyes and dug his talons into his chest, plunging for his soul as its prize.

And so Catharsis decided to finish the fight he could no longer endure.

He fumbled for the cord hanging from the peg on the wall.

Throwing the cord over the rafter and fastening the loose end to the doorpost, he climbed atop the table.

Slipped his neck through the loop.

And let his body go limp.

 

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wh atma y me an s2 m3

wh atma y me an s2 m3

 

 

 

 

 

Being mentally ill with depression means that people may not always get me. I’ve come to accept that.

I’ve also come to accept that it’s okay.

A lot of the times I don’t even get myself.

A.

Lot.

I guess “understand” would be a more accurate word.

It’s like trying to explain to somebody what May means to me, except it comes out sounding like this post’s title looks.

They may never understand what it feels like. And I’m happy that they never will. I would wish this on no one.

There’s so many things I’ve never understood about myself for years, and have only begun to within the past 5-10 years of my life.

A list of un-understandables in my life has been:

I don’t understand why I feel sluggish all the time. 

I don’t understand why laughing feels so forced.

I don’t understand why I want to be alone all the time.

I don’t understand why I don’t want to do things.

I don’t understand why I am always so tired.

I don’t understand why I see grey when it’s brightly sunny outside.

I don’t understand why at 42, I can still sleep until 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t understand why I set my alarm for 5:00 am and hit it until 6:00. 

I don’t understand why I think of suicide

I don’t understand why I pray to God to take me home in my sleep.

Over the years I have come to understand why though.

Depression.

A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5

[SOURCE: https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/this-is-what-chronic-illness-looks-like/comment-page-1/#comment-1817]

NOTE: This image is the original idea of Cass and her site at the above link. Check it out and give it a Like!


 

So for me, the new significance of May is about raising awareness of mental health. And in my case, severe depression and suicide. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out on a scary ledge, and talking about my mental condition to others.

Lessons Learned: Some Things I’ve Learned from My Depression

I would hope that you would take these things and hold them in your heart. Don’t forget them. Remind yourself of them. And learn from your mental condition.

A list of understandables in my life is:

  1. I have a condition, not an illness. I am not sub-human. I am not sick. I am an extraordinarily strong person because I survive through things other people can’t imagine having to deal with. I live my life a little differently than others because I live with affliction.
  2. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve learned to forgive myself and accept myself. I have a hard time believing the phrase, “I don’t let my mental condition define who I am.” I know what people mean, but I think in the end, depression has set some life parameters that I have to (or choose to) live by. If I don’t abide by those…rules, I start to hear Specter’s rusty cage hinges creak and I feel him scratching on the walls of my soul.
  3. What I feel is valid. I am not crazy. I may be a little broken. You may be a little bruised. But don’t you dare let anyone tell you you’re crazy. Don’t you dare let them make you feel that way. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Real talk.
  4. Only I will take care of myself. I must take my meds. Daily. I must eat healthy. I must exercise. Meh. I’m working on the last two. Have
  5. Strive to be empathetic and kind. You know why. You have struggles other people don’t know about. So do others. I remember a time my Lexapro had run out and I couldn’t afford a refill. I had been off it for about four days and I could feel the dizziness set in from withdrawals. Then the bottom fell out. Specter’s claws were dug so deep into my shoulders I could feel them carving at the bones. Someone put their hand on my shoulder and sat with me. I was in tears. I was choking my words out in a dark chair in a dim corner. He made a call to get me my medicine. That’s why.
  6. Be a servant when you can. Help others when they’re down. People have helped me when I’ve not deserved it. Free of charge. Pay it forward.
  7. Exude grace. Strive to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Have grace on yourself. Learn to accept grace yourself. Be gentle on yourself. We beat ourselves up so much each day. Allow yourself forgiveness. See #2.
  9. People do understand – surround yourself with those people. There may not be too many. But you know what? That’s just about the right number anyways. Find your devout warrior supporters and cling to them. Share yourself with them. Open yourself up to them. It is empowering. It is healing.
  10. My God loves me. Me and God. Ahh, yes. For such a lifetime I’ve bashed myself for not measuring up. Engorging bucket fulls of self criticism, guilt, and shame for never feeling like I measured up. Never earning my dad’s approval, or my Father’s. All. Those. Years. And I got it wrong. His scars are enough to cover my soul. His Grace is the way to my healing. His forgiveness is the magnetic north to my moral compass. SOso many times I fail. Flat on my face. He’s always there to pick me up and hug me with a gentle, warm smile.

Now…Let’s take back our lives and make this our new fight song! This one’s for you Niki.

“Cry Thunder”

Time after time as we march side by side
Through the valleys of evil and the torturing souls,
Night after night, for the glory we fight,
In the kingdom of madness and the tales from the old

Death by our hands, for the higher command,
As the darkness surrounds us hear the cries as they fall
Fire burning steel and the tyrants will kneel
Hearts burning stronger with the power of the sword

Set sail for the glory,
Pray for the master of war (pray for the master of war)
Sunlight will fall by the wastelands,
Endless rise for the heroes before

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Reckoning day, for the demons we slay,
With the force of a dragon we will conquer them all!
Chaos still reigns devastation and flames
For the ultimate glory when the legacy calls

March on
Through the hellfire
Blazing for the darkness beyond (blazing for the darkness beyond)
Nightmare return of the thousands
Giving rise to the heroes once more

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

[Solos]

Unholy darkness,
In the eyes of broken dreams,
Outside of the wasted and torn,
A land of tears still remains
Soldiers of destiny calling,
And the fallen will rise up again,
Conquer the forces of evil and fight to the end

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Saviour of nations, freedom of man

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Warriors defending,
One final stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Blessed by the union of man
Cry thunder!
Yeah yeah

 

 

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I Want to See What You See | Poetry


Poetry_do you see what i see_001.jpg

Camera lens of happiness, to take away the grey

Cuz sunshine’s there, I see it, it’s just a million miles away.

Camera lens of hopefulness, to take away despair

The never ending fog of war, the loss of will to care.

Camera lens of energy, to take away the apathy

The never ending lethargy, the sits inside of me.

Camera lens of healing, to take away the pain

Cuz sunshine’s there, I know it, even through the rain

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on 05/02/2016 in Depression, Poetry

 

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The Night I Killed Myself |Part 1?

The Night I Killed Myself |Part 1?

TRIGGER WARNING – This post ideals with suicide. Please do not read it dear friend, if this is a trigger.Mom. Angels. I am safe. This is just a memoir because I know others have no choice but to survive through the same. You have supported me to talk about this curse, through God’s strength.

Regardless of how alone you feel at this very moment – YOU. ARE. NOT. Please reach out. We are here to support our brothers and sisters through this dark abyss. Through this Specter. You can read as much as I remember about my personal fight and that night of hopelessness from the end of the belt.

the night I killed myself

Image of poem with lyrics below, as well as an image of hand holding an empty bottle with pills emptied out on a wooden floor.

The Night I Killed Myself | Part 1?

Anger triggers, trigger pulls, Specter slashing me

Digging claws of hopelessness, broke on bended knee

Half pill, whole pill, crying on the floor

Throw it back, chase it down, hanging from the door

Laughing at the little thought, that I was trying to sleep

“You fool you’re trying to die tonight, you worthless, monstrous creep”

Sitting on the bedroom floor, belt around my neck

Pills on wood, two bottles gone, end without regret

The pain, the hopelessness, the ever growing rage

The beast had torn apart, his rusted , Lexapronic cage

“SHH-! Don’t say it. Don’t dare speak his name”

“He’ll hear you, and he’ll cut you, and brand you with his flame.”

I can’t take the monsters, that rape me every day

Taunting me to exit out, you know, the easy way

Ever since the middle school, I entered a layer of hell

I never made it out of there, the pain’s too much to tell

*   *   *

There’s this girl that stole my heart, she used to call me dad

A fool to think I was the hero, I knew she never had

 
11 Comments

Posted by on 04/09/2016 in Depression, Suicide

 

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Good Friday. Good Thoughts.


10432946_672632702852322_4313548773982204217_n

 

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What is (clinical) depression?


It took me many years to realize I had clinical depression. And even more to understand it. At 41 years old I have finally been able to wrap my arms around something that has been a defining part of my life. If you are as confused as I used to be for so many years, I pray this information from the Mayo Clinic provides a small slice of clarity. That’s what surviving the specter is all about – providing hope, clarity, and understanding for those living with clinical depression.

alone-62253_640_001_001


What does the term “clinical depression” mean?

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.

To be diagnosed with clinical depression, you must meet the symptom criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association. This manual is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

For clinical depression, you must have five or more of the following symptoms over a two-week period, most of the day, nearly every day. At least one of the symptoms must be either a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Depressed mood, such as feeling sad, empty or tearful (in children and teens, depressed mood can appear as constant irritability)
  • Significantly reduced interest or feeling no pleasure in all or most activities
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite (in children, failure to gain weight as expected)
  • Insomnia or increased desire to sleep
  • Either restlessness or slowed behavior that can be observed by others
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Trouble making decisions, or trouble thinking or concentrating
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt

Your symptoms must be severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in day-to-day activities, such as work, school or social activities. Symptoms may be based on your own feelings or on the observations of someone else.

Clinical depression can affect people of any age, including children. However, clinical depression symptoms, even if severe, usually improve with psychological counseling, antidepressant medications or a combination of the two.

SOURCE: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/clinical-depression/faq-20057770

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 04/03/2015 in Depression

 

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So whAt. [Poetry]


poetry_so_what_002Thank you for taking time to read my notes here, as well as the poem. I hope they lend clarity to the design and the elements of style.

TITLE. I capitalized the letters in such a way so as to portray my disassociation with reality when I am in the throws of depression. When Specter has me in his grip.

DESIGN. The bleak, worn background speaks to my depression. I thought it would speak to the figure I wrote about in each verse. To each reader.

As usual, I had an image but decided to remove it so focus would be on making sense of the words, rather than how the image related to the words.

VERSES. I think this poem comes off as snarky and patronizing at first. I went out on a limb and kept it that way because I wanted the reader to make sense of it as they progressed.

For instance, the first two lines of each verse state a problem society might have with us (italics). A “harmless” comment made about how tired we look, or how we couldn’t handle something like everyone else.

Perhaps these are things we think. How many times have you and I felt like the speaker in the first verse? “This is not my day. I’ve never tripped so much in my life. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH ME TODAY??!!”

================================================================

People never know what goes on behind our scenes. We deal with rejection by our parents; our own flesh and blood. We can’t sleep because the night terrors won’t go away. We are broken with the loss of a marriage. We each have our demons. We each have our skeletons. We each have our masks.

It is my hope that each of my readers may find a piece of themselves in these verses. And know that they are not alone.

Do you have a verse to add that reflects your experience with your mental condition (“illness”)? I’d love to see it added in the Comments section.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on 03/24/2015 in Poetry

 

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Leashing the Black Dog: What Causes Depression? [Reblog]


This is a really informative article, posted on The Art of Manliness. It is a lengthy read, but really clarifies some possible causes of depression if you are looking for answer – whether you are a man or a woman. The author’s quote below was my takeaway-

The healthiest approach to dealing with your depression may not be waiting for experts to tell you exactly what’s causing it, but to create a narrative of your own — based on sound reasoning — that leads you to take the most effective action.

What is your takeaway from this post?

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/03/23/what-causes-depression/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheArtOfManliness+%28The+Art+of+Manliness%29

blackdog

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 03/24/2015 in Reblog

 

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The Beast: A Poem on My Depression


Hi there. My name is Chris and I have lived with clinical depression since middle school. On the night of 9/14/14 I attempted to end my life but survived thanks to the quick actions of my close friends. This site is dedicated to both the topics of (clinical) depression and suicide awareness.

I wrote this poem in my journal around five years ago, and at a low-point in my marriage. My wife and I have since been separated for several years but this shows the stranglehold Specter had on me at the time.

The fourth verse was never finished but I wanted to publish what I had written is as, true to the day I wrote it. No changes.

For effect, I took my picture using the Zombie Booth app and used it here. I just now titled this piece, indicative of the way I felt when I wrote it.

I hope this makes others feel they are not alone in their valley. There are many other people in this world feeling what you are experiencing. Right now. At this very moment. Please hang onto that for hope, my friend.

May no one ever have to feel like this. May you find peace through the valley. I pray for your hope. Please reach out here if you feel full of despair. We look out for our own.

-Chris

poetry_the_beast_001

 
6 Comments

Posted by on 03/22/2015 in Poetry

 

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When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide?

When Do We Decide to Commit Suicide?

NOTE: Dear reader, this post talks openly about suicide. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time. Thank you. May peace come to you in your valley.

I attempted suicide on 9/14/14.

I had been on the noose for about 45 minutes.

I am fortunate. I had friends that saved me.

I hope that my words may provide some closure for those that may still be seeking answers. A small bit of understanding to answer the question, “Why?” My family and friends are fortunate because I am able to answer those questions for. I am fortunate to be alive and explain it to them.

************************************************************************************

storm_001

“It’s the easy way out.”Psh! Friend if you’re that deep, it’s the ONLY way out.

“He just wanted attention.” I wanted peace.

“He was so selfish.” I wasn’t thinking of anybody.

So when does it all become too much to handle? At what point does a person reach that tipping point in which they decide to take their own life? What makes them act on their will? I am not an expert, nor a psychologist. I have no certifications, dissertations, or doctorates.

But.

I.

Am.

A.

Survivor.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
10 Comments

Posted by on 03/18/2015 in Depression, Suicide

 

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What My Depression Feels Like [Poetry]


I challenged myself to write about my depression at a point when Specter had me in his grip. I remember coming home and crashing on the couch and immersing myself into a flurry of red box movies for days. Totally useless. Hope some folks can relate and that you enjoy this piece of poetry.

And as always, may peace come to you through your valley my friends.

-Chris

poetry_depression_001

 
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Posted by on 03/17/2015 in Poetry

 

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Doing These Four [Healthy] Things Helps Me Navigate My Depression.


NOTE TO READER: This post mentions my attempt to take my life. If this is a trigger for you please do not read it. May you find peace through your valley my friend.

What do you do when your depression sets in? Do you cry? Do you write? Do you listen to music, or go on a walk? Over the course of time I’ve realized that I do four things that allow me to navigate my depression in a healthy way.

cropped-10516728_10203449821299797_2348610586882441441_n.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 03/17/2015 in Depression, lists

 

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What is Male Depression?


unmasking male depression_001
In his book, Unmasking Male Depression, Dr. Archibald D. Hart presents a frank discussion of depression in males. This is the one book that validated the crazy feelings I couldn’t explain. The grey my life had become. The intense, unexplained sadness that matured since I was in middle school. It crystallized my reality and helped me understand who I was. If you’re a male who is as confused as I was, I encourage you to buy this book.

In this post I take two sections from the book that clearly defined male depression for me. Read the rest of this entry »

 
8 Comments

Posted by on 03/16/2015 in Male Depression

 

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Link

Here is a presentation on male depression that I found on Slideshare. Well thought out and documented.

 

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Image

This is a GREAT narrative on depression that you NEED to read. [Reblog]


The Art of Manliness has started a short series entitled, “Leashing the Black Dog – A series on Male Depression.” The first post in the series, My Struggle with Depression, was well written and I’m looking forward to the follow-up posts. I think all survivors of depression should give it a read, not just men. You can find it at the link below the image.

blackdog

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2015/03/09/leashing-the-black-dog-my-struggle-with-depression/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheArtOfManliness+%28The+Art+of+Manliness%29

May you find peace in whatever valley you are travelling.

-Chris

 
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Posted by on 03/11/2015 in Reblog

 

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You. Are. Not. Crazy.

You. Are. Not. Crazy.

NOTE: Some material here discusses suicide. If this is a trigger please do not read it at this time. Thank you, friend.

How many times have you felt crazy, whether people have suggested it or not?

Hi folks. Thank you for visiting and taking your time to read with me. I’d like to start by quoting one of my firsts posts, which describes the events of the night I tried to take my life.

10. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Don’t EVER let someone tell you are crazy. And don’t you DARE believe the lie. What you are going through is VERY, VERY real. Don’t EVER let someone downplay what you may have to deal with on a daily basis. Don’t let them downplay it if you go through it once a year. It is real. It lives with us. It may lurk in the corner or it may not. We realize this. You are human just like everyone else around you. This is not an illness, this is a lifestyle.

I thought I was crazy.

For.

Many.

Years. Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on 03/08/2015 in Depression

 

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Weekend Hope

Weekend Hope

Hi folks. Thanks for visiting my Faith for Hope section of the site. It’s good to have you. The verses, stories, posts, and quotes have given me hope through both my clinical depression and the weekend when Specter claws his way out of the shadows. They also provided hope through my recovery from my suicide attempt. I pray for your peace and courage as you walk through your own dark valleys. He is there and will provide for you according to His will.

wpid-20150308_102215_20150308102549723.jpg

 

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Video

“Hopeless”, Breaking Benjamin [Video with Lyrics]


What song helps you relate to, or express your mental condition?

I made reference to this video in a post that told my story of dealing with a confusing life of clinical depression and culminated in my attempt to end my life.

“There’s nothing left inside, but I am wide awake.”

Thank you for taking the time to read these few words as well as the lyrics. Will you post the song that embodies your mental condition? Thank you for your courage in doing so.

May you find peace through your valley.

-Chris

 
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Posted by on 03/05/2015 in Videos

 

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Gallery

How to Become a Better Blogger 4: Essentials [Reblog]

How to Become a Better Blogger 4: Essentials [Reblog]

This blog was originally posted on http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/popular-

In her post, “How to Become a Better Blogger 4: Essentials“, author “timethief” lays out the best practices of successful bloggers. Here is a brief overview of what we should be practicing to build our blogging skill set as well as our success. Thank you timethief for this post! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 03/04/2015 in Reblog

 

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