For most people, stress is an everyday occurrence and they just live with it, deal with, or put it out of their mind until they’re laying in hospital bed.
Almost a year ago I was stricken with Shingles. I thought it was something older people got, but I was wrong. Shingles can attack anyone who’s had chicken pox.
Having Shingles was especially unnerving since my parents had said I’d never had chicken pox, well I obviously had and band of scabs stretched across my clavicle, spread up my neck onto my head and right ear.
I missed a few days of work, luckily I noticed it early and started treatment.
After my recovery I began to think about how I became so stressed that a virus ravaged my body.
I discovered there was a perfect storm around me.
- My grandfather died.
- My dad ignored me at my grandfather’s funeral.
- I became depressed enough that I wanted to take my own life.
- My fiction writing became stagnant.
It was months later, after someone I worked with confronted me and said, “I don’t care about your problems”, which sent me over the edge. I talked about this in a previous post.
The death of my grandfather was something I knew was coming, but having little contact with my dad’s side of the family, I was unaware of how bad he was.
My dad’s snubbing me at the service was something I didn’t think would happen, This comes mostly because it was his father’s service and I thought he’d need the emotional support, I was wrong.
The depression which set in after leaving my grandfather’s service hit me a month later when the first sign of Shingles appeared.
My writing had always been my escape from depression, even as a kid I’d create stories in my head, never writing them down.
Writing has helped me discover who I am as much as TM has, possibly more since it’s been in my life longer.
As a teenager, writing helped me find who I was, and even though I wasn’t quite sure who I was, writing always helped.
When I wasn’t able to write, my depression became worse; which led to more stress, eventually leading to Shingles.
I’d never experienced sickness like Shingles before. Sure, I’ve been suffering from migraines since 2004, but I’d never had something knock me on my ass like Shingles. It made me begin to reevaluate my life.
The catalyst to getting over my depression, the stress I’d suffered from my grandfather’s death was a mental break.
The break made me realize I wasn’t healthy, mentally, physically or spiritually.
When I broke, I knew something had to change. That was the middle of March, just after my 38th birthday.
The one thing I thought of when I broke was this, “Every one will be better without me.”
I believed this, not because I was selfish, but because I believed I was doing something good for those around me.
When you’re depressed enough to want to take your life, you completely believe if you weren’t there, every one would be better.
This thought is not selfish, it’s a belief that life for you is better without them, it’s not about getting away from life, it’s about you being better because they’re not there to cause problems for you. This one thing is a misconception about suicide.
I’ve been to the edge with a knife, and I know what it looks like to stare at the blade and resist the urge to “make things better for those around you”.
Depression nearly took me, but it was my desire to see how this story ends which has kept me going.
When it was at its worst, I found something to help me get better.
Life takes us places we never thought we’d go. Sometimes we end up in a place where we need help.
Please ask for help if you need it!