Digging out of the closet


For many years, I’ve struggled with being happy.  I’ve struggled with being the best person I could possibly be, and trying to make the right decisions so that I didn’t feel like I was a disappointment to everyone else around me.

I’ve struggled many years with worry.  Worry about being jobless.  Worried about being homeless.  Worried about being looked at as a failure compared to other people.

In October of last year, I had a very down point in life.  I had to make some very painful decisions that would affect people around me.  I tried to make the best decisions I could make, given the information I had at the time. Given the obstacles that I had in my way at the time, I made the best decisions I could, and I moved on.

I’ve always struggled with being the ‘sad’ guy.  I even had a friend who I worked with sixteen years ago approach me and give me a book on why I shouldn’t commit suicide.  It had never crossed my mind. 

Fast forward to about three months ago.  I’m getting all my stuff together to do my taxes.  I prepare everything and look at the amount I owe.  I couldn’t believe it.  So I waited for my wife’s information and did her taxes.  Then I re-did the taxes, filing jointly.  It brought the amount down substantially, but it was still a very large amount of money that I owed.  I had and have never owed taxes in my life.  I’ve always had more taken out of my check so that I didn’t run into that situation at the end of the year. It was a struggle.  Dealt with.  Major league pain in the ass though.

At that point, I thought, “I’m worth more dead than I am alive.”  If I take ten to twelve Tylenol PMs one night, maybe I’ll just go off to sleepy land and never wake up again.  My problems will be over.

Then I thought about the people around me.  My wife.  My kids.  My ex-wife.  My parents.  My wife’s parents.  The few friends I have who I actually can call friends who would help me if ever I was to have an issue I needed to discuss or a problem that I faced.

Growing up, I was never bullied.  I had kids make fun of me because my head is shaped like Beldar from Saturday Night Live due to hydrocephalus.  But in fifth grade, I picked a kid up and drug him through a mud puddle.  He was one of the kids who picked on me.  Pretty much, being picked on stopped there.  Thankfully.

Many kids and adults are bullied.  Many take their own lives because they are bullied.  Many people take their own lives because they feel overwhelmed by the circumstances that they face in their lives.  I feel sad for them.

Yes, I considered suicide.  But, even if my issues in life are sometimes very difficult, I have found that life is worth living.  Reach out to those around you.  Reach out to people who may not otherwise have friends to talk to.  If you have a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, reach out to them.  Say “Hey, I’m just checking on you.  You doing OK?”  It might make a world of difference to that person. You might even save a life.

I’ve had a couple friends reach out to me in the last several weeks, for which I’m grateful. 

Am I over the hump?  Of being thinking that I’m worth more dead than alive, yes.  I still struggle some days with a sadness, because frankly, at six hundred and ten months old, I thought I would have life figured out a bit more than I do.  I thought I’d be in a better place in life.

But then I remember that God has gotten me through 100% of my struggles to date.  So I guess I’m batting 1,000.  May not seem like it some days.  But I am.

I have a wife who loves me, and kids who love and tolerate me.  My parents still love me and I’m thankful to have people in my life who care. 

What was the purpose of this entry?  I’m not sure.  I guess what I’m saying is that you should reach out to those around you.  You NEVER KNOW what might be going on in their lives where just saying “Hello old friend, I’ve not heard from you in a while.  You doing OK?” might make a difference in someone’s life.