The Impossible made possible!
Tied up, hands across my neck and a pillow pushed in against my face and with my ability to fight doesn’t seem possible; my life quickly fades before me. My lungs closing and my heart aching with fear, i’m anchored to weight and dropped into the wide ocean, my tight lungs fill up with water and my body struggles to breathe. I’m drowning quickly and my future becomes more and more distant with every second passed. I’m counting my breaths wondering what will be my last. I’m saved and only by chance, but pretending to be okay after such episodes, the tiniest of things becomes a bigger struggle. A fake smile constantly and pretending doesn’t become normal, it’s a destroyer. I’m chained to something dark, yet so heavy making living unbearable. The agony, the pain and fear inside and out, an explosive ready to self detonate at anytime changes your ability to be yourself. Silently hurting, constantly scared, my confidence stolen and my personality trapped, fearing life and the beauty of people. It’s the simplest of things that can become the hardest things to accomplish. When you begin to scare yourself, you’re allowing the demons to win. This isn’t me and i’m not that person, it’s not a side affect or something you pretend to be. It’s not in my head nor is it something you forget. It’s an illness, a life destroyer, a strength a past, the present and well could be your future if not already your past or present. Push your inner beauty to escape the beast. This is depression and anxiety!
I’ve always been afraid of losing the people I love, however sometimes I wonder if they’d ever be afraid to lose me. I know that my closest and dearest love me massively and show me how much they care, but my depression makes me think differently. Is the world out to get me? My biggest fears now lie beneath my fragile skin fearing that eventually people will see me the way I see myself, allowing death to seem more inviting than life itself. The saddest kind of sad is when your tears can’t even drop and you feel nothing. It’s like the world has just ended. You don’t cry, you don’t hear, you don’t see, you just stay there. Then for a second, the heart dies. Depression is like a war, you either win or die trying, without darkness there is no stars right?
I despise praise, attention and don’t like being given sympathy however all I ever hoped for is an understanding. It can be difficult for someone who has never experienced depression or anxiety to understand, but having someone who supports you by simply believing in you and not making you think your illness is all in your head and that the darkness you experience is all in your imagination is worth holding onto. It’s a blessing!
I had my past life, telling me that my bad days where nonsense and that it was all in my head, to get up and shake myself and although that was their way of dealing with it. All I wanted was someone to hold me and tell me everything will be okay. I had my Mum and Sisters who where fabulous when I needed them most. I had cuddles, hugs and kisses, words or support and love so strong, but with they’re fears or losing me, made me feel like a prisoner and victim of war. I wanted one thing and got another… Everything was becoming a hassle. I just wanted a balance and soon that was sprung on me by surprise.
I found love, hope and a future in one man who walked into my life unexceptionally and soon he became my reason to fight for strength to believe what I stand for as it was only him who made me feel normal, loved and secure in my loneliness of days.
What is normal? I believed there was no such thing as normal and that normal was just ridiculous. If the people of the world was normal, would we be at war and would families be living in poverty? Would the lady down the road die from cancer and the criminal downtown walk the streets after serving only part his sentence in prison? Would same sex marriage be such a shameful act in most countries? Not at all; but in those moments of pureness when nothing seems possible, comes possible. That’s a blessing.
People of the world who suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental health illnesses react, cope and learn differently, but doing good, finding inner peace and identifying beauty within yourself is your first steps of being able to find who you truly are. I found happiness and i’ve kept hold of it and now my love is my coping magnetism, my medicine and my strength and it’s all down to one guy, Andrew.
My mental illness started when I was a child, no older than six or seven years old and went unnoticed and undiagnosed until 2010 when I plucked up the courage to seek the help that I needed.
I was at primary school when my issues began after my Fathers behaviour would spiral out of control taking his anger and frustration out on my Mother and later on me and my younger sibling. My Father had a drinking problem and often would return from his work, demand his dinner and blow off to the pub spending his earnings on booze and drugs and later return home in a drunken state, but in great spirits, wake my sibling and I up to play, laugh and joke and then for no apparent reason, he’d turn on us. He’d use a physical strength to smack us both using the buckle of his thick handmade leather belt. This would happen on a regular basis and sometimes he wouldn’t even wake us up, depending on his mood however we’d be woken by the loud screams of my Mother begging him to stop beating her. This went on for so many years, even during the pregnacies of my other younger siblings. While this happening all behind the scenes, I lived in the heart of Belfast during the troubles where I seen and heard many a thing happen, like the time I witnessed a gun being put to a neighbours head from my bedroom window or the time I had a knife put to my throat by another neighbour. The conflict continued for years between Catholic and Protesant and it was unfortunate that; what was wrong was soon becoming the normal.
Our family home was targeted in an arson attack with petrol and paint bombs as my siblings and I lay asleep in our beds; lucky enough able to escape, however it was then my Mum decided enough was enough and wanted change for the family. It was then my Mum left my Father and we became homeless for little under a year living between hostels. I still remember that point of my life where I never knew where was home.
School was a struggle too, though I had to brace the fear and face the issues alone when I was bullied for the way I appeared. The anxiety alone at home was horrible, let alone the same feelings when walking to school and even in school. The bullying I experienced wasn’t physical, but verbal and emotional which soon affected my learning and education and causing me the confidence issues i’ve had to date. Childhood was no walk in the park, it was a real struggle and watching life fall apart soon became the reality of my life. I rarely seen a future for myself and sometimes never thought i’d even make secondary school.
My family was slowly parting with my parents seperating and my eldest sibling leaving home to live with our Father. My Sister and I were best friends and we looked out for one another, often getting each other into trouble, but we’d always get each other out of it. We would have done anything to make sure each other was happy and content during the present times, however we always knew when one of us wasn’t okay and always knew when we had problems occuring. My Mum moved away to the seaside with my other siblings and due to my education at school, I stuck around in Belfast and attempted to finish my education. I moved in with my Father and Sister and from the day start, Dad and I never got on. He’d often threw me dirty looks, call me names and hated me for being a Mummy’s boy and it was unfortunate that he only allowed me to stay so he’d get more money from the Social Security. My fathers domestic behaviours still continued which affected most of his past relationships, but things changed from bad to worse. Raping my Mother during my childhood as I watched in fear was horrid and the cries I can still hear, but my Father soon turned to his Daughter. I know he pysically abused my Sibling as I was present and many a time had to stop him, but never did I think sexual abuse would occur. My Fathers protection was scarily different towards my Sister and I found it all a little weird. His role as a Father quickly disappeared and a sense of jealously and control arrised. The nightmares I thought I was having became a reality. It was real life. I suspected some sort of abuse and approached my Sister about it, but with fear she denied it. It wasn’t until a few years later and after a few times being prompted by myself, she admited it and straight away I made it known to him that I knew and I reported it to Social Services and the Police. It only took a day before my Father attempted to take his own life and was taken into care by Family. This was a regular thing that occured by attempting sucide in the past. However after pleading with his Family to go to his own home and ensured his safety, he locked himself away and took his own life. I’m a huge supporter of suicide awareness and would give anyone whether they be a stranger, a friend or a loved one, those who needed help, company or advice, i’d give them my full time and attention, but with anger then and anger that still remains, to take your life to escape the truth and imprisonment after destroying someone elses life through their own actions is cowardly action. In ways I blame myself, but in ways I don’t. I just wish I could have stopped it before it even started. I was ashamed to admit my Fathers actions and never spoke of them as I didn’t want those who thought knew him best, have a bad opinion of him and despite his actions, this was still my mindset. Some called it bravery and other called it blame. That was my Father and his actions and yes I was upset on his passing as he was my Father and not every memory was a bad one. I do still love him in a way, but not because he’s my Dad, but because he gave me life and a family.
My Sister and I moved to my Mums and and attempted to begin a new life, but blame still arrised. The build up of stress and pressure during the present was overwhelming and it didn’t get any lighter and with the past still hunting me, suicide felt the best option. I attempted sucide on four seperate occassions and thankfully they all failed. The agony of leaving my Family was daunting, knowing the stress it would add to their lives and worrying who’d protect them when they needed it scared me. However a build up of misery and the fears of the future only ever got bigger rather than smaller and with every year that passed and the life events, I generally thought life couldn’t become anymore difficult.
My mothers health deteriated and was self inflicted, she fell pregnant to a man who she felt was the love of her life and soon they’d devolope a drinking problem. Mums pregnacy wasnt healthy and after the early arrival of my youngest sibling, things became a horror. I soon filled the shoes of being Mummy and Daddy, struggled to fake smile and pretend life was fabulos, but in reality, it was one struggle after another. It was just a pure misery. Mums drinking habbits got worse, her relationship fell apart and it just got to the sage where she was in a paraletic state everyday and the love for her children soon vanished and her resonsibilities were unrecongisable. Alcohol became her priority and her only love.
Social Services became involved at this point and my siblings and I were put on the Child Protection Register and my youngest sibling was put into care. The heartbreak of that alone was heartwrenching, but witnessing my Mother not understand what was happening was her fault. Mum went into rehab and succeeded after two stays periods and got her life back on track, my sisters now moved on with their own children and my youngest sibling being back in the care of our Mother, life was looking good.
I was still tramatised by the past events and still today I find it difficult to cope with the actions of my history. I eneded up meeting a girl, got married and things felt great, but soon that began to fall apart. I was trapped for years and couldn’t explore my childhood due to the control and responsibilties I had to take on, but it turned out that the marriage was heading down the same path. I’m not comparing my marriage to my past, by all means no, but a sense of control yes. Nights-out wasn’t allowed unless she was present, I couldn’t visit family alone and friends I had, I soon lost because of her control. The clocking the miles in the car on my days off and questioning my whereabouts on her return home was geting ridicolous and if I didn’t answer the phone, she’d ring round my family and question them in regards to my whereabouts. Things got so bad, one evening on a night I did go out despite her efforts to stop me; she texted her self pretending to be me, save her number under my name and tried to convince me, that I texted her asking to pick me up. It was madness. On so many occassions we spoke and she understood her behaviour was spiraling out of control and always fed my brain with false promises. I soon realised that I wasn’t loved, but was an obsession. I struggled to see past this and after the miscarriage our baby daughter, I continued to blame myself and still to this day we’ve never spoken of it to one another. I was slowly falling into a zone where I thought I never exsisted and soon my depression would be on the front line controling my life. Life wasn’t worth fighting for and again I attempted suicide. I desperiately tried to seek the help I needed, I spoke out to family and even to the woman I married, but she kept telling me it was in my head and that I was imagining it. That’s not a method of help or support, that was abuse. I realised I was being mentally abused and being that person again wasn’t pleasnat. I wanted to leave so many time without a single goodbye and just vanish and never to contact home again. I didn’t know what I wanted, but was always to scared to seek a future when my past and then present was hunting me. My statements at the begining of the blog is a true example how I felt then and when I fall into that depression zone now.
It was only last summer when I took a breakdown, everything got to much and holding problems that had occured in the past was unbelieveably creeping its way back into my life. I found myself in the garden gazing at the sky siting in my pajamas in the rain where my family ran to my side and held me, telling me that i’d be okay. They encouraged me to return to my GP and get the help I required and now i’m on the right track. This was the day I made the admission to my family that I was abused myself as a child myself, but by a stranger. I’ve only ever told my family this and even writing about it now is daunting, but holding such events in for so long and not being able to voice the incidents was destroying me. I had to take off from work and find who I was as a person, I had to quit with all the negativty in my life and leave the bad energies behind and that soon helped my decision to end my marriage. Now almost a year seperated, i’m filing for divorce and I feel wonderful. I’m in a relationship with a Guy, I followed a path I was curious to explore and i’m thankful I did that. I found a man who has helped me identify who I am as a person, i’m now someone I want to be and proud to call gay. I don’t regret my time spent in the marriage I was in, it wasn’t all bad and many goodtimes was had, however my future is now my priority and the only thing I regret is not finding Andrew earlier in my life. He’s a keeper, a man I love, adore and cherish, he’s a guy i’ll spend the rest of my life with and one day soon marry.
Life isn’t easy and every day isn’t the same although, the bad energies and the negativities are no longer present in my life. I still have depression and suffer from anxiety and I do have relapsed episodes. I’m currently being assessed for more diagnoses and hopefully that will put my illnesses to rest with the right help, medication and support.
Opportunities are endless and only we as people know where our own happiness lies: your universe is destined, only you can create your own pathway to happiness and it can be more difficult than others, but keep trying and don’t ever give up fighting.
Be yourself, have fun, enjoy life, laugh and smile throughout it, love you, make memories and more importantly live your life to the full the way you want it. You’re you, like I am me, be unique, be big, be powerful and show the world how beautiful you are. No one is perfect, but we’re all good enough.
– James Keenan