Never Ignore The Signs of Depression

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by chferg, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. chferg

    chferg #CousinEddieTime

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    December 10th is always a day I wake up with a heavy heart. It's a day that I will most likely remember for the rest of my life and not one I wish I would have to.

    Before I begin this story; I'd just like to say that I know I am younger than most of you guys on this board, I know that everyone has a "story", I also am aware that each and everyone one of you have lost someone and I am not the only one. However, I made a promise that on this day, no matter the setting I'd share my experiences to perhaps prevent it from happening to someone else and I figured that although I will likely never meet any of you guys in person; I spend a fair amount of time here and enjoy the company of all of you guys on this board so what better place than here. So here it goes.

    Three years ago today I lost my best friend but in reality it was as I had lost my own brother; we weren't blood but he was family. We had grown up in much different situations, I was from a good middle class family with two loving parents and grandparents that were and still are the best people in my life. My buddy on the other hand had it much worse; losing his mother at 11 from a freak accident at a hospital where she worked, his father becoming depressed literally drank himself to death by the following year. Instead of moving into his grandmothers and staying in Wisconsin where he had been born and raised, he was shipped to Missouri to live with his aunt and uncle whom were good people but were a little harder on him than his own parents.

    He grew up with a stable home but was so angry at the world and primarily at God for taking away everything that he'd known that he really became fairly reckless, it wasn't till his junior year in High School that things really started to calm down and really started focusing on his future career.

    Fast forward a few years later and my best friend had moved to Springfield, Missouri; working there at some restaurant, got into a few light drugs, started selling them to make ends meet. I'd drive down there often, have crazy nights out in Springfield, meet a lot of women and get into a little trouble; we could pick up where we left off without ever missing a beat.

    In 2012 I was heavily bogged down in coursework at Southeast Missouri State University and really didn't have the time nor money to make that 5 hour drive to see my best friend very often. Heard from a few friends in that area that he had been pretty down lately; the crew he ran with there weren't good people and he began to question what he was doing with his life. Really it was a stroke of luck for him, he met a very beautiful and good natured woman who straightened him out; he enrolled back in college, stopped dealing and prepared to move out to avoid being dragged back into that life. He was having one last get together on Halloween before he moved, I drove 5 hours and surprised him and we made the night last. Women, booze, limos, Springfield...it was insane; however, had I known that would be the last time I was going to see him I might have thought less of what we were doing and honestly enjoyed the time more.

    December 6th, 2012 I was in the middle of finals and I was preparing my presentations for my courses. Late that night I received a call from my best friend; obviously a little ****ed up, he told me that some things in his life had really taken a turn for the worse and he felt like he was slowly drowning in it all, he asked if I could make it to Springfield to hang out that weekend. I felt that I needed to go but with finals and my future hinging on this forced me to stay and concentrate on my work; I let him know this but I said next week after finals I'll come down and kick it for a few days during break. Then he did something odd, he said he understood and before he got off the phone he said "Ferg, you've always been family to me, you know I love you man."...those were the last words I'd ever hear.

    December 10th, I woke up after a long night of partying to a call..."Chris, before you read it online I need to tell you this; [ ] killed himself last night".

    Three years later and I still feel the weight of his death on my shoulders; he reached out to me and I didn't pick up on the signs. How was I supposed to know that he was going to kill himself? Maybe he would have done it anyways and made me find his body. Maybe he would have done it a week later even if I had come down. I'll never know the answer to questions such as those but I still feel like I could have done something.

    If any of you on this board take time to read this, perhaps it will save a life, perhaps it won't. I made a promise that I'd always tell his story and mine; as I have said, maybe it will save a life. Even if it's just one, it would be worth it. There is so much more about my "brother" and best friend that simply typing on a message board cant convey the person he was; he would have given you his last nickel in your time of need, never asking for anything in return.

    Till We Meet Again Bro.... 32426_10151121167955855_536464432_n.jpg
     
    • WobbleGator

      WobbleGator Chatterbox Mod

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      Appreciate the story. Sucks that he killed himself.
       
    • URGatorBait

      URGatorBait #TeamCasey
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      Wow. Thank you for sharing ferg.
       
    • NavetG8r

      NavetG8r Stupid
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      Many people suffer daily with mental health. Depression is one of those conditions that is very hard to recognize because people suffering from depression tend to hide it very well. Not wanting to drag those around them down also, people will act like they're having the time of their lives while everyone else around them is completely clueless to the battle they're fighting within themselves.

      Sorry for your loss ferg. Without some professional help, it's unlikely your missed trip would have made more than a few days, perhaps a few weeks difference. I hope you aren't carrying guilt over this. If you are, and be honest with yourself, because if you are, it could lead to your own very real battle with depression. You should consider some counseling for yourself if you find yourself dwelling on your friend's suicide every year at this time. Could be a sign you're carrying unnecessary, and perhaps unrealized excessive guilt.
       
      • Swamp Queen

        Swamp Queen Mrs. Sasquatch
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        Damn ferg, heavy story but appreciate you sharing. I'll echo what Nav said, depression is serious stuff but don't carry guilt with you. Take care of yourself and remember the good times!
         
      • NVGator

        NVGator Member
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        Nav has nailed it, Ferg. That's some heavy gilt you are dealing with still, 3 years later. It's powerful you are able to talk about it, even in this an anonymous setting. You shouldn't blame yourself, if that's what you feel. Seek some help and embrace it.
         
        • MidwestChomp

          MidwestChomp Fun was the goal and we hit the bullseye
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          I feel for you Ferg. We came incredibly close to losing my dad about 12 years ago. You never know how depression affects someone because they don't want to talk about it, and then it might be too late. It takes a lot to tell people about situations like this, so I appreciate you.
           
        • Gatorbreath

          Gatorbreath I am my favorite poster.
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          Poignant story, and I can relate - to an extent.

          Long before we met, my ex-wife was diagnosed with severe depression, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. She'd have periods where she could function normally, and then long periods where, um, not. She was hospitalized many times, sought treatment from multiple doctors and even tried electric shock therapy (it was gruesome and to this day I admire her courage for trying it). She self-mutilated to "let the pain out" and even tried "suicide" a few times (suicide in quotes because most were obvious plays for more attention, but one - where she secretly took all the pills/medicines in the house before bed and went to sleep next to me not expecting to wake up was real - and creepy for me, truth be told - and believe me, she had A LOT of medicines in the house). I even met Darryl Strawberry while visiting her at one of the psych hospitals where she was a patient. In addition to trying pretty much any treatment from an assortment of doctors, we moved several times (GA, NC, VA) - the theory being a new area/home might break old, bad associations and replace them with new and healthy ones. When all other "factors" had been changed or eliminated, we separated - the idea being that she might have begun associating some of her demons with me. Nothing worked. This cycle repeated until we ultimately went our separate ways.

          I look back and I think I married her for two reasons: first, because I loved her. When not outwardly afflicted by her demons, she is a beautiful, sweet woman with a good, pure and loving heart and we had a wonderful relationship. The second reason I married her - I think - was because I thought I could help (or fix) her (and be a good, positive influence on her daughters - from her first marriage) and this appealed to my "white knight" streak.

          I mention all this because I can personally relate to your story - up to its tragic ending. My wife and I ended up divorcing after 10 years - but parting amicably and we are friends to this day. She has managed to find some peace and equilibrium in her life in a small apartment with a small dog, a relatively easy and low-stress job and a decent support group. She is off most of the meds she was on - and believe me, it was a truckload and each with its own, in some cases hideous, side-effects. She is back in shape and recently told me she is dating a little again. I am very happy for her. She could relapse at any time, but this time her recovery seems real and feels like it could last for a long time.

          My experience taught me that when a person struggles with mental illness, there is precious little we can do to help them. We can be good, loving friend/family members/spouses. We can listen to them, hug them, sympathize with them, offer them guidance and nudge them to seek help. We can visit them when they're hospitalized and work with their healthcare providers to help them cope. But in the end, recovery - if possible at all - must come from within them. How, I wish I knew. I am lucky. My ex somehow found a way to turn things around (honestly, she's not even sure how she did it and we don't talk about it much for fear of jinxing it). For a long time I thought I'd get a phone call similar to the one you received.

          I've blathered on for a long time here but my point is, it sounds like you were a great "brother" to your friend. Having you in his life certainly enriched it and likely prolonged it. Some things in life are simply beyond our control. Cherish your fond/crazy/happy memories with him and honor his memory and spirit by living your life to the fullest knowing you will see him again someday.
           
          • MidwestChomp

            MidwestChomp Fun was the goal and we hit the bullseye
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            Beautiful.
             
          • Delg8tor

            Delg8tor Senior Member

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            Ferg, thanks for sharing and please take the advice of all the above posts. No one should carry the burden of guilt around.
             
          • daytonacane

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            A close friend who is a seasoned policeman, told me that at least 50% of the people in jail are mentally ill, but we are not set up to handle the situation. Currently here in Daytona the homeless have congregated in the parking lot of a downtown administrative building. Many of these people are mentally ill. Our city officials are meeting to try to determine what to do.

            Long-term, on-going depression is a mental illness and sometimes no matter what we do or say, it does not help in the long run. It is very difficult for us to understood and accept suicide but I hope you can come to grips with this and accept the fact that no matter what you did it would not have changed the ultimate outcome.
             
          • rogdochar

            rogdochar Senior Member

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            Suicide is a terrible problem. It involves an ongoing "string" of thought conclusions banked
            in a vault of despondent evaluations - nearly all secret or disguised in revelations. Many
            overlook that staying on a downward spiral of increasing drug abuse (including alcoholism)
            could be added to suicide statistics.

            Sorry chferg, that this happened to you and your friend.
             
          • Concrete Helmet

            Concrete Helmet Hook, Line, and Sinker
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            I have their solution. Rent a couple of large buses and place them in the parking lot of the building. Hang banners saying "Free Food"....Let the homeless on the buses then drive them about 1 hour west deep into the Ocala National Forest....open the doors of the buses and kick them out....
             
          • NavetG8r

            NavetG8r Stupid
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            That's cruel Crete. #homelesslivesmatter
             

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