I have written stories of facing down the black bear.  There were stories of contacts with the lofty majestic moose.  There were also stories of experiences with lightning. None of these stories are as scary as just writing this story.  Just the fact that I sit here and write instills anxiety of the changes it might bring. I do not write this story as something to justify myself, but to show you fine folks just what it is like to journey into the darkness.  I hope that it may help just one other person.

As a teenager, I did not handle well many challenging situations. I was told at that age it was just something teenagers go through and it would pass.  This did not help in those moments when nothing in my life was of any value to me. Things that were once important were either destroyed or were of no value to me at all.  There were times of extreme anger. I remember one time my younger brother said something about my then girlfriend and the anger inside of me exploded like a big bomb. I proceeded to pound him relentlessly.  Someone pulled me off my brother and I turned like a raging bulldog and picked them up as one would a light sack of flour. I shook him and then realized it was my dad. I gently set him down on to his feet and apologized.  “Sorry Dad” and left the house. Another time, a very good friend of mine slapped me in the face. We were fooling around and having great fun. This act angered me greatly even though we were just fooling. I began to study myself and wonder why I would react to such a silly act.  It wasn’t until later in my life that I would find the answer to this question.

As years went by every five years or so, I would slip into this darkness where nothing was worth much to me. Many things I had cherished were either given away or left out so the weather would ruin them.  I would then have to start my journey all over again. This journey into darkness became quite familiar. Every time I got into an emotionally challenging situation or mentally challenging situation I would slowly slip down that slope. I would say to myself, here we go again. The road I would go down was getting quite familiar. The ruts were getting deeper and I knew what was at the end of this road. I so wanted off this journey and at times I welcomed the final act.  Many people in my circle of life at that time would jokingly ask if I was trying to commit suicide. I so much wanted to say “yes”, but in those days it would be admitting weakness. That could not be allowed.

During my life, I had three major events until I finally sought out professional help. It was not until then, that I found out these events actually had a name.  I also found that there were ways to prevent this journey into the empty darkness. Their names were Anxiety and Clinical Depression. All of those times I thought of suicide could have been helped by the knowledge of what the process was. I began to study what this anxiety and depression was all about. I did as much research as I could to stop the process.  One person in my life thought I was faking all of this. I thought at one point, there is one way to prove this was real to me. But there were some people in my life that I knew needed me more, so I never took that final step down that old rutted familiar road. I had known others that tried it and failed only to become a burden and that I did not want.

As I studied my anxiety and depression, I found out that when in depression, if I had a pill and a glass of water on the table in front of me, I would not take it. This is why it is so important to realize I was going down that road again before I got to that point. I also found out that the reason for this thinking is not because I had smoked grapevine when I was 6 years old.  It was not because I ate those red berries when I was warned they were bad. This was caused because I was wired slightly different. Something that was passed on down through the generations. Thus, I began a search of my relatives and found out there were others, and some had actually committed that final act. Those families were devastated and never knew the cause of that action.

This frightening journey into the empty darkness begins with anxiety. This is not someone’s fault.  It is not because things did not go as planned. I am a perfectionist by nature and if things were not right, it would bother me.  After many events of things not as I had expected, I would begin to slip into anxiety. Verbal confrontations, emotional upheavals, anything that was negative in my life contributed to this slide. By not taking care of this slide, I would end up down that rutted road again.  It was most important that I realize and take care of this anxiety first. All of this was just because I was mentally wired slightly different. There was a lot of help available had I realized how easy it would be to control my anxiety. But to admit I had a problem with my thinking was at the time admitting weakness.  I could not admit I was weak. I could not admit that I was even thinking about ending my existence. It would be admitting a major weakness. This is unfortunately something that society pushes on those that suffer from anxiety and depression. To admit one had a problem was not received well and only today is it realized that it is a not a fault or a weakness.  This is something you have inherited, and you need to realize it and learn to control the anxiety. This is not usually something you can do by yourself. After seeking help to control my anxiety and depression, I learned what events continued to increase this anxiety. I now do all I can to avoid these confrontations.

My depression is one of bleak existence.  No matter what I tried to accomplish, I would eventually sabotage all the good things. The thinking was there that it did not matter because I would not be around longer, and they were better off without me. Failure was my companion for a long time. This only helped me go down that all too familiar road. Anytime anything negative came around, it only added to the slide. I just did not care, I wanted out of this type of life. There were many times I would put myself into dangerous situations with the hope of an accident. An accident that would cause a justifiable death. I did not want to be weak, but I would almost welcome the end of this darkness.  This is how it was for me when in depression. Thankfully, I learned the process and now I pay close attention to my anxiety. I absolutely avoid situations or events that increase my anxiety. I am at peace in the woods. I try to stay away from anything that creates any type of emotional drama. As I grow older, even small events such as a rabbit or a deer running across the road in front of my truck can start a bit of anxiety. It is important that I do things that are peaceful and non-confrontational. It is so important for those that have problems with anxiety and depression to share with someone. If I had not shared, most likely, I would not be here writing this story. I knew the ending and many times, I welcomed it. No matter what others say or how important others were to me I still welcomed the final end.   I now enjoy life in the woods. It is quite peaceful creating things that I would only give away. It is so important that anyone who suffers know what your triggers are and learn how to avoid or deal with them. It is not a weakness to take medications to help manage this anxiety. Many times this is our answer to help control the painful anxiety.

I have many things in my life that I use to show me where I am on this journey. If I begin to not care how well I create something, that is a sign I am slipping.  Anyone who suffers from anxiety needs to know things about themselves and society needs to learn also. I can not urge folks enough that suffer to seek help because help is out there. The quality of life will be so much better then living in that empty darkness that will one day swallow you.  And you will welcome it. That is not the answer. It is not an act of weakness to seek out help for this problem. It is not something you have done. It is something you have inherited. I urge you not to live as I have and find the solutions that work for you. Good luck and may God help us all.