I'm here in San Francisco awaiting a flight home right now. Sitting here, many things weigh on my mind.... memories and sadness from some of those memories. On the plus side, I have a job and a family I love. Traveling here and there across the states I love.
I've had several people mention to me that I've not blogged in a while. For that, there is a reason. I thought, as I sat here, I would share with you a little about my experiences over the last three months. I won't go into specifics, for various reasons, but let me just share that in the last three months or so I've been through more pain than I think any one individual is equipped to cope with.
In my life, I've been through a divorce.... I've been through the suicide of my mother, finding her dead, trying a 15-year-old's inexperienced attempt at CPR and all that goes with that.... I watched them bury her on a cold January day.
I nearly lost my first wife and three kids to the Oklahoma City bombing.... I could easily have lost my life in the Oklahoma City bombing and certainly suffered PTSD afterward.
I went through 9/11 with everyone else, wondering if some wayward terrorist was planning on flying through my building in Jacksonville, Florida (I was one of three maybe that actually stayed at work that day, and would you believe that HR came through and took count of who was not there!? Sheesh!).
I have been through good moments, and bad moments.... deep loss, great despair, great happiness. I have loved and I have lost. I have survived them all, recovering after time. Some taking more time than others.
I have experienced great opportunities in my life. I have also made grave mistakes in my life. Lots and lots of mistakes. That is the nature of being human, and certainly in my case, of being less than perfect.
In the last three months however, the depth of loss, the depth of despair, the piling on of loss and a host of negatives has sent me into the deepest darkest place I believe I have ever been. I have been through a sense of loss more painful than I can express, or that I have ever experienced.
I have had my life thrashed to pieces. It is this destruction that I am yet recovering from. It is something I hope none of you ever has to go through.
To Lisa (my wife), you saved me. Without you, I might well have died, as that option was on my mind often. You took my pain, you held me as I cried countless times every day in deep grief and loss. You accepted me without condition, and took care of me. That is true love. You demonstrated true love to me. If only every human being could experience the sacrifice of another as I experienced with you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and I love you.
Others have been of great help.... my kids, my dad, my sisters, etc.... thanks to all of you.
I want to say that I believe that I have suffered from depression and anxiety for a long time. I fought that, I fought the notion of medication as I was raised in the camp of "pull yourself up and move on." I can tell you now, after this experience, that depression and anxiety are real... when it's mild you can tolerate it and learn to live with it. You develop ways of coping.
What I experienced was something that is hard to express in writing. It was like the end of my life. It was as if I had asked the great creator to just let me die, now. It was crying and crying and crying over the greatest loss I'd ever experienced in my life, ever. It was like being on fire, with no way to put that fire out.
Lisa got me help.... got me on medications and slowly I was able to cope again. I'm still working on coping .... but I'm getting there.
In the light of this experience, I wish to say a few things.
Do not be afraid to seek help if you are feeling depressed. Sure, we all have bad days, I'm not saying everyone is clinically depressed. I can tell you though that you need to look deep inside of yourself, and if you find you are often sad, or anxious, then go get help. It will be the smartest thing you ever did. Don't wait until the bottom falls out from under you to find help and to find sources of help.
Finally.... I forgive the sources of my pain. I forgive them for not understanding who I am, the person I am and the person I am not. I hope that you find the truth, for it is not in the place where you currently seek, and it never, ever, was.