Blog Entry

I Hid The Guns

Posted on: August 18, 2008 6:11 am
 
I hid the guns. It wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve had done that, but this time, they’re not coming out from the spot where I’ve hidden them. That was three months ago. Of course, there have been a few times since then that he asked me to allow him to give up, and of course, I never give my permission, but try to keep giving him hope.

Fifteen years ago, I never thought I would be in this position. Fifteen years ago, I was consoling the husband of a friend who was found hanging from a ceiling fixture. Fifteen years ago, I was consoling a friend whose boyfriend blew his brains out on her doorstep. Yes, fifteen years ago, I lost two friends to suicide. I knew they were down, but never suspected the depth of, what I discovered on those days, their depression. Of course, I didn’t live with them, that’s the thing. I only got to see their “public” side. The persona of happiness that they showed, or faked, when they were in public.

So when I met and married my husband, I thought that I would never be put into that situation. After all, he was strong, he was passionate, he stuck by his convictions. There would be no way that a person like him would ever succumb to this, right? He is one never to back down from a fight, and was always fighting for what was right.

It wasn’t too long ago, five years maybe, that I started seeing the signs. For the most part, he pulled himself out of them, able to look towards the next day. Then one day, I found him, sitting in the bedroom, in the dark. He was playing Pink Floyd, over and over, as he sat on the floor. One of the guns, sitting on the nightstand, out of it’s holster. It was the day the doctor told him to consider his days of being what he was over. I took the gun and put it away. We got him the surgery, and for awhile, it was okay…at least I thought it was.

He healed, but as he did, the money in the savings began dwindling. Eventually, he was contacted for a job. Doing bomb clearance in Iraq. Despite the danger, I didn’t try to beg him not to go. I knew he had to go there to prove he was still the man he was, for himself. What I didn’t realize was the “death wish” he had when he went over there. However, when it came down to it, all he could think of was getting back to me, to us.

It was fine for awhile. There was money in savings again, so the times weren’t so bad. But as he was watching the money go down and no responses to his resumes, it started going downhill again. He tried to hide it from me, tried not to make me worried. All he wanted to do was provide for me, for us, in a job he can be proud of. Then he started believing that twenty years of experience down the drain.

Then came the morning I woke up, he took his pills, not just one or two. They were his morphine pills. That should have killed him, but that didn’t. After that, we sought help. Of course, they put him on meds. The Effexor’s helped a bit, only because they suppressed the emotions. Unfortunately, they suppressed all emotions. He often complained he couldn’t “feel” anything. And even though he couldn’t “feel”, he still thought of suicide from time to time. Then there were the headaches. Very painful headaches. There’s a hole in the bedroom wall where he was banging his head against it, during one of those episodes.

Eventually we got his meds switched out. The Lexapro’s are a little better, at least no headaches. He still can’t “feel”, he complains that he walks in a fog while he’s on them. It effects other things too. Of course, this becomes a vicious cycle in itself.

There are triggers. Most times he’s able to pull himself out of the moods when they start, then there are times he can’t. I try to remain upbeat and positive. Thankfully, he doesn’t remember the times when the darkness completely sets in, because then, he doesn’t see me crying because there’s nothing I can do except hold him and whisper words of encouragement.

It’s not easy living with someone with chronic depression. In fact, a lot of marriages fail because of it. Too many times I’ve had to reassure him that I wouldn’t be better off with someone else. Too many times I’ve had to remind him that if he weren’t around, I’d get a dog. I’ve often wonder, does he look at me and only see regrets. For now he promised that he wouldn’t kill himself because he knows that I would be devastated. Yet, will he remember that promise when the darkness pushes through again.

Most days are fine for the most part, yet, there’s always the knowledge that there will be a dark day, and there will be demons to battle.

Last night I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up to find my husband shaking his butt over me, dancing. It’s the simple things that make him happy and having one of his blogs moved to the front page of the site made him very happy. So we’ll have another good day, but there’s always the knowledge that there will come another.

I write this, not to solicit sympathy but to perhaps provide information.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, it is estimated that at any given period 12 percent of women and 7 percent of men in the United States suffer from some form of depression. My husband is one of six million men who has been diagnosed.

For everyone that has been diagnosed with chronic depression, there are loved ones who affected by it also. Depression doesn’t just affect the individual but also their loved ones. If you, or someone you know, lives with someone who suffers depression, my advice is to learn everything that you can on depression, it’s symptoms and the best ways to help the one suffering from depression get help.

Source: Men and Depression, National Institute for Mental Health
Comments
JudgementDay
Since: Jun 23, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2008 11:40 am
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Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2008 11:17 am
 

I Hid The Guns

Scorpionbite....your post is so well written - even the "due to glitch" repeats deserved their own "5"!



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2008 11:15 am
 

I Hid The Guns

Thank you Bradley, your kind words are appreciated.



Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2008 11:14 am
 

I Hid The Guns

NFL-Solomon....this is the reason he is still around.  That and of course, to make sure McCain doesn't get elected...lol.




Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2008 10:59 am
 

I Hid The Guns

mom........just when I think "my oh my, mom is such a great writer/communicator in such a wonderful terrific style" you manage to even top yourself again and again!  This blog is another fine example of your ability to transfer your thoughts to the written word........thank you for all you write and for all you write about.......one of your fans, me.



Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2008 10:53 am
 

I Hid The Guns

Mom,

The only thing I could suggest (I'm sure you already have) is to remind your husband that he is in a partnership, and that he doesn't get to be the sole decider of what is best for you. Ask him how his policy is going to pay back the void of the things he brings to your relationship. How will it pay for his smiles, his laughs, his hugs? Make sure he knows he is part responsible for how you feel, which to you is way more important than how to pay the bills and that to rob you of his love is in no way worth the payment of something so transient as money. I myself know I am worth more monetarily to my wife, dead than alive, but the value of making her laugh is much more important to her and me. Financial considerations are often the spark and the object of my obsession when I get depressed too, but I try to remember that the enjoyment of the journey (of life), especially with someone, is the way more valuable commodity. Engage his pride and remind him that his gift of himself is much more important than money. Make him believe it. Best of wishes with this (and a McCain presidencyc'mon laugh), together you can overcome, please talk to each other frequently and love.




Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2008 10:40 am
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Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2008 10:40 am
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Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2008 3:12 am
 

I Hid The Guns

NFL-Solomon,

Thanks.  I can understand the intellectualizing a bit.  Even in his darkest moods, my husband has a bizarre capability of doing that also.  One of the things that seems to push him into the moods is the state of our finances.  Mind you, when he was working, we had a six figure income, so we (he) kind of gotten spoiled.  Now, while he's out of work, he feels like he's not contributing to his family and keeping his end of the promise that he would take care of me.  So even in his darkest moods, he thinks he's doing what may be best for me, if he were to end it all. 

The one clause that OSGLI does not have in it's life insurance policy is a suicide clause.  They pay regardless of cause of death.  So in the early mornings he starts rationalizing that if I were to get the life insurance policy money...(so here's where his pride comes in...in a logical/illogical manner).  He would still be taking care of me.  (Then of course, this is where the "you'd be better off without me because you'd be free for someone else who could take care of you" comes in also).  So pride in itself can be a damnable thing.   I think the one thing that has prevented it is that he still feels emotions, even more so. 

The biggest concern of some of my friends is that he could reach the point that he would be homicidal also.  Thankfully, this is one thing I do not have to worry about.  Thankfully, for your loved ones, your moments of depression aren't as bad that you would turn homicidal also. 

Thank you for sharing with me. 



Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: August 19, 2008 12:04 am
 

I Hid The Guns

Wow mom,  not to be glib, (I know you do not seek pity) but that sucks.  I can relate a bit, but only on an extremely limited basis. I have believed for years that I am borderline bipolar, (not diagnosed, no sense bringing it up to my doc, as it does not cause impairment) but fortunately it's not severe ( the highs not too high, the lows not too low) and I seem to spend about 80% of the time manic and only about 20% of the time depressed. It's quite an odd sensation to experience the feelings of hopelessness and despair, and even weirder to know intellectually that there is know real reason for it. (being able to remember that helps) Of course, on the flip side, it's quite fun to be happy for absolutely no reason. Another aspect that mitigates it for me, the depression that is, is my massive ego. My feelings of depression rarely lead to the suicide variety, I came to the conclusion long ago, I would never do that short of something the level of bone cancer. No at their worst, my depressive moods lend (fortunately for me/ poteniataly unfortuneately for others) themselves to the more homicidal. Again due to the lack of severity, I could never imagine using my guns in so irresponsible manner, so I's never go there. The most bizarre aspect has to be the ability to intellectualize thes moods and yet be unable to change them. Sometimes if I'm lucky, the intellectual analysation allows me to almost shut off the emotions, but it never lasts long. My best wishes for your husband and you on this struggle. Maybe by keeping focus that these feelings are biochemically induced can help keep your husband get through this. Kind of like an LSD trip, no matter if you taken WAY too much of the acid, remembering that it is a drug and it will end is often enough to bring one through a bad trip. Good luck.


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