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Forums / Staying well / A little long but hope this helps someone

Topic: A little long but hope this helps someone

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Dennis38
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Dennis38 avatar
    135 posts
    19 June 2013

    Like a lot of people here I have good days and I have some really dark days, since this is the very first post I have made on this forum I will share a little about myself. At the age of 24 my life became a living hell, on January 4th 2000 I was walking home due to my car blowing its fly wheel, when this happened the engine revved rather high since basically the car was dropped into neutral  and my foot was on the floor-this is kind of important information for better understanding of me- so I parked the car at the side of a busy interstate and started to walk home, was raining a bit and it was cold, long story short  I was ten miles from my home when some  lady was doing about 104 km (or 65 mph which ever you prefer) on a wet road that you shouldn't even be doing 60km (40 mph) on she lost control of her car and ran me over.  Now do keep in mind this was in the USA where this happened.

    She said I saw her and tried to run out of the way, personally I don't even remember seeing her coming just remember passing a factory I use to work at and then waking up in more pain than I ever thought humanly possible.  Come to find out my left leg was shattered in 12 places, my right knee blown totally out, had a broke left shoulder blade that the doctors missed, as they said they had more life threaten injuries to deal with then a little broken shoulder, bruised lung and kidney.  I was in the hospital for two and half weeks, I remember about four days if that.  Then stuck in bed for three months only able to get up and move around via wheel chair and that was only for a few minutes if I was lucky.  And I found that I was truly once again dependent on my parents and my little sister.

     I lost a lot of things in that accident that I still haven't been able to get back and it's been 13 years now. I had to learn to walk again which took me 8 months when the doctors said it would be at least a year and half before I would be out of the wheel chair permanently.  My job fired me three days after my accident quoting that I could no longer physically do my job. All of my so called friends just disappeared after the accident. All I got out of the settlement was just a little over 14k with over 250k in hospital bills all in my name. The lady that hit me walked way scot free not even a speeding ticket.  Heck I  never even got a card or anything from her to even say "oops sorry for turning you into a hood ornament."  My own mother stole a lot of my disability checks while I was in so much pain I couldn't see straight, you see I went from two and half weeks of  a pain killer in the hospital to only a week's worth of the medication when I got home. Because the doctors didn't want me to get hooked on anything. So I had to rely on over the counter pain killers and developed  a much higher pain threshold.

    I went into a very dark hole after that car accident and stayed there a long time as well, when people say well once you hit bottom the only place to go is up, they are wrong I set up an oil drill and started drilling even deeper. After about a year and half after the accident I was up and walking again on two crutches and had no choice but to re-educate myself because I could no longer work in a factory like I use to.  My mother cleared my bank account out without me knowing it, I was still sore a lot and not thinking straight and simply thought I had misplaced my check book, come to find out my mother stole my check book wrote 5 checks that cleared my account out of the last 900 dollars I had, I found this out when I wrote a 900 dollar check to the tech school I was attending and the check bounced though the roof. I was nearly thrown in jail over this later on because in Georgia you do not write bad checks that's almost worse than killing someone in that part of the country.

     After everything that had happened to me I was still in a very very dark hole, I always joke that my life at that time had become either a badly written soap opera or a great number one country western song, all that was missing was for my dog to bite me then die.  The only reason that I did not kill myself during those dark times was my sense of humour. I have a dark sense of humour and it has saved me more times than I can count. For a while I thought I was doing ok until one day I snapped. I was in my dad's car and had gone to the movies, I had a really bad case of cabin fear that day and just had to get out of the house even though I knew that there was something wrong in my head on that day.  Well on the way home I had a break down and for the very first time I gave suicide a true thought, the ONLY two things that stopped me was the thought of what my girlfriend would think, you see I meet my now wife over the internet and we had hit it off pretty good heck the very first time we were going to talk was the day of my car accident, you see she was in Australia and I was in the states so we had never actually met. 

    On that day when I got home that was when I realized that I was not handling things as well as I thought I was, it was the first time I was truly scared of myself. So I called the mental health centre in Georgia and the lady I got was really helpful and pointed me in the right direction of getting some professional help. Now for some reason there is a huge stigma of a guy going to get help, I mean at an early age we are taught not to cry, not to show emotions only girls do that.  Mind you a good chunk of my child hood is missing thanks to long term and short term memory problems. The councillor that I finally chose really helped me out, I went on medication for about 6 to 8 months before I pulled myself off it, basically while I was on medication you could have beat me,  and robbed me and I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said oh well. The medication gave me the middle ground that I needed before I was on it my moods would swing super high or super low and there were never days of just middle ground. But I got tired of not feeling.  

    There is no shame in taking medication to give you that middle ground that we all need.  I have found out that though this accident there are good things and bad things, the good things are that A: I got to fly out and meet my girlfriend for the very first time thanks to what little settlement money I had left after my lawyer and family took off me, mind you I did fly out on 9-11 my plane was one of the last ones to leave the states at the time.  I now hold two higher degree's  of education a BS in computer networking a Masters of Information systems and I am now going after an MBA with a concentration in marketing, which none of this would have been possible without being run over as I would not have had the time nor the money to go and meet my future wife, we are now going on 5 years, and I made to much money to get any kind of student loan.

    I have good days and bad days still, if I hear an engine revving it will make my hair stand on end and I will have to fight myself so that I do not curl into a ball, wet myself and suck my thumb! I still have days that for no reason I am really nervous or highly anxious. But on those days I know what will trigger me and I even warn my wife that I am "flighty" it's the best way I can describe it to her. So when I am in a "flighty" mood I try to avoid my triggers, which basically is anything that can make me laugh or cry. I try and keep myself on some kind of middle ground, doesn't always work but at least I know its coming.

    Some times that half the battle simply knowing that you are going to tail spin, because just maybe you can control how fast you spin, you may not be able to stop it but you can slow it down and  control the size of crater you leave behind.   I mean even writing this makes me feel a bit depressed but some things that do help is to look back and see the good that has come into your life, even though it might be a small thing that small thing is all that takes to help lift you up a little. The one thing I will remember to my dying day is how a simple smile, I know corny, pulled me up a little. I was laying in the hospital bed, in more pain than I thought I could stand, as the pain killers were not doing a dang thing to ease the pain off as they had worn off and the doctors only had me on a small amount of pain medication  every four hours, the pain medication would last in my system for maybe a half hour if I was lucky then I had three and half hours of pure hell to endure. But one of the twenty doctors that had put me back together came in with a bunch of orderlies to show them what a great job they had done. I was at the lowest point in my life, when I looked up at her and saw her smile down at me it's hard to explain but that one smile was like, yeah I know you are hurting but someone still cares.  

    I am still fighting the depression and the anxiety and get very jumpy when having to try and go out and find a job, kind of waiting for the other boot to fall kind of thing, it's a little dumb I know but it's the way my brain works and it's just wondering what horrible thing will happen next. For the most part I am fighting those feelings and looking for a job, I mean 13 years without a job really sucks. Thankfully my wife is standing beside me though I cannot show her everything that is going on as she cannot handle it and will break down beside me. After all she says I am her rock and no one wants to know their rock is on faulty ground.

     But she does support me and tells me not to say that I am being stupid as some of it I can't control. Never let yourself feel that you are alone, you can find people that will sit back and listen and the beautiful thing about getting professional help is you do not have to worry about them "judging you"! I mean they are perfect strangers and so what if they do judge you, you only have to see them when you need to and it's not like you will be running into them every day of your life.  

    The best advice I can give is learn about yourself, find what your triggers are because even when we have a "good day" we know that monster is in us waiting to drag us down, so on the days you feel yourself sliding try and avoid your triggers, or find a trigger that you know might help slow your slide a bit, if that is painting, reading a book, losing yourself in a video game for an hour or so, than do that. But whatever you do, don't just sit there doing nothing it's up to each of us to fight that demon, but remember we can't do it alone sometimes so even if it's just talking on this forum get on the forum and talk you will find someone that understands and won't tell you "well it could be worse" because we all know we do NOT want to think about how it could be worse!! And if anyone has any idea how to get yourself motivated please let me know as that is one of the greatest things I am still fighting with is how to get myself motivated to simply go back out into the world. Because I know I am using my education as a barrier or a buffer, some days it gives me an "excuse" not to go out and fill out a job application kind of thing. Hell fire I am still having days where I can't even get myself out the front door without fighting myself. But I still keep moving forward or at least I am trying to.

  2. bman42
    bman42 avatar
    32 posts
    19 June 2013 in reply to Dennis38

    WOW,thats one hell of a story. To hear what you have been through and still be so positive is inspiring. It also make me think how petty my problems are and silly feeling the way I do. But unfortunately in my own head I will still battle myself,I cant seem to slow my mind down even tho on the outside I may seem kind of normal to most

    I do agree with you that males should go seek help and don't listen to what you have been brought up to think(I am a hypocrite in this sense) but unfortunately I personally think society still thinks men should suck it up and be an alpha male. Seeing some responses on this site has kind of confirmed that for me...or I might just be looking into it too much????

    Anyway thankyou for sharing that as it does put things in perspective...

  3. Dennis38
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Dennis38 avatar
    135 posts
    19 June 2013 in reply to bman42

    Some day's I am positive other days not so much, life has a nasty way of really getting to you. And this is the one thing that I will be honest with tends to tick me off a little and that is when someone says how petty their problems are. Your problems large or small are not petty mate they are still a problem. There is no shame in being depressed or anxious the real problem is not doing anything about it. Lets face it I think we can all say we know that one person , male or female, that seems to love to be miserable and they are not happy unless everyone around them is just as miserable. One way to help deal with "problem" people (we all have them) in our lives is to simply cut them out of our life. Sure other people may think they are great but if they are making you feel lousy its time to move on. Easier said than done I know. Depression is a battle that is the hardest to win simply because only WE can take that first step and that last step, these are the only two steps we have to take on our own. The steps in between that is where the help comes in from but I feel that you have to be ready and willing to make that first step into helping yourself.

    Yeah I have had a lot of s**t thrown at me in my short life but I honestly do not think anyone's problems are petty, large or small its still a problem that could lead to bigger and worse problems. As for normal. who the hell is normal lol. I am proud of being weird, warped and slightly off my rocker makes life a little more interesting that way!

  4. Mark_098
    Mark_098 avatar
    24 posts
    20 June 2013 in reply to Dennis38

    Dear Dennis,

    G'day and welcome to the BB forums Dennis.  Your story is sure to give insight to a lot of people yet to read it :)

    You have been through a very tough and unfortunate situation.  The accident, the issue with the settlement amount and the "misplacement of money" by your mother are all things that would have contributed (oh and many months of terrible pain and rehabilitation) toward you feeling pretty rough around the edges at times...

    I have gained from reading your story.  Perspective is at times, is a difficult and illusive thing to grasp.  We falter and rely on whatever rationale we conjure up as our perspective, but the honest and accurate perspectives, are often only realised and appreciated by the most level headed of people, or by everyone else in a "moment of clarity"

    unfortunately I'm one of those other people. Sense of humour for me has been a great saving grace and I can definitely identify with you on that.  It has in the past, saved my life for sure whilst suffering from depression and having nowhere to go. Literally.      

    You have by the sound of things, been through the hardest parts now, and definitely come out a better person for it. Well done with your study achievements too.

    Good luck finding work, I myself am struggling to find work and know what being without it feels like. It can be difficult.

    You sound like a very strong person with great character and I'm sure the members of this site will benefit from more of your posts in the future :)

    Mark 

  5. bman42
    bman42 avatar
    32 posts
    20 June 2013 in reply to Dennis38

    I do agree with you that I only have myself to blame for not taking the first step and I hope one day I will convince myself to take the first step.One thing I never try to do is bring people down with me,its a battle I try to deal with in private while putting on my 'everything is fine' mask. My reference to normal is a reference to being in a state where I don't have a mental health issue. I am far from 'normal' what ever that may be! lol

    But I do appreciate your honesty in your reply as I am a straight shooter myself and would rather hear the truth any day over someone pampering me.

    I will still say that you have gone through an amazing amount of pain and bad luck and i'm not sure I would be able to handle it the way you have and for that your post has helped me. I hope you keep improving and you have more positive days in the future...Cheers

    p.s-sorry if this post has become more about me than you,was not my intention

  6. Dennis38
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Dennis38 avatar
    135 posts
    21 June 2013 in reply to bman42

    bman no need to apoligize this fourm is about ALL of us not just one person, we can all learn from each other, and as for taking the first step, well mate you already have you are here. This one little step may just lead you to the "promised"land of normal. To be honest everyone has a "mental" health issue its more or less how you deal with it that is what matters. As the old saying goes its not the destination that matters but the journey and all those other old sayings. They do have a bit of truth in them. For me to get help was actualy two moments in life, first was when the settlement was about to come though, I had no idea how much or how little I was going to get and I was having depression problems and a few other problems, like nearly going catatonic in my dad's old car when the engine revved up that was an intresting experience to say the least, but I wasn't sure what or how I was going to react so I reached out to  one of the local mental health places and the lady I got on the phone was really nice and really helpful and told me how to set things up in case I did go off the deep end so my family wouldn't have to worry about things. Like always go willingly with the cops if they want to send you to the funny farm (sorry cold this morning and fingers and brain are not working right lol) that way you can check yourself out, because if you go kicking and screaming its up to the docs when you leave. Mind you the coats they put you in are nice and warm and give you a permanent hug, unfortunately hard to get out of because they tie the sleeves in the back for some reason!!!

    So anyways bman42 you HAVE taken the first step now you just have to keep on keeping on!

  7. bman42
    bman42 avatar
    32 posts
    10 July 2013 in reply to Dennis38

    Hey Dennis

    Are you still coming on here? Hows things going with you?

    Just thought I would let you know that I have taken further steps since talking to you, Got my first psychologist appointment on Monday, scary stuff! My mind is racing about what is going to happen, very anxious but positive at the same time. I just hope I feel comfortable with her. Got any tips???

    Hows the job hunting going?

    Would be good to hear from you if you read this mate

    Bman

  8. Dennis38
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Dennis38 avatar
    135 posts
    11 July 2013 in reply to bman42

    Hey Bman still around though been dealing with a rough patch, mostly due to my own head taking me for a ride, mind you part of this was my own stupidity I knew I was going in a tail spin and yet chose to ignore the warning signs and hit a couple of triggers, pulling myself out of that hole as we speak. As for job hunting it sucks but at least I am now going after my third advance degree so hope that helps. As for tips when it comes to psychologist they are like shoes, you have to try a few on before you find the "right fit".

    Its good to hear that you have taken that step mate its a rough one I know but the good thing is that your moving forward, you might take a few steps back but as long as its one step back and two forward you are going good, hell even if its two steps back and two steps forward your doing good. If you are not comfortable with this lady look for someone different or ask her if she knows of someone that can see you.

    For me I went through about two people before I found the right guy to talk to, so do not feel like you have to stay with this person simply because she was the first one to see you. Its getting late and I need some sleep will check in later to see how things went with you and will have some more "advice" as I see it for you later!

    Good luck mate and GREAT job moving forward!

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