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.