Let’s take a moment and talk about how cold the world is! I woke up this morning dreading a long drive, away from my family. The sky is gray, mist coming from my mouth as I exhale. Its cold, dark and bitter! The season is changing from fall to winter. Amazingly though no matter the season my mind is the same. The world finally looks to everyone else the way it does to me daily.
I went deer hunting this weekend. I sat in my tree stand in 34-degree weather. I had on cargo pants and a hoodie. I shivered, I froze, I couldn’t feel my fingertips or toes. The rain drizzled on me and soaked my feet through the holes in the shoes on my feet. Pain entered my body in so many ways, cramps in my feet, numbness and burning sensations in my thighs. I was miserable as I sat in that tree, shaking like a leaf in the wind…
Yet, as I shook, I found comfort in one fact. My body finally knew what it feels like to be my mind. To be cold, with no warmth. To feel a constant variety of pain. My feet were soaked much as my brain is flooded and drowning with negative thoughts and pain.
What is the difference? When I got out of that tree and went home to drink some hot coffee, my body warmed. The pain went away, the chill disappeared, and my body felt great. My mind however, never changed, still drowning in thoughts and pain. No release or comfort for the brain.
Now, back to today! I am dreading leaving my family… I feel no joy, no drive, no excitement, I barely feel alive. How should I handle the drive, listen to music that brings emotions to surface? Cry! Get angry! Hate Life! Should I drive in silence… trapped in my head! Seems I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. A feeling I am all too familiar with.
This writing is dark, I know, and someone may read it and think I need to reach out to him. This suffering isn’t new! The pain didn’t just start. I have suffered in silence for months. I have two people that have reached out to check on me. My amazing wife, who is suffering… more than me. She still clings to me and lets me lean on her. At least she is my rock, for me to lean on while the waves of life thrash against my mind. My friend Kevin stepped up more than anyone I could believe. He checks on me nearly daily. I vented to him, told him the deep, dark truth. The mindset I am lost in. The battle I cannot win. He forced my hand, made me reach out for help.
I’ve talked and talked to so many people. I cannot be completely honest with them. My thoughts are so dark, I can’t allow them to escape my head. They do not and will not understand. I have suffered in silence, cried out for help. There is no relief, nothing makes this mindset go away. I cry, I swear, I get angry, yet when all that is done. My body is exhausted, and my brain keeps chugging away, mentally draining me. No relief…
What adds to the pain… is the fact that everyone says I am a giver, including my counselor. I give and give; I will support you until the end. Yet, what do I get in return. I have two people in my life that check on me, care about me and try to provide support. Kevin, who was a superior of mine, not long ago. Stepped up and cared more than family. I guess I know what respect, loyalty and love is. I also know what it isn’t. My mind is in conflict, a civil war. I thank god for my wife and Kevin for their support.
I decided to write this as a way to procrastinate. I don’t want to leave this home, my family. I don’t want to drive away, watch my wife cry, and struggle inside. I don’t want to be on the road, lost in my thoughts and heading to my own personal prison cell. My house in Charleston is a prison to me. I don’t eat, don’t sleep, find no peace and stuck with these terrible thoughts that won’t go away. Until, Friday I will be all alone, in a prison cell called home. I get to leave every day for what we will call a work release program. I have no satisfaction, no drive or love for what I do. I have never felt this way about my career. Almost 13 years for the same organization, and the last six months have been mindless and draining. I have no passion, compassion or motivation. I am an emotionless person, playing a game that will eventually lose.
This writing just goes on and on it seems. Much like the thoughts in my head. I should be proud of myself. I completed my first graduate level class… what’s sad is that I don’t know the topic or what it was supposed to be. I can’t reflect on what I did, needed to do. All I know is, its done and I have many more to go. Its weird to me. I am a man of passion. Fire is what I need. Yet, my mind is on autocomplete. I guess that is what happens when you suffer and can’t find relief. You shut down, suffer internally.
So, I have said don’t eat a couple of times. I am wasting away in body and mind. Since July 31st I have lost 28 pounds. I was stout and powerful at 222lbs. My mind was weak but had hope. I pushed myself to continue, for the good would come. Since that day, I have dwindled away. Mental exercise is an amazing way to lose weight. Except I mentally can’t quit. Worse case scenarios run through my head. I need freedom and relief.
I would ask what you think I have. Is it an illness, disease or make believe? Anyone who knows me, knows how passionate I am. This has truly become my downfall. I am now PASSIONATELY SUFFERING. Depression is a pain, I cannot kick. I’ve been alive 31 years and never felt like this. These emotions I didn’t know could exist. How do you combat and enemy that you didn’t know existed. How do you defeat the beast that is in your own head?
One final note, that is of interest. All the people I have talked to about my condition. Tell me it’s a good thing that I feel these feelings. That it is showing me how much my family matters to me! That is great! I am glad you think, drowning in mental anguish is a good thing. Its true though, my mother died when I was 17. I never felt anything close to what I do now, watching the suffering of my family. As I drive away. Knowing I can’t comfort them, love them or do anything. I am a failure at everything I do currently. Emotionally dying, mentally drowning and PASSIONATELY SUFFERING.
I am tired of emotionally and mentally suffering in silence. I want everyone to know some of what I feel. This is the edited version. No one will know the unedited and dark truths in my head. I want people to know why I can’t put everything into everyone. Why I feel I am failing at all roles my life has. Why I am distant, inattentive and in the background hidden. Just remember that everyone, needs someone to truly check on them. Its amazing, how many people don’t see through a painted-on smile. Be a friend and check on someone. The strong ones could very well be suffering silently.
Author: Bradley Armentrout