There was a day in May, 2005 when I simply could not get out of bed.
I thought everything was fine in my life. I had a great job, one of the highest paying jobs I’d ever had. I got that job after I was treated very badly at a previous job. That’s a story in itself. The bottom line was, without knowing it I was very depressed and also without knowing it, I was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. That’s what my psychologist diagnosed, several months later when I finally managed to get some help for myself.
The day after the day I could not get out of bed, I found I could not get out of bed again. This went on for three weeks, until I finally had to admit I couldn’t go to work anymore. I resigned, and the dark hole I know as depression sucked me back in for the second time in my life. It is painful to think about that time, and it is painful to think about how I dealt with it.
I needed something to make me feel good about myself. I looked for reassurance in the wrong places. It was a huge mistake. It went on for several months like a roller coaster, until finally I hit rock bottom. I made up my mind. I was going to complete the one task I had to do, and then I was going to return home and take my own life. Whoa, that is hard to admit to you guys.
Please note, I am fine right now. ;) Though I am well aware that I could find myself back there again in the future I am better equipped to deal with it now, and I would seek help rather than keep it to myself in the future.
How it is that I am sitting here now? A very good online friend of mine from Ireland who knew what I was going through and what I intended to do had the guts to call my family and ask them to get me some help. My family was shocked and I don’t think they believed how bad it was, because on the surface I seemed to be functioning fine. I was just keeping up appearances – and there might be someone around you right now who is doing exactly that.
After that happened, I got help. I started seeing a psychologist often at first, then dropping back to once a week. Another good friend of mine saw that I was in trouble, and thought that asking me to help with a project might be a good way to drag myself out of the hole I was in. He asked me to help out with an internet website, and I threw myself into it, heart and soul.
Honestly, that person literally saved my life at the time – though they did not know it – by giving me something outside of myself that I could concentrate on. I firmly believe that, and though they won’t like me saying it, I credit them with saving my life.
Looking back on it now, this was not a wise idea for me. I needed to take care of myself before I took care of anyone else or anything else. It was easy to bury my own problems and issues in order to worry about the problems and issues of a new website. I wasn’t well. I should have said no but it was something I believed in and something I wanted to be involved in. So I said yes, and got to work.
My life started to improve and one thing that helped greatly was The Other Half and I making the decision to move interstate. We had been stuck in a rut for a long time and we needed to shake things up. We began to look forward to that. The new website had been launched and was a big success but I needed to take some time for me and moving, and so I tried to get other people to fill the hole I would leave while I did that. Unfortunately people felt I was being pushy – well of course I was, there was a lot of work to be done and I knew I could not do it, so I had to ask other people to make a commitment to doing it.
It is infinitely easier to do something yourself rather than ask other people to do something. If I could have done it all myself I would have. Simply because to ask someone – can you do this by this date – and then watch them NOT do it, and then have to ask them if they are going to do it and if so, when will they have it done by is one of the most difficult things to do. I sucked at it.
I won’t lie to ya’all. There were a couple of times I honestly went way over the top in how I reacted to people not doing things they had promised to do. It would be easy to say – it wasn’t me, I was sick – but that isn’t the truth. I have to own my part in this. I have to take responsibility for what happened. I was at fault.
It *was* me – me under a lot of stress and pressure, me in the middle of a move interstate which I had never done before, and me not in the most mentally healthy place. Me also – who in early December right in the middle of all this stress and pressure – got kicked off a website I was a huge part of. Me who was trying to deal with that on top of everything else. I did not have the tools to deal with things in an appropriate way.
So I was told by my life-saving friend – go and move, we’ll deal with everything, when you come back everything will be fine – and I trusted and believed them, and did as I was told. However when I did return, nothing was fine. I soon found myself kicked off that site as well, none of the people I thought were my friends would talk to me, including my life-saving friend.
In fact many people had changed their contact information so I couldn’t even get in touch to ask – what happened? I couldn’t see what happened. Once I’d moved didn’t have a new psychologist I could see right away, I had to wait, so I couldn’t talk about what happened to someone who knew the situation like my old psychologist did. It was too fresh, too open a wound for me to see it with any clarity at all. I could only see that I was bleeding and in pain. It was only later that I was able to see my faults.
I was hurt, upset, angry, confused, so many things. It set me back quite a bit as far as getting better was concerned. I said some things out of hurt and anger which only made the situation worse. Then one friend said to me – forget all that stuff. Focus on scam-baiting. You’re good at it. I took that advice and ran with it. I got involved in a few baiting projects and this time I wasn’t so pushy. I didn’t ask anyone to do anything, if I couldn’t do it myself it did not get done.
Time passed. A lot of time. I got over it, got better, got plenty of therapy, got healthy again. I thought other people had built the bridge and walked over it but they had not, and they kept proving it to me by writing some very hurtful things to me that had nothing to do with what was being discussed. When they wrote their words were designed to wound, to hurt. However it didn’t wound or hurt me because in the wounded place I had a healthy scar.
It seemed to me that a lot of people were stuck back in January 2006 and instead of becoming less angry with me as time went by, they became more angry with me. It also seemed that some people were taking delight in playing people off against each other. They would tell me something that someone else said, which I would later find out that person didn’t say – and vice versa. Only nobody ever came to me and asked me – did you say this? They just assumed it was the truth.
I became the person who caused all the problems. Anytime something went wrong, the blame was put on me though most of the time I wasn’t involved in any way! At first I tried to fight it, defend myself, but after a while I realised there was nothing I could do about it. I just let it go over my head and I kept baiting.
Other friends of mine were upset by it, and many of them walked away from the websites where it happened as a result. They kept telling me – leave, you don’t need that kind of stuff in your life. But I hung in there, hoping that by showing these people I was not angry at them, that I didn’t hold a grudge, that I had built the bridge.. maybe one day they would forgive me for my past mistakes and accept me as a useful member of the community. After all, I never killed anyone, right? Everyone makes mistakes, right? Surely people would get over it in time.
Early this week something happened that I did not agree with, and I said so. The amount of anger that came to me as a result of expressing my opinion totally shocked me. It should not have shocked me because it had happened so many times before, but each time I was naive enough to think “It will be different this time – more time has passed, surely they have got over it by now, surely they can see that it is not them personally I have a problem with but their actions”.
It was then that I decided the only way these people I once loved so dearly (yes, loved, though I never told them so) were ever going to get over this was by me removing myself from the equation. So earlier this week I said goodbye to a website I believed in and loved as much as I would have loved a site I owned myself – a site I had promoted, driven traffic to, and a site where I wanted very much to be an active part of the community. I will not deny I shed tears over it. I asked them to close my account, and they did so.
It was not an easy decision to make, but I had to do it because I couldn’t stand to see the people I once respected so angry at me. Still, after all this time. And if any of the people from that site are reading this now, I just want to say – I’m sorry. I hope my leaving means you can heal that anger and hurt that clearly I caused you to feel. I hope one day you can see that I cared about you and I miss you, my once-good friends. I wish you all the best but most of all I wish you peace. I wish that you will take that anger and throw it away, rather than transferring it to the next person who makes a mistake.
I remember the good times, not the bad. It was a good thing for a while there. I have forgotten every unpleasant thing ever said to me, and I forgave the people saying those unpleasant things a long time ago.. As it says in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice – “But in such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable. This is the last time I shall ever remember it myself.” – And this is the last time I will mention it here on the blog. The book is closed, and I won’t open it again.
I’m not the same person I was two years ago. In fact it is almost the exact anniversary of when I made my decision to take my own life. I am so glad now that I did not, and that is one reason I have written this, as difficult as it was – because if there is anyone out there having those thoughts I want you to know that help is out there, you only have to ask for it. And it does get better. Honestly, it does. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
It is time for me to move forward. I’ve put the depression firmly behind me now and I know the warning signs to look out for so I don’t go back there again. It is time to look to the future, and I do that with open arms and an open heart.
It is time to focus on the good things I have in my life, and there are so many of them – including all of you who read this blog. I thank you for being here, it means a lot to me.
It is also time to begin the work to move this blog to WordPress. I have put aside next week for learning to use it, basically a week of WordPress training. Hopefully within two weeks I will have made the switch, but I’ll let you all know more about that as the time gets nearer.