The dark place. My personal story.
As a child I did not have the knowledge or wisdom to understand myself. Being gay was a huge burden for me. Being the youngest child, a son, great things were expected. I had to follow the footprint that was expected, not my footprint, but those of my parents, and older siblings.
It was very easy to draw the lines from the dots to realize I was a gay man. What I never could understand was my dark place. The sudden change in myself, in the boy Ivan to Ivan the child who was suffering depression. The answers were, do sport, learn more, be a man. Suck it up and just get on with it. Real men don’t cry.
I saw the world very differently. In my early 20’s when I was suddenly alone in the city after my family had all moved away, out of desperation I went to my Doctor. I was convinced at that point that all that was wrong with me was that I was not able to sleep. I was on the party circuit, and acting like any 22 year old should. Burning both ends of the candle. My doctor at that time was also my next door Neighbour. He is still my doctor and how bizarre is life we both moved out of the city at different times and he now lives two streets away with his wife and children. His brother is gay.
So back to the consultation, I had a full medical, blood tests, and the diagnosis was depression. The D word. My arrogant reaction was this is b@@@s&&&. 3 months later was back in the same office, begging for help. And so began this journey.
I never admitted this to friends, family, I was ashamed, a failure. At this point in my life, Peter my first serious relationship of 4 years fell apart. I suffered in silence, drank to excess, and partied away my pain. I was actually dull, numb and did not like myself. I become an “actor” and pretended all was perfect. My act did not last long, I crashed and the cracks become very visible. I was living in the place I call The Dark Place.
With medication, I slowly began to see the light and those thoughts of just ending it all, became less. The way I saw it, I honestly reached a point were to me the only solution was to never wake up again. Alcohol, pills and depression leads to a greater sense of desperation.
When I eventually told my family, the reaction I got still hurts me. We were raised to be strong, to suffer in silence, to be an example. Maybe they lacked the knowledge or understanding at that point. Subsequently I have seen my brother battle his own depression. Maybe it’s in our genres. To this day I am still very displaced from my family.
My own copping mechanism was to engulf my studies and job, and trying to trick myself that money and material possession filled the gap. This lead to me buying my first sports car, basically to try to make me feel better and to piss off my family. It did not work, but that car was spectacular.
With the correct medication and learnt life skills I was able to leave that terrifying place. It still plagues me, and at the begging of this year I again ventured to my dark world. This was not a choice. Will do a part two on this subject.
Was has saved me is my partner William, he knows me best.
Please go read The Ramblings amazing blog on Depression.