It all started on February 14, 2002, Valentine’s Day. My wife wanted out, and the night just got worse for me. I wanted to end my life. I started to jump into a bottle of booze and filled a needle full of insulin. Then I had a blackout from the booze which went on for days. Before I got up out of bed I had a drink. I had thought my marriage was doing well and I was doing well, but I went from feeling like a solid, strong egg to feeling a big crack and then like a pile of goo. All my emotions were out where everyone could see them. I was an emotional wreck.
I guess this went on for two weeks until came the night I wanted to die. I was at the bottom with no way out. It could not get worse. I felt lost and totally empty. I went to see a friend who was going to Community Mental Health for help. We talked for hours and hours. He helped me get into Center One, the Psych Ward.
I thought about the people I care about. I couldn’t get away from the thought that if I committed suicide they would have to pick up the pieces and take care of burying me and all the other things I left behind unfinished. I loved them too much to do that to them and my love for my family is what saved me. I didn’t want that.
I went to respite and then an AFC home. I wanted things to get better but it took two years to feel strong enough to get out on my own. Then I started at CMH where I met a man that showed me that things could get better with a little work by myself. I tried his suggestions to utilize what’s out there for me, different programs, groups, and other resources that CMH had to offer. It took three years and I got better. Now I focus on giving back so that when others need help it will be there for them. If people keep taking without giving back at some point there will be nothing left. I want others to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It can start out as only a speck, a pin prick of light, but then it grows until you are out in the daylight.
To help others, I now belong to the Consumer Advocacy Council, Quality Improvement Committee and Stigma Busters group at CMH. I also try to be there when friends need help and support. Now I try to help others get to where they want to be. My goal is to be on my own in my own place.