“Where does my story begin? Off a 386ft cliff, falling to my death.
I would like to tell you that it is, in fact, because I’m an adrenaline junkie, and that it’s my newest way to get that high.
However, sadly, it’s not.
Why am I telling you this?
Because, I hope, that you will not need to go through the thing I have.
Little did I know that my life has been slowly leading to this point, I also didn’t know it would be like this.
Although, I have sat and pondered how I would die many times.
Mostly at night, when the world goes dark, when activities that keep my mind busy have long stopped, and I spiral down that deep hole I have become so accustomed to.
I’ve been riding the black dog for as long as I can remember. My first real memory was in high school. I know we have all had that one truly bad experience, that made you want the ground to open up and swallow you whole. I can’t even remember what that experience was, but I can remember the fear, the worry, the way it Gawn at my insides, how the dread built up until I thought I’d pass out.
Don’t get me wrong.
I haven’t had a bad or rough upbringing. My mother and father worked hard to keep our modest three-bed house in a good suburb.
My father is a train driver and has been the best role model I could have ever asked for.
He taught me.., well everything really. How to build a ramp for my bike, how to change a tire on my car, how to paint a wall.
My mother is a school teacher and is the glue that holds us all together. She the loving type. Yes, she can be strict, but somehow she was always soft on us kids. She *was* often strict with us, probably partly habit from working at the school. However, moments later, she would have a change of heart and start mothering over us anyway. Her favorite saying was “I’ll let your father deal with it.”
My sibling and I are also your box standard siblings. We bicker and moan, piss it each other off, but always have each other’s backs. We don’t often say, “I love you,” we just, you know, know.
So why has depression got its sticky claw in me?
I’ve wondered the same, and I can’t figure it out.
Sometimes, my life is good. I’m happy and everything seems ok. I’ll go out with friends, have dinner or go to the movies.
But then, out of nowhere, it’s like a switch is flicked, and I’m locked in my room, dread seeping through my veins. My body feels like it’s got electricity running through it, I can sit still, let alone try to sleep.
It’s like a poison that’s leaking from my mind, destroying me from within. My mind tells me that I’m a burden to the ones I love. That they would be better off without me. I can’t see a way out; it’s like a gif on repeat, forever.
The same thoughts, the same feelings.
I know I’m not an insomniac because I sleep well when the black dog isn’t here.
But when he’s barking in my head, sleep only comes when worry has wrung me dry.
Today was an especially bad day. My thoughts went south early yesterday evening. I was out in the car, on my way to the shops.
I never made it.
For some reason, I couldn’t face being seen. I felt like a failure, not worthy to be around the rest of humanity. I turned around and went back home, locking the doors, pulling the curtains.
I don’t know if I slept, perhaps I did, perhaps I didn’t. I’m not actually sure.
This morning I decided to do what I’ve threatened to do for so long.
Take my life.
So I drove my car up to these cliffs.
I got out and sat on the edge.
The view was breathtaking in hindsight, although I couldn’t see through the darkness in my mind.
You might think it’s funny, a guy looking to do away with himself, on the edge of a cliff, plucking up the courage to jump.
But that when I met Joe.
He was out walking his dog. A brown and white bull terrier called Betty.
He didn’t have to stop.
But he did.
He didn’t have to share with me his stories.
But he did.
He didn’t have to show me that he loved me even though we had just met.
But he did.
I think we sat talking for hours. Me, on that cliff face, him too far away to stop me if I chose to end it.
He told many things, some sad, some happy, but never did he judge me.
Never did he say, “you’re just being stupid.”
If I could, I would have hugged Joe, because he made me realize that there is always someone there for you, no matter what.
I say if I could, because I decide that life was worth living, so I stood up to regain the life that I so desperately want to give up.
But my foot slipped on the gravel.
It seems destiny isn’t without its sense of irony.
So, Where does my story begin? Off a 386ft cliff, falling to my death.
And why at I am telling you this?
Because no matter what, no matter what time, no matter where you are.
There is someone ready to listen to you.
Someone to hug you and tell you that it’s ok.
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