Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Heart Cries Out to Be Free

My heart cries out to be free….once and for all! I have struggled with my disease for over fifty years. I have had to live with humiliation, abuse, failure, depression and that is only what I have done to myself. I have had to see the let down in the faces and voices of people who mean the most to me in the whole world. Worse I have had to see the frustration and fear in their eyes and hearts too. I am so tired of hurting and letting people down around me and I have been doing this for a long period of time already.

Time and time again I give the people around me a moment in their lives when they can take a deep breath and feel kind of secure that the worse is behind them and that they can enjoy life with me…and then…..fasten your seat belts here we go again, “he has screwed up one more time. Once again he has gone too far maybe to a point of no return and yet we have to watch it all over again and suffer the fear, pain and anxiety of it all”.

I truly get it and I realize that it cannot be an easy thing for those around someone like me. Those who love me and have stood by me through “thick and thin”. It cannot be easy for them. I know it is not easy for me to watch them, watch me. Yet what are their options? What would I do if I were in their shoes? One thing for sure is, I would not, I could not, abandon them, I could not turn my back, and I could not stop loving them. Could I do as they show on television…an “Intervention”? Then what, send a “food addict” to detox for 30 days and then live happily ever after? Well speaking from experience 30 days is not really enough….I’ve been there, done that.

I have fought and boy have I fought for many, many years always searching and trying new things, new ideas, and new gimmicks. I have traveled many a long dark lonely roads because of my disease. I have swum in many of mud filled puddles of tears along the way. Disappointment has become a familiar companion to me. Hopelessness has tried to take over my life! I won’t let that happen….no matter what!

I have had some very real successes over the years and some very real backslides but with each one I learn more and more about me, the “person”.

Each experience has taken its toll on my life, my health and my relationships. Yet I do grow from them all (and not in the physical sense, although that too happens sometimes).

Two of the biggest things I have learned about myself over the past few years, one being a physical thing and one is an emotional thing.
First the physical.

Food! What works for me best, when trying to eat healthy, when trying to exist with food on a regular everyday basis and not just dieting, or binging or starving but just being comfortable with food , my environment and my disease is my K.I.S.T. method. "Keep It Simple Today", this has worked for me for the longest period of time, with the most amount of results and the thing that I am most comfortable with. It allows me to lose weight but a normal pace and still be able to function in the world. This is what I have been able to live with. This is a program that works! It makes sense!

The second thing that I have learned about myself…

Is not such an easy thing to talk about or even admit, to myself or anyone else but I suffer from depression!

Not sure if it is a chemical thing or not. But it is real! In the past doctors have given me anti-depressants but always under the umbrella that it would help me with my appetite and they never worked in that department so they were stopped.

Yet I have learned that I suffer from depression. How did I learn this? Like I have learned so many other things about myself and that is through the “School of hard Knocks”.

I am a guy who has it all. I have a loving and supportive wife, a great and caring family and beautiful friends. I have had the pleasure of being a grandpa for almost 5 years and the privilege, of being a daddy for 33 years. I have been counted out health wise many times only to live to write this blog (thank God and the caregivers he has sent to me). As the world looks at my life they say I am a lucky guy and I so agree with them on that one. They also would say, “so what does he have to be depressed about?” I would tend to agree with them on that one too, except those are the people who do not understand depression.

Having something to be depressed about and being depressed is two completely different things.

There are times in my life when I have had things to be depressed over. A death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, sickness in the family or of one you adore. Financial situations, all kinds of reasons in one’s life can be a reason to get sad or depressed over…but then there is depression!

Depression is being depressed when there is no reason to be depressed.

When if you stop running for one second and let things catch up you will just cry and why? Do you need a reason? Not really!

Depression is being in a room full of people who love you and being so lonely. Depression is long, very long nights and lonely, dark, cold bitter nights and that could be in the summer.

Then it becomes a cycle, yes the “vicious” cycle. The last thing I want to do when I am depressed is K.I.S.T.

No, when I am depressed all I want to do is eat something fast, of quantity and that will comfort me and make the pain of loneliness go away, the feeling of emptiness…if even for an un-logical moment in time. Does it really work? Not really! We know that in our common sense but at that time we are not dealing with common thoughts and we are we really only fooling but ourselves.

I would love to be free of it all.

Someone just recently asked me a question, which I didn’t hesitate one second to answer.

The question was “do you want to die”? Not for one second is that ever a thought in my mind.

All I want to do is to survive; all I want to do is live. I love life, my whole struggle is about survival and making it work. I thrive myself in seeing that glass as half full.

I have believed now and have always believed that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have been in many tunnels in my day and I am happy to report that there has been light at the end of each and every one of them.

My journey has not to say the least been an easy one. Not for me and certainly not for those who love me. Do I mean to bring hurt or pain to anyone? Not in a heartbeat but do I anyway? Yeah, I do!

I cannot make empty promises to them or to myself. What I can do is continue to fight and fight hard. Continue to learn about myself, not hide in my shame and pain. Open myself up as I find out more about me. Give myself time to heal. Be patient with myself. Love myself and be able to forgive myself.

I am not the worse person in the world and neither are you! The best things about me are the worse things about me and from there I grow.

I feel this way; perfect is not a way to describe me. Basically I am a good person, a person who loves and loves to be loved. I have problems and I will work the rest of my life making my life work. I deserve that effort and so do you. We all do!

We have this gift and sometimes a gift comes with instructions and sometimes it does not. My life did not come with instructions therefore I have to work at it the best way I know how and sometimes I am going to make mistakes. Mistakes are opportunities to learn and as long as we have the time to make corrections then what else can we do?

Depression is no joke and if anyone out there is reading this and suffers from depression and is not able to get hold of it themselves, then please for me, for your loved ones and most of all for yourself seek professional help. You are worth it! We all are.

My heart cries out to be free! Free of the pain, the struggle, the loneliness, and the darkness…Free….my heart cries to be free. My spirit thrives to win and win it will be! I have made it this far and I refuse to ever give up.

I am a fighter and like a good fighter I may get knocked down once in awhile but before the count of ten I brush myself off get back up on my feet and get back in the fight. I see the light and not the eternal-spiritual light- no I see the light of hope and the light of life itself!

My name is Mike and I am a man who loves life, loves his family and friends and I am a winner!

I am a fighter and I will never give up! Oh yes and there are times that I suffer from depression…

Be all of who you are, own up to it and move forward from there…and now have a great day….you deserve it!

Love ya