O.k., so, there is not an easy way to know how I ended up knowing I have depression. In my journey of life, looking back, hind sight is really 20/20. I can look back and see when it started to impact my life in such a way that I wanted to be done with life itself. It is almost like the synapse in my brain were strained, and they finally, one day, just snapped.
It was a slow progression. I wasn’t happy one day then, all of a sudden, woke up under a dark cloud of sadness. Nope, as far as I can tell, it started around the same time that I turned 21. That was just after I joined the Air Force. Yes, one of the proudest moments in my life, ironically was the beginning point. Sure, there were links way before this time, but this was when it really started to happen. Again, slow progression over time. Some of the points I didn’t really even notice. I can see the signs, when I looked back, they were there as I started school at my first duty station, Pensacola, Florida.
Yeah, so I never really seen the signs as they were happening. The moment in my life there, I was battling through a multiple personal things in my life, leaving relationships behind, and to be honest, I was away from my core family for the first time in my life. Nothing was familiar, and I took to hanging out with the bar crowd. Nothing better to do, but go hang out at the strip clubs and get really drunk. What else do you do when you are in the middle of a breakup, just turned legal drinking age, and are far away from home? At the time, it was fun, it was a good time, but the alcohol was masking my sadness, and giving me a reason to get up on the weekends. I was pretty tired, but you know, I chalked that up to going to the bars for fun, and running hard with the boys. I hardly ever called home, and hardly ever wanted to think about it. There were no dark clouds that I could see at the time.. it was just normal living for me.
It really just progressed over time from there. There is no rea rhyme or reason, but I moved form duty station to duty station, relationship to empty relationship. I was stressed over getting married, taking on the challenge of an autistic child, being a step dad, moving to a new duty station, and trying to figure out why I still was not happy with life. I didn’t know it at that moment, but I didn’t know what a real happy me was like. I thought that by having a family of my own, even a drop in one, would take me to a new level in life. I mean, really, I didn’t understand me, or even really respect myself, love myself, if you will. It is something that I have learned looking back, I have the best of intentions, but it was not something I really should have done…. more to come tomorrow…