The family – our Caribbean reality
July 28, 2018
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July 29, 2018

‘God, save me…’

We’ve all heard about depression. It’s a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Requesting anonymity, a reader shares his battle with the illness. The article has been edited for length and clarity.

My battle began about six months ago with my getting anxiety attacks.  It happened one morning at work and that’s when I realised it was more serious than I thought.  Looking back now I realised I was beginning to think I was not good enough for my girlfriend because of things that I had started to uncover.

Many people do not understand and will never understand what depression is like.  I found myself lying in bed at night with my knees against my chest crying and shaking, begging God to save me.

There were nights I asked Him to take me because it was so painful. I would look at myself in the mirror every morning with tears in my eyes begging myself to hold on one more day.  If anyone doesn’t know what pain is…that is pain.

I never told anyone.  I later realised that depression, anxiety and panic attacks are not signs of weakness.  They are signs of trying to be strong for way too long.

During this time, I turned to God and prayed like I never did before.  I said rosary after rosary and miraculously I started to feel better.  This was until one night when things took a turn for the worse. An incident crushed me. I went right back to square one and again I hid all the pain as much as I could.  I remember describing myself with words like useless, worthless and pathetic.  Why couldn’t I save myself?

A few months ago, my girlfriend left me while I was still battling these dreadful feelings. This destroyed my world and shattered every dream I had. I never asked her to save me; I knew she couldn’t. All I wanted was for her to hold my hand, stay with me and tell me she would never leave me while I saved myself.

At this time the battle raged even more savagely. I went to work and hid the tears and pain. At nights I would lie on the floor, my pet cat with me.

One night I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. The next day I went to the agri shop and bought a weedicide I know people used.  It would be painful, but in my mind that pain would be much less than what I was going through.

That night I sat on the floor, opened the bottle and brought it to my lips. The smell was truly repulsive. At that moment my cat came and stood on my lap and rubbed against my elbow. She looked at me in my eyes as if to say, ‘are you leaving me, too?’.  I couldn’t do it. I covered the bottle and went outside and threw it in the trash.

I came inside, took a shower and knelt and prayed for hours. I am here today by the grace of God. I always told my cat that she is a little angel and she proved that she is. The bravest thing I ever did was continuing to live when all I wanted to do was die.

The struggle continues every day. The worst feeling is not being lonely, but to be forgotten by someone you can’t forget.

I thank God for His miracles in my life, I thank Him for my family and the few very supportive and understanding people He has sent to help me. The fight is by no means over, but I am being more positive with each day.

I am dedicating my life to assist those who are going through this same illness.  I don’t cry anymore, I pray more than I ever have and as my life is improving I want to do all I can to help heal this world in my own small way.

I have decided to put all my faith and trust in God knowing that He will guide me and won’t abandon me ever. He was always there with me.

My Blessed Mother, through the rosary, has healed me and is working in my heart.  I pray daily to St Michael for his protection over my life.  I will be okay and in time I will be better than alright.

Next week: A marital and family therapist addresses the issues of depression and suicide.