- Posted June 2, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Going public with mental illness
Causing a Stir - Well a Small Ripple
You never know how an expression of frustration might be perceived. Seems a status update I did on Facebook on Sunday caused a stir with some - not locally, but across the country.
Having a very rough day, filled with pain and wracked with agony, I wrote:
Enough already! I can no longer ignore or deal with my head trying to explode; the searing pain and agony; the suffocating sensation as my airways are choked shut denying oxygen to my vital organs; the depressive knowledge of being an utter failure as a human being, a man, a grandfather, a father, a son, a husband, a life partner; the overwhelming nausea induced by the totality of it all.
That was enough to trigger alarm bells with some of my online friends and fellow members of CNN's iReport community.
I received two email inquiries from producers, including the community manager, at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia asking if I was OK or if I needed someone to talk to after there had been concerns raised about my post by some community members, including my California angel.
The same writing elicited not a response from family - not a text, not a phone call, not an instant message, nada.
There was, however, one comment on my post from one of my ex-wives, who wrote, "Hmm...no comment." This was the same ex-wife who used to wake me in the middle of the night to tell me new ways she had thought to kill me.
Those who know me face-to-face, my family, know that one of my methods of coping with the daily struggles I face is by writing it out. This allows me to get the building pressure, the stress, the overwhelming frustration out of my system.
Writing has been a form of therapy going back decades to my teen years. But this is not the first time my venting has caused concern.
During my service years in the Air Force, I wrote a lot of poems and songs. If I should forget to put away a poem or song safely into a desk drawer before I walked away from desk, it was not uncommon to find myself making a walk down the hallway of the hospital where I worked as a medical admin specialist to the clinic psychiatrist's office.
Once, the day my oldest son was born, I was admitted to Howard Community Hospital for observation by the Air Force. The psychiatrist ended up concluding I was going a "situation reaction to adult life", nothing more. But I was on "the ward" when I received word that my oldest had been born and he was a boy.
In light of recent attention to mental health issues and mass violence, I am not surprised by the reaction from some concerned about my general well-being. In fact, my California angel even attempted to contact the local town marshal to check on me. He didn't answer the phone.
Of course as to mental health concerns and violence, I even chimed in on the issue with my article: Cast Away Stigma of Mental Illness.
While I appreciate the concern, rest assured I am fine.
Yes, I will admit, there have been times in my life when the major depression from which I have suffered for way too many years has lead to attempts of which I regret.
Those ideas do still pop up in my brain when I am least prepared or expecting.
I must summon all my inner strength to fight back or push hard and long on my internal ignore button. This is part of my daily struggle. I recognize the signs, the dangers.
I know I am never truly "fine", but ever on guard.
Thank you to those of you who expressed your concern.