Hi, my name is Kyle Furlong and I'm a depression sufferer
Doesn't have the same ring as an AA introduction does it? That's ok though, because just like with any problem, they say the first step is admission. I find that in talking to depression sufferers such as myself, the hardest problem is realizing that there is indeed a problem. I didn't know for years. I would always try to quantify my issues, tell myself "Meh, it's just a headache, it'll go away" or "You're just going through a bad stretch, it'll turn around" and bottle it up. I didn't want to admit (To myself and certainly nobody else) that I was depressed. To me, admission was a failure on my part. Failure as a human, failure as a son, as a brother and as a friend. A failure because I couldn't deal with my problems. I've since learned how big a mistake that was and how common a mistake that is.
In the years since I realized my problem, I've sought help in dealing with my issues. I've learned that I'm not alone and I never was. I've also learned that I wasn't as smart as I thought I was. The vast majority of my friends could tell there was a problem but how do you tell a guy who's depressed that they are depressed when they themselves don't know it. It's a riddle wrapped in an enigma tucked inside a mystery I think.
I'm not here to tell my stories as to why I suffer, or to try to convince you of anything other than this: If you have the same problems or if you even think you might, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It's really that simple. For whatever reasons you have, however big or small, no matter what your reason, trust me when I tell you that it's gonna be ok.
Part of what I do as a volunteer for the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) is talk. Actually most of what I do is talk, because most people don't like to. They don't like to be the one to offer their stories first, to be the ones to cross the threshold if you will. I tell my stories, inviting to opportunity for insight, asking questions to what other people may have done in my situation all while trying not to sound like a raving lunatic. Trust me folks, it's not as easy as it sounds. A self depreciating sense of humor goes a long way.
After I talk, I hope that the people that I talk to have built enough trust in me to share their own stories with me, and if not, that's cool. Sometimes all it takes is to hear somebody else tell share and its good enough. Other times it talks multiple visits and numerous trips to Tim Hortons for coffee before the trust is built. It doesn't matter how long it takes. As long as people are either talking to me or listening to me, they aren't trying to hurt themselves. That's my goal. Everybody has a different technique that works for them.
I try and tell everybody that I meet and talk to that it's ok. They are normal, they aren't freaks and there is nothing wrong with them. Everybody has their ups and downs. Some just last longer than others. I'm not here to judge and my friends have been known to refer to me as "The Vault." Things I hear and know don't leave me until I'm told its all good.
I've learned that some people are ashamed of their past. They were abused as children (mentally, physically or sexually) or grew up in a situation with substance abuse. None of this matters to me. I don't care. You know what I care about? You. The person. I believe that you are not your past. You are not the situation that you grew up in. You are not defined by that.....I also realize that I sounded like Tyler Durden there, but that's ok too. We may have had our own Project Mayhem around here but I've yet to see anybody called a Space Monkey and to the best of my knowledge, we've yet to strap a soap bomb to a car in the parking lot of the Sun and the Star. PLEASE BE ADVISED I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS A GOOD IDEA
All that matters to me is that you are here and alive in this world. That's what I care about. That's what is paramount to me. And I'm here to do my best to keep it that way. Every day I wake up and I look down at my left wrist and I see my bracelet that says "Somebody Cares About Me" I got it last year on International Suicide Awareness Day, and it's maybe come off my arm once since last September. It's a constant reminder to me that I'm not alone and that I'm one of the lucky ones who realized my problem before it was too late. My Godfather wasn't so lucky. I've come to learn that he was afraid of asking for help and decided that his answers lay at the bottom of a bottle of pills. He was wrong. I'm not saying this to gain sympathy, but as an example of what can happen. We read about the lives of Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak and Rick Rypien and may feel detached as they are "Famous People" and not just like you and I, but guess what kids? They were. They faced many of the same problems as us, and those problems ate at them the same way ours eat as us. Well I'm not saying neurological issues stemming from fighting are innocent of blame, please understand that I'm not trying to get into a debate regarding the contributing factors of their tragic demise. No matter what info comes to light it doesn't change the fact that their deaths are tragic loss and a waste of precious human life
I've been contemplating writing this since last summer but I didn't know how. I'm not confident in my writing, in the least, and that's one of the many reasons that you don't see many comments from "Ghostsof" although I'd like to think I'm being more vocal and I hope I'm adding to other peoples entertainment with each and every comment. The main reason for writing this is a comment I made today in response to....Well you know what/ I don't even know what to call the commenter. I'm going to settle for "troubled individual". Anyways, I made a comment in response to this troubled individual about depression and in response I not only got my first "Greened/Blued" comment but after 10 recs I told myself that maybe I had a story to share. This whole post is that story. I hope it was entertaining, enlightening, hell anything. If you got a laugh, then I'm glad I could give it to you.
Under my post BCapp offered his email address up to anybody looking for help and I'm hoping he doesn't mind that I'm re-posting it here. firstname.lastname@example.org. I quote "While I am only a medical student I have a passion for mental health and can help hook you up with local help and resources." You can't help but love the help and good thoughts that we PPPers show for each other. Just above that Chemmy remarked "Anyone who’s reading this who suspects they have depression, talk to someone. If there’s no one available email one of us at the bottom of the page." and I really hope that anybody here that has any issues really thinks about taking him up on that offer.
As for me, I'm always available at Kyle_Furlong@live.ca. If you are female and don't think you can talk to me, that's cool, I can put you in contact with somebody who I'd like to think that you can talk to. There is always somebody to talk to, but what we all have in common is that we aren't mind readers. We need you to come to us but if and when you do, I'd like to think that you won't be sorry that you did