February 5, 2010 was the night. It was my 27th birthday and I spent it alone. I hated my job, I didn’t have any friends, no woman, I was disconnected from my family. I’d never felt more alone in my life. I was in the parking lot of a furniture store, my bank account overdrawn, tears in my eyes, I didn’t want to live anymore. I had a nine millimeter in my hand that I’d bought a month earlier from a gun show at George R. Brown. It was a piece of crap and to this day I can’t remember why I even bought it but that night I tried to load bullets into the clip and they wouldn’t fit. I’ll never forget this, it was a High Point gun and apparently Academy didn’t sell ammo for that weapon. I knew so little about guns that I thought all 9’s took the same bullets. I got out of my truck, fell to my knees and cried harder than I’d ever cried before. Prayed harder than I’ve ever prayed, I just needed some guidance, needed a sign or a message that my life was worth living.
That night I hit rock bottom. I felt unaccomplished, I felt ugly, I felt unloved and undeserving of life. I wish I could say that I was reborn that night, that I saw a light and realized my life was worth living but none of that happened. What I remembered thinking was, “I can’t put my family thru this, I can’t give up on them. I can’t go out like this. That night I vowed that no matter how depressed I got or how hard life got I would never give up again. I would never let these thoughts consume me. It’s still a struggle, there are days where happiness seems like a world away but I fight it, I pray about it, I write. I go see my little cousins and play with them, talk to them, watch their smiles. My life is worth living and so is yours. Don’t ever look at other people and feel like they have it all together because you don’t know what’s going on in their minds and hearts. You’re stronger than you know!
I’ve pushed more people away in my 30 yrs of life than you can ever imagine. There’s a fear inside of me that I’ll break her heart or disappoint her. As charming as I can be there are days where I feel like I can barely speak to people. Friends think I’m acting funny, women think I want to be a player and all I want is to sit them down and tell them that I don’t know how to be a friend. I don’t know how to be a boyfriend. I know the right words to say, the right things to do but how do you open up and share the part that scares you with someone else?
There’s no way to tell a woman that I don’t think I’m good enough for you, that there are days where I don’t think I’m good enough for anyone. How do you tell a friend that I want to be there for you but I can’t even hug you without flinching or allow you to put your head on my shoulder if you need that shoulder to lean on? How do you tell them that I need your help to get to that point and I’ll pull away, I’ll be difficult, but I need you not to give up on me? I need you to fight for me, to help me fight for you.
Alcohol, women that I didn’t even like, pretending that I had it all together. That was my life, that’s who I was. I was that man because reality wasn’t something I could handle. A college dropout living with his grandparents, bad credit, out of shape and unable to smile for anything? What kind of reality is that?! I moved out and got my own place, I fixed my credit and stopped talking about what I couldn’t do for myself and started doing it. Now I spend most of my nights alone with my thoughts but I don’t think as much and I don’t have sex without meaning anymore. The process is slow and I still fall short but with each day my faith grows stronger and I don’t feel as weak, I don’t feel like such a loser anymore. I don’t know why I’m being so honest tonight other than I want someone to read this and know that you aren’t alone, that there’s no shame in thinking about depression or suicide. There’s no shame in worrying that your life won’t have any meaning. There’s only shame in giving into those thoughts and giving up on yourself and the plan and future God has for you.