I really dont know if this can be classified as my life story. Obviously, my life isnt over yet and I hope I have many years in front of me. I'm a 43 year old man who has probably gone though the toughest year of my life this past year. 2010 was bad, but in truth.... it was of my own making.
I had an affair that about costed me my marriage. Not that we are completely through making it work. I imagine there is plenty of work yet to do, but I am the man for the job. I love my wife. She is the greatest lady of all times, and I am truly thankful to have her in my life and greatful for haivng another opportunity at something I really should have taken care of in the first place.
Anyhow, the affair caused so much pain, so much suffering. We've had numerous sleepless nights this past year because of this thing. We spent nights arguing, her asking questions and trying to understand the answers. Countless hours were spent with me trying to explain the unexplainable. By looking at our marriage, if you were an outsider looking in, you could easily assume that there was nothing wrong.
There was something wrong, horribly wrong. I had been diagnosed as clinically depressed over 13 years ago. As per usual with me and my hard head, I thought I could come through this on my own. Nothing could be further from the truth!!! Not only had my depression nearly costed me my marraige, it also costed me days and nights that I'll never be able to get back. Nights that I could have been enjoying my family and friends. I spent years trying to self destruct. I drank too much, I ate horribly, I didnt exercise, I quit doing the things I loved.... I had evolved into this sad sack, totally hopeless or helpless. My wife tried to bring me through this, and oddly enough it was her that made me see the light and get my problems addressed.
My depression would often creep in. Sometimes it would be there when I woke, sometimes it would just pop into my head. Things could be going perfectly, then out of nowhere BLAM! Full blown depressed.... I would withdrawl, withdrawl for everything and everybody. I would sit and conjure up as much hate and disgust as I could in consideration of myself. I felt unworthy. Unworthy of what I had. The thoughts of unworthiness would lead to being discontent, but I would do nothing to address the level of discontent. I was mad at myself and would take it out on everyone around me. My wife, my kids, my mother, my sister, my friends, and of course myself. I would disallow any joy.
Fast forward quite a few years, right at the time of disclosure of affair. I knew I had to come clean. My wife was on to me and I was busted. The affair allowed me to see what was truly dear to me. I had all I needed all along, but was too mad-depressed to realize it. I eventually come clean. This was truly the worst day of my life..... not because I got busted, but seeing what this had done to my wife and realizing what I was about to lose.
We discussed everything. We decided to try to make things work out. We discussed marriage counseling and personal counseling for my depression. WE got started immediately. This ended up being the best thing that I have ever done. Slowly, I am becoming the man I wanted to be growing up. Like my dad, but better. I tried to learn from all of his faults but ended up not learning those lessons. I knew I could be a better father, a better husband...but now I was him. I am still in therapy and am learning so much about depression.
Depression is a nasty,nasty illness. If left unaddressed, it can ruin lives and families. It can cost people their lives. Its amazing the something so treatable is often so overlooked.
Today I believe that we are turly all here for a purpose. We are here to learn some lessons. We are here to be helpful. We are here to be caring. We are here to learn forgiveness.... all of these lessons are important.
I am thankful for having the opportunity to have a second chance at my marriage and yet another chance to learn these lessons. My eyes are wide open, my ears are clear. I hope the same awareness to everyone else on this earth!