When I initially wrote My Own Prison (then revised it; followed by the post), it was a real rough spot in my life. Let me quote myself and go from there. . .
Prison. For most, they think it to be a building—a physical entity that exists to house criminals and wrongdoers. In most cases, however, a prison can also be one’s self. For the millions of those who suffer from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and many of the other mental illnesses and disorders, their mind is their own prison.
Built from the ground up, bit by bit, piece by piece. It can result from many things. For me: it’s been overcoming guilt. The burning anger that resides within. The negativity of several people and their dirty antics. The “what ifs?” The memories, though some blurry, of when I was on my antidepressants; the actions and things said. . .done. The immense sadness that dwells within. The constant twisting and shaping of how one can manipulate things against their own being. You realize it, you acknowledge it, and you know it to be a lie, but you can’t seem to overcome the grief that has besieged you and left you, seemingly, stranded.
A fight for your life.
You have been tossed into shark-infested waters, and you are bleeding out.
My first therapist wasn’t horrible. He was just doing his job and trying to help me. You can’t help those who do not will to be helped or want it. I found it to be my punishment—to suffer—to slowly kill myself. Painfully. With the most potent malice ever conceived.
There were others that tried to help. Then there was the medication. Going to sleep for. . .what I believed was one day, turned into two or more sometimes. It hurt. I felt I was missing out on the most important of times, and it was unfair—to my daughter and my wife. . .and myself.
I was unstable. Anything and everything could set me off. The wind could blow the wrong direction and I would be having an anger attack. Eventually, I would do an unspeakable act that would convince myself; through a sort of out of body experience, that I needed to lose the medication and get proper help. That I needed to accept responsibility and be a man, a father, a husband. There were to be no more “woe is me” moments.
It would take time. . .
As time has gone on and that I went through EMDR therapy, my overall person has improved. I made changed, important and very much needed changes. I stopped being surrounded by negative people. I began exercising and losing weight (because I have always hated my body image). I stopped drinking alcohol in unnecessary consumption rates (I was an alcoholic, plain and simple in the end there. I became dependant on it).I started eating healthier. The food I did consume was not healthy and paired with soda, it bogged me down.
Simply enough, I didn’t care about myself. I didn’t love myself. I needed to change that. Being on the path to recovery doesn’t happen overnight and everyone is different.
“Get over it. That happened X years ago.”
“That still bothers you? Grow up.”
[At the intersection where the accident happened after finally being able to take my daughter home, away from the hospital, with my wife in the car behind me] “Sorry, I thought this would be the faster way. . .”
Being accused of wanting to kill my wife and daughter and using the accident to cover it up.
Those were a few of the many things said that were fuel added to the raging tempest I held within.
Time. Help. Understanding. Therapy. Changes.
That has been what has helped me. Good friends. Family. And making myself really change—for the better.
Every now and then, I get a dark spell, and that’s OK because it’s going to happen. I’ve been trying a new technique personally, and it’s helped. . .to a degree. Writing, however, has been the most helpful.
Normally, I’d never share my emotions or my thoughts. I figure, though, if someone can relate—someone can be helped, and that others out there that struggle can know that they are not alone in the fight. That there are rescue boats in these shark-infested waters with proper help for you. Then that’s fine with me. Because we are all pieces of a far grand puzzle than we can comprehend.
Stay strong and stay vigilant, friends.
You see, it’s only been (almost) a year. One of the most significant and significant years that came to pass. I moved out of state; one that I grew up in, started my family, left my friends and remaining family behind—and started a new life with my wife and kids in Tennessee. It’ll have been ten years since the car accident, and my oldest will turn ten. I try to not look at her birthday as a reminder; it’s hard, but the effect is losing hold. I still have occasional days of where I am fending off the darkness. . .but I know it, I am aware of it, and I valiantly fight back and hold it off. Even for just one more day, one more night. My wife and kids make it, so it’s worth it.
I spoke of a technique I was trying out at the time. What was it? I was killing myself; killing or slaying the negative thoughts and emotions. Stuffing them into boxes or attaching concrete boots to them and dropping them into the abysmal sea. It worked. For awhile. I keep testing myself and pushing my psychology appointments out further; and around, eh, probably in between a week or so until my next session and such I had a big issue come up. I was also having a lot of anxiety with our trip to BlizzCon 2017 and getting ripped off on our tickets (but thankfully, a good friend came through, and we got them and had a great time.).
Needless to say, it wasn’t perfect. Thus, I ended up creating The Chronicles of Bob: The Chronic Suicidal. So, to put some rumors to rest; not that there really is any, yes, it’s loosely based on me. Congrats. Spoilers. #Spoilers. It’s not just a dark humor approach to suicide because you get the M. Night Shyamalan twist at the end! Really, it’s a fun read.
So, what do I do now? I write. I talk about things more openly. I play WoW. I’ve actually gotten a better sleep schedule down (granted, I am pushing it with this write-up), and yeah, things are pretty good so far in my mind. Lilah’s Guide to Hoylei will be coming back out; due for release June 21, 2018. More stories and shorts will be coming out as well. It should be a pretty good year.
It’s incredible how much and how far you can go from one year to another; or day to day, month to month, let alone for me from so many years of guilt and self-torment. I’ve come a long way, and I am happy to share my experience with you all. I wonder what the coming year will bring?
I hope those of you out there keep your chin up and know (and remember) that you’re not alone. There are others like you. You needn’t face and take on the world alone. Remain vigilant and be strong.
Take care and stay safe.
P.S. enjoy My Own Prison in its entirety below. Cheers!
My Own Prison
(The Original Version)
by Robert J. S. T. McCartney
It’s my time, as every year it seems to be, yet come this time it seems to be getting more to me.
An endless cycle that had begun long ago and further widens its cut into my being.
How so much pain can be felt, and how it was made was never an intention but how its function has fucked me up so much.
Each day it tears me apart, and each time I try to reassemble the pieces, it never seems to resemble me entirely.
As for how the light can teach but never gives answers, looking to the dark for its secrets but always coming with a high price.
The cold I know is there, but I cannot feel, as it’s already in too profound, but why is it I stay warm?
Why do I feel like a stray dog in a foreign family, when I’m given love and yet I back into the corner terrified.
What it means to be alive, what it is that pushes me to remain here.
Why it is that I remain? Why I stay humane, and stray from the constant fear that lingers in the depths of what I am?
This misery is a friend, one that does not bend.
Nor does it lend a hand for when I try to stand, as I get kicked back down.
A war with the mind, and a battle with the heart.
To stay here and see it through, when there is a victor.
How it is that I am enshrouded with such a dark mist, and yet still have light to prevent myself from being engulfed?
Why is it that I suffer from so much of my own damnation when I tried just to live.
Why this struggle in my mind takes such a toll on me, and others.
Never did I want to impress, or pose.
Never did I want to tell lies, or be hung for the truth.
I was me, and all it did was kick me in the teeth for trying to survive.
The beginning of all comes full circle to that we don’t remember.
There is no race to be won.
There is nothing that can be said to make things just as quickly as they are said and done.
Life is hypocrisy in itself that is all too well what it’s cracked up to be.
My daughter. . .My happy, unhappy accident.
How she’ll never know how sorry I am for everything.
My wife, how all the problems I cause and make and make things worse at times.
I am being pulled apart at the seams. . .
Life undoes itself from me slowly as dare try to redeem.
All these walls I’ve built up
I want to break free
From the binds that continue to keep me
Sometimes I only believe in self-absolving
But I know it just to be
I mustn’t keep fighting for me
For they are why I am here
The things I hold dear
I will suffer through the pain
Because I have so much more to gain
Pain knows love just as well
As life knows death
Intermingled we are
The realization of which I now know
I do not suffer alone