In Their Words…Jamie
We have come to learn just how much men appreciate reading/listening to the stories of other men who have dealt with depression, anxiety, and the challenges that go along with these conditions. I have reached out to the 140 men who attend our support groups and asked them if they would be willing to share a story that was important to them that relates to the struggles they have had. I have made no edits to the content of what they wrote and the words that follow are those of the man who wrote them. Today I am sharing a story by Jamie, who attends a Face It Men’s group.
I have struggled with depression most of my adult life. My depression has always been situational and fueled by my anxiety and inability to productively cope with the situation at hand. For years, I had been following the same “M.O.” and struggling with the same issues over and over, all in a slightly different package with a not-so-pretty bow on top. The best analogy I can think of to describe it would be trying to unlock every door in your house, over and over, with the key that starts your car… until all you can focus on is, “What’s wrong with me? Other people get into their houses all the time,” when the simple answer is, maybe it isn’t all you. Maybe it’s the key you’re trying; try a different key. For me, that key was Face It.
In this part of the timeline, there were a series of events that spun me into the fastest downward spiral I’ve ever experienced. At one point, the frustration and pain where so great, I had convinced myself there was only one rational solution to stop the pain. That was when I was referred to Face It by a counselor I’d been seeing for many years. Face It was a safe venue to talk freely and openly, and through which I realized the path I was on and that I had to take immediate steps for my safety and future. I took a leave of absence from work and entered an outpatient program. For me, Face It shifted my thought process and, after leaving the outpatient program, I started focusing only on myself and working the hardest I have ever worked on myself to date.
I would love to give all the credit to the guys I interact with at Face It for saving my life, but I must give myself much of the credit for taking the time (and some days, extreme effort) to work through the struggles I’d been facing for far too long. It was, by far, the “path of most resistance.” I wanted to quit so many times; however, I was getting so much support – along with accountability – to break the cycle and push on. I can’t stress enough how pivotal Face It has been in changing my life. It’s a place I can talk, vent, cry, and often laugh.
There were so many days I didn’t want to go to group; but I knew if I missed the week’s group, in two weeks it would be that much easier to miss another, and soon I would stop going altogether. So, with that, I made a promise to myself to never miss a meeting. I’m quite comfortable in saying I am much more confident, and I’m able to “not sweat the small stuff.”
Life for me, at work and home, are so much more enjoyable. And, no, I didn’t switch jobs or wives. I just began to look at myself in a totally different light and started to love myself the way I always deserved. As much as I would like to, I cannot publicly “out” the key people from Face It who were major players in my recovery; but they know who they are, and how grateful I am for their ongoing support and the friendships I will always hold close to my heart.
One last point…walking into the Face It office on that first night of group, I was filled with anxiety and doubt. But, to my surprise, I felt extremely welcomed and understood within minutes. That was July 27, 2016; and I have only missed 1 meeting to date.
Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or thoughts and I will pass them along to Jamie.