How A dog Prevented Suicide
Depression is the one subject that everyone overlooks. It seems like we all experience it one way or another. Unfortunately we bury our feelings deep down inside in hopes that nobody will notice, believing that no one will understand. We fear that the the world will shame us because depression seems like an easy fix to most people. You may struggle with a loved one that in your eyes maybe the only living thing that makes you smile. You maybe overweight or struggling to repay the ones that risked everything just so you can have a better life. Yet society tells us there are more fish in the sea or “how about you sign up to a gym you fatty”. Strangely, suicide never crosses your mind until you’ve lost something that truly matters most. Dogs will never judge you because of the situation that you’re in. They want to huddle at your side when you’re hurting most. They inspire you to keep going because you feel that nobody could care for them better than you. Isn’t it strange that a random animal could keep me from destroying my self rather than the ones that raised me.
When the love scars never heal
Do you believe in love at first sight? Neither did I until four years ago. I struggled with depression because of the belief that some of us simply get a shitty roll of the dice. I was lost, confused and scared of not knowing where life would take me. My parents were disappointed in my academic performance and were constantly fighting, reconsidering their trip to America. I dropped out of school and began working a stressful management job. Long story short, this one person made me feel like I finally found happiness. I felt safe and for the first time in my life, I could talk to someone about my struggles. We became an instant hit and no matter how bad life got she always seems to put a smile on my face. She seemed to live with similar struggles but then again, I guess two negatives make a positive. I could be with her for days at a time and never want to leave. Then the dread day came… The one I depended on for happiness, the one that I trusted more than anyone on the planet had to move a thousand miles away with her family. Even though I was accustomed to depression, I had no idea how bad it could actually get….
At first it seemed like nothing. She kissed me good bye and off she went. Long distant relationships are often seen as the end of the road for any human connection. Sometimes we fall in love and timing keeps us shackled from expressing how we truly feel. Life has a strange way of testing ones will. That significant other that everyone around you views as another fish in the sea, may have slowly cemented themselves into your soul. They say time will ease the pain yet it only got worse. Although she flew a thousand miles away it somehow brought us closer together. We visited each other on numerous occasions and for those short few days it was like she never left. With each flight home I wanted to hurt my self knowing I wont see her for another six months. The emotional roller coaster broke me down on the flight home. She was my only source of happiness. Society told me to forget about her and move on. They told me that I was wasting my time and money. Furthermore, they reassured me that you cant trust someone that is a thousand miles away. I strongly reassured them that I did not care, I was high on love and I was willing to do anything to get her back.
Money is often seen as the works of the devil. We believe it is the answer to all of our struggles. With trillions of dollars circulating around the country no one seems to get their bump. When the love of your life vanishes before your eyes, you develop an understanding that currency is the only thing that will bring you back together. Unfortunately time is ticking. It may take a couple of months or a couple of years but there will be a point in time where one party has to make that critical decision. You see pain is something that will follow you forever unless you do something about it. You may vacation and have a mind blowing couple of weeks that both of you will never forget but at some point something has to give. You begin to receive painful phone calls of ‘I cant handle it anymore” yet all you can do is nod your head in tears.
Love can be a mystical time machine that will eventually separate you. You feel like you have all time in the world knowing nothing can come between you. In the being she hated her new home and the people around her. I believed that I could ease her pain and make her smile again. Yet with every trip I sensed that my significant other is adapting to her new environment.With every trip I found my self chasing the dragon of happiness. I began to understand that she is slowly moving on. Its hard to believe right? You can express how you feel about that person but when you hear that click on the phone, all you can do is hope. Each flight home fueled anger and motivation to start a business, chasing freedom knowing that eventually I could move there and start a new life. I was hungry to win developing multiple online businesses and trying to make my self known in real estate. Working two jobs proved to be a colossal challenge. With constant failure and bankruptcy I was beginning to lose hope. Although I was digging myself into a emotional grave her phone calls and hilarious voice mails kept me together. Those small forms of contact made me say to my self.. “one more time”.
As times moves you become a distant memory. He or she will begin to move on and date other people. You’re broke and no matter what you do in life, you cant stop it. Can you truly force pain on your loves ones for years to come ? As time ticked away the phone calls began to perish. Although I was willing to do anything to stay friends, it was clear that I was morphing into a distant memory. She came to visit for the final time. I refused to tell her about my personal life and what I was trying to accomplish. Although I was drowning in misery she showed me what it was like to be happy again. Next thing I knew the trip was over. Five days seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. On the way to the airport she was excited to leave. Her new so and so was waiting on the other side to pick her up. As we got closer to the airport, emotions were becoming increasingly difficult to hold back. I wanted to break down but I knew it would do nothing. I helped her with her bags and hugged her for the final time. She made a small joke “Try not to cry” as I watched her disappear in the darkness behind the revolving doors. I stood there, frozen. My best friend was gone. I thought I moved on, I thought I was happy for her new life but with every second my heart felt like it was going to explode. I sat in my car and didn’t move for 10 minutes. I was back on the emotional roller coaster. An extremely powerful high followed by a deep and depressing low. This time it was over….. From that moment on I reassured my self that I would never experience that feeling again. I made a drastic change in life and quit my job. I dedicated 100% of my time and money into a business I knew would eventual fail. The difference was that I refused to quit. I wold search for answers until I was free.
The devils potion
Drugs were a liberating miracle of hope. With every hit of that mystical powder the pain seemed to disappear. With every sip and every cut there seemed to be a liberation from reality. While developing new ideas and business plans, life always seemed work against me. Car accident and increasing bills kept me from progressing. I felt personally responsible for watching her go. I had a year and a half to achieve my goal but I was drunk on free time, procrastination and paralysis with trying to get everything just right. I started to drink heavily everyday and consuming dangerous dosses of drugs. With a trip to the emergency room I had a realization. You can do all the drugs and alcohol you want but when those wounds heal you’re back in the same situation never ending the cycle.
How a dog changed my perspective
The girl that I loved inspired me to get a dog. She was an animal lover and I believed that my pet would bring us closer. Although she loved my dog, she still kept falling out of my reach. Sasha, my German shepherd, became the reason why I’ve kept going. No matter how depressed I became due to my consistent failures, she silently told me to dust off and try again. I lived in a small apartment with the idea that our local dog park was more than enough to exercise her primal instincts. Yet with every trip home I’d look deep into her eyes and witness sadness. She inspired me to keep trying new things in hops of giving her a huge yard near the woods. Furthermore, Sasha has never looked down on me because I was broke and defeated. That amazing animal was excited to spend every minute with me even when everyone around me pushed me aside. Sasha added another reason to achieve financial freedom. At the very least I wanted to make my dog happy.
A the same time my father was beginning to break down. He migrated to America with a mission to give me a better life. Little did I know he was working in horrific conditions, constantly outside with heavy machinery no matter how cold it got. My father suffered not just due to the elements. A trailer door free fell on top of his hand turning it into a boxing glove. Its now healed but he will never make a proper fist every again. He fell off a tall ladder multiple times yet he kept showing up to work the next day. I’ll never forget when he told me he was ready to die. He accepted that his life was over with zero retirement money and his health was drastically affecting his movement. It got to the point where walking down the stairs was a massive challenge yet he kept going to work telling me that he’s doing all of this for me. I fantasized about the day where I would take him to the best doctors in the country and simply tell them ” fix him”. When I look at my monthly bank statements all I do is hope that he hangs in there. I finally hit rock bottom.
Sasha was the only thing that seemed to make him smile. Like the girl that I loved he would growl in pain as he bent down to pet her after work. Its like he had a reason to keep coming back from hell. I saw joy in my fathers eyes, but like my dog walking back from the park there was sadness lurking in his eyes, knowing that another day of hell is upon him. Most people get excited about a day off yet my father saw it as a lost opportunity. I just wanted to make them both happy.
While it dawned on me to dedicate all my efforts to help my father and one day hugging my best friend again, I’ve learned that depression wont fade overnight. I began to write my goals down in a planner. Every morning I wrote the same goals with a summery at the end of the week. The summary contained what I have done right and what I must improve on to achieve those goals. Working out became a daily activity. I quit drinking and followed a healthy diet. These steps seemed like nothing in the beginning but as time went on they turned out to be massive assets. Due to massive weight loss I’ve regained my self esteem. The diet and lack of poisons kept me sharp and dedicated. I began working on my business like life depended on it. Although I thought dead ends surfaced with every turn, my discipline pushed me passed all the emotions. Cut everything that is holding you back.
My dreams started to become a reality. My father was proud of my work and I told him to hang in there for just another year. I was excited to travel and have a great time with the one that seemed to slip away. Although we had a rough history, our friendship never took a hit. We both struggled with money but with time we both seemed to find the answers.
Overcoming depression was a bumpy road. You will get excited about a new project or opportunity but I assure you tough times are coming. People always ask, what motivates you ? While the items we talked about before were in fact the driving factors of what motivated me to change, they are not what kept me from giving up. Its your inability to quit and discipline that takes you out of the shadows. Motivation and will power will in time fade away. You will constantly find your self trying to answer difficulty question and they only get harder as time goes on. When I lost 40 pounds in the gym people told me I looked much healthier and happier. While this was true I was still depressed with 30 more pounds to lose. The more weight you lose the header is gets. Soon I found my self losing only two pounds per week instead of the 5-10. I never quit and lost over 90 pounds.
The lesson is simple. Refuse to bury the things that hurt you. It will only explode when your most vulnerable. Confront what you fear and slowly begin to work on overcoming it. You wont be able to eliminate depression over night but you can begin to mitigate it by exercise, cleaning after your self and increasing income. You will at times snap and drink your self to sleep but pull your self together and continue to work the next day. Over time small changes will turn into big ones and you’ll find your self nearly depression free.
Find the things that make you sad and learn to channel it into fuel. For me it was a girl that broke my heart and a brave father that I wanted to thank. Hang on to the things that make you smile. Sasha, no matter how bad it got always seemed to make me smile.
Depression is incredibly difficult to overcome. We never talk about it because we fear shame. Sasha was the last thing that brought be back to my senses. She was the last thing that loved me for who I was. No matter how destructive I become she was always excited to see me. I knew that if I made the decision to end it all she would be in a shelter and I was not going to allow that. Today I feel free. Overcoming depression was the greatest achievement of my life. Although I cant speak for everybody, my past experiences are a lesson for those still in the shadows.
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