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Criminal in the shadows

The Darkness

Guest Author: Andrew

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Mental health has been apart of my life for many years, however, for the longest time I didn’t even know I was sick. I just thought things were happening inside of me. But this past October, it became abundantly clear to me that I was sick. But I had no idea how bad it was about to get.

For a long time, I was going through a tough time financially, after returning from playing soccer in the NCAA and finishing up a two-year diploma in my hometown, I couldn’t find a full time job. I was a part time soccer coach, and I loved it. Soccer was my release, coaching put me at ease and really took me away from all my troubles in the world, the only place I really felt happy. My coaching career really started to take off, I was enjoying it, happy with it and having a tremendous amount of success with it.

In June of 2015, I reached my biggest goal in my 27 years. I was hired to coach in the NCAA as an Assistant coach with a State University. I couldn’t have been happier and more excited with where my life was heading, I was finally starting my career.

I call it my shadow or “the darkness”

So I moved there, excited to be starting my career. Everything went great, I had a great time, met a lot of great people, had a lot of fun and was excited to keep moving forward in my new career.

Everything was going great for me…until the season ended, then there was no more soccer, and I was alone. One night while on the phone with my girlfriend, the fear came back, but a hundred times worse. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stop shaking, sweating. I have never felt this before, it was horrible, it was terrifying. I ended up staying awake all night–I couldn’t sleep. When I closed my eyes I would panic and start freaking out. This was the routine for the next four days, I didn’t sleep at all, and the thoughts and voices in my head kept getting worse.

I call it my shadow or “the darkness” inside my head. I started having a voice that was telling me “life isn’t worth living this way,” “if this is what life is going to be like there isn’t a point in living,” “just end it all now, there’s no point”. It was terrifying, I thought I was going to actually do it, that the voice was going to win, and lead me to do something that I couldn’t undo.

 It got so scary, after five nights of no sleep, and coming closer and closer to giving in to the thoughts of suicide, I decided to leave my dream job, and come home to get support.

I looked at the shadow and I fought back.

When I got home I got some medication from the doctors and it help me sleep. I thought I was doing better, until one day when I was home at my mom’s condo. The darkness came over me so strong, so powerful, and before I knew it, I was standing at the edge of the balcony, on the 17th floor of the condo building, ready to lean over, and jump. I was ready to end it all. The voice was taking over, getting stronger and stronger, and I couldn’t take it. I was letting it in and letting it take over. Plain and simple, I did not want to live anymore. I wanted to die, I had had enough. While I stood on the ledge getting closer and closer to leaning over, I had a vision. I saw my mother and I couldn’t do that to her. I knew it would break her heart to come home, to find that I was gone. I looked at the shadow and I fought back.

One of the best decisions I have ever made in my life was to step back from the ledge. I stepped down, and when my mom came home from work I told her I needed help. I needed to see someone.

I was so lucky that I was still able to see the light before the darkness fully took over me, and I was able to ask for help. I was also so lucky that I had a mother who was so strong and supportive to get me all the help I needed, and was there to talk to. All I needed was to talk. Without her, I’m not sure id be here, without her I think I would have jumped.

Today I’m back in my hometown, coaching soccer again, and back in school. I’m still getting help, I’m still sick, but no, I’m not weak! If you’re struggling, please talk to someone, ask for help. You’re not alone, I’m with you, we are with you.

 

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