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Battling the demons everyday

Guest Author: Eli

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

There’s no hiding the fact that physically I’m very weak. Confined to a power wheelchair as a result of Muscular Dystrophy, there’s not much I can do to hide this debilitating disease.

My mental well-being is not so cut-and-dried. I’m extremely sick, but far from what one would consider weak. It has taken incredible strength to battle through my horrific life and I carry on in my 45th year, with a rather dim light at the end of the tunnel.

My physical health has continued to decline as I’ve far surpassed my life expectancy. While I try to put on a brave face, it kills me inside that I am so dependent on others for virtually every single little task in my daily activities.

I’m majorly depressed, fighting a myriad of both physical and mental health issues. I take a boatload of medication, so obviously drinking alcohol would not be the brightest of ideas and I’ve never been one to dabble in illicit drugs.

I become a prisoner in my own home.

My gambling addiction is a whole other story. It has provided pure ecstasy while I’m in action, but also caused me to feel suicidal when the money runs out, the bills go unpaid, and I become a prisoner in my own home.

The cycle continues to repeat itself two decades later.

I live alone with my cat, without whom I’d seriously consider putting an end to my misery. Caring for her at least gives me a purpose. But it becomes increasingly more difficult when I go on wild gambling binges to afford visits to the vet.

I didn’t exactly win the gene pool lottery, inheriting a deadbeat dad and a mentally ill mother as my parents. Pops couldn’t cope with my disability, so he fucked off to the office, leaving my emotionally abusive mom home alone to care for me. I went to live in an institution at eight years of age.

I was an anxious child and began taking pills fairly young in life for reflux. It wouldn’t be long before I was prescribed antidepressants.

I tried to hide my feelings, fearing the shame that society associated with being mentally ill.

Panic attacks surfaced in Grade 9, a time when I was first integrated into mainstream classrooms. It was a struggle to physically stay in class, let alone concentrate on what was being taught. I was pretty much a clock-watcher, counting down the minutes until class would be dismissed.

I mostly kept to myself, had a hard time making friends and even more difficulty maintaining those relationships.

Coming from an abusive and severely dysfunctional family, I had faint hopes for a promising future.

Those thoughts and feelings have never left my mind.

I somehow managed to get through high school, living in a home where many people with disabilities similar to mine were passing away.

I was terrified of catching a cold, knowing it could quickly turn into pneumonia and mark the end of me. Those thoughts and feelings have never left my mind.Battl

I wondered what was the point of pursuing post-secondary education when I probably didn’t have long to live.

Despite living with these dreadful thoughts, I held it together to finish high school with a co-op placement at The Toronto Star’s Sports department before going on to study at Ryerson’s School of Journalism.

Depression and anxiety continued to plague me during these years, but I persevered and joined the graduating class of 1999.

It was after finishing school that I started to find myself with way too much time on my hands. I worked freelance for about a decade until I was just no longer capable of independently doing what was required to spit out an article.

I also found myself get caught up in the world of online gambling. It caused havoc in my life and I continue the battle with my demons to this very day.

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