Having All of Me

by Byron on November 5, 2016

Decker and Gibson,

It’s bizarre to write this to you guys, but I need to.  I need to because it’s a truth of me, and anything I have experienced that can benefit you guys in any way needs to be shared.

I have wanted to kill myself before.  More than that, once, I was afraid I was going to.  I didn’t go so far as to make a plan, but I felt as though I was losing control over my ability to stop myself.

My first thoughts of suicide were in high school.  I was a ball of emotion and I was very unsure of myself.  I was unsure how to regulate my emotion.  I now believe it was an issue of brain chemicals.  I didn’t know that at the time.  I was really scared.  I tried to regulate myself with drugs, which sometimes worked and sometimes did not.  Regulating with drugs eventually led to a substance abuse problem I was unable to regulate.  Eventually, complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol was the only thing that worked for me.

The second time I contemplated suicide – and this was the time I was scared I would be unable to stop myself – was when I was about six years sober.  It was about three months before Mom and I found out we were going to have you, Decker.

I was terrified of something.  Myself?  My life?  My ability to succeed in life?  I don’t know.  To this day I don’t really know.  But I know that my body was having a horrendous reaction.  I was literally becoming physically ill and I think I had insane amounts of cortisol going through my body.  I was beyond unhappy.  I was gripped by fear.  Maybe clinical depression?  I have no idea.  But whatever it was gave me the gift of desperation.  I was either going to die or I was going to change.

I found transcendental mediation.  My initial thought of TM was that it was weird and “out-there.”  It turned out to be so much more normal than I thought.  It wasn’t weird at all.  Practicing TM for a relatively short period of time may have saved my life.

Shortly thereafter, we found out that we were going to have a baby – that’s you Deck – and, knock wood, thank God, I haven’t looked back since.  I have been so incredibly fortunate to have you Decker, and you Gibson, in my life.

This post isn’t a pitch for sobriety or TM.  The only advice I could ever give to anyone in this situation is that there is a solution for you.  Follow your instinct.  I was willing to abandon what I thought were decisions set in stone.  I was willing to abandon what I was sure was the only way for me.  I was willing to see if I needed to leave your Mom, the state, or my sense of self.  Turns out that I just needed to change careers and take a little more time for myself and self-care.

In 2011, outwardly, in my conscious day-to-day mind, I didn’t have what it took to be happy.  I was starting to lose what it took to be alive.  But inside, I had the answers.  Maybe that’s God or the Universe or just me, or something else.  I don’t know.  Still don’t know.  I only know that I’m happy and have been so incredibly fortunate to be married to your Mom and so incredibly fortunate to be your Dad.

I hope and pray you will never need these words for your own experience with similar thoughts.  But I felt the need to write these words and share this experience because it’s me and you guys should have all of me.  I love you both so much.

Dad

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