I have spent my life on a journey up and down the corridors of mental illness suffering from a manic-depressive disorder. With purpose I have walked through light and dark, into fire and water. What I have discovered in this landscape of madness, chaos, beauty and order is humanity. In October of 2007 I had a nervous breakdown as a result of having to experience sadness and sorrow. A lifetime of living with depression did not prepare me for my inability to deal with these states of mind. They had no path of experience, my psyche cracked under their weight leaving me fragmented and lost. The collateral damage left me half the man I once knew myself to be. In its wake I lost the tools developed to cope and deal with my depression and mania on a daily basis. In my anguish I abandoned everyone I loved. I left everything I knew. The day after I was released from the hospital I packed up some clothes, photos, tools, books and my dog Herman and drove away. I left in order to live.
At the time, still so close to what was a productive and wonderful life it did not occur to me the depth of loss I was about to endure, both emotionally and cognitively. I had a life in which I was loved. I had a life in which I was supported. It was an idyllic existence. Infused with such beauty, love, understanding and awareness. A life that was lived in motion. Gardening, photography, carpentry and animal husbandry were but a few of my hobby's. Being of gentle heart and kind hand allowed me to help others through bumps in the road. Patient, thoughtful and aware I always had a moment for anyone in need. I was a reminder that the human spirit is capable of great things. I loved life. I thrived in my existence.
It is now October 2013, these past years have without doubt been nothing more than a living nightmare. My fractured mind has lost most cognitive ability. Gone are things like attention and simple concentration. My reasoning skills and decision making processes are handicapped by depressions hold on almost everything. My awareness and insight into the world were once a source of self-confidence. Now I second guess my self at every turn. My self-worth has been eroded to a fraction of what it once knew. I am a broken man.
Over the subsequent years since my breakdown I have been unable to heal my fractured mind. Fighting day after day to secure housing and food has left me no time in which to just rest and heal. All these years spent on avoiding the well of homelessness have done nothing but lead me into its grasp. Complacency and depressions endeavor have given me the worst year. Gone are all my personal effects, photos, clothes, mementos from my past. I am beside myself at how difficult it is to escape homelessness now that I am in it. I have spent time in homeless shelters, empty apartments and homes, never have I felt so alone. It has affected me greatly.
Given what I have been through I still love life. I believe that I am still capable of healing. I want to help others avoid the paths I have found myself walking. Many times I have tried to pull myself together to no avail. I feel as though this attempt is important. It is without doubt a turning point for me. I am actively looking for a therapist to help guide me. I want to be able to take care of my medical needs. Recently I applied for social security benefits, a process which will take months to decide. I am tired though. So I am reaching out to you. Any money donated is going to be used first for housing to break this cycle of not knowing where I am going to sleep tonight. Herman, my dachsund, is still with me after all this time. He is my best friend, in need of general vet care.
I can't help but ask myself why would anyone want to help me. Especially perfect strangers that know nothing about me but what you just read. I have seen the ugly side of humanity again and again these past years. What I hold on to, what I pull strength from is the goodness that crosses my path. It sustains me. I want that chance to once again be that goodness for someone else. Given the chance to heal I know I will accomplish great things. In knowing this I appreciate what it is you are doing for me as I look for a beautiful life. And I thank you.