I would like to preface this blog with the fact that I do not write often and I have nearly failed every English class I’ve been in. With that being said I feel that it is important to get your feelings out so you can realize you’re not alone in any suffering you could be facing.
A small bit about me, I am in the military and have been for almost 7 years. I have been married for 2.5 years and my wife and I have a 4.5-year-old son. My son is not mine by blood but mine by love. I came into my son’s life when he was 1.5 years old and currently he doesn’t know that I’m not his biological father because let’s face it, how can you understand that at such a young age. With you now knowing that small bit about me I’ll get started in telling my story. Some of you may cringe at what I have to say. Some of you may even laugh. But I ask that you read it through the whole way.
In 2015, I was 21 years old and had just gone through a horrible break up and lived in Georgia which was a long ways away from my family in California. Being the man that I am, I acted like it didn’t bother me as much as it actually did. I became a shut in. I would sit in my room and drink. I would really only come out to go to work. I worked nights at the time so it was really easy to not see people if I didn’t want to. I was living with a married couple at this time and when July came around the wife of this couple asked if I would go to New Mexico with her to celebrate her 21st birthday. She wanted me to come along so I could help with their 9 month old baby and She also wanted me to meet her friend from back home.
I hesitantly agreed because I was still in that phase of not wanting to see or talk to anyone.
Well the time to get on the plane came around and I went without argument. I’m quite certain I wasn’t pleasant to be around but my friend never said anything and just let me be me. The baby and my friend slept through most of the flight so that was a relief that I didn’t have to do anything. My friend’s sister came and got us and I remember for the first time in a while not feeling like I was the odd one out. When we got back to the house I was so tired since I had gotten off work and almost immediately gotten on a plane. My friend’s nephew was so excited to see another boy around that he just wanted me to sit and play video games with him. He was such a cool kid and in retrospect I wish that I had made it clear to him that I enjoyed his company but being in the mood I was, I wasn’t ready to buck up and really be all happy go lucky. I remember my friend telling me that her friend was going to come over and I did everything I could to stay awake. This girl was 75% of the reason I was going on this trip in the first place.
"I was going to marry this girl."
When she finally did get there the only thing I could think to do after laying my eyes on her and her son was to text my friend and tell him that I was going to marry this girl. I don’t really remember the time she came over because I was so tired and out of it. I think we hardly spoke and her son wanted nothing to do with me. Now it was either later that day or a couple days after, we went over to this girl’s apartment. I didn’t really speak with the woman who I wanted to spend time with, I played with her son who kept sticking his bouncy ball in his onesie and thought it was the funniest thing ever. I kept trying to text this girl after that night and seeing if she wanted to do a movie night, but she kept giving me the cold shoulder. I finally gave up accepted that it wasn’t going to happen and moved on. This girl had pulled me out of my slump by simply being there and that was more than enough for me.
Fast forward a few days and it was time to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday. We go out all the way to El Paso, Texas from Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was a long ride and I was in the backseat with the woman who shut down my advances. We all went out to dinner and met up with some more friends and I started to feel like an outcast again. In my mind, I knew that it was normal because I was the new guy that most of these people had never met. However, I could not convince my heart that it was normal and perfectly fine. After dinner we went back to the hotel we were staying at to swim and then get ready to get changed and go out. We went to the first bar and the woman with whom I’ve been trying to get to know better told me to sit next to her. I did compliantly because I was a 21 year old man, what else was I supposed to do?
We all sat and started to get buzzed. We then decided to move bars. We ordered an Uber and closed out our tab. When I finish closing out the tab I walked out front. I figured I would sit up front with the driver and the three girls I was with would sit in the back. When I walked out front, my friend’s sister told me, “you need to sit in the back apparently.” So I did and this beautiful girl was really excited to see me sitting there with her. She held my hand for the first time on that car ride. As the night went on and the drunker this girl got the more I thought that we weren’t going to be together no matter what I tried. We got back to the hotel and we went to the hotel bar/club. In my last ditch effort I bought the girl who had been coming on to me a rose from a random dude who was selling them. In buying this rose it was my hope that the woman I fell in love with in less than a week would remember this night and we could talk about it once she wasn’t so hungover.
When we got back to the room, we had a conversation about what to expect in the future and I told her she was not going to remember this conversation. She ensured me she would and I told her to try to remember the time that we had the conversation at which was some weird time past 1 in the morning. When we all woke up the next morning, this girl and my friend were sick from being hungover so bad. We went to IHOP (Now known as IHOB) to cure our hangovers. This girl was convinced that I wouldn’t wanna talk to her anymore but I was 21, if I hadn’t seen you throw up, I probably didn’t want even be friends with you.
We all returned and went our separate ways. I sent a text to the girl who now made advances on me so we could talk about what we were going to do/become. I went over there after her son had gone to bed so we could talk freely. We decided we would do long distance and give it our best bet. We left and went back to Georgia the next day. I left my new girlfriend and her son behind wishing I could stay forever. We did long distance and the day her son started calling me daddy was one of the happiest of my life.
I never thought that I would be good enough to be a dad.
This boy had never had a father figure other than his grandpas but everyone knows that grandpas can’t be dads. they did their time. They just wanna have fun with their grandchildren and not worry about all the extra stuff. I visited once more in New Mexico and met her family and doing that just solidified my belief that I was going to marry this girl. The woman who is now my wife and the boy who is now MY son, we met in July of 2015 and got married on January 9th 2016.
I know what most of you are thinking, long story about how I met my wife, and you’re right it is. But before I met my wife, I was getting low, real low. The thought to hurt myself had crossed my mind but I knew I didn’t want to. I know that there are people who the thought crosses their mind and it sounds pretty good. I want to remind everyone that you’re not alone. My wife pulled me out of my slump and made me feel like I belong.
Even now nearly 3 years later, I’m biting another depression bullet and finally told my wife
and once again she’s right here digging me out of it.
Sometimes even though we don’t feel like we’re needed or even wanted it can get hard to keep on going. You have to believe that there are people out there who want nothing more than you to stand by their side. Even through the madness of life, someone will find you and dig you out of the hole that you dug for yourself.
So on this father’s day, don’t be depressed even though you feel like that’s all you know. Go throw a baseball or football or basketball or whatever sport you play, do it with your kids, your family, your wife, whoever. Just don’t feel alone. I encourage anyone to talk about their depression with me or anyone they’re comfortable with.
We as men sometimes feel we have to be strong and can’t have feelings that make us weak. I encourage you to lean on your spouse or significant other in order to help you. It’s not weak to admit your feelings to the ones you love. It takes more courage than anything else. If you don’t end up having that opportunity and get too far down into that hole please seek the help you need. Just one source that anyone can use is the national suicide hotline. They can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you wish to contact me, our friends at Words with Moms know how to get a hold of me. They will put you in contact as soon as they are able.