A week or two after Jon's death, I went to see a therapist to help me deal with my grief. I am glad to have found a psychologist that meshes well with me. As I began to open up to him about what I was feeling he helped me look deeper into myself. I am filled with feelings of deep sadness and sorrow. The depth of my depression felt crippling with no way out. No one knew this because I smile and pretend like everything's fine. I put others needs above my own. I hide behind a mask of being a tough guy and deflect anything that would make it look like I need help.
My counselor knew why I started seeing him. I was under a lot of stress with everything that had happened. After a few sessions he suggested I get some testing done. The first couple of times he ask me about it, I blew it off and said no thank you. I know I am depressed, but I am doing just fine.
A couple of weeks later at my next visit, he gave me a homework assignment to watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower . I thought it was cool since I like watching movies. I looked it up on Youtube. The movie trailer seemed fun and interesting. It took me a few weeks till finally found it on DVD at my local Barnes and Noble. Later that week I sat down with my wife to watch it together. I was pretty excited since it took a while for me to find a copy.
Unfortunately as I watched the plot of this movie play out, I already knew what was going to happen. As we watched the film together I grew uncomfortable. The movie wasn't poorly done. I realized several of the themes and plot mirrored my own life, minus the nice middle class living in an upscale neighborhood. By the end of the movie I was pretty pissed off at my therapist for suggesting I see it.
At my next visit I asked him why he asked me watch it. I was angry at him for tricking me into seeing a film that would upset me. He pointed out that my problems went deeper than what had happened in the last few months. I knew he was right. Since my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, I agreed to take the psych tests. I wanted to understand what was going on in my head so I could get the best help possible.
The next time I met with my therapist, we started going through my tests. He told me that he was shocked going over my results. My doctor said that if any other person had read my results that they would not believe it based on how I appear on the outside. I don't show what I am thinking or feeling very often. I joked that I had lied while taking the test. He said the tests would have caught me if I was lying, and that I was incredibly honest.
Then I asked him how crazy I was. He told me I am NOT crazy. Yay for me! I am not crazy, LOL! I have been through alot in my life, and I think very differently than most people. I developed many maladaptive behaviors and thought processes. My official diagnosis: severe anxiety, depression, paranoia, addiction, and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). All of these things are labels that help explain my struggles, but they do not define me.
I am not a war veteran. I am just someone who has been through some VERY crazy shit in my life. I saw and lived in the darker side humanity. I am a survivor.