My Story: Brian Howland

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My Story: Brian HowlandI've had depression my entire life, with my first attempted suicide in the summer after fourth grade with the rope of a tetherball. I had a severe stuttering problem, so I was teased and bullied excessively. Many nights I would cry myself to sleep asking God to let me wake up the next day normal. Didn't happen. When I was walking home from the park through our back yard, there was the rope and I didn't think – I wrapped the rope around my neck and fell, but my knees hit the ground, which scared me. Woke me up, so to speak.

All through high school and college I dealt with depression, but didn’t know I had it. I was physically fit – a three-sport athlete – but remember times when I felt down. To this day I know of no family members with depression. If any of them were depressed they were hidden and not talked about.

Now fast-forward to 2005, when I was struggling with major depression. I was never hungry and always tired; I lost 25 pounds in three months. I had no energy, cried easily, self-harmed, and had no interest doing anything, but put on a good face when needed. I wrote out a three-page funeral for myself with music, Bible verses, and an explanation of why there should be a party, with great chocolate and great coffee.

I went to my doctor, started meds and went to a counselor for 18 months. Life improved, until February 2013 and major depression number two. This time it was completely different. I was irritable, I began drinking, and I didn’t care about anyone. I was very angry and felt hung out to dry, like no one respected me. I felt danger was no problem, lost my faith, and thought long and hard about suicide.

In January 2014 I started seeing a counselor. In March I attempted suicide by taking pills, but became violently sick and threw it all up. I told my wife it was something I ate – a bold lie. I told my counselor the truth, and we changed my meds. This past summer I told my wife of my suicide attempt and that I didn’t feel I could go to her. I said my ego got in the way, which was true.

I went to a Christian mentor for my faith, I've been meditating daily for almost a year and have been journaling for well over a year. My new meds, counselor, meditation, journaling, renewed faith and, most importantly, my wife have me on the right journey of life now.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

Believing in myself. With the right tools, meds, counseling, meditation, journaling and prayer, my life can be a happy one.

Who has been there for you?

My wife and my counselor.

My counselor, meditation, renewed faith, and my wife have me on the right journey of life now.

Go ask for help and if that person cannot help you ask someone else.

Go ask for help and if that person cannot help you ask someone else.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I've stuck with my journaling, meditation, telling my wife everything and prayer.

What's your advice to someone else living with Depression?

Never give up even though you think you can't go on. Go ask for help and if that person cannot help you ask someone else. Create an accountability group.

Never give up even though you think you can't go on.

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