Adult ADHD author and Blogger Jeff Emmerson in the local hospital psych ward in 2013.

Waving The White Flag – I Need Help!

In part one of this blog post on overcoming depression, I spoke about the armored car job I was on a mission to “achieve,” or in other words, proving myself in the eyes of society by going from a brief stay in jail all the way to being entrusted as an armed guard (after 10 years of having to wait to even apply for my firearms licence).

This photo is one that I took while waiting to be committed in 2013 (I committed myself with my wife in agreement and tears due to wanting to die again, to researching ways to actually end my life online).

A truck similar to the one that inspired Jeff Emmerson to pursue armoured car employmentSeeing a truck like this one (right) at a bank turned into a mission that would end up changing my life and taking me to my very own hell and back, to exhaustion, anxiety and eventually depression as a result.

I faced death by my own hands as I started to hang myself like my brother did a few years earlier. I felt absolutely empty and worthless inside – I had failed as a son, as a husband and as a human being.

Long story short, I couldn’t fully commit to leaning in enough to choke myself and “seal the deal.” My life came before my eyes, many memories flooded through my reality and with my wife sitting upstairs in her office working away, I simply couldn’t have her discover my lifeless body – I knew exactly how horrifying that would be after losing my brother to suicide.

You never fully come back from that – it kills a part of everyone involved. I walked up the stairs crying, and told my wife I needed help, that I desperately needed medical attention from a psychological perspective.

Lessons All Around Me During The Darkest Hours

Though I’m a notoriously stubborn and hard-headed man in ways, a man who needed to learn many lessons the hard way growing up, I gradually combined some major self-compassion with openness to looking at other options for my life career-wise. As I know now, we often tie our identity into what we do for a living or a dream we’ve had for years.

The problem with this way of thinking is that life changes! We change, we grow and we are capable of so much more than most of us realize. We also think we know what we’re really good at, but how can we really know if we stay rigid in one or two areas of pursuit?

Depression has taught me perspective, compassion and appreciation for this life – it really has. My Brother may not be here, but going through the horror of seeing him in the ICU, then the funeral home six months later warned me as it “broke” a part of me – it warned me that my life is ultimately in my own hands, as simple as that might sound. I could keep wallowing in despair or have the courage to dust myself off and change my focus to how I could better serve people and make a living doing it – a “win-win” scenario.

That’s exactly what I’ve done.

No, it hasn’t been a smooth ride, but this is life. This is being human, OK? Never expect a false thing called “perfection.” It simply doesn’t happen – the perfection you and I seek is actually found in the simple things, the vulnerability, the honesty and the hope for a life of purpose and love.

I really had to shorten this for the sake of length, but when you read Beyond ADHD in the summer of 2017, you’ll see a much bigger picture to the battles I’ve faced, battles which we all face in our own ways to some degree. We’re all human, and the darkest moments are truly our best teachers when we choose to open our eyes to that fact. Be brave and watch what happens…