I recently saw Lifeline’s “Share Your Story” campaign and wanted to share my personal story with you. I now volunteer on the phones at Lifeline as a Crisis Supporter, and I hope my story helps inspire other people in crisis to reach out for help.
Many years in the military, including several overseas deployments, began to affect me. I started to have many negative thoughts and emotions over several years. It continued to worsen but happened gradually, so I considered it part of the background. I thought this was normal until several times I could not shake the feeling of being overwhelmed and helpless. The negative feelings were so strong, so black. The military ingrains in you a strong sense of working hard, doing the right thing and always being strong. I was too proud to ask for help. But these feelings removed my ability to do what I normally did and to feel strong. I could not do it on my own any further.
I was so utterly bleak and hopeless. The negative thoughts were becoming so tiring that I could not handle it on my own any further.
I needed help. So I called Lifeline.
I believe that phone call and the doctor at the hospital saved my life. The relief was like a physical weight off my shoulders. I was so happy that someone else understood, that I was not on my own.
There have been many ups and downs since that moment. I have been diagnosed with depression. I don't always win in the constant battle. But now I am winning more and more of those daily battles. In fact, I now volunteer as a Telephone Crisis Supporter myself and assist others during their time of darkness. We work together on the phone to get them through the tunnel to the other side where friends, family and their medical team can help them win their own battles.
Thank you for listening to my Lifeline story and I hope that you can use it to help others.
Watch Dennis' story below.