I Am Here

by mattva13

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about depression, and I’m certainly not shy about the topic online, or if anyone has any questions. Still, I felt the need to write another piece about it because I don’t think there are enough words I or anyone could say on the subject and it be enough. I’ll still try again.

I suffer from clinically diagnosed depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This is mostly attributed to my bouts with cancer. It’s certainly taken it’s toll on me in many ways. I guess when you’re twelve years old and your life is put into percentages, and you have to contemplate death before you imagined death would ever find you, it does a number on a kid. Then there’s the survivors guilt. This one is hard to explain and it’s even hard to to myself. I’m proud I beat cancer. It was hard, especially as a kid, and we all know that not everyone is fortunate enough to beat it. That’s where the guilt comes in. What makes me special? I met dozens, maybe hundreds of kids over the last 15 years since I was diagnosed and I know more than a few who didn’t make it. That in itself contributed to my depression. Having friends, fellow young people, lose their life all around me. But I’m here for some reason? I’m a 27 year old who works for campaigns and try my best to give back to my community but I feel as if no matter what I do, it’ll never be enough. Poor me, huh?

Those kids I befriended, or just saw as a passerby in the halls of St. Jude, could have been anything. Doctors. Nurses. Teachers. Senators. Presidents. Scientists that could have cured the cancer that struck them as a child. I’m none of that but they could have been everything. What did their deaths do to their families? I’m sure it triggered countless cases of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and that same survivors guilt in them. Did it break-up families? Break hearts of parents, siblings, grandparents? I’m sure it did. It was all rough on my family but I’m here. Why? How?

Am I the rose that grew from the concrete or the dream deferred like Langston spoke about because I haven’t met my full potential? I was a slacker in high school. A slacker for the first two years of college. I’ve wasted days in bed doing nothing, not bettering myself at all. Even writing this I feel like I’m talking about myself too much.

I wanted to write this blog because recently I was diagnosed with some health problems and the outpouring of support I got from so many was overwhelming. It made me feel strong. It gave me confidence, strength, and I know I’ll be just fine. With that, however, I know for a fact that there are people just on my friends list suffering from health issues, more severe mental issues, and countless other problems they deal with on a daily basis and without the folks I have in my corner.

I know some of you reading this harm yourself. I know some of you have thought of ending your life. I know some of you have attempted to end your life. And I know there are some on my list who aren’t reading this because they were successful in doing so. Depression has brought me to my knees and made it impossible to get out of bed. PTSD has smothered me until I could barely breath. Survivors guilt has put me in a closet on the floor crying my eyes out with two words replaying in my mind “Why me?”, not why me that I got cancer, but why did I survive it. I, however, have been fortunate enough that my mental illness hasn’t caused me to manifest sadness and guilt into self-harm or serious thoughts of suicide. I’m only lucky.

I don’t know why I wanted to write this besides to let anyone reading this know that I am here. For whatever reason I beat cancer. Maybe this is the reason. And when I say I’m here, I mean I’m here for you. I know words jumbled into a blog, in a text or message, or whatever doesn’t fix things. It won’t always stop you from harming yourself or having those thoughts of taking your life.

I just want you, whoever you are, that I am here for you. I’ll drop everything and come to you. I’ll hold your hand. I’ll give you a hug. I’ll hold you and let you cry on my shoulder. Or I’ll just do what so many people don’t do, listen. Listen to your problems. Listen to your day. Listen to anything you want to talk about. I’m here for you. I don’t care what I’m doing, just get ahold of me. All of my contact information will be at the end of this post. And yes, I know full-well the feeling of what it’s like to not want to reach out to others because you feel like you’re bothering them, putting your problems on them, or any excuse you can come up with to not talk to someone else. I don’t care. You will never bother me. You will never, ever bother me. I’m not a trained professional and I encourage all to seek professional help but if you just need a short, chubby, nerdy guy to be there for you I’m here. Even on days where I feel like I can’t help myself…I’m here.

Address: 13354 Crab Orchard Road, Coeburn, VA, 24230

Phone: 276-395-4632

Snapchat: mskeens13

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dem.mskeens