Humans of Agriculture- Jeff’s Story.
“I really had it all, I was a textbook case of pure happiness. But, it was merely a facade. I was actually being bullied and my marriage was falling apart, but I kept a “happy” face on the outside. I turned to alcohol, to the point where I was even putting it in my thermos at work. I confided in a few close friends that I wasn’t very happy and they basically said, “Ditz, everybody has bad days grab your boot straps and let’s go.” I guess it’s not cool for an adult male fresh out of Desert Storm to cry at lunch to his friends.
When you’re bullied to your breaking point, people won’t listen to your feelings and you can’t seem to be happy with who you are. When you’re told that crying and showing emotion makes you weak, eventually you believe it all and the self hatred becomes unbearable and you feel like a failure just for breathing. Eventually you say enough is enough, and you make a choice to end it because there is no one to hear your cries and even you don’t want to hear them. That’s depression. Lucky for me, my biggest failure became my greatest success.
Depression doesn’t go away but if you have that moment that you realize someone cares, you can control what it does to you. It just takes one kind gesture or word from anyone. In life often times, if you want to make a difference, you need to be the difference.”
Update November 2020-
Since this post was published Jeff has founded an organization called TUGS.
TUGS is a nonprofit community organization founded in 2013 with a singular mission: to address the stigma surrounding mental health challenges and suicide, particularly among those members of our society who find it most difficult to accept and express their very real personal struggles and professional frustrations. We work directly with individuals and in partnership with other community groups to promote both mental health awareness and suicide prevention.