When I was thirteen years old I was living in a suburban home with my father, mother and sister. I remember thinking of the normal life I was living. Going to school. Playing with friends. Loving family. I was living what I knew the American dream.
Then it all changed.
I was wrestling with my father on Sunday afternoon. I was somewhat a whiney kid, who always wanted to get my way. I was a chubby little kid who never really stood out in the crowd. Well my dad sat on me to put the finishing move to our match. As soon as he did that I let out a scream. Partly cause he was so much bigger than me but more because I was defeated. Whining was my way out.
As I screamed my mother came running into my room. I was crying and ran to her looking to play the classic parent vs parent card. If I ever knew what would of happened next I would have never made that move. What happened next still plays as a rerun in my mind from time to time. I have heard my parents argue once or twice, but the argument that exploded that day had never happen in my household. Looking back onto the argument I could tell it was something that had been put off for a long time. The yelling went on for awhile; back and forth, back and forth. At the climax my dad stormed out of the house. My mother, trying to hold her feeling together for my sister and myself, took us off to a weekly Bible study.
I remember the feelings that rushed through my head. My parents never fought like this. Was this because of me crying cause of the wrestling match? Was this because of my mess? Did I do something wrong? Where did my dad go? I felt sick, confused and scared. I had always looked at families of divorce or separation as “broken.” I used to think of “those families” as a far off idea.
I never thought my family would be one of those families.
Over the next few years the story unfolded. My parents separated. My dad moved off to Wisconsin for awhile but hung out with me every weekend.. My mother tried her damnest to raise two kids in a home. And finally my mother and father divorced.
I wish that was all to the story. However that story impacted me for the rest of my life. During that time I was forming who I was going to be as a man. During those years I struggled finding myself. I remember thinking that everything I grew up thinking was wrong, and broken.
As I grew throughout high school I had a dark cloud in the back of my mind. A dark cloud that I caused my families demise. I blamed myself.
My whole life depression grew into my life. With friends. With girls. With schooling. There were times in my life that depression grabbed and would not let me go. The darkness would enter my life and effect every aspect. My eating. My sleeping. My attention. My relationships. The darkness engulfed who I was as a person. I felt that my life had no hope. I felt my life had no light.
I still struggle today with depression.
Depression has not broken me completely though. Depression has not destroyed my spirit. Depression pushed me to overcome. Depression has pushed me to be a difference in the world. For the thousands that struggle with depression every day, please remember the amazing ability of change you are. Remember the battle against depression is that; a battle.
Always inspired by the hard questions in life, Benjamin Fulfer spends most of his time uncovering truth in the dark places of the world. After travels throughout Africa, Benjamin’s passion for helping people creeped into his every day life. Ben continues to strive to untangle a better way to help make a difference in the world by writing and speaking to groups around the nation. Believing human nature is to change the ugly aspects of this world, be inspires others to do the same. Check out Ben’s blog The Unexpected Tomorrow as he uncovers truth in today’s darkest of places. You can also follow him on Twitter.