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**TRIGGER WARNING** this post is about child loss, depression, and suicidal thoughts
I want to share with you how I got to the point where I started this blogging adventure that led to the birth of A Quirky Crafter. The blog that quite literally gave me my life back!
My high school sweetie, John and I married when I was 16 and he 18. We had a gorgeous daughter, Amanda, 9 months later, then we welcomed our adorable son, Johnie, 19 months after her. Life was tough, minimum wage was still $3.35 for John, but I had my purpose, I so loved our kids, I was young enough to keep up with them and we had a great time.
When they started school, Amanda was first, me and Johnie had the BEST 2 years! We played, and bonded. He was truly a Mama’s boy at that time. Even after they were both in grade school we would play. Legos, cars, basketball, later on golf, lots of stuff outside. Life was good.
When Amanda and Johnie were 15 & 13 I got my GED and went to Medical Assisting school in 1999. It was tough but I love to learn and I graduated with a 4.0 in 2000. I got a job and worked 2 years then changed to a higher paying position. Everything was great! The kids got through school and Amanda had a job in a doctor’s office and Johnie (Bub) went to work at Best Buy.
In 2010, Bub decided to enroll in Motorcycle Mechanic’s Institute in Phoenix, AZ. I had just started a new job in a doctor’s office and hated to see him go but heck, that’s what we hope for when we raise our kids. We want them to grow, learn, and experience life. He took off on his Harley and rode from Western Ky to Phoenix, AZ. By himself! I was terrified. He did call me one day on his trip, his GPS had died a sudden death and he needed me to find the nearest Best Buy so he could get another. I was thrilled he still needed his mom.
He did great, he transferred to the Best Buy in Phoenix and worked to put himself through school. We helped him along the way but we were so proud of him for putting his all into school and work. Here he is in his MMI gear with a shaved head and beard. Ha, I sent him razors, shaving cream, and such for Christmas!
Johnie graduated January 6, 2012. He was a very experienced motorcycle rider and was so careful. On Saturday, January 7, 2012, Johnie and his friends had a graduation party. For whatever reason, Johnie made a very bad decision to leave the party a little after midnight. He didn’t make it far on his bike. I remember the details like it was 5 minutes ago. He crashed just a mile or so from where the party was.
John and I were sick with a stomach bug on January 7, Johnie(Bub) had called us around 8 pm CST saying he was going to a party. John had him on speaker phone and we both told him to be careful and not ride if he drank. I had a horrible feeling. Then…..
Sunday morning, January 8th, at 6:03 am, there were 6 knocks on the front door. John got there first, I was right behind wrapped in a quilt. I remember seeing the officer’s hat, one of those almost like a cowboy hat with the large brim with a metal symbol on it. I just started saying “I knew, I knew”, over and over. I collapsed to the floor.
Our beautiful, precious, son died a little after midnight Phoenix time on January 8, 2012.
I went back to work a week after. But the nightmares, depression, and anxiety took a major toll on me. John, as well. I worked for 6 months but I was making simple mistakes and just not giving my 110%. I resigned in July 2012. To this day I still have PTSD (I have a very vivid imagination and even though I wasn’t there I picture the accident when I close my eyes). I have night terrors, the depression and anxiety I’ve had all of my life have gotten to the point where I can barely function at times.
I wanted to try going back to work, I would schedule interviews but come time to go I would have major panic attacks. I finally just gave up. I sank into a major depression in 2018. I pretty much stopped eating, or when I did I would vomit or have to run to the bathroom. The nightmares would have me screaming in the night. I started sleeping way too much. I stopped caring how I looked or if I was clean. I ignored the bills. I gave up on life. I became suicidal in 2019. Luckily, I didn’t succeed, I’m sure the good Lord had a hand in that.
After my last hospital stay last in June 2019, I started feeling more my old self. My meds were apparently at the right doses. I started wanting to do things again! I had blogged before and even did graphic design. I found a new passion. I’m now excited to get up and get started every day. I’m constantly brainstorming ideas, I’m taking online courses, learning new things. I have a newfound ambition! Instead of being barely able to get out of bed, I now hit the floor running, not literally, but you get the idea. Check out 5 Ways to Get Motivated When You Feel Stuck for ideas that might help you, it features some things I did that helped me.
Main thing, if you are suffering with depression, anxiety, etc, don’t give up! I promise you, there is a reason you are here, WE are here. I know how it is when things are at their darkest, when it feels like there is no longer a purpose. But I gotta tell ya, there IS a purpose, there IS a reason you are still here. Please never give up. There is always help, always hope.
I will never stop missing Johnie, and I still remember him every moment of the day. I mostly remember him with joy now. I feel he would be pleased that I’m no longer held hostage to the debilitating pain of depression. It’s still there but it’s under control.
P.S. You might also enjoy reading How I Deal With Being ‘Creatively’ Depressed.