Story Submission by Wayne, Age 52
The thing that saddens me about doing this is reading through the previous submissions and seeing the age of the people; all under 30 years old. But the best thing about reading them is that they’re still here to write about it.
I’m Wayne, I’m 52 years old and I suffered depression in 2009 and 2010.
My friends must have thought I had the ultimate life – a loyal wife, 3 beautiful children, 2 grandchildren, working for myself, a big house – you get the picture.
But sometimes all is not as it seems.
Married for 27 years, I had felt there were problems with my marriage for about 15 of those years but I was so busy with working and life in general that the days just seemed to roll on. I craved intimacy in my life but there was none. I don’t blame my wife because I know she loved me but she wasn’t in love with me. I needed that. She didn’t.
Both of my sons had finished school and started their careers and my daughter had made the decision to follow them into Years 11 and 12. I thought she was wasting her time, merely looking at the social aspect and not thinking about the effort required to complete it.
Each morning was a trial as I had finished work at 6 a.m. and would go to bed just as my wife was getting up to head off to work. Ideally, I would have been able to go to sleep but I set an alarm for 8 a.m. to make sure my daughter was up and getting ready for school. She rarely was. I would regularly drive her to school late, lecturing her constantly on the way about why her schooling was so important.
I had also started arguing with my wife about it until my frustrations got the better of me and I said that I would do it no longer. The arguments seemed more regular, with more emotion and always on my way to work late at night. We never argued at home as I found I couldn’t talk to her face to face the way I did on the phone and my phone manner with her was something I was very ashamed of.
She said she wanted us to seek counselling and I tentatively agreed, although I could see a man-bashing coming with me copping it from all angles from the counsellor. I let my wife state her case first before I said mine. Our counsellor could see both sides but seemed to understand my story more, which didn’t please my wife. There were plenty of tears but after 6 weeks we thought we had sorted things out between us. That lasted 2 weeks. Things were still the same with my daughter but now she had begun to rebel against us. She was sneaking out at night to meet up with her friends and stayed late at parties among other things. I felt my wife wasn’t supporting me. She decided she couldn’t pretend we were good any longer and then things started to unravel with me.
I started to wonder why I bothered. I started to think of ways out, ways to end my life. My daughter had a school friend who committed suicide when he was 16 and it was something that affected her deeply. I thought, at one stage, that if I did the same she might love me more and think of me the way she thought of him. I started plotting what to do, when and how to do it. I had it all planned.
My mother in law came around one Saturday. She knew my wife and I were ending our marriage and that we had started proceedings for the sale of the house. Suddenly it was all becoming so real. She sat with me and asked me if I was okay. I fell into her lap sobbing for what seemed like an eternity. I asked my wife if she was sure about ending our marriage but she said she couldn’t see how either of us could change. We cried and hugged and she began moving things out shortly after.
I got through the weekend and decided to go to my doctor on Monday. She assessed me and said she thought I should start on a series of anti-depressants.
After, I began online dating and I found it amazing how many people were on anti-depressants. It was something I was very upfront with as I felt a woman should know that about me. My first 2 dates told me they were both medicated after I told them. It seemed like a huge weight was lifted from their shoulders by telling me.
After 12 months of taking anti-depressants I have moved on and I now get on better than ever with my ex-wife. I have a wonderfully loving and understanding partner who also gets on well with my ex-wife and family. Life is good. I realised in time, with assistance from my friends and family, that I needed help. You can’t be too proud to ask for help.
I really hope this helps someone because it helps me more every time I talk about it.
If you or someone you know are having thoughts of suicide, please reach out. Call 13 11 14 for Lifeline’s 24hr Telephone Crisis Support or contact a mental health professional. If you are looking for other mental health resources, browse our Find Help page.
If a life is in danger call 000.