Hello friends. This is going to be a rather long and likely overly personal post. If anyone chooses to skip it, I certainly understand.
For those that don’t know me, and are reading this for some reason, my name is Damian. I am married to Becky, and have a wonderful step daughter Kaia.
For as long as I can remember I have suffered from fairly severe depression. This mental illness has, for better or for worse, shaped my life in more numerous ways than I can really describe. For most of my life, I’ve managed to stay on top of it, and prevented it from impacting my life in major ways.
GO HERE TO DONATE – Helping out the Reed family
For some, this will come as a surprise. I’ve done my best to keep my illness from affecting others; not out of shame, but rather because I really fear my mental illness will become a problem for others, especially the people I love.
For 11 years I worked nights at a local company that employs a great number of people in our area, and succeeded in a competitive and often stressful work environment. I made a decent living, even purchasing a house which my wife and daughter lived in for six years. Sadly, like thousands of other Americans, I lost my house in the financial crisis of the late 00s.
Working nights is hard on anybody. For a person with an existing mental illness, it is even worse. As the years rolled on, my depression intensified. I recognized that my issues were worsening, but I enjoyed the extra money the night shift gave me, and I figured I could continue to weather my depression, as I’ve always done before.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. I started to miss more and more work due to my depression, and eventually I lost my job. Hindsight being 20/20, I certainly wish I had been less foolishly stubborn and instead would have found work more accommodating and understanding of my illness. However, I am quite foolishly stubborn, and I was fired from my job in January of 2014.
My depression worsened. Something broke inside me, and I became incapable of doing most regular things, let alone looking for a new job. Last summer, I became actively suicidal. I spent months thinking of suicide near constantly, and to be honest, there were some close calls. Like a lot of people in my position, I had no idea how sick I really was.
Luckily, I have a good doctor who was able to recognize how badly I was doing. We were able to change up my meds and work on certain things. Mostly, she was able to get me to admit to myself how sick I was. Many are not so lucky.
I am getting better. I do continue to struggle with depression on a daily basis, but it’s been months since I’ve had thoughts of suicide or self-harm. I’m getting around, taking care of myself, and getting back to being a good house husband.
What I haven’t been able to do so far is be healthy enough to look for work.
My wife has a great career and has been doing a wonderful job of providing for our family during my long unemployment. However, as time goes by, we find ourselves getting farther and farther behind in bills.
In short, we need help.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you are important to me. I don’t share my life randomly, even on social media. We may have never met in real life, we may not have spoken since high school or longer, but your life and opinions matter to me. One way I have been blessed is to have a great number of truly good people who have been involved in my life. This is why I reach out to you now.
For those of you who don’t know me, you’ve probably known someone with similar issues. It’s an all too common problem. I thank you doubly for taking the time to read about the problems of a stranger.
If it isn’t obvious by now, I can be a stubborn and prideful person. If it was just me, my pride might prevent me from making this call for help. However, it’s not just me, and I’ll be damned if my wife and child suffer malnutrition and homelessness because I am too prideful to ask for help.
I have opened this GoFundMe account to allow those that have the means and desire to help my family until I’m healthy enough to find work again. My goal is to raise $3000. This number is arbitrary, and I have no idea if it’s realistic goal. This money will go to many things, including but not limited to: Catching up on bills, getting health and auto insurance, necessary repairs to my automobile, to help me afford medication for me and my wife, get new glasses for our child, cover rent, afford healthier food, and catch up on other necessities.
Once we are caught up on bills and insurance, life will become much easier for us. We will no longer be paying monthly late fees on bills, and insurance will mediate some of the various costs of our health care.
I will promise that every day I will try to get better. If you choose to donate and include your name, I will do my damnedest to pay you back someday. Obviously I can’t promise a time frame, but I promise I won’t give up trying.
If you could, please share this message with other people who might want to help, or to anyone who might want to read this. If you have any questions, please contact me via social media, or at my e-mail account. I will answer any and all questions and concerns.
TL;DR: I am mentally ill and my family needs some help. Pony up.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this.