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  • Jason Wood

Why Me?

Why me? Why did I lose my parents when I was young? Why did my life turn so dark for so long? Why did I develop an eating disorder? Why do I have anxiety? Why do I suffer from OCD? Why didn’t I get to enjoy the so-called “best years of my life” when everyone else went off to college? Why, why, why!

Those questions infected my mind for years. I grew bitter at the world for the unfair deck life dealt. Yet, I never wanted pity. I refused to play the victim because I feared it would show weakness. Instead, I let those questions eat away at me. Holding me hostage from the happiness in front of my eyes.

Matt loves me unconditionally. We are fortunate to have a roof over our head, food on the table, and two of the cutest pups in the world. My friends are rockstars. They’ve never left my side. They are always there to laugh with or cry to. These things didn’t just happen after my recovery began. They’ve been there the whole time. But, three little letters prevented me from seeing it. W-H-Y

I sit here today, learning to love myself again. Forgiving myself for past mistakes. Missteps, which occurred when I was in survival mode. No matter how much love I gain for myself in recovery, I’ll never be able to get back the years of darkness. But would I change a thing?

No, I don’t think I would. Now, ask me a year ago, and you might have received a different response. Sure, I wish I could have had the stereotypical college experience. And yes, I wish I could call or hug my parents one more time. Believe me, I don’t want to have an eating disorder or mental illness. But I do. And I’m okay with that.

I cannot rewrite the past. The first 35 years of my life are etched in stone. There was a lot of grief and hurt during the darkest times. There was also a lot of joy. Cherished nights out with friends, memorable vacations with Matt, and many belly rubs with the pups. Without the darkness, could I appreciate the light?

Jealousy used to course through my veins when seeing others enjoy their “normal” lives. Now, these veins fill with love. We all have our trials and our hardships. I love my friends so much that I am glad this did not happen to them. I would rather face the obstacles of death, loss, and mental illness than wishing it upon anyone else. My triumph over darkness enables me to be there for them now when they need it.

I’m reaching the age where friends will lose their parents. Sadly, it is a part of life. But my experience will help me help them. Empathetic, compassionate, and loving. That is the type of friend I want to be. I launched this blog to connect with others who face the same mental health challenges I face. I feel it is my responsibility. These things help me answer the question of why.

Why me? Because I am stronger for it. I can love deeper and truly cherish the little moments. Best of all, my journey enables me to be a better husband, friend, and neighbor. This is why.


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Sounding the siren on men's mental health.

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