Just my rambling thoughts about being gay and Mormon

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Everything's good, right?

About 3 years ago I began to sink into a feeling of increasing despair.  Everything should have been going great -- I was back in the Church right?  But everything was not right.  I was feeling increasingly boxed into a life I did not enjoy and could barely stand.  I really wanted what was suppose to happen at the end -- to just grow old and be surrounded by loving family, but the process to get there seemed to be impossibly hard.  Running away and leaving it all behind increasingly seemed like an attractive option.  

My parents went on a mission and asked me to help out my younger sister who although she was about 40 had never been able to sustain herself.  Almost immediately we had a big blowup about all the things she felt the world owed her but that she could not obtain.  Thus began an almost two year period of totally ignoring each other.  I was essentially estranged from my other siblings yet I was expected to keep the family together and lead them all back to a happy spiritual family life.  At the same time I could barely keep myself afloat.  

My health began to suffer.  I was depressed and my blood pressure was going up.  The internal stress was beginning to manifest itself in a variety of physical symptoms.  I literally felt like I might explode.  My employment was and is a pressure cooker.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how to escape.  It seemed like my options were the following:
  1. Run away and leave everything behind.  But I really hate people who abandon their families.
  2. Stay and keep going as best I could.  
  3. Kill myself.  Quicker but only easier for me.  Harder for everyone else.
I've since learned that believing that these options are the only available ones is pretty standard for men in my position.  I wished I could selectively contract some deadly illness like cancer.  It could not be AIDS because that carried to much stigma.  However, brain cancer would serve nicely.  Kill me in a morally agreeable manner.  

Looking back it's interesting that I did not have on my list the option of talking to someone about my struggle.  Early on I decided that talking to Church leaders again was not the solution and for me was not even on the table for discussion.  After several visits to a doctor I was put on Prozac, blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, allergy medication...

At the same time I had the opportunity to go back to graduate school.  I did and it saved me for a few years.  I love the University of Utah.  The diversity of people, the openness of opinion, and the lack of judgment (at least compared to the rest of Utah) was a breath of fresh air to me.  I graduated in May 2010 and finished up with a few weeks in Europe, which is another of my loves.  Anyone who has not been to Rome should go as soon as possible.  

With school over I began to slip back into a depression and listlessness that I could not tolerate but also did not seem to be able to shake.  However, at last I think I was finally ready to take action, talk, and take charge of my life.  More to come....

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