90. The worst day of my life

On May 16, 2006, I awoke at 3 a.m., experiencing the horrific outcome of having crashed on one anti-depressant a few days before and now crashing on a second anti-depressant I was prescribed after the first. The cumulative effects were a panic attack so devastating that I did not recognize myself in a mirror and confusion so severe that I didn’t even have the wherewithal to commit suicide. It lasted for four hours. I kept a journal during my five years of depression and still do. Here is the entry for that day.

Today was the day I lived only by the grace of God. Yesterday in Plymouth with Phil I had my worst

attack to date. It even alarmed Phil, a doctor. That attack lasted two hours. But, oh, oh, this morning was the worst attack of all. It lasted almost four hours. It terrified me that it would never end. I grasped the Cross of Jesus and cried out to Him. I walked four times around the block at 3 a.m. because I didn’t know what else to do. My stomach was in excruciating pain; I was under an oppressive malaise. I was afraid for my life – that my system would shut down as happened to a good friend a few years before. I came to understand why people commit suicide, but I was too far gone to even do that. I couldn’t think out how I would do it, my mind was so distorted. Then it lifted at 7 a.m.  At 8 a.m. I called the clinic and was prescribed a benzodiazapene and told to stop taking the latest anti-depressant I was on.

How can I ever be the same? I can control nothing. There was nothing I could do or think of say. Only by the grace of God did I survive.   

My depression had started in 2005, but I didn’t start taking medication until May of 2006, and so started a season of my life where I was desperate for my depression and anxiety to be managed by medication or anything else, and sometimes wondering how I could go on one more week. A psychiatrist I went to see after the two horrible experiences with the wrong anti-depressants made my life hell with what he called a “witches brew” of different drugs that put me on a roller coaster of emotions and well-being – sometimes being mildly depressed, sometimes in major depression. There was no consistent baseline until I switched psychiatrists and started a road to stability that had me off medication by the spring of 2010. I have now come out the other side of the black box of depression that I was in, and blessed to be a blessing to others through the writing of Too Late in the Afternoon: One Man’s Triumph Over Depression, writing this blog, and coaching those who are depressed and those who care for them. It has been a long road of healing by incorporating the tools I have learned for my body, soul, and spirit. I had doubts that I would ever become better, but I did. And so can you, but it’s hard to do on your own. If you can find a coach to manage your depression and help you learn the tools to become stable, you can come out on the other side as I did.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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4 Responses to 90. The worst day of my life

  1. This is indeed a gripping account. I am amazed how deep the mind and soul are. Only God can get there. Only His word and His spirit can speak into those deep places with healing hope. Thanks Pat for sharing your life and for your friendship. I too, pray for you daily.

  2. Robert Farquhar says:

    WOW! The details you provide of your earlier experience with depression are “griping”. I am grateful for your recovery and your encouraging account. Now.I know you are a blessing to many others as.you continue to write. Praying for you!

    • Patrick Day says:

      Bob, thanks for your prayers. It is by the prayers of many people and the grace of God that I have come so far from that fateful day in May 2006. You are right; I can be a blessing to others because I have been through the worst of depression and understand first hand just about any experience a depressed person can have.

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