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I was 46 years old when I decided to end my life.

I’d been 21 years married to my university sweetheart.  We were friends for four years before falling in love and we’d been together ever since.  We’d had our moments – who hasn’t?  But we remained firmly committed to each other and our family.  She was intelligent, thoughtful, caring and funny and she was my best friend.

Who could ask for more?

We had two great kids.  Both had been well schooled and were starting to find their own paths in life.  Warm, intelligent kids – quick with a joke, thoughtful of others, with their own personalities and opinions.

Despite a series of personal health challenges throughout her young life, my daughter refused to let life beat her down.  One of my proudest moments was listening to her radio show when she spoke from the heart,

“I’ve never let these challenges stop me from doing what I wanted to do, and I’ll continue to live my life like this.”

I had no right to ask for anything more.

We lived in a newly renovated house and could relax by a roaring fire while watching wild rabbits scurry across the lawn and ducks paddle on the lake.  My SUV and my wife’s BMW sat proudly in the driveway and the garden shed held the trappings of a fun life – bikes, camping gear, ski boots and surfboards.

I worked from home running a business that I had developed from nothing.  Working with dedicated people, I had parlayed my education and experience into a good income stream for my family, without the need to answer to a boss or fake the corporate line dance.

There’s nothing more to ask for, was there?

You’d have thought so, right?  Apparently some part of me; a deep, dark part of me, thought differently and was about to make its presence felt.

Shortly after my 46th birthday, everything came to a brutal and abrupt halt.  Depression hit with the force of a freight train, leaving me flattened, hollow and unable to function much beyond being able to stay alive to the end of each day.  A long, slow climb out of the dark hole began.

Six months into my ‘navel gazing’ I began to feel some hope and excitement about the future.  Things appeared clearer.  Connections seemed warmer.  I no longer felt totally burdened by my past nor completely bleak about the future.  I began to contemplate a real life again.

In the midst of this new dawning, the sharp realisation of what I must do engulfed me like an unseen wave.  Without a moment’s hesitation, I made my irrevocable decision.

I would end my life.

[image source: aneeshomanakuttan – WallpapersWide.com]