Ashton Vs Ashton

“It’s an everyday battle. I have to look at it like I was chosen for this fight.”

First off I would like to say if you’re reading this…thank you. You clicked this link and decided to read a young black man’s story on his constant battle with mental illness. Fight whatever Anxiety is holding you back  Ashton Horne 

If you have a mental illness know that you’re not alone. I am here with you, and I love you and you’re amazing. You can do anything you put your mind to and don’t let people make you feel less than what you are. You’re not crazy, and you are worth your life.

If you don’t have a mental illness then read with an open mind. Read with love in your heart. Do research after reading this. Reach out to people you think may be struggling. Don’t be distracted either, I want you to pay close attention to this subject matter.

I want to make a difference. I want people to know my story and I want to own this. I’m done running away from it and shying away from putting my flaws out there. No, it’s time to make the fight back and win.

I decided to interview myself because at the end of the day who knows what questions to ask me better than myself. I want to give y’all the real.

So here goes nothing, let’s begin.

Ashton vs Ashton

First off we would like to know who are you?

My name is Ashton Horne. I’m a loving father to my daughter who recently turned 4. I am a caring, creative, funny, outspoken, charming, and respectful young man. Hell, those words aren’t even enough to describe me fully. I would also say I’m impatient at times, have a short temper, insecure about somethings, and scared of where my life is going. I also have depression/anxiety/ADHD. 

Why are you interviewing yourself? Why not ask someone else?

People may think I’m crazy for doing this, interviewing myself…..but the truth is who else better to ask myself the most real questions. No one. I want to tell about my personal journey of suffering from depression and anxiety. I want to use my voice and platform to try to help people using my story and useful information. I also want people without a mental illness to understand how hard it is day to day. 

At what age where you diagnosed with depression?

I was 23.

“A peace of mind is all I want. It’s hard to keep it for long when you have depression/anxiety.”

What was the story behind you getting diagnosed?

Well now, this is getting personal….well prior to getting diagnosed I was going to counseling. I want to say I was about a month in. I’ll never forget this woman. Her name was Jen. My first ever counselor. She was amazing and I was ready to open up to her about everything. I knew something was wrong with me and mentioned it. So after a few sessions, she said I could see the psychologist to get evaluated to see if I had depression and anxiety. Well, let’s just say I never made it to that appointment…..

Why Not?

Well because I leaned on drinking and well that didn’t transpire to anything good. I also was using sex with women and partying to cope which is not good either. It’s a temporary fix. Alcohol is also a depressant so having depression that definitely didn’t sit well. I felt alone though, I felt like no one understood, I felt like the world didn’t care. I felt numb, I didn’t care about shit. I didn’t care about my appearance, I didn’t care about working, making money, even being a father to my daughter. I felt I couldn’t turn to anyone and no one would ever understand me.

So one morning I woke up called my ex (who was then my girlfriend), pleaded for help, but just said fuck it. That week had been really rough. I had fought with my uncle and argued with my girlfriend. Literally, I needed her at this moment and she wouldn’t deal with me and left me hanging the one time I needed her. I really walked out of my house in the morning. Saying I was going to end it. I walked into this parking garage. I went to the top, I called my ex again, told her I was going to kill myself and don’t come to my funeral. That I was tired of life. I wanted to stop the pain and killing myself seemed to be the only way. I really just felt like fuck everything, I couldn’t hear that no one cared or could help me anymore. People think priorities will help you push through, but you’re so deep in this hole that everything can mean nothing. Being satisfied seems impossible. It’s not as simple as it seems. 

Well, you didn’t kill yourself obviously, so what happened next?

No, I didn’t but I did die up there. I called my cousin told her it was the end for me, I’ve never heard her be so scared in her life. I felt the fear and panic in her voice. I threw my phone off the roof. I threw my glasses off the roof. I went to the edge. I looked down. I wanted to just fucking jump but I was so scared to do that. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I sat down in that lot and just cried. I thought about my dad (who died that year), my mother, my daughter, my cousin, the people I cared about. Fucking quitting forever. I just cried and cried it seemed like forever but it was probably about ten minutes. I then walked down those stairs and headed to go back home.

A cop stopped me asked for my identification. He asked if I wanted to talk or did I want to go to the hospital to be examined and talk to someone. I chose that. Lord knows I was blessed and that could’ve gone into a worse situation. I stayed in that hospital for over 10 hours doing some tests talking to a counselor there. She asked did I want to admit myself to a place where I could talk to people and get diagnosed. I hopped on that opportunity. Little did I know it was a psych ward.

What was the psych ward like?

To me, it was a bunch of bullshit. You’re in there with people who have things that are wrong with them too. So your hearing other people’s problems and your seeing people treat you with caution. The more questions you ask the nurses, the crazier they think you are. Some people said they were supposed to get out after a week, but had been there longer. So you can imagine I was scared. It put into perspective that some people can’t function in society properly. It also made me realize some people have it way worse than depression. This was all new for me though. All I did was take my medicine and sleep. I talked to some people, but I just felt I should keep to myself. I made phone calls whenever I could. Other than that it was just a lot of thinking and stuff. I went there on A Sunday night and then left on a Wednesday morning I was so happy to leave that place to let me tell you!

“Ever since my daughter was born I have someone else to think about. To be good for her I must be good for myself.”

How did your family react to all of this?

Now, this was the awkward part. Obviously talking about these issues are hard, but it never came up again. After I got prescribed meds I never heard them say anything about it. If I brought it up it was silence or the subject quickly changed. No one came to counseling with me and I truly believe they don’t know how to talk about it or handle it. Mental health isn’t for everyone to understand, so even though it’s hard I can’t wait for them to understand me fully. I have to worry about myself and keep my mind right. So trust if you have family/friends who don’t understand you are not alone!

So after going through that what did you learn?

I felt a part of me died on that roof. I learned to never quit, to never give up. That I have something that seriously affects my life. That I am not alone and that there are other people who have it worse or who don’t even know something is wrong. I learned that taking medication can save your life and help you function and build confidence. I learned that I have to own this. It’s not going to go away and people need to know that and understand that. People need to realize this shit is serious. It’s not people being dramatic, it’s not something you can JUST SNAP OUT OF. This is something that literally eats at you every day and can ruin your life. It’s more than just being suicidal or staying in some dark room. No this is something that we need more awareness of and people who don’t have it should fully be aware. People who have it should know you can get help and reach out. We need to teach this in schools, churches, workplaces, and etc. It runs in our DNA. Our brains are wired differently and have chemical imbalances. 

I also learned I had to turn towards faith. I can’t rely on anyone to make myself better but me. I can’t become co-dependent with friends, families, a girlfriend, etc. You have to keep fighting and accept that there will be ups and downs. It’s how you react to those ups and downs that count. You can’t control certain situations, but only control how you react. You also have to find what works for you and helps you cope.  You also can’t lie to yourself, your counselor, or people who want to help you. Be smart about who you open up with, but remember people can only help you if you are telling the full truth and not leaving anything out. If you lie to yourself then you will never truly win. Learn how to communicate with others in a respectful manner as well and do your best to not lash out on them or give them a sign that you’re struggling. At the end of the day, you have to truly love yourself to win this and not let it define you ever!

What do you love in life?

I love God, I love my daughter, I love my family, I love writing, I love music and I love basketball. I love to eat, play NBA 2K  I want to say I’m also learning how to love myself more. Focusing on keeping my confidence up and building myself up to be a better man.

What are your future goals?

My future goals are to bring awareness to mental health. To help people share their stories and help others learn what we go through. To find ways to bridge the gap and help people see this is real and this needs to be talked about more. Let’s stop waiting until someone commits suicide, until someone overdoses, until another season of 13 reasons air. No, we have to start now and keep it going. Not that phony stuff people do on social media and fake care. No, we have to care and provide resources every day. Mental illnesses don’t take days off, so we can’t either.

 

“Remember you can’t see mental illnesses. You may think that person is ok or just having a bad day. It’s more than that, our brains are wired differently. We still have good days and can still do normal things.”

Last, but not least your shoutouts.

Shout out to God. Without this spiritual belief, I probably would be dead. My daughter, of course, daddy loves you and will always be there for you no matter the circumstance. Of course, my father, may he rest in peace. My mother for being a strong woman and providing for me and being the single mother that raised me. My grandmother for watching me and helping raise me and caring for me. My cousin Monica for always and I mean always being there to talk and guide me the best she can. For opening my eyes/mind to things I never thought to consider. For bringing the seriousness of mental health to my attention. My brother Corbin for being there to give me laughs and adventures that I won’t forget. For also being my 2k buddy for life as well. My cousin Darrell for helping me and teaching me about faith. For guiding me spiritually. My friends, especially my brother Jermaine. This man has never given up on me and been a friend to me in a lot of tough situations, I am forever thankful. I want to thank Tae and John for giving me a platform to express my journey and share my voice with the world. For believing in me and not judging for what I been through and giving good advice and constructive criticism. 

Last, but not least I like to thank a special someone for inspiring me to write this article. Someone who has seen me at my worse and still loved me. Sorry for all the wrong I caused you and the pain I brought. I’m starting to see this all was for a reason. My dedication to God has grown and I am becoming the man I should’ve been before. This was all apart of the bigger plan and hopefully, we will talk and I’ll see you soon. I will forever love you.  Thank you, Monae. 

I also want to apologize to anyone else who I ever brought pain and burden to. Hopefully reading this story will help you understand the struggle. I am dedicated to becoming better.

And much love to everyone who is reading this. I hope I made some impact on you. THANK YOU ALL, MUCH LOVE. 

I will be interviewing people soon and posting more about mental health, so be on the lookout! Follow me on Twitter @scoobyjonesx and IG @scoobyjonesx! If you want to share any of your stories, someone to vent to or anything else email me @410Ashton@gmail.com.

 

 

About Ashton Horne

Ashton Horne is an upcoming writer who currently resides in Harford County. He currently interns for TheDMVDaily as a journalist.

View all posts by Ashton Horne

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