My name is James but most people call me Tommy. I am the oldest son of 4 brothers. But my story starts with the fact that there are only two of us left. 18 years ago my first brother died in a car accident. I got a call near midnight from another brother telling me that he had died. He was only a year younger than me. Of course his death was hard but in many ways it drew our family closer together. In some ways I felt like I had closure with him. Fast forward to 2011. I got another phone call near midnight. This time it was my mother telling me that another brother(the same one that called me 13 years earlier) had died of a heart attack. This time I fell into a deep depression. We had become very close since our first brother had died. We would call each other up and talk about everything. We would always get together on holidays with the rest of the family and have the best time. His death left me with a wide range of emotions and feelings. I felt lost and confused. I had many questions and no one had answers or the had the trite rehearsed answers that had little meaning. I felt as though I was in a deep, dark hole and could not find my way out. I sat at my mother's house at Thanksgiving and Christmas and felt alone, as if I didn't belong.
Eventually the deep pain went away and I guess in my mind I felt like things were "back to normal" but the main reason I am here now is because I'm not OK. I have come to realize that I haven't been myself since Johnny died. I guess I have been in some sort of denial for the last 4 years or so telling myself that I was OK. I have a job that I truly love as a school teacher and a strong support group around me. Without either of those I don't know where I would be. As it is I have come to realize that I leave the house every morning and put on a positive face while inside I am filled with dread. Just this morning I stood in the shower and just let the hot water pour over me because I knew as soon as I got out I would have to get ready to meet the day. My attitude could best be described as "What's the point?" In the back of my mind I am sure that I have always been aware that things weren't right but now I am fully aware of it and ready to do something about it. It has steadily gotten worse to the point where it is affecting my job, my relationships and to some extent my health. I am looking for help. I am tired of wearing a mask and pretending to be OK. I'm not sure I will ever get all of my questions answered but I am hoping that I can at least find people that are asking the same questions.