Though I haven’t gotten a chance to do some out-of-state (and out-of-the-country) traveling this summer, it’s far better than what I experienced twenty-five years ago (and which I still can’t forget). Eight years ago, I wrote a non-fiction piece concerning what happened to me back in 1991 – and before that, the last half of 1990 (although I should point out that the article that I wrote back in 2008 has since been deleted from the Internet, mostly because the website that I submitted to has fallen by the wayside).
In the waning months of 1990, and for the first six months of 1991, my mental health problems increased double-time for various reasons, including the fact that I had to help take care of my late father, whose physical health had been declining since he suffered a crippling stroke back in 1984, and which was putting a tremendous strain on both my family and myself. I won’t go into extensive details concerning my mental health issues during that particular time period – and much of what I did then I’ve long since regretted – all I’ll say is that it gave my family cause for concern (and rightfully so). In late-June, 1991, I suffered a nervous breakdown which landed me in a pair of mental hospitals for the rest of that summer.
I haven’t forgotten what I endured twenty-five years ago – and the tragic incident involving my last surviving uncle and his wife back in late-May of this year, and its aftermath was a reminder that I would have faced a far bleaker outcome had I not recovered from my illness enough to return home by the start of September in 1991. The fact that the proper medications that I took which helped me regain my life (as well as banishing most of my inner demons) was, and remains an important asset; if they didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
Since I came home at summer’s end in 1991, my life has, in many respects, improved for the better. Granted, I’ve had to deal with my share of tragedies and conflicts since – but I’ve persevered, partly because I’ve become stronger and wiser from a mental and spiritual standpoint then – as well as the fact that in the long run, your own troubles pale in comparison to those of everyone else, including those in your own family (and two of my older brothers have faced tragedies within their own families which’ve been greater than my own). Still, the memories associated with what happened to me twenty-five years ago still remain with me – and it’s probably just as well, if only to help prevent me from making far more serious mistakes and the far-reaching consequences they might affect and darken more than just the rest of my life. And to have yours truly – or for that matter, anyone else – head into an one-way abyss with zero chance of escaping is the last thing that we need, given the tragedies which are already facing the world these days.
JOHN LAVERNOICH is the author of five books (including not only the first two Chameleons, Inc. novels, but also his most recent, Memories Of My Youth), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet. To learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his various creative accomplishments, please check out the following websites listed below:
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