“Life is short, life is hard. My struggles have made me who I am today. A successful family man, and business owner. I chose to continue life in the hardest times, and I will continue to do so.
January 18th, 1995. I was born. My life was about to be the largest struggle I’d have to deal with. My mother was in high school, she graduated with her child watching her receive her diploma. She was proud, so proud. I was proud. I didn’t have a father in my life. He left. I have one picture with him when he first met me, he held me, he looked proud. After that picture he was nowhere to be found, he disappeared. I still wonder if my mother ever thought, I’d be broken and have to feel what was known as abandonment the rest of my life.
1999, I first met my step dad. He was a good man, I called him dad, he took me in when nobody else would other than my mother and my nana. He was innocent to me, he wasn’t an alcoholic, he wasn’t abusive, he was loving and caring. I don’t know what I did to change that, but it did. The police were called, I was hit with a CD case that he threw at me. I cried. I felt betrayed. I was hurt. I saw my dad getting put in cuffs and I remember asking where he was going but I never got an answer.
2001, 6 years old. I was diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin. I had my first experience with suicidal ideations. Nobody believed me. I was told that I was just a kid, that I didn’t know what suicide was. I’d sit in my room and cry myself to sleep. I’d be put in the corner and watch my family eat together. I sat with nothing, I was told I was a disgrace and a failure. I was then put in counseling for anger issues. Comfort and support is what I needed, and it wasn’t there. I will never forget the feelings of my own family turning their back on me.
December 25th, 2008. I can hear Nana’s voice telling us the news. I was about to shower, she was in town from Idaho. Justin was gone. You told us he was killed. He was shot in cold blood. Those words hurt more than anything I’d ever heard in my life. My cousin was my idol. A UFC fighter who was an idol to many more than me. My mind still can’t wrap around the fact that you don’t walk this earth. I feel you here with me but it will never be the same. It will never be the same. I was told that he was, “just my cousin”, I was told I should get over it. Let me tell you something. At this time in my life I was getting my head bounced off door frames, I heard things I should have never heard in my household. I was a child trying to survive my physical and mental abuse and this news crushed me. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. Thank you for taking me to your gym when you were in town, I will never forget the feeling of almost throwing up when I completed your workout regiment. I will never forget throwing up when I heard you were gone.
2010, I started boxing. I had fallen in love with the our adrenaline of a fight. I took all my pain, all my struggles and I put it into another man’s body with one single movement. I was a force to be reckoned with. My addiction to pain killers allowed me to drop weight to be the biggest size for my weight class, being that my body was never supposed to weigh 145 pounds. I hit like I was still 170, I was 15 and packed the power of a 20 year old man. My career soon ended after I continually lost my fights due to negligence of my own sobriety.
2012, I was very sick. I was abusing pills in search of happiness. I didn’t want to stop, I couldn’t stop. I was very ill, my mother was worried and took me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. I was days away from dying. They tried every pain killer they could think of but my body was longing for that high. They couldn’t take my pain away until they suggested propofol. Propofol was the drug Michael Jackson overdosed on. I got high. I got so high. I got so high that nothing else in my life even mattered anymore. That day is the day I knew I had a problem. I allowed my sickness to take its course in conjunction with my withdrawals so nobody would ever find out.
July 7th, 2013 I joined the Marine Corps. I came from a broken home, I was addicted to OxyContin, I was physically and mentally abused, so I joined in search of a new family. To my surprise, joining the Corps was more mentally and physically abusive than the household in and from. I contemplated ending my life for three of the four years I was on active duty. I was in search of love, and comfort and all I found was was empty thoughts and larger broken family. I had lost my buddy the first year I joined. I walked in and had to save one of my Marine’s holding a knife to his wrist in the closet. I finally broke when my buddy from boot camp took his life with a child on the way. I was broken. I had nothing left, yet I still continued despite my odds.
October 8th, 2013 I married the love of my life. We had been High school sweethearts, we were inseparable. The day I met Makayla I knew she’d be my wife. Her hair, so blonde, eyes so innocent and drop dead gorgeous from top to bottom. Makayla Emery Copeland, had become Makayla Emery Vincent within 3 years of dating. We were told to stay single, I was told to explore my options. Our relationship was envied and told we would never last. I am still with that beautiful woman, it’s now December 18th, 2019.
October 9th, 2014 my first child was born. She cried hard when she was born, I could see in her eyes that there was something special about her. She had a fire, that’ll never be put out. Her name, Adilynne Emery Vincent. Blonde haired, blue eyed, angel. My baby girl will forever be, daddy’s little princess.
February 28th my second child was born. His eyes are blue like the sky, hair blonde like the Cali beach he was born next to. His name is Everett Eilers Vincent. He was my saving grace in an extremely dark place. I had contemplated ending my life for months before he was born. My relationship was rocky, my head was spinning and my job was unbearable. Everett changed me, he opened my eyes, I could finally see what life was about.
Twenty two, I go to see my primary care provider after feeling extremely suicidal. I fill out the questionnaire, I know the recital. As I sit and wait I got the diagnoses, bipolar 2, C-PTSD, general anxiety. I thought to myself, this is real, this is life, let’s go home and toast a Mimosa. This is my life, one that is new to me.
I was 23 when I got my first 5150 call. Police arrived and I knew it was my fall. I was labeled, I was treated as an animal. They threw me in the back of the ambulance and I was put in a psych ward. I sat in the cot and thought, why am I like this? What have I done? After I got out, I was served papers. I was deemed a threat to society, my entire state. I showed up to court, I wish I would have hit abort. The judge deemed me clinically insane and took my second amendment rights from me, my guns were gone. I am sorry to those I affect, my intentions are good. I try to hide everything but sometimes it’s overwhelming, the bad seems to outweigh the good.
September, 2019. My sister in law, Kelsey was my chemically imbalanced twin. Kels struggled with BPD and bipolar 1 disorder. My wife and I got the call. The call that everyone dreads, I knew something was instantly wrong. When my mother in law told us that she took her life, I started shaking. I didn’t know how to feel, my other half was gone. What was the purpose of continuing when you feel the outcome will be the same? My heart sank, I felt sick, I destroyed the door to my bedroom and still needed to get more out. I wish I could have done more, I wish people would have listened and mental health was taken a bit more seriously.
December, 2019 at the age of 24, I became an official business owner of, A Stressful Warrior. It all started from a blog in March of 2019. I started writing about my life, and my struggles with various mental conditions in a way to help others better understand their own struggles.
All of the events in my life had led to suicidal ideations and the diagnoses of general anxiety, bipolar II disorder and C-PTSD.
I decided to reach out for professional help in 2015, and haven’t looked back since.
I have weekly therapy, I take a daily medication and I also practice simple grounding techniques. My main therapy is my writing.
I have not shared my entire story with anyone. I believe people will be inspired to know everything I’ve been through, and what I’ve accomplished.