Why am I writing this blog?
I touched very briefly on this subject at the back end of September on one of my insta posts. Please let me explain more and maybe, just maybe help someone somewhere.
There is a lot posted in various social media about mental health awareness, depression and anxiety. There are special days, weeks and even the odd month dedicated to this illness and yes it should be viewed as an illness.
It’s strange to see this only highlighted at certain times of the year. Please don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great, that this is now an accepted and much talked about subject, my worry is, that it just becomes fashionable.
If you’re reading this then please, try to be aware of the people around you, your close friends and family. If you suspect someone is suffering then get them to talk, if not to you then a doctor. There is no shame in seeking help for ones self.
My own experience
My first trip to the doctor’s came just over 10years ago. I found myself feeling very low for very long periods of time, always tired, a real feeling of low self-esteem. This was new to me, as like many sufferer’s I like to be the life and soul of a party or the centre of attention. So I made my appointment, got the help and medication needed and over the following year I dragged myself back up, up to such a point I was able to be signed of my tablets. So everything was rosey and I moved on.
It was February 2011, unknowingly I was falling in to a dark place. Thirteen months before, my marriage had ended and I was coming to terms with a lot of changes in my life.
Now, this next piece is where I need people to understand how easy it is to slip silently in to a large dark hole called depression, to fall from the radar of everyday life.
Yes, I was down and sad but I just assumed this was the result of my current predicament and I would wake every morning expecting a change in my mood, but it never came. I felt worthless, lonely and a failure.
Then one afternoon I finished work early as I really couldn’t be bothered. I got home and decided I needed a drink, I called in to the local supermarket, brought wine and vodka. My plan was to get drunk very quick and then sleep it off, because I wanted that good place to hurry up and return.
I had for sometime before suffered with a back pain and was given co-proxamol, I used to find a couple of these would make me feel very chilled very quick, they were a very good muscle relaxant.
For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to start taking these while I was drinking that afternoon, to help bring forward this desperate need for euphoria.
The last thing I really remember was a feeling of total worthlessness, maybe the world would be a better place with out me. I felt scared, yet stubborn and compelled to move forward with this alcohol and drug enthused session. I remember crying and trying to type a text to Helen and my daughter. Apparently I had also made some kind of effort to reply to an email from my boss.
Needless to say these texts made no sense to the recipients but done enough to raise alarm bells.
People will say, how can you, what about the people who care for you. Let me tell you, when you are in that place, you just want out.
I was found slumped on our bed by Helen and my daughter, empty bottles and pill wraps scattered around the floor.
As they shook to wake me I rolled over, sending vomit shooting from my mouth like a scene from the excorcist all across the bedroom wall.
The girls say I was falling in and out of sleep so they called an ambulance.
It was when the paramedics arrived that I started to come round and become aware something wasn’t right. I struggled to focus and was confused as to what was going on, why was my daughter there and why did I have a paramedic asking me questions that I could barely understand.
I remember being taken downstairs to the ambulance and seeing the faces of my daughter and youngest son at the time covered with concern.
What had I done, what was happening.
I was shipped off to hospital where I was given the obligatory drip and checked over.
With each passing minute it became clear to me what had happened. I had let the darkness grab me and slowly pull me in.
Fortunately for me that day, I was one stop away from a stomach pump. I was discharged in the early hours and sent home to sleep it off.
You see, I didn’t wake that day planning all this to happen, it just happened.
I was so down and fed up, I should have gone seek help earlier but I let myself sink.
My job at the time was area sales, so I was always having to put on this happy persona for my customers, no one knew my internal struggle.
Helen had noticed changes in and asked me to see the Dr but I was convinced I could sort this myself. I was wrong.
I am not proud of my actions that day and neither am I ashamed.
I must admit its been quite therapeutic writing this blog. Not many people no about this, of course a few more will do now.
I’m not ashamed of that day, it only worked to frighten me and make me realise how easy it is to slope in to depression unnoticed.
Those that follow my instagram will know that last October I went back to my Dr and started a new course of medication. I saw the signs, read them and sorted it, because I knew where I was heading.
I still have indifferent days, last week was bad for me, Helen was away, the boys were hard work and I just felt so low.
People may knock social media, but it was through this that many on Instagram helped pick me up. Some were quick to notice and offered me some lovely words.
All I wanted was someone to talk with, maybe share a cuppa.
It helps me to write things down, how I feel etc, as a part of all this is paranoia. I worry that people think I am always moaning, being down and miserable. So I feel I need to explain myself, hence this blog I guess.
So last week I wrote how I was feeling on Instagram, but did well to disguise it, check my bio and look down to the picture of Sylvester Stallone. That photo had lots of likes but only a few people scrolled down to see that I was venting. I wanted to talk but didn’t want to bother anyone.
You see, it’s the little signs.
So why have I written this blog and laid that part of my life open bare.
If my story can encourage one person to seek help, I’m happy.
If my story can make people aware of others around them that may be suffering, I’m happy.
If you think someone is struggling don’t just take ‘i’m fine’ as their first answer, get them talking, watch them.
I will leave this now, hopefully I haven’t bored you but enlightened you with a first hand story of someone who’s visited that dark place.
Please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear your feedback.
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I hope to blog again very soon about how we made it in to one of the UK’S leading tabloids