With Mental health awareness week coming up, i wanted to share my struggle with depression and suicide and hopefully be able to help people on the way. By sharing my journey with you, i hope that along the way it will help break down the stigma attached to mental health issues and finally allow people to talk about this hidden issue.
when i was a young lad, i thought my life was the best with perfect parents, i thought i was the luckiest lad alive. To be honest the first few years of my life was, my relationship with my mum was i loved her to bits and we would do lots of wonderful things together. My dad though things started deteriorating a bit, we where starting to get a bit distanced from each other, arguments where happening between my dad and mum. He was going out more and more and my wonderful life i thought i had was starting to crumble.
My confidence took a tumble, i became a scared little boy, with no father figure to go to. They separated and went there separate ways, Now strangely i ended up stopping with my dad and my mum moved away? Strange i know and I’m still looking for the answer. Don’t get me wrong, i still saw her every week.
looking back, i did end up with the wrong crowds, taking drugs and drinking but was this a scared and lonely boy just wanting attention. My anger issues where getting bad, not violently against others just myself.
The bullying started later in my life, 18 years old a grown man people would say. This was an awful part of my life, that scared little boy was back. The drugs and drink had stopped, i had met the love of my life Amanda but the intimidation and the bullying was just too overwhelming.
Cars used to wait outside my house, cars used to follow the buses when i was on my way to meet Amanda. I remember one time i was just minding my own business with my friend in his car in our usual parking place, when vans, cars surrounded us and out jumped my nightmare lads,lots of lads with bats. This wasn’t good they started hitting my mates car i had to get out, or his new car would get smashed up. I made my move, taking a few hits i escaped my mate wasn’t as lucky. Running down the road i heard screams and screams!!! Which still haunt me today. Don’t worry he did eventually get away.
I thought of every way to overcome these bully’s, at one time i even thought about joining them and started buying drugs again of them just so they would leave me alone. I suppose the worst part came when i would give myself black eyes and bruises, thinking that if they thought I’d already been beaten up they would leave me alone, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t. Eventually they must of got board and the bullying stopped.
This is where i started on my martial arts journey, where i trained and trained so that this wouldn’t happen again. I would train every day lifting weights, practicing various martial arts forms and is where i met one of the most inspirational person who has come into my life and taught me a lot of things in life and how to overcome fear and weakness my mentor Tony Sykes a person who i will always be my inspiration.
The training did me the world of good, gaining my 5th degree black belt. Competing at a high level in Brazilian Jujitsu, kickboxing and cage fighting.
I remember my debut at the cage warriors show, weighing in with some top UFC Guy’s and stepping into the cage pyrotechnics going of everywhere. The silence came, things where going in slow motion. All i remember was looking at the big screen and not seeing that scared little boy anymore and thinking wow!!!! I can do this.
Life was good , we’d just moved into our second house. Little Alice was on her way, the training continued, but i was getting obsessive with the training. Dabbling in HGH my confidence was blooming, sometimes i would see the bullys from my past in the gym. But hey you would of thought they where my best friends!! Opening my own martial arts academy, training some Guy’s to quite a high level i was getting to be known for my fitness and endurance. I remember some nights after teaching i would easily knock out 1000 burpees then run 13 miles, i was feeling fit!! Running was starting to grab hold of me very quickly, most weeks running 110 miles plus. Now distance running is a very lonley sport where you have a lot of time to think, my head wasn’t feeling the same anymore, times where coming where i would be telling Amanda i was going running but all i would do was go to the fells and just sit there and cry and scream. I just wanted the ground to swallow me up. The milage in the running would calm down, walking to work everyday all i could think about was suicide as soon as i woke up. For years this would happen, the silence was starting keeping things to myself, putting that mask on in public but when i was alone i was turning into the scared little boy again.
Things came to a head a year ago, i thought i was going mad. The suicidal thoughts way getting more often, i felt alone i thought no one cared i even started resenting my own family. I couldn’t sleep, waking up and thinking of killing yourself is not good. The running had stopped i had no intrest at all to go out i even think i was getting close to becoming anorexic. So one day enough was enough i needed help, i contacted a local therapist who ended literally saving my life.
Therapy Sessions started, but things would get worse before they would get better i was warned.
you know the one thing I’ve never done in my life is talk, and that’s all i needed to do is talk. Things where slowly getting better, but i was still feeling suicidal and was getting really bad lows. One night i remember sneaking out in my pyjamas when Amanda and Alice where upstairs and i was ready to drive away and end it, that was my closest moment.
Suicide is a very powerful word, which i couldn’t even say the word before. But now I’m comfortable talking about it and understanding it. The thoughts have now disappeared for me and I’m in a happier place now. But sometimes the dark clouds do rise above me, but all i need is a hug and a chat.
And that’s why I’ve called this blog “breaking the chain ”
If I’d hadn’t had seeked help i don’t honestly think I’d be here and my daughter Alice would of ended up like me.
some people will think I’m a quiet person, but the confidence is coming i can assure you.
Remember talk and talk some more.