As a male suffering from Mental Health Issues i found it extremely difficult to admit that i actually had an illness, i knew there was something wrong but just couldn’t bring myself to say anything. I’ve suffered since my early teens but didn’t think anything of it, the doctor at the time put it down to being a teenager but i knew he was talking rubbish because is it normal to want to kill yourself? I didn’t tell the doctor about wanting to kill myself because my mother was with me and i worried about getting wrong or taken into care. Now I have a family of my own and to me being a father meant being strong for your wife and kids and showing them that everything is ok, going out to work everyday and having to deal with a secret suffering was really hard to do, to this day i don’t know how i got through my kids younger years. I used to play football but really struggled to be “one of the lads” i didn’t have the banter or daft carry on because i was struggling to be around them, i know it sounds strange playing football but struggling to be around people but at that time i didn’t know about social anxiety, whenever someone asked if i was ok i just used to say “i’m fine” but inside i knew i wasn’t but couldn’t say anything. I didn’t want to say anything to anyone because i felt weak and knew that telling a bunch of blokes that you have mental health issues was potentially catastrophic, generally when your in a “blokes” environment such as football the atmosphere is full of homophobic, racist and sexist so called humour so i knew i couldn’t say anything to anyone. If i was asked to go out on the town i used to make excuses just so i didn’t have to feel anxious and have people ask if i’m ok, eventually they stopped asking me to go out and that was that, it’s a lonely world suffering depression! As the years went on my illness got worse, i started to find it even harder to deal with, i was in a job that i hated just to pay the bills and eventually i had a break down at work, unfortunately this led to me opening up to my doctor about my suicidal thoughts and then i was passed to a psychiatrist and other therapists.
As i’ve suffered since i was 12/13 years old and i’m now 45, bad thoughts have dominated my life and have eventually broke me, i got finished from my job on health grounds and i find myself in a position where i have bills to pay but know i can’t work, i can’t be around another workplace environment. I think these situations test your strength to the limit because i have to find ways to make money or get my house taken off me, it’s kind of testing my willingness to commit suicide, i know i’m not getting any better and i know i can’t work for anyone else so i have to try and work for myself, i’ve got no skills, no confidence and alone, all the signs that things aren’t going to get any easier! When i see my father and my brother and how good they are at DIY it makes me feel even worse, makes me feel even less manly because i don’t have their ability, they are the type of people that tell me to “get a grip” and “don’t be soft” because they don’t understand how i feel so i never say anything about how i feel to them, there is definitely a stigma attached to men having mental health issues and to all the men put there that are suffering in silence, i feel your pain! Things need to change, we need to speak up about how we are feeling and forget about not being manly, opening up about how we feel can only help make attitudes change and hopefully cut the amount of male suicides.
Morning sun peeping through the trees, it was a nice 4 mile walk.