I want to talk about the topic of depression and the effect it has had on me as a 30 year old man, In 2018 I lost a baby and due to mine and my partner being unable to communicate I found that this was the start of a horrific journey into the depths of a depressive episode.
In 2020, my marriage broke down, I was ever increasing become more depressed and found myself heading back to Norfolk with 4 bin bags in my car - My life.
Norfolk for me has always been a place of hurt and pain, a hard upbringing and sad memories, so coming back home to start a new life was something I dreaded, something that was already a source of pain, but I was alone and had nowhere to go.
The quick fix here was for me to jump into another relationship, which i see now as a plaster, I don't want to take away from my partner at the time because she was a nice human being, I just wasn't ready in myself, I wasn't happy and I was falling deeper into the cracks of depression..
Happiness in my relationship was honest and pure but I was hurting deep and pretending on the surface that everything was okay when deep down I felt like I was drowning.
Unfortunately bar the great times we had I couldn't give her what she needed, I wasnt happy and I wasn't getting the support I truly required, at this points I was selling a house, buying a house, lost my life in Oxford and starting over... most I would say that someone goes through in 10+ years of their live, I had condensed into months.
Fast forward to Feb 2020 and my depression consumed me and those around me. I was angry, sad, I felt alone, my family bar a few had left me out in the cold, I had been accused I was making things up for attention...
Being a man also didn't help, society dictates that I'm meant to be strong, not have emotions and be stable... I was told to man up, or snap out of it.. I'M A MAN... (I just want to say this is the stigma we talk about... we are human we have emotions and we are allowed to cry... no one has the right to tell us otherwise)
I was in and out of hospital because I needed to be told everything was okay. My body and my mind had started to break, I was not only in physical pain but mental pain as well all due to high levels of stress caused by anxiety.
This is when it all came to a head... I decided that this pain was all too much, I made a decision that for me was also a relief that not only my pain would stop but all those around me that I felt like I was inflicting.
I remember thinking... Who cares about me, who would actually be at my funeral if I want here... NOBODY.
The thing with this was that it helped me come to a conclusion about my life... Depression had removed people, ended relationships, made me feel the most alone that i'd ever felt.
I was sad... but also in a way happy that the pain would consume me anymore... I could be free.. luckily for me my son called and made me realise that I wasn't as alone as my brain once told me.
This was the wake up call I needed, I opened up to everyone, it was hard but I needed to tell people how I felt.. Some got it and some didnt but its a grinding exersize to fill up your plate with those people who make your life, the listeners and the supporters.
I threw myself into therapy, opened up cried, I let my emotions flow, I found that by doing this it was a horrible weight lifted off my shoulders, I was able to start breathing.
My days of laying on the sofa and not moving got less, I found routines helped, walking the dog, fresh air and getting exersize,
other things I did, I kept a journal, I wrote things that hurt me, I wrote about things that made me smile..
With all of the above I just set myself small goals and put one foot in front of the other, hit that goal and then set another - even if it was I'm going to go out today and get milk from the shop.. small wins make big wins.
Now.. while writing this and looking back and I see that the biggest hurdle theat sent me off course was the fact I opened up to someone that was meant to care for me, my own flesh and blood and their response was that I was doing it for attention..
The thing with this, yes its mad, yes its hurtful but at the end of the day its an opinion and not fact, its more on them than it was on me and I should have just opened up top more people.. I would then have seen I was not so alone as I thought..
This is my story but one I need to tell because however hard it is to open up I believe by opening up how ever hard it may seem at the time, will help you so much. don't get me wrong.. there maybe knock backs but please don't ever think that there isn't someone out there who will listen and support.
Lastly if you are struggling with depression then please reach out, we have some amazing contacts and run an incredible support group called the broken club, we already have a number of people day in day out who support each other and it really is incredible to see..
One final point I want to make, you are stronger than you know, se depression as a person and nobody needs a person like that, calling the shots and making you feel down in their life... One foot in front of the other!