A few weeks ago we asked for regular people to tell the story of what happened after opening up, well today we are happy to publish the first one. This story is the one of our founder, an ordinary bloke. This is the first of what we are hoping will be a regular section we will be calling "Blokes Feature".
“I have had a long battle with the black dog of depression, at my lowest points I struggled with deep feelings of being unworthy, which in turn caused a huge lack of motivation to do anything I enjoyed. Also, like many of you will know, with a lack of motivation and drive comes an equally debilitating fatigue. This was a constant cycle which drove me into deeper states of depression. My solution at the time was to drink, I didn’t feel like I needed to drink, but it made me feel better for the short term. It took a lot to admit there was something causing all of this and once I was diagnosed, I was shocked to find that there was no real support out there for men with depression. Sure, I had support from my GP and family, but they couldn’t provide the experience of having lived through and come out of the other side. This is what drove me to start the charity.
The charity has been a big help, not just to those we support, but to me too. I heard a phrase once, “The best way to help yourself, is to help another.” It has stuck with me and it is true. It is something I tell all our volunteers and I haven’t had anybody tell me they disagree so far. The charity has done well in the last few years, I truly believe I have made a difference to the lives of sufferers and their partners, but I think there is so much more we can achieve.
The thought of helping somebody turn their life around is something that drives me personally, I am proof that it can happen. I have lived through it. Don’t get me wrong, I still suffer, I still have bad days, I am still held back by my own low self-confidence. The difference now is that I have coping mechanisms. I go for long walks or runs which helps me think logically through my problems and helps me maintain my physical health. I always remember the words of Churchill, “When you are going through hell, keep going.”
I understand that bad times are temporary, family and friends (the real ones) are willing to listen, or help, whenever I need. But most importantly I know that it is OK not to be OK.
If there is one thing to take away from my story it is this, no story is solely success or happiness, trauma is a part of life. I turned my life around and so can you. I don’t regret my suffering as it has made me into the person I am today.”
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!