September 17, 2013

JoeGrowing up, I always felt inspired by my Grandfather. After his death, I felt I couldn't show the weaker side of myself and it's something that I deeply regret. I lost myself, I struggled and I haven't really found myself since.

I've always been the strong minded person in my family, I would stick up for those around me and I wasn't really bothered if I was hurting because, like my grandfather, I would always put my family before myself.

I never spoke to anyone about how I felt

I put all my commitments after school into progressing into work, I often felt out of sorts and scared to make friends. I wouldn't say I was shy, although reserved would suit me well. I never really spoke to anyone about how I felt. I wish I had spoken to my mum but I always knew this was likely to upset her and how do you tell someone your still hurting over the death of a loved one?

Between work, I started dating a girl who would become my future wife. I can't tell you how happy I was to have someone but it lifted a great weight of my mind and for a period I managed to forget about how I truly felt deep inside.

I felt I had to be a strong person

We found ourselves on the verge of becoming parents. Sadly, our baby was born still on the same day my Grandfather passed away. I told myself repeatedly it was my fault and also that it was just a coincidence but I felt like I had no right to be happy – for me it was sign.

I slid back into the darkness, it hurts because I feel I have no right. My wife would cry and you could see in her eyes that her world had been taken but I felt I had to the strong person, which I simply wasn't.

My wife stood by me

My moods developed into anger, I was scared of losing everything and I felt that I couldn't get close to people because for me, I worried they would die or simply not understand me. I kept myself to working, drawing away from anything fun. Yet, surprisingly, my wife (then girlfriend) stuck by me and she realized something was wrong. It seemed scary telling my local GP how I felt though. I knew something was wrong but I was scared to be treated differently.

I stepped away from working for a short period of time to help take care of my mother, though I returned to work a little later on and I was discriminated against due to my experience of depression. My General Manager actually wrote on my Facebook Wall after the death of my Grandmother 'Erm, Can't you stop being sick?' despite being approved for sick leave. I hadn't had a day off work prior and this made me very unhappy, to the point I felt I couldn't give myself time.

I decided to speak with someone and seek help

My suicidal thoughts usually only flicker, I could easily think of something else but one night while at work I became so low after being treated unfairly that I nearly attempted suicide but was stopped by a friend (also a manager).

After that day I decided to speak with someone and seek help, it didn't really work for me but I felt happier within myself.

I keep falling off every now and then. I become low and wish I had someone away from my family I could speak to. Despite my family, life isn't all that perfect but I try my best. I recently looked into a different type of therapy which looks at my behaviour and triggers, it's made a huge difference.

Between making new friends and working on my hobbies, I've started to fill a gap that I have been missing. My wife and 3 wonderful children complete my life so much more than I can say and without them the thoughts would be most likely present in my mind. With them, just seeing their faces can make me happy.

My advice is to speak to someone and put more trust in being you, I know I will.

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