November 19, 2016

Blogger Davy

The theme for this International Men's Day is tackling the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK. Together, we need change the way we think and act about suicide, so that men feel able to reach out, and so that they are supported when they do. Today, read Davy's story about his experiences with depression, suicidal thoughts, and talking about his mental health.

I've struggled with depression as long as I can remember in my adult life. It's followed me everywhere I've gone, like a big heavy black gate dragging behind me. Up until 18, I was fine, but that's when I started hiding away from people – it's when my alcoholism started and it's at that point I started to just not feel comfortable around people.

Sixteen and a half years later, I'm still fighting the same fight day in, day out. It's led me to severe alcohol addictions, losing friends and a failed suicide attempt. After all that do I feel better? Well, not yet. I still struggle to explain this, I struggle to let family and friends in. Sometimes my working day feels like it's two days long, I limp through that and I then get to experience the joy of being on my own, fighting my mind, fighting anxiety, fighting alcohol dependencies and just…fighting to simply stay alive.

I hate it. Suicide is a normal thought for me and it's one I suppress, at the very least, weekly. I've never seen myself getting past 35, my 35th birthday is four months away and the nearer it gets the more confident I am that once I get to it I'll be a lot closer to pushing this to the back of my mind, rather than it playing like a never ending horror story that I've got to live every day.

In part I’ve accepted that this is going to be a life-long battle. As painful as it is to admit, I have to accept that this is going to be a part of me. I’ve never been in a serious relationship, partly because I don’t have any confidence in me, but mainly because I just don’t know how I would explain this to a significant other. I go days, sometimes weeks without talking to anyone. It’s not personal, it’s just that’s what I’ve got to do when this is at its worst. At its absolute worst, it takes every bit of strength within me to look after myself, to shower, brush my teeth etc. Despite all I experience, I still CANNOT talk to anyone about this without breaking down in tears. I want to be surrounded by my friends and family, but at the same time I don’t want to be anywhere near anyone. I hate it, I hate just how much it takes me away from being me. It’s the hardest thing to explain to people.

When I'm feeling suicidal this is when I find it the hardest to engage anyone, friends, family, management. It's hard enough talking to people when my depression hits its peak but when suicidal thoughts start to swirl I close off. I just can't bring myself to say it. I called 'The Samaritans' when I was near my worst and I instantly broke down.

Thankfully, I have the most magnificent support network. I have always emphasised this to them through social media, verbal and non-verbal communication. I pride myself on the strength I have to defeat this at regular intervals – sure it's hard but they all trust when to leave me alone and when I want to talk. It's just hard sitting across from someone you love and telling them you're contemplating suicide.

I've always found it hard to speak to people – I just don't want them worrying. At my lowest I write and write and write, as I find this is the most therapeutic way for me to deal with everything that I have to deal with. I don't feel awkward, or as if I'm burdening people, which is something I feel as if I'm doing when I ask people if I can talk.

However, ultimately, I know that I'm not burdening people and what I'm going through is real, it's not always easy but I wish we could all have more confidence to just…tell people exactly how we're feeling. If we could just talk about what goes on, hopefully this would make people struggling more comfortable with just...telling people what is wrong so that they can get the support that they need.

I guess the advice I would give to others going through it is no matter how dark it gets, there’s always a light at the end of that dank, dark, spider infested tunnel that you walk through. By talking about what's happening we move closer to the end of that tunnel. We need to create an society where talking about this is normal, so that people feel able to reach out towards that light.

Read more personal stories >

Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.

Comments

Thanks.

Thanks James, really appreciate your feedback. :):)

Great article

Amazing job! People really need to know more about this.

.

To be honest I'm starting to get a little bit fed up of these assumptions about men being more likely to kill themselves and more likely to not tell anyone about how they feel than women... It's the most ridiculous 'statistic' I have ever heard in my life lol Why? Because there are PLENTY of MEN who have no problem going on and on to anybody who will listen, about being "fed up" and depressed, and there are PLENTY of WOMEN who bottle things up and who have actually killed themselves. Saying that this... sexist assumption needs to be 'spoken about more' is precisely another reason why false stereotypes about men and women keep being perpetrated in society.

Kerry Lee

Hi Kerry Lee, Appreciate your viewpoint but I'm not sure what action you'd like me to take on this. All I done was share my story & I'm aware that plenty of women do have horrific issues. I'm not looking to turn it into a debate whether men or women get it worse, all I done was share my story of how I suffer with depression. What I will say though is that I find it really galling that I've finally plucked up the courage to share my story & basically because I'm a man I'm a part of the sexist assumption. I won't say any more because as I say you're entitled to your opinion, I just feel that you've picked the wrong forum to voice your concerns. Take care, Davy

A very honest and thoughtful

A very honest and thoughtful account I thought. I'm looking through different blogs trying to identify similar feelings I'm having but get some clarity too. I lost a brother to suicide 16 years ago. At the time I couldn't understand why. However after a few episodes of depression myself I feel scared that I've felt similar urges myself and even with medication and cbt it seems to be getting deeper. I find myself staring into space trying to understand these feelings but without any clarity. I wish you well in your journey.

MY BRO THE LEGEND

My brother decided to leave this place this earth 18 months ago today . I still cant say the d word, I say he left like he might come back walk through the door . The massive WHY??????? follows me everyday every bus journey or when I walk home . So Steve and Davy I cant tell you how much I appreciate reading this. Please lets keep talking .............. I'll read this regularly . Thankyou .

What did you think of this blog? Tell us in the comments