Over the last few years I have really struggled with depression. Along with some major issues within my business, my life just seemed to be heading into a downward spiral and it felt completely out of control. I turned to alcohol a lot as a way to numb the pain I was feeling inside and the impact that had on my body made things feel even worse. I would struggle to get up in the morning feeling like there wasn’t much point. Then once I did get up, I would manage to get a few hours work done, in an environment that didn’t help, then find any excuse to say ‘Pub?’ It sounds lighthearted enough but when it was becoming 5 or 6 days a week, then there is a problem. I entered into this cycle of drinking to feel better, then feeling even worse because of drinking. Eating fast food and generally abusing myself. I also had the horrific guilt about how I was making my wife feel. She didn’t sign up for this. A man lazing around hungover was not who she married. I could feel my relationship slipping away from me as well.
Things came to a head when I found myself alone, in the dark on the wrong side of the railing over the M20. Fortunately I came to my senses and didn’t harm myself. I would like to say this was a turning point but I just convinced myself it was a stupid drunken act and tried to carry on as normal. All that moment had done was put that thought of ending things into my head, which previously has never happened. The drinking and self abuse continued until one day I broke down in front of some friends. That is where things changed for me…
The release of speaking about how I was feeling was just incredible. They listened, they were so understanding and just the few moments of having somebodies ear and kind words made such a difference. They told me everything was going to be ok! At the time, I didn’t believe them but they were right. Once I got past that barrier of speaking out things started to get some much easier. By no means did things change overnight but one step at a time I started change my life. I removed the issues from my work life, I cut down the drinking, ate better, exercised more and started to feel more like myself again.
I still have bad days, I still slip up and abuse alcohol from time to time, but things are so much better. I have some amazing friends and family around me that I now know I can talk to if things get too much.
Thanks so much for reading my story and accepting me into your community and I hope I can do you all proud with the plans I have not only for this group (especially after lockdown) but WarriorKind and within mental health in general.