This will probably be one of the hardest blog posts I have ever written, and I apologies in advance if it gets a bit long and a bit tough to read.
I haven’t written about this before because I feel like I will get judged, I feel like people will think and look at me differently, I feel like people will feel sorry for me, and I don’t want that, I want to feel normal, but how I feel probably is normal for someone in my situation. I think we need to agree that mental health is an issue.
I have been resisting writing about it for a while, both my girlfriend and my mum suggested I write stuff down and I instantly said no, thinking that writing things down wouldn’t actually help my situation.
They probably didn’t mean a blog but I think this is an issue that needs addressing for guys across the country.
Because I am probably in the same boat as 90% of guys, we reject emotion, we train ourselves to ignore feelings, we don’t cry, we don’t get sad, we don’t talk about it.
I have had a pretty shit year, you wouldn’t be able to tell that reading my blog, posts about New York City and throwbacks to past holidays and signing up for a half marathon I try to make everything look normal.
But I am far from it.
My dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor in December, 6-12 months was an optimistic outlook. I spent the beginning of the year visiting him in hospital, taking him for radiotherapy, it didn’t work, in February I was told his life expectancy was actually more like 6-8 weeks.
He moved from the midlands down to Hampshire in March and sadly passed away on the 23rd of March.
Just over a month later on the May Bank Holiday weekend my Grandpa passed away, he was 96 and had been battling dementia for quite some time.
I never expected to lose two people in my life so quickly, we had time to prepare for dad… it wasn’t long enough, but I don’t think you can ever prepare for something like that. I wasn’t prepared to also lose my Grandpa.
I have been on a downhill spiral since January and while all this has been happening I have been trying to balance work, life and university. My dissertation/final project was due at the beginning of August, I had coursework’s due the weeks surrounding my dad passing away and I tried to manage and do my best in all of them.
Recently I have burnt out, the final few weeks of finishing my final project were the most difficult, I had interview questions with industry professionals and my head simply couldn’t even process the responses I received, I wrote the questions but the analysis of the responses just went straight over me.
I had a report to write at work and that too went straight over my head and I couldn’t process anything, despite being a relatively straight forward report which had already been written and just simply needed updating, none of it, in my mind, made sense.
That inability to make sense of even relatively simple work led to me talking to someone, for the first time since all this started I sat down with someone and said “I’m struggling”.. that led to a doctors appointment which led to a counselling session over the phone.
I’m still struggling, I can literally feel myself being more agitated, angry and annoyed at stupid stuff compared with before, I got into a Whatsapp argument with a mate last week for no reason whatsoever, I am struggling to sleep, struggling to wake-up.
I know I’m not the only person in the world going through these things and I honestly think that talking about it to people recently has helped massively, but I still struggle, and I probably will at least for a few months.
I feel like I need a break, a holiday or just a week sat at home where I don’t have to think about anything, however, with exams approaching in September (I do a distance learning degree so our timetable is very weird) I wont be able to take a break until at least late September.
Getting to this point, I have no idea how to finish this post, I don’t think its finished, but I can’t think of anything else to write right now. I may ramble on again about this in a future post.
I think all I can add is please don’t treat me, or anyone else who may feel the same as me any differently, I didn’t write this post for sympathy, in fact that’s why I haven’t written this sooner, I wrote this simply to get it off my chest, rather than letting it all swirl around in my head…
Don’t worry about me, don’t think I am constantly sad, I’m not, I can still smile, I can still enjoy things, I am still a pretty happy person, I always have been and hopefully I always will be, I just need a little while to get back to normal.
4 thoughts on “The Truth – Mental Health”
Hi srchadwick, thanks for sharing. Putting your experiences down in writing for strangers to read (and make their own judgements) takes courage. There isn’t a badge for struggling mentally/emotionally once in a while. How are you doing these days?
Thanks, I’m not trying to be courageous, just think that people need to talk about this stuff more. Ultimately I cant effect change in other people if I’m not willing to change myself. Today I am doing okay thank you, and how about you?
i’m in the thick of it, but getting lots of support from my loving husband, darling son, and super doctors/specialists. take care!
Glad to hear you’re working through it. Slow progress is still progress. All the best.