Opening Up

Recently there has been a lot of media coverage about depression and how it affects men. It is very true that many men will happily bottle up how they are feeling rather than talk to someone in fear of coming across weak. The preconception of how men should act around each other is rather dated now, yet it is still common place on building sites, sports clubs etc that a man shouldn't show that he is feeling low or upset over things. Always a couple of alpha males so to speak, who will ridicule and put down anyone who shows these feelings. In turn that man will bottle it up inside and that will manifest itself into depression, anxiety, stress and in worse case scenarios that leads to suicide.


There are many great places online where men with depression can seek help, if they feel they cannot talk to a friend or close relative. I strongly urge anyone who needs this help to seek out these places. I have posted a couple of links to help.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression/index.shtml

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

https://www.thecalmzone.net


Opening up to someone now is not a sign of weakness, in fact its more a testament to how strong you really are. The fact that someone can deal with these issues and openly talk to someone else, a stranger maybe, shows that they do possess a inner strength they may not realise they have.


Many things can trigger off depression. Losing a job, the stresses of work overpowering you, losing a close relative or someone close to you, maybe a relationship ending or not being able to see your children. Could even be your football team losing, anything can be a trigger to this. I am not a expert on this though, so please anyone who is reading this and feels low take time to use the links I've posted.


The reason I am writing this blog is because I am experiencing several changes in my own life right now and it's affecting me. I feel I need to write it down and get it out there and off my chest and out my head. I'm not at the stage where I need to see a doctor in regards to this and I say this because I will tell all and sundry about how I feel. Its very cathartic to unburden yourself and that release helps a lot. Yet from my own experiences I will happily go see a doctor the minute I believe it is starting to stop me doing the simplest things.


The last few years I have had so much thrown at me I have felt like a punch drunk boxer, many of it is to do with my relationship with my now ex wife. I won't go in to details but looking back the last three years could've been stopped the second I found out, yet the person I am attempted to keep it going. Now I am at the place where I should have been then. The ending of a marriage, regardless of how long it has been on the cards, is always a low experience. Nobody goes into a marriage expecting it to end badly, you think that's it, a life partner. So when that is taken away from you its like experiencing a death. You grieve. There is no right amount of time for that to happen. But at the same time you have to stay strong for others who depend on you.


Right now I feel everything is on top of me. Work, money, life, everything. Some days it is just a case of, ok lets get this done and see how tomorrow is. It's like I'm on auto pilot, I'm watching everything happen but can't stop it. I've allowed certain things to lapse, things I wouldn't before and when I realise it I don't care. And the reason I am like this is my life has changed massively and I need time for my mind to take stock and rebuild. I can see the end game and what needs to be done to get there, the choppy waters between here and there is what I'm riding now. As I type these words I feel that one burden is lifting and will make that transition easier. I've wrote a list of things I want to happen over 12 months, small things that are attainable, and if I can achieve this then everything is a success.


As I have said, if anyone reading this feels low please reach out to someone and talk to them. I feel lucky in the sense I have a good support network I can fall back on and I know many don't have that, so please reach out. I often work alone so its easy for the smallest problem to amplify itself in your mind, a trivial thing that would get dismissed working alongside someone which is why I constantly reach out to others and talk. I am thankful for that support.


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