“Having grown up with a dysfunctional family and turbulent background I found myself struggling to avoid trouble and stay on the straight and narrow up until I was 19 years old. I felt the best way of having a good chance in life was to join the Army and remove myself from the life and troubles surrounding me.
Little did I know my life experiences from a young age had such an impact on me that shutting them out didn’t mean I hadn’t responded to them.
Mentally my troubles followed me and added to the pressure of returning from Afghanistan in 2014 and day to day life became very difficult. Signs and symptoms became apparent to people around me that I needed help but I refused any treatment and assured everyone I was okay. Work was the only thing that kept me motivated and for years I worked myself into the ground taking on too much and not managing my work-life-balance – creating a mass of stress on top of everything else.
After years of self destruction, getting into debt, walking out on my marriage, destroying all relationships I had in my life and tarnishing everything that crossed my path I was at a point where I felt suicide was the only option.
After two suicide attempts I felt this was a sign that I needed to do the right thing and reach out for help. I had a severe mental breakdown and approached my work who got several services and support in place for me immediately.
Since April 2018 I have been receiving professional help and seeking additional support amongst people who are also suffering or struggling with life. I have met some amazing people along the road to recovery and can honestly say if it wasn’t for their support I don’t know where I’d be.
I would now like to use my experiences and knowledge to help others that feel there is no way forward.
I am currently involved in a non profit organisation called #WEsPEAK which has recently just launched. Being involved in something that surrounds mental health issues in such a positive way and knowing it’s there to help others is something that helps me accept and deal with my day to day struggles.
Michael, John and myself all have a variety of experiences and have a total non judgemental outlook on any individual or situation.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope #WEsPEAK can get the message out there to help others and continue to raise awareness!”
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