Having grown up with Mental Health Problems, since the age of about 9, you would think I would be able to manage it by now, I am nearly 37 now.
Despite being completely aware of the fact I was Mentally Ill, I was in denial, I would hide it, I put up a Barrier and pretended to be happy and I found the more you try to hide a problem, the worse it gets.
I was going to Psychiatrist appointments from 13-14 years old, and only went because Appointments were made, even then I was not taking it in and could not be bothered engaging with them, and this went on about 2009 when Adult Psychiatry closed me off and took me off there case load, you would think things were getting better, believe me, they weren’t.
I stumbled my way through life, I had got nowhere sorting my problems, I not only had Mental Problems, I was an addict and had been since a 2004 Car Crash.
With Addiction and Mental Health I was getting nowhere, I tried rehab for a brief spell in 2014 and bombed out after 3 days.
My life started to look up in 2015 when I met my now wife, little did I know, it would actually get worse, from mid-2016 my Mental Health started to take a tumble, I say tumble, it was more like a suicide dive off a cliff.
Last year, in a state, about as low as I could get, had nobody to talk to, I was in the shit, I walked out on my commitments, not the best thing to do, was quite spur of the moment, I should have dealt with it, but I could not, my world was falling in on me, I was becoming somebody I thought I left behind in my early 20’s, vicious, nasty, violent and I was having ‘episodes’, where I would kick off, I would ‘black out’, losing hours, sometimes days, in a mad trance, when I snapped out of it, I had no memory of what happened.
In May 2018, 2 things happened, Coronation Street ran a Mental Health Storyline alongside a Storyline where David Platt had been raped, both really hit me in a way like never before, Shayne Ward played it absolutely brilliant, I have been where Aiden Connor has been, the feeling of utter hopelessness, despair, having nobody.
Corrie dealt with it so well, it made me sit up and start to accept all the shit going on in my life, it made me realise I was better than that, I had beaten it before and I could beat it again.
While that was going on, David Platt admits he was raped, again, I can relate to that, only thing, I don’t know what happened to me, I had a drink, I was out for the count, only with the memory of making it back to Durham from Truro, Cornwall, In pain, banging headache, looking like I had been through an ordeal, and stains on my clothes, that suggested sexual assault of some kind, was it rape, I don’t know, I will never know, I will never know the man, if I can call him that, if he got up in my face right now.
David Platt admits he was Raped
The other thing what really caught on with me at the time, was the 2nd love of my life, football, one of the first signings we made, a big, strapping Centre Half, about 6’5″ from Cambridge, Liam Hughes, had played in the Football League, played in some big games in Knockout Football, just what we needed. While looking into him, I was surprised to find he suffers from Mental Health Problems too.
I came across an interview he did with the non-League Paper, a few months prior, and I will link that and other interviews he has given in this post.
“Twice I’d tried to kill myself, now I know I am not alone” – Liam Hughes is winning the fight against off-field demons
STAR’S HELL …Liam Hughes thought about suicide after an injury ruled him out of a dream game against Manchester United at Old Trafford, here he opens up about his recovery.
Liam Hughes: My fight against Mental Illness
I was, at this point, and I have never said this to anybody, I thinking of giving up, my life was falling apart, back at my parents, I still had my voluntary work as Mr Q at Darlington, which I have been doing since early 2018, which I continue to do today, but I was on the edge, ready to admit defeat, ready to cause the ultimate betrayal to my family, who had already lost a lot and I was contemplating taking the easy way out. In reading Liams story, the depression, drug use and suicidal thoughts, I could partly relate it to my own story
Then these 2 things happen, and it suddenly dawns on me, yes, things might be shit, but I can make things better for myself, if Liam Hughes can fight this in the world he is in, then I can fight it, I had been going backwards and forwards to my Doctor, practically begging for help, only to have the door slammed in my face each and every time, I decided now was the time to take it serious, if I was to get through this, I would need to stop the begging and start making demands, that I want help and that we won’t stop till something is done about this, it was a case of accept this now, do something, get your life back, push on and use your experience to help others, I accepted what was going on, I don’t understand it and I don’t like it, but it is what it is and I fully accept it. I’m led to believe Liam has a diagnosis of Bi-Polar Disorder, whereas I have been diagnosed and re-diagnosed on at least 3 occasions, ADHD at 15, Bi-Polar at 20, Borderline Personality Disorder at 24, now I am hoping for a definitive diagnosis of ADHD, exactly what was diagnosed when I was 15 and then taken away only months later. I walked into an appointment with a CPN in May, laid it all out, told him what was wrong, said I had felt let down and asked him to do one thing, and that was to fight for me to get more help, he told me he would, and true to his word, he got me the help I needed, got me in with a Psychiatrist, who agreed I needed more support and the team appointed me a dedicated Care Co-ordinator, who then referred me to the ADHD team, although no timescale could be giving as to when the ADHD would assess me, it would ultimately take 10 months, my assessment is on March 11th. Although I have been to nearly every Darlington home game this season, I have met Liam briefly, shook his hand, but never been quite able to tell him just what he has indirectly done for me, I am not naturally shy person, but talking about stuff like that to strangers, who are not professionals is hard, I don’t even talk to family much about it. I hope to one day soon tell Liam, he is in a position to be able to help people, to champion Mens Mental Health Issues. I was proud to call myself a Darlo Fan recently, when Liam was having a tough time, he took a few weeks away and every fan in the ground got behind him in the 5th Minute of the Spennymoor game, by chanting his name, also fans managed to raise nearly 2 grand for Mind, a Mental Health Charity that has a presence in Darlington. All in all, Darlington F.C. have been good to me, I get on with most of the guys behind the scenes, especially Allan Wilson and Geoff Gale, Ben O’Hanlon and Tommy Wright.
Something else that came along at that time was ManHealth, I went for years not belonging to anything, then bang, I have something to belong to, the sense of belonging, feeling wanted, having people who know what it is like to be neck deep in shit, knowing people won’t patronize me and really be able to understand what’s going on.
Paul Bannister has done an amazing job bringing local blokes together, he drills into us the importance of friendship, and drills into us the importance of talking about what is going on.
I can’t finish this off without mentioning Stacey or my Mam and Dad, Stacey, despite having problems of her own has done nothing but support me, when she should have really cut me loose, she attended my initial appointments with GP and CPN and nearly every appointment since, and has been there through the worst of it, my family have been great as well, despite most of my appointments being Spennymoor or Newton Aycliffe have give me a lift over when I have needed it, there’s times I can’t be bothered with it all, and they make sure I go, they won’t let me back out of Appointments, to the point of doing my head in about it and reminding me of the importance of these appointments and that I must fulfil them if I am ever going to find he answers I’m looking for.
Ultimately, I have said what has inspired me now, I missed out one person, the only person I can really do this for, and that is myself, for too long, I was happy to plod on, get on with it, but I realised, that if I am to get better, I have to do it for myself, I was sick of living like that.
I look forward to getting my assessment done in a few weeks, get the diagnosis and hopefully push on and deal with it, at least with a definitive diagnosis, I can work on it and try to figure out what triggers my behaviour.
Overall, I am in a better place than I was a year ago, I knew I had some serious problems, but could not quite bring myself to take it seriously, if I had not have took it seriously in May last year, I don’t know where I would be right now, I briefly contemplated suicide, I just had enough and wanted out, I was pushing away the one person in my life who has done nothing but show me the most love anyone outside my immediate family has ever shown me, despite having problems with her own health, she chose to stick by me, at that time, it was like I was a teenager again, stacks of problems and not doing enough to sort them out, Stacey is the love of my life, despite our daft disagreements, she has supported Me at times when I didn’t deserve it, we are not perfect, nobody or no married couple is, If you could show me a couple who claim they have a perfect marriage/relationship, who never argue or fall out, I will show you a couple of liars.
This is my story, this is who I am and what I am, I am not a bad person, I am not evil, yes, I have done some bad things in the past and let people down, When I kick off, I go mad, lose all my senses and sometimes consciously black out. That being said, I want my family back, Stacey is my best friend, my soul mate and more importantly, the Love of my life and quite frankly, I am not ready to call time on my marriage, it is still on Life Support, but in my mind, I am in a good place at the moment and reconciliation is our main aim, which will hopefully happen in the 8-12 weeks.
With all that being said, I would like to say, if anybody is depressed or has Mental Health Problems, then please talk to somebody, don’t let depression take a hold, once it has you gripped, it is hard to shake off, there is always somebody to talk to, Mental Health and Depression does not discriminate, does not matter who you are or what you do or even how happy you may think you are, it is like a Cancer of the Mind, it causes me think different to most people, makes me think irrationally, I over think pretty much everything and it can be pretty extreme and too much at times.
I hope that should anybody need help, they will seek it, Mental Health is nothing to be ashamed of, Society these days is more accepting of Mental Health, it’s not the taboo it was once seen to be. If I had a Pound for every time someone said:
- You, depressed, you always laughing and happy
- Man up.
- Stop being a ponce.
If I indeed had a Pound for everytime I heard that, I would have enough to buy DFC, Darlington Rugby Club and Blackwell Meadows and the adjacent land outright and still have a load of change.
If my story helps just one person, then I have done a good job, I mean it when I tell you your not alone, but if at first you don’t succeed, then try again and keep trying till you get the help you need.
I will leave some links and phone numbers for people to get in contact with should it be needed. If I can do it, anybody can.
Mind Darlington 01325 283169 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mind Tyneside 0191 477 4545
Mind:- Sunderland 0191 565 7218 or email@example.com
ManHealth:- 01388 320023 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking Changes:– 0191 333 3300
Samaritans:- 116 123
Or even talk to me, my e-mail and Social Media Links are
My Facebook Page
My E-mail Address
If you have managed to read this right through, then thank you, I appreciate the support that has been given to me and remember one thing.