Now then, I’m Matt. I’m 35 years old, from Grimsby, England. I’ve a beautiful two-year old-daughter, my own house, full-time job, full and active social life, surrounded by the best friends and family anyone could wish for…………. and I want to kill myself! Yeah!
That was me in October of 2016. Where am I at now you may ask? Well, that’s why I’m here – to share my journey and with the hope that one other person reads this and shares it with a friend or loved one who might need that nudge to talk to someone. It’s good to talk, talk, and then talk some more. It’s taken me a while to figure this out.
So why did I want to, you know… kill myself? Everyone’s reason for this is different, for me it was simple – divorce!
I’m not going to go into this too much, but let’s start with a simple fact; it was my call to put an end to it. I could tell you where I was when I made that phone call and it is a phone call that, while writing this right now, I will regret forever.
Yeah, so we split up and it felt like my life was over - pointless. I felt like the ultimate failure. This might be different for a manly man (like myself of course!), but I always wanted to be married with kids – that is what I’d always dreamt of. I had the most perfect of upbringings and I just wanted to copy that and I failed after 18 months(ish) of marriage.
My parents are in their 45th year of marriage. I didn’t meet Kate until I was 28 and she was, and still is the only women (apart from friends and family) that I’d ever said those 3 magic words “I love you” to. Then our little moo (daughter) came along and I fear I will never feel such a high again.
While in, and straight after my release from care, I did everything I could to keep my depression, and the actions I took, a secret from as many people as possible, just letting the people who needed to know, well, know.
I wanted to hide away from the world and get on with my miserable life! It was like I was being forced to be alive, yeah that’s right “I wish you’d all just fucking leave me alone in my room” (my dark room and even darker thoughts) and get on with my life. And getting on with my miserable life was filled with such 'good' times comprising of; pacing around aimlessly, crying in the toilet (how many of you have done that, eh?), watching hours of television but not actually watching it, and my personal favorite, thinking of places to, well… you know.
But thankfully, I'm here today able to write this with the help of many, many people and I thank them all. I wasn’t the best of patients at times and they kept me going when I didn’t want to. And now I’ve ‘come out’ I’m writing a blog (linked below) that gets shared to Facebook and Twitter so there’s no hiding now!
I’m able to do this because of a few things / weapons / tools and ‘coming out’ is most probably top of the list and I don’t mean publicly or anything like that (I’d love it to be that easy!). Telling a loved one, a family member, a work colleague, a support group, a helpline, a doctor……… you get the point, now go and tell somebody!
Yeah, so I started to listen to what people were saying to me and not just agreeing to get out of there and back to my room. This isn’t a fast or short journey and it’s an illness that I’ll fight with my whole life, but I’m defiantly assembling my tools to fight it with. Bring it!
I started off nice and easy with this new thing called ‘read-ing’ don’t know if you’ve heard of it?! Yep, something as simple as reading, which can still be done in bed, may I add. I’m 35 and I’d read maybe 5 books my whole life, Yes Man by Danny Wallace was, and still is a favourite, but I’d never really got into it, so I do get if it’s not for everybody but reading is what I did; reading, reading, and more reading. It took me away from my shitty thoughts and I looked forward to each new chapter.
Another nice easy one…… music. Most people enjoy listening to their favourite tunes and most people have their own favourite song, which just makes so much sense to them and boy, do you find a lot of songs that make so much sense when you’re in the midst of depression.
Just sitting and listening to a few old albums, searching for some new music and just go off to that little mental place you go when your favourite songs are on. And listening to music can be combined with another thing I like to do, not only that helped when in early recovery, but a continued tool I try to use every day. Now, this does mean leaving the house, never mind your room – it's walking!
A walk, be it around the block or in the woods, for me, gives me that drive and skip in my step to get things done. Hands up who was a scruffy bastard and lived in squalor with food packets and many half empty drinks scattered around, and I’ll be honest, not washing or changing for far too long after what is acceptable? (My hand is well and truly up). After a good walk, you want to tidy, shower, change. It seems stupid to some, but to me it really has a positive effect to be tidy(ish).
Talk, talk and talk some more. I could write many words and paragraphs about my family and friends regarding how amazing they are and how much I love them, but I don’t want to give them that satisfaction! But please talk to someone. I talked to my reviewers when in care, then afterwards, kept up with all my follow-up meetings and talked to my friends and family – yes, I am still shit at doing this sometimes myself, but the relief you feel afterwards is so good.
Along with keeping up with my meetings, I’ve been on week 1 of a 5-week mindfulness course. I was actually reading up about it when the opportunity arose to attend and it was something that took my fancy (I’m considering Yoga too).
Now, I feel I can safely say this certainly wouldn’t be for everybody, but like I’ve mentioned, I think I’ll be fighting this fight my whole life and I want to know all the recourses I can to help me. And mindfulness can be combined with walking too, which is why I think it appeals to me. I won’t go into the full mumbo jumbo about mindfulness, but to me at least I see it as a way of life akin to Buddhism.
It’s not a religion and I’m a dirty atheist. Mindfulness is a selection of tools to help my battle on a daily basis – I actually used it writing this, it can bring up some shitty memories! So I stayed sat where I am (next to mate while he plays Xbox) plopped my laptop to one side and just had 2 – 3 minutes little breathing / meditation session and boom – it doesn’t make it go away, it makes it easier to attack!
Here I am now continuing my fight with the help of family, friends, carers, tools in the arsenal and giving myself targets week-to-week, wishing people, especially you manly men out there who don’t like to talk about feelings 'n shit, would talk to someone and find out that you’re not alone out there - there is a way out.
You don’t have anything to be ashamed of, you could even inspire others around you to do so and that is an aim of mine. If one person read something I wrote and reached out and talked to someone then I’m a happy chappy, but I’ll continue this fight if anyone fancies joining me?
Have a good day everybody.
Peace and love (yeah, I say that)
What an amazing piece of writing. Thanks so much to Matt for taking the time and being so open. We're so glad mindfulness is working for him. What techniques do you use to keep yourself well? Let us know in the comments below.