I have gradually, albeit reluctantly, accepted that I have suffered from depression the same way my mother did. A slow mental downward spiral coupled with an obvious widening gulf between my wife and I, signalled that I needed help before I was faced with a wrecked marriage and subdued weekend meetings with my kids. Sucking it up and trying to keep calm was no longer an option. In reality I was desperate to scream and release the demons that were causing me such crippling anguish.
I know I am not the only one lost in oceans of despair. I know that despite the extreme loneliness, I have taken the first steps to recovery. I have another set of appointments with the professional who helped me in the past and hope they prove to be as beneficial as before.
I was due to return to work today. A Doctors' note has suggested at least a month off to regroup, recover and feel the full benefit of the counselling sessions without the detrimental effect work can sometimes have.
In the past I have been mentally robust and resilient. I have tried to keep a steady course through waters that are often turbulent. My progress has gradually slowed as a succession of personal losses hit me hard. I withdrew into myself and the main victims were my young children. I found the pain of grief affecting me in an adverse way. It was also a mental pain and communicating to the ones closest to me became increasingly difficult.
A serious accident in 2017 left me with life threatening injuries and a rebuilt ribcage that now sets off security alarms at any given airport! The physical recovery was long and slow. The mental one has left me prone to panic attacks, an increasing fear of large crowds (a real pain for a football fan) and sudden urges when out in public, to hurl myself to the floor and curl up into a motionless ball.
This is Day One of my journey. I am going to find the things necessary to rescue me from these seas of darkness which is where I find myself once more. I have the support of the most incredible family and a wife who should be canonised let alone knighted! With them as my crew I hope to steer a course to calmer waters and sunny skies. I know it will be a struggle, but I have hope and with that I have a chance.