Statistically, it is known that men don’t talk about our feelings/serious things and instead, choose to sweep it under the rug and forget about it until it ultimately pops up again somewhere down the line.
This in my opinion, is absolute bullshit – why should a modern , independent nation such as ourselves be ‘OK’ with such antiquated behaviour?? I have the personal belief that it’s more than ok to talk about how you feel and to quote the good old saying , ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. I’m not afraid to share my own story so I guess here it goes …
Back in 2014, around the time of the leaving cert I began to feel very anxious which, is normal around the leaving certificate as you worry and stress about the points you’ll get and whether or not you’ll be a success or failure.
My depression was so bad at one point that I remember refusing to get out of bed. I woke up and simply pulled the covers over my head and just wanted to forget everything and everyone for that day. I ended up having my dad sit on the edge of my bed trying to coax me out of bed . It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get out of bed, it was because I hadn’t the mental strength or energy to get up. Thankfully , I’ve amazingly supportive parents who helped me through probably some of the shittest months of my life and after a nice little heart to heart, I got out of bed and tried to start my day as normal.
After I was coaxed out of bed , I got up and went to school in an almost fit of tears purely because my head was so muddled with everything that I had kept to myself. I didn’t know how to process anything in my head so it just came out in floods of tears .
I managed to make the journey to school without bursting into tears but when I went into school and people would ask how I was (as you would to someone who was visibly upset) , I’d just break down completely. I’m very lucky to have the friends that I do because they’ve been unbelievably amazing and are always there whether it’s just for a quick phone call to calm me down after feeling anxious or to sit beside them and confide in them something that’s troubling me.
So once I’d left the secondary school system I felt better than I had in the previous few months . I had just started a PLC and again, met some absolutely amazing people who’ve gone above and beyond to be there for me . As the year went on and external situations which I’m not going to talk about yet got worse, so did my mental health… I’d lash out at people , get very worked up over tiny tiny things and would feel very very low to the point where I honestly didn’t see the point in living and seriously contemplated just ending it all .
It was when I confided in a lecturer of mine that things got better . I started to see a counsellor , one which I’m still seeing to this day and is working wonders for me . It was through this counsellor that I realised these low moods of mine were actually depression and the tightness I’d feel in my chest and sudden irritability was actually anxiety which cleared up so much for me because up until this point, I was freaking out over both of these things. The scary thing about anxiety and panic attacks is that when you first experience them, you’ve no idea what they are and they can be absolutely frightening and not to mention physically exhausting too.
Counselling is one of those area where it’ll either work 100% for you or not at all.
If it isn’t for you then I’d highly recommend in confiding in a friend, a loved one or even just someone you trust, but just doing that first step and talking to someone is probably one of the hardest but best things you can do.
If you’re reading this and know a friend or loved one who may seem like they’re going through a hard time, let them know that you’re there for them no matter what.
If you’re reading this and you’re going through a shit time then please please please confide in someone because as the saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ .
I couldn’t recommend confiding in friends/family/people you trust enough because I firmly believe that it’s because of friends and family that I’m still here today.
Til next time,
If you or a loved one need someone to talk to , Ive put the link for charities and organisations that offer that service down below. Please don’t suffer in silence💚
PLEASE contact any of the below:
Samaritans 116 123 or email email@example.com
National Suicide Helpline 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – (suicide, self-harm)