You got a second? Can I have a wee word? Something’s up I think I need help?
Fucking easy eh? Few wee nice ice breakers there, well why the fuck was it so hard to open up about my problems? my thoughts, my fears, fuck me I’m a modern man, I moisturise, like a rom com or two, sometimes cry at don’t tell the bride, I ain’t your big brave macho type but opening up about my thoughts and fears was a whole different ball game.
D’you know why I think it was so hard? Cause of the stigma surrounding mental health illnesses, problems, issues, whatever label you want to give it, people are shit scared to talk about it, more so men. Hey we’re big brave men, aye so we fucking are. I wish I was brave enough 5 fucking years ago to say to someone I think I’ve got a problem. I don’t why I couldn’t, maybe because of the stigma that surrounds mental health or maybe because society wants us to believe it’s a sign of weakness, fuck knows, I just know that it took me to get to the lowest point I could get to, before I asked for help. If we had a physical pain would we wait as long? Would we fuck, the worlds ending when I’ve got a cold and trust me everyone fucking knows about it.
Finding that strength to ask for help and making friends, family, my work aware of my problems has been a massive help. I don’t feel like I’m going crazy anymore or turning into a fruitcake, I’m now able to speak freely of what I once believed to be my dirty secret, a sign of weakness, a fault in my make up.
Being able to chat about my PTSD has helped me immensely, I’m not trying to claim I’m cured or I’m back to the man I was before my attack but fuck me, shit doesn’t feel half as hard. Along with the cognitive behavioural therapy and actively facing my fears, things I have avoided or feared for years are now becoming easier, hopefully in time, rather than going to the pub being a fear that I have to combat; it will once again be an enjoyable experience. I guess what I’m trying to say is although it is hard to ask for help or to open it to someone, in the long term it’s going to be one hell of a decision for you. Put it this way, where the fuck are you going the now? How’s bottling it up helping you? Think you can handle it on your own? Doing well so far aye? Avoiding shit? Staying safe in your own wee world? I know how fucking hard it is to say that one wee sentence that is going to break the ice, possibly lead to help but I guarantee you, if you say it to the right ear, you’re giving yourself half a fucking chance of beating whatever mental health illness you have.
In my very first session with my psychologist I told her I think I am going nuts, I explained about my thoughts, my fears, I’m going to die young, I’m a failure, I’m worried about the future, I have these nightmares, I can’t stop thinking about my attack, I can’t understand why after 5 years I’m still thinking about all this shit, I think I’m fucked and going to be like this forever. She told me I wasn’t going nuts, I was suffering from me PTSD, and I suffered a trauma that I hadn’t had any help dealing with. She told me to think of it like this, if you break a leg, you don’t stick a plaster on it yourself and hope it gets better; you go and see a specialist who knows how to treat it. Basically what she was saying is that after my attack I tried to deal with shit that was too much for me on my own. When I felt uncomfortable in pubs, on the street at night, in busy cities I didn’t speak to anyone to see why this was happening, I found my own plaster and stuck it on myself and it lasted so then it came loose and boom, I was low again, struggling to cope, struggling to control my thoughts, struggling to face my fears, worst of all struggling to be me.
I know you may be reading this and thinking, aye good for you pal, you’re getting fucking help or aye it’s fucking easy for you to say now but please believe me, opening up is going to help you so much. Just try to find that inner strength and courage. Me, I spent 5 years bottling shit up and eventually it caught up with me, don’t allow that to happen to you.
Again, thanks for reading and I hope this helps someone in a not to very pleasant place.
Keep on keeping on