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Men And Mental Health

I will always speak quite openly of my struggles in the hope it helps even one person. I will never forget the opening of the London Olympics in 2012 for the rest of my life. As excitement grew in the stadium, and the world looked on I was struggling, but I really should have noticed sooner.

Lucie woke as she did every other night, crying and distressed as she often was but I snapped. I held Lucie and we both sobbed on the floor of her bedroom, I was completely and utterly broken and I couldn’t take any more. The lighting of the Olympic flame will be forever a metaphor for someone lighting the fuse of my mind and the world exploded. As my wife tried her best to comfort me I knew that I would never be the same again.

I don’t look back with sadness, or anger, I look back now and almost feel as if that wasn’t the person I am now. I think that in some strange way that had to happen for me to deal with all the emotions I had.

For months before I had constantly felt like I had something to worry about. It would be a lie to say that I didn’t, but I didn’t have anything to worry about that would cause the pressure that was building in my head. I know now what I felt was anxiety and stress that I tried to ignore because I was supposed to be strong. I was supposed to portray a strong and stable ‘manly’ image, or at least I felt I did.

More than once I ran through situations where I would be able to take some time away from everything, but still not admit I had a problem. Unfortunately these ideas usually ended with me needing to run away, but even as these thoughts swirled I couldn’t admit there were any issues.

The only regret I have is the fact I should have seen it coming, and I hope and pray that others that feel the same as I did recognise it before it is too late. I am sure there are millions of men out there that can relate to all the “I” in this post. To this day I still think I should be strong and not show signs of cracking — but I hope I am getting better.

Please don’t do as I did and struggle in silence, speak to someone, anyone, that will listen and help. There is no shame in admitting you are struggling — do it early and do it often.