Day 365: So happy and proud to be able to post this after what has been a pretty unforgettable 12 months. A year ago today I woke up in a hospital bed after being detained under the Mental Health Act. I’d had a mental break down and my drinking had spiralled. I began a detox and mental health recovery treatment whilst isolated in my hospital room, unable to go outside or mix with anybody (Covid added an extra level of isolation into the mix). I went through every emotion you can think of as I was injected and handed pills. The nurses and doctors were lovely but I was confused, broken and unsure what the future held. Suicidal thoughts fleeted through my mind and I had ideas / visions of walking out, buying a bottle of whisky and going to a bridge. I thought I’d lost everything. My wife, my kids, my home and my job.
But over the coming days things became clearer. I had time to think, rest and appreciate what I have in life. I engaged in a recovery plan beyond hospital and despite not knowing if I’d still have a marriage once discharged I needed to do this for me first to then be able to function for my little girls and my wife.
Recovery will differ from person to person but for me I’ve engaged in Anxiety Management sessions via the NHS, continue to take medication, I write / blog / read and talk about my experience and listen to others, I run, I listen to podcasts and many other little things. This is my ‘mental tool box’ and when I’m feeling vulnerable I know that if I reach in the tool box and pick out one of my coping mechanisms I might stay on track for that next hour or day. One day at a time.
It’s been a difficult journey but also a one I don’t regret at all. From the NHS, to my employer, friends, family and of course – undisputedly My wife I thank you for your support. To the strangers who read my Blog & those who engage with me via the #RecoveryPosse social media community.
Why do I share all of this?
I’ll tell you why. Because I’ve seen and heard of too many blokes my age die from addiction and mental health problems. Not enough people speak up or even if they do, they are not heard.
This is for you.