One Year. Wow.

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.

An Ode to Fee

Day 361: It’s my youngest daughter’s birthday today. She’s just turned three. This time last year I was in a deep hole and just a few days after her birthday I hit rock bottom. Nothing of course to do with my children or wife, I was in an internal battle. I wanted to write a little poem for Fee. Maybe she will read it one day.

Mornings with you used to be a pain
Hungover and tired but never again
I hated those days, just you and me
Nothing against you though, it was me you see
Head was all over, I needed a drink
I didn’t of course now that I think
I was very unhappy, with myself not you
Life was a pain and parenting was a chew
My moods were all over, I’d want to be alone
I should have been grateful with all in my home
But depression is complex and beats you right down
Alcohol was the medicine to mask over my frown
You and your sister, your Mammy there too
You deserved better than what I put you through
I finally hit rock bottom just as you turned two
But as you turn three I’m right here for you
No more blurred vision
No more missing days
I’ve loved your third birthday in so many ways
You’ll never really know how unwell Daddy got
But I’d rather you grow up knowing even if it isn’t a lot
I still remember that day you came into my life
I was immediately in love with you and so proud of my wife
I’ve never not loved you and I’d do anything you see
To keep you safe and happy, feeling positive and free
Despite all my struggles it was me, never you
But now Daddy is better, no really, it’s true

That was hard to write but today has been a lovely day and I want more days like this not like what I used to have

Happy Birthday beautiful girl x