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The Silent Struggle

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Alistair

 

The 1st week of Jan, 2019. I was really struggling. I had no idea at the time, but so was one of my old friends from college.

I only found out when I saw appeals in the media.

 

I met Alistair in college, we were the same age, we both grew up rurally in horsey families, both studied land based engineering at college, and both mentally hit rock bottom that 1st week in January.

 

But on 4th Jan 2019 any similarities in our lives ended.

 

He took a train alone to Scotland, made his way to a beach, and died. He was found later that month.

 

Meanwhile I had an emergency appointment with my counsellor, I took some medication and dragged myself into the gym where I cried a lot whilst doing some rowing. I knew I needed to try and override the intrusive thoughts in my head. At the time, taking a train to the middle of nowhere, closing my eyes and never waking up sounded so appealing.

 

There’s something terrifyingly sobering about someone you know, who’s the same age, with the same struggles, actually dying. Suicide isn’t a choice, it’s the final symptom of a terminal illness. An illness that I had too.

 

Depression is such a vile disease, it doesn’t just make you ill in the present, it poisons your mind into believing that there’s no future and no recovery, it takes away your ability to rationalise and think straight. Having professional help is so essential to recovery.

If I’d not been privileged to have the support I had. This story would be very different and not written by me.

 

I’d have died at 24 years old. I wouldn’t have had my beautiful little boy, I wouldn’t have seen my sisters each get married and have their daughters, I wouldn’t have spent the last 4 years grateful for every day.

 

I realised how many other people were silently struggling too and in 2020, founded Bridging the Gap, Mind Matters to try and help more people get access to the services that saved me.

 

I bang on about it a lot but if you can share our pages and help us with any fundraising events you could be saving the life of a 24 year old, just like me, with their whole life of happiness ahead of them.


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