The thin line of isolation
The line between feeling on top of the world, buried in quicksand and isolated from everything is thin and delicate.
One little hiccup, one step the wrong way or one little stumble was enough to take me from the top of the world to self hate and questions of why me?, why do I hurt those around me? how can they love or support me when all I do is make their lives hard? If I can't fix this , no one can, I'm not a man if I can't help myself...on and on it goes......
These feelings created a closed loop of perpetual pain, grief and fear until I was unable to face the world another moment. I retreated into myself and become completely isolated, feeling worthless and that old saying, 'misery loves company' is so true, it began eating me from the inside.
Friends and loved ones that I turned to when I was in crisis had no idea, they couldn't understand or believe I was so low, they had little advice other than, Sort yourself out mate, you're better than this crap.
My ex-wife looked me in the eyes and told me I was a worthless piece of crap, that I was no longer a Man.
I'll never forget, laying on the floor, curled up in the fetal position, screaming for help, crying uncontrollably and she stared straight into my eyes and said 'go ahead, just Kill yourself' as she walked out the door to leave on a holiday to Bali.
Did that hurt? Hell yes, and it's probably something I'll never forget, for a couple of reasons, 1. it made everything real, I really was a worthless Man, a worthless person to the people that mattered most. 2. How could I have destroyed her enough to hate me this much?
So all the self hate started, the ups and downs until eventually I woke up one day in intensive care after I tried to take my life.
Was she right, was I or am I a worthless piece of crap...simple answer. NO.
This and so many other reasons drive me to continue speaking out, in the hope that parts of my story, my experiences just might strike a chord with someone to help recognise the signs earlier, to step in and intervene before it's too late, for another Man to read this and realise he might be struggling and it's ok to admit it and ask for help.
As I look back on those dark days, the lowest of lows, I completely recall those feelings, but here I am, alive and still learning to navigate a new world full of adventure and surprise.
Nothing was so bad that I needed to die for, and I'm glad I didn't.
Start the Conversations, raise awareness and understanding, not stigma.
Don't sit and be consumed, Speak up and admit you're in strife, no one can promise it'll be an easy road, but I can tell you, it's worth every step....