2 years is a very long time – from despair to a happy place

Only a handful of people know this and writing it has been difficult, however when I realised the date today I felt compelled –

After the back of a great solo motorcycle trip we were forced in to a covid induced lock down. Lock down was hard for many, my family included. My son went AWOL, work life changed for all my team and myself. It was a scary and difficult time.

The continued stress of a long standing tax dispute, work, marital issues etc. It all got a bit much for me. 2 years to the day, Saturday 20th June 2020, after another argument with my wife, I told her my state of mind and I went, desperate for an exit from my overwhelming situation, or my perception thereof.

In the event of my death, with pension and life insurance etc. I figured, in my irrational mind, that they would be ok. This option ticked a lot of boxes. I was fucking done. Never felt so hopeless.

I didn’t want to die, I just couldn’t carry on. I was trying so hard, working all hours, looking after others, doing what I could to keep it all together.

I sat under a tree. Head in my hands, phone buzzing away. I was planning my next move. 2 lads, probably 18 or so, saw me and started mouthing off, sensing my weakness I would guess. I told them to leave me alone. Relentlessly they carried on, one mentioned he had a knife. I didn’t believe him and I didn’t really care. I stood to up to go and one squared up to me. I didn’t want this, I was all out of energy.

I got my phone out to video them, saying I will report them and they should leave me alone. One of them then punched me in the face, my right eye. Blood all over the place. Not a bad punch, but nothing that was going to floor me.

I just stared at him, as to say is that your best. I had nothing. Ordinarily I would have retaliated in a big way. I tried to clench a fist. I was weak. Drained. I wiped the blood from my face and looked at it. I smiled a sad grin and stared back at him.

He looked less confident now, probably realising what he had done. They walked around me and then once a distance away started to shout back at me.

I slowly walked home amongst picnicking families on the open grass land and down my street. Neighbours stood opened mouthed. My daughter screaming from the drive. Seconds later the police arrived. They had been called prior. They interviewed me. I had to tell my family to leave the room. I needed to spill without distraction. An ambulance then came as they were concerned about eye socket fractures or a detached retina. I assured them that I was fine, they wouldn’t listen. The ambulance dropped me at A & E.

I sat in A & E on my own for what seemed like an age. Covid in full flow. I was on empty. I got my eye checked and then they went into the full on mental health analysis. Was it just today that I had ideations etc.? No, if I was honest. Probably a few months of thinking what if … Everyone was struggling, I was not going to burden anyone else with my issues. I should have. I really should have.

Those 2 delinquent little shits may have saved my life. The A500 and HGVs was top of my list but I didn’t want to hurt anyone else, the train line not far from that as another option. I needed a quick ending. I was calm. I thought I was helping everyone else in the long run. Wrong.

With a perfectly rational mind, I know my children, parents and close friends would have been massively impacted and not at all feeling free from burden.

I have lost people to suicide and I should have known. Trust me when the walls close in, like never before, which the “suicide is selfish” brigade clearly never will understand, your thoughts are that you are doing the world a favour. Nothing selfish. In fact sacrificing your tomorrows for the sake of others. That was my headspace anyway.

I got my head together pretty quick. Spoke to a mental health crisis team on the Sunday. Spoke to my parents. I went to work on the Monday as normal. Said nothing to anyone. Told a lie about my very back eye and carried on. I could not afford to not work. Main bread winner and all.

I spoke to some very close friends, who I owe so much to, and MH professionals.

2 weeks later after another argument, my wife and I agreed that we were done. I started thinking about what I should do. Work was rubbish and I didn’t know where a potential job move would take me. If it was not for covid, I was packing a bag and riding my bike in search of myself. Eventually, once I was sure my job had a bit of a runway I put an offer in on a doer upper. In the village that I grew up in. I am sure psychologists would have a field day with that decision.

After 11 months of sleeping on the sofa I got the house. In that time my daughter fell pregnant and Darcie Doo was born a month after I moved in to my house.

It was tough at first. However my head was in a much better place. I had got my fight back. I was content in my knackered house. It was my sanctuary. I could do whatever I wanted. Mostly DIY. The future was not even on my radar. I still don’t plan or imagine too far ahead.

I was certainly not thinking about relationships. On a night out in Whitby talking to a very good friend he said that I would find someone one day. I laughed and said I am ok as I am thank you.

However only a month later I was on a first date … The rest is not for here. However fate had dealt me a very very good card in this instance, and my god I am so grateful for my life now.

Don’t ever, ever think that there is no light at the end of your dark tunnel. I found glorious sunshine and someone to share it with.

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