Don’t look at the milk!

I’ve been writing this blog for weeks now but just couldn’t finish it, been mad busy recently, lots going on within my company and starting my own company, whilst also doing lots of work at home, never ending!

Anyway I’ve had lots to talk about, but it’s changed so many times what I was going to talk about

On a whole I’ve been in a pretty good place recently, happy and just getting on with things, being so busy all the time always helps me. I missed 3 weeks from AMC on a Monday, due to working away and being on holiday, I always know when I’ve missed it, it helps me so much

I noticed I drank a lot the week before last, every night, it was masking the fact that it was my c**t mothers and brothers birthday. You know when you start seeing dates on things like on bottles of milk, so from like the 1st of August I know that during that week it’s the c***ts birthdays. I’m sorry for saying that word, I hate it, but I can’t think of another word to describe her. All week it’s there in the back of my mind, and it drives me mad, I’m trying to plod on and get in with the day and my life yet how many times do you write the date down or ask what the date is. Just knowing it’s early August fucks me up, can’t helping thinking about things, I wouldn’t say it knocks me back, it just puts thoughts in my head

Then the Thursday came around of the birthday, all day just trying to work on site but the thoughts and little memories kept cropping up. Why didn’t she do something to stop my c**t step dad from leaving her bedroom and coming in to mine. We didn’t live in a big house, a small landing with 3 bedroom doors fav I got each other. So when he’s got up in the night and left her in bed to come in to my room, where he’s have been missing for some time, why didn’t the c**t question where he was. I’d wake up to the smell of his awful breath blowing in my face, at first it used to wake me up, but as time went on I suppose I was waiting for it, expecting it. Blowing in my face telling me it’s going to be ok and not to worry. Then his thumb would go in my mouth and with his really rough skin, he’d rub or more like scratch his thumb in the roof of my mouth, hard, so it drew blood and hurt. With his thumb still in my mouth, probably to silence me and keep me quiet, his other hand was under the duvet touching me and doing unimaginable things, horrible c**t

It would last for a short time then he’d go back to bed. But why didn’t my c**t mother question where he was, why didn’t she hear me crying or why didn’t she see or understand the fear in her own son. Why didn’t she protect her child against the man she loved.

The next morning trying to eat my breakfast was hard, trying to eat and chew food while the roof of my mouth was so raw and still bleeding, but I couldn’t show it, and would get in trouble if I hadn’t eaten my breakfast.

The birthday also brings back the last time I saw the bitch. When I’d finally spoken out about this after 30 years of keeping quiet, I’d spoken with the police and given full police video statements. She came round to our house and sat in the couch crying asking me why I’d done this and ruined the family, obviously she was the victim and I was the one in the wrong. She said she did t know what to believe and left shortly after. The following night I met her at a pub, very quickly she said she didn’t believe me and that she believed her c**t cheating awful husband, I got up and left, that was the last time I looked in to her evil eyes thankfully. How could a mother do that to her own son, her own child, take a mans word who’d been abusing her son for nearly 10 years. A man that cheated on her several years earlier with her best friend, you know what, they’re suited for each other, both lying twisted awful c**ts

So yeah, who’s have thought that looking at the date on a bottle of milk could bring all that up 😂 but good riddance to the c***s! I’m so much stronger now and in the best place in my life I’ve ever been in. It does obviously effect me, but nothing like it used to. Thanks to the support and the amazing work my therapist did, I can get past it and almost joke about it

We can’t change our past, it’s what it is, we can only embrace it and learn for the future, grow and get stronger for the future, and that’s what I’m trying to do in writing these blogs. If I can be as honest and as open as I can, talk about my past and put my hand up and say yeah this shit happened, but you know what, I’m the winner now, those c***s will always have to live with what they did, they will have to sleep at night knowing they abused children, I’m stronger and the better person. But also in me talking about it, it doesn’t break me, it doesn’t make me feel suicidal anymore. In fact the more I talk about it the stronger I become. I just would love other guys to read this and maybe feel strong enough to also speak out about things, you will be believed, you will be listened to! And with time you will feel so much better and realise that you’ve got so much to live for, and now know that I can’t let them win, in me taking my own life, not only have they got away with abusing me all those years and leaving the awful flashbacks and scars engrained in my head, but they’ve won because I’m not here to shout about it anymore. That’s not happening, I’m going to shout it from the roof tops to get men talking and get that confidence to open up about things, that stigma of men not talking is bollocks. I’ve just opened up even more and feel amazing for doing so

Some people say life moulds you, life doesn’t mould you, that’s a blest way of putting it, life calves you. And it’s the deepest cuts, the deepest chunks that get cut out of you, that scar you and make you the person you are. And it will either make you a masterpiece or or make you this horrible misshapen, bitter, twisted piece of wood, and that’s what life can do, that’s what your childhood can do, it’s up to you to make sure those cuts that are being cut and calved out of you, are turning you in to a masterpiece

Like I say, I just hope one man can read this and feel strong enough to talk

Please share and pass it on that it’s ok to talk and we need to spread the word that talking helps 💪🏼😊

Thanks for reading 🙌🏻😁

Good memories from a bad storm 😊

Not had chance to post much, been so busy! Which is always a good thing for me, keeping busy keeps the mind occupied

I was working away last week, down in Bridgwater, had to drive through Bristol to get there, obviously Bristol brings a lot back for me, I was working on site and had been laughing to myself remembering the funny parts, not all doom and gloom again don’t worry 😁

When I’d left Wigan A and E in a pretty grim place, I’ll not bore you with that again as I think I spoke about it before, anyway lots of tears! The young lad/nurse who was sat in the back of the private ambulance with me was so funny, tbh he was a saviour on that journey

He was telling me lots of stories from his career so far, he was only 25 😂! Made me feel old but he’d already done so much! He spoke about his time working for a funeral service and lots of tales, one being how he’d been responsible for loading the coffin in, only to pull away from the place and the coffin came flying out of the back window 🤦🏼‍♂️😂

Stories of when he’d been working in the prison service teaching inmates how to cook, he said he was stood in the kitchen one day and he just saw a trolley coming towards him, it got closer and he realised a small person was pushing it, kicking off about what someone had done, this guy was stood there saying he wasn’t happy, another prisoner said which one are you then grumpy? 🤦🏼‍♂️😳😂

He really kept me going, guess he could tell I was struggling. The driver was a smoker and stopped at services a few times on the way down, we got out of the van to get some fresh air and stretch the legs, he even followed me to the toilet, I felt really special! I stood opposite him on the carpark, asked if he’d ever had any patients do a runner from him, he said he had but he’d always caught them. I was sizing him up and then pretended to leg it then stopped straight away, he proper panicked and started to run after me! Then we both stood there laughing and I said don’t worry pal I’m not going anywhere, I need fixing!

I can only hope someday the guy will read this somehow, I’ve always wanted to say a massive thank you to him, as we pulled in the the priory, I thanked him for being himself and being normal with me and stopping me from crying for at least half an hour of the journey

Towards the back end of the first week I’d started chatting to a few of the guys. There was one guy who thought he’d been sent to earth from god to convert everyone, obviously he wasn’t in a good place himself, spent days talking to him but before he left I’d pulled myself away from him, found him quite toxic towards the end, he was awful to the staff too 🙁

A young lad from London cracked me up, he was quite intimidating at first but after a few days we started getting on, he was originally from Portugal and used to play football professionally there and in London, sure he said he was signed for spurs, but unfortunately he took the wrong path and left all his football behind. He was so loud! His laugh was infectious, I’d be sat playing chess with some of the old boys and he’d walk and that would be it, he’d completely take over the room with his laugh 😁 he just struggled with his anger and taking direction from the nurses at times, one of the night nurses in particular, his head would drop when she came on shift, it was a love hate thing, was really funny listening to them battling at times, they always hugged it out though at the end before he went to bed. He was further down the corridor to me, he’d sit up till the early hours chatting to his girlfriend on the phone, playing his music that I had know idea what it was (old man) laughing away and shouting down the phone to her, which as you can imagine didn’t sit well with some of the other lads 😂 always made for funny conversation over breakfast anyway! With me not having a tv in my room for the whole stay there, at times I’d sit in my chair with my door open either reading or writing (started writing a book) he’s come and sit on the floor at my door talking to me, sometimes during his angry moments I’d get his attention and get him to my door to calm him down and just sit and talk with him, actually really enjoyed listening to him, telling me about his childhood and upbringing and his gangster lifestyle now in Peckham, I explained to him all I knew about Peckham was that’s where Rodney and Del Boy were from! He was clearly too young or too cool to even know who they were 🤦🏼‍♂️ (old man again) It was boiling, July, red hot days, spent time a lot of us playing football in the gardens, and with the Euros being on it bought out the football skills in everyone, apart from me because I’m absolutely rubbish at football 😁

Which brings me on to John ‘the referee’😁 wow what a character he was! He came on to the ward after my first week, proper cockney, loud and had plenty to say, he too suffered with PTSD with a similar story to myself, so we’d both often be up together during the night, only he’d be walking the corridors naked before he woke up properly 🫣 we helped each other. Anyway, the referee bit, he was an official ref for the FA, he told everybody too ha! Not sure at what level but he certainly knew his stuff. We’d all sit in the tv room of an evening watching the euros, hilarious! The night of the final, he had got somebody from the FA to send him some money to order pizza for us all, the nurses provided soft drinks and popcorn, we was having a right little party 😁 you can imagine how loud it was, only a small room, a Spanish guy game on to the ward days before the final, he was so passionate about football and also really loud! So we had my gangster Portugueses man from Peckham getting over excited jumping up kicking the tv and laughing so loud, John ‘the referee’ talking or more like shouting explaining what the ref was doing on the pitch or how he’d have done it differently, and the Spanish guy singing the Spanish national anthem on top note shouting at the others ‘shut the f**k up’ 😂. There was standing room only with pizza and chips being launched everywhere! We had a ball! Definitely some of the best football matches I’ve ever watched, and not for the football but only the company, amazing characters 😁 John the referee also got a tournament set up in the garden with staff and other patients playing five a side with footballs he got sent in from the FA

A young lad from Manchester who slept most of the time either in his room or in the garden and walked everywhere really slowly, but put a football at his feet and he came alive, he had skills, he too played football in his country before he had to flee with his family, some harrowing stories 😔 he only had the clothes on his back and he’d already been there longer than me, John the referee was off out on one of his daily walks one day so we clubbed together and got him a load of new clothes from tesco, it was like Christmas for him, his face 😊 think I started fathering him eventually sorting his food and making sure he drank enough outside 😂 lovely lad though who I was sad to leave him there

A guy from Sheffield who came in, in a right state, he was on 24hr obvs, he wasn’t eating and not well, never spoke to anybody, but after a couple of weeks of him getting straight on his meds he made a complete turn around, eating drinking and he too eventually came and sat chatting to me at my door telling me about his allotment, he left a few days before me, he’d had his laces taken from him for safety and was worried about what he’d look like getting home, so I gave him my laces from my trainers 😊

I could talk about that place for days but I’ll save you from it 😂 just one more guy, from New Zealand, he’d pace up and down the corridors for hours everyday with no shoes on wearing big holes in his socks, playing music on his phone, but you know those really bad covers, like on them cd’s you used to buy from a service station, he’d have my heart will go on my Celine Dion but sang by a guy with a really bad voice 😂 it was painful to listen to! But he was happy enough. He never came outside or went up to the restaurant for food, just stayed in the ward. I got him talking eventually and he told me all about New Zealand and how he’d been arrested lots of times for jumping trains around the world with no tickets 😂 such an interesting guy honestly! We got him outside a couple of times sitting with us in the garden, a man of very little words until you got him chatting. Anyway, we was all up eating tea one night in the restaurant and he goes walking past the window with his rucksack on his back, stops, pears through the window shouting ‘so long fu**ers’ and walked off down the road smiling! After we’d all finished eating and kicked a ball about in the garden we got back in, only to find him sat in the tv room, we all asked what had happened we thought you’d done one? He said ‘I forgot my wallet and now they won’t bloody let me out’ 😂😂 he was actually laughing at himself, he couldn’t believe it! Such a nice guy 🙌🏻

Well I suppose I’ve not really spoke much about myself or my stuff on this blog, not all about Simon! I do often get told it’s not the Simon show 🤦🏼‍♂️😂

But it’s just good to remember happy memories from a bad period in my life, and that’s all it was, just a bad storm I went through but met some amazing people along the way, who hopefully I possibly helped. It’s just good to talk and share stories I suppose, and not always the bad things

Hope I’ve not bored people too much, if you managed to stick with it, thanks for reading 😊 keep talking, and keep checking in with guys who may also not be in the best place, get them talking and sharing stories, it may just help someone 🙌🏻🙌🏻

Rock bottom but climbing back up 😁💪🏼🙌🏻

Not really been able to post this week, had my hands full, my wife’s been away for the week in Spain, sunning herself 😊 so I’ve been busy working and enjoying some nice time with my beautiful children 😍

Suppose this week is bigger for me than last week, it was this week last year when it all came to a head, worse than last week after I’d tried taking my life in Scotland

I’ve been ok this week, I can now confidently say that I can look back on things and I know it won’t get me, I’m a million miles away from where I was and I’m so happy, celebrating for being here now and looking back thinking wow!

So it was to the day not date this time last year, I would be lay in a and e now, and was in the little cubicle for 18 hours 😩 completely lost and scared and not feeling too safe

After a pretty rocky week, with various appointments which really didn’t help, stuff I’ll talk about another time, but the Friday was the day when the wheels fell off

I’ve heard so many people say as I’m sure you have that they were or are rock bottom, could never really understand that, or could never imagine what that must feel like or what must have happened to actually be at the lowest possible point in somebody’s life to say they was rock bottom, thinking about it now, I think I was heading closer and closer to that feeling of rock bottom all week. With appointments within the nhs not going to plan, me lay awake most of the night having the worst flashbacks and nightmares, staring at the loft hatch wondering if it was strong enough to hold my weight while I hung myself. That feeling must have been getting closer as why else would I do that and ever do anything like that for my wife or kids to find me, doesn’t bare thinking about does it 😩

The Friday morning came and I had a job to do on the Wirral, did the job and started heading home around lunch time, still can’t really remember much about that morning, head definitely not on the job, so if I can find the site name I wouldn’t recommend buying a house there 😁

I’d got so far down the M56 and decided enough was enough, I wasn’t going to put my lovely wife and children through the pain I was suffering in my head any longer, got on to the M6 and I knew what I was doing, it was time for me to go, nothing mattered, the kids, my wife, our company, house, planned holidays, planned amazing times that were coming up, nothing mattered, I wanted to die, I’d given up and didn’t want to be around anymore and didn’t care about anything. Thankfully I got over the viaduct after I’d got a phone call that kept me talking to get over it, got off the motorway and sat straight in traffic, worst thing that could have happened! With out going in to too much detail, I tried to take my life again, my head had gone. Next thing I remember was being sat on my couch with wires all over me and three very attractive paramedics stood in front of me 😉

Bundled in to the ambulance and rushed off to a and e, I remember the kids being due home from school any minute, so it was a concern for them to not see me like that, if I’d known at that point when I was leaving the house in the ambulance that I’d not be in my own home again for 6 and a half weeks, maybe I’d have tried to say goodbye, or maybe I wasn’t in the best place to

So much happened in the 18 hours of me being in a and e and then going on to a ward before on the Sunday Father’s Day being taken down to Bristol, I’ll talk about that another time

Anyway, I wanted to say what happened on this Friday last year, happened, but I’m so glad I’m still here! I’m celebrating I’m still here 🥳 after this day was certainly the start of my recovery. Today, this time last year was when I realised I’d hit rock bottom, the day when you know you want to die, that nobody or anything can help, uncontrollable crying, no feeling or a care in the world, that was my rock bottom, I was there. But now I was going to get that professional help, it was the climb up from rock bottom

You know what, life is exciting, if that had gone to plan last year, all the memories and good times I’ve had since last June, wouldn’t have happened, all the amazing people I’ve met, AMC Leigh wouldn’t have happened. I believe things happen for a reason, I had to go rock bottom before I could get to where I today. But then imagine where I could be this time next year, and the year after, how many more amazing people I could meet, how many more memories I can make with my wife and children and friends. How the team i assist coaching can grow even stronger and smash Wigan again 💪🏼😁 it’s the future, there’s so much to look forward to! A stranger is a friend that I’ve just not really got to know yet, there’s lots of people that I’ll meet and hopefully be able to help by this time next year

I know I’ve just completely contradicted myself in saying not looking back, but all I talk about is my past. But I really do this not for likes, not for pity or sympathy, but I just want to help other guys! I just wish that other men can read this and hopefully get something from it, to talk and open up, talking helps! My recovery started this time last year, hopefully somebody could read this and it could be the start of there recovery

Please share and spread the word that men talking means men can start to get somewhere, thanks for reading 🙌🏻😊

#talkingwithsimon

It’s good to be alive

That sounds really serious or dramatic doesn’t it ha ha! But it really is 😁😁

Head was well and truly up my arse on Monday, I’d looked at my planner for work to book jobs in, the date struck accord with me instantly, this week and next week this time last year was when I’d attempted to take my life 😔

For some reason I started thinking of the dark negative things. About where I was at that time in my head, remembering how low I was and what had driven to feeling like that. This week this time last year was the start of things going bad. I’d been completely let down by my GP, I contacted my doctor the week before asking for help, I’d put my hand up and was ready for help, I’d been told by loved ones that I needed that professional help, I asked for it

I was told the doc would contact me soon, I was working away that week, couple of days in London then I was straight up to Inverness in Scotland, being away from home not in the best place, with my head running all over the shop. In Scotland and on site I got a call from the doc, he started talking about something completely different, about me going for a scan again, I’d found a lump in the man area months earlier, I’d already had three scans and had been given the all clear thankfully, yet my docs telling me he’s sending me for my first scan! I said that’s not what I’d contacted him for and that I wasn’t in the best place and that I was reaching out for help, I was then told that I couldn’t talk about that and I’d have to make another appointment the week after then the doc literally put the phone down on me

Shocked and feeling completely lost, I finished the job on site and headed back to my digs for the night, on the phone to my wife crying and for company and some reassurance. Got to the digs, showered changed, out for food then back to my room. FaceTimed my wife and kids to catch up, eventually told them I loved them all and said goodnight. No more than 20 minutes later I was stood on the wrong side of the motorway bridge leaning forward ready to jump, thankfully a truck driving past stopped and a big guy dragged me back over and took me back to my hotel, I got home the day after and was relieved to feel safe. Unfortunately things did get worse, but that’s enough dark stuff for now

I’m not going over stuff, well I suppose I am, or I certainly was at the start of the week, I’ve explained that to give a bit of back story to make it clear where I was this week last year. But after getting past Monday, after having a conversation with my wife, I’ve seen a different side to these thoughts, why the hell am I seeing this as a negative time!!!

Last year was negative, but I’m so far away from those feelings and thoughts now, couldn’t be further away honestly 🥳🥳🥳

I’ve realised that I’m here now, I need to appreciate that I’m here and happy! I wake up everyday and come home everyday to my lovely wife and kids 😊 that could have been so different!

No longer will these memories take me to that dark place, balls to that, I’m turning it around now, that was last year, I’m happy now and celebrating the fact that I’m still here! 😁 loving life 😁 appreciating life 😁 embracing life 😁 yes I’m going to have shit days, bad days at work, sure some people will piss me off, but I get to wake up everyday and make more memories with loved ones, I’m enjoying everyday, what happened happened, they didn’t win, they haven’t beat me 💪🏼 I’m winning now, I’m enjoying everyday that I’m here, they are the ones that have to live with what they did, but for me I’m winning and I’m happy 😁😁😁

I was away at weekend and we got up snowdon, it was amazing! I took a big deep breath and loved being outside making memories, why the hell would I ever risk loosing that! No more negative memories, no point in remembering this time last year and going back to those bad parts, it’s time to embrace still being here and celebrating 🥳💃🏼🕺🏼

I hope I can inspire other guys to one day feel the same or at least try to think is it really worth going back to bad memories, instead to appreciate still being alive, because you’re loved and worth it

Anyway, thanks for reading, please share the post and let’s stop these bad memories, it really is good to be alive 😁😊🙌🏻

Forgive Forget Accept

I actually started writing this on Saturday morning, but just not got round to finishing it, I was conscious that I’d not posted anything in over a week but with not having the best of weeks it’s delayed me, couple of things went on earlier in the week and I hadn’t realised how much it had affected me, it kind of crept up on me all week chipping away at me

As a result of that, it’s affected lots of things, certainly my mental health and also made me not a very nice person at home, which I hate, me being snappy at everyone with no patience, my head was up my arse all due to a message. Mixed with struggling with a hangover until Wednesday 🤦🏼‍♂️ it’s a week that I was glad to see the back of and went in to the weekend more positive, clearer, happier, focused with things in place 😊

I think the little set back has made me reflect on a few things. Not going right back to what happened in my childhood with the abuse and stuff, but more with looking forward with what and who actually makes me happy, being kind to myself

Drinking certainly doesn’t help, I’d say I’m a happy drunk and not one to dwell on things or thoughts when I have had a drink, but alcohol can be a depressive and massively drops our guard, I think it’s the hangover period that gets me, I enjoy myself when I’m out or at home drinking and I know when to stop now, many years ago was a different story though. I did drink to try and forget and mask what was going on in my head, looking back now that only made it worse, that recovery period after drinking was so much worse, it’s like you’re torturing yourself, I could drink and be happy to a certain point, then it would go badly, the tears, I used to cry so much, remembering what happened, how it could have happened, why wasn’t somebody there to protect me as a child, why didn’t my awful mother protect her son, so many questions and hurt. Thankfully now after the treatment I had, my mind doesn’t go to those places as much, or when it does I’m able to shelve it and say to myself I’m not giving the disgusting c***s the time or space in my head

I didn’t go there earlier in the week after what had happened, it just knocked me, and ate away at me deep down. I was hurt, again, annoyed, angry and a little lost, again. And it certainly messed my week up

But then after chatting with my wife and my very good friend on Thursday evening, it was time to get the chin up and start practicing what I’m always preaching. Apparently I’m very good at telling others to talk but also very good at burying my head in the sand when I’m struggling. My friend has been there from day one, he spotted the signs along with my wife last year and before. The support from him towards myself and my wife and kids was second to none. He was the only other person I spoke to other than my wife while I was away in hospital for so long. He’d always say when anything happened since being home, it was just a bump in the road, and I wasn’t going back to square one, so true! He wouldn’t let me and I didn’t want to, better more, I now knew what I had to do to get back up. Thanks pal, you know who you are ❤️👌🏻

A saying cropped up there other day, sure someone had mentioned it when I was away in Bristol. ‘Forgive Forget Accept’

When you break those down, ‘Forgive’ that’s never going to happen really, they don’t deserve to be forgiven, how can anybody forgive what happened. I’m a pretty forgiving person, but there’s a line. ‘Forget’ I suppose in time the memories will have less impact with the treatment I’ve had, will never forget but I’m working everyday on dealing with it. ‘Accept’ out of the three words, that’s the one I’m coming to terms with. I’ve now accepted what happened has happened and there’s nothing I can change about that, I’m a massive believer in things happening for a reason, albeit what happened to me shouldn’t have as sexual abuse really shouldn’t be happening to anybody, and never to a child. But it happened to me, and now I’m making a positive out of it, I’m hopefully helping other lads, other men, other people to come forward and talk! I accept what happened to me, I’m dealing with it, I believe it happened to me for a reason, it’s led me to meeting some amazing people, it’s led me to setting up Andys Man Club in Leigh, hopefully lots of men to talk, and it’s now led me to this. Most of all, I hope it’s made my wife and kids realise that they’re enough for me to want to be alive 😊 ❤️

I want to finish on something I heard on Friday morning. Stuck with me, lyrics to Liam Gallaghers song. ‘Remember you belong to be here just as much as anyone, you’re to good for giving up’ 😊😊 Love that 🙌🏻👌🏻

Thanks for taking the time to read 😊🙌🏻

Keep the spark

The message in that video is so powerful I think, nobody really knows what’s going on in somebody’s head, or what somebody’s been through

If I can talk about my stuff and be really open, hoping that will encourage other men to start talking

We just need that help, that spark, there’s so much to live, talking really saved my life!

The sexual abuse I suffered nearly killed me, I wanted it to kill me to take the pain away, and I now suffer with anxiety and panic attacks as a result. But I now talk about it, I want to talk about it, I want men to know that what’s happened has happened, there’s nothing I can do to change that, I live with it everyday. I’m using it to my advantage now though, using the awful things that happened to me as a child to inspire other men to share there thoughts, share there problems, don’t suffer in silence, I don’t any longer 😊😊😊

The stigma around male mental health thankfully is changing all the time, we no longer need to be embarrassed to talk, or to feel like we need to man up and stop crying. It’s ok to cry, ok to talk, and ok to reach out

Be kind to each other, have a great week 🙌🏻😊

Journey

I’m no expert in mental health and certainly not qualified, I just think there’s so much to give from life experience, and I want to shout it from the roof tops that guys need to talk!!

Monday night session at AMC was amazing, so many men walking through the door starting or continuing there journey

Not sure if journey is the right word or not actually, suppose everyone is on a journey, to find themselves, be themselves, be happy with who you are and always aiming for and wanting more, or just getting through life’s struggles

I guess a journey has a start, middle and endpoint, and that’s why I don’t think journey may be the right word. Life’s obviously got the start but the middle is what you make it, or what cards we’re dealt, in my case, shit! But I suppose it’s the learning part, or the changing part, and nobody wants to think about the end part

When I was away at hospital in Bristol I think I did have the start middle and end, all within the six weeks I was there. The start involves the journey down there, 3 and a half hour journey, I froze when I was trying to leave A&E I couldn’t move, I had no idea where I was going, I just knew I was going further away from my family 😔 I cried for at least 3 hours of the journey, hysterically. Having to drive back over the viaduct was the toughest part. Finally arrived and didn’t have a clue where I was or what was happening, scared, alone, lost, still actively trying to take my own life, looking for ways on to the roof or what I could do to myself in my room, that was the only way I’d be free from the pain

The middle part. Very lost the first couple of weeks, suppose it was a safe place to get me in to my medication, could only speak to my wife, really wasn’t strong enough to FaceTime or even speak with my 3 kids. I’m their dad, there big man, there rock, they didn’t need to see me constantly crying, there was too many questions for them ( I want to talk about that another time ) finally my wife visited which was very emotional, but just what I needed. From that point I knew I needed to get myself sorted, stronger and back home where I belonged

Started feeling stronger (still the middle part of the journey btw, it’s coming to the end part 🤦🏼‍♂️) started mixing with the guys on my ward, became friends, I got taught how to play chess, which I still kick my lads ass at 😁 learnt how to play poker and made some great friends. (Lots of funny stories for another time) one guy who really stuck in my mind, a 7ft Rastafarian guy, he really didn’t like me at first, and such a shame but he really wasn’t well. We seemed to click eventually after spending time with him talking and I learnt so much from him, such good morals, he couldn’t get over why I was there and that I was married, he had serious words with me ( he scared the life out of me ) one of the things that stuck with me what he’d always say was ‘look good feel good’ he’d be immaculately dressed in a five piece suit everyday. So much truth in that isn’t there!

Anyway I could talk about the priory all day and night, such an experience, such a learning curve, meet some very ill people and also some amazing people. The time came when I was ready for home, the end part of my journey. I remember a nurse telling me I’d be ready for home when people started annoying me, week 6, I was ready for home 😁

Plans were made for me to leave, I needed to tick off a few things before I could leave, first being away from the nurses and to sit on my own unsupervised and to be safe. The major one was to walk over a motorway bridge and to not want to jump off. Thankfully that happened and I was on the up

I was met by a nurse outside my room, chatted away, she said your wife and kids are at reception waiting for you 😊 instead of breaking down crying, I was excited and crumbled 😊 met them in reception, all the nurses and staff walked me out, it was so nice and very emotional 🥲

This was the end of my journey, the journey id gone on through me struggling and not talking, not reaching out, and not coping with what’s been going on in my head. Lesson learned, TALK!

Things progressed when I got home, but that’s for another time. I was at the end of my journey in hospital and at the start of my next journey

So I guess journey may be the right word if there’s a journey that’s been had, or was it just life experience

Enough for tonight, I started writing this blog at half 7 this morning when I got on site. Been so busy and just got round to finishing

Thanks for reading, please share, if you click on the banner on the top you can follow the page and talkingwithsimon.uk

I’ve waffled I know, but thanks 😊🙌🏻

You’re in control

After I created this blog the other night I was on a high, the feed back was really good!

This week at works been busy, Andys man club was a great session on Monday, I get so much from talking and listening to other guys, it really helps me, and I can’t wait for next Monday to do it all again. But I keep bumping in to someone at my lads football training and it’s not doing me any good really, I’ll talk a bit more about that another time though

I feel in a good place at the moment, but yesterday I got home from work feeling really shitty, drained and just not very happy, my wife spotted it straight away and was on it and kept me occupied to start making me feel better

I often use some of the techniques I learnt from some of the doctors when I was away in hospital in Bristol last year. When I was sexually abused as a child for many years, there was nowhere I could run to, no help, nobody to talk to about it, I just had to take it. So when I was waking up from nightmares or flashbacks everything was so vivid like it had just happened, I needed to talk to the younger Simon inside my head and let him know he’s ok now and safe, and that I’m here in the now and not back there lay in bed in danger or waiting to see if the door opened that night

I suppose when I got down to hospital the flashbacks were at there worst, it was every night, even with the sleeping tablets I still had them, then couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried lots of the CBT techniques, they did help too, I had to wake myself up fully then sit up in bed and around the room for….

1. 5 things I could see

2. 4 things I could touch or feel

3. 3 things I could hear

4. 2 things I could smell

5. 1 thing I could taste

Sounds daft but it really worked for me, it would bring me around and take me out of the nightmare and bring me back to the here and now. I’d start reading my book but I’d have to get up and turn the light on so didn’t really relax me in to going back to sleep. I’d sit in bed just looking round the room and doing the above. I couldn’t put the tv on, most rooms had tv’s but I wasn’t allowed one, I was still a risk the obvious concern was I’d hang myself with the cables. Sometimes I’d go and make a brew, but quite often there would be other people awake also suffering with ptsd so we ended up sitting chatting or playing chests, not ideal in the early hours, but it helped. There was a lot of very ill guys on the ward where I was, first couple of weeks I didn’t really know what was going on, but I must have started sleeping better, the nightmares never went away, I guess I just learnt how to deal with them better

I think it’s a lot about being kind to yourself, I know I’ll never be away from what happened, but I do know the horrible c***s can’t harm me now, the nightmares and flashbacks will always come, the memories will always be there, (the treatment I had for this was so good, my therapist is amazing and worked wonders on me, I’ll talk about that another time) but I can deal with all that now a lot better, I constantly talk to myself, dragging my thoughts away from going down the wrong avenue, tell myself I’m not there anymore and that I’m safe, what happened has happened but I’m not going to let them mess the rest of my life up, I’ve too much to live for now, they’re not winning anymore, I’m winning and I’m in control of what goes on in my head, the memories can come but I deal with them, sometimes even laugh to myself wondering why I’m giving them the space in my head, I’m in control of my thoughts and memories, not those horrible c***s 😁💪🏼

I think everybody could do a bit of that, when you’re struggling with thoughts and things batting around in your head, stressing about things, take a step back, process what’s really important, what you actually need in your head. Be kind to yourself, the brain only repeats what it knows, if your constantly stressing about things or beating yourself up with stuff in your head, then it’s a vicious circle and it’s hard to get out of, Force yourself to think only about what you need to, try to block out the negativity, be kind to your mind, be kind to yourself, beating yourself up in your head really isn’t worth it

I did it for months and months, couldn’t handle the fact he got away with it, hammering myself asking questions over and over, it tied me up and led to me attempting to drive off Thelwall viaduct, really not worth it!

Talking, speak it in to existence, tell yourself you’re going to be kind to yourself and stop the shit in your head, only you can do it

I’ll leave it there for now, see, I told you I have too much to say for myself 😁

Thanks for reading and be kind to yourself

Hello!

Talking with Simon

Hi my names Simon, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a bit now, and thought what better time to start than during mental health awareness week

If you were sat in a room with a real mix of people and said put your hand up if you or somebody you know has struggled or suffered with mental health, everyone would put their hand up!

1: There’s people (like myself) who would throw my hands up straight away! Yes I’ve had mental health issues and still have (haven’t we all)

2: There’s people who would maybe too embarrassed to admit they’ve struggled, men for instance not wanting to identify a weakness or to stand up and look the weaker man (which is complete rubbish)

3: And there’s the people that would sit there saying they hadn’t, and they live a happy content life, great childhood and up bringing (which is great) but really deep down sure they’ve grieved or never really got over or dealt with something

But that’s the thing with that banner of ‘mental health’ isn’t it, it doesn’t change the person that you are if you’re a number 1 as above, its about owning who you are and what you’re comfortable in talking about I suppose, just because you are or have struggled, been in and out of hospital, having problems doesn’t make you less of a person, if anything it makes you stronger I believe

So that’s what I’m going to be talking about on my blog, all things mental health, wellbeing, peoples experience, life experience, looking after and being kind to yourself, and just about anything really! Yes, I’ve got too much to say for myself, but I don’t care

From personal experiences, from trying to take my own life due to not being able to deal with my PTSD, but from getting the care and treatment I needed, that’s what brought me to where I am am today, and I can honestly say I know who I am now, and never been happier, and that’s all from talking!

Let’s go on this journey together, please follow and share this page, there’s lots more to come weekly

Thanks for reading

Simon

#talkingwithsimon