When I was at my most insane over a period of around 9 months, having been practically bed bound due to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I spent every day wishing I could cease to exist. It's ironic but my OCD kept me alive, as it stopped me (through irrational fear tactics) from getting out of bed and taking my own life. I used to lie there and fantasise about how I could kill myself. Not necessarily because I wanted to die, but because I saw no other way out, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.
It took my dad; my brave, proud, strong father, breaking down in front of me, wracked with tears and heartbreak, saying to me that he was at the point of giving up, that he was watching his son die. That maybe, just maybe, it would be best if we ended it together, because a life without me in it was no life for him and vice versa.
It was this stark revelation that shook me out of my madness and literally there and then saved both of our lives. Since this time period many years ago, I've battled suicidal thoughts as they come and go in waves like the tide, some days more of a struggle than others. But one thing I've learnt from my experiences, one thing that carries me onwards, is that talking really does make a difference.
Opening up about how I felt, how I feel, what I worry about, what scares me; all of these things are paving the way for me to be able to deal with my complex and all too often negative emotions. Processing them isn't easy, it isn't something I look forward to nor is it something I hope is a permanent fixture in my life.
But the work CALM does for men everywhere, because crucially men are too silent about matters discussed above, is invaluable. They LITERALLY SAVE LIVES and give men hope, hope that a new day will dawn filled with hope, beauty, compassion and kindness.
So please, I urge you, give what you can. Every single penny counts. Just £7 allows one call to be taken on the helpline, £160 allows one phone line to run for an entire evening and £1,200 keeps all the phones going throughout the night. Countless lives saved as a direct result of your donations.
Please, give if you can.
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