Hi, and thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
One day, at the end of September 2015 I went to work as normal; I arrived at the office and turned on my computer as usual. When I went to open my e-mails a wave of emotion suddenly hit me and I just wanted to cry.
I headed to the toilets where I burst into tears and started to hyperventilate. I was scared someone would walk into the toilets and hear me, so I locked myself in the disabled toilet and managed to phone my wife.
I was scared, and thought something had snapped in my brain, and I was going mad. My wife tried to calm me down and told me I was having a panic attack.
The attack lasted for about an hour, by which point I managed to leave the toilet and head home.
This was the first of a series of panic attacks, but I was confused because they only happened at work, and I was fine when I was at home; this was until early January 2016 when one morning I woke up and went to take a shower and get ready for work, but I could not physically climb into the bath, it was as if my legs were refusing to move; all I could do was go back to bed.
Since that day I have been unable to work and have struggled with anxiety, panic and depression on a daily basis.
To start with I didn't know what to do, I felt like I was on a different planet, and the fact I could not control my emotions and reactions filled me with fear.
I could not leave the flat without feeling anxious, and I started to self medicate with alcohol, which became a big problem.
Anxiety and depression has literally taken over my life and while I want to try and help people who are struggling the same way I have, I also want to help educate people so they can prevent the same thing happening to them.
My old company never took any responsibility for their part in my disability, and as an organisation they were ill prepared to fully support someone with my condition. I took them to an employment tribunal however I lost my case despite some very questionable actions by the company.
This is why I am particularly passionate about mental health in the work place. I want employers to see the benefits of investing in mental health, and I also want to help employees take responsibility for their own mental health, and give them the confidence to speak out when they are stressed and overworked.
I am doing much better, and this is the start of a new, positive chapter in my life, so I thank you for any support you are able to give.
The main image shows the challenges I want to complete, with the help of my wife Kim. There is no set timeline and this page will remain open for however long it takes me to complete the challenges (I may even add some more....) so continued support would be greatly appreciated. I will put updates to show when I will be tackling particular challenges so if you want to join me for all or part of any of them you are more than welcome.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
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