When I was first diagnosed with depression and an anxiety disorder, the following excerpt was brought to my attention. It’s taken from ‘Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong’ a book by Dr Tim Cantopher:

“What happens if you put a whole lot of stresses on to someone who is weak, cynical or lazy? The answer is that they will immediately give up, so they will never get stressed enough to become ill. The strong person on the other hand reacts to stress by redoubling their efforts, pushing themselves way beyond the limits for which their body is designed. When they start getting the symptoms of depression they still keep going, with the inevitable result that eventually their limbic system gives way. If you put 18 amps through a 13 amp fuse there is only one possible result.”

Dr Cantopher’s observations are backed up by scientific theory. “When a part of our brain called the limbic system malfunctions it manifests as depression. Our limbic system is a complex system of nerve fibres configured like a computers circuit board, controlling numerous systems around our body including our moods. It copes with our everyday life stresses very well, but it does have a limit. When pushed beyond breaking point (usually, but not exclusively, by a traumatic event) it will effectively blow a fuse. This ‘fuse’ is our transmitter chemicals, seratonin and noradrenaline, and their levels drop rapidly when the circuit blows. Without the correct levels of these two chemicals the electrical impulses that our brains nerve fibres need also drop, which in turn causes our ‘circuit board’ to abruptly stop working i.e. depression.”

In those early days, I took great comfort from those words. Because they resonated with me. I’d always been considered mentally ‘strong.’ Exams and performing under pressure didn’t bother me, I was great in a crisis, I never got too high or too low in my emotions, and I was superb at helping other people through their own troubles. So it all made sense.

I was also aware that emotions and reactions to mental inputs didn’t just materialise in thin air. They were caused by chemical reactions in the brain. So once again, it made sense. I had overworked the physical functions that moderate emotions and now I was paying the price.

Time passed, and I got worse. My anxiety rendered me unable to speak, my hands shook uncontrollably, and physical ticks presented themselves. Depression led me to self harm and suicidal thoughts. I had the worst time of my life. The worst time I’ll probably ever have. I tried different medications, extensive therapy. Eventually, I came out of it, and today I find myself in a relatively good place.

A little while back, I made the conscious decision to approach my life as if anxiety and depression no longer affected me. They were conditions that I used to have, and may occasionally relapse into, but they were no longer my present. They no longer defined me. And then a couple of weeks ago my medication was changed (in the hopes of leaving me feeling like less of a zombie in the mornings) and I went to shit.

Once again, I was wreck. Just when I’d seemed to be getting myself together, I fell apart. The stammer came back, the ticks and twitches reappeared and I locked myself away, afraid of the world. I was advised to stop the new medication and go back onto my old medication. I worried that I’d set myself way back. It had taken me the best part of 18 months to get to where I was. How long was it going to take to get back there this time? Miraculously, it took just over a week.

Somehow, I managed to retain the lessons I’d learnt and the thought processes I’d implemented. I’m back to feeling pretty straight again. When I went to therapy today, my therapist was surprised at how well I’d done to bounce back in this fashion. She mentioned my “resilience.” She said that I’d been through an incredibly tough time, faced another battle, and yet here I stood, having overcome it all.

I disagreed. I didn’t feel resilient. I saw it like this. I wasn’t resilient, because I was weak for succumbing to all of this in the first place. It was self imposed. The suffering I’d caused myself and the people around me, was all my fault. It’s not like somebody had told me to be anxious or depressed. I’d come up with that myself. I was the cause. I was to blame. Nobody told me at 16 to become borderline emotionless and bottle everything up, I’d done that, even if it was subconscious, it was me. Nobody told me to develop IBS either. I caused it.

Quite rightly, my therapist told me that I was wrong. A common theme in our sessions has been her belief that I’m too hard on myself. I set these rules and expectations upon how I should act and feel, and I pass harsh judgement on myself if I think I’m not up to scratch.

So I think it’s time that I accept what she’s saying and acknowledge the truth. She is right. I am resilient. And I shouldn’t be ashamed to feel that way. I’ve faced battles that have killed other people, that have nearly killed me, but I’m still standing. It wasn’t weakness that got me through it, it was strength. And despite it all, I’m here and i’m looking toward the future.  A couple of close friends of mine have got Crohn’s Disease. I wouldn’t tell them they’ve done it to themselves. It’s something that has appeared within their body, over which they had no control. My illness was no different.

My depression and anxiety were the result of environmental factors, of chemical reactions. I didn’t choose depression. I didn’t choose anxiety. When I was 16 and my parents split up, I wasn’t equipped to deal with the emotions I was experiencing. I thought that being strong and not falling apart was the right thing to do. When I was new to the police and being bullied for the first time in my life, I didn’t choose to become anxious. I tried to keep my head down and persevere. By ploughing on forwards and not letting myself fall, I wasn’t being weak; just ignorant about what I was doing to myself.

Now when I look back, I won’t see myself as being weak for having had depression and anxiety. I’ll see myself as being strong and resilient for overcoming them.



Sometimes I wonder if I am fundamentally broken. Not damaged or spoilt; broken. Beyond repair.

Because the nightmare never ends. The anxiety, the getting worked up. The feeling down in the dumps and permanently on the edge of tears. 

I’ve been trying to fix myself for almost two years. Doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, drugs, CBT, mindfulness. Nothing has worked. So I must be broken right?

When you can’t fix something, you say it’s broken. And then you throw it away.

But because I’m a person, I’m not allowed to be thrown away. I have to continue to be used, despite the fact that I’m not fit for purpose – I don’t function, I don’t operate correctly, what is the point? If I was a machine I’d be thrown on the scrap heap. But that isn’t allowed to happen.

So mentally, I put myself back in the box. Not working correctly. Of no use. Stuffed in a cupboard somewhere, no idea why I’m being kept. Broken.


Self loathing


Some days I am consumed with self loathing. There are countless reasons that I feel this way. For example, I hate myself for putting my wife through this. She doesn’t just have to get herself through the day, she has to get me through it as well. I have to be coaxed into going anywhere. It’s never a simple “yes I’d like to go”. It’s a whirlwind of anxiety. Where am I going? How am I getting there? Who is going to be there? What if I’m in a bad way in front of them? Can I get home if I want to just leave? Plans and arrangements are constantly changed, tailored to my needs. Everybody else has to work around me. By trying not to draw attention to myself and my problems, I only end up doing the opposite. It’s hard work being married to me.

Yet I still can’t find the words to express how grateful I am. For sticking with me through this, for picking me up, for moving to a completely different country. Just to make me happy. For not giving up on me when any other sane person would have. To say more than just “I love you” and that I think I’d probably be dead without you. But I can’t find the words.

I hate myself for continuing to put me through this too. Nearly two years on and I still have days where I just want to give up. Why can’t this be like any other illness? Why can’t it be cured or just kill me? It lingers. I work myself into a frenzy and my brain feels like it’s going to explode. I see stars. Seriously, my head spins so much I see stars and lose my balance. I’m tired. Why do I have to keep experiencing this? Why won’t it stop? Why won’t I stop doing it to myself? And then I hate myself for feeling sorry for myself.

I’ve quit my job, moved to another country and tried to carve a out new career. But the slightest setback sees me crumbling. Giving up. I can’t do it. I’m not capable. This isn’t going to work. I lose focus. I don’t achieve anything, my brain gets stuck on repeat. I think over and over about something that doesn’t even matter. I’m useless. So I hate myself for being useless.

There’s no happy ending to this. I just hope that putting the words on a page and out of my head, will help clear it. I fear that it won’t. I think today is a day where I’m irredeemable. Because I hate myself for being self indulgent enough to write about hating myself.

Self loathing

Challenge Complete

It’s done. Completed. Over with. Fin. Snowdon and Llyn Padarn have been put to the sword. The cycle ride has been shredded, the hike stomped to dust and the kayak swept aside. The fundraising total has been smashed to bits – the Incredible Hulk couldn’t have done a better job. Our total is a massive £3,256. That’s more than £1,000 over our target of £2,250. It’s astonishing. With gift aid we’ve raised almost £4,000 for Mind and I could not be prouder.

I have been amazed at the generosity from you, our sponsors. We may have done the challenge, but without the sponsorship money we wouldn’t have achieved a thing. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. The money that you have donated will make a huge difference to people suffering mental health problems. You can find out just how much of a difference here.

As you will know, I have been building to this moment for quite some time. For me, the challenge was about more than just raising money. It was about giving myself a reason to confront my issues and share my experiences, in the hope that I would not only help myself, but also help others to avoid what I had been through.

A week on, I feel better able to describe the physical and mental challenges presented to me during our cycle, hike and kayak. So here it is…

6.45am, Saturday 8th October 2016, The Royal Victoria Hotel, Llanberis. Frankie’s alarm goes off. “Oh shit” I say. I am already awake, the ring of the alarm serving only as a reminder of my lack of sleep. At most, I had managed to doze for about an hour. My night had been spent tossing, turning and coughing. Endless coughing. Sleep was always going to be hard to find – my brain caught up in thoughts of the challenge ahead – without the additional problem of feeling like death warmed up.

We had arrived the afternoon before; myself, Frankie, Bertie and Emily making the short hop across to Snowdon from Tarporley. One look at the car told you that we meant business. Three bicycles on a rack adorned the rear, whilst the interior was loaded up with walking boots, jackets, cycling gear and endless amounts of sugary snacks and energy drinks. Brad and Ant were already inside the hotel having driven directly from London and equally looking like they’d burgled a Moutain Warehouse store.

Chatter abounded and a loose sense of anxiety hung in the air. We knew roughly what we had to do: cycle 17km/hike 15km/kayak 4km, but we had no idea as to exactly how we would be doing it. Eventually talk turned to dinner plans. I stewed. I felt conscious that people were “there for me” and it made me uncomfortable. Despite finding it easy to be open about my struggles in my blogs, I still find it difficult in person. Having a group of people all in one place, because you’ve had depression and anxiety attacks, is a strange position to be in. Nobody acknowledged it directly, but we I knew that without it, none of us would be there.

The evening rolled in and we had a briefing from one of our challenge leaders before dinner. Plans were laid out. We would depart at 0830, cycling our way along the shore of Llyn Padarn before chucking a left and circling the bottom of Snowdon. We would finish up at Llyn Cwellyn at around 1000, where we would embark upon our hike up Snowdon via the Ranger Path. The hike would take between 5 and a half, to 6 hours, to complete. We would head down via the Llanberis path and make our way to Llyn Padarn for the final part of the challenge, the kayak across the lake.

I went to dinner feeling reassured. As a group we seemed in good spirits, ready to conquer the challenge that lay ahead. As an individual I felt out of sorts and exhausted. I excused myself from dinner, having hardly touched my food and headed to bed, determined to be in the best shape possible for the morning. Usually I would take my anti-depressant medication about an hour or so before bed and it would send me off into a deep sleep. Unfortunately, the stinking cold that I had been carrying for the past week seemed to be preventing this. That is why I found myself lying there awake at quarter to seven in the morning.

I showered and dressed in my cycle gear. I double checked my rucksack and kit bag, ensuring that everything I would need for the hike and kayak was present, then headed down to breakfast. Whilst everybody else indulged in a hearty breakfast, I managed half a bowl of cereal. I was too anxious to eat anything, convinced that I would be physically unable to complete the challenge. What would I tell people? Thanks for donating and that, but I felt a bit ill and hadn’t slept for a few days.

After breakfast the group at large (I think in total there were 18 of us undertaking the same challenge but for various charities) began to congregate outside the front of the hotel. Bikes were lined up, chains checked and tyres inflated. Kit bags were piled up, ready to be placed in the support vehicle. People were milling around, they were ready to go. I stood to the side, coughing until I heaved.


We had a group photo and then it was time to go. I froze, overwhelmed by the fear that I wouldn’t be able to complete the challenge. I told Frankie to set off and that I would catch up, I didn’t want to delay the group and bring the focus onto myself. Then I did a runner, headed to the gents and locked myself in a cubicle.

After several frantic minutes I composed myself and decided to take it one step at a time. I was sure that I could complete the cycle, no matter how bad I felt, so I focussed on the cycle and nothing more. Get through it, then reassess.

I emerged from the hotel to find my team waiting for me. The main group had set off, but Frankie, Bertie, Emily, Ant and Brad had decided to stay behind and wait for me. We had entered the challenge as a team, so we would complete it as a team.

We set off and I immediately felt better. I hadn’t cycled for a long time (although I had put in plenty of miles on an exercise bike) and had forgotten the sense of freedom you can find with a bike beneath you and the open road ahead. We hit the first hill, I stood up from the saddle and began to climb. I felt good. I looked behind to see how the others were doing… Frankie and Bertie had stopped. I turned around to see what the problem was. Thankfully it was a simple one, Bertie’s chain had slipped off. I managed to slip the chain back on the cog and we set off up the hill once more. Overcoming that minor problem gave me confidence.

The more that the cycle ride went on, the better I felt. I was comfortable in the saddle and distracted by the scenery around me. I was a fluorescent green blob and I was on the move. And then we hit the big climb.

Once again, I stood in my saddle and pedalled like I was wearing the polka dot jersey in the Tour De France. The climb went on… and on… until it was only Brad and myself left cycling. We had been forewarned that most people got off and pushed their bikes up part of the hill. I decided I wouldn’t be one of those people. I pushed myself, getting hotter and hotter with each turn of the pedal.

I had been prepared for the cold, but here I was overheating. The climb continued to wind upwards in front of me. At each corner, I convinced myself it was the last and that I would find the top of the climb and be able to rid myself of the jacket that seemed to be preventing all heat from escaping. At each corner, I was wrong.

Eventually, I stopped, I couldn’t take it any longer. My legs wobbled beneath me. I made a conscious decision not to get off my bike as I was worried I wouldn’t get back on. The jacket was removed, rolled up and tied around my waist. I pushed on, determined to reach the top of the climb by pedal power alone.

I gathered momentum and rounded the next corner… and found myself staring at Brad and the top of climb. If only I had convinced myself to continue for one more corner, I would have made it without stopping! I pulled alongside Brad, we admired the view and waited for the others to catch up.


The descent was much more fun than the climb and I embraced the opportunity to travel as quickly as possible. Once we hit the bottom, the scenery got even better. The route to Llyn Cwellyn was beautiful, we eased our pace and took it all in.


We reached the car park and the rest of our group, with barely enough time to change into our hiking gear and grab a coffee. Then it was off to the start of the Ranger Path and a quick safety briefing before our hike. At this point we were joined by my brother in law Steve, who had decided to come and do the hike with us.

For the first time in several days, I was beginning to feel confident about the hike. The cycle ride had distracted me from my coughing fits and I had convinced myself that my old biology teacher was right, the best way to get rid of a cold is to sweat it out. I was going to carry my mentality over. Focus only on the hike from now on. We started climbing… And I started doubting.


I immediately began to feel the effects of the cycle in my legs. My cough returned. My lack of sleep loomed over me like a dark cloud. So did a sense of panic. My doubts came flooding back. What the hell am I gonna do? It’s going to be so embarrassing when I give up, a quarter of the way up… I am not capable of this. I am too tired. Too ill. And that’s how the hike went on. My legs battled the ground beneath me whilst my head battled the anxiety that swirled around inside it.

Whenever the incline levelled out slightly and the gradient decreased, I would find myself able to take in the spectacular views. But as soon as the climb got steeper, I would find myself retreating, unable to take part in the conversations around me. Whenever we paused for a rest break, I would stand aside from the group, consuming energy gels and flapjacks in a desperate effort to replenish my energy reserves. In my head, Snowdon had somehow become Everest and my cold had become pneumonia.

At the 3/4 mark I thought I had finally reached my limit. I couldn’t move my legs any further and breathing was nigh on impossible. My body was conspiring with my mind to defeat me. The group took a rest break and I collapsed onto the ground. Within seconds I was freezing and placing on my additional layers of clothing. Before I could zip up my jacket we were off again.



The slope reached its steepest point and I slipped behind the group. I was finished. I stopped and took what I thought would be a final look up. What I saw changed everything. About 100 metres ahead of me, I saw clouds. There and then I determined that I was going to finish the climb. I wasn’t leaving without making it above the clouds. I whipped out my phone, stuck on some tunes and stomped my way upwards.

We had been lucky with the weather throughout the day – it was dry and mild with little wind. When we reached the summit, we were even luckier. The clouds around us seemed to part and the sun shone brightly. The views were spectacular and we all headed to the very top to take pictures. We had made such quick progress up the mountain that we were given 30 minutes to pause and take it all in.

The descent was a doddle and my ailments were forgotten as Steve, Ant and myself hip-hopped our way down the mountain (for those who don’t know, the act of “hip-hopping” means to dance and do your best Snoop Dogg impression).

The hardest part of the challenge was overcome. I had done it, I had dragged my sorry, tired arse, up and down the mountain and overcome my anxiety. Now it was time for the bit that I had been looking forward to the most, the kayak across Llyn Padarn.

Despite being soaked through, the kayak was great fun and a final chance to take in the breathtaking scenery. Boats seem to be an ever present for big moments in my life – I proposed on a boat in the Lake District, we had a boat trip with all our friends and family in Malta prior to our wedding, and now this. So it was nice to finish the challenge as just Frankie and I, together in a boat. Yes, I had completed the challenge as part of a team of six, but I had finished it as part of my most important team – a team of two.

Our kayak was dragged ashore and we were presented with t-shirts, champagne and medals. It was done. The challenge was complete.

Once again, I’d like to thank everybody who donated. I’d also like to thank Frankie, Bertie (who flew back from Malta just to take part in the challenge), Emily, Ant and Brad for being by my side throughout not only the Snowdon Challenge, but the challenges I’ve faced over the past year. It means a lot.


If you haven’t already, you can donate here:




Challenge Complete

Down Days


Down days. I still have them. I’ll be floating merrily along my way, feeling right with the world, when suddenly someone turns the lights out.

It happened to me recently whilst in Malta. I’d had a fun week, visiting my favourite spots on the island, swimming, eating good food and too much ice cream, when all of a sudden my world turned dark. I couldn’t make eye contact, couldn’t speak, couldn’t help feeling like curling up in a ball and crying myself to sleep. I was down as down can be.

Eventually though, it passed; my head cleared and I was able to engage with the world again. I put it down to a long two weeks spent almost permanently in the company of others (I’d spent the previous week in Cyprus for a friend’s wedding). I’d spent so long trying to stay up, without any time to stop and breathe, that I crumbled under the pressure. Previously that would have knocked me back and I’d have been spooked by the episode for days, but I’m a different person now. I’m able to accentuate the positive from the situation instead of dwelling on the negative.

Nowadays when I relapse I take it as a lesson, a reminder – I am doing well, but not as well as I think I am. I still need to be on guard, I – and the people around me – need to remember to be on the lookout for symptoms that I might be on my way down again. I can’t just pretend that all of a sudden, everything is alright.

When you start to feel right again, it’s easy to plough on forwards as if nothing ever happened, oblivious to the events of the past. I can’t do that. I need to be conscious of the bad decisions I’ve made in the past and make efforts not to repeat them.

I still get incredibly anxious about my stomach. Panic rises when I know I’m about to embark on a long journey and I won’t be near “facilities”. These episodes are incredibly disheartening and leave me feeling like I’m back at square one, still going through the motions of the first manifestation of my anxiety.

To combat this, once again, I try to get positive. I’ve come such a long way, I’ve dealt with the big issues and now is no time to feel down about the little things. On the way back down the mountain, you cross the same places that you passed on the way up (apt little analogy given what’s happening this weekend).

I have tools now. I manage my breathing and play games to distract my brain. It doesn’t work every time, but sometimes, sometimes is enough. On the flight back from Malta I felt the anxiety rising, but I caught myself. I identified that what I was feeling wasn’t actually anxiety, it was excitement to see my dog Lyla. It had been so long since I allowed myself to be excited, I had completely forgotten what it felt like. So having stopped, taken a moment and correctly identified my emotions, I decided to embrace them.

Hopefully I will do the same this weekend for my Snowdon Challenge. I’m full of cold, a coughing, sneezing, cold sweats mess, but I don’t care. I’m excited to take on the challenge. I’m making it to the end no matter how ill I feel. I see this charity challenge as the physical manifestation of my journey of the last 12 months. It’s going to be tough and at times I will stumble, but with the help of the people around me, I will keep on walking… I will overcome.

I am raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, please sponsor me here:

Down Days

Self Harm Pt.2


The first time I hurt myself my intention was clear – it was a test run for how easy it would be to slit my wrists. The second time I hurt myself was different. I wasn’t really sure why I was doing it. No ready explanation presented itself. I was sure it wasn’t a coping mechanism, because I certainly didn’t feel any better for doing it. It neither eased my pain or provided relief.

I was told unequivocally by loved one’s, “You are not to do it again”. Sharp objects were removed from the house and I was closely monitored at all times. It didn’t help though, the seal had been broken and I continued unabated.

I took to hurting myself in the shower, one of the few places where I couldn’t be watched if my wife wasn’t around. I used anything that could be grasped and scratched repeatedly on my skin until it cut and bled. I did it when I was only slightly anxious, I did it when I was completely overwhelmed. It became my default mechanism in times of stress.

For a while, nothing stopped me. Not the tears, the upset, the pain, the embarrassment of being seen in public covered in cuts and scabs. And why would it? I didn’t know why I was doing it, so why would I know what it was going to take to stop it?

Of all the things that have happened to me during my illness, self harm is still the most surprising. I never thought it was something I would resort to, naively dismissing it as the domain of teenage girls desperate for attention. But there I was doing it. When I look back now, I’m horrified at myself. Admittedly it was at a time where I was really struggling with my medication – I was all over the place, but still, how on earth did I get so low – so irrational – that I was willing to do it?

Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It’s usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress – NHS website

Eventually, realisation dawned. I was expressing overwhelming emotional distress’Self harm was my way of showing people that I really wasn’t well. I wasn’t coping. Unable to express the feelings verbally, I was instead making a visual display. A display that quite clearly said, I am not alright.

Most people battling illness have physical signs. Quite often you just need to look at someone to know that they are not well, be it a runny nose, clammy skin, stitches or a plaster cast – there’s generally something you can see. I had nothing. To look at me would not reveal the distress I was in, the depths I was plumbing. That is, until I had my scars. My scars were visible, they were my battle wounds. It was pretty hard to ignore them.

Once I had finally worked out why I was hurting myself, the key to stopping it became fairly obvious. If self harm was expression, I needed a better way of expressing myself. I needed to talk. So I did just that. If I felt anxious, I told somebody. If I was upset, I let people know. I started writing about my experiences and chose to raise money for a mental health charity (more on that below). Finally, it was out there. People knew I was ill, so I didn’t have to show them anymore.

I am raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, please sponsor me here:

Self Harm Pt.2

Self Harm Pt.1


Where to start? I honestly do not know. I have written and rewritten this opening paragraph numerous times. I have stepped away from the computer, had a good think, came back, typed, deleted, stepped away again. There is no subtle introduction that springs to mind, no gentle easing in to the subject matter, because the subject matter is visible, in your face, as obvious as the scars on the people that it affects.

Prior to my own experiences, “self harm”  was a behaviour to which I gave little thought. I had dealt with people who self harmed through my job and generally speaking, I just assumed that they must be desperately seeking attention. That is where my line of thought began and ended. So how did I end up becoming one of those “attention-seekers”?

It is only now, with my health in a better place, that I am able to stop and think about it. And I realise it started sooner than I had previously thought. The first time was in Gozo. I was bubbling up to my first full blown explosion and had disappeared off for a walk. I walked some considerable way and found myself in the picturesque bay of Marsalforn. I sat on a bench, staring out to sea, absent-mindedly scratching away at my hand with the broken cap from a tube of insect repellant. After a short time, absent-mindedly graduated to intentionally and I was actively scarring myself. It was a brief experience that I was able to put a stop to. The mark to my hand was minimal, as was the amount of thought I gave to the whole experience. The next time however, could not be ignored.

For just about the only time in the past 12 months, I was drunk. Unlike many people who suffer with depression, I had not turned to alcohol. Since my mid-twenties, getting drunk has been a rare occurrence reserved for stag dos and weddings. On this occasion, I had been out with my sister-in-law and her friends, who were visiting. For the first time in the longest time, I was enjoying myself. I was having a great night, until the short cab ride home when it became abundantly clear that I in actual fact, I wasn’t feeling great at all. As this was the first and only time I had drunk alcohol whilst on medication, I had not considered the effects of mixing the two.

Within 5 minutes of getting home I was providing an offering to the porcelain gods. Unbeknownst to my house guests, I absolutely chucked my guts up. I was in the bathroom so long that everybody else went to bed. Previously I have talked about loneliness and this was the first occasion where I truly felt it. Frankie (my wife) wasn’t home, she was away on a hen do, my sister in law was asleep and I was sat on my own in a bathroom. Despair and a great tiredness washed over me. Suddenly, I had reached my limit with life. So I reached for a razor.

My consideration was suicide and how to go about it. I elected to trial the razor for this purpose. Unsure as how to approach it, I figured I’d start on my forearm just to see how easy it would be to make a deep cut. It turns out it was very easy. And it didn’t hurt. Then very suddenly it hurt like hell. Maybe it was the sight of my own blood, maybe it was sobering up, but something certainly snapped me out of it. I cleaned up my wounds and the bathroom, and went to bed.

To be continued…

I am raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, please sponsor me here:

Self Harm Pt.1