Talk, talk, talk!

Samuel emphasises the importance of talking about your mental health, especially during difficult times, and how talking has saved his life.

20th February 2024, 8.43am | Written by: Samuel

I recently split from my fiancée and partner of 11 years. This sent me into a massive spiral. I admitted something to people that I had never had the courage to say before – that I needed help. 

I’ve spent all my life being ashamed and embarrassed that I had suffered with crippling anxiety and depression. I would suppress anything that would trigger me in a working week and would hold it in until eventually letting it all spill over on a weekend where I’d also venture out to the pub to drink six or seven pints, followed by wine, etc.

I never once spoke to my partner as I never wanted to be a burden. I didn’t want to add pressure to her life with my struggles and show weakness. I never once told her about my troubles, how badly I was struggling, how I just needed help and to be told it’s okay. Unfortunately, it cost me the relationship and life we had built over eleven years. However, as I take a step back, I can say that the experience has pushed me to realise that it’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to ask for help. 

Since the break-up I have asked for help in the following forms: 

  • Going to the doctor and talking to them about my issues.
  • Started going to therapy — being able to talk through my childhood trauma and current relationship issues has been incredibly insightful.
  • Opening up to my friends and family. 

I now realise that it’s perfectly normal to struggle and to have bad days. It’s such a relief to know that I am not alone and to be able to talk about my pain. Being able to talk about the issues I have struggled with has completely saved my life. I have used Samaritans support lines at times of real desperation. I have told friends, family, and now anyone and everyone who will listen that I am struggling, but that’s okay! It’s okay to struggle; it’s okay not to always be okay. I lived within the stigma that men shouldn’t show weakness by talking about their mental health and challenges, and that men should ‘man up’. The best thing you can do is talk to friends, family or anyone – it will save your life.


You may also like:

Smile and Wave

Naomi talks about the importance of expressing how you really feel when asked, ‘How are you?’ and the many ways you can answer that question.

20th February 2024, 8.47am | Written by: Naomi

Find out more

‘Not too bad’, ‘can’t complain’, ‘I’m okay’, ‘fine thanks, just a bit tired.’

Charlotte tells us why she has decided to be more open about her mental health as she moves away from using phrases that masks how she really feels.

20th February 2024, 8.00am | Written by: Charlotte

Find out more