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  • Gary Clarkson

Let's stop hiding our feelings

Let me start by saying, I have suffered with mental health issues in the past.

Without the support of my family and friends I would still be in a terribly dark place.

Without speaking about it and sharing my thoughts and feelings, god only knows where it might have taken me.


It seems to be such a common thing to hear about nowadays - Young men taking their own lives and leaving behind people who didn't even know they were suffering. Thing is it doesn't just affect young men.


I lost a loved and respected friend and colleague earlier this year in heartbreaking circumstances.

It knocked the stuffing out of me and I still think about him and that awful day.


I didn't see it coming. I had no idea how he was feeling despite working alongside him every day. He took his own life and left a massive hole in my and many others peoples lives. He ended his pain, but left others with the pain of not knowing why.


The thing is, on the surface this generous and caring man seemed fine, but inside was obviously struggling.

He didn't say anything. He was staunch. Got on with life and didn't want to be any bother to anyone. If only he knew that talking about how he felt wouldn't be a bother, that people wanted to be kind and to help him in some way. In the way that he was always kind to them.


I have 2 messages:


Blokes

If your feeling like things are getting too much, that you are struggling and don't know why or just feel just a little bit vulnerable. Please do something about it.

It's not weakness to talk about it or ask for help.

If my experience is anything to go by, the people around you want know and be given an opportunity to help you. You are important. You matter !


Friends and Family of Blokes

Pay attention. Look. Listen. But most importantly, Ask

Are you doing OK today? But not in that Kiwi "I don't really want the answer, cos I don't know how to deal with it" kind of way. Really ask.


The thing is you don't really need to have the answers, you just need to listen.

And tell people. Tell his mates. Tell his family. Get it out there.

It's by hiding this stuff away that we fail to deal with it and bad things happen.


Let's all look out for each other and stop hiding our feelings.

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