• Kimberley

#TAiT - Lewis' story about his mental health.


Background:

I’m 24 from Liverpool

I’m a Fraud Expert for a Bank

My two cats are such important parts of my life.

Summary of mental health experiences:

My mental health has fluctuated for an extremely long time. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for roughly 12 years - potentially longer. I started at a very young age to think something wasn’t right and often put my head in the sand if you will. Getting to 18 and dealing with ups and downs for 6 years I decided it was time and to reach out to my GP. I started on a course of anti-anxiety/ anti-depressants they did not work so I went back and my dosage went up. This repeated for about a year and a half. In the end I got sick of it and stopped taking them (idiotic idea would not recommend).

From a young age my dad always pushed to get the best out of me and thank him for it immensely, it made me mature quicker and become a man. At 19 I was in a serious relationship with a woman a few years older than me. We moved quite quickly, moved in together things like that. At 21 she found out she was pregnant. I was not ready for a child but she was so I did my best to accommodate that. Unfortunately she miscarried and because of the desperation of wanting a child I agreed to keep trying. Again she miscarried time and time again which put us both through a lot of pain. She suffered with depression and I did my upmost best to support her however I was also battling with the same depression in my head and working 70-90 hour weeks. She then got pregnant again and this time we managed to get an early scan and we could see the baby’s heartbeat. We hadn’t been able to see this before. Two weeks later we went for another scan to monitor her because of all the previous miscarriages - there was no heartbeat. This put us through so much.


On Christmas Day roughly 4/5 months later I found she had a secret social media page where she was flirting and speaking to other people. I left on that day and went home, over the weeks I was messed around, played with and just used because I worked and she didn’t. This put me into such a state I near enough lost my job because I couldn’t deal with the hurt. I wasn’t turning in on time or going into work. I was caught by my mum about to commit suicide. I went back to the doctors got myself more medication and a mental evaluation. A few years passed and I had stopped my medication again as things were on the up rise; I had a new career and I was at the top of the world. I had a few partners within that time but met someone who had everything all the drive career focused and driven. We started dating and everything was going well until out of nowhere I went into a really dark place, don’t know why or how but it crippled me. This person tried their upmost best to support me but I was short, snappy and just not a nice person to be around. After a year she could no longer handle it and left me for her own mental health. I understood why and I have nothing bad to say about that person because they supported me the best they could I just couldn’t help myself and I put her through hell.


I started drinking every night taking painkillers to knock me out of a night; I was going to work on an hour or two of sleep and with a hangover. I attempted to take my own life again - I couldn’t handle the pain or anything else I seen no way out of this dark place. My line manager pulled me aside and said we needed to talk. I told her everything about what has been happening with me and where I was and I have to say she did everything possible to support me. She got me the right help and got me to speak with a counsellor amongst other things. In my team at work I was the person who made the jokes and was the class clown. I had told her I felt alone and thought I was weak to come out with what I was feeling. After putting myself in hospital as I didn’t feel like I could be on my own and was scared of myself I spoke with the crisis team. I was referred to James’ Place a male suicide prevention team. Claire my counsellor made me understand myself and how to self soothe and what my triggers are.


I decided I wanted to come off my medication and did again, since coming off it I managed to get clarity - it felt like the medication just made everything cloudy and I never got to deal anything. Now I would not recommend it to go cold turkey on any medication but for me it worked. I stopped drinking, started to meditate and read about Buddhist teachings. Started watching a lot of motivation and inspirational videos and they helped me so much. I’m in such a great place and my wellbeing and mental health is probably at the best it’s ever been. I think the main thing I would say to anyone would be if you have a back step with your mental health don’t think it’s all over and your back to square one we all have set backs it’s about what you can do to take two steps forward. Don’t set yourself goals that are unreachable or unrealistic because it will deter you from succeeding.



Protective factors:

  • Music will always bring me on a high especially reggaeton music, Latin music - the beat and everything always puts me in a good mood.

  • Getting myself to the gym and getting the endorphins going puts me on a high specially going with a friend that will push you that little bit to give it your best.

  • Meditation is something so key to me. It allows me to focus on myself block everything out around me and give me inner peace.

Risk factors:

  • Relationships, I used to commit everything into it and end up being hurt. So my walls were always massively high. However I think there is still the misconception all guys are the same.

  • Loneliness, I often feel the need to be with somebody or at least have someone to talk too. I seem to want companionship all the time.

  • I hate to not be in control of a situation or not know what the ending is going to be, I hate not knowing what the resolution is.




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