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Seeing some light at the end of the tunnel



This is about mental health, it's something that many of us find hard to talk about, especially us men. Not talking about it only tends to make things worse and for those of us experiencing difficulties it slows and can prevent recovery. This is just a small part of my experience, yes it's the better part I don't want to depress or bring anyone down with the bad parts.

Today I'm feeling good about myself and that is a feeling that I'm experiencing more often lately, the days of feeling anxious and useless are getting less all of the time, it's been a while since I've felt this good about myself. Following a number of bad experiences in a short space of time my mental health went on a sharp downward spiral and sank to depths that I'd never experienced before, I even attempted to take my own life, I couldn't see anyway out. With the help of a very good therapist who didn't give up on me and the support of my family things are looking up. Yes there have been some setbacks on the way, some resulting in spending time in hospital, hopefully there will be no more setbacks but if there are I will deal with them.

I had to give up my job and my voluntary work, this made me feel so bad I felt useless and worthless. After a long break and receiving the help and support that I needed things slowly started to turn around. I didn't feel capable of returning to work and I was not mentally ready for fit to return to the voluntary work that enjoyed. A few months ago I started to help with the admin work that the volunteers found held them back, no it isn't what I was used to and it isn't working face to face with people like I was used to, but re-established that connection and helped me feel better about myself. My fellow volunteers have been, and are, very supportive, as they say I have fried up more of their time to do valuable work with our clients. I don't know if I will work face to face with our clients again, I'd like to, but I know that what I am doing is valuable in itself which makes me feel good about myself. More recently I've been in touch with a friend who I met before my father passed away, he's a great guy and has also become supportive. We talked about his business which, like many, has been held back during the pandemic, his shop opened about six months before lockdown. He buys and sells a range of pre-owned items and is good at what he does and is just about breaking even or making a small profit. His business has been picking up in regard to computers, laptops, mobile phones, cameras, gaming consoles and allied items and that is where his knowledge is best, but jewellery and watches are his weak point and he has suffered a couple of large losses as a result. My father was a pawnbroker, he taught me and I enjoyed it, so now I'm putting that experience to use helping my friend. I'm not working full time and not working in a customer facing role, I've started to work as a self employed advisor and consultant. Once or twice a week I go to assess what jewellery has been purchased to value and prepare it for resale, while doing this I am trying to pass on my knowledge to my friend and his small staff team, if anyone wants to sell a high-end watch an appointment is made for them to bring it in when I am there to assess it. There are already some small signs that it is making a positive difference to his business, hopefully this will continue and gain pace.

Between this and still being involved with my fellow volunteers I am increasingly feeling better about myself and experiencing more and more better days. So to re-iterate something I said earlier;- Today I'm feeling good about myself and that is a feeling that I'm experiencing more often lately.

I've written this for my own benefit, seeing it in print makes it more real and I believe that the way I'm feeling will last, that's what I'm working on. I want others who are feeling bad about themselves or experiencing mental health problems to know that there can be better days and a light at the end of the tunnel, if I can do it so can others. With determination and being positive, with the right help and support anything is possible.

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Thank you for sharing and being open about this! You are definitely not alone: I also suffer from mental health issues. Even though, mental health discussions are not always uplifting, in my opinion, they are important to have nonetheless—not only for those who are affected by it but also those, who work with them or are friends or family, to have a better understanding of what we go through.

I'm very glad to hear, that you are getting better and didn't go through with committing suicide. Even though, I don't know you very well, I value your comments and posts as well as our discussions here on GA, and it would have been a loss to not having any more of them.

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Thank you @Zuri your comments mean a lot to me. I intend to stick around for a long time, the only people who really know me are my family and friends who are not on GA, I guess you could say my therapist really knows me too lol.

For a long time I got too lost in my own troubles and that was the start of the downward spiral, thankfully I have a lot of good support which is something that many others do not have. My fellow volunteers who have supported me throughout have helped me to realise that my life does have meaning and I do have a purpose in life. Our clients maybe homeless but they are as important and valuable as we all are, they are people that are experiencing lows in their lives and need our support. Each one that we can help and support to find a home and work or training and returning to mainstream society is a victory and is celebrated. I play only a small part in doing that, others do much more, it's what we do together that makes the difference. They also help give me the determination to get better, because I know I am needed.

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