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Should Gary Speed have sought some help?

Posted 29th November 2011 at 17:44 by Matt_1983

Out of all the tears shed and wept words said since the death of Gary Speed, a common theme has been the question of why he didnt seek help. Why when he reached such low depths of despair did he not call upon one or more of his seemingly vast pool of loving friends to talk to them and at least try and get some help. I can understand why people wish he'd spoken up and not held his demons inside, but i wonder would it really have saved his life if he had cried for help. If Gary had told his wife or a friend about his depression a number of months or years ago, there's a chance it would have made his life worse. Once they knew it would then be so much harder for Gary to pretend everything was ok, to put on a smiling front and struggle through. And realistically what help can others really give somebody suffering such dark depression. Its not as if once you tell others about your problems they suddenly disappear. In fact you could argue it serves only to burden others with a very personal battle that can arguably can only be won by the individual suffering. Would Gary have given up a lot sooner had he opened up to the world and let out his big secret?

Over the last couple of days I've been feeling down. Months of ever worsening anxiety and loneliness are starting to really get me down, and I've been considering how much longer I can carry on the fight. I don't mean that I'd ever kill myself, but I wonder how long I can go through the daily torture of work and the seemingly endless cycle of boredom my life has become. I could easily quit my job and go and stay with my parents for a while. I could go home and break down in my mums arms as I did 10 years ago when I dropped out of uni. I could tell her I'm not much better now and that often I'm miserable and I can't see things getting better. I could tell her how hard work is, inexplicably harder now than at any point since I I started 4 years ago.

But what good would it do? What would my life be then? So I'd sit at home and have my family worry about me and ask how they can help. I'd watch them feel hurt and upset that life was still so hard for me. See how helpless they feel when they don't know the answers, don't know how to make me right. My dad could phone our GP again, as 10 years ago, and organise an apointment where I'd be casually put on some anti depressant I know will not save me I know will not work.

No, that's not the way to go. I need to continue to wake each day and just live. Go to work and get paid and eat well and hit the gym and get fresh air and read a book and go for walks along the river with headphones in and Springsteen blaring and walk till I feel happy. I need to put on the brave voice when mum calls and tell her how good things are and make her feel good and not disappointed in how I've turned out.

I get hope from the fact that I've been better than this before and I can surely get that again. I've had an amazing loving relationship with a beautiful intelligent girl where for a while my issues didn't matter and all I was she loved. I can get that again I know I can. And I've been in my job for over 4 years straight now, which is such an achievement for a guy who used to struggle to last 2 months in any of the few jobs I had in my early twenties.

Life is meant to be hard isn't it? Doesn't everyone feel like me? Is it wrong to even write this blog as if I'm alone or unique and deserving of sympathy? But better these thoughts hit this page than the ears of those I love.
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  1. Old Comment
    indiegirl1980's Avatar
    Some of the comments on the Yahoo news thread about this were disgusting, how suicide is the coward's way out, but also some seemed to think that seeking help is weak as well!
    This is the kind of attitude we're up against.
    Posted 29th November 2011 at 19:29 by indiegirl1980 indiegirl1980 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Quote:
    But what good would it do? What would my life be then? So I'd sit at home and have my family worry about me and ask how they can help. I'd watch them feel hurt and upset that life was still so hard for me. See how helpless they feel when they don't know the answers, don't know how to make me right. My dad could phone our GP again, as 10 years ago, and organise an apointment where I'd be casually put on some anti depressant I know will not save me I know will not work.
    I agree that it might seem that would happen. Especially if that's what happened before. But what happened before is not automatically what will happen next.

    Before I defeated my depression in 2009, I did the whole "let's be the lonely hero and fight this thing by myself" thing. I didn't want to be a burden to my loved ones. My relationships with my family members are fine but there are loads of fractured and damaged relationships with others outside my family including former girlfriends. Whatever the rights or wrongs of what happened in my life or who did what to who, I ended up as a hurt storm and pushed people away from me. I am only now realising how much of an outrage that was.

    In the end, yes, I defeated my depression. I won the fight. Didn't think I would but I did. In truth, it was never as clear cut as that. In order to banish the power of that depression, I had to be restored. I had to realise who I actually was and that I wasn't the stories I often told myself about myself. It was incredibly painful to do but I let the love of others in. That was enough to restore me and the real me was more than a match for the depression.

    Did I just discover the whole "letting the love in" thing on my own. No, I didn't. I had to swallow my pride and accept help from someone else. Someone else taught me how to do it.

    As hard as it can be sometimes and as much as we do not want to be a burden to those we love, it's best to open up and ask for help. Sometimes they can help and sometimes they can't. But they would rather that than be kept in the dark and only hear about this when something awful happens.

    I agree it sounds like a Disney movie to say it but love has a power to it that should never be underestimated.

    We like to think we don't have to tell the people we love that we love them. And sometimes that is true. But a lot of the time it doesn't hurt to make it clear through action.

    When I broke my elbow, I ended up face down on a road and I suddenly realised I could not get up by myself. Had a car come along at that point, I would have been in serious trouble. But a passer by, a complete stranger, came up and helped me get up. Sometimes we need to be vulnerable to heal and sometimes we need to let other people help us.
    Posted 30th November 2011 at 13:14 by joinmartin joinmartin is offline
 

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