My forever battle
I want to start this off to say this is not a sympathy message, it is simply to show and help people understand out there that you are not alone and you CAN get through it.
Seeing Craig Owens blog has helped me to write this message to the fellow Britball community.
So here's my story. I've suffered from anxiety and depression for around 14years. Through this time I have lost friends and relationships with family members. My teen years were a hard time simply because it was a time when I felt I could not talk to anybody because I was afraid of how they would react. It wasn't until I met my now wife when I started to be able to slowly open up. She was so understanding I couldn't believe it to the point I thought she was making a fool of me, this is what depression and anxiety can do to you, it makes you believe something is real when it really isn't. It got to the point where I've tried running away on several occasions because I felt like everyone would be better without me.
I started American Football in 2017 and this has helped so much in making me feel like I belong somewhere, although there are times my mind takes over and tells me otherwise. It certainly is something I recommend to people to do. It really is an extended family. And they say exercise is a great tool to help with mental health, and my god do you do some exercise!!
Although I have had/got all of this, there became a time where it all got too much. It even got to a point recently (5 months ago) where I couldn't take it anymore and tried to take my own life. And I know this sounds selfish but I wanted the pain to stop and didn't think about the people I would of left behind. Because again this is what it can do to you, but only if you keep it locked up inside and don't talk. I only have my wife to thank for me still being here as she has always stuck by me no matter what and made me see sense and help me get through all my troubles.
This is just a message to make everyone aware YOU ARE NO ALONE. YOU CAN DO THIS. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK. To prove it, I'm still here.
Peace and love to you all.
By Craig Owen
I have suffered with problems such as depression since my teenage years. I would bottle everything up and not tell anyone what was going on for fear of ridicule, and shame. Harbouring all this pain would then cause me to lash out when it got too much. I would become a completely different person. When this happened, the overwhelming guilt I would feel would then put me in a vicious circle that only fuelled the root cause of my issues. I had lost friends over it, and I still didn’t feel like I could speak out.
Eventually, after a particularly bad period, I decided enough was enough. I still remember my first text to a friend, talking about my mental health. It was such a relief to see how positive and supportive he was. I felt a weight starting to lift. I sought counselling, which to this day is the best decision I’ve ever made. Being able to speak about things to an impartial person let me get right to the root of my issues. It’s helped me to this day. American football also became a big part of my life and works as a great way to keep me “level”. Being able to focus on something away from my problems during hard times makes a huge difference, whilst being on the field during a tough period allows me to shut off for a while, and focus any frustration and aggression in a positive way.
I know that I may never truly rid myself of this battle, but I now know how to deal with things when it arises and feel much more confident telling people when I’m just not ok. I’ve learnt to avoid situations which may aggravate me when I’m not myself and this puts me more at ease looking at the road ahead. Speaking out about your issues is truly important, but equally so is being able to listen to someone in their time of need. If we judge each other less, and help one another more, we can all make someones battle that little bit easier for them to win.