This November we are shinning a light on men’s mental health. We caught up with another Bristol Mind charity of the year partner Curry’s . A massive thank you to Grant and his family.
The Truth Behind The Smiles
So, here’s how the happiest time of my life was turned into the darkest.
Me and my wife back in 2019 had a miscarriage, which was a tough pill to swallow, it made us question if we wanted kids at all. We went on with our lives as we did before always with the memory that we lost our baby.
Then came the start of Covid, my wife was to be put on furlough, the builders pulled out on us and left with our £8000. Then I had the craziest news I have ever or will ever get in my life… My Wife was pregnant again with not 1 not 2 but 3 babies.
This hit me for six and I may have gone home that day and had a couple of drinks, then came everything that’s expected when you’re expecting. Getting the house ready, making sure we had a pushchair for 3 babies.
All this time not being able to see our friends & family due to the lock down rules. We felt isolated to the world. I was still working all the way through Covid and this came with its own problems and worries, worried every day I was going to take Covid home to my wife and babies and something dreadful was going to happen….
Anyway, we got passed it all, scans every 2 weeks appointments here and there to make sure the girls were all ok. We even got asked at one point if we wanted to reduce the numbers down to 1 to make it a less risk pregnancy. Then came the BIG day not that we knew it was going to be the big day, 24 hours before the wife went into see the midwife as she was swelling up badly and was extremely uncomfortable. We then were rushed to hospital for examination, this led to the discovery that my wife had pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. They let me stay in over night as we could have gone in at any moment, my wife managed to hold on until the morning and after a night of no sleep, worry and trying to keep her calm the time came for us to be rushed in as soon as the day shift turned up.
Shortly after the girls were born and this is where happiness and sadness combine, the girls were taken from us and put into NICU and split between Bristol & Bath, my wife saw them briefly before they were transported out and then didn’t even get to see 2 of them for 4 days. We struggled on visiting them daily around my shifts at work, for the most of it the girls did great with a few hiccups here and there but luckily nothing to serious. This time was a struggle trying to juggle my life between, work, home, the girls, my wife. But I was the man and I had to be strong, this was my family, so I pushed away all emotion and cracked on with it.
We got through it all as we did with everything we have faced, and the girls came home just before Christmas which was a blessing as family could also visit for a short amount of time. Then once my wife had recovered and people could support a little bit more, that’s when it hit me, it hit me hard.
I was getting angry all the time and I didn’t know why, I had outbursts, I would always be in a bad mood and I guess it’s because all those feelings and emotions I had hid for so long and pushed aside when I had to be ‘The Man’ had come back to bite me. So I broke, I was in work one night and I broke I was a mess I cried I sobbed. I ended up calling my GP and they signed me off. It was a mixture of Work pressuring me, me realizing its not all about work and then home life with 3 new-born babies that looked at me to provide them with everything they need to survive. I wanted to be the top dad and the top husband, but I was failing. I looked at myself as a failure everyday and wanted to end it all, just run away from it all and never look back.
I managed to get in touch with a talking therapist and my world changed, I had forgotten who I was in all of this. I was a robot with no emotion no care no feelings and they helped me realize that I was still there, I was not just dad or the go to guy in work I was Grant.
Grant had needs of his own, that’s when my life changed I got back into things that I hadn’t done for years, I spoke to people about my feelings which I never had before. My eyes opened to a world that I had missed out on.
In all these years I’ve struggled in silence not just this past year. Using the phrases that we have all heard ‘I’m Fine’ & ‘There’s nothing wrong’ but the truth is we all have our own issues, and we all have our own demons. We need to get out of this world and start talking about things more, help your friends & family out if you think their low or somethings wrong follow your gut and ask. Even if it’s met with a ‘I’m Fine’ at least they know you care enough to ask and just this alone may change their mood.
I’m writing this in the hope that it may help someone but in truth it’s helping me clear my mind in the process.
If you need help or advice concerning this article:
Please contact our information service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or calling us 0117 980 0370 and for further information on support, or you can call MindLine on 0808 808 0330.