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Me And My Mental Health

Scally Mag Team

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One reader gives a personal account of his issues surrounding mental health…


It is said we are shaped by our environment, genetics, and experiences. I’m 37 and I feel broken.

It’s taken a long time to act, to accept, to consider forgiving and work through my past. 

I started counselling both for myself and for my growing family. 

Where I come from, men don’t talk about their feelings. You push it down and swallow it. But it grows and festers. It can eat you alive.

It’s a new feeling. Don’t feel bad for me. I think this could be the first step in a line of steps to help me deal with myself.

A mate once told me on the birth of my first child, “They are impossibly pure children. Free of politics or prejudice.”

I think of that a lot.

I think of what I went through as a kid and try my best to spare my son of that which I suffered. 

It’s normal though, right? Divorce. Then another divorce. Playing the counsellor as an 8-year-old to a mother that doesn’t know any better. 

Sound familiar? 

Fighting your stepfather as a child. Good days would be swallowed by the dread of what was around the corner. No sleep. The things that ignite stress induced ailments. Being a ginger, standard respiratory and skin conditions come hand in hand, I guess.

These things we go through and the self-loathing that follows.

I know so many people who have similar backgrounds but do not know the finer details. People don’t talk. They don’t share. They don’t heal. But every now and then it spills out after a beer or a line. 

It’s like a glass of water under a tap that won’t turn off. I felt like I needed a new glass. A reset. How many people have felt like that? 

Before I got help, I never understood there were reasons why I had these re-occurring problems in my life. 

Why was I sat waiting for my family to fall apart? Why did I almost seem to try to make it happen myself? Why do I feel the need to please people and can’t say no. 

A burning anger and a need to prove myself. 

As these words flow through my mind, I am at least more at peace with myself. 

More than I was yesterday, but less than I will be tomorrow.

Being able to talk through your past and present with a trained professional- without judgement- to tell them the things you refuse to tell even yourself is so liberating. The methods and knowledge they hold are the conduits to your healing. 

It’s difficult. I decided to write this piece a while ago. My positivity ebbs and flows. 

Still don’t know if I’ll submit it. 

I think I’m worried that what I went through wasn’t gritty enough. That maybe I’m cry arsing about nothing. But I know now that that’s not true. I needed help.

Poor mental health is around all of us. It often goes unaddressed whilst free help is accessible nationwide. A quick internet search will throw up services local to you. 

There’s so much more that I could say. But this is just the start of it for me. I’m still learning.

Get help. Talk. Support.

I can’t remember feeling this free. 

I’ll finish by quoting one of my favourite movies, Good Will Hunting.

“It’s not your fault Will”.