The Dark at the End of The Tunnel
Posted by simatt
29th May 2018

So where shall I start?
Well I’ll go against convention and start at the end and say I am fine. I’m balanced (more or less) I’m healthy, happy….im in a good place I got through it.

Was it hard? Yes very.

Did it take time? Yeah and it still is even though I’m in a good place

Do I know what happened?...... Yes and No

But I tell you what, as a man in my 40’s I found that talking about it no matter how hard it was or long it took was essential. Mental Health in men is a weird subject. But not weird for any other reason than its not talked about. Much like most things in a man’s brain…they very rarely surface, and this is a problem and it was mine… but mine wasn’t for any macho male reason…mine was that I didn’t think my moods or psychology was anything strange was anything worth talking about… who’d understand? who’d care?

Well let me say that there are people out there in places you wouldn’t expect that understand or care. Now I'm not talking about really understanding in a patronising “I know how you feel” kind of way I mean understanding the process of mental health who care, genuinely care about you and not in a click like and feel included Facebook kind of way that seems to be a trend where just be getting likes on posts or tweets you can start to think people care…it’s not real care it’s not real understanding… how can it be? It’s not really you don’t really know half the people who care or claim to care about the things troubling you.

But there are a few out there and you’ll find them. Don’t settle for the people that say they understand or they care, some will don’t get me wrong, but some are doing it for their own self-worth… but anyway im rambling here. Those people that stand in front of you at your darkest times and actually say nothing or very little those people gave me the most hope and focus

My best friend of 30 years dropped everything and turned up without me needing to ask him, met me gave me a hug and didn’t ask me anything other than was I ok. Now considering he lives a busy hard-working life in London, he felt compelled to fly to where I lived and show up and stand in front of me and not judge me. He didn’t push for explanations or information he sat with me and we talked about things that we normal because that’s what I needed normalcy not people frightened to approach me in case it “pushed me over the edge”. He let me talk about things I needed to talk about in my own time and over the course of the afternoon and evening I talked things through. Now I say he didn’t judge me and he didn’t one of a handful and I mean a handful of people that didn’t close family, my parents and 3 or 4 friends who stood next to me and gave me support, love but most importantly non-judgemental honesty. I needed to hear that I mattered I needed to hear that id made mistakes or bad judgments or whatever it was that they said to me. They were there without me asking for them to be they were there whenever I needed them they were there.

Without my best friends I wouldn’t be writing this to offer some hope and advice. I just wouldn’t be and I’ll leave it at that for now. Now yes, I was lucky to have family and friends who cared enough to care for me and I know that there are many people out in the world who are the same but that’s not always a good thing you need the right kind of support not support for supports sake. But there are sadly people who have no one to turn to but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anyone to help you. You just must find the right person or organisation for you. There is help there but you’ve got to want it and know that you can get it. This kind of brings me to the title of this blog
The Dark at the End of the Tunnel. I’m sure most of you are aware of the phrase “There’s light at the end of the tunnel” but this in visual terms suggests you are surrounded by darkness travelling towards the light. A metaphor if you like for emerging from depression or sadness into a better way of life or into the light so to speak. But when someone said this to me a therapist. It angered me, not only because I felt it to be patronising (I changed to a much better therapist after this) but it made me feel as if he agreed that I was indeed surrounded by darkness, dark thoughts, dark feelings, no hope except for a tiny light way off in the distance…

This was I decided, total and utter bollocks

Now before I explain why, I want to first bring up the subject of my depression, not the details but the subject of depression and mental health in my case and I’m bringing it up so I can say I’m not going to discuss it in tis post. For one very good reason. My problems are my problems and unique to me the trigger points the feelings I had the reasons it happened. Now that’s not to say that these things don’t happen to others, sadly they do. I have been very careful when speaking to others about their issues to not use the phrase “I know how you feel” because I don’t, I have no more idea about how they felt than they did about how I felt. Now this is not to say that I couldn’t understand the process and effect of depression the feeling of hopelessness, pain, fear, whatever it was. But how you’re feeling? no I haven’t and never will say it because I don’t

So anyway, back to the title, The Dark at the end of the Tunnel…if you’re sad or down just try this, it worked for me. Rather than looking forward towards the light try looking the other way in your mind. Think I am no longer surrounded by darkness I am surrounded by the light and I’m walking AWAY from the darkness

The Light at the end of the Tunnel = tiny piece of light to aim for surrounded by darkness

The Dark at the end of the Tunnel = tiny piece of darkness you’re leaving behind surrounded by light

Now of course this isn’t instantly going to work you’ll need to put a bit of work in you need to be able to make a note of all the “good” things in your life and you will have some also all the positive things you might want these things are the “light” these are the things surrounding you, supporting you pushing you along pushing you away from the dark, the dark being the place you are in or used to be in or whatever those negative thoughts and feelings are.
Mental health is a difficult subject to talk about and this is in no way a replacement for the brilliant work health organisations and support groups provide

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