At the end of a week where the world of football (and beyond) has been paying tribute to the life of Gary Speed, I would like to share a personal moment from these past seven days.
Recently, I’ve suffered from several bouts of unexplained sadness... the feelings are difficult to describe, but I would liken it to my head being squeezed until only negative emotions are left. A trip to the doctor resulted in an increased dose of anti-depressants in the hope (expectation even) that my mood would stabilise. In fact, the opposite happened... the good days were brilliant, but when the low came... it was horrible.
On Wednesday night, I found myself alone in a Birmingham hotel room (for a work course), sobbing uncontrollably down the phone to Elaine at 3am and wanting nothing but to catch the next train home from New Street to be with her... yet I couldn’t explain why the tears wouldn’t stop, let alone why they had started in the first place. The descent was fast enough to be frightening in hindsight... and once the feeling has passed, the worst thing is the knowledge of the upset you have caused.
I am lucky that emotional shoulders are there for me to lean on and I also accept that at the moment, I also need medical support to get better... believe me taking anti-depressants is not something I’m proud of, but I’m not ashamed either. My acceptance is the first and biggest step on the road to recovery and recover is what I intend to do... even though I realise there will be difficult days along the way...
A return trip to the doctor’s surgery last Friday resulted in a chat with a different GP; one who was prepared to take the time to listen and not judge... and one who wasn’t willing to simply type out a prescription and shout “next”. However I was slightly embarrassed to be offered time off work (which I declined); I might not be proud that I take medication, but I am proud of the job that I have and the work that I do.
The outcome? Well the recently-prescribed double dose of tablets has almost certainly been responsible for the emotional extremes; no wonder I felt so inconsolable on Wednesday... that is a relief in itself, but doesn’t fully remove the feelings of guilt that others were affected by the state I was in... The dosage has been halved and, coupled with some helpful lifestyle advice; I see no reason why I shouldn’t emerge from this difficult period very soon and get back to being my normal grumpy miserable self!
I have absolutely no idea what demons drove Gary Speed to take his own life. Was it a coward’s way out? Some will say so, but I don’t agree. I have a small understanding of the power of the mind... the dark thoughts that many never get, others are able to shrug off, but a few find almost impossible to ignore. Gary Speed’s circumstances are none of my business, but I salute him as a proud and brave man in life... and in death... and I sincerely hope that his family and closest friends find a way of dealing with the unimaginable sadness of the whole situation.
So I dedicate this blog to those whose love and support mean so much and also to the memory of the late Gary Speed.
All my own work... almost.