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Ant from across the Pond
Aug 13, 2007
Limerick, Ireland
I noticed tonight on Irish tv, there were at least 3 instances of adverts encouraging people to talk more if they have problems that are affecting their daily lives. Always hearing people harping on about their physical health, and how they need to do more running or gym work is all well and good, but something i've been keen to see mentioned more and more is how important it is to look after your mental health - to use the old cliche: a healthy mind leads to a healthy body, and all that.

I suppose its not very 'cool', for want of a more appropriate word, to say to your mates anything with regards the need to look after your mental health, as most may probably laugh and call you cuckoo. Especially in your teens and in your 20's IMO. But i sincerely hope the increase in campaigns on this issue i have been seeing recently over here will continue, as it should hopefully save lives. Not sure about if this campaign is taking place over the pond or not...

Yesterday morning i got a call from a mate, saying a lad from my old school had died. I didnt know him, never spoke to him in fact, just seen him around, but obviously you stop and think 'Christ, he's gone at only 23...'. This evening i found out he had in fact jumped from a cliff in Co. Clare and ended his own life: sending a text to his mother and brother in the moments beforehand. This lad had apparently im told just finished his law degree, and had been working his first week as a solicitor in the city. Successful, and from what i can remember had always been very popular, it is so hard to see why he would go to such lengths. Just imagining him in the moments leading up to what he did gives me such a gut wrenching feeling inside, as that was almost me a few years back.

During my 2nd year of uni - 2 lads in the city pulled a knife on me and threatened to put it in my head. I managed to run off thankfully. Thats where the spiral started, and even though family support was there in abundance, and my family in Boston flew me out for the best week of my life soon after, i bottled every emotion and thought inside from that night in the city with the 2 lads. That following summer i went back to boston to work, and one night i just got so fed up i went for a walk to the water, and those bad thoughts crossed my mind. Life never seemed darker, and im not sure what it was, but i forced myself to turn around, and go back and talk to whoever i could about everything. On arrival home, my aunt, uncle, and friend were up worried, and a few days later i flew back to limerick, and started the healing process. Some days i used to look myself in the mirror for ages, and just try to spur myself to keep going, or keep on trucking as i always say.

Whilst in this frame of mind for so long - talking just seems like a pointless exercise - and its just easier to put on a brave face in front of your friends, and deal with the pain later, alone. But once overcoming the initial anxiety and embarassment, you do realise how important you are to your friends, family, and so forth. Things do eventually pick up. But they can't if you try to deal with it all on your own. Nowadays i live with my beautiful girlfriend, and plan on maybe asking her to marry me by the end of the year. Life is so much better now, and i thank god that i didnt end it all and just talked through it. I have no idea what frame of mind the lad from my old school was in 2 nights ago - but i hate to think of anyone being alone in those circumstances - may he rest in peace.

Im sure the 'hard men' might laugh this off, and please excuse the 'deep' nature of this thread: as most of you know me for posting pictures of scantily clad women and topics on football manager on this board, but i thought this might be a good issue to raise.


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