Telling Mum, telling the world.

I had a day off writing yesterday, but when I got into bed last night, I realised it had been by accident, and I felt a twinge of guilt, and that led to a little punch of sadness and feeling I’d let people down. Thankfully after a few minutes something rational kicked in and a little voice inside me said “get over yourself, bellend, nobody’s going to get their knickers in a twist because you’ve missed a day on your blog”. I did think about it again this morning, and I realised I do have a responsibility to this blog, to keep chronicling this journey that I’m on, if for nobody else, then for myself. This process of writing things down, honestly, opening up the whole can of worms, is helping me to find some answers to questions I didn’t know I was going to ask.

A phone call from my dad brought me to reality with a smack to the face, he was calling to ask how I was, and as I hadn’t spoken to him since going to the doctor, I figured it was just a general enquiry, but I thought it was about time I came clean, and I explained to him what has happened, where I am with everything, and asked him not to tell my mum, as not wanting to worry her was one of the primary reasons for my burying my head in the sand. a couple of hours later, my phone rings again, mum….. ah shit. So, I bite the bullet, and I tell my mum, who’s been in poor health for a while, about the whole thing, I reckon it’s like tearing off a plaster, if I tell her all at once, she’ll get upset but get over it. She does what she’s been doing for the last 48 years, and surprises me, far from being distraught and freaking out, she’s incredibly calm and supportive, she’s been there, when we were small, she had her own battle with depression, which lasted on and off for fourteen years, during which time, she lost both parents, and brought up three children alongside my dad, who has always been, and remains, a steady rock and tower of strength for her, and for us all. She tells me to look after myself, to keep in contact and let her know how I’m getting on, I promise to go and visit this week. I can’t lie, I had a little moment of happy tears after that phone call.

Later I’m called by a reporter from the Sheffield Star, he’d approached me last week having seen the blog, and asked if I’d be willing to talk to him for the paper, of course I was happy to, and we chatted for a good twenty minutes or so. The article is on the Sheffield Star website, and should be in print this week. It’s another way of getting this blog, and this issue, out there to a wider audience who may not be on social media or online. I hope that the conversation spreads, and that I can continue to spread the message of talking things through.

http://www.thestar.co.uk/our-towns-and-cities/sheffield/don-t-suffer-in-silence-says-much-loved-sheffield-singer-as-he-opens-up-about-battle-with-depression-1-8855147

 

3 Comments

  1. Hi Shaun

    You may (or may not) remember me, I bumped into you after the Iron Maiden gig in Sheffield, visiting my hometown from Canada.
    I mentioned at the time how EPB’s music has been with me since I moved three years ago and it’s helped me through some pretty tough times, whether it be due to homesickness or because life did what life does and didn’t quite go to plan.
    You and the band have given me a lot so I felt I needed to check in and give something back to you.

    I’ve been in an equivalent position where, over a course of however long, things just seem to get dark and we end up in a funk. We can try and ignore it and shake it off but it stays and eventually gets to be too much.
    I’ve been in that situation where something goes wrong at work because of the state we’re in. I actually lost my job on the back of it but it worked out in the end, evidently I needed a break anyway!
    I ended not having a job, friends to speak of, nor any real purpose. I worked on that with cognitive behavioural therapy (the mental health services in Sheffield were great in my opinion) and got to the stage where I could rebuild some of that.
    But it never really left. I later found a job I was happy with, good friends, and a partner, but those feelings remaining to a degree. It might seem like a cliché, as you put it, but I know it’s equally as possible to be in a bad place even though life is good, just as it’s possible to be there because it’s not so good. So don’t worry about it, shit happens. We don’t need to justify how we feel or the reasons behind it, and those who care and matter will only want to help.

    I’ll keep an eye on your blog and I wish you well on this journey. It’s obvious you’re a good bloke with a sound moral compass and a strong work ethic. It’s equally obvious that you enjoy making others smile and feel good. You’ve done plenty of that for many people. Most certainly deserve to spend some time now focusing on yourself. Go steady, be patient, keep writing. You’ll soon get there mate.

    Cheers
    Paul

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  2. Thanks for this post. It’s a reminder to me to check in with my mum, whose the depression sufferer at the minute.
    She hides it well but after losing my dad nearly 5 years ago after 48 years of marriage and then a close friend this year she’s struggling again.
    As kids we sometimes forget that parents have a their own battles and your post has prompted me to pop in and see her.
    Thanks

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  3. Hi Shaun,

    Well done on your blog and hope it helps you and other folk in the same boat.

    You wrote about telling your Mum on the 13th November and how she didn’t stop amazing you with her understanding, wisdom and compassion. Mums (and Dads) really are amazing and their support can not be estimated.

    I lost my Mum last year on 13th November (same date as this blog). It really rang true your words about your Mum, with me. Thank you.

    By the way, you were the funeral director to my Mums funeral and led the funeral procession, and I will never forget your kind and compassionate understanding.

    Like

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