Mo bro, Conor, sat in a barber chair
Conor's story: they never judge youImage by: Amy O'sullivan
Mo bro, Conor, sat in a barber chair
29 May 2024

Conor's story: They never judge you

Mo Bro
Conor Flynn
4 minutes read time

Movember initially started as a fun thing to do with work colleagues but underneath the fun of it all their mental health messaging really resonated with me as someone who has suffered with two particularly bad periods of mental health in the past.

They dragged me out my room

The first instance when I hit a low point was in 2017. I’d lost my job and broken up with my girlfriend at the time and I just felt I didn’t really have anyone to talk to. My two flat mates noticed a change in my behaviour and one day they literally dragged me out of my room and said you need to see a therapist.

I finally took the leap

I spent weeks pushing back but one day I finally took the leap. I was seeing a therapist for a few years after which, was great. During this process, I learnt how to be more comfortable and open about talking about my depression to my friends and others.

However when the Covid pandemic started in 2020, everything changed. I stopped seeing the therapist because we couldn’t meet in person. I was living by myself, I wasn’t seeing anyone and I was very isolated.

" I think I went two or three months without seeing anyone face to face. I was in a very dark place. "

A plan to end my life

I began to make a plan to end my life. About an hour before I planned to do it, my friends called to the door. They had texted me and called me numerous times but I ignored them so they made the decision to call over to my house. They insisted that I go and see someone and sat up with me all night. I went to the GP the next day and discussed how I was feeling with him. I went on antidepressants for a few years and then later I went down the route of CBT and talk therapy. Thankfully it’s been a few years now. It’s still an ongoing journey but I’ve learnt how to manage my mental health a lot better.

They never judge you

If I was to give anyone struggling with their mental health some advice, it would be to reach out to someone and talk. The biggest barrier that stopped me from talking initially was a fear of judgment but if you can find an impartial person outside of friends or family, such as a GP or therapist, it can be easier to reach out to them first. They just sit there, they listen, they may join things up for you, but they never judge you.

It just takes one man

You could also start a culture of open communication with your friends. Women are much better at communicating. I think men have this illusion of a lack of psychological safety in speaking out. It just takes one man to make the first step in talking about their feelings or emotions with their friends and the rest of the friends group becomes more open because of it. There’s a ripple effect with it. I think the lads who bottle stuff up, they keep it inside and lash out at others. It isn’t productive for them or for the people around them. It’s important to remember your actions do affect those around you.

Say you're not doing ok

When you don’t feel ok and somebody asks you how you are, try to be honest and say you’re not doing ok. Be open with your struggles. When I was at my lowest, my friends could pick up on my behaviour; not what I was saying to them but what I wasn’t saying to them. I think being open about my mental health from the start of things, ultimately helped my friends to notice the time that I was really spiralling. I feel very lucky and grateful that I had them there to help me that night and I think everybody deserves that level of support.

You're not alone

At the end of the day knowing that whether it’s friends, family or a therapist and that there is someone I can talk to and share the burden with is very comforting. Despite what you think, people are inherently selfless and they just want the best for you. You’re not alone and there’s always someone to talk to, so do reach out if you’re struggling.