6 November 2019

Chris, on losing his dad to suicide

"Losing your dad at any age its difficult, but the one thing you want to do is go for a pint with him."
Mental Health | Real Stories | Our Partners
4 MIN READ
 

"Losing your dad at any age its difficult, but the one thing you want to do is go for a pint with him.

"I’d give up everything for that."

"It started when I was about 16. He would tell me he was feeling down and upset.

"I never took note of it. As a 16-year-old it’s not something you’re going to listen to. You don’t even think mental health is a thing.

"I was sat there like ok dad, you feel a bit sad, but only when I was 18 did it sink it."

Chris was at college when he got taken out of his first class of the day and picked up by his mum.

"I had no idea what was going on.

"I got in the car and my mum said, 'look Chris, we've been expecting this for a while, it's about your dad'.

"That's when I knew he hadn't just been sad."

 
"I got in the car and my mum said, 'look Chris, we've been expecting this for a while, it's about your dad'. That's when I knew he hadn't just been sad."
 

"Around four years later it started to hit me.

"Putting on a front sort of helped for a short period of time. But when you've built up a wall, every brick eventually erodes and that was what was happening.

"Seeing that can’t be easy on anyone let alone your dad. I didn't let it touch me, I didn't let anyone know it hurt me.

"I put jokes on it and made jokes about it. You put on that front.

"I became impatient with a lot of things. I’d fly off the handle with those closest around me and I wasn't let people get close to me emotionally."

"Soon I started thinking suicidal thoughts. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I didn't realise what it was doing to me and harming my relationships. "

Chris said that his turning point was when he finally confided in his mum.

"I was in my room I decided to text my mum, who was downstairs, to say I think I’ve got depression.

"I was balling my eyes out and she just really simply put back, ‘it’s ok, I've noticed a difference in you. We’ll have a talk when you’re ready'.

That was when I admitted it to myself."

"Something as simple as talking to my best friend about it was the best thing I could've done,"

"He didn’t comment on things, he just sat there and listened to me. I didn't realise how big that would be for me."

Now working as a personal trainer and coach at The Gym Group, Chris tries to help others by offering them an ear and someone to talk to.

"I don’t know why this is but as a PT clients tend to instil a lot of trust in you - they’ll tell you stuff they won’t tell anyone else. People need that shoulder or pillar to hold them up a bit while they’re almost falling over.

"I always ask people to reach out to me. When I was in that frame of mind having someone there, was the best thing I could have had.

"The hardest thing was knowing who to go to, I didn't want someone to try and fix it, I didn't want a professional to tell me their opinion and now I’m trying to be that someone for others."

 
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Chris, with friend Nick Hammock, says opening up to friends was the best therapy for him