“What’s written is thoughts accompanied by feelings carried by emotions. Let it be said there’s no blame. These life events whisper my truths. A path in the right direction can lead to many journeys. Ours together can only flourish.”

Mark Robbins

Tell us about yourself and your experience with Mental Health.

My name is Mark. I’m a 49-year-old family man. I have worked in the Health care sector for 20 years, thirteen of them in Mental Health. Outside of my full-time job I work one day a week for a local charity supporting the community.

In my spare time I’m passionate about spreading awareness associated with Men & Women’s Mental Health encouraging all to reach out and talk. I enjoy writing articles, blogs linked to Mental Health.

I came from a working class family. Growing up I had generally a feeling of emptiness. This was the catalyst to suffering depression, sleep deprivation which triggered low moods and uncertainties around my childhood. I didn’t access any professional help for around nine months thinking it would all just go away, however this was the decline in my Mental Well-being.

To combat this I reached out to my GP who referred me for therapy with a course of antidepressants. I accessed many therapies from here on in changing medications to adapt to the ongoing depression throughout several years. Historically I had tried to take my life and I felt my mindset was full of suicidal tendencies.

How did you deal with these challenges?

Eventually I was referred to a local Mental Health team and set out with new treatment plans, coping strategies with repetitive reviews which remains to the current day. I also was assessed for Autism due to many traits that contributed to my depression.

In my job role this has given me a sense of focus to channel my passion supporting people to enhance their quality of life due to my historical traumas, experiences. My manager, my team have been very supportive which has really helped me to feel no shame. Depression had been in my life since my breakdown in 2015, however I hid my true self, my feelings for around 40 years hiding behind a façade.

What advice would you give to others?

We often can feel despondent about our personal journeys, what we do and don’t do, how we feel and don’t feel. Sometimes things can seem impossible, that change simply may not happen or be possible.

Allow yourself time to make small changes over time however long, remind yourself that you do matter and that there’s always that someone you can talk with. Change can only flourish if you let it, let’s try to. Just by implementing a small change in your daily & weekly routine can support your needs, meet goals enhancing your quality of life.

There’s only you that can turn that corner, give it a chance to turn into something more than the position you currently find yourself in. The saying goes “if at first you don’t succeed try try again”.

Today my depression is still evident at times but with coping strategies, another form of mood stabilizer, I am more settled within myself about the future, I have great support from my partner who is with me every step of the Autism assessment procedure. I still work and support my family and I continue to keep talking about my emotions with continuous support from community Mental Health team.

I continue to push forwards with my recovery, to change my mindset and to have hope alongside positivity.

When we shed those tears the heart bares it's true vigorous emotion.
From deep within the sole kindness and generosity stirs a notion.
So let the tears spread and fall cascading down one's feeble face.
Look straight ahead towards that light and walk tenderly with grace.
Be there for others be gentle with yourself, allow the scars to heal.
Don't fall behind the façade that smile which can place you down to kneel.
Nevertheless determination will endure, fear not your insightful weakness.
Be bold enough with strength to draw up the courage from deepness.
So let's embrace the sun it's blessing as we reap it's beauty to see.
When finally we reach the mountain top our mind can finally feel free.
They say actions speak louder than words. That knowledge is power.

For myself my knowledge transferred into words is then written to interpret feelings, emotions, experiences with personal journeys cast amongst an accumulation of expressions. Time moves on, our daily chapter becomes history, age gets older but the heart reminisces of yesteryear.

Whatever you want or need or wish don’t let anything prevent you from reaching out wanting to explore life adventures, dreams you feel are unreachable because they are there to be taken. I’m coming of the age of nearly a milestone of 50 years, half a century. Grasp every opportunity that’s available, don’t let your personal issues ground you, Mental Health is with me, I cope with it in my own way, on my terms not bound by its intended annellation to take me down with its ships anchor.

You see in my life a battle isn’t won its managed with my family, my partner and my friends who show the simplest of humanity, kindness, understanding and patience.

I can’t change your life’s journey, only you can.

Remember to keep talking.

To read our blog post on 7 way to manager your mental health click here

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