Friday, June 16, 2017

Annus Horribilis - Joshua

Joshua has been struggling this year, it's not a secret. That's probably a good thing, that he can share his emotions with family and friends right? How can you support someone if they are hiding it?

I have learned so much about mental health this past year, especially in relation to anxiety and depression. For me it's been about gaining knowledge, for Jeff it has been eye-opening. I think people fall into 2 categories, either you know someone who suffers, have been there yourself, or have a basic understanding of the human brain. Or you honestly don't get it, especially if you've been through crap but come out the other side without depression, the 'pull yourself together, stop making a fuss' brigade.

Jeff has changed his understanding of the brain and chemicals, and that depression and anxiety is a genuine thing, not someone moping. Back in January when Ben was off on a short break Jeff didn't hesitate to get on a plane to go keep him company as we were all worried about how he was going to cope on his own. Sends him positive messages. The transformation is amazing and must surely help Joshua knowing that his dad gets it. But really, it was a given, how could he not go, we would never have forgiven ourselves if something had happened.

Then his operation - second in 9 months on the same injury. Josh has always just wanted to be a footballer. Always. And he has the talent. Hence the reason he's in America on a soccer scholarship. But he's not sure if this operation has fixed him and then what does he do? No football, no scholarship, no chance in hell we can afford his last 2 years in a uni without a scholarship.

And personal stuff. Not going there as that is private. But obviously also impacts on his emotions.

To a lot of people they may look at that and think 'and?' but to someone with a mental health illness it is huge. He doesn't want it to be. He doesn't want to feel sad all the time. Hell, I don't want him to feel sad all the time, his bad days have reduced Jeff and me to tears. The thought that one day may be the one day too much for him worries me almost daily. But he's an adult, all we can do is be there for him, no matter what time day or night.


  1. Be there and cover him in prayer. Depression can hit anyone. It can be relatively brief and it can be a lifelong struggle. It can be one blow you just weren't equipped to cope with, or a series that became too heavy a load. It can be brought on by situations or it can be purely chemical. Bottom line is we all need support, encouragement and love no matter if we are in depression or not, but it is then we need it most. I went through a season of it when we lost my MIL, Hazel. I had lost my mom at 22, but had grieved and coped. When I married Pete, Hazel like a mother to me. When we lost her 13 years ago, it hit me a double blow. I finally pulled out of it, no clawed my way outs of it as Pete started having health problems and having a hard time working a year later. I did so because I knew my family needed me in order to make it. Not everyone can do that. Everyone does need to feel needed, but it can be a tight rope balance letting them feel needed without overwhelming them.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

    1. Bless you Barbara, we never know what other people are dealing with. That is so good you managed to get out of it - I get the term clawed. We have a huge campaign over here this year on mental health and I think that's a good thing. Making people realise depression isn't a choice but a millstone xx

  2. Poor guy. I totally get it. That's a shame about his injury and inability to return to SLT to finish out his scholarship though. He might benefit from seeing a counselor and maybe going on antidepressants. It's helped me a lot.

    1. He is going back Jojo, but unless he gets some football in he won't get a scholarship for years 3 and 4, and with the best will in the world we couldn't afford full fees. Hoping like mad that it's just a slow heal, rather than not healing at all xx


Love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts below. Suzanne xx