Before getting involved in JourneyMEN, I worked in Transport Logistics for the past 25 years. During my career I worked with some of the biggest companies as a transport manager. These companies included DHL, ASDA and my final job was head of Logistics for BP Oil, where I spent my time from 2014 to 2018 leading the operation out of the refinery in Stanlow.
In June 2018, having taken six months off work, I sadly lost my job due to developing severe depression and turning to alcohol. My marriage of 10 years also came to an end. With two daughters I decided to leave the family home for the sake of them.
Although I was seeing my daughters regularly, taking them back to their mother’s home was making me feel worse, as I missed them so much.
Reaching crisis point, I found myself stood on a bridge waiting for the tide to come in so I could jump in and end my life. Fortunately, a stranger - a little old lady walked past with a white scotty dog and talked to me for an hour asking about my daughters.
This gave me the strength to climb off the bridge. She took me home and phoned my family. My family immediately took over, I saw the right people and got back on track.
In the August I met my new partner, she changed my life, and I moved over to the Wirral with her. It was the beginning of a new chapter. My positivity had returned until on the 29th December 2018 I fell down the stairs at home, resulting in suffering a serious brain injury including three fractures and three bleeds on the brain. This resulted in myself being in Walton Neuro Hospital for 10 weeks.
Whilst in hospital, I suffered a subdural haemorrhage on the left side of my brain and needed emergency surgery. I lost the power of speech, walking and didn’t recognise my own two daughters. Later referred to a residential brain injury rehabilitation centre in Liverpool for a further 12 weeks, I begin slowly regaining my memory.
Mental health became an issue, but I thought to myself... No not again! I went out and found help through various charities.
Wanting to give back into sociality the help that the NHS and rehab teams gave me, I spoke to who was then my counsellor, Gill. She listened to my experiences and asked if I could make a meeting the following day.
This is how I was born into JourneyMEN.
I listened intently to Phil and his team and I thought I needed to get involved in this, since the support it can offer is crucial. I volunteered my services and have never looked back as JourneyMEN’s operations manager.
Now helping men and their families, I can share with them my own personal experiences of struggling and overcoming the challengers which can come with mental health, in order to support their own journey to recovery.
My Journey over the 2 years have been hard. My next journey with JourneyMEN will be a honour.