In April 2010, I was on mission in a place called Northwich. During that week, I had two conversations about the pope’s upcoming visit. These conversations were about the church’s inability to deal with paedophile priests. People were concerned about this to the point that they couldn’t go to church. This was the beginning of my journey. It was a hard week and I needed time after this to consider my future.
A few months later I had made the decision to apply for the priesthood, I knew it would be difficult. This however was not to be. In August 2010, I attended a seminar on self esteem, this left me very unsettled and as a result I started counselling.
In September, I finished my course of counselling. This was the moment I disclosed to my counsellor, I remember it like it was just yesterday. I think that it was a real turning point for me, I knew that the my dream to become a priest was over. Over the next few months I struggled to come to terms with the pain and loss of childhood. Depression set in and I had even contemplated suicide. The fact I couldn’t do any mission work really hurt.
2011 January 2011, it all came to a head and I was sent to hospital by my GP for assessment. I was put on anti-deppressants and I had are feral to the local mental health team. This was a disaster as I had to wait for nine months to see a specialist, in that time I was told I wasn’t needed by the community. I understand why now, but at the time I was angry. As I started to look for work I found life hard, dealing with the pain and anger. In September I was given a chance to attend a course by a charity, this helped slightly but I feel that it was too soon as the wounds were still raw. In November I started a new job and I was looking for somewhere to live. A fresh start.
In 2012, things progressed slowly, I had some good days and bad. The depression came and went, but I still didn’t feel right. In March I joined an AmDram group, I noticed that they had just finished a production and I email someone. They suggested I pop down and have a look see.
Their reaction to me was simple, hi can you help dismantle the set. Well that was four years ago. I managed to start to enjoy life once more. In May I helped with my first production. Then in October, two amazing things happened first I became a published poet then I made my stage debut.
After the play had finished I was cast in a major role, this was a challenge and it was a step too far as I had to pull out. Mainly due to the depression and work commitments.
In 2013, the depression worsend and my life seemed to go in to free fall, I struggled to commit myself to the AmDram group and my work suffered. Also, I had struggled to accept my loss of childhood. So back to the mental health system. This was a battle just to get an appointment. On a more positive note I changed department at work, this however that wasn’t till the end of the year. I had my allotted sessions with the counsellor. It felt like it was just a sticking plaster.
2014, had its ups and downs. I was mainly focuses on work and trying to survive. In 2015, I became aware that I still had some major issues. I did have more therapy but again it didn’t work. Maybe I wasn’t ready.
This year I have had more therapy and I seem to be in a better place. I’ve managed to change my way of thinking and look to the positves. A trip back to community to help out made me feel so alive.