When I Found My Fierce …

Gary from Daddy Dilemmas 

 

I stumbled upon Gary on Instagram (You can follow him here @daddy_Dilemmas) and instantly knew he was a gem.  His honesty around his own experiences of depression has had me in tears and his determination to help others is awe inspiring. He’s a modern day super hero in our eyes and definitely a fierce father. We feel honoured that he agreed to share his story of finding his fierce here. 

 

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The amazing Rachel @owlandtheteapot asked me to do a blog about “When I found my fierce” When I started to think about this I thought why me ? I am far from fierce but that thought quickly disappeared when I looked up the meaning -furiously eager or intense. This has described my year and recovery to a tee. For those of you that don’t follow me or know my story here it is.

I am a father of two incredible girls Lily (4) & Ivy (2) and very lucky to be married to my beautiful wife Suzy. I am a mental health advocate and have suffered from depression for several years. It was truly kicking my ass and it took me down a really dark path. That path nearly took my life. I couldn’t deal with my own thoughts and it led to me trying to commit suicide.

Luckily this attempt was not successful and it opened my eyes and truly began my road to recovery. Depression takes so much from a person from their happiness to their own personality. The hardest part for me was that I am a father. My girls are my world and I would cry each day thinking of the burden I was placing on them. Thinking that my sadness would be noticed and would effect them. So much so that my warped sense of protection led me to think they would be safer and happier if I wasn’t here. Depression and mental health in general brings the sufferer and intense amount of guilt. Guilt in how you are feeling and guilt in how you believe you are making other people feel. This is not the case; you should never be guilty of your feelings.

Realising this was my first step to finding my fierce. So how did I get to here. The answer to this question is short but has so much to it. Instagram, Yip Instagram has been the best medication I have taken for this black dog we call depression. Suzy pushed me into Instagram as a way for my to let out everything that has been building inside of me. As a way for me to tell my story and find a new beginning.

This was the hardest thing I have ever done. Putting myself out there for people to judge and scrutinise but guess what they didn’t. The toughest thing about depression is that its a vicious cycle of addiction. It begins to feel uncomfortable not feeling depressed. This then makes you feel guilty for being happy which intern makes your depression worse. What Rachel is doing with this series is incredible. I think we focus too much on the struggle and not what we get out of it.

So when did I find my fierce ? I found my fierce the day I tried to commit suicide. Now in no way am I saying I am glad it happened or that its a good thing but if you have read my blog on “The luckiest day of my life” you will know that when I woke up after the attempt I felt free. All I could think about was my girls and how I am going to fight even more than I thought I had been to see them grow, To be there dad again. My depression had in-prisoned me as a father and made me hid everything to try and protect them. I know now that this was doing the complete opposite. So each and everyday since that day I have told myself “Its time to be a there father again and win this fight” and thanks to Rachel I am now focused on being there fierce father and currently kicking depressions ass.

Signing Off

Daddy Dilemmas

 


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Gary shares his experiences of depression in order to raise awareness of mental health and is urging others to join #projectendstigma to talk, share and normalise these conversations. You can find his brilliant blog here and follow his Instagram here. 
If you need to talk to someone, these numbers are here to help:
CALM Hotline: 0800 58 58 58
Samaritans: 116 123
For every Fierce Father Sweatshirt we sell here at The Little Big Fierce Co. we will donate £5 to support male mental health charities.

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