I suffer with bipolar, ADHD and anxiety. Bipolar is an emotional rollercoaster. There are more ups and downs compared to normal people. When I’m high I’m bouncing off the walls, I’m annoying people, I feel like I can be a massive burden. I would be the annoying kid at school. The one you wouldn’t want to play with because they’re so annoying. The lows are the worst part. I feel like I’m stuck in the gutter. Sometimes I can’t even get out of bed. Anxiety is the worst I have to deal with because it comes out of nowhere. It really, really breaks you down from the person you normally are. From being a vibrant person who is the life of the party to being someone who doesn’t want to speak to anyone at all.
I was afraid what people would think if they found out how I was feeling, and I didn't want to change anyone's opinion of me. Sometimes the people with the most pain hide behind the biggest smile.
I decided to start campaigning for men’s mental health, looking to support people from a working class background to make sure no other young man has to ever feel like I did. Men’s egos let them down, and the stigma around mental health attached to that group is unbelievable. After volunteering for a year with a charity and learning about mindfulness, wellbeing and mental health first aid, it’s made life worth living. I'm helping people I don't personally know every day, which is a humbling experience. Helping others helps me with my mental health and the struggles I face daily in a major way. Realising I wasn't alone was the start of everything I do now, and there is support out there – you might just need a helping hand to get there sometimes.