As you might know, we offer free advice and support to those who are struggling. As I put this post together with a tear in my eye, please take a few minutes out of your day to read the heart-warming feedback received from a man who took the courage to reach out and ask for help. Names have been removed to respect his privacy.
“I thought I'd let you in on how things are going now, in case you want to catch up.
You may recall, I seem to be a magnet for helicopter crashes, witnessing 2 in six months. One a mechanical failure, one a pilot failure, foolishly testing the theory that helicopters and power lines can become buddies (For the record, they don't).
I was told that I had a case of the PTSD and that I needed medicating and professional help. I felt that the word 'needed', was quite strong. I have been known to recreationally medicate in the past, I declined the offer this time, having experienced anti depressants in the past, I deal better emotionally, if I feel the emotion.
I went to see a Doctor, who seemed to glance over the issue and went straight to how to fix anger problems, I feel she heard all the things I was feeling, and found 'angry' was the easiest subject, she had experience in this field, and pamphlets, lots and lots of pamphlets.
I then went home and had a wine, actual wine, not a whinge, and thought things over. Medication wouldn't help, and the doctor didn't seem to offer any help either. The only way to get through this was by letting the people around me in, and being positive about the actions I take. In walks my 3 year old daughter.
She might only be 3, but she is going on 26. She is my best friend, my rock, my life and the entire reason I live. She could not sleep that night, so sat with me on the deck. She looked me in the eyes and said, 'whats the matter dad?'. I told her my head was sad about the helicopter crash, and that it was really hard for me to think straight, and I was angry that I was always angry at the time. She held my checks in her hands, looked me dead in the eyes and said...… 'Big breath dad, in through your nose, 1 2 3, out through your mouth, 1 2 3, see now you feel better, now give me a cuddle' (this is how I deal with her panic/tantrum/night terrors) I realised then, to look at everything as if I was a child, it’s so much easier that way. To her, a cuddle is this magic thing that fixes damn near everything. Since then, every day just before bed, she asks 'hows your head, dad?', and every night she gives me a cuddle regardless. My 3 year old is the best therapist I needed at the time.
I also bought gifts for my family, it took 3 days to hand out. Night one, at dinner, I talked about how my wife and I meet, the adventures we have had, the life we have made, the love we have for each other, the plans we have made for our future, and ultimately, how much I love her. I gave her her gift.
Night two, I talked about how my 3 year old therapist was born, how scared I was in the hospital, she was pinned to my wife's hip, face and shoulder wedged and how they thought she probably wont make it out alive. How my fear moved from being a father, to never meeting my baby. I spoke of the emergency C section, and hearing her cry the first time. I told how I wept for joy, how I could not sleep that night. I sat by the cot watching her sleep. How she is growing up and how proud of her I am. I gave her her gift.
Night three, I told of my 9 month old son, how he has the cheekiest grin, how I know he is going to be trouble, simply because he is my son. How I cant wait to see him grow, teach him to make things, ride a motorbike, dive, shave, and be a man. I gave him his gift. He ate the wrapping.
I did this to tell everyone that they are important to me, no matter what, I also did it to tell myself that when all the chips are down, and the darkness creeps in, and when its hard to see the hands at the end of my out stretched arms, if I just try hard, I can see them there, and they are reaching back to me, I know FOR A FACT, they will not let go.
Since then, its been a pretty steady upward curve, at times, its hard, but I feel like I'm back to being me.
Thanks Lance, for giving a shit when I needed it, I know your a busy man, It meant a lot for you to reply so fast, and call me.
I am in awe of what you do, standing in front of a crowd, telling everyone that feelings are all good, at the same time as telling sufferers, that feelings are all good.
Keep up the good work Lance, and if I can ever return the favour, it would be an honour to help”
We can do this, together, so let's talk!