I’d like to introduce myself; so here is a little bit about me and my journey as a Dad so far. I’m sharing my experience in the hope that some of you might relate to it. It was a huge relief to me when I was reassured that my experience was not uncommon.
I began my fatherhood journey with optimism: I was excited and had a smile from ear to ear. I wanted to share my bundle of joy with the world. Although I am careful to note there is not always a fairytale beginning for everyone. The first month or so was a bit of a rollercoaster so I couldn't actually describe how I was feeling apart from the obvious tiredness. I first realized something wasn't quite right for me when I went out for a walk and suddenly felt very worried about the potential of getting hurt in some way i.e. getting hit by a car. It was the first time I had felt that kind of worry for years. (I would say I had always been a worrier from a young age, but a worrier in denial). It was like a switch in my brain had gone from normal to alert. Alarms were ringing and lights were flashing. It eased off after a while but my thought process had definitely changed. The crippling worry I was experiencing then transferred to the safety of my son. I began to ask lots of ‘what if?’ questions. What if I stand on him? What if his blanket suffocates him? I couldn’t escape from the terrible thoughts in my head. . It got to the point where I felt it was much safer for my son not to be around me.
This was a difficult thing for my partner to hear, especially as she now had to look after a baby on her own. It took a while, but I eventually got help. It was very difficult to get the targeted help I needed as no one seemed to know how to deal with a Dad experiencing poor mental well-being. Eventually, after being passed from pillar to post, I discovered Bluebell and they listened to me in a non-judgmental way and were able to help me locate tools to aid my recovery. They had the understanding and knowledge which helped get me out of the hole I was in
I am now fully recovered, and a part time stay-at-home Dad. As well as working in a bike shop my passion lies in supporting you. Informed by my own lived experience, I’m here to listen to you and be there for you, in a non-judgmental and caring way. I truly believe that whether you are struggling with your own mental health or are supporting a partner who is, it’s really important to keep Dads in mind.