A story by Michael, Across the UK
What challenge does this story focus on?
Dealing with loss
Physical Health difficulties
Mental Health Difficulties
How has this challenge affected you?
It’s been hard to deal with this amount of loss in a short period. The most challenging aspect is losing my dad. My dad died at 54; I have really struggled to accept that he is no longer with us and felt bitter and angry because of how unfair it is- my loving, kind father spent his whole life looking after his family and community has lost years to cancer. It was difficult finding out I was pregnant 3 months before he died. I felt so guilty that my dad wouldn’t know his grandchild.
What has or is helping you to move forward with this challenge?
I still have a way to go but I have been focusing on my family- my son who I adore, my husband and my dogs who have been keeping me going. Everyone always says that my son looks just like my dad which almost feels like a tribute to him. I focus on enjoying the present and making the most of every moment with my family and focusing on my future goals.
What have you learnt as a result of this challenge?
I have learnt that its ok to not be ok, I have always kept going and stayed strong but losing my dad was my limit. I needed time away from education/work and I have learnt not to feel guilty. I have learnt that I am much stronger than I thought and things don’t always have to be perfect.
How do you use this learning in your life now?
I focus on using my experience to help others. Particularly in the field of mental health.
What positive message would you like the reader to go away with?
As much as there is someone else worse off and facing more challenges, you should validate how you are feeling and consider your mental health. It is important to seek help and do not let stigma’s stop you. We are all strong and we will be ok, we just have to want to get better.