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Talking and Not Talking

“I’m Andy. I’m 34. I talk to young people for a living. But I didn’t talk. Well, I did, obviously. I just didn’t talk talk. That makes no sense, right? Let me explain. I spend my working week as a mental health nurse, encouraging other people to share with me their worries, their problems, their difficulties. But I didn’t tell anyone about mine. I couldn’t. Not because I’m a man (whatever that means). I cry at adverts for the Dogs Trust for, fucks sake. I didn’t talk because I wasn’t used to it. Not about my own stuff anyway. That was until I couldn’t take it anymore. Feeling alone. Feeling shit. Feeling empty. Feeling unable to enjoy anything, I mean anything. Not even Peep Show. And that’s fucking amazing. I had friends. I had family. I had people around me. I had stuff. Lots of stuff. But there’s only so much joy that can be attained from a blu-ray player and quality surround sound on a lovely big telly.

I don’t know what the turning point was. Or if there was a turning point. But one day I decided to talk. I picked up the phone and went to see someone. It was the strangest fucking thing I had ever done. I opened up. Slowly. I thought about things. What was important. What wasn’t important. What I needed. What I could throw away. What helped me. Why I shouldn’t keep pressing the self-destruct button. Things could be different.

Why did I write this? Why should you give a damn? Because things change. Things can be different. Things can get better. Yeah, things could still get better, but I’ve given up the hope that I could turn the TV on one day without there ever being a look-how-wonderful-I-am-make-me-a-star-though-I’m-a-talentless-idiot-drivel-ridden show staring back at me? There are folks with far more shit to deal with than I do right? True. But sometimes we have to think about the shit we have to deal with. I still fuck up. Make mistakes. But that’s ok. We all do. But now I don’t beat myself up. I talk.

We have to start to think about us. Easier said than done. But give it a go. Talk to someone. It might just work.”

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