Young farmers were urged at a Macra event to open up about their feelings and take care of their mental health.
The event was part of a series of talks organised by Jonathan Dwyer and John Keane, two north Tipperary Macra na Feirme members in conjunction with Healthy Ireland as part of an initiative called “Make a Moove”, aimed at helping young men in rural areas discuss mental health issues.
Addressing a crowd of 40 young people at Rackett Hall in Roscrea, Bill, shared his story with the crowd.
“I grew up in a dairy farm just outside Nenagh, there was nothing in me that would have ever shouted that I’d have any problems.
“One of the happiest days I ever had was when I got accepted in veterinary college in Budapest when I was 18.
Everything was falling apart in my own mind
“Unfortunately it was pretty soon after that that things started to derail for me. I moved to Hungary at 18 and I can’t explain it but the fun seemed to drip out of everything.
“Inwardly for seven years I was crumbling inside. Everything was falling apart in my own mind”
“I came back from Budapest and went to New Zealand for a while, I had a great time but still I wasn’t right.
“I went back helping on the farm, one day my father and I had very strong words and my mother took him away to cool down.
“When they left I walked out and went to Dublin.
“I didn’t realise that when my parents came back they thought the worst and apparently my father walked the farm looking for me because he thought that I’d done something.
“But I was in a very dark place for three months, I actually remember standing in CopperFace Jacks with no phone but internet connection where I was looking at places to check myself in.”
He told the group that it was soon after that he tried to take his own life.
“One after the other I took the painkillers and drank the bottle of whiskey and got into bed for what I hoped was the last time.
“The worst feeling I actually had was the day after when I woke up, that I’d even managed to fail to do this.
“I spent a couple more days lying in bed and trying to build up the energy to get up. I was thinking about a motorway that was nearby and jumping off it
“Thankfully the guys I was living with somehow got in contact with my parents.”
His mother and brother came to collect him from the house and brought him home.
Bill said that when he seriously thought about why he was depressed he linked it to alcohol, even the attempt he made on his own life had been after a three-day drinking session with friends.
After two years of therapy and working on himself he says he’s learned how to really live at life.
“With hindsight, the pain the drink had caused me was phenomenal,” Bill said.
“It wasn’t easy but the day I stopped drinking was the day my life changed.”
The next talk will be held on Thursday 25 April in the Anner Hotel, Thurles at 7.30pm.
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