I often thought that everyone would be better off without me

In 2013, I was the father of two girls, a husband and a director at a large professional services consultancy. I was finding the stress of work, the loneliness of being away from a social network and self-imposed pressure of not succeeding was getting too much. I often felt that I was a fraud and a failure – failing at being a husband, a father, a collegue and a friend. I’d often experience bouts of depression and during these times, I often thought that everyone would be better off without me. I was seriously contemplating suicide. I’d drafted a note. I was on this path until one morning in September when I received a call that changed everything. I was told my best friend had taken his life, leaving behind his wife and daughters. It was a complete shock to everyone. He was a loud, gregarious, funny, larger than life Englishman. I would have never, never have guessed it. That moment put me on a different path. I sought professional help. I began taking medication. I began to talk about my situation. My experience has taught me that things will get better. There is help. The self-realisation that it’s a problem is the first step. The alternative is not an answer. Talking about it helps. A lot. I still have the note I drafted. But now, thankfully, it’s a reminder of what could have been, not what’s in the future. R.I.P JR