had been enjoying success in my chosen career of retail management.
I was one step away from board level in my capacity as Assistant
to the Managing Director.
But in my efforts to succeed I did not know when
to say STOP.
I was given tasks that I had not got the knowledge
to carry out efficiently and I suddenly found myself in a
downward-spiralling crash dive that I could not pull up out
Every day became a blur of activity that was based around
coping with situations that I was not capable of handling.
My brief included Grocery Buying, Personnel Management, Store
Supervision, Export Management, Human Resource Management
and Public Relations. The only training I had ever had relating
to these tasks was a 5 day general buying course and a 3 day
retail management course. Suddenly I was responsible for 8
supermarkets with a turnover of 10 million pounds a year and
a staff of over 200 people!
Things were going badly wrong and I turned to
a number of diversions to try to stop the constant mental
pressures that I was undergoing. I started stopping off at
a bar on the way home, having a few (lot) drinks and playing
the gambling machines.
I sought love from sources outside my family.
I had a loving wife and two beautiful children but they eventually
seemed to become part of the problem - which was totally unfair.
I guess I saw them as additional responsibilities that I couldn't
cope with. Things went from bad to worse. I would just switch
off when I was at home. Stare at the television and forget
that there were other people there who needed my attention
in my role as husband and father. I was waking in the middle
of the night thinking about problems at work and how to solve
them. I was bad tempered and susceptible to tantrums that
made my family very scared of me.
Eventually I had a weeks leave owing so I went
to visit a friend in Scotland. On the way there I was involved
in a road traffic accident which came about because of my
carelessness. No one was hurt and there was not too much damage
to either car but this appeared to be the last straw!
After my visit to Scotland (passed in an alcoholic
haze) I returned to Huddersfield and work on the following
Monday morning. The previous day, relations between myself
and my wife also came to a head and I came very close to causing
her harm due do my depression and despair.
I went to work but everything was hazy, I was
not functioning and had retreated into myself. I did have
enough sense left to realise that I needed help badly so I
phoned my doctor and got an immediate appointment. I asked
my wife to come with me and so I attended at the appointed
time but all I could do was break down.
That was to be the start of many tears.
I think the doctor panicked a little at this weeping patient
sat in front of me so he immediately arranged for me to see
a psychiatrist that afternoon and then ushered me out of the
building via a side exit. My wife drove me home and I just
sat and stared into space until the appointment time with
the shrink came round.
This was to be a repeat performance of my visit to
When asked questions I just mumbled and came up with some vague
response. I was told afterwards that the psychiatrist wanted my
wife to sign me into the local mental hospital but I left with the
offer of a place there but the choice was mine.
I went back home and sat down but I was a total wreck. I couldn't
settle so I went for a walk which must have been directed subconsciously
as I walked for 4 miles and found myself close to the hospital.
I didn't know what to do next so I phoned my sister. She came and
picked me up in her car and persuaded me to go to the hospital.
Once there I was immediately admitted to a secure ward and my wife
was called for.