Justin: 'I feared being found out as gay'
I don’t know when I first realised I had mental health issues. I just know I didn’t feel right inside. I never could feel happiness in the smallest of things.
I have had several lapses in my mental health – my first at 16 and my current at 43 - all marked by personal seismic incidents in my life course. I came from a stoic family where emotions were kept in check: unfortunate for me being the gay vocal emotive one – the runt of the litter. Living in the 80s still in the infancy of my gayness, the only way I could understand that what meant being gay was by proxy through music, film and art. These offered virtue in my solitude that I was not unaccompanied.
I never had or heard of a support group or thought to seek out one for fear of being ‘found out’. So it might sound strange that at this stage of my life, I would go on a Personal Development course with The Rainbow Project. You would think that life should have taught you all you ought to know about yourself by now.
A diversely-aged motley crew established. In the faculty of brotherhood and true faith, over the 8 weeks each of my kindred fellow travellers began to recount their own stories.
As you age, you become nostalgic. But there is something special about communing with like-minded souls and having that facility to create empathic bonds. Isn’t that the undeniable breath-taking gift of humanity? Is it possible to calculate the impact of such?
As men, we do have a certain lack of this in our liaisons. But when you find that moment, it lasts forever!
|This article reflects the experience of the individual. It is not health information from the Men's Health Forum under the terms of the NHS England Information Standard.|