Adrian’s story

Hi I’m Adrian

In early 2014 I had a breakdown; a very stressful job pushing me from pillar to post led me to believe I was having a heart attack. After tests and an ECG, it transpired my body had just had enough, it was burnt out and the feeling that I could not escape from the pressure on me, caused me to lose most of my perspective. The thought of all the things I felt I was responsible for brought me out in sweats, shivers, and I couldn’t sleep. I was angry and resentful. Although both Lucy and I were working full time, as the ‘man in the family’, I felt I needed to ‘man up’ and take responsibility for everyone. And yet I just wanted to lie down, close my eyes, and not wake up.
 
My doctor and Lucy were brilliant; and with medication and counselling, I gained a much better perspective of life and felt more able to take control again. My doctor reassured me that medication can be long or short term, but most importantly that my depression and anxiety was caused by a chemical imbalance and my extreme highs and lows would be much more balanced. And I assure you, they are.
 
Why am I telling you this?
Men are 3 times more likely to take their own life than women, suicide is the biggest killer of young people and in 2018, 6507 people took
their own life in the UK (Samaritans). We have to do something about this.
 
The bravest and toughest thing I did was to ask for help, you’re no less of a man for asking either. If you’re feeling the same, if you need to talk, remember you’re not alone.
 
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here, day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
 
More crisis support and information can be found here: Urgent help
 

The Lookout

My wife had wanted to live in Cornwall for quite some time, so in 2018 we moved here. I’d wanted a community coffee shop for ages and so trained as a Barista and then supervised at a local Bistro learning a great deal about the hospitality industry. When ‘The Lookout’ in Looe came up for sale we knew it was the next step in our lives. I think the name also confirmed it, the coffee shop has an amazing view but we wanted to ‘lookout’ for others in our community too, our tag line is ‘Coffee|Food|Community’.

We opened in May 2020, just as the first lockdown was slowly being relaxed. Once this current lockdown is lifted we’ll be introducing ‘Waffle’, a gathering for locals to meet new people and eat waffles. We also offer a ‘Pay-it-Forward’ token scheme so that people can buy a coffee for someone else that may have limited finances, feel lonely or just in need of a chat. We give tokens to the local GP surgeries, and plan to offer them to barbers and hairdressers to encourage those on their own and lonely to come for a chat and meet others.

Once a month we’ll be hosting a ‘Bloke’s Breakfast’; a chance to get to know and, in time, support other fellas. We were hosting a craft group which was so successful we had to alternate weekly meetings as it was oversubscribed. That too will reconvene when possible.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all roses, I still struggle, but I have the amazing support of family and friends. I’m also struggling with the challenges and restrictions of this Pandemic, I can’t open my shop which I love and I miss the people we meet so much. But at least I’m taking time with my wife. 

Adrian

 

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