January 28th is Bell Let’s Talk!!!  Mental Health has become a much bigger beast than we understand and has become very important to me personally.  I have waited to send this message because I need to ensure I am in a much better head space so that I can help support others that are struggling.   I have noticed with the world pandemic that mental health is becoming a bigger problem everyday, I see it in our youth with sports and schools, adults not working struggling to make ends meet.  I would like to share my story and my struggle with mental health to hopefully reach out to as many people as possible and let them know if they talk about their struggles there are people that will listen and help.

Please read and share my story, I hope it does help someone out there.

As some of you may know, 2.5 years ago my wife donated her kidney to me!  This gave me a 2nd chance to live life to it fullest.  You would think, given that chance a person would be ecstatic. But I did not feel that way!  I was moody, not feeling happy.

My wife asked me a question one day when we were recovering in Vancouver, after hearing that question, I realized I was suffering from depression.  I had no emotion about the surgery, I had no emotion for my dear wife who just gave me the biggest gift in my life.  It was crushing to me and her.  Here was this amazing gift and I couldn’t express what it meant to me and show her love she deserved for changing her life.  It caused me to go further into a darker place!  A place that I came to realize that I had been in for quite some time.

This caused extreme tension between Jess and I, but Jess stuck by me everyday.  I felt guilty, unworthy of receiving her kidney. I was lost and falling deeper into a pit, getting more angry at myself, feeling ashamed spiralling into a darker well.  Everything was closing in around me, I realized that I had hidden my depression, distracted myself from the issues over the years, always being disappointed that I swept them under the rug and ignored the feelings.  Not talking to someone on how I really felt!

My depression got so bad that in Dec 2018 I attempted suicide.  It was a horrible place to be trapped in your mind of darkness.  I wrote letters to my kids and Jess, while writing I was riddled with emotion but felt like taking my life was the right choice.  That it would be better for everyone!  It wasn’t till the very last second before I took that final step that a voice in my head hit me and said “No”!!!  I am glad it did.

I am seeing a counsellor and it has changed my life!!  It has allowed me to understand that I need to look after myself so I can look after the ones I care about and be there for them!!  Talking about your struggles can release a whole bunch of weight off of one’s shoulders.

Please I urge anyone who is struggling with mental health to speak to a friend, family, see a counsellor!  Even reach out to me!! Start somewhere because people care about you and want to help.

Bell let’s talk is everyday. Please don’t wait till next January.  I hope that you have taken the time to read my story and that it might help you or someone you know!

Much love to everyone

Dan Hemsworth