RUOK? - JAY'S STORY
RUOK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save lives.
R U OK? Well, I wasn’t ok for a very long time, I have suffered from depression and anxiety since probably around the age of 12. When I was struggling with this, I didn’t feel at the time we were in then, that is was ok to talk about, people just expected you to get over it and deal with this by yourself or it was just a phase! F**K I HATE THAT LINE! When you’re left to deal with things like this on your own and feel shame to discuss it with anyone, it can lead to some really dark thoughts and times in life.
Teenage years were the hardest, everything was so amplified, being gay at that time was also very difficult, I was always told or heard things about it being wrong or disgusting, and it made me afraid I’d get bashed or attacked. It made me so fearful to discuss this, this shame was so damaging, I feel as though I’ve been conditioned by this, and still to this day I try to act as hetero-male as possible, so no one notices, even though now I’m openly gay and married to a man and don’t give a shit! To deal with all of this, partying was my solution, way too much drinking, which went on far into my mid-20s.
I’ve just turned 29, and this past year has been a huge one for me. Last year was a tough one emotionally, Dylan and I decided we wanted to adopt/look at surrogacy, and after attending some sessions found out this is pretty much impossible unless you're a millionaire! In West Australia, the government doesn’t even offer same-sex surrogacy what the actual F! It’s 2019! This led me into a downward spiral… but this time I’d had enough! I decided it was time to really take charge and help myself, rather than finding destructive coping mechanisms, which only make things worse. I quit drinking, and removed all the things from my life that were bringing me down, or caused me anxiety, I needed to ground myself, and figure out what I needed and how to help me.
The first thing I did was to talk to my family and friends about these feelings regularly and casually, it was hard, but the more I talked about it, the more I felt normal, like something wasn’t wrong with me, that really gave me the courage to seek professional help, which is something I’ve never done, and have always been afraid of… oh boy… am I glad I did, it’s honestly the wisest decision I’ve ever made. I’m on anti-depressants now, and I’m not afraid to share that! I always said to myself "I would never take those", looking back that was so irresponsible, and I feel like those thoughts were fuelled by misinformation regarding these drugs, people always tell you the negative effects they have and never share the positive side. I can’t talk for everyone, but my experience has been life-changing, for the first time I can remember, I actually don’t have anxiety anymore, I don’t feel depressed and I feel balanced mentally… I hope that makes sense… and no this isn’t a paid promo for BIG PHARMA!
In addition to some professional help, Dylan and I decided to start Crystal & Stone, we wanted to throw all the love we had to give in to this business and share it with all of you. Deciding to do something you are truly passionate about is such a gratifying and fulfilling feeling, if you’re thinking you want a change in your life, or have always wanted to chase your dream, then make it happen, manifest your best life!
Remember, if you are feeling sad, lonely, depressed, anxious, scared, suicidal; reach out and talk, only positive things can come from this.
If you have friends or loved ones you are worried about, reach out and make sure they R OK! There’s no better time than now!
If you ever want to talk to me, please slide into our DMs or shoot me an email, I’m always here to listen. Or if you’d like to share your story, leave us a comment below.