Defining an Inspirational Man

Being nominated as an inspirational man came as a shock, as I don’t consider myself to be one. That got me thinking about how you become an “inspiration” and some of the traditional signs that you would associate with such a person. 

I had an article published in the second edition of the magazine dealing with grief and my mental health struggles over my life. As a brief recap, my father died when I was seven years old, two weeks before Christmas; I struggled to accept this, which led me to be diagnosed with depression, and I have been on medication for about ten years. 

Being given the burden of being the “man of the house” and helping my mum raise my two younger brothers and developing a stammer – you can imagine my low confidence and self-esteem growing up.  

But that is what makes me an Inspirational Man. 

Growing up with a sense of inferiority as I didn’t have a father to teach me things that fathers teach their children, coupled with the things that we didn’t do as friends, did weigh heavily on me. And it still does. That’s why I try to be the person that he would have been proud of. 

Being a child is all about having fun and no responsibilities, learning as you go, so having the added pressure put on me by my relatives contributed to my Mental Health struggles; but also made me who I am today. The person who was always acting responsibly around others, showing respect to everyone, and just being a nice person. 

Over the 40 years since his death, the effect that has had on me, coupled with the bad places I have been in with my Mental Health, may inspire someone somewhere. However, what I do know, is by sharing my story, I am an inspiration to someone who is also going through a tough time in knowing that there is an end in sight. And that is why, I feel, I have been nominated to be a part of this special edition. 

In conclusion, you do not know if you are an inspiration to anyone unless they know what you have been through. Or how you have ended up in the position you are now in. And that sometimes being  “afraid” to take that first step is the thing that is holding you back. I know my nieces and nephews, along  with the rest of my family, are proud of the person I am and hope that someday someone will say, “Your story inspired me, and this is what helped me through my dark times.”   

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