Man in the Middle - Part 1

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It’s Mental Health Week and I’ve decided to share with you a short story I wrote some 6 years ago. It’s called; ‘Man in the Middle’. I’ve split the story in to 4 readable chunks and will post these daily during this week. I think you will find it an honest, semi-autobiographical piece of work, told through a character called Brad. It illustrates the significant impact anxiety and depression has on him. I’m sharing this with you because I believe the story is key to understanding my journey as it encapsulates the raw emotions I was truly feeling before I came out. So, here goes …..

Man In The Middle - Part 1

Brad lay in bed eyes closed and in the brief seconds as he stirred from his late afternoon nap everything in his life seemed good and normal. For these brief moments, Brad was calm, centred, in control and at peace with the world and himself. This feeling of solitude was short lived though and as usual the dark clouds quickly descended over his thoughts and mind, and the barrage of negative self-talk hit him like a freight train hurtling towards its final destination:

“I HATE MYSELF!”

“I DON’T WANT TO ENDURE THIS SHITTY LIFE ANY MORE!”

“I WANT TO DIE!”

Brad lay there with an acute feeling of helplessness and foreboding, and tears welled up in his eyes as he realised his ongoing nightmare of a life was not over, not by a long shot!

The past three months had been a roller-coaster ride of emotions as he struggled with his continual feelings of desperation. Anxiety had become a symptom of his life and Brad was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the wave of unwelcome panic that would suddenly hit him unannounced These attacks started as a slight nervous unease about some unknown thought or thing which Brad had lived with for as long as he could remember. But something had changed and instead of being a controllable element of his life, these episodes had become more prevalent, sinister and long lasting. At one point, suicide had seemed like the easy way out, but he wasn't brave enough to exit this life at his own hands and he couldn't do that to his family - especially his loving wife and kids.

As Brad lay there he suddenly became aware of the late afternoon noises outside his bedroom window. The neighbour’s kids splashed about excitedly in their pool and he could hear a thud every few seconds as the Bayside Bulletin was being delivered, catapulted on to neighbouring driveways from the window of a slow-moving car. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling fan, which was giving him much needed relief from the humid conditions. He fixated on the fan in an almost trance-like state, heart pounding with an overwhelming feeling of imminent doom. In reality there was nothing to be worried about. His wife and kids were visiting friends in Sydney and they were all doing well, and there was no immediate danger, but the emotional cycle he was in was causing the anxiety to quickly spiral to the point where it engulfed Brad’s world. His perception of life was becoming very skewed and he was finding it increasingly difficult to co-ordinate day-to-day.

… second installment to follow tomorrow!

Enjoy your journey!

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