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As I write this, I’m lying in bed in my work clothes, pain shooting down my back and my mind has won another battle. I don’t know what I expected, a magical cure perhaps. Take the tablets and I’ll be all Sister Maria twirling and singing on a mountain top.

Well unfortunately, for me days like today still happen, the lack of sleep, the constant pressures from the outside world as well as the expectation from within, the pain in my back, and it feels like a weakness to mentally give in and hide in bed, but I’ve learnt that isn’t what it is; at some point a little kink of light will show, I’ll get up, I’ll deal with the day and I’ll know I’m recovering.

The trouble is, people can’t see anything physically wrong, and I have to admit I can feel like a fraud, but multiple spinal fractures and the small matter of depression suggests otherwise. ‘Oh poor you’, and then the embarrassment factor as you notice people shut down, ‘NUT JOB’ – no, please don’t skirt over it, talk to me about it, I’m not ashamed and talking actually helps, and quite the contrary; I’m still the same person, maybe a little nut job, but aren’t we all? Bad days will happen but they’re not bad weeks or months anymore.

Luckily  I have some amazing clients who put up with my erratic nature and are just about allowing me to keep the business going. The doctor is on speed dial although unless you go through triage at 8am you get ‘the next available appointment is 10.50 on the 25th of February, could you make it?’ We’ve all been there, pulling our hair out thinking (a) I hope not to be ill then, and (b) who blinking well knows, it’s two months away!

I have some amazing friends who have offered lots of support and I’m sad to say I perhaps haven’t taken advantage of there generosity and kindness, instead I have pushed people away. I can’t explain why, but I guess I just didn’t want to wear the mask of pretence, it’s exhausting, but as I’ve been dealing with it, I’ve realised it’s ok to just be who you are that day and to lean on people. It’s the simple things like receiving a ‘fancy a run’ text, (although unfortunately I say ‘no’ more than yes). When you’re out there pounding the pavement in the fresh air with nature around you, having someone to talk to or just listening to you ramble on, that support is worth the world. So thank you all please keep persisting.

Mrs H @allabouthurr.wordpress.com is an absolute rock as are our six children, they all deserve so much credit as I’m well aware it really hasn’t been easy.  I had a facade that I’ve been using to keep our home happy, light and fun, but when I hit the bottom it became quite hard and for a while I just lost all interaction and any responsibility around the home – I was almost a ghost.  They accommodated me and understood what I needed and allowed me the time to be, I cannot underestimate the strength and love that it took for Becca to see me so low yet not allow it to take her down too. Everyone participated in the running of the house and they all seemed to accept an unsaid word and realised it was time to pitch in as a family unit.

Life isn’t all roses and perfect families, we’re perfectly imperfect. We have two teenagers finding their feet in the world, children who get undressed and throw clothes and toys where they happen to be standing at that moment, we hear ‘I’m hungry’, ‘he hit me’, ‘she’s been in my room’ a thousand times a day, thank god for anti-depressants as I’m as cool as cucumber now, haha!

I cannot communicate how proud I am as a husband and a father of my beautiful family.

Last night, whilst preparing Felix for bed I got one of the most rewarding joyful moments; he merely asked “are you coming to watch the school play Dad?” to which I replied “I wouldn’t miss it for the world”, he then said “I don’t want you to”, my heart sank but persevered “don’t want me to what?” to which he replied… (get ready #joyfulmoment) “I don’t want you to miss it, you are the best dad in the world”. Tears streamed, big hugs and kisses, super proud emotional wreck of a Dad .

Bring on Christmas and all the joy that comes with it.

#lightattheendoftheday

#mentalhealthawareness

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Shaun Hurr

Dad to 6, Husband to 1, runner for sanity!

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