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Eagles Thank Fans For MIND Awareness Weekend

1 year ago By James Smiles

Eagles raise over half a thousand pound for mental health awareness.

The club would like to thank everyone who attended, supported and gave so generously to Saturday’s final league fixture of the season against Aylesbury United. We are delighted to announce that the fundraising effort raised £510 for MIND Bedfordshire. This figure was presented to MIND by Jane Jones this morning. The club are thrilled the afternoon was a success for all and helped raised the profile of MIND amongst the fans. One fan has kindly written up their account of mental illness;

Just imagine you break your wrist. Perhaps you fall over and put your hand out to stop yourself and your wrist breaks because of it. You go to the hospital as your wrist is swollen. You get an x-ray, and it shows that you have broken a bone in your wrist. You then get a plaster cast put on your wrist. It stays on for, lets say, 4 weeks. Everybody can see your cast. They can see you have broken your wrist. You have your cast taken off and rehabilitate for a week to lose the tenderness in the wrist. From start to finish you have had a broken wrist. Just imagine if a mental condition was that easy to diagnose and cure. Just imagine all you need is an x-ray on your head to diagnose your condition. Just imagine you could have a 'plaster cast' for your head that will heal your condition. If that could happen, people could see that you have a condition, and it wouldn't be a stigma. I have suffered with depression for a few years now. It didn't happen to me immediately, but built up over a number of years. I was slowly changing.

Thinking the changes in my persona were down to the ageing process held me back from seeking help. Too late; depression had taken a hold and people noticed. Whether it was family or work colleagues, practically everybody noticed a change in me. I listened to no one. I became surly, argumentative (more than usual), and, it pains and shames me to reveal, I was abruptly abusive. I didn't realise that I had a very destructive condition. I pushed my loved ones away. I wouldn't let them help me, as, and I quote, "I don't need help. I'm fine." If I had a choice, I would sit on my backside feeling sorry for myself, whilst making excuses for not doing anything. Yes, I went to work, because I had to. Thank goodness my condition wasn't chronic, as I would have not bothered to get out of bed at all. Even watching the Eagles (a pastime I have had the pleasure to do since the 70's) became a challenge. Why was I going to the football at all? It was just routine. I didn't enjoy it. My cheers and jeers were routine and automatic. My wife would suggest things for us to do. I didn't do any. I didn't want to. She did succeed in getting me to visit the doctor, but it didn't help, at first. I refused antidepressants. The doctor gave me a couple of phone numbers of organisations that could help.

One of them was MIND. I didn't bother to pick up the phone. I started to lie. It became routine. I started to disappear for a night. Sometimes it seemed as though it helped, but mostly I would just cry or feel sorry for myself. I started to deceive my wife because, at the time, I believed I was unhappy in the marriage. My wife still had faith in me, and finally made me go to the doctor again. This time I accepted medication, and just as important, I rang Talk For Change; a first point of contact for MIND BLMK and MK IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies). I was referred to MIND, and after the initial assessment, had a series of sessions to try and find the root problem to my depression. It helped tremendously, and my one-to-one sessions gave me an insight to my problem. I also received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at MK IAPT.

Depression can go away. Many people, though, live with it all their lives, but control it before it controls them. I was controlled by depression. I still have it. I'm now controlling it the best I can, and that is thanks to the professional help I am getting. I am happier now than I have been for a long time, and I can't thank my wife enough, for getting me to seek help. Depression cannot be seen. It wasn't too long ago that it was still regarded with scepticism, and there was a stigma attached to it. If you had a mental condition, it was because you were weak in the mind, and it was time to pull yourself together. It was never like a broken bone.

Fortunately, nowadays, mental conditions are not seen the way they used to be. And there is always help at the end of a telephone line. I have written (typed) this and sent it to the club, purely to urge you to attend the match and to give generously to MIND BLMK. If MIND hadn't have taken an interest in me, my condition may have taken a turn for the worst, and I might not be alive now. This is how serious mental conditions are. They are never to be taken lightly. This is my story.

Thank you once more for your excellent support of this fundraising effort over the weekend.

Updated 17:14 - 24 Apr 2017 by James Smiles

Where next?

Eagles To Host Hatters In Opening Preseason Friendly Fixture to raise curtain on pre-season on Saturday 1st July.
Eagles Set For Final Day Tomorrow's game against Aylesbury United brings curtain down on season.

Sat 7 Jul
Bedford Town FC Peterborough United
Friendly 15:00

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