A tough day

Today …..

Was the last day in my current job. A job I have had for just under six years. For those that don’t know, I worked in neurological care. The last two and a half years of which I have been working in neurological rehabilitation. During my time there I have made many friends, no I have gained a family. I have had laughed until I have cried, I have been mentally and physically exhausted, I have been overwhelmed by determination and drive, I have seen minor miracles ( from clients) and I have had some very, very dark times (personally). I’ve been on a roller coaster. The place has both nearly killed me, and saved my life almost at the same time.

I remember my first day there. As I drove up the long drive to the front door, I was anxious, very anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. I soon found out. As I read through residents care plans, I read some very sad stories as to how they ended up there. It made me feel very sad, but also very grateful. I was alive, I had my health, and I could drive home at the end of my shift.

One of my first impressions was the intensity of the place. The constant ringing of the call bells and the shouting out from the residents.

On my very first shift, I was asked to sit with a very confused lady. As I entered her room she knocked over her water jug. I bent down to clean up the spill, and ripped a hole in the back of my trousers……..I thought, if I don’t last, at least they will remember me!!!


Over the years, sue ryder became my sanctuary. A place where no matter how bad my mental health became I felt that I belonged. When my long term relationship broke down and my mind was dark (second overdose of my life), I spent my days off at work volunteering. I took residents out in the mini bus. I painted residents rooms. It was my go to place. I couldn’t relax at home, I needed to keep busy, I needed to belong. And for a long time, I did belong.

Turned sour

About eighteen months ago my sanctuary turned to my hell. Suddenly I didn’t belong, I was an outcast. Because of this my mental health nose dived. I hit rock bottom (yet again) and I overdosed. The reasons behind this I may talk about one day…..This is the point at which my blog started. I needed to change. I couldn’t keep the cycle going, I needed to get well, to change my mindset forever. Well, here I am. Changed? Yes, growing? Everyday.


Back to today. I went to work as usual (13 hour shift). I knew it was my last ever shift, but it didn’t sink in. As I drove up the long drive for the last time, it didn’t sink in. As I signed in, it didn’t sink in. As I listen to handover, it didn’t sink in. All morning, it didn’t sink in. The hugs, the hand shakes, the fist bumps, it didn’t sink in. After lunch, it didn’t sink in. Then as I was called into reception for my leaving presentation, it started to sink in. This really was my last ever day here. However it wasn’t until I started to say goodbye to the long term residents that it really hit home, hard. For these guys life doesn’t go on, they can’t leave, I really will never see them again. I took a moment to myself. I cried.


My time at sue ryder will forever hold a place in my heart. I (hopefully), have helped to improve people’s lives. I have learned my true place in life. My place is to care and to make people laugh. I have made friends and memories that I will take to my grave.

Thank you

To everyone that has stuck with me and been by my side over the last (nearly) six years. As to the future……..who knows

About catmann1973

Hi, I’m Martin. 47 years old, living in Suffolk. I have three amazing grown up children. I have the best family and friends in the world. I am a football fan, love going to the gym and I am a motorcycle pilot. I’ve had mental health problems all of my life. This site is about my past, present and future. I’m hoping to make it easier for people to be able to speak freely about mental health. It can affect anyone at anytime.
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