I considered myself to be a normal person. But then a traumatic experience began a journey in combating mental health issues. Facing many highs and lows but never able to really grasp the issues. Now my mind has opened, talking about the trauma, the decisions I made and the consequences of these issues. Using my experiences, my own theory of mental health and creative writing; I am hoping you will see the choices I made through my journey which will enable you to help yourself and others and to try and eradicate the stigma surrounding Mental Health.
Below is where it all started.
It was eight years ago.
I awoke just as I normally would.
Worrying about how much I had to do today. As it was just a week until Christmas day.
I slid over my partner trying not to wake her.
She didn’t move, She didn’t speak,
She just breathed as I kissed her goodbye.
I grabbed my stuff and went to the bathroom to get ready. Leaving her in the warmth and comfort of my sanctuary,
A sanctuary that could have become more;
In just a few months’ time!
I was ready for my day.
I picked up my bag and after saying goodbye to Mum,
I faced the cold harsh chill of the week before Christmas. Music was playing while I walked,
The same cars were parked on the road, The same people were walking their dogs,
The same feeling of going to work was with me. The same time I arrived.
Sally and Harry were already there.
I tried to surprise them by opening the remote shutters before they saw me to make them jump.
It never worked,
But still it’s fun to try!
The routine was the same as any other morning.
Stop the alarm, turn on the lights and unlock the fire exits. Pretty simple,
Not hard for anyone to memorise.
Everyone else got on with their individual routines. I made my way to the office to drop off my bag.
The office was the safest place to be,
Money was stored in there within three safes,
With entry through to this door only possible with a key. The only spy hole in the whole building was on this door
I am sure there was some logic, as to why this was the case,
But I still don’t know.
Now everything was unlocked. The lights were on.
It was time to get the day’s work ready.
Today was the day the charts changed.
Typically done the night before but I had to make sure they were ready for the busiest week of trading of the year.
So that was my priority.
The chart was done but I needed the stock from upstairs. Otherwise what is the point?
Can’t sell air we used to say,
Though I bet this company would have tried.
I went out to the back to the office again before going upstairs to get the stock.
Just to print some reports. Fun stuff I know.
The entertainment manager has an entertaining job! Whilst in the office,
Footsteps could be heard outside,
Going back and forth along the corridor outside the building, I was naïve.
I didn’t think much of it.
I was focusing on what needed to be done for the day. I could have looked out the window,
I could have seen him.
But I didn’t
I just focused on a moment,
A moment which did not matter,
A moment where I thought I was safe.
I left the office and headed upstairs to the stock room. The stock room always had an eerie feeling about it.
It was long, Dark,
It was horrible when you were in the stock room and someone turned off the lights, typically as a joke.
As it is always funny to hear people scream……
I grabbed the stock and went back downstairs. Placed the box on the counter,
And before I had chance to breathe, The bell rang at the back door.
I was not expecting anyone at the back door.
Sharon normally comes in the front around this time? It could be my manager,
Though she is meant to be off But she is a bit of a workaholic Let’s go take the piss a bit.
The back door itself was a fire exit.
Though it was used to enter the building from the back…obvious
No spy hole on the door so I couldn’t see who it was.
We never once asked who was there when answering the door, We never felt we had to.
It wasn’t deemed a harmful thing opening a back door, For all the years at this store,
It was never deemed a necessary thing to ask who was there. Yet if I did,
Would it have changed anything?
I opened the door. Before I could speak, Before I could breath,
I had a Gun staring me in the face. It was almost point blank range.
I had never stared down the barrel of a gun before. But my focus was turned to the man holding the gun. Wearing a dark rain coat,
And Leather Gloves,
With a stench of smoke upon him, Not from a cigarette,
His eyes showed me it was something stronger.