There is no permanent "coping" with it for me, I miss my boy Brook.

I have learnt to tell people around me what they want to hear about my feelings, so they feel happy, and have an answer to their enquiries.

You find out who is genuine around you, these are the people that matter and keep on mattering to you, lots of people disappear out of your life. Keep good people around you.

I swim in guilt, it varies for all people left behind that I have talked to. I struggle to live with it and have very little time or interest in “small” issues in life. I confuse anger with sadness and sadness dressed as anger. Take five when you feel the panic coming, if you catch it! External viewing of myself helps me here, sometimes shit happens; you do not have to explain yourself all the time. Your friends learn to spot the seeping sadness...

Best professional I dealt with was a psychologist who dealt with returned front line battle worn British soldiers (from places like the Falklands War), no bullshit, just breathe and try to crawl through the consuming despair and panic that swirls around you. This may sound like I need to harden up, trust me unless you walk a similar path, maybe some other experience like terminal illness, keep your opinions to yourself!

The people I meet who have self-medicated seem to carry some big issues just like me. Same as a good mechanic, you need a good doctor and counsellor. I am left here; my boy cannot do things here and now. I get off my arse and try to do things I want to do, they cannot. Do it for them and yourself... do good shit by yourself or with keen people who like doing your chosen poison

.... Work .... You need supportive managers; supportive coworkers cannot be over praised! Thanks guys, your close family if they are in a position to support each other.

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FatherClea Pettit