It was 3pm on the 14th February 2013. I’m in bed. I’ve been in bed off and on for 2 days now. My kids have just left. I’m broken, I’m done in. I’m ill.
I’ve been totally useless to my kids over the last 24 hours; they looked after me really. I didn’t have to see them, and how I was I probably shouldn’t have had them, but at that time a hug from them was just about the only thing that made me feel anything.
I’m a mess. I was driving yesterday and had a pain in my right side of my head, like someone had hit me hard, followed by blurred vision travelling across my eyes from right to left. I know it was the migraine, but it scared me.

I can’t believe I have just let my boys or my ex-wife see me in such a state, but having a few cuddles with the boys helped me a little. It also reminded me why I can’t give up.

I’ve been up and down for weeks now, stressed, being ok, putting a brave face on, getting on with it etc. My grandfather died on Sunday. To be honest it was expected, but it still hurt. Most people think I have taken the death of my grandfather 4 days ago harder than expected. There has been a bunch of other stuff going on that is not worth talking about, but needless to say I feel like I’m done.

Staring at the dark room, I feel ill, and I feel empty. Up until this point I have got back into exercising for a decent few days and been trying my best, but it’s all come crashing down. Oh, when I am like this I comfort eat when I don’t have migraines; migraines make me not eat. Normally I comfort eat, though.
I have never had suicidal thoughts – my two boys and my loving and supportive family mean that hasn’t happened. But I do feel like giving up. And with different circumstances, I can see why some people feel suicidal. If you didn’t feel like you had people around you who needed you, it could happen I guess.

The reality is I feel fucked.

I’m writing this now on the 27th Feb and I have had intermittent headaches since. Nothing I do helps with the headaches or tension. It’s a vicious circle.

I’m writing this now because I need to do something, and I’ve slept so much over the last two weeks I can’t sleep any more.

This is one of the hardest battles I’ve had to deal with. It’s so hard to describe. Maybe for someone who lives the life I do, with massive highs and lows, it’s to be expected. I have led a life in my earlier years that some people can only dream of living. I’ve been lucky; maybe that’s the problem, maybe once you have had what I had and lost it it’s 10 time harder.

The highs and the lows are ridiculous. I don’t understand it, I don’t want it.

I met with my doctor two days ago. I’m on three times the medication I was on when I first started. Three times the dosage to what I was on whilst in prison. What the fuck is that all about?

I actually made my doctor laugh when he first asked me the question, “What has contributed to you feeling like this and what will make you feel better?” I told him it’s nothing that a good woman and a couple of hundred grand wouldn’t fix. (In reality it’s more than this.)

So what’s happening to make me feel like this?

I have been through a lot in the last few years (and before I start, I’m not telling you this for you to feel sorry for me, many of the things that have happened to me have been my own stupid fault. I am only telling you to set the context of what has been going on in my life.)

12 years ago I was a millionaire at 25 sitting on a beach in the Bahamas with my wife and child. I was living a life most people could only dream of. Then, in 2001, I lost the lot – millions pretty much gone in months. I came back to the UK in 2002, battled to keep going and eventually had no choice but to go bankrupt. This, at the time, I thought was just about the worst time of life; bankruptcy to me was the ultimate sign of failure. Little did I know it was nothing compared to what I had in store in the coming years.

Fast forward to 2006 – my wife and I have had another child, financial pressure is still tough, very tough. Why, you may ask, if you were made bankrupt in 2004, surely all of your debt was wiped? In theory yes, but morally no. Some of my biggest creditors were friends and family. My family are normal working people, but in the good times I loaned money against the family home to keep going. Stupid now I know, but at the time I thought it was the best thing to do. So, even though I was discharged of all my debts, there was no way I could not pay back my parents and other friends I owed money to.

It’s now 2005 and I’m feeling backed into a corner. These debts are killing me in my mind. How the fuck am I going to get them paid back? I’ve made some pretty stupid decisions in my time, but the next ‘solution’ to become debt free has to be at the top of the list. Before we get into that though, in July 2006 my wife of 6 years, whom I had two boys with, told me she didn’t love me like she should and was leaving me. The worst thing that could ever happen to me just had… or had it?
Spending my days in a total daze was a living nightmare. However, the nightmare was due to get worst. On the 14th August 2006 I got arrested for growing cannabis. I spent 14 months on police bail and then, in October 2007, got sentenced to 4 years in prison. It was horrible. That’s not something I will go into here. I got released in October 2009 and started again.

I have to say that the depression I have suffered in the last year or so gives all of the above a good run for its money.

So where am I now?

Well, I’m a Z list Internet Marketer who is completely disillusioned with the bullshit market I find myself in. I’ve stopped everything in my business and I’m planning to start over again with a new plan using what I have built up and the knowledge I’ve got.

The reality of the business side of my business is that I am nowhere near where I want to be in my business life. Nowhere…by now I thought I would have a sustainable long term business, but the reality is I’ve had so many hits in the last 18 months I’m beat.

It’s time to start again and make some big changes.

In my personal side of things I’ve been single for 6 1/2 years… I know, it’s a long time. The reality of this is that 2 of those years were spent at her majesty’s pleasure, and I have had various ‘happenings’ with women over the 6 years or so. In the recent 3-4 months I’ve turned down a few women and dates with them. I did meet one woman who changed my mind about love and relationships again, but that didn’t work out for reasons I won’t go into here. The only good thing about the short time I was with her was that she made me realise I could love again, and to be honest once and for all finally got me over my ex-wife. (The trouble with prison is that if you hear of your ex-missus going out with her new boyfriend for a coffee, sitting on the bed in your prison cell for hours a day seems to polarise everything and you end up imagining the two of them drinking pink champagne and having wild sex.)

So if I’m honest the only woman I have felt I could spend the rest of my life with and love since my ex-wife has made me more miserable in the past 8 months and probably added a great deal to my current depressive state. But I think about her now instead of my ex-wife, which actually is better for me I guess. This depression is hard, because it makes me question what I’ve got to offer a woman. I know when I’m better that I have a lot – I’m loving, caring and very loyal – but that little thing in my mind tells me otherwise when I’m like this.

So although I have some great friends and family around me, being single for so long creates a great deal of loneliness. It’s fucked up though because I really can’t be bothered to go out and date or meet anyone, so I shouldn’t moan about that I guess. I know I still think about the person I shouldn’t, and all my friends and family tell me to move on and find someone else. I’m a complicated guy when it comes to relationships. I don’t find that many women attractive. Me and relationships is a whole other book, so I better not carry on…

But yeah, nothing a good woman and a few hundred grand wont sort out, right?

It’s bloody hard to explain to people who have experienced it, let alone someone who has been lucky enough not to have suffered from this bloody illness.
And you know what. It is an illness. The first time I ever properly acknowledged it as an illness was after I read Stan Collymore’s tweet about his battle with depression, I actually read his tweet about 2 hours after he published it; I was up in the early hours of the morning and everything he said resonated with me. Actually, after reading what Stan said, I used the word depression for the first time. Previously I guess I had been embarrassed.

Publicly I’m a strong, resilient guy, and most of the time I am, but when I get gripped by this I feel like the weakest man ever to have lived.

How can someone as seemingly strong as me be depressed?

My life has been very public, my entire past is documented online and I have already tried to be as open and honest with people as possible (perhaps to my detriment sometimes). But this is one of the few things I have never talked about publicly. Like I say, getting through to myself that this is an illness and not just being ‘weak’ has been a long road, but I think it’s just about hitting me what I’m really dealing with.

Why have I wrote about this? It’s time to be honest with myself, and it’s time to be honest with people that know me, I guess. Also, if it helps just one person who is going through the same things but who has not said anything to anyone yet, then it’s worth it.

The risk is that some people will take advantage of me, perhaps even mock me for writing this. There are a fair few people that will hate the day I am a raging success again and love it that I’m struggling. But to be honest I don’t care anymore. I am me and this is part of me now.

If I was going to give up I would have done it by now. And during good times, nothing will stop me getting the life back that I want.

I urge you to speak to people if you are suffering. Like I say, it’s hard to understand, but there are people that can help.

Will the phoenix rise from the ashes again? You bet your fucking life it will… I’m just not sure when ….

Mark Lyford

Remember: A Man Is Not Old Until Regrets Take The Place of Dreams