David sat in a chair in a barbers looking at camera
David King speaks mental health from Athlone, Roscommon.Image by: Movember
David sat in a chair in a barbers looking at camera
3 May 2023

David’s story: Talking changed my life

3 minutes read time

David King, 49, from Athlone, Roscommon, Ireland, working as a Mindset and Health Intelligence coach, shares with Movember his journey with mental health.

Death brings more questions than answers. As an 11-year-old boy I stared in disbelief at my father’s body as it lay motionless. Why so young? At 33 years of age, he left suddenly to natural causes.

This traumatic event sparked my internal battle with death. I fell into darkness filled with self-blame, self-loathing and a feeling of being alone. I hid my feelings, wore a smile as a mask and never spoke about my demons, the voices of never-ending negativity constantly interrupting my thoughts.

" I realised in life we have choices. So I decided to make a change "

I have never been far from death. I have lost a number of male friends and colleagues to suicide. Again, the questions arise. The self-blame kicks in. Why could he not talk to me?

Despite my happy go lucky exterior I was in a place of darkness, afraid to speak, afraid to reach out for help. I questioned my own existence, my own purpose in life.

I realised in life we have choices. So I decided to make a change. Acceptance and taking ownership of my situation was my first step. I immersed myself in breathwork, meditation, mindfulness and self-discipline. Over the years my self-talk has improved along with my confidence and passion for helping others who struggle with their own darkness.

Last year, death struck once more as my good friend took his life. We all deal with death in our own unique way. As hard as it may seem, I have decided to celebrate his life, and the lives of those who have passed. I choose to share my feelings; to feel angry, frustrated, I talk, I cry. I embrace my emotions. Am I fixed? No, I was never broken. My internal GPS on my life map was off course. I still struggle with poor self-talk, but through acknowledgement and using the tools I have developed, I have learned to embrace these thoughts and change my own internal dialogue. By openly sharing with others, I realise I am not alone. Talking has changed my life.

Movember 2022 was amazing for me. To create awareness and help so many others is game changing. I took on a challenge of 3,000 burpees in 30 days plus 100km and, of course, I grew a glorious Mo for the month of Movember.

Every time I dropped down to complete a burpee, I felt so grateful to have the opportunity to get back up.

Reach out, talk to others, change your internal dialogue and be kind to you.

Starting conversations with men who are struggling may seem daunting. But getting them to open up can be easier with practice. Use our tool Movember Conversations for support.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling low, don’t hesitate to reach out for support using these local support resources.

To speak with someone immediately, call The Samaritans on 116 123 or message the Shout text line on 85258.

If you’re ever worried that someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999 or go directly to emergency services.