- 10 Oct 18
We invited a 100-strong chorus of artists, writers, musicians, broadcasters, sports stars and more to contribute to Now We’re Talking, a mental health campaign, run in partnership with Lyons Tea and Pieta House.
At home, they used to call me “The Onion”. So many layers, but never allowing anybody into the core. “If people see it, I’m done for, destroyed.... If they see what I’m really like inside...”. I used to think it so cruel that I’d have to run out of my favourite geography class in school, heart exploding, body trembling, feeling like I’m about to die over and over again.
I remember it following me to church and having all those guilt battles with God: “I’m sorry God, I know I probably deserve this, whatever this is. But I can’t go in there, it’s too damn scary. I’ll stand at the door on my own and sure that’s shame enough. People know my folks well and word will get back and all that.” I remember Maynooth University with mixed feelings. “Hello Mr Indoor Panic – meet my little friend, Mr Outdoor Panic! I know I deserve this, it must be for missing mass or having feelings for some young wan.” I remember two heroes of flatmates dragging me into the exam for Greek and Roman Civilization… I passed it somehow.
The shame of telling my hard-working dad that I couldn’t face college anymore, except when I soaked myself in drink – I could talk and be silly with drink. I left Maynooth, then did night jobs. Then I tried college again, and left again. And on it went.