This week I was told I’d lost a friend.
Not a friend that I was in touch with every day, but a friend that I’ve shared a fair amount of experiences with over 10 years and through some of the most eventful years of my life…
One of those friends that you always think you can get back on the phone to, always knowing you’ve a similarity of mindset somewhere… A guy with enthusiasm, arrogance and tenacity.
This is a man I trained… He came to work at the same company as me back in 2006, an IT bod in a salesman’s world…
At the time I was at my peak, I was the Obi Wan (as we called it in the sales team) and he was to be my padawan apprentice, the first member of staff I was to train from scratch.
At this time I was working for a telemarketing company and I was averaging 1 face to face appointment with a FTSE100 Director every 5 dial outs… (Which will only excite sales directors most likely)
Now this chap had a very good technical knowledge, something I could never hope to achieve, he could even diagnose some problems IT Directors were facing, over the phone… No need for a meeting…
But over time I taught him how to approach a call, no scripting, just genuine thought and tact, empathy and adaptability. The beautiful point was when the stage came where we were always the top 1st and 2nd sales-guys on the phones. He beat me one month because I’d been on holiday for 2 weeks so my figures were down, but I came back that month and fought him until the final day, reaching 2nd place out of a good amount of guys in terms of revenue generation was really a high point for me, but seeing James at the top of the board was a better feeling.
He was balshy and brash and arrogant and quick witted and he was always blunt and honest… At least that’s how I’ll always see him, remember him…
I feel like I’ve lost a brother. When you’ve bonded with individuals under the same pressures, through breakups with girls, fights, through drinks and football and days out and Christmases and sales targets and loss, you may as well have been brought up in the same house. Because wherever we all are now, Liam, Nick, Neil, Anthony, James, Glenn, Colin, Sam and Stuart, those were the guys I’d always remember, I’ll always revere the time spent with those boys.
Running my own business is often basically sitting here wishing we were all running it together…
We must free our minds during loss, we must allow ourselves to breathe and to hold on to those past moments as we develop into new ones in our own present and future lives and I won’t forget him and he’ll always be there, reminding me that there are those we may not at first notice, but which may just need you…
Another loss that I found quite hard to read about this week, I was sent by a friend who thought the story would be worth sharing; it’s from the following article:
“GP found dead after being suspended over bipolar disorder blog”
Dr Wendy Potts was suspended after patient complained about blog in which she wrote about having condition
A GP who kept a blog about living with bipolar disorder was found dead after being suspended from work when a patient read her online entries and complained, an inquest has heard. In the weeks leading up to her death, Dr Wendy Potts had written candidly about her condition and the effect it had on her life.
A patient at her surgery saw her online posts and contacted management, questioning whether she should be able to practise as a GP. The inquest heard that Potts later told her partner: “How can I have been so stupid?”
Potts, who had two children, was suspended after the October half-term break, which is said to have deepened her symptoms. By the time of her death, her suspension had been lifted, but she had not been allowed back to work. Her partner, Mark St John Jones, found her body at the family’s home in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, on 24 November last year.
Jones said Potts, 46, had kept a blog in which she stated that she had bipolar disorder. He told the court that a patient had read the blog and complained to the surgery, which was not named during the hearing.
The court heard Potts was under psychiatric care and her medication was increased after the suspension. Before she died, the suspension was lifted but other investigations were still being completed. Jones said Potts had experienced other work-related stress, including dealing with the death of a patient, and had previously tried to take her own life.
Dr David Walker, a consultant psychiatrist, said he was not aware of this attempt. “She chose not to tell me this had happened,” he added.
Potts’s mother, Joan, told the court about a manic episode her daughter had experienced in February 2014. She said: “She was shouting, jumping on the settee and talking in rhyme. It was very strange – I’ve never seen anything like it before. We didn’t see anything like it again.”
Afterwards, Potts did not work for three months. Joan Potts added that her daughter “felt she had got more than she could cope with” after she and her partner bought a smallholding in Cardigan, west Wales, in May.
However, Jones said: “Wendy wrote in her blog that this was what she wanted. She wanted to get away from work.”
Derbyshire’s assistant coroner, James Newman, adjourned the inquest to obtain a report relating to Potts’s suspension.
• In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here.
And the crux of this situation, is that when a doctor can’t get the help she needs, to save her own life, how can people not comprehend, that it’s harder than you think out there today, to find the right support through the darkness that visits us…
If there’s wasn’t such an established stigma & pretence behind what mental health means, or how it might acutely effect an individual, or how it should be defined, then we wouldn’t be losing these people… They’d be with us today and they’d find us, we’d find each other and in time, unified, we’d strive and eventually find the peace that we’ve been searching for…
CEO’s, Managing Directors, Board Room Exec’s, Doctors, Blue Light Sector Staff please speak up, it’s now more than ever that we need your voice. This must become mandatory in every avenue of business and industry across the UK, there must be a legal obligation to support those with and without mental health with their day to day climb… The struggles that we face must be recognised, not pandered to, but understood. Respect will remedy whats previously been broken. Things become brighter when we accept we’re all equal…
2 thoughts on “The ones we miss… The lost souls…”
That same GP surgery failed my sister who was suicidal six times and yet kept being prescribed controlled drugs at a dangerous level giving her an easy way to undertake the fatal one. Due to confidentiality I couldn’t talk to the GP about my fears and now even the GMC are not interested despite me providing all the photos of hundreds of drugs and morphine and fentanyl that the post mortem mentioned. It is true we are not equal which means people get away with seriously dangerous and fatal errors.
I’m sorry that you had to go through this Kathryn it’s an awful thing to have had to see.