As a teenager, Liverpool-born Darran dabbled in drugs, and by the time he joined the RAF at age 16 he was drink-dependent. His spell in the service was short-lived, and he went to join his family in the Isle of Man.
Things were initially good for him in the new location, but the same problems remained. Jobs came and went, his relationships were affected, and he even spent time in prison after being caught drink driving.
Darran explained: “I was a functioning drinker and I was a different person to the person I was portraying. My head used to be all over the place, like a head full of broken biscuits. My mental health was suffering.”
Struggling to keep his depression and darker thoughts at bay, Darran attempted suicide on more than one occasion.
“There was one time I had my door broken down by the police and paramedics. It was not a proud moment in my life but I’m grateful they did in the end.
“One day I was just feeling suicidal more than anything. I thought I’m going to have to try Samaritans.
“I wasn’t sure what I was after or what I wanted from them. When I first started talking to them, I didn’t really have much to say, and then without realising I’d been talking for 40 minutes. The time just flew by.
“I probably spoke to them 20 or 30 times after that first time. And it really opened my eyes up to talking and how beneficial that could be.”
Darran accessed the support he needed to tackle his issues, and a got a place at a rehabilitation facility in Bury, Greater Manchester. A year later, he emerged with an enthusiasm to help others.
“I was going to save lives. I needed to get myself a volunteering role and I thought Samaritans was the place to be. I’ve been there for four years now.”
Darran, who settled in Bury, set himself a plan of going to university: “I went to college and did an access course, and then I was very fortunate to get onto a course at university. And I’m loving it now, I’m doing a forensic and criminological psychology degree.”
He said: “I’ve overcome some big hurdles. I can handle the future and whatever life is going to throw at me. I’m made up for where I am and where I’ve got to. I’m really proud of myself.”
Together we can help prevent suicide. Suicide affects us all. Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option.
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