Chris had struggled with his mental health for many years with it slowly getting worse for the past couple of years. Because of this he pulled away from many of his friends in his early twenties and relied on his family more for any engagement.
As part of this he also relied heavily on his PlayStation and Fifa which would continue to be his main interest until the end.
Since his early twenties Chris struggled with alcoholism. Mainly as a coping mechanism for his increased anxiety and depression. It helped him sleep and get through each day.
A number of times he tried to give it up. Either because his family were worried about his reliance on it or in more recent years because it was starting to severely impact on his health.
Chris didn’t like to share his problems or burden anyone else so sometimes it was hard to know when he was struggling. This was and is the hardest part for his family as all they wanted to do was help but unfortunately until Chris wanted to be helped then there wasn’t much they could do.
In the last couple of years Chris’s dependency on alcohol increased and so did his health problems. Resulting in him being taken to hospital and having stints in the hospital of between a week and a month. This happened 3-4 times over a couple of years.
The reasons behind Chris’s alcohol use will never be truly understood. However in the last year Chris was finally diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder which started to explain some of the things he was feeling. However his family thought there was more to it than this but unfortunately having done the tests with the wellbeing service in Bedfordshire he was told he would have to wait 12 weeks for treatment. For Chris who needed the help now, this seemed like a lifetime.
In this period of his life Chris was also involved in Path 2 Recovery in Bedford where he would go to see someone and speak about any issues he may be having and try to find the root causes as to why his drink dependency as well as his anxiety and depression had worsened so much over the last couple of years. They seemed to be making progress however as previously stated Chris found it hard to open up and connect – especially with services – so it was slow progress and he wasn’t always truthful.
That brings us up to present time. And it’s not known exactly why Chris died yet or what led to his death on 30/03/2019. But it is believed to all be linked with his alcohol dependency. All that is known is that he had been having seizures on and off in the last couple of years presumably due to alcohol withdrawal and his life was ended with a seizure and a bang to the head. But most importantly he died doing what he loved – cooking. With the sister he loved. And he was incredibly proud of all the work he did to provide over 100 people with amazing food at the murder mystery event his sister Steph had organised.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom! Chris is known by all as a true gentleman. The stories that have been shared since he passed have cemented this. He was known as a gentle giant. He often walked female workers and friends home to make sure they got home safely. He loved helping people probably because that’s all he thought he had to offer. He often gave what little money he had to the homeless even though he struggled financially as he was too ill to work but couldn’t get benefits. In later times his daily routine became playing on his playstation and occasionally making an appearance downstairs as he always made his mum and dad a cuppa and a meal of their choice. Again his love came out on his cooking.
The reason for wanting to raise awareness of alcohol dependency as well as mental health issues as a whole is so Chris doesn’t pass in vein. He may not have been able to help himself but now hopefully he can help many others by highlighting the need to seek help – not just from professionals but also to reach out to family and friends. Chris’s problems really started when he began to isolate himself. If anyone is doing this in your life please reach out early to try and stop this cycle in its tracks.