"My wife died of dementia and pneumonia last year. We would have been married for 30 years in January.
Everything was very rawNot long after she’d died, I went to see my doctor because I was getting very angry and bitter. I was angry at how some people had treated us or avoided us after she was diagnosed with dementia.
Everything was very raw, and I was getting flashbacks from when she was suffering.
My anger was going over and over, and I was at boiling point. I had some suicidal thoughts and knew I needed help. I couldn’t speak to family or friends and I didn’t want anti-depressants – I don’t like taking tablets – and so she recommended Treetops Hospice.
I come from a generation where men didn't talk about their feelings; we’d always put on a front and say ‘we can get through this’, so I’d never thought about counselling before.
Every time I talked to friends, they would say I’d done brilliantly looking after my wife, but I didn’t want to hear that. I didn’t look after her for a pat on the back. I wanted to talk about what was haunting me.
I could say exactly what I wanted to sayIt was easy to talk to Nina, my counsellor. Someone who didn’t know me or my wife. She didn’t judge me and I could say exactly what I wanted to say – how angry I was - and not feel patronised.
Counselling hasn’t stopped me thinking about the bad times and I still get flashbacks now and then, but it took 95% of my anger issues away.
If I hadn’t had counselling, I think I would have got angrier and angrier and done something silly."