My name is Liam McCann and I was diagnosed with depression in June 2016. A few people had noticed changes in me, and suspected that I was having problems with my mental health so I took the step to go to my GP.
My depression has been caused by my past life. A life of bullying, mental and physical abuse and being told I was never good enough for anything.
I grew up in a very military household. My father, who carried 10 years of military service under his belt, believed in hard discipline to ensure his son would go on the ‘right’ track in life. Well that didn’t work. At the end of the day he only wanted me to do what he wanted, not what I wanted to do.
From a young age I loved the country life, living near to a farm and stables. However, my father did not encourage me into this industry as he couldn’t see the potential for a good job or career at the end of the day. However, I just loved it! Growing up I used to collect model tractors, combines and other machinery, from all the brands like John Deere, Massey Ferguson and the rest. It’s something I loved and it made me happy.
When I was 21 I was thrown out of my home as I started rebelling against my parents control over me, as they were against the path I wanted to take. I wanted to pursue a career in the agricultural field, as this was my passion. I worked at a stables in Blackburn, West Lothian during the summer of 2013. When I left this role, I did so with a good reference.
I met a good friend, who ended up adopting me into her family. She was there for me when I was thrown out of my own home. I lived with her in Fife, I got a job in a stables in April 2016 and worked there for a couple of months. I chose to leave to embark on a new opportunity as a herdsman with the Thomson’s at Kirkton of Beath Farm. It was a dream come true. I loved every minute in that job, being on the farm working with cattle made me very happy. However, depression affected me and as it got more severe I attempted to commit suicide on the 22nd of November 2016. I took an overdose and was rushed to Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
After my attempt I told myself that I will not let those who have brought me down in the past bring me down again. Unfortunately, I did have to part with my job with the Thomson’s as my mental health was affecting my work. My moods were up and down, I had periods of anger, frustration and emotional pain. It is a horrible feeling. It is a feeling that I can’t put into words, even when talking out loud. It’s even more frustrating when you can’t get your feelings out. It builds up and then you snap. I felt stupid for letting that happen and acting like that.
I miss milking the cows very much. It’s not for everyone but faming is my passion. I have a desire to learn and I am keen to work. It is an industry that keeps me focused and it makes me happy. I am still suffering from my depression now. Every day, I fight to stay focused with the hope that I will get another opportunity to work in farming.
I have applied to Oatridge College for Land-Based Engineering with the hope that I get the opportunity to study, learn and fix the machines that I love. My adoptive family, who were there for me when no-one else was, still support me in what I want to do. I know it is not easy for them to deal with someone with a mental illness. Even for me, the bearer of mental illness, I struggle to understand it myself. I wish I could get up and it would go away, like I could take a pill and it would feel better like a sore head. It doesn’t. It takes careful nurturing and delicate tactics to beat this horrible illness. I hate to use these words to describe what I have but that is its reality.
I will fight it with my passion, beat it with my hobbies and deal with it. It is half the battle keeping my mind occupied, but I do so with what I love. I am proud to be a young farmer and that keeps me going.