Unemployed father from Surrey who tweeted ‘I am not ok’ receives floods of support

Edmund O’Leary asked followers to ‘please take a few seconds to say hello’

Olivia Petter@oliviapetter1
Monday 19 October 2020 12:06
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An unemployed father from Surrey has gone viral after tweeting about "feeling rock bottom".

On Friday 16 October, Edmund O'Leary, 51, posted a tweet stating "I am not ok". 

"Feeling rock bottom," he added. "Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

More than 100,000 people have since replied to O’Leary, with many sharing messages of support while others took the opportunity to start meaningful conversations and threads about mental health.

The tweet has also garnered more than 200,000 likes and earned O’Leary 14,000 followers.

“You're not alone,” replied one user. "I've been in some dark places these past few years. So dark that the Covid reality almost felt like a relief (finally the outside matched my inside.).

"BUT, here's the most important bit, the darkness lifted. Trust me, it will for you too. Look for the light !"

Another replied by calling O’Leary a “brave lad” to which O’Leary responded: "Thank you. Trying not to suffer in silence. 

“Running on empty. All the colour in my life seems to be draining away. Days appear to be in monochrome. Thank you for taking the time to reply and for your kindness.”

Some people offered to speak to O’Leary on the phone while others invited him out for coffee and asked if they could advise him on his CV.

The bestselling author Matt Haig also commented: “Hi Edmund. Sending love.

“Remember, the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view. 

“You will not always feel like this. You will one day feel a lot better and look back and see the distance you made. X.”

Meanwhile, former Tory MP Louise Mensch replied: “How are you doing this morning? DM if you need someone to talk to.”

Speaking to The Sunday Times, O’Leary revealed that after posting the tweet at 11.27pm, he started notifications pop up withing minutes.

“Most days are really rubbish, and [Friday] was another day I was feeling really low,” he said. “I thought: I’m going to be honest," he said.

“I am shocked at the degree of the response. It has been phenomenal... it was just crazy."

O’Leary added that if he were to reply to every single tweet, he’d “need to employ staff”.

The father-of-two added that he has suffered from depression for more than a decade and has also struggled with anxiety and PTSD.

His last job was as a mental health advisor 18 months ago.

If you are in need of mental health support, you can contact the free Samaritans helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

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