EX THE Only Way Is Essex star Mario Falcone has shared a heartbreaking image that was taken one week before he attempted suicide.
The 33-year-old star reflected on how far he has come as he compared the image to a cosy snap with fiancee Becky Miesner and their two-year-old son Parker.
In a lengthy caption, the reality TV favourite opened up about his mental health journey as he admitted that he does still struggle with his anxiety and experience down days.
He wrote: "On the right is a picture of me at my very lowest. In fact 1 week after this picture was taken I tried to take my own life.
"I would at that point in time rather have been dead than alive another day with the thoughts and darkness I was enduring daily.
"This picture is me now, beautiful fiancée and an amazing little boy. Happy and content most of the time but still having my dips.
"Some days I still have down days, some nights I can’t sleep because my anxiety gets the better of me, some days my mind plays tricks on me, makes me question my worth and think I am not doing enough for my family. And that is ok!!
"Unfortunately there is no ‘cure’ for mental health problems but I know my triggers, things and even people to avoid and I know my coping mechanisms when sometimes things get too much. I have learnt to live with it!"
Mario went on: "I am truly lucky I have a few good people around me I can talk to on a hard day. And opening up and getting some of the worries off my chest and thoughts off my mind can quickly change my frame of mind and mood.
"As it’s Mental Health Awareness week I just wanted to say that everyone really is fighting a battle, and sometimes like the picture on the left you can’t visually see it… so always be kind and if you are struggling don’t be afraid or ashamed to speak to someone, it will make you feel better! Everyone is uniquely amazing ❤️"
Mario has spoken out in the past about his 2012 suicide attempt, which came one year after he shot to fame on Towie – and following his high profile split from co-star Lucy Mecklenburgh.
He credited his I'm A Celeb champ sister Giovanna for helping him from the darkness, sharing: "She is super organised in a crisis and knew what to do and got me to counselling.
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
"As a man you have your guard up and I felt I had to put on this kind of bravado, but she told me 'you need to open up'. That saved my life without a doubt."
Mario also said in the past: "I was having a really difficult time eight years ago going through a very public break-up.
"I was getting a lot of hate on social media and felt really backed into a corner – like this was the only way out."
Thankfully, he was able to get the help that he needed and has been happily loved-up with Becky since 2016.
Contact the Samaritans
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article contact The Samaritans on 116 123. They are available for free at anytime.
Or email https://www.samaritans.org/
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