MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK | Paul Lazarus
Big boys don’t cry? Oh yes they do – or at least they should do….!
I lived for a very long time under the illusion that it was weakness to publicly show emotion, let alone talk openly about it.
Misplaced pride in being the strong silent type, perhaps? Saracens taught me otherwise – and I am so grateful. I shouldered the burden of doing what I could to support my sole surviving immediate relative – my lovely sister – through the horrors of cancer, until she finally lost the fight.
Eight years – a magnificent battle by a fiercely independent woman who did her utmost to save me the pain of supporting her, to the point of being close to shut out completely at the end. It was hard – bloody hard – but then the epiphany….. This was participation in the Saracens Way, superbly led by my now good mate, Will Fraser.
He taught me the true value of Social Capital, of sharing our dark moments as well as the fun times. It taught me to open up – safe in the knowledge that I was surrounded by people who weren’t just friendly colleagues – but people who genuinely cared for each other.
The fear of weakness was turned totally on its head – it now felt like a strength to talk about fears and insecurities. Knowing I wasn’t alone gave me resilience, it gave me joy – and as ill as my Sis was - she could see it as well and it gave her tremendous comfort.
That’s what Saracens and the Saracens Way is all about – I’ve lost my immediate blood family, but I have another family that I couldn’t be happier being a part of. That sense of belonging largely eradicated the loneliness of loss, albeit there are still dark moments.
People here care – my only hope is I can repay in one way or another – because none of us are immune.
Thank you Saracens.