So I’ve got a new job, I’m a casual worker for the local council, my work – Stage production technician for the Theatre. It’s great, some colourful characters, some dull ones. I met actors, dancers, colleagues who I’m now close with. These relationship’s were formed in an extremely difficult time during my life. Over the course of the 8 weeks of pantomime madness, I managed to lose two grandparents. My nan, who was so close to my heart, and my grandad, who wasn’t as close, but his love for my grandma is something I will never forget. He worked until he was 80! Mad bastard, but that was him. Workaholic!

A friend I met at the theatre, threw £20 at me and forced me to get a taxi, the day before my nan died, to visit her in her final hours before the devil’s work of Lung cancer took her life. I was the last person she saw from our family, and I’ve never been so grateful for an act of kindness towards me.

The last day of pantomime, just as the final show started, two days after my nan’s funeral, I lost my grandad. Anxiety and depression took over his life in his later years when my grandma moved into a care home suffering from dementia. He visited her, but he had lost his soul mate, his best friend, and he gave up on life in general. His death was fast and sudden, only months ago was her planting winter flowers for approaching season.

Having myself suffer from Anxiety and Depression for over 10 years now, my daily life routine was just getting back into ‘normality’, whatever the fuck that is, when my grandparents lives started to diminish. I felt I had to change something, and the folk I met at the pantomime helped me see light at the end of the tunnel, never once did I cry, I only smiled.

Being suicidal for years too, I thought I would be feeling those same emotions when my grandparents pasted, but I never did. I drank and smoked a lot of weed, but I never felt suicidal, I just kept remembering I am apart of the pantomime. Remembering peoples smiles and laughs, the good nights out I’ve had during the show. And one other thing, which I don’t ever seem to mention much, but the inspiration from the people who worked it, helped me realise the hunger I had years ago before I left Bradford for London.

A great way for me to survive those suicidal thoughts, was quite simply, because of the pantomime. Focusing my attention to something enjoyable. That’s it.

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