Single father reaches out to Facebook group for ‘help and guidance’

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A SINGLE dad from Queensland found himself at breaking point before doing something he’s now urging all men struggling with life to do.

After a recent family breakup, Adam Robb, 29, had to move away from his three-month-old son in central Queensland back to his hometown in Moranbah, near Mackay on the coast, to find his feet again, reports the Mackay Daily Mercury.

Feeling lost, alone, heartbroken and empty, the newly single dad sat on his back steps watching his dogs play and asked himself, “What the hell am I doing?”

He was having a breakdown, he said, and didn’t know what to do.

“It’s all good while you’re around your friends, you go have a beer and have a laugh with them but on the inside you’re just miserable,” he said, struggling to get the words out.

“When you get by yourself, everything just hits home. You wish you could reach out and wish you could tell them, but it’s bloody hard and you don’t know what to say.”

Adam said he felt hopeless, as though he was running through a tunnel trying to see light at the end that was never coming.

“Just sitting there thinking about bub. Should I have a beer? What am I doing? I just keep thinking about my little baby, going what kind of example do I want to set?” he said, apologising for breaking into tears.

“It took me a lot.”

Having lived in Moranbah for most of his life, Adam said everyone knew him as the guy who would always offer help, not ask for help.

But he finally worked up the courage to post on the town’s Community Noticeboard page on Facebook.

“Never thought I’d ask this and wish I didn’t have to but does anyone know any single dad groups in town? Not in a good way at the moment and would really like some help and guidance,” he wrote.

The response was huge. Adam said he received over 200 messages and counting.

These were just some of the comments:

“Geez mate … I don’t know you Adam but if you ever want to come over for a feed and a chat, please come. Don’t do this by yourself …”

“Good on you mate … I coach the rugby union team in town if you wanna come down some time and kick the footy with the boys you’re more than welcome …”

“Bloody hard yakka, gone through the dark times myself and have come out the other side OK. My advice is to not be too proud to admit that you need a hand.”

Aside from personal words of support, people recommended professional organisations to contact such as Mental Health First Aid Moranbah and Surrounds, Mates In Mining and Lifeline.

“I feel like a little chunk of that burden I’m going through at the moment has lifted. I’ve got some breathing space,” Adam said.

“(It) literally brought me to tears last night with people going ‘awesome, well done man, first step is reaching out’.

“I can’t thank everyone enough. I thought it was a moment of weakness reaching out but it wasn’t. I think it was the best thing I’ve done.”

For the first time in weeks, Adam said he slept properly.

“I went to Coles earlier and some people came up to me and shook my hand and said ‘well done’,” he said.

“I nearly started bloody crying in the middle of the bloody shopping centre.”

Adam thought no one in Moranbah would care, but has since been reminded that the town might be small, but the community spirit is big.

He’s been inspired to see a counsellor and wants to start his own single fathers’ group in the community.

“It would go so well in the community. All of them said it’s hard to start with but it gets better,” he said.

“You’re going to crawl before you walk but it’s going to be okay. All you can do is try, you’re a fool if you don’t.”

This originally appeared in the Mackay Daily Mercury and is reproduced with permission.

If you or someone you know needs help, call MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978, Mates In Mining on 1300 642 111, or for crisis support phone Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14.

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