He’s renowned as one half of the amusing Oz and Jay duo which has long dominated Malta’s airwaves, but Oz has now revealed a bleaker side to him.
In a blogpost published earlier today, Oz (real name David Borg) lifted the lid on how he has long been struggling with mental health problems and how he has been wondering whether or not to open up for a while.
“So, why now? It’s a valid question. I’ve had the opportunity to do this many times over the years and chose not to. It has been a hard decision,” he wrote.
“Firstly, in all honesty, I was quite simply ashamed. You may think it sounds stupid, but it is the absolute truth. I felt different, I felt weak, I felt broken. And I did not want people to know. I thought they would think less of me, and that did not sit with me well. I just wanted to be normal and loved.”
Oz recounted how he was brought up learning that he must be tough and not show any sign of weakness if he wanted to survive.
“It was a very old school way of thinking, very common in that generation, but in hindsight it didn’t work for me,” he recounted. “In fact, not only did it not work, I think it also had a totally negative effect on the way I handled my problems in life. Stuff them deep down inside and pretend that they don’t exist.”
“Why else? Well, I am finally at the point in my life where I feel the culmination of my experiences may actually have the ability to help others. I am not trying to save the world here, mind you. But, if my story can help even just one person understand that they are not abnormal, not alone and that there is a way forward, then it will all be entirely worth it. I hope it helps more than one person if I am honest, but just one will be enough. The worst thing about suffering with mental health issues is that it is a very lonely disease. I am here to tell all that it doesn’t have to be that way.”
Oz’s description of his mental health struggles will likely resonate with anyone who has been down that path.
“For as long as I can remember, I always felt something was there, sometimes lurking in the background, sometimes occupying every part of my being,” he said. “It was always around. I did not have what one might refer to as nice family upbringing. From my earliest memories my family life included alcohol, lots of alcohol, verbal and psychological abuse and a constant state of fear and worry. I just want to say at this juncture, I am not going to single out family members here. The intention of the article is to try and give people an understanding of my struggle with mental health and how it all developed. Not to throw my family members under the bus. I don’t wish to do that. But it is clear to say that living at home throughout my childhood was no fun at all…”
This is the first of a series of posts about his mental health struggles that Oz intends to publish on his blog.
“I hope that it give you a chance to understand me a little better, and for those who suffer from similar issues, it gives you the courage to help find what you need to progress forward in your lives,” he said.