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The start of 2019 has seen the biggest mental growth spurt of my life and could well be, the most influential weeks of the rest of my life.

I set out to do a comedy course, not because I think I’m funny or fancy doing stand-up (because believe me right now I really don’t,) but to benefit my public speaking. I hoped it would help me to read the audience better, improve my stage presence and perhaps where appropriate inject some humour into my subject matter of mental health, which can be quite a dark and emotional subject.

The first session (5 1/2 hours long) was the most traumatic experience I have voluntarily put myself through, ever. That’s saying something because I’m not one to shy away from a challenge if it will help me grow in some beneficial way.

MAKING MAGIC IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Anyone who has ever heard the phrase “comfort zone” has almost certainly heard the old adage that the magic happens on the edge of it or outside it. I propose that the magic happens as a result of enlarging your comfort zone and is mostly revealed once you have returned to the safety...

JUST BEFORE YOU BRING IN THE NEW…

There is always a desire to celebrate the good stuff and brush off the crap of the preceding year, hoping that the next 12 months will be better. But we could be missing out on a lot of positivity by doing this. It is very easy to write off bad experiences by not accepting what has actually happened or...

SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

Should I dive deeper, should I sit here and enjoy the view or should I return to the surface? It isn’t really one of life’s difficult decisions and sooner or later my urge to breath will encourage me to ascend. Making decisions or choices can be like torture for someone who suffers...

DUVET DAYS

I go to the ocean and hold my breath to stop time and to hide; To let the waters wash around me, even through me to silence the voices to calm my weary spirit. Suspended in a place of eternal blue currents gently play caressing my skin soothing my soul. Bathed in the peace and tranquil embrace of the deep...

DO YOU SEE WHO I SEE?

Have you ever wondered if your self-assessment is accurate? Is your self-doubt or lack of confidence warranted? Do the people close to you know parts of you better than you know yourself? The paradox is that you have always been you, and you only see yourself from the inside...

RESILIENCE

When children begin to learn to walk they constantly fall down and have to keep trying again and again, but with persistence, encouragement and support they learn how. Recovery from depression involves persistence too, but it isn’t easy because the life of depression is about surviving...

JAWS!

Flesh being torn apart by sharp incisors. Chew size pieces crushed and ground before being swallowed… Did you think i was talking about sharks? Apologies for misleading you, I want to talk about the human jaw and how it affects our health rather than our frequently misunderstood fishy friends...

JUST MOVE YOUR FOOT

When my depression was really bad, there were days when I mentally struggled to get out from under the duvet to even go to the loo, let alone brush my teeth. I would have to talk myself into moving my foot to just start the process of getting out of bed, whilst trying to ignore the craziness...

BACK ON THE MAT

Today I did yoga for the first time in nearly 15 months and almost cried after the class because I had missed it so much. Yes, it does sound a little over dramatic, but then I can be at times. I was in Roatan for the World Championships, August 2017 and had an accident...

WHY SUICIDE?

I have known people who have died by suicide. Some were friends, some acquaintances. I came close to it myself 18 years ago. For those left behind following a death by suicide, questions of “why did they do it?” and “could I have prevented it?” ...

BECOMING A JOY JUNKIE

As a child I hated running, I hated walking. In fact I would pretty much do anything possible to get out of putting one leg in front of the other. I have always maintained I would rather swim somewhere than walk and it would probably be faster too!...

"HOW CAN YOU BE SURE THE DEPRESSION WON'T COME BACK AGAIN?"

It is a question I get asked a lot and the answer is simple: I now have control over my depression, rather than it having control over me. 18 years ago, depression affected almost every part of my life...

I SAW THE LIGHT

In May 2017, 17 years since my last major depression episode, I posted a photo on Instagram that I had taken from underneath the surface in the Blue Hole, Dahab. I was looking up at the freedivers on the surface and it reminded me of the disconnect...

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