It’s Time to Talk Day. I’m sharing my story, are you?
Today is the day to share your story and help break the stigma. By opening the door for conversation about mental health, we encourage understanding, awareness and support. And that includes you strong and silent chaps!
The Black Dog
The black dog first got me just after my daughter was born. I found myself standing in front of the toaster, knife ready with the butter, crying uncontrollably. I had no idea why. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with post-natal depression.
It took a long time for me to feel good again because I was battling with an unhappy marriage and childhood at the same time. Well-meaning friends provided a stream of solutions: get a job, go for a walk, start a new hobby. Proactive solutions are no use in this situation. They’re frustrating and upsetting to hear so you stop listening. You isolate yourself, the dog gets blacker and the downward spiral starts.
What can you do to help?
Well, for me, medication helped massively but it doesn’t work straight away. Until then, all I wanted was a simple hug and a non-judgemental ear (although a nourishing meal always helped!).
The Second Coming
This time it was more complex. I had been in a relationship for two years during which I was abused - emotionally, financially and physically. I was in a constant state of anxiety. My home was broken into, my business vandalised, and I was relentlessly harassed online. I became a shell of myself, I wasn’t sleeping, and I couldn’t walk down the street without constantly looking over my shoulder.
This time, medication didn’t seem to help at all. So, what did?
The real answers
1 Talking: I found a trained counsellor that I trusted and was lucky enough to have incredibly supportive friends.
2 Looking after me: Exercising regularly and making the effort to nourish my body properly.
Which brings me onto a rather wonderful individual.
Stu Baker and I
We met at an inspirational day in London a couple of months ago. He was speaking about Mastering Your Mindset and strategies to help with depression and anxiety.
Exercise. Sleep. Healthy Eating. These are Stu’s three rules. He’s very open about his own experiences and uses them to challenge the idea of male pride and showing weakness. Stu wants men to realise it’s ok to be depressed and it’s great to talk about it because that’s how you lighten the load.
Our next event
I’ve invited Stu to come and chat to us about his new book for men and all things mental health. Learn about his strategies for improving mental health, recipes that will have your mouth watering and exercises that are actually achievable. No fluff, just fact! For more info about Stu and his charity, click here and here.
Booking is going to be essential so reserve your place now.
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