‘You’re on your own. You are not enough. You look different. You will never forget the mistakes you made. They were right about you. You’ve missed your chance. You’re life will never be significant. He is better than you.’
Over and over again, these phrases played (and play) in my mind. They are the tracks on my least favourite record and yet they are the tracks I play the most; an album of self-loathing written to keep me depressed.
If you are a man whose reaction to women’s social media posts about Sarah Everard’s murder and how they also have felt unsafe in the past please stop trying to centre yourself in this story. You feeling that the phrasing is unjust is not just off topic but it minimises the point being made, it is an attempt to paint ‘good men’ as victims in this story. Men, more than you clearly think, have made many women feel unsafe many times. Ask them about it. Ask the women in your life about the reactions they’ve received when they’ve politely turned … Continue reading Ask Women (#NotAllMen)
My friend reminded me of these words I wrote at the end of last year. After the heat we’ve all survived they feel much more relevant. ————— As we draw the 2010s to a close it is natural to reflect on what has gone before and try to sift through the memories, both good and bad, to form some lesson to take into the next decade. What a ten years it had been. I started this decade with almost every area of my life barely holding together whilst delivering what I believed was an Oscar worthy performance of ‘successful man … Continue reading Last Year’s New Year Thoughts Revisited After A Hellish Year
On this Christmas like no other may you have, in the words sung best by Judy Garland, a merry little Christmas, as best you can. If your celebration feels as if it is edged with sadness, you’re not alone. This year has traumatised us all, some greatly, others less, but none of have escaped. It’s normal to feel loss during such a celebration. Acknowledge it, it doesn’t make you a misery. It feels healthy to take a moment to remember the reality of this year. To name our loss, our struggles and our fear. To raise a glass not just … Continue reading A Christmas like no other.
A few people have asked me to turn my books into audiobooks. After much procrastination I have bought myself a microphone. As an experiment, and a learning exercise, I thought I would try recording the short story I wrote and am giving away on this site in pdf form. Isolation is a story set in 2020. A young man unknowingly moves to another city onps the eve of a global pandemic and is forced into isolation. He is surprised that he finds hope, even when being locked down. You can download the Mp3 here. Or here it is a Soundcloud … Continue reading Isolation – A Short Story – Audiobook
To all of us who have survived isolation this year. This is based on all of our stories. Isolation hits us slowly. It creeps through the psyche and gradually eats away; always working in the background of your day. Humans haven’t yet evolved the ability to thrive in isolation. We are built for one another and when the chaos of living on this planet takes us from one another we begin to decline in our separation. It isn’t the being alone that gets us. Being alone is manageable; many of us crave solitude and silence. Every major world religion has … Continue reading Isolation – A Short Story (full text version)
I am sure that a lot of people never make the call to their GP because they are nervous and do not know what to say. This leads to them suffering longer than they need to. Here is some advice on how to get help from your doctor : The phone call to arrange the appointment feels huge to you, to the receptionist taking the call it is a run of the mill diary booking. This will result in a mismatch of feeling on the call. Expect that and don’t let it confuse you when it happens. Your GP speaks … Continue reading How to get help from your GP for your mental health.
‘No, I’m okay I think, I don’t think I need counselling. Thanks for caring enough to suggest it though. I appreciate it.’ There will be more than one person reading this who might remember me saying that to them. Others will remember me saying, ‘I’ve actually had a lot of time to process this stuff on my own and it has been good for me.’ I knew for a long time that I needed some help. I had got so caught up in my own negative thoughts that I was regularly spiralling in private. I was sure I was holding … Continue reading What therapy was like for me.
‘Crazy pills.’ When someone sees me taking my daily anxiety medication and asks me what they are for that is my reply. I don’t know if it is the fact that I am from the island of Ireland, or if it is some deeper dysfunction, but this reply is typical of my propensity to self-deprecate. In my head, these kind of comments are an attempt at diffusing the awkwardness of the situation by making the focus of the conversation my blunt answer rather than the fact that I have to take medication to stop my own brain from attacking me. … Continue reading What it has been like for this man to take medication for his Mental Health.