“Why the sigh?”

Now then! We all have a good old sigh from time to time. Maybe it’s a Sunday night, Marnie’s being a kid, or you’ve just got comfy on the sofa and realised you’ve left the tv remote the other side of the room – all every day harmless little sighs!? Ultimately I think these little sighs help to reset us and deal with whatever the issue they may be.

What I’m talking about is big deep prolonged sigh…

Over the last few weeks my sighing has hit noticeably high levels “Why the sigh” Charli would ask “Just a sigh” would be my totally unconvincing reply.

Just a sigh, yeah right!

Each one of them sighs comes with its own little thought – I’ve let so-and-so down, I can’t face that person, why did I do that and yes, would it be better if I wasn’t here! Them sighs take you places you don’t want to be and think things you don’t want anyone to think.

(I’ve just let one out writing that last sentence – Charli asked “Why the sigh” – I didn’t say why)

I’ve tried combating all these sighs by always have some noise on – podcasts, radio, television and blasted through a hell of a lot (17seasons!!!) of Football Manager. The TV is on when I go to sleep, the radio is on as soon as I wake up. Silence is the enemy.

I share this partly as some kind of therapeutic exercise for myself and partly as a guide you, if you are seeing this behaviour in someone and asking them “Why the sigh” hopefully it just a little everyday sigh and if it’s not, hopefully they’ll share the problem. And always ask twice. I don’t know fully how to end this post as my sigh hasn’t stopped yet – but it will.

Return of the Black Dog

Now then! For a while now I’ve had the black dog keeping me company. At the beginning it followed behind me playfully wagging its tail as I got on with my day-to-day life. I tried losing it – a quick corner into selfcare, sprinting away on a bike ride and just out right ignoring it, but it just went from a playful puppy following me around to full blown adult sitting heavy on my chest making it a struggle to get out of bed.

Now I’ve done the brave and correct thing and barely told anybody!


I’ve been here before, I’ve worn the t-shirt, I’ve still got it in my wardrobe, but revealing and then facing people after fills me with fear this time round. Maybe it’s because if everyone knows then I have to admit I’m really not well – I’ve been exclaiming when asked or on the socials that I’m lovin life and it’s not that I’m not lovin life – I live a very good life, amazing work/life balance, amazingly healthy and happy relationship, amazing 6 year old daughter who is just the best (I’m biased I know!) amazing friends, family the lot…but I think about death and not being here a lot and that is fucking scary! And that is what I think others will think when they find out.

“What have you got the be depressed about?”

Nothing! That’s the scary thing and that’s the thing with mental illness it doesn’t care who you are or where you’re from – it’s an illness that needs treatment and right now I need to work out what that treatment will be.

It’s time to send this black dog back to the kennels, it might take some time, it might be back again, but it’s time stop the big sighs and get on the road to recovery…and face people. Urgh!


Now then! Its been a while since I’ve posted so I thought I’d give a little update of where I am, how I’m doing and what I do on this road of recovery. Hint – it includes a lot of #everydayselfcare

The Matt that is sat here right now is a completely different one that wrote my first post early in 2017. I’m still fucking awesome! (2017 Matt would not of been able to say that) But I’m managing my mental health and mindset a hell of a lot better… and for me, one of my main weapons is #everydayselfcare

Since early January this year, I don’t remember a day I didn’t practice some kind of #everydayselfcare. It wasn’t a New Years resolution because I’m a great believer in looking back at what we’ve overcome rather than looking forward and your mental health can’t just be turned on and off like that – it was a natural progression – but truth be told, I can’t sit here and write this and say it was a piece of piss! It took, and still takes hard work to practice #everydayselfcare.

Like I say, since early January I’ve practised #everydayselfcare… everyday! Be it a walk (mostly that in my case), cooking up a storm, yoga, mindful minutes, pub with a mate, a brew, the gym (what’s one of them?!), HIIT (thanks @wackydaggers for getting me into that), Netflix/cinema, music, and when on a bad mental health day – just getting out of bed, bath/shower, brushing your teeth, change of clothes. The list could go on and on but the gist is something that makes you feel good even just a little or for a short amount of time. It doesn’t have to be something big, as long as it’s #everydayselfcare.

It all comes natural now, but there’s that niggling thought in the back of my head of how I’d feel if I had a couple of days off just lounging around in my pants watching It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (something I used as a safety blanket – or mental health blanket if you will! – in my darkest days), but I’m not willing to find out. Since January, these have been the best 4-5 months of the last two years. I feel good, I feel strong mentally, and in my humble opinion I look pretty god damn good!

I know its not easy, I know some people might read this and think “fuck off, how is going for a walk going to get me out of this hell?” but it’s worked for me and please believe me – – recovery is possible. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it might all come from starting to practice some #everydayselfcare.

Take care, keep safe, kick arse, talk mental health, and keep talking mental health

Peace and love


“My Eyes Are Just A Little Sweaty Today”

Now then! It’s been a while since I last posted but today something happened today that I’d like to talk about.

For 2 days this week I’ve been on a Youth Mental Health First Aid course and today in a room full of (mostly) strangers I cried… and I felt like a right dick!

Yes, I’m very open about my mental health struggles but it niggled at me for the rest of the day and night.

We got onto the subject of suicide and what that person might be thinking at the time and it hit a little close to home. But apart from this course I also started a NCFE Level 2 counselling skills course at college and it made me question if I’m doing the right thing. Because I cried and blokes ain’t meant to cry, right? Wrong! Nowt wrong with a good sob, it can even make you feel better at times.

So this is just a quick post to say to everyone, but especially us blokes – it’s okay to cry. Talking about emotional subjects can be… emotional! But we’re not robots – we, yes us men, we have feelings and emotions and there’s certainly nothing wrong with showing them. I told a friend how I felt like a dick and she said I should feel brave that I could do that in a room full of strangers. So yeah, I’m a cryer – and a fucking beautiful one at that!

Take care, keep safe and if the time calls for it, listen to what your eyes are saying and have a cry. Nowt wrong with that at all.


I don’t know! …or do I?

Now then! Let’s get straight into, aye! Today I ignored a call from my local crisis team, I know it’s naughty – they’ve helped me so much over the last year but I didn’t want to speak to anyone and be asked those questions! Because the answer is yes!

Yes, I’ve been having intrusive thoughts and yes I made a little plan!

I don’t know! I don’t know what to do anymore, I don’t even know why I’m writing this – to help I guess. But will it help?

Like I said – I don’t know.

I’m going on my walks, I’m practicing the selfcare, yoga, mindfulness, etc. but it always ends up the same. I’m divorced, away from the 2 things I want the most and hate, yes fucking hate the vicous circle my life has become.

Yes, I’ve been there before and come out and everything seems better and brighter… then, boom back again.

This one is a particularly bad one, no denying that, I generally like to look good (believe it or not!) – but my t-shirts are resembling Dave Listers. I keep a bit of a beard – now turning full blown hipster. I like to cook – but now eating a lot of beige, easy food. I wasn’t sleeping – I’m now sleeping for days. And for bathing and whatnot – don’t ask!

I’m sorry if this isn’t the most positive of posts but if we can take one thing from it – if someone close to you is acting differently and don’t seem themselves – ask them direct how they are, invited them out for lunch and have a chat.

I’m losing at the minute – that’s OK.

I needed to write this post so I could write the clichéd but true, you’re not alone, it’s okay not to be ok – to remind myself  that I’ve been there, I’ve come through it, it’s an illness.

Hope you’re well. If not not,that’s OK but tell somebody please. I have.

Take care

Peace and love


Everybody Hurts (so why does it feel like it’s only me)

Now then! As 90’s rock band Staind once sang ” It’s been a while” since I last posted, but I’m sat here at Harrison House after being asked to come in and speak to someone because my messages have been concerning people!

Are people’s concerns correct, should I be here speaking to someone? Too fucking right!

Over the past week or so I’d developed quite the bad habit of sitting on the edge of my bed and just sitting there being consumed by my thoughts, and yes those thoughts involved death.


Christmas! (Well, the Christmas period as a whole). November 1st and I’m already dreading the next month to the point of I wish I could just dissappear.

I’m so….. (at this point I got called through to go speak to somebody)….


It’s 3 days later now and I’m getting back to finishing this post. Has my mood changed? No! I’ve taken the step of declaring how I felt on twitter, I’ve spoken to people, I’ve tried my usual selfcare, I’ve had my Moo (hate when people say “what about your daughter?”  Yeah, no shit! I don’t want to think like this, I don’t want to feel like this, so we start thinking there’s only one way not to.

Here’s something which us blokey blokes don’t like to say – I’m lonely. Very fucking lonely and this time of year is tough for lots of people as it’s pushed down our throats of all the joys and family times you can have.

A friend text me today asking if there’s anything she could do. My reply – Do you have a time machine?

If I could go back to the day before my split, I’d do it in a heartbeat. To have my family, my girls, my life back to how it was. Now I’m a 36-year-old, unemployed, single dad who lives with his parents… winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I normally try and finish a post off with a rallying call of we can beat this, we can recover, we are not our illness… but not today, I’ll leave you with this from Liam Neeson:

Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love but in reality, love is the only thing in the world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in the world that does not hurt.



Mental Health At Work

Now then! As this year’s #WMHD17 is based around Mental Health in the workplace and I’ve recently lost/left/whatever my job of 12 years, I thought I’d write a little about it (and it’s been a rough month or so and it’s always good to get some things written down).
Well, yeah…I’m unemployed! Just writing this is triggering me a little, so let’s get on with it!
Yes, due to my Mental Health I’m no longer employed (I’ll try not to go to much into it all!), but believe me when I say it was because of my Mental Health.
To begin with I was signed off for six months, went back, had a blip (they happen), got signed off again but this time for a shorter time, but during this time my medication got changed (this happens too, gotta find something that works) and these new meds kicked my arse on the side effects front (lasted 2 weeks or so), to the point where it really did feel dangerous to be at work – I drive a forklift, use a table saw/pillar drill on a daily basis, they really did have no choice to send me home and wait for a return to work note from my doctors… long story short – letters went back and forth from doctors to employer’s. This takes a ridiculous amount of time, to the point that you start to wonder if they actually care you’ve got a mortgage, loans, credit cards, all the rest to pay. The side effects have worn off, I’ll come back to work… now, this afternoon if needs be! The time came when I got an email asking to come in for a ‘informal meeting’ – ooh wonder what this could be about?!

I’ve already mentioned that I’ve been there 12 years so I’m very friendly with everybody there, including the big boss man. Turn up, sat in his office had a little chit-chat, gave him my best “I’m feeling good, ready to get back to it and start getting back on with my life” spiel and what I got in return was one of, no, the most awkward silences while someone looks down and twiddles their fingers (and I’ve been in a lot of them!) I have ever witnessed. So I offered to leave – jump before I was pushed (if I can use that term!) and they jumped at the chance. Twelve years and gone, just like that and for what? For having depression, an illness. Where do I start with that?

It’s just straight up wrong. End.

But when one employee broke a leg one time and had appendicitis another, which involved prolonged periods off work. Nothing was said to them – funny that!

We spend most of our time in a workplace (sucks don’t it?) so surely it should be one of the main places that Mental Health gets the awareness it deserves. Will I disclose my illness when applying for new jobs, even if that means they’ll find me not suitable for them? Yes, who’d want to work somewhere with an attitude like that. Not me.

If an employee happens to be reading this please, if we could get Mental Health in the work place more readily available/talked about, you’ll understand what we mean when we ask for the dreaded…dun, dun, dun Mental Health Day! I jest but it’s no joke, some days are impossible, just like Ian (made up person/name of my next dog!) and his headaches they are impossible to work through and resting is the best way to treat it.

It’s World Mental Health Day 2017 but it should always be World Mental Health Day. If you or you know someone suffering with their Mental Health please reach out to somebody (preferably a Dr) but anyone – friend, family member… work colleague!

It really does get easy the more we talk about it. So let’s talk about in the work place.

Take The Time To Look Backwards

Now then! It’s been a while since I’ve posted but seen as today I’m attending Navigo Cares AGM and recently elected as one of there Community Representatives, thought I’d look back at what’s very nearly a year now since I left Harrison House.

During recovery we set a lot of goals for the future, never really looking back at what we’ve overcome (well I does anyways) looking back and thinking how I was and some seeing how I was – here’s a tough thing to do… self praise, urge! But I’m so fucking (sorry mum) proud!

I’m not gonna bore you with all the details over the year – It was a cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…

No, like I said I won’t bore ya (well, try not to) but since leaving Harrison House (crisis accommodation) – moved in with my parents and I’m still there, thought it’d be 3 months max! (One of those stupid future goals!) That can be the thing with future goals too, if you don’t hit them it can have negative effects on your mental health.

Over the last year and a bit I’ve gone from wanting to be dead, trying to be dead, and on more than one occasion too! The trying has stopped but wanting comes and goes like a cunt! (Again, sorry mum but it is!)

I’ve hid away (at one point, think I didn’t really leave my room for a month, never mind the house) to standing in Grimsby Town Centre with Gary Pollard from the fantastic @MenTellHealth and the gazebo drumming up awareness for mens mental health and the Speak Easy I run on behalf of mentell at Riverhead Coffee, Grimsby (every first Thursday of the month).

It has been journey and I’ve definitely been “finding myself” so to speak, always been opened minded now I’m very open minded (trying not to say spiritual! Haha) but yes, I think the yoga/meditation/mindfulness has been not only fantastic for my mental health but the people I’ve met in the process too.

That’s another thing I’ve wrote previous posts about it – the peeps I’ve found through the twitter world have been a huge part of my recovery.

I’ve got so many things coming back to me thinking about where I’ve come from that I could go on for a long time on many different tangents so I’ll wrap this up.

Having said all that, unfortunately the best I can describe the last year and a bit and that is…hell. And that is why I’m at the Navigo Care AGM today and also why I wanted to become a Community Member (and more in the future). Like I said, I’ve been on a journey, I’ve found myself, I can’t and won’t sit by and let others feel how I felt, sitting in terrified silence because it’s taboo or frowned upon to feel like they do. It’s a fucking illness killing far to many people. It’s okay not to be okay. Lets make mental health a normal conversation/everyday question.

Take care all and thank you to everybody who has helped me over this time.

Peace and love



Now then ! Myself and the fantastic @roach_az chavezanxiety  joined up and shared each others approach to recovery. Recovery is possible, it may take time and there will be set backs, even I have to remind myself that from time to time (with lots of help). Hope you enjoy, I could definitely relate to this…

What do you do when you have a set back during recovery? Well I guess that depends on how much of a setback we are talking about. I recently had a rather large setback to my recovery. So much so that I was/am having a hard time moving forward. I almost feel like I am back at the beginning again. I cant think straight and I want to give up. I am so mad at myself that I can’t stand being near me.
So how do I move forward? The first thing is I have to do is forgive myself . Period. Myself or anyone else reading this will not be able to move forward unless they accept their own apology. You have to forgive yourself. This is hard for me to do because I am the master of self loathing. I blame myself for everything and have a hard time letting stuff go. This of course of very self destructive and is a reason I am in a depression right now. Well mostly its my anxiety and panic but the depression is like the whip cream and cherry on top of my mental health sundae.
People often try and put a time table on recovery. It doesn’t work like that. The best you can do is try and get a little better each day. Even if the improvement is small, take that victory and celebrate it. Also realize that someday you will go backwards. Think of it like cancer, if its in remission its still there and can come back at any time. This is the concept that people have the hardest time with. Mental health doesn’t care that you have a timetable set up and want to be healed by September. Understanding this was hard for me and my family struggles with it to this day. The people closest to me watch me struggle with my good days and my bad. I worry that one day they will have to find me because I have given up or grown tired of the struggle.
That also leads into my last topic for this article. Recovery doesn’t get rid of the dark thoughts. They are still there, the enemy at the gate knocking to get in. Recovery just teaches you how to deal with those thoughts. I have them everyday, its a dark part of me that no one really knows. No one wants to talk about it because its uncomfortable. Well its uncomfortable to me as well, its my life I’m thinking of ending!


Recovery3 weeks ago to the day as I write this, I tweeted something along the lines of – That’s Moo (daughter) back to her mum. Normally puts me in a downward spiral. Not this week. Bring it (#somethingorother)

That’s 3 weeks of feeling good/happy/positive. Yes, there has been the odd sleepless night or down day but nothing and I mean nothing to like how I have been in the past. And if I’m being honest and I am because that’s a part of recovery – it’s scary. I’ve spent more than enough time wishing to be ‘normal’ again and here I am at 3 weeks of happiness but in the back of my head…impending doom! But why? Why should I sit around with a umbrella waiting for it to rain!?

But here’s the catch to recovery – you know you can have good days and the fact you know the signs/signals/triggers doesn’t alter the fact that there’s a high chance you won’t feel like this for too long. This is where a big part of my recovery comes into action; my mind-set

This has been one of, if not the hardest part of my recovery. Changing a mind-set that had been moulded over 30 years then attacked for the last 2 years by depression. You make so many assumptions when you’re in the midst of depression; everything is negative. Its cliché but true that you don’t see a way out of this constant living hell that living with depression is; these feelings can last for days/weeks/months.

This is tough for me to write because it is new to me with this new mind-set of mine but again its part of recovery and recovery isn’t easy – self-praise!! Who likes bigging themselves up? Definitely not me, that’s for sure. But you’ve got to look back at the things you’ve overcome, when you thought ( cliché alert) There was no light at the end of tunnel and see where you’re at now; and feel proud. You’ve smashed it, you’ve come this far, now bring on the next obstacle. You’re stronger than you think you are.  

Now, getting to this point in my recovery has been a long hard road (clichés all over the shop!) and I’m under no illusions there’s further to go yet and it’s taken a lot of help and persistence from mental health professionals, family, friends, twitter friends!, myself (bigging myself up) and I best give a shout out to my new meds. Changed from Sertraline to Mirtazapine.

If you’re anything like me and on twitter, which itself has been a huge part of my recovery; being able to ‘meet’ so many amazing and inspiring people, you come across many other stories and hear people have fallen out of touch with friends due to this illness, which has made me thankful to have friends like mine because during your recovery it’s important to keep talking and I’ll always have an ear that’ll listen but as well as my old friends I’ve also made new friends, some cyber friends, some real life friends, both help my recovery. Big part of my recovery is mindfulness/meditation and yoga and a big part of the changing of my mind-set. I don’t want to sound like a warped cult member but I’m totally sold on this and think it should take some part of a school curriculum. I wish I didn’t start till 35.

I mention it takes hard work in recovery and I take a 45min – 1 hour walk everyday sometimes 2 if I feel I need it, I use that time to compose myself, take a bit of time to sort my thoughts out and plan my attack on whatever’s in front of me. Some people may be thinking – hard work!!? Going on a walk!! But a ‘normal person’ could not be arsed and not bother with a walk today and everything’s fine, if I miss a walk it can turn into “wish I wasn’t here”. The minds a wonderful thing! So I take my walks come rain, wind or shine.

So here I am feeling good for 3 weeks now, showering regularly, doing lots of cooking and baking (always a sign I’m feeling good), keeping on top of house work – if you can wake up to a tidy room/house it gives a boost for the day (well it does me), going on my walks, practising my mindfulness/meditation and yoga and pushing myself more and more. Currently running for a Community Representative position at my local health organisation, Navigo. They looked after me for a period last year and are still very supportive in my recovery so the least I can do is help others try to see (cliché alert) there is light at the end of the tunnel and for this position I had to do some public speaking and that is so far out of my comfort zone but I was so unhappy with my life I tried to take it and I definitely don’t want to think like that again so if doing things like this which ultimately make me feel better and give me a purpose it’s what I’m going to keep doing. This may well be easy for me to say at this point of recovery but there is help, there is a way out, good thoughts can overcome the negatives ones, it may take some time, keep fighting 🙏🏼

Take care, all the best 

Peace and love