Over the past few years, I have been talking to so many people about mental health for my Social Fabric Podcast and the more people I talk to, the more I realise that the complexity of the subject and my lack of personal knowledge about it.
I am grateful not to have had to deal with any major mental health issues in my life, there have been many a curved ball thrown at me mind you, but somehow I kept a "level head".
For the first time last summer, I experienced a form of anxiety, brought up by a business deal that didn't go the way that I had foreseen.
It was a very short period of time, only weeks really, but very intense and very scary in a way.
It manifested in a physical way.
My energy was sucked out of me within minutes of having one of those horrible conversations involving lawyers, contracts, money and... you get the picture.
It was my wife that told me one morning.
"You have been for a run for a while. Get out and go and clear your head, this is not good."
I went to one of my favourite spots.
Up in the mountains.
Spent an hour or so on my own skipping over logs and rocks.
I felt better.
I felt renewed and whilst the shit was still hitting the fan, I was feeling stronger.
I opened up to my friends.
I told them the details of what was going on.
One of them came to the rescue with his knowledge and expertise.
The others were just supportive and I knew they had my back
The whole thing fizzled out over the month.
A financial disaster but not much more than that.
I screwed up, I put my hand up and I paid the price.
So, when I was asked to talk to Bressie about the importance of the tribe, of relationships, connections as part of World Mental Health Day, I was delighted to be able to tell my story of friendship and its importance.
Bressie's work and advocacy in this area has been amazing over the past number of years and I am grateful to start working on a couple of project with him and A lust for life.
Hope to be of some help to someone else out there.
"Oh yeah, keep your head up, keep your heart strong
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set, keep your hair long
Oh my, my darlin', keep your head up, keep your heart strong
No, no, no, no, keep your mind set in your ways
Well keep your heart strong"