Moose’s 30 days..day 5

Having posted for 4 consecutive days for the first time in 5 years you might think I would be running out of things to be thankful for, that the positive thinking well would be running dry by now but if truth be told it has reminded me of the fact that I have actually got a talent when it comes to writing.

When I started writing this back in 2012 I never envisioned the impact it would have on people, let alone dragging me through extreme dark days yet 7 years later I’m still writing and people are still reading.

I’m very proud of what this little blog has achieved in terms of helping people talk about depression especially men, and I feel very humble at the number of messages I’ve received over the years from strangers, many now friends, reaching out to me for help.

My books have sold approximately 1000 copies across paperback and kindle formats. Let’s just take a second and reflect on that!!

Me? 1000 copies sold? Beggars belief

It’s no 50 shades lol and I’m not at the retirement and living of the royalties stage but it’s certainly something I’m very very proud of, there are even signed copies of my books out there lol selling on Ebay for a few pence no doubt

Whilst the blogging about mental health bubble seems to have burst somewhat it’s still good to see others still writing, sharing experiences and encouraging people to talk, when I started there were very few men writing about depression and in my own head I see myself as a trailblazer (no matter how depressed I am the ability to blow my own trumpet never wavers)

700 followers is huge in my eyes so a massive thank you to everyone who reads, shares, comments and encourages me.

Theres more to come be it good,bad,happy or sad…stay tuned, keep reading and know how thankful I am to you all

Moose’s 30 days…day 3

Day 3 is all about working and being thankful that I can hold down a job. Having not been able to work for 5 years I have now been almost continuously working for 3 years, the majority of that time in the post office and now in my new job and in that time I haven’t missed a single day due to my depression.

No matter how low I’ve felt, the shit from a nasty break up and the emotional fall out from it I have pushed myself every day to get out of bed, put on my bestest smile and gone to work.

I love my new job, working in a pub is ideal for the shy, unassuming moose you all know and love. Ok that shy and unassuming bit is a tiny white lie.

I’m socializing whilst working mixing with people and as someone who bounces off others it’s a great position for me to be in.

The Railway Bell is my go to place, I’ve been drinking in here for over 20 years but having moved back into the area I started coming back in here about 12 months ago. The place has had a great refit and the staff here are wonderful. I was coming here on my own and instead of ignoring this new, devilishly handsome man who kept emptying the fruit machines, I was made to feel welcome and part of the furniture very quickly. Now I work here and love the people and the job (still working on loving the hours though)

It’s nice to be working again it keeps me out of bed, out of my own head and of course gives me some hard earned money to waste on junk food, ciggies and alcohol.. win win!!

Moose’s 30 days..Day 2

Day 2 is all about pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Last month I took part in a tough mudder and the Vitality 10k in London.

I used to be sporty, playing football 7 days a week until I suffered an injury which took 2 operations to make worse ( not that I’m bitter about it of course)

In terms of exercising I can run about 200 yards before the pain kicks in. Yet I completed both events. I didnt quit despite every bone, muscle and joint screaming at me to stop.

10k and tough mudder completed

It wasnt about proving others wrong. It was all about proving myself wrong. Showing myself that if I set my mind to a challenge I can get through it no matter the hurdles, no matter the pain. The sense of pride I felt at the finish line made the agony worth it.

Having said that 6 days on from the 10k and I’m still walking like I’ve shit myself but sacrifices are needed at times.

Moose’s 30 days….day 1

I’m down in the dumps lately and there is no simple explanation for it. A combination of factors keeping the clouds overhead.

So I’ve made a promise to my best friend that I will be positive from now on in the hope it bring about a change in luck and attitude.

I dont write at all these days, I feel like no one reads it or wants to know my shit when we all have our own issues and demons to deal with. Of course that’s not the case, I’m an inspiration to others I’m #famoose!!

So here’s the deal, you keep reading, sharing, liking, commenting and I will keep writing….

30 days of positives, 30 days of posting all the good things i have in my life, things i have done to be proud of etc etc

This way you can write back with your positive things, let’s focus on what we have rather than what we dont have….. and I have so many good things if I step back and open my eyes

#mooses30days

#positivethinking

Day 1

Friends and family

I have amazing friends. Special people who put up with my impulsiveness, dad dancing, cocktail drinking, sarcasm, womanizing (in my head only lol) and general rollercoaster emotional state.

Without them I’d be a long time gone.

Thanks Amy, Karl, Sonny, Antonella, Mary and Maria in particular. Always supportive, never judgemental and absolutely blunt when needed.

My amazing kids Brandon and Lilybet, my sister Amy and my new family at the Railway Bell. Colleagues or punters all part of an exciting new circle of people in my life that I’m enjoying being a part of…

Thank you all!!!

May not always show gratitude but I try when I can…

One Tough Mudder Moose

Impulsive, reckless, brave, stupid and “what the fuck were you thinking?”

Just a few of the things said to me when I told people I had signed up to do a tough mudder.

I was also told that I’d never be able to finish it, told by my physiotherapist not to do it because of injury.

On top if that imagine how many times i tried to talk myself out of doing it. My anxiety and depression playing tricks with my head telling me that I wouldnt be able to do it, I’d chicken out and find an excuse not to turn up.

WRONG!!!

As my best friends will tell you this moose is one stubborn fucker when he wants to be. I had something to prove to a lot of people but most importantly I had something to prove to myself.

It hurt, it hurt a fucking lot. I had to push till adrenaline kicked in to take the pain away and ride it out.

I was with a group of around 100 men and women from the 30+ fitness community and foxes. If you need to find a family to push/motivate and encourage you to get exercising this is the place for you. They have female only groups too.

Go to https://www.30plusmensfitness.com/ and see if there are groups near you. I know there are some in Essex, Cardiff, Hereford, Berkshire and North London and cannot recommend them enough. It’s a family full of support not just for exercising but mental health support to. Without this group I would not have completed the hardest physical challenge I’ve ever attempted.

I did 10 miles yesterday and had an absolute blast and felt very proud of myself for not giving up and getting over the finish line. In 3 weeks I’m going the vitality 10k in London and it will be a breeze compared to the tough mudder.

I’m trying to raise money for Mind in these challenges if you would like to sponsor me please click here

On to the next challenge and maybe signing up for next years tough mudder…

Exercise and depression…good and bad

It’s well documented that exercise can help with depression, producing endorphins that improve your mental health and for me personally my drop in good mental health coincided with an injury that stopped me going to the 30+ fitness sessions.

Despite my size I actually enjoy exercising and the 30+ group are wonderful. Banter, great group of blokes and very supportive coaches but the problems are that my body isnt as willing or able as the mind.

In this sense exercise is bad for my depression because I cant do it! And I’m desperate too.

I’m seeing a physiotherapist fortnightly to get to the root of 3 injuries, each one stopping me from doing what I want and need to do!

And its driving me fucking mad. Cant do boxing due to shoulder/neck problem, cant do running cos of knees and struggling to do too much cardio cos of my glutes!!

Back in the day I was a half decent footballer, before I became the shape of a ball, and I’m pretty sure without the knee injury and subsequent operation at 17 I would have made it as a professional. Therein lies the root of my frustration at my inability to do basic things like go for a jog without breaking down 200 yards later.

I want to exercise, I want to feel the euphoric buzz of pushing myself again. It makes my depression take a back seat and improves my mood, my self esteem and my faith in myself.

Are these injuries psychological? Dont get me wrong the pain feels real enough as my late night dash to A and E proved, but is it more a case of my head playing tricks on me?

All I know is that within the next 8 weeks I have to do a tough mudder and a 10k run and it’s going to kill me. I went for a jog (using the term loosely) and couldn’t walk for 2 fucking days. I WILL complete both events but at what cost?

It’s getting me down massively, I’m not working and my sleep pattern is shot to shit and I’m on a slippery slope and that’s why I need the exercise routine again for my own sanity. Obviously not being a fat bastard is a big incentive too but forgetting the physical aspects I need the mental health benefits more.

Its frustrating the hell out of me!!!

Accountability and responsibility

Two key elements that have been disregarded since Christmas time. I pretty much downed tools and did the usual Moose thing in terms of self neglect, impulsiveness and recklessness. If I wanted to do something because the idea was in my head I would simply do it. For example one morning I woke up and decided to get my chest and back waxed, so I did. Never again lol and hats off to those of you who get other parts waxed! A new tattoo? Sure why not 4 hours later sitting in tattooists getting an awesome new but of ink, holiday for my birthday in November? Booked and nearly paid for within a few weeks.

Am I harming anyone? Hurting people with my actions? The answer is a resounding no.

It seems that it’s more about rebelling against the shit that’s happened over the years and living my life, my way.

So why self neglect? It’s about ignoring my mental health, and when I take my eyes off the prize I sink. This blog has made me hugely aware of triggers, signs and symptoms of the black dog taking hold and for 2 months I ignored it. I’m great at being there for my friends, and even strangers who contact me via this blog or the Facebook page and it gives me a huge amount of pleasure knowing people see me as someone they can reach out and be heard without judgement, and just be listened to.

It was one of the main reasons I started blogging and a huge part of why I returned.

Depression can make you feel like you’re the only person in the world with those thoughts and feelings and while it’s not seen as bad as bipolar, personality disorders etc it’s still something that affects so many people.

The point is that ultimately I am responsible for maintaining good mental health, it’s up to me to take my tablets regularly, it’s on me if I make impulsive decisions to sign up for tough mudders (what the fuck was I thinking!!???)

Accountability comes from taking responsibility for the things I have, or have not done. I need to get my arse back into exercising again, back on the healthy eating. If I want to look in the mirror and like what I see then that’s down to me to put the effort in and maintain the discipline required.

For the past 3 months I’ve been guilty of just doing the opposite of what made my mental health better.

I love my Saturday night drinks with karl, good music, dancing, women and cocktails and look forward to it. The difference now to say a month ago is I’m going there to enjoy myself and not to self medicate.

The tide is turning back my way again because I’m taking responsibility for it and full accountability.

Watch this space because I’m determined, injuries allowing, to get all that weight back off again and reach my goal weight by end of this year at the latest.

Exercise is very good for my mind even if it cripples my body. It’s the lesser of two evils. The injuries occur because my body cant handle the weight I’m carrying, yet prevents me from exercising properly to get it off. This means that diet is massively important.

The 30+ group will help, inspire, nag, motivate and drag me through the pain to reach my goals. Now I just need to get back on it…..

Going through changes

Since my last post ages ago life has turned upside down. I’m currently unemployed, without a car, suffering from numerous ailments and, as the title suggests, going through changes.

Things could be shitty right now couldn’t they? Every little thing that has gone against me lately could be multiplied in my head and become a reason for a massive spiral head first into my usual hedonistic devil may care lifestyle of promiscuity, stupid choices and all other manner of inane, impulsive decisions….

And yet…

I feel great!!

I feel like finally I’m free of destructive elements of the past, free from feeling paranoid that I’m being watched, judged and spoken about. Free to finally close a chapter of my life that barely entertains my thoughts now I’m out of harm’s way.

I feel excited about what’s around the corner, even if I have no idea what it will bring. I have 2 holidays this year to look forward to. Majorca and Tenerife, one on my own and one with Karl.

There is a new job on the horizon and while I’m waiting for that I’m recharging my batteries and improving my mental health daily by spending quality time with the special people in my life. Karl and Amy in particular are the best friends I’ve ever had, both of them are there no matter what and I’ve got very good new friends from my time at my local pub. I’m getting out there making friends, creating memories and no longer looking over my shoulder at ghosts from the past.

I must get back into the exercise routine I had before Christmas. The 30+ mens group made a huge difference to my mental health and shows how important exercise, banter and mates is to a happier stable moose.

I’m doing two events in May, a tough murder on the 4th and a 10k run on the 27th and if I can get back into training sooner rather than later it will make me feel more confident going into them.

With that in mind I’m raising money for Mind, which as you will know is a charity close to my heart, if you would like yo sponsor me please click

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarryWilliams3

Half way towards my target and I’m very thankful to everyone who has donated this far. Believe me it helps me get over the finish line knowing people have sponsored me, makes me feel like they believe in me.

I need to use this outlet more, I keep saying it but writing is my thing, hopefully the talent is still there and the readers will return if there is more material available. I’d love to hit the 100k mark soon so the onus is on myself to keep writing.

Right now I should be sinking……

By the grace of God I’m not and I thank the special friendd in my life for that. Knowing I can pick up the phone and have numerous people available, supporting me, advising me, kicking my arse when needed and reminding me that despite how I view myself I am loved, valued and appreciated is an amazing feeling.

Here’s to the future, it’s looking bright again

Moose xx

Moose Talks – The Journey Begins

https://themoosetalks.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-journey-begins/

I have a dream job, to be able to create my own company and be a prominent person in the world of mental health, promoting good practice, helping people find support services etc.

As someone who has seen mental health affect myself, loved ones as a sufferer and as a partner of someone with mental health i feel I’m in a good position to offer support and advice for people.

The question is how to go about it? Where do I start, how do I begin and get the ball rolling?

If i had money behind me I would love to give this a try. Imagine the possibilities, finally making a living doing something I am passionate about and making a difference to the lives of others too.

I’m not looking to make millions, but to at least make a living and a difference and as more and more people are made aware of mental health, but less funding is available for services could there be some potential in this?

https://themoosetalks.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/the-journey-begins/

How Depression Makes Me Feel

I love writing, I love being someone who openly talks about suffering from depression and being seen as someone who helps others talk about mental health. Whilst I don’t use my blog as much as I need to I often post on my Facebook page and it generates plenty of discussion. I have people who always contribute on there and it inspires me to continue when at other times I feel like if I disappeared from view no one would notice, of course that’s bollocks but an example of the lies depression tells you.

Since the start of December I have been on a downward spiral, out of control at times and emotionally burnt out and its noticeable the changes in my personality caused by the black dog.

I’m naturally outgoing and gregarious and crave attention (there I said it!) I love being around people and bounce off of them. However at times I go from one extreme to the other, either quiet and sullen or more and more outrageous. In fact there are times when I’ve gone so far past over the line that I can no longer see it…..

It stems from low self esteem, wanting to be liked and loved….

I know that i have great people in my life who want me to be happy and who watch out for me and I’m lucky in this regard. I’m loyal to those people and will do anything for them.

When I am down like this I feel insignificant, almost like an irritant to people. I struggle with the concept of 400+ people liking my page, 600 people following this blog and being considered as inspirational to others, especially as I took such a long break from this part of my life.

I need to go back to my roots in terms of coping with depression and stripping myself down (photos available on request)….

I’m hurting, have been hurting for a long time and throwing myself into cocktails is not the answer. I’ve always been able to enjoy myself without the need of enough alcohol to stun a moose yet I’ve drunk more in the last 8 weeks than i have in the past 8 years. I can take or leave drink though, im not concerned by it although others have expressed their fears.

I’m big and ugly enough to acknowledge my mistakes and make amends to people I have wronged and apologise where necessary and yet there is one person I have never apologised to, one person Im nasty to and unforgiving to and thats myself.

So I need to be kind to me, to see myself how others see me. To not believe the things depression tells me I am And show people the real side of me, not just the front. Or at least give someone the opportunity to break down the walls without worrying about getting hurt….

And make this blog great again….