Reasons to be cheerful. Cats

Is there a more soothing, comforting sound than that of a cat purring on your lap? It is just a wonderful noise and helps me unwind immensely.

We have 6 cats at home, but only one of them is what I would my cat. My little mate Blackie. He is an annoying face snuggler when you’re trying to sleep, has no respect for personal space and wakes me up by sneezing in my face more often than I would like but he is a very welcome addition to my world.

Every time I step outside in the front garden for a cigarette he comes with me and sits by my feet, follows me up and down the path and is like a little cute purring shadow. He is also pretty vocal so we can have a nice chat at times. Erm…so yeah, maybe the lockdown has turned me into a crazy cat man. Note to self stop referring to yourself as his daddy…

He also seems to know when I’m feeling a little bit down and ramps up the affection. Sitting and stroking him is a great tool against depression, just so relaxing.

Here is my cute little buddy

Are you a cat or dog person?

Did I miss the announcement

Is lockdown over? Are we free again to go about as the glorious pre lockdown days? Guessing I missed that one on the news because its seems that since Bojo announced we were past the peak people have taken that to mean do whatever the fuck we want.

I’m seeing more and more people out, groups of people that I know are not from the same households walking along the street together, not even the 2 meters apart that is recommended.

I stood out in the front garden and had a smoke, in the 10 minutes I was outside I counted 58 people walking past. Ok I live opposite a park but that is more than normal. When i went to Tesco to get shopping the other day I sat in traffic!

What is going on with people? I get it, we are getting fed up with staying at home but there is a reason for this!

One thing that has been shown by people is how selfish they are. Its not about if you have this killer its about who could get it from you! Stay the fuck at home.

The opening of a fast food drive through is not an essential journey! Police are having to issue fines because people are driving for hours just to get a burger.

Seems common sense has gone in these selfish people. Yet these same people will happily clap for the NHS and key workers but are happily putting them in danger because they wont listen to the rules…..

But hey, long as you can walk down the road pissed/high with your mates it’s all worth it….

Rant over….and breathe…

In the beginning and what next for The Depressed Moose

Almost 8 years ago I was on a different journey, a dark slippery slope of depression that eventually cost me a marriage and almost my life. The Depressed Moose was born out of necessity and a deep desire to help other people, men in particular, to open up about mental health and for about 2 years it was a success. I was known on twitter, in the mental health community as someone who would speak out about the subject without worrying about the taboo nature at the time. It was not so widely spoken about back then, nowadays it’s a normal healthy subject in many ways due to it being more publicized. One of my proudest moments was when a premier league footballer recognised me from my blog at a mental health event.

I wrote books, worked alongside Mind to create the online support group elefriends and was a “go to” person for a lot of people. Many of those strangers are friends to this day, some sadly no longer with us but this blog helped save my life at a time when I was barely hanging on.

When I took a break from blogging I was in a new relationship and whilst that ultimately didnt work out it was the right decision for me at that time. New beginnings, new opportunities and a new exciting chapter in my life. Regardless of what happened it was a period of my life that gave me many lessons and challenges that the old me would’ve buckled under the emotional turmoil, I came out the other side stronger. The dark days of depression crippling me were a thing of the past…

I’ve written sporadically since those days, its been almost 3 years and in that time I’ve worked almost non stop. Considering my mental health made me unemployed for 7 years this has been a huge positive to come out of a negative situation. The downside to this is that it means I have less time to dedicate to writing and at times my passion was extinguished. Long gone are the majority of bloggers I read, times change, people change and it becomes harder to maintain, connect and market a blog.

The black dog still visits from time to time but thanks, in part, to the writing from the bad years I can look back, see the triggers and signs and stop them before it escalates too much. The dog barks from outside the garden rather than next to me.

So where does that leave this blog? Truth be told is that right now I’m not entirely sure. I will always be a mental health advocate and supporter of those wanting help, advice and a friendly ear. As this blog evolves again it may well be a mix and match place but mental health, and depression in particular will always have a place here.

For now it’s great to be sharing my life with my followers ( is it wrong to call you fans? Fuels the ego somewhat) so subject matter from my holidays away, my general adventures with Karl (consider the 2 of us as a fatter, older, more bitter and less successful Ant and Dec)

As one of my best friends said “please keep writing and I promise to keep on reading”


Pride of my place on my wall

Thank you all of you who comment, like and interact with this page. It’s great to see some old faces and meet new people.

And it will be ok eventually

It’s ok and perfectly understandable to be struggling right now. Lockdown is a new experience for everyone. To be going through a whole range of emotions, thoughts and feelings each and every day is to be expected but you know that it will be ok eventually. This is not forever but a “new normal” to coin an often used phrase.

I miss my friends, my kids, the structure and routine of working. That chance meeting with someone that could be the start of a new friendship or relationship.

Working in a pub means I get to socialise and have interaction with so many people and is a massive part of the job that I love, yet it may still be a long time before I find myself behind the bar again. The restrictions will be on going even once we are finally allowed to reopen.

I thrive of the interaction with people in the pub, people who have become friends who tolerate the bad jokes, potty mouth and occasional (in reality more often than not) inappropriate behaviour that makes me tick.

However, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands which means no excuses when it comes to reconnecting with people. I’ve messaged more friends recently than I have in a long time and rebuilt bridges that had been burned long ago.

Take the time to send a message, pick up the phone and connect with your friends. Reply to messages, nothing worse than reaching out to someone and being ignored. If I message you, I’m taking the time and making the effort to show you that I consider you a part of my life. If you choose to not reply that silence tells me everything and will mean that I wont do it again..

I’ve lost too many people to death over the past few years and some I wished I had messaged sooner, more often. Life is short, cruel and without friends and loved ones we have nothing. This new normal could be a chance to reignite friendships, an opportunity for hatchets to be buried and for a bright new future with new experiences.

Its one of the positives I’m taking from this lockdown and keeping the belief that it will all be ok eventually….

Reasons to be cheerful. Cala Millor

In 2018 I was finally dealing with the fallout and damage from my past relationship and needed to get away from reality for my own sake. I hadnt been overseas since 1998 so was pretty unsure about going away, especially as it was going to be as a solo traveller. Those that know me in real life will know that once I get an idea in my head it’s pretty hard to change my mind. A holiday abroad was what I wanted and that was what I was going to have. The question was where, I’d already booked the dates off work as annual leave so the only thing left to do was pick a destination and fight my anxiety about doing something different.

I set my heart on Majorca, I’d been to Magaluf on my last holiday when I was young enough to still throw some shapes and not pull muscles and put out my back.. so that rules out the busy nightlife part of the island. So with a limited budget I went for an all inclusive deal in Cala Millor, what followed was a life changing experience.

I’d never been away on my own, it was a huge deal being stuck with myself for a week but it taught me that I could be on my own and deal with negative thoughts, demons and self loathing and come through a better, happier person.

I went back last year for 10 days and overcame targets I’d set myself from the year before. Thankfully finances this year didnt allow me to book for summer 2020 as fate would have it, it was never gonna happen anyway but the plan is to go back next summer and sit, chill and enjoy my little piece of paradise.

Here are my favourite photos from Cala Millor for you to enjoy…

The trouble with me

Being stuck indoors gives me plenty of time to lose myself in my thoughts, as someone with low self esteem that’s not always a good thing. Its all to easy to be unkind to yourself and find fault in every aspect of your appearance and characteristics. This isnt some sort of pity party whereby I expect lots of compliments to be thrown back at me, but more of a brutally honest self analysis and reflection of how, right or wrong, I view myself because how we see ourselves isnt how others do…

Firstly I need to accept that I’m no longer the man I was, by this I mean that despite wishing I was a young attractive man in my 20s I have to accept the reality of being in my early 40s, heavier than I’d like to be and far less of a catch than I’d like to admit. I have a huge issue with my weight but not enough love doe myself, let alone discipline to do anything about it. That’s before factoring the issues with my knees, the recent fibromyalgia diagnosis has helped to a degree with this as it’s not just “in my head”

The fact is I would love to be more active, i was a footballer in my younger days yet haven’t kicked a ball in a decade. I try exercising but it comes at a cost. The tough mudder, the 10k runs etc were huge achievements for me but they were followed by weeks of intense sleep depriving pain. I work in a pub full time 5 days a week of 8 hours being on my feet cripple me beyond words at times but I do it because I have to have that routine and structure in my world. My colleagues and the majority of customers keep me going and I’m grateful that I work with some great people.

But still the person I see in the mirror daily is not the person I think I am. I dont recognise him. I’d love to look at myself and not be disgusted by the chins, the grey hair…the old man looking back at me. If you asked me the one thing I like about me it’s my green eyes..even they are tired, drained and dont bloody work properly. Dont even get me started on wearing glasses, never liked them and never will. Yet I struggle with wearing contacts as my eyes dry out quickly, I am noticeably more confident wearing contacts.

When it comes to my weight its been a struggle for the past 10 years or so, linked to the real start of pain that made me have to give up playing football on a Saturday, if you play on Saturday and cant walk till Wednesday then what is the point? and that’s where I found myself.

Mix that in with being a comfort eater and it equals a bit of a mess to say the least. When it comes to food I have very limited likes, oh to be precise im a fussy bastard. I’ve never even had a curry in my life! Throw me some crisps and chocolate and you have a friend for life, try throwing me something green and healthy and ill possibly throw it straight back.

I made the mistake of weighing myself today, the scales are liars dirty liars!

Since lockdown I have gained 7 lbs and as of today I weigh 17 and 1/2 stone 245lbs! thats not quite the biggest I’ve been but in those days I was heavily depressed and barely left the bed let alone worked full time like I do now. Does it make me want to eat less? in theory yes but then the chocolate and crisps started calling me again..

So as you as can tell physically I have one or two issues with myself. Despite that I still live in hope of meeting someone who makes effort with me and will help me becomes a better person. Encouragement is key, effort is key and just a bit more patience is required because fundamentally, beneath the flaws I am fucking awesome. I just need to see it again

But therein lies the trouble with me, if you are what you eat…. I’m a bar of dairy milk and a packet of walkers crisps

Mentally a lot of the demons have long since gone, baggage carried eventually becomes a part of you no matter how hard you try, especially when you have been through traumatic experiences. I have no issues with my personality traits, others might have but that’s a whole different blog post in itself. I’m crude, I’m offensive and very near the line at times but that’s part of the package that is the moose, or Garry if you prefer (I answer to both)

A friend recently told me to not give up on finding someone, it’s been nearly 6 years since my last date. I may not tick a lot of boxes these days but I’m worth a risk. At the very least a bit of effort…

And maybe just maybe the effort from others will make the difference and allow me to finally accept that if someone can make the time to take a chance on a fat grey haired cynical old moose then he really isnt all that bad after all

Happy birthday depressed moose

Today marks the 7th anniversary of this blog. Seven years of The Depressed Moose and the trials and tribulations faced in that time shared with you, the faithful reader.

Hopefully in those 7 years people have been inspired, encouraged, helped and entertained in equal measure. It’s certainly been an interesting ride personally and I’m very thankful for the journey this blog has been on.

On this day 7 years ago I sat in St Mary’s church in south woodford at breaking point. I’m not a religious person by any means and can vividly remember sitting in the “quiet” room in church and asking for direction and help. As I left I had the idea to write and share my battle. Divine intervention? Coincidence? Who knows but regardless of the reason it’s been a life saver for me.

7 years ago in total despair, and yet I’m writing this sitting on the Gatwick Express heading to the airport to return to Cala Millor in Mallorca for 10 days of reflection, relaxing and recharging.

Talk about full circle, from the extreme of rock bottom to heading away for a holiday on my own…..

Thanks to my loyal readers, the friends I have met through this blog and to every single one of you who read, share, comment and encourage.

Expect plenty of posts over the next 10 days especially over on the facebook page…

Here’s to the next chapter of my story!!

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

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

Return of the black dog

It’s been a week since I started this post. For a whole 7 days all I’ve had is the title, hundreds of words written , deleted and wrote again.

Christmas is an horrific time of year if you’re lonely. People sharing photos surrounded by loved ones enjoying the day do not help. Then back to work and endless questions about whether you enjoyed Christmas, had a nice one etc etc

Truth is most of my Christmas was spent in bed fighting tears and emotions. It was fucking awful. Thank God I was able to go and see a friend in the evening to get me out the house…

I’ve been on a spiral for a number of weeks, not helped by ghosts from the past. I don’t want any contact from particular people who still seem to think I care about the gaslighting and bullshit that comes hand in hand. Get on with your own fucking life stay out of mine! I’ve blocked you on social media, blocked your email address and phone numbers and there’s a reason for that. I’m not interested whatsoever in you or your life, and seeing as you obviously still read my blogs I hope you finally take notice. You can have your version of the truth and I will have the real truth and never the twain shall meet. History will no doubt repeat itself and as long as I’m no longer collateral damage I couldn’t care less. I’m starting this year with a blank page and erasing all the shit from last year and focusing on me, my friends, my family and doing what I want.

Today is the 1st day in weeks I have woken up and not felt like going straight back to sleep. I’ve woken up in a better place and actually feel ready to take on the world again.

This blog is a huge part of my life, I want to write frequently again and I will.

I’m not promising 2019 will be all positivity, sunshine and lollipops but it will be better for me…….

There will be more posts today. I feel creative, I feel inspired and I feel (whisper it quietly) happy