Doing nothing..and loving it

For the first time I can remember I have switched off, I’m completely relaxed and having the perfect holiday.

I love Cala Millor, I came last year and found the place to be mesmeric, wonderful views, weather and a great group of ex pats making you feel welcome.

The plan was to write, I’m full of creative ideas for a book I want to do but in all honesty I’ve just lived in each moment and taken in the scenery and savoured every second.

Going away on your own is liberating, I sleep, eat, drink, walk and do whatever I want, when I want at my own leisure. If you get the chance but feel worried about being on your own snatch the opportunity up and take the plunge. Cala millor will welcome you and once you have been here you will come back again and again.

Tomorrow is the end of my holiday. It’s gone very quickly but I have achieved everything I wanted to out here. I’ve never felt so chilled out and at peace with myself.

I’ve met some wonderful people and reconnected with some from last year and truth by told I could see myself moving out here quite easily.

If I had the funds I’d set up my own little bar out here!

“Moose’s bar a place with great moosic and somewhere to amoose yourself” (I ain’t even sorry for these puns)

There is actually a market space for a bar that plays modern music and gives away free antler hats…. sounds like a winner to me, the merchandising opportunities are endless…

Back to reality Tuesday night, back to work Thursday. I’m recharged, reinvigorated and ready to reinvent myself once more…

More photos tomorrow…..

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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

Moose’s 30 days..day 4

This is a post dedicated to friends old and new. I’ve made more friends in past 12 months than in last 20 years and each one brings something different.

I’m part of an ever increasing social circle with people from the 30+ mens fitness group encouraging me to be more active and supporting me when I impulsively/drunkenly sign up for running events to offering an ear if required. Although I’m no longer in that program it’s great to see people have stuck around and continue to send kind words etc via Facebook and if I see them in the pub.

New friends and colleagues from the railway bell who I can have a good drink with but not only that I can talk openly about depression etc with many of them too

Lest we forget the faithful friends, those who didnt give up on me when I disappeared with no warning, those who would be there without hesitation if needed.

I’m very lucky to have them and in turn they all will agree (with enough persuasion) that having an awesome moose in their lives is worthwhile.

I’m thankful for all the friends in my life. The moosettes and mooseketeers who allow me to be myself while reigning me in when required…

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…..