What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is one of the most valuable and transformative meditation techniques I have tried – and I’ve tried plenty! I am always sceptical of techniques and processes that make bold claims to change your life but in this case there is not only anecdotal evidence (myself included) but also scientific evidence.

The technique is remarkably simple but it is the deliberate practice of it that makes it so effective. Keep reading

Building blocks

5 Steps to Rebuilding

1. Recognise that something needs fixing

This is the hardest but the most important part of rebuilding yourself and your life. I spent a long time – I mean years – absolutely convinced that it was everyone else’s fault. Whatever went wrong, I never had any control over it. I became obsessively focused on events way beyond my own influence which only served to deepen my own sense that everything was someone else’s fault.

For me, understanding that something was wrong was half the battle. Realising that I actually could do something about it was the other half. Keep reading

Look out for danger signs

5 Danger Signs

1. You’re reckless with yourself and those around you

The big realisation for me was that my behaviour was self-destructive. It had gone beyond adventurous and risky into deliberate sabotage not just of myself but of those around me. It took me some time to see that this was happening – I think I only realised the full extent of what I was doing a couple of years after I made significant changes to my life. At the time, I was so wrapped up in myself that I could only think of how unfair everything was when I didn’t get what I wanted. Keep reading

Looking for the way forward

Why am I here?

I have wondered for some time about whether or not I should start this blog. Writing publicly about the challenges I have faced over the past few years seems hugely appealing on the one hand because it is cathartic and I am (deep down) always a performer. On the other hand, it is terrifying because it makes me vulnerable – both personally and professionally.

The motivation for writing this blog comes from my remaking my life. I want to share with you what has worked for me, in the hope that some of it will also work for you. I also want to share with you some of my experiences, in the hope that they will give you at least a sense of solidarity, and at best offer you some solutions for challenges facing you in your own life.

There is, however, trepidation. Fear because inevitably some people will read this and dislike it. Others will read it and dismiss it. Perhaps worse, some others will read it and make judgements – not only about my past but also about my current capabilities.

The biggest fear comes, however, because I will inevitably have to write about depression. The driving force behind my desire to remake my life was depression. Although I have never been clinically diagnosed, I undoubtedly fell into a deep depression over three or four years, culminating in a horrific six or seven months leading into 2014. Psychologically, I was utterly lost. I saw only failure wherever I looked. I was, at times, suicidal and often barely able to sustain myself through a day.

Thanks to those who love me without condition, I was able to climb, slowly, out of the pit. I remain deeply in debt to those who never gave up on me, my parents and most of all my wife – who has depths of strength and devotion that are scarcely believable to me.

Ultimately, however, it had to be me that made the recovery and the journey I have been on since then has been thrilling, empowering, exhilarating and filled with love. I have begun the process of being professionally and personally fulfilled and have rediscovered (or perhaps simply discovered for the first time) the unbridled joy of being with my family.

In exploring my journey and my depression, I hope that everyone who visits here will find something that is for them. I don’t think that what I went through is particularly unusual (although the solipsism of depression can be hard to escape) and I hope that in my exploration of it that you will find you will find something that helps you.