It’s been a long time coming…

Well, I have missed you guys and I’m sorry I haven’t kept up to date. There has been a lot (too much!) happening and I wanted to bring you up to date.

Late in 2016 I posted a blog called Food and the Brain. It was a feature on mental health and my ongoing depression.

The point about depression and many other mental health disorders is that symptoms are often recurrent and are brought on by a variety of issues. Life has its ups and downs, but for some of us the downtimes are much harder to take. Since the last episode, as in Food and The Brain, life for me has been largely positive (with a few exceptions) and the growing family around me has helped me enormously.

Sadly, you never know what’s around the corner and, due to an unfortunate incident, I considered an overdose of strong anti-depressant medication the best way out. This resulted in a long period in hospital with some ongoing side issues. The influence on all my family was catastrophic. I have heard it said before that this ‘way out’ is a very selfish one. You really mustn’t think this way. Sadly, when your mind is in this state of turmoil, you reflect on no other thoughts. It’s only when, and if you recover, you realise just what a terrible effect this has on your family and friends.

I’ve seriously moved on, again, thanks to massive support from my wife and family.

I must add that the service received by staff within the NHS has been remarkable.  I respect them all enormously. It’s perfectly obvious that any shortcomings are as a result of a lack of funding and the consequential lack of senior support. Mental Health does seem to have a low priority in the county of Worcestershire with long waiting list for psychiatric appointments and follow up therapies, such as CBT, which can take up to 18 months to come to fruition. It’s a very sad situation.

Over the course of my recovery I have found huge support and assistance from someone with similar issues. He has recently completed a Mental Health First Aid Trainer course and I have registered to do the same in November. After completing the course and after a period of experience, I will, hopefully, be qualified to train people in a work environment to recognise a mental health issue and to take initial action in assisting recognition and recommending a course of action.

For myself, I have always found it incredibly helpful to open up about these issues and I really believe that participating in this course will help me and will also help others overcome or face up to mental health issues. As I am so open, I have had messages from, and conversations with, so many individuals who have their own personal experiences either themselves or with family members and friends. I have to say, mostly female. It’s a known fact that mental issues amongst the male population are prevalent because of their failure to address the issues.

These little beauties have played an essential part in my recovery.

Ezra and Ned

Sol

Well, that’s my story so far. If sharing it helps anyone else, then it’s worthwhile!

Onwards and upwards and more to to come shortly including:

Dreamy Lunch at The Painswick Hotel

A great new opening in Cheltenham, The Giggling Squid.

A foodie experience in Menorca at Bodegas Binifadet

Bazza

15 thoughts on “It’s been a long time coming…

  1. Barry,
    Firstly, well done for being so candid. Sandra and I wish you well in all your endeavours, and hope that you can look back in the coming months and think I did the right thing. Good luck and best wishes

  2. Barry, your openness and corsage just shows what a great guy you are. You have all the credentials to succeed as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
    Sometimes we are on a path for a reason, and I believe you and I, know why now.
    God bless the broken road that led us to be friends.

      1. Well done Barry and good luck I have had similar issues for the past 18 months but my GP has been a brilliant support and if it was not for the anti depressants I am on god knows where I might be !Lots of love to both of you xx

        1. Hi Donald. Thanks for this. I’m pleased you are on the mend. Lots of love from Simone and I xxx

  3. Barry, I have nothing but admiration for you and the strength you have within to inspire others through this wonderful blog. Well done and I look forward to learning more of your journey.

  4. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, glad I have now.
    Its true, depression is not spoken about much, or taken seriously enough, especially amongst men..Keep going Barry you’re clearly on the up and up…..looking forward to your future posts..

  5. Hi Barry
    Long time, George’s wedding I think – a fun night at the reception. Very glad to hear that things are on an upward curve.

    Best wishes from Sharon and I to you, Simone and the extended whanau. (…..too long in NZ!! )

    Cheers

    Fraser

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