Since I stated publically that I was walking across India and raising awareness for mental health and male suicide prevention, I have had lots of people reaching out and messaging me asking for my help and advice
I’m no expert when it comes to mental health but, I’m alive and well, so I guess that makes me more of an expert than a hell of a lot of guys who are sadly no longer with us today.
I’ve heard countless mental health sufferers compare asking for help with their depression as being the same as visiting a dentist when you have a bad tooth, or a physio if you have a bad knee. I’m inclined to agree 100%. However, this is where I start to see the cracks in so many people's plans for recovery. It’s at this point where people start to fool themselves.
Let me ask you a question about recovery...
If you broke your knee and the doctor told you to rest up for several weeks, keep it in a brace and not to put pressure on it until it’s fixed, would you head off to the gym the following morning and bang out some squats or box jumps?
I think it’s safe to say, it’s highly unlikely, wouldn’t you?
Equally, would you be surprised if your knee doesn’t heal? I don’t think anyone with an ounce of common sense would disagree. In order to enable things to repair, we must take the necessary precautions laid out by medical professionals. It’s not rocket science, is it?
So why does all rationale go completely out the window when it comes to our mental health?
I’ve met so many people who suffer from depression who are failing to help themselves. I’m talking about people who know they have issues with depression or anxiety and yet fail to adhere to the lifestyle changes which are imperative to recovery:
There are several examples:
Overconsumption of social media
Lack of quality sleep
Bleak outlook on life
All the above, play a part in our mental health recovery, but the one that stands out for so many is alcohol.
Why would you continue to drink alcohol if you are suffering from depression?
Alcohol can make an emotionally stable person sad or angry. All cognitive functionality goes completely out of the window and can still affect your mental well-being the following day. Our judgement starts to become clouded.
It’s like a diabetic who continues to eat sugar-laden foods or a celiac who gorges on gluten. No one would feel sorry for them, instead citing their behaviour irresponsible and foolishness. You’ve only got yourself to blame.
Even more alarming is drinking whilst on medication for depression, namely anti-depressants. The reality is, it’s like attempting to put out a fire by pouring petrol on it. If you’re troubled enough to swallow a pill that could potentially help ease your depression, why would you go and fuck it all up and make matters worse by consuming alcohol which will inevitably make your depression much, much worse?
Does that mean you can never drink again?
That depends entirely on you. Only you would know the answer to that question. Some diabetics can have the occasional sweet treat (so I’m told) and some can’t. But I’ve yet to meet a celiac who can eat wheat in any way shape or form.
Alcohol is the thief of tomorrow’s happiness for so many people.
And, if you thought this blog post was a bitter pill to swallow, as it will be for so many mental health sufferers, what I’m about to say, will be even harder.
If you can't give up alcohol for 30 days, in order for you to really feel the benefits of abstaining from it, then I’m afraid you’re faced with the realisation that you have a problem with alcohol. I challenge you to abstain for 30 days and see how you feel. I have yet to meet anyone who has said they didn't feel better for it.
Give yourself time to recover for a few weeks without having alcohol in your system and you'll start to see life much clearer. I'm not saying your depression or anxiety will suddenly disappear. But it will allow you time to think much clearer and come up with a plan of action, to take control of the areas in your life that are negatively affecting your mental health. Overcoming things like childhood trauma, heartache and financial worries are hard enough. Don't make life harder by reaching for a beer or glass of wine every time you encounter a stressful situation.
Don't worry over the past and don't stress over the future. Be present and suddenly life becomes a much happier place
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety or overindulging in the booze oe drug of choice, I would suggest you check out the Structure and Strategy guide I’ve put together. It is the exact blueprint I used when I turned my life around back in 2016. It’s a 44-page manual that details a best practice guide on how to live a happier, more fulfilled life. It’s completely FREE and there is no catch or small print. I was one of the lucky ones, who had the foresight to make certain lifestyle changes that aided with my own recovery. I felt it my duty to share my story and the effective daily habits that helped me bounce back from the brink of being homeless, lonely and suicidal. It got my life back on track and I hope it helps others who choose to take action