Posted 20 hours ago

Sort Your Head Out: Mental health without all the bollocks

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Eventually, there was a collapse. There always is. Since then, I have rebuilt my life in a simpler way that is easier to manage. Although Sam did not originally like the idea of getting support and starting therapy, ‘beggars can’t be choosers. Only through desperation did I go and talk to someone’. When I landed my first job in journalism I told myself that the best way to succeed was to never stop. When I finished at the office I would go home and write down ideas, do bits of research, read other newspapers and magazines obsessively. I was a product of Thatcherism – totally in thrall to my own productivity. I didn’t just want a steady job that paid the bills. I wanted to create great things constantly and be defined by them. And I also wanted to get totally shitfaced every weekend (plus sometimes on a Thursday).

Rapper Professor Green, football player Declan Rice and comedian Romesh Ranganathan are just some of the ambassadors working with CALM. Keeping it all inside was what nearly dragged Sam under. Then he began to open up and share his story with others. Soon his life started to get better and better. Now, he’s written this book to help you do the same.Keeping it all inside was what nearly dragged Sam under. Then he began to open up and share his story with others. Soon his life started to get better and better. Now, he's written this book to help you do the same. Then I did something that was pretty alien to me. I started to own up to the fact that I was struggling. I went to a group called Andy’s Man Club where blokes meet every Monday night for a chinwag about life, all the shit it can throw at you and all the beauty that’s to be found in it too. It helped. I started chatting to mates about what I was going through and the things I was worried about. I was stunned by their empathy. Next, I started writing about this sort of stuff. A couple of articles in the newspaper about my own little struggles: the drinking, the anxiety, the childhood stuff I’d never quite shaken off. I’d been writing for years but never with much honesty about myself. I like making people laugh and found it was easy to use humour as a means of distracting from self-reflection. In this extract from his new book, broadcaster and journalist Sam Delaney tells how he embraced a simpler, more idle lifestyle to save his mental health

We try to cover interesting topics and often serious subjects, but in a way that is easy to follow and understand, and it doesn’t get overly tedious and up itself. We don’t take ourselves all that seriously and don’t like the tone to remain too serious or heavy for long. Like many podcasts, it’s all about having a good chat and a laugh. Covering his complex upbringing, fast paced career, struggles with addiction and recovery, and detailing lessons he’s learnt along the way, Sort Your Head Outis Sam’s startlingly raw, compassionate and hilarious account of why opening up is the first step to sorting your head out.

Men and their mental health: Five free resources

I craved stimulation at all times. I was terrified of even fleeting moments of boredom. I thought of myself as being constantly on the run from lapsing into that fat bored kid I had once been. The truth is, I was probably just scared of ever being alone with my own unfiltered thoughts. But when he reached his thirties, work, relationships and fatherhood started to take their toll. Like so many blokes who seemed to be totally fine, he often felt like a complete failure whose life was out of control; anxiety and depression had secretly plagued him for years. Turning to drink and drugs only made things worse. Sam knew he needed help - the problem was that he thought self-help was for hippies, sobriety was for weirdos and therapy was for neurotics. It’s a real shame because since I learned to be more open about my feelings, I have been amazed by the amount of support I have received.

For many middle-aged blokes like me, masculinity is still all about beer, banter and a stiff upper lip. Liked the look of this one and Sam Delaney (Journalist, podcaster, editor) looks like someone to investigate more. I told myself that football was my hobby. But going to football was always as much about getting twatted as it was watching the game. Similarly, playing Monday-night five-a-side was only a ritual we endured prior to the post-match beers.A network of anonymous, non-clinical groups for blokes to connect, talk and listen on a regular basis. Every Monday at 6.30pm for men in the UK and online globally. Honest, expert, down-to-earth support via the Campaign Against Living Miserably helpline (0800 585858) is open 365 days per year, 5pm-midnight. They’re community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun.

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