I am back at work now after having a few weeks on medical leave for anxiety and depression. I am working short weeks for a while and have made other arrangements to support my re-integration back to work.
Firstly, and just so you all know, I am receiving good medical care and medication is starting to kick in, and also I am receiving counselling and other support. Most importantly I am safe.
I still am battling through, which is not easy at times and is tiring, and certainly have my moments when I need to take a break.
Some of the people and things that are good and are helping me get through are, my very loving and supportive wife, some very good friends, music (writing, performing, and collaborating), and MusicHelps .
Anxiety has been great for writing songs and I have written 14 songs in the last 6 weeks, while depression makes me not want to even pick up my guitar. Anxiety and depression are a very strange combination.
Why am I being open?
As kiwis and as blokes (generalisation), we are terrible about seeking help and support when we need it.
I thought that as I have always been an advocate for people with mental illness that it is good for me to be up front and open that I am now one of the many people who also have a mental illness.
I have sought out help from my GP and a counsellor for what I am dealing with and it does help.
Hopefully this will encourage others to get help too.
So the important take away from what I am going through at the moment is this…
…Do not be ashamed or embarrassed to seek help if you are struggling – use the 1737 help number if you need to, make use of the EAP services, counselling, or other support services that are available, talk to your close trusted friends, discuss it with your doctor.
Check out for your friends, ask them if they are OK and genuinely support them if they need it.
Know that you are not alone in the dark, and there is hope even if it doesn’t feel like it now (note: even as I write this I have to remind myself of this. )
New Zealand Support Contacts
- 1737, free 24/7 phone and text number
- Healthline: 0800 611-116
- Lifeline Aotearoa: 0800 543-354
- Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828-865
- Samaritans: 0800 726-666
- General mental health inquiries: 0800 443-366
- The Depression Helpline: 0800 111-757
for NZ music industry people
Check out MusicHelps
Photos from various music events from across Dunedin, NZ in 2016.
The two songs were written and performed by myself this year (2016)
It has been a pleasure to be able to capture great events in Dunedin this year and love working with local musicians.
If you have an event in Dunedin and would like it captured in images please contact me .
Don’t Bring Me Down ©Paul S Allen 2016
And He Flies © Paul S Allen 2016
©Paul S Allen 2016 All right reserved.
I am deeply saddened by the news that 49 people in Orlando Florida in the USA, have been murdered in cold blood and that 53 others have been wounded in this latest horrific incident.
These murderous attacks are happening across the planet killing many, many people. More often than not, the targets are innocent people going about normal everyday activities.
The hate and the killing must stop!
No one should die because they have different belief structures, or are different in any way from another person.
Let us forget forever the name of the Orlando murderer, banish it to the loneliest unmarked grave, without honour or epitaph. Do not show his picture and do not give coverage to his extreme and twisted personal misinterprtations of a particular religion.
But more than that…
Let us all learn to truly accept people and respect them as they are regardless of their faith or non-faith, gender association, sexual orientation, skin colour, ethnic origin etc.
Although not an excuse, our problem is that we can only see through the eyes we have, and they are biased, due to our personal experiences and what we have been taught or modelled. However change is possible for all of us, but only if we are willing to start.
We must always search for better ways, always question entrenched ideologies, always ask for help if you need it, and offer it where you are able.
- We need to start to see the person, the humanity, within each individual and respect them as they are;
- We need to stop labelling and putting people in boxes that make it easier for us to dismiss others as different or inferior;
- We need to remember that the blood in all our veins runs red, that we breathe the same air, and that this tiny little rock floating in space that we share is our only home.
It is a bold, courageous and glorious goal to love everybody and it is not easy, but even a small step in the direction of love is a good start. The trick is, when you start the journey, keep moving.
We must remember that this is a journey and
- We are all at varying stages along the way,
- We are not perfect,
- We are broken,
- We can’t do it alone,
- We need help,
- We need patience with others on the journey.
May be, just may be, if we all take a small step towards love and peace the world will be a better place.
Paul S Allen
A festival of Dunedin musicians, singer-songwriters, bands and solo acts for the launch of NZ Music Month 2016
Held 1 May 2016 at the Dunedin Public Library
Dunedin, New Zealand
Here is a sample of images from the day there are more on my Flickr account
This is the fourth year of the South Dunedin Street Festival and, despite ferocious winds, thousands of people enjoyed the celebration of all that is South Dunedin.
Here are a few photos, but if you would like to see more there are many more photos on my Flickr page.