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
Video Montage and image gallery of the iconic The Nook & Cranny Music Festival held at the Dunedin Public Libraries, Dunedin, New Zealand, on the 2 May 2021 to Celebrate NZ Music Month
(I missed about four of the artists as I was performing at the time – apologies to those four)
The amazing Rosa Black and myself will be performing together on some songs and solo on others.
This will be a great night not to be missed
Gallery on Blueskin 1 Harvey Street, Waitati, just 15 minutes north of Dunedin City
Friday 16 April music starts at 7:00pm
Come early for a great meal and stay for an evening of wonderful music.