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Gooner Clayton’s thoughts on understanding mental health problems

Leading on from Gooner Clayton where I changed my attitude and said I am now a victim support worker for RTAs. What I didn’t mention in that blog was on my first day in the bespoke office I drove to Hull thinking oh my god all the people I don’t know in that office and I need to walk through that. I played music of the bands I loved and pretended I was in my own air band so not to think of that dreaded walk. I got to Hull and I sat in the car for a good 20 minutes trying to find the courage to go up to the office. Talking to myself telling myself come on Allan you have stood in front of 200 students and spoke to a 100 plus suits at Morrison’s which is a massive deal, I even learnt to walk again so come on you can do this.
To say I eased my way in is a understatement. The first week I only went in twice but the weeks went on and I could feel my confidence growing .I have always been very confident that I can help people even if my head wasn’t in a good place I have the ability to take on other people’s problems and help them. I changed my personal life and I got a little ocd with things like getting what I’m wearing the next day ready the night before even down to which socks and boxers i would be wearing so my work life would work and I wasn’t thinking about other things. I wasn’t just working on my project I started to give advice and give help to others in the office I was getting asked advice and it felt good.
I got given some advice a few years back when I first started the next step and I was doing some public speaking in schools but thought I need to learn more and develop better skills and a massive bit of advice he gave me was `you need to invest in yourself.’ I never really took this on board and mostly invested in my social life going out on a weekend drinking and looking for attention. A month or so back a drummer in a band I like posted about the charity Mind. I had never heard of these I haven’t a clue how as they are a massive and brilliant charity I got in touch with them and we exchanged a good few emails and calls and I decided I was going to invest in myself and travel to London and go on a course of there’s to better myself. I know I have the life skills to help people who have suffered but now I was going to see just how good I was.
Mental problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. Some mental health problems are described using words that are in every­day use for example `depression’ or `anxiety’ words I have used myself this can make them seem easier to understand, but can also mean people underestimate how serious they can be.
Suffering from a mental health problem feels just as bad, or worse, than any other illness only you cannot see it. Nobody had a clue what I was going through
during the week i portrayed a very different side through social media. A good phrase I saw the other day on facebook was `may your life be as awesome as you pretend it is. I was out every weekend and I made sure I showed you this and how happy I was pretending to be. Although mental health problems are very common and even affecting around one in four people in Britain. There is still a stigma and still discrimination towards people with mental problems a lot of this is due to the amount of myths what different diagnoses mean. My mentoring and rehabilitation scheme is to take that stigma away from person dealing with the illness after a rta.
My anxiety will always be they’re in some form but it’s more of a nervous anxiety, which we all suffer from a little. You just find ways around it. Traveling down to London made me a little nervous as it was the fear of the unknown but I just made sure I did my research before I went little things like finding out what buses I needed to catch from A to B. I don’t really like getting on buses and would always chose to drive but on the occasions I’ve got the bus I’ve sat in the priority seat for disabled people but can always feel someone looking at me and thinking he shouldn’t be sat there. As i got on the bus to travel back to kings cross a well dressed old gentleman saw me getting on with my bags, he got up straight away saying here young man take my seat. I however declined the kind offer and said how I appreciated it but it did make me think how many young people have made that gesture I have my doubts. I even looked how far the venue for the course was to where I was staying. So I had a plan in my head of what I needed to do. Have you ever been in a situation where you need to stand up in front of a large group of people that you don’t know and introduce yourself, it’s not as easy as it sounds and to try and tell people my life in around two minutes and get it all in is extremly difficult. I didn’t even listen to the first two people as I was running it over in my head what I was going to say. I said enough which left people gob smacked by my accident. The first break came and people made a b line for me wanting to know more about my life this gave me the confidence to be open on the course as my answers wouldn’t sound stupid as I knew what I was talking about and had people laughing even when dealing with a serious matter such as mental health.
When I’m talking about mental illness I have never actually been told by a doctor I had a problem and it’s only now i look back that i see i suffered in silence so now when I’m talking about my own experiences and everything I have gone through it puts me in a happy, fulfilled place and at peace with my life and because I can reflect it makes me proud that I can help others.

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