FORGOT TO TAKE MY PILLS!

"Feeling like the lights are on but no one's in, like I'm being punished for committing a sin, silence, nothing doing, brain not working, I'm not shirking, my brain really is not working, it's like my on/off switch is in the off position, I haven't got the mental wherewithal to make a decision, I just cannot think, can't do anything, I've lost ...

SELF-CARE, AS IMPORTANT AS THE MEDS!

"Adderall for my ADHD, and coffee, that's me, free of the shackles of fatigue and lethargy, I now feel awake, alive, but for Corona there'd be high-fives all around, yup, now feel sound as a pound, let's have a round of applause for adderall and caffeine, I mean, in the words of James Brown - and he knew, he was no clown, ...

THE FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN

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"Sitting outside on the porch, heat no longer blasting from a blow torch sun, I sense that it is the first day of Autumn, the Fall, the breeze, a call to step outside, the humidity less, I’m no longer a sweaty mess, the wind so refreshing and welcome, a delight, a mild day, a cool night, just to sit and do nothing, it’s ...

MIRACLES

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https://www.facebook.com/james.gould.754/videos/10160060286810828/ “Many people argue that there are no miracles today,  but I think that that’s an odd thing to say;  I don’t need to see someone split water,  I see miracles in my sons and daughter,  I think it’s a miracle that Yaf is my wife , I see a miracle in the fact that is my life.  What else is a miracle?  Let’s ...

ISRAEL, THE UAE and SAUDI ARABIA

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https://www.facebook.com/james.gould.754/videos/10160051134860828/ ‘El Al flight to Abu Dhabi in the UAE,quite something to see,flew through Saudi Arabian airspace,SAUDI, THE face of the Arab World. The moment was a watershed,considering that relations between Israel and these countries were dead.Saudi and the UAE have set a new agenda,have set the pace,and now there’s a race between other nations to improve ...

I’M BACK!

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"Yesterday’s mood was grey, the sun’s rays weren’t getting through, another run was called for, always is when the feeling is raw. It worked magically, radically, real change, across a range of my emotions, it broke the depression, stopped my regression in its tracks, got me off the rack. The lifting of the weight was tangible, palpable. Suddenly. I felt lighter, brighter, that metamorphosis is one of life’s great feelings, when I ...

“THE SOUL

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Yuval Noah Harari is an author in fashion - he incites the passions, love and fury; I’m reading his ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’: in it, he refers to two beliefs about the source of our desires and emotions, one which is biological, some will view it as heretical, the other, based on religion, some will treat it with derision and ridicule, as if the ...

WHAT’S THE POINT?

https://www.facebook.com/james.gould.754/videos/10160051134860828/ IMPORTANT, re the following poem, it does NOT reflect how I feel NOW! PLEASE DO NOT BE CONCERNED! I nearly didn't post it, so sensitive is the subject of suicide, and I know that it'll concern a lot of people but, please, do take note of the positive attitude in the second half of the poem. I ...

FRIENDS…

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"Acquaintances don’t live in your heart, your soul, they live in your brain, they’re off when it rains. Friendship, that’s made in your soul, friends make you feel whole. Friends give, they don’t lend, they’ll stand next to you till the end of time, friends get their own poem, they are celebrated in rhyme. I miss the guys – and the girls – back ...

END OF THE DAY…

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“Suddenly, tired, my mojo has expired, no more spark, I’m in the dark, I feel the end of this day, my mood is grey, I can’t think straight, my poetry ain’t great, there’s nothing there, I’ve lost my bit of flair. It’s time to call time on this day, nothing more to do nor say, except that tomorrow is another day, a new start for me and my ...

WHY POETRY?

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Day and night, I have to write, crunching words, playing with rhymes, thinking, in poetry land, always a notebook and pencil to hand. Scribbling, dribbling words on the paper, it’s like a caper, verses dancing, whilst I’m romancing about perfection. Writing is my art, I have a passion, but why this fashion, why poetry, why not the spoken word, why not oratory? My mind is a laboratory, always playing with ...

MY STORY: LIGHT, NOT DARKNESS

https://www.facebook.com/james.gould.754/videos/10160037490145828/ ‘A tweeter, Lauren Kay (@laurenikay) asked us to say, to tell her, what inspired us to tell our stories: I write my story, sometimes dark, but oft times, one of glory, to help people who suffer, who might be having a rougher time than me, - and I have been through tough times: I write about them in my rhymes. Mental illness is my story, depression, regression, darkness – ...

EXERCISE

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"So that pre-Shabbat run last night, did it happen? Did it…heck! Fatigue, mired in it, so, so tired. But this morning, twenty-to-five, awake, feeling alive, an early rise, out at five, just 8k, I felt more than OK! Well, parts of the run weren’t fun, but I had the resolve not to stop and walk - I had to talk to myself, keep going, no slowing down, I had to ...

POVERTY

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Footballers costing $220m,  there should be shame,  I mean, football, it’s only a game!  Who is to blame for global poverty?  Global corruption,  an eruption of greed which suffocates those in need,  this is not the human condition,  there needs to be global contrition!  Division, poverty, homelessness, hunger, despair,  the world is in dire need of repair!  But there’s too much power in the hands ...

SOME MORNINGS…

'Wake up in the morning, sun outside,but inside, it’s pouring,not fully awake, mentally still snoring,pain,nothing to gain from getting out of bed,legs of lead,weighed down,it’s written in the frown on my face,anxious about re-joining the human race. Can’t see,nothing’s clear,everything distant,nothing, except the darkness, is near,my speaking, monotone,feeling lonely, alone. It’s just one of those days,the sun’s ...

WRITER’S BLOCK

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Writer’s block, the clock shows me the passage of time,I’m without a rhyme to show for it,not a word on the paper,nothing an hour later. There’s nothing there,all I do is stare at the ceiling,hoping, in vain, for some healingin my brain,the creative cells,hoping for an awakening,the sound of bells chiming in my head,calling me to attentionwith the ...

ZIV’S OFF…

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"Ziv’s off the day after tomorrow, I’ve got no time to borrow, in the blink of an eye, the present’s in the past, it doesn’t last, it flies by far too fast. Time, we don’t own it, we can’t control it, we can’t slow it down, soon, Ziv will be at Uni, one minute in student garb, the next in his finery and academic ...

DOWNGRADE THE EGO AND THE SELF

"The attitude of gratitude is the place of true joy, the real McCoy,it’s a place of giving, not taking,of being authentic,not faking,it’s part of the human condition to push forward a mission to make the world a better place,which isn’t easy when you get caught up in the rat race. Anger, envy, ego, self,they are the antithesis, the ...

TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’

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"I was thinking over Shabbos (Shabbat) and the need arosefor this piece of prose…  A Shabbos of mixed emotions, sadness and pride, I cried, it being my son's last Shabbos before going to England, to uni, to read law, knowing that, on Wednesday, he’ll be walking through the door,  leaving home, not that he should ever feel alone- this will always be ...

LAST CHANCE…

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"We’re not free any more,a virus and the law have reined us in,us, our friends, our kith and kin,no hugs, don’t want those bugs,no hello kissing, I’m missing the contact,I detest social distancing, the staying apart,which so many have perfected, turned into an art. Every time we go out, those masks,I do feel that it’s quite ...

DON’T BLINK!

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'Time flies so fast, in the blink of an eye, it’s way back in the past. Romi used to love me holding her hand, giving it a squeeze, now I cannot do as I please – no more squeeze. She used to love sitting on my knee, cuddling in, with her choochy grin, now, no more, that’s the law, and I’ve just got ...

LIVE AN AUTHENTIC LIFE

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"You don’t want a husband, you want a wife,no problem – it’s YOUR life,listen to your soul, to its voice,it is YOUR life, so it is YOUR choice. It’s YOUR life, not theirs,ignore their stares. If they aren’t brave enough to follow their dreams,don’t let them stifle yours,ignore the cultural and local mores,unlock and open YOUR chosen ...

WRITING INSPIRATION

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"Today, I’m tired, can’t write, try as I might,  there are no words in my head, my thought processes are dead, no imagination,  no creation taking shape, nothing on the poetry landscape. I never know, from one day to the next, if it’ll be there  or if I’ll just stare at a blank sheet of paper. One day, alive and kicking, the next, it’s gone missing, I’m on ...

TRUE JOY

"The hunt for the holy grail,it's on the trail which leads to pure joy,which you find not by looking out but looking in,deep below your skin. Pleasure is a transient treasure,it’s in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,it’s not in your soul,it’s in taking, not giving,it’s a fleeting high,to which you’re always saying goodbye. Happiness is taking ...

DEPRESSION: AN INVISIBLE, OFTEN FATAL, ILLNESS…

'He’s the life and soul of the party,  the most socially-at-ease,  always the first to please,  the joker, the jester, the clown,  the man about town,  the one who is always up for a laugh,  the most popular member of staff, the mostly talkative on the team, his smile a blinding beam…  NEVER TAKE THAT SMILE AT FACE VALUE, it’s all an act,  he’s wearing a ...

ADHD, A MISSED DIAGNOSIS

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https://www.facebook.com/james.gould.754/videos/10160023163590828/ "Some quotations really resonate, and this one, by James Michener, is great: 'I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.' Now, THAT is a notion,  replete with emotion,  which really strikes  a chord with me. Thanks to depression and ADHD, which numbed my mind, made me 'blind', as a kid at school, I just couldn’t see it: to get my English ...

NOT EMPTY NEST SYNDROME…YET!

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"Further to my poem this morning,which doubtless had most of you yawning, the poem about Ziv and Romi flying the nest(some, it seems, thought the poem one of my best),I have been advised that my condition of sadness,to add to my condition of madness,is ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’,the children leaving home and mum and dad living alone. Well, ...

FLYING THE NEST…

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"Lots of emotion,  all this commotion, physical and mental, forgive me while I get sentimental. 5, 4, 3…soon there’ll just be Yaf and me; the children are flying the nest, no, really, I do not jest. Ziv’s off to uni in England to study law, that makes my heart so sore, Romi’s off to mechina*, soon, it’ll have been weeks since I’ll have seen ...

FOLLOW YOUR SOUL

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'Take what action  to secure enduring satisfaction, to achieve the holy grail, what does it entail? The holy grail is true joy, it’s peace of mind, how do we find that peace of mind? Don’t look outward, look in, look deep below your skin, focus on your soul,  ask yourself, “What is my role?” Ask yourself, “Is my body, mind, heart and soul in sync?” because between where you are ...

A RUN WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE…

"Today, I can’t get my creative juices to flow,I don’t know what to write,the lights are on but no one’s home,I’ve got the imagination of a rock or a stone. Maybe today, a little depression,which has brought about some minor regression,but I’ll be ok later,after I’ve been out for a run,yeah, I know how to have ...

A DAY TO PROFESS LOVE AND GRATITUDE

"Tu B’Av, Jewish Valentine’s Day,   on which we send our thanks above   for the blessings that have given us the ones we love.   But, in addition, today, it is my mission   (as a poet, and didn’t you just know it    - I do feel queasy, that line was pretty cheesy)   to give thanks to Yaf, my wife,   on our anniversary,    the Hebrew date,   so ...

DEPRESSION, NO SHAME, IT’S AN ILLNESS

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"Depression is often invisible, to deny that it’s an illness, that is risible.  Sufferers, listen, there’s no reason to feel shame,  I don’t want to see nor hear the word ‘blame’. Many years ago, depression almost killed me,  I was as good as dead, the doctors said they didn’t know if I’d pull through,  if I’d make it.  I certainly didn’t fake it, my illness ...

THE CORONA ERA

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"What a time we live in, got us all in a right old spin, can’t get together, we’re at the end of our social tether, got to keep apart, social distancing, it’s become a work of art. Can’t shake hands or kiss, got to give that a miss, what about a hug? Nah, don’t want to risk catching the bug. So, for now, got ...

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Your comfort zone,  it numbs your soul, it’s a dark place, as black as coal. If you want to grow,  you must know the importance of  leaving that zone, so do it, don’t moan. Challenge yourself, no magic, no hocus pocus, you must focus on the challenge, persevere, you can get from there to here. No option to quit, never give up, grit your teeth, you can win the cup, but keep raising the bar because you’re ...

THE HOLY GRAIL

"The holy grail, an escape from going stale, peace of mind, you will find, if your body, mind, soul and heart are in sync, a work of art. With the right state of mind, you will find that peace of mind. If you feel gratitude and contentment, not resentment, if you stop chasing, racing, you will find that peace of mind. Don't consign yourself ...

SUNDAYS CAN BE TOUGH DAYS

"Some days, just getting up in the morning  can be an achievement,  It can be difficult when you feel like you’ve suffered a bereavement, Take it easy, don’t frown, Don’t let depression get you down. It’s Sunday, it needn’t be a fun day, Life’s a rollercoaster, lots of ups and downs, Not every day is for jesters and clowns. Cut yourself some slack Don’t look ...

JUST 24 HOURS LEFT

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What to do if just 24 hours left, Not to leave loved ones forlorn and bereft, I don’t want to die with things unsaid, Lying on, and leaving from, my death bed. Gratitude to express, Love to profess, No, there’s no emergency, But I have a sense of urgency. I must express that gratitude -  authentic, not a platitude, I must do it today, not ...

REGRETS? NO!

"Went left, not right,What a plight!Went right, not left, I was bereft!I left, didn't stay,Why didn't I obey?I stayed, didn't leave,Why didn't I believe?But the road I travelled to get me here,To my children and my darling dear,It was the only road,Truth be told.So, mistakes, errors: regrets?Should I be miffed?No, they were blessings,They were a gift." ...

DARKNESS AND LIGHT: TOMORROW’S ANOTHER DAY…

Yesterday, I saw the sun, Today, I am numb. Last night, I saw the moon, it was a boon, Today, clearly came too soon. Yesterday connected, Today not. Yesterday, up for living, Today, not a lot. Yesterday, an appetite, Today, I'm not right. Yesterday, the world, a sense of awe, Today, it's all rather a bore. The stillness, it's an illness, Soon, I'll take my pills to attack ...

BEHIND THE MASK: GETTING TO KNOW MYSELF…

I was having a private message 'chat' with my new, unofficial writing mentor yesterday and, re one of the exchanges, she said, "love this! this is a beautiful blog post, as is": I guess that she meant that what I had just said would make a great blog - so here it is... "Depression, mental illness/health/wellness, anxiety ...

THE BLACK DOG’S REALLY SUNK HIS TEETH INTO ME THIS MORNING!

Wow! The chill winds of depression are cutting right through me this morning (I've taken my antidepressants but they may as well be sugar pills!). I'll be ok when I've taken my ADHD med (Adderall)*. That'll crank my engine. But, for now, the lights are on but no one's in... My depression demon has really thumped ...

I AM NOW TAKING ADDERALL (like Ritalin): AM I RIGHT, HAVE I BEEN SUFFERING FROM AND WITH UNDIAGNOSED ADHD ALL MY LIFE?

I’ve been prescribed Adderall for ADHD. I'm 54. I take an antidepressant (Citalopram), anti-psychotic (Aripiprazole), together for clinical depression and OCD, and a beta blocker (Metoprolol) for panic attacks. I felt really flat this morning. Then I took my meds (taking Aripiprazole tonight). Buzzing, a new type of buzz! Not, IMHO, related to having also taken ...

TRAUMA: IF WE DON’T PROCESS IT, IT WILL WEIGH US DOWN AND HOLD US BACK…

My memoirs, I wrote about trauma yesterday.  My friend, my good friend, my mentor, motivator, Britt Sevitt (she doesn’t know that she is my mentor/motivator but she is, she just is), she has been talking to me about trauma, trauma in childhood. Until we got into this area, I thought that childhood trauma meant stuff like ...

“FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT”, a play by BRYONY KIMMINGS and TIM GRAYBURN:

I’ve just read a superb play which painfully resonates with me. I found it, in parts, hard to read! Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn’s “Fake It ‘Til You Make It” is, in essense, a play about depression, what it is, what it is like to live with, from the view/standpoint of the sufferer, Tim, and his ...

‘OUTRUNNING THE DEMONS – lives transformed through running’, by PHIL HEWITT: A ‘MUST-READ’ BOOK!

Phil Hewitt’s book, ‘OUTRUNNING THE DEMONS: lives transformed through running’, I have never connected with a book quite like I have done with this one, never has a book so resonated with me, never have I been so energised in the reading of a book, never has “I just couldn’t put the book down” so ...

A LIFE-CHANGING BOOK: PHIL HEWITT’S ‘OUTRUNNING THE DEMONS – lives transformed through running’

I often read a book and say afterwards that it's a "life-changing book" but I'm not sure that any has actually proved to be that - life-affecting, perhaps, but "life-changing", hmmmm....I don't know. However, a book which I'm reading now, and haven't finished yet, I already know that it'll be, for me, life-changing. In my ...

54th BIRTHDAY, I’LL CELEBRATE IT THIS YEAR: I’M ALIVE!

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Tues 16 June, lots happening... a) my 54th birthday: I'll celebrate it this year, I'll celebrate being ALIVE! b) I'm running my first ultra-marathon, 54km, with my elder son, also his first ultra; c) Marathon Monster (that's me and my son), we're meeting with Israel Centre on Addiction's (ICA) PR team, Unik*; d) I'm going to stop the ...

WHY I’M EXCITED ABOUT NEXT WEEK’S ULTRAMARATHON DESPITE THE FACT THAT I KNOW IT’S GOING TO HURT…

NEXT WEEK, at 12.01am on 16 June 2020, I'll start, with my son, my/our first ultra-marathon. On that day, I turn 54 years old. We're running 54km (33.75 miles) up and down 730m-long Herzl Street, Ra'anana. It's part of a training programme geared towards a 100-mile (160km) run, all on Herzl Street (222 times up ...

‘MONSTER-MARATHON MENTAL MILLION CHALLENGE’

‘MONSTER-MARATHON MENTAL MILLION CHALLENGE’  As many of you will know (publicity-shy I am not and, in this matter, it’s just as well!), Ziv and I have set ourselves a challenge: NAME OF CHALLENGE: ‘MONSTER-MARATHON MENTAL MILLION CHALLENGE’  WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE? THE “HERZL HUNDRED”: To run 100 miles (160km) on Herzl Street, Ra’anana* (less than half a mile long) in under ...

ADDICTION: IT’S AN ILLNESS! “THERE, BUT FOR THE GRACE OF G-D, GO I…”

2006, Hank Jones introducing: “…Next is a young pianist…you’re going to hear a lot more from (him) in the coming years and his name is Mr. Austin Peralta…" Austin was just 15 years old at the time. A star, becoming a legend in his own time… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=__7k0Bb0jSg Fast forward to 2012, Austin, a man who had a golden future ...

OUR CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH IS BEING IGNORED! SITUATION: CRITICAL!

It’s 8am, I walk downstairs, I see my daughter sitting, motionless, silent, expressionless…. She’s got a bagrut exam this morning (she’s 18, the bagrut is the Israeli equivalent of an English A-Level): “What the exam today?” She thinks for a second, translates the Hebrew into English for me: “Jewish philosophy”, she mumbles, her face still expressionless.  “Jewish philosophy”, I ...

LIFE’S A SHOE

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Divine is a foot.  Her life’s a shoe.  Would that Divine’s life was an open-toed shoe, a sandal, a flip-flop, airy, light, a good fit, or a great pair of trainers, again, the right fit, comfortable, if a closed shoe, lots of wiggle room for her toes….but it’s not so; you see, Divine is a right foot, the ...

OCD: IT’S MORE THAN A LITTLE OTT CLEANING AND CHECKING…

I have to stop this, calorie-counting and protein-counting. Even chewing gum and the splash of milk in my coffee, they’re in the count! I have ‘OCD‘ (‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - though my youngest, when approx 12 years old, he thought it stood for ‘Obsessive Cleaning Disturbance’: children see things, they are very aware, conscious of, what’s ...

34C/94F THIS MORNING: WHAT DROVE ME TO RUN IN THIS HEAT? WHAT DID I GET OUT OF THE RUN?

It was a hard run this morning, much harder than it should have been! It wasn't a long run, only 10km, but it was hot! My alarm was set for 5.10am. I should have been out the door by 5.30am, on the street for the run. Unusual for me but I slept through the alarm.  Showered and dressed ...

QUESTION. PSYCHOLOGIST TO ME: “DO YOU EVER EXPERIENCE PEACE?”

My psychologist asked me a question yesterday (2nd session), asked me if I ever experience "peace" - I had to think about that one! After a few moments' thought, I told her that I find it in music, in listening to music. She asked me if I find/experience it in/during my running. Again, a few moments' ...

THE SOURCES OF DEPRESSION

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A few days ago, I 'penned' a blog entitled: "FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST…AND, IN THE WORDS OF ‘THE GODFATHER OF SOUL’, JAMES BROWN, “I FEEL GOOD”". I've been thinking about it, about that first session with the psychologist, thinking about mental illness, thinking about why I might have the conditions, clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, ...

FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST…AND, IN THE WORDS OF ‘THE GODFATHER OF SOUL’, JAMES BROWN, “I FEEL GOOD”

I've had to get this down on paper, or laptop screen, whilst the adrenalin is still flowing... I've just seen a psychologist after decades of psychiatric treatment without, to all intents and purposes, ever really seeing a psychologist. I take meds for my clinical depression, anxiety, panic attacks and OCD. If I stop my meds, I'm a ...

‘STAND-ALONE’ EATING DISORDER OR ‘JUST’ A SYMPTOM OF OCD and/or OBSESSIVE PERSONALITY?

I’m watching, and loving, ‘The Sopranos’.     One of my ‘issues’ in life is calorie counting and keeping tabs on my daily protein intake.     I keep myself on a tight food rein and what they seem to do most in ‘The Sopranos’, more than killing people and going behind their wives’ backs, is eat - eat, eat, eat, ...

DEPRESSION: THE LIGHTS ARE ON BUT NO ONE’S HOME

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Numb, disconnected, I'm on the outside of the world, looking in, I feel like I don't belong, like I'm out of place. I'm jaded, drained, exhausted, so, so tired, frustrated, angry, shame of who and what I am (though not ashamed of my depression!), hatred of myself, disoriented, intolerant, impatient, irrational, illogical, hopeless, hopelessness, pointless, ...

THOUGHTS ON A BAD DAY… STAYING STRONG, RESOLUTE, RATIONAL, FIGHTING THE BLACK DOG OF DEPRESSION

A tweet I published yesterday (@kobysfightback):     1/8 #depression #mentalillness# mentalhealth Blo*dy hell! I am being mauled by the #BlackDog today. I am on the floor! Last few days ain't been great but, today, splat! You couldn't peel me off the floor! Ran y/day, #running tomorrow, NEED TO! I'm drained, exhausted, numb...     2/8 #depression #mentalillness #mentalhealth #panicattacks  Defo time to ...

AM I SUFFERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER?

Perhaps a little obsessive on the calorie counting, protein counting front. Everything I do during the day, working, resting, playing, it’s all under an umbrella of calorie counting, it’s all part of my 24/7 food, eating, nutrition and running mindset.  Everything outside of food, eating, nutrition, running is subservient, in terms of importance and priority, to ...

LOVE IS…

Can we be completely explained by science?   Are we just oxygen, calcium, carbon, sulphur, magnesium et al?   Are we inherently ‘programmed’ to behave in certain ways, do we react to physical and mental stimuli as a result of electrical impulses?   Do we think and act independently or is it all just synapses, impulses, biological algorithms?   Do we make decisions ...

QUITTING MUST NOT BE AN OPTION

This morning, I went out for one of my runs. I felt heavy-legged, sluggish, when I got out of bed at 5.45am. It’s marathon training season, I ran 28km last Friday and 12km on Monday. Today, 8km with 14km coming up on Friday.     An aside, the back story: I’m 53 years old and started running, from ...

MY OBSESSION WITH EATING: AM I IN CONTROL OR AM I BEING CONTROLLED?

Four years ago, I started a major lifestyle change, dietary, exercise (running), no alcohol, big weight-loss, mental health focus.     Before I continue, I should point out that I suffer from clinical depression, I take SSRI antidepressants and I take betablockers to keep panic attacks at bay. I should also point out that I have OCD (psychiatrist ...

LIFE’S MOST BEAUTIFUL EXPERIENCE

The second most beautiful experience we can have in life is witnessing compassion, empathy, love and kindness, witnessing the manifestation of the very best of humanity:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5umUPJ2G4Y     THE most beautiful experience we can enjoy in life is acting - OURSELVES – with compassion, empathy, love and kindness and witnessing the reaction from those towards whom the humanity ...

CLINICAL DEPRESSION: IT’S AN ILLNESS, IGNORANCE STILL ABOUNDS AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT IGNORANCE CAN BE FATAL

A conversation I had yesterday with a pal of mine, a guy in his early 30's, from India, a guy with very little money who grew up in poverty, in India (poverty by Indian standards!), it shocked me (though I'm not sure why) but, more than that, it terrified me.     My pal (protecting confidentiality, I'll call ...

MY EXPERIENCE OF THE DARKNESS THAT IS DEPRESSION

An excerpt from a message I sent someone yesterday, a message in which I tried to convey some of the dynamics of a depression ‘episode’:     "...mental illness, depression et al, it is so destructive and, tragically, still so misunderstood. One of the big problems with depression is that although it manifests in many ways, although the ...

I AM WHAT I AM

During a recent conversation about the creative advantages of suffering from ADHD, I made, in relation to my own condition, clinical depression, the following comment:     “I'm sure that my mental illness, clinical depression, gives me an insight, an x-ray vision, which is more pronounced, deeper, when I'm going through an 'episode' (except when it's really deep ...

‘THE TIMES’: “ADOPTIONS FALL AS COUPLES CHOOSE IVF AND SURROGACY”. TRAGIC!

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Tragic.   'The Times':   ADOPTIONS FALL AS COUPLES CHOOSE IVF AND SURROGACY https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/adoptions-fall-as-couples-choose-ivf-and-surrogacy-hmblckr9k?fbclid=IwAR3G5sWJM_q9sftc9JXUq4eoXzYMP5leST74OQZy4Z9EF3AVThtfZnGhn7Q     My view/opinion/attitude is, I assume, informed by the fact that I am adopted.     I don’t want to generalise nor judge. There are, clearly, many reasons why a couple might opt for surrogacy over adoption (IVF is a different matter, I can understand why some people try IVF before ...

LIVE IN THE PRESENT, ‘IN THE MOMENT’, EACH UNIQUE MOMENT, OR YOU’LL MISS EVERYTHING

Facebook, today, posted on my ‘timeline’ a photo which I posted on 11 November 2011, a photo, dating back to around 2005, of two of my children (in 2005, we ‘only’ had two.). FB posted the photo 'memories' for my eyes only but I 'shared' the photo with my Facebook 'friends'. In the photo, my ...

TREE OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE MASSACRE: THE BEST, THE ONLY, RESPONSE

Anderson Cooper’s tribute to the Tree of Life Synagogue’s victims.     Anderson’s calm, respectful style and tone is perfect. What a pro! Sincere, warm and authentic:     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY0Jdusd5-A     How poignant it is that the Synagogue/Temple/Shul is just 5 minutes from where Fred ‘Mister’ Rogers lived, a man of love, kindness, tolerance and empathy.     Hatred and division must never be allowed to ...

SHANA TOVA UMETUKAH (GOOD AND SWEET YEAR) – MY GOOD WISHES TO EVERYONE

Wishing all my family, Jewish friends/followers a shana tova umetukah, a good and sweet year ahead (into next year, the following year and beyond), a year of good health, happy times, peace (for all people across the world), simchas (weddings, bar mitzvahs etc), nachas (events and occasions involving our families and friends which give us ...

A LIFE-CHANGING BOOK: ‘BEYOND HAPPINESS – HOW TO FIND LASTING MEANING AND JOY IN ALL THAT YOU HAVE’, BY SIR ANTHONY SELDON

Every now and then, we – certainly I – read a book which we feel is ‘life-changing’. However, I can’t think of a single book which has genuinely proved to be, for me, life-changing. I’ve read the books, felt, during the reading and when finished, that they were life-changing but then, over time, I’ve ‘forgotten’ ...

DEPRESSION: OFTEN AN INVISIBLE AND FATAL MENTAL ILLNESS

Following the latest, heartbreaking, tragic case of terminal depression at Bristol University (Ben Murray passed away just a few weeks ago, in May), Sam Gyimah MP, speaking at the University of Buckingham’s Festival of Higher Education, reiterated his call for providers to see themselves as being in loco parentis for vulnerable young students who were living away ...

PEOPLE WHO DIE FROM WHAT TURNS OUT TO BE TERMINAL CLINICAL DEPRESSION, THAT IS WHAT THEY DIE FROM, THEY DO NOT DIE FROM/OF SUICIDE – THAT IS ‘JUST’ THE FINAL, FATAL SYMPTOM OF THE DEPRESSION – AND, FAMILY AND FRIENDS, DO NOT BLAME YOURSELVES!

A lady I know, her son suffered from terminal clinic depression - he passed away a few years ago. She still, to a degree, blames herself inasmuch as she can't stop wondering what she could have done to prevent him dying.   I responded with this post (in the interests of confidentiality, I have changed her, and ...

RECURRING DREAMS: WE MUST NOT IGNORE THE VOICES IN OUR HEARTS/SOULS/SUBCONSCIOUS

Recurring dreams, the same one/theme, just before I woke up this morning AND yesterday morning - can go on night after night after night, has been for years - setting, always University or school, always about exams, going to fail them or have failed them, my life crumbling…     I must be in REM dream sleep just ...

MY ANTI-DEPRESSION MEDS DON’T LIVE MY LIFE FOR ME – THEY ‘MERELY’ ALLOW ME TO LIVE MY LIFE.

I am a 51 year old, life-long sufferer of clinical depression and anxiety – there’s a book in me, I should write it as I think it could be of value and assistance to other sufferers and their families/loved ones but that is not something for this blog.     I’ve had my ups and downs, some of ...

THE CRUCIALITY OF HAVING THE RIGHT MINDSET IN LIFE

3 years ago:     I don't think I realised how overweight I was back then!   Now: (I'm the one wearing the glasses!)     My mindset, 3 years ago, was so wrong, so damaging, so destructive.   I was passive, void of self-discipline. I had let myself go!   I wasn't controlling any aspects of my life, I wasn't even fire-fighting, I was simply being ...

A NEW EXPERIENCE TODAY – A SENSE OF EUPHORIA WHILST I WAS RUNNING…

Half marathon training, my plan was to run 16k/10 miles today, I did it but pushed on, to the half marathon distance, 21.1k (which was my max to date - before this morning), carried on...at 22k, a new experience, euphoria, a 'high', whilst running...23k...24k, I decided to make it 26k...I was running on autopilot, adrenalin...I ...

1) STOP BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE; 2) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY; 3) MOVE ON…

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What a nonsensical legal action!     http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/21/oxford-graduate-sues-university-1million-did-not-get-first-class/     This paragraph, in The Times (22 November 2017), settles the matter for me:     "After graduating from Oxford in 2000, Mr Siddiqui trained at one of the “magic circle” law firms, Clifford Chance, according to court filings, but was not kept on at the end of the programme. He worked for three other law firms and ...

MY PERSONAL EATING ‘DISORDER’ AND THE CONNECTION WITH MY OBSESSIVE PERSONALITY

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or a highly compulsive personality, they are both extremely difficult to live with - difficult for the sufferer (especially if it comes with other conditions such as clinical depression and anxiety, as I know only too well!) and difficult for the family of the sufferer - everyone suffers!     The particular aspect to which ...

CONVERTING YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY

Times (of London) 'obit' (18 January 2017) on William Peter Blatty, author of 'The Exorcist', Oscar winner ('Best Adapted Screenplay', 1974):     'When his novel The Exorcist was first published in 1971 it was a slow starter. “I got very nice reviews . . . but nobody was buying the book,” he said. The screenplay was greeted ...

ANOTHER TRAGEDY: WE MUST ALL RAISE AWARENESS OF DEPRESSION

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….and another….and another….and another, this time, a 49 year old, intelligent, artistic/creative, successful, admired, respected, loved and adored, husband, father, son….the list goes on, of course…close friend, another victim of the horrible, cruel illness - yes, illness - clinical depression, as much an illness and often, as in this latest tragic case, terminal, as cancer.     I ...

FRIENDS…

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I just have to tweet this photo:       Videos are great, of course, but 'stills' catch a moment...videos can miss the moment, they don't catch them, hold them, they don't suspend the moment like 'stills' do.     Here, my sister, with the dark hair, is catching up with an old friend ('old' as in they go way, way back). ...

ANDY MURRAY: A NATURAL COMPETITOR, A WINNER

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Andy Murray:   A spectacular competitor, sportsman, winner, tennis player.     The 4 aforementioned nouns aren't placed in any particular order except that I will say that I do think that the first three should come before 'tennis player' - of course, Murray is a fantastic tennis player but that is the minimum required to be in that top ...

IZZY DIX’S TRAGIC STORY: KILLED BY BULLIES

Teenager Izzy Dix's tragic story has consumed me today - what makes it worse is that Izzy's experience is not unique, it's not even uncommon. It happens, a lot.     Izzy’s poem: ‘I Give Up’:     "I arrive, Happy and fresh, Ready and excited To celebrate the goodness.   I am eager and keen to have a good time. As I smile from the bubbles ...

SALLY BRAMPTON: ANOTHER TRAGIC SUICIDE WHICH, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED

I read this on the BBC News website last night and it upset me to the extent that I could not compose myself enough to be able to ‘write’ a blog. The upset remains but some of it has given way to anger which has enabled me  -  motivated me  -  to blog:     http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37769093     I look at ...

DEPRESSION: AN INVISIBLE ILLNESS

Mental Health and Invisible Illness Resources:   "I HAVE A CHRONIC ILLNESS   DON'T BE SURPRISED IF...   I DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE OR REPLY TO MESSAGES STRAIGHT AWAY; I CANCEL OUR PLANS, ESPECIALLY AT THE LAST MINUTE; IT SEEMS LIKE I'M NOT LISTENING OR NOT INTERESTED (BRAIN FOG); I LEAVE EARLY FROM A SOCIAL GATHERING OR PARTY; I SUDDENLY NEED TO LIE DOWN OR REST.   I ...

OCD: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

I’m on a diet.     Well, it started as a diet but things have probably moved on a bit…I’m manifesting, I guess, anorexia, or am I?     I’m fully aware, fully conscious of what I’m doing and I wonder, I’m not a psychologist nor am I a psychiatrist, but I wonder if that differentiates me from an anorexic: are ...

LOOK AT, ACKNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATE WHAT YOU’VE GOT!!

I have been cooked up in the house all day, I’m feeling flat, one of my usual ‘states’, I’ve been trying to rev myself up, crank the engine but there’s no spark so I’ll go out, get some air, wake up, connect with the living and have a coffee.     iPod, headphones on, music….Billy Joel…off I go….I ...

A LITTLE KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thk2KJFU2iM   A little bit of effort in the realm of kindness can have a huge effect on people's lives.     I've just been watching Yaf, my wife, slicing some cake, wrapping it lovingly, ribbons and all...she's off to visit a friend who has just come out of hospital. Yaf could have just taken the cake but, no, she ...

“PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!” (a monologue by me, James/Koby Gould, 16 March 2016)

“PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!” :   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-aNNP7tk1Q   "Everything is great. Well, on paper it is great. Love is all around, beautiful wife, gorgeous two year old son, doting parents, loving sister, terrific friends - but I feel all alone - great house, good job, cars, holidays…I’ve got it all, I guess. But I haven’t got it all…I haven’t got my ...

I GET SO MUCH MORE THAN PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS FROM RUNNING

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Hardest but most invigorating, confidence-boosting run today: 9km to the Dan Accadia hotel (averaged 5.45mins per km), a spot of breakfast, a coffee at Bell Beach and then 9km back (midday heat, a lot of uphill running) in similar time.     Tiring? I guess so but the adrenalin and the endorphins were so in play that, at ...

THE BONDS OF RELIGIOUS/CULTURAL KINSHIP v THE BONDS OF HUMAN KINSHIP

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A video interview followed by blog comment:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXGfngjmwLA   I feel a bond with this lady, a lady whom I have never met, and doubtless never will, a bond of love and a bond of kinship. That kinship has two strands, a Jewish strand and a human strand. The interesting question I ask myself is whether the Jewish ...

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: ‘WINNERS – AND HOW THEY SUCCEED’ by ALASTAIR CAMPBELL

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Matt Parker (Head of Marginal Gains at British cycling):   “Pursuit of excellence has to be relentless, people underplay the amount of time and effort it takes to be the best in the world at anything. It should not, and it cannot, ever be comfortable, because the moment you feel comfortable you stop challenging yourself, so you ...

JONAH LOMU: HIS LIFE, AN INSPIRATION, HIS TRAGIC DEATH, SO YOUNG, A WAKE-UP CALL

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The death, at such a young age, just 40, of rugby union legend  -  icon  -  Jonah Lomu, has really upset and shaken me.   http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/34853536   I know nothing about rugby, I've never followed it (though I do 'get it', I see the 'beauty', the immense skill/talent  -  I love sport and I do appreciate that, in rugby, ...

I THINK THEREFORE I AM…

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...and, for years, it was more a case of "I don't think therefore I am not". I’m misunderstood these days so let me put the record straight. Many years ago, I fell for religion hook, line and sinker. In hindsight, I was vulnerable, I was ‘easy game’. I was ready to fall, I was standing on the ...

IMAGINE…

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Amongst John Lennon’s most famous words are the following: "Imagine there's no heaven It's easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for today...   Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace...   You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not ...

VATICAN SACKS PRIEST WHO COMES OUT AS GAY: AN ADMISSION OF BIGOTRY (of course, Orthodox Judaism and Islam will be supporting the Vatican on its decision).

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What an ugly, tragic story: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34432701 More evidence that the Bible, Old Testament and New, is incompatible with equality and fairness. The Vatican is manifesting bigotry/homophobia (just as Orthodox Judaism and Islam do*  -  we would have seen the same if this Polish priest, Msgr Krysztof Charamsa, had been a Rabbi or an Imam). If British Airways ...

THE WORLD HAS GONE BERSERK (OR, RATHER, MANKIND HAS GONE BERSERK)

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Watch this: https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/videos/10153240246827689/?pnref=story This is beyond my comprehension. I am utterly heartbroken and despondent. There is no light on the horizon. Everything is wrong here, 2015 and we are mired in religious war, hatred on both sides (and within each side), politics and irrational belief  which is making people do and believe mad and dangerous things. This ...

OPENING MY EYES, OPENING MY MIND: GETTING REAL

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When you have experienced clinical depression and risen from the depths to see daylight again, after many, many years in the darkness, you find yourself a 'specialist' in the field of clinical depression. I'm not saying that the experience gives you the academic knowledge of a consultant psychiatrist but you do gain deep insight and ...

We Live In A Godless World

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I intended, from the outset, to keep CARRY ON KOBY a religion/politics-free zone. Change of plan. THE world news which is capturing and occupying the hearts of millions around the world: the tragedy of the asylum seekers fleeing today's evil. http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/09/02/dispatches-why-i-shared-horrific-photo-drowned-syrian-child One thing is for sure  -  we live in a Godless world! As I have said for some time, ...

Why I Gave Up Alcohol

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In the aftermath of the tragic premature death of Charles Kennedy last week, his good friend, Alastair Campbell, spoke to Sky News, not only about the personal loss but on the wider issue of creeping alcoholism which is spreading like wildfire throughout the UK. Alcoholism is a disease which hides behind the accepted drinking culture ...

The Beauty Of The Miracle Of Life

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I defy anyone to watch this and not to burst into tears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ6Me4zVkwU It's difficult for me to put it into words because as much as I can appreciate what I'm seeing when I watch the video, as much as I can understand the elation, I can't know what they are experiencing. They are experiencing/feeling part of ...

You Are Not Alone

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I read a lot of inspirational quotes  -  daily  -  and every now and then, one comes along which really speaks to me. One of my inspirations, Andi Saitowitz, posted on Facebook today a quote by inspirational speaker and author, Harvey Mackay: "None of us got to where we are alone. Whether the assistance we received ...

Don’t Take Each Other For Granted

Such a beautiful yet heartbreaking tribute to Dave Goldberg from Sheryl Sandberg: https://www.facebook.com/sheryl/posts/10155493238390177 It reminds us of what, of course, we all know, that life can change so unexpectedly in an instant and that we must live our lives conscious of that fact. We mustn't be morose, we mustn't let that awareness depress us...on the contrary, we ...

It Really Is Mental!!

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I learnt something about myself today. The 'dawning' came to me via a fairly easy lesson, less than 30 minutes...my emotions? surprised, inspired, very empowered, excited, energised, liberated. What happened? I'm not really one for exercise but I know, particularly as I approach middle age, at 48 years old (well, 'they' say that 50 is the new 40!), ...

What does it take to be a winner?

Golfer Jordan Spieth yesterday won the 2015 Masters at Augusta, Georgia: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/golf/32278605 (read how he did it)....and this is what winners do! Leading last year as he went into the 4th and final round of the Masters, he finished as the runner-up. He must have been gutted  -  self-doubt could have set in and made winning in ...

“The most important thing is to know oneself better.” — Spinoza. What do you think is the most important thing?

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A Facebook pal of mine posted the following on Facebook yesterday:   ' "The most important thing is to know oneself better." -- Spinoza. What do you think is the most important thing?'   My response:   "Heavy question! The most important thing (in terms of ourselves)? It took me over 40 years to get close to an answer. I blog a ...

Katie Hopkins’ message to you if you suffer from depression: ‘get a grip’, buy some running shoes and get some fresh air

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Katie Hopkins, a 'journalist', whose modus operandi seems to be to anger, hurt and shock, she's done it again: she describes depression as “the holy grail of illnesses”, “the ultimate passport to selfobsession”, she says that sufferers should “get a grip” and that “People with depression do not need a doctor and a bottle of something ...

Unearthing the talent within ourselves and our children

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http://www.surfermag.com/the-now/ray-collins/#HBUPdmfsHuiXRzfH.97 What a great story, so inspiring, hidden talent which may never have seen the light of day were it not for serendipity visiting Ray Collins, a colour blind miner in an Australian town which I hadn't heard of before today, Bulli. Ray was forced to give up, to leave, his job because of injury and with ...

Love in the extreme is more powerful than evil in the extreme

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Jan and Antonina Zabinski: heroism which renews my faith in humanity.  http://http://www.jta.org/2015/03/23/news-opinion/world/when-jews-found-refuge-in-underground-warren-at-warsaw-zoo What a beautiful story of selfless sacrifice against a backdrop of unimaginable, incomprehensible horror. Angels, Jan and Antonina Zabinski, harboured 300 Jewish children, taking the risk that the nazis (I never give that word a capital 'N', it doesn't deserve it) would find them, discover ...

First, accept and acknowledge that you have a problem!

Good afternoon, I only 'launched' this blog 3 days ago and can already say that the feedback has been interesting and not quite what I expected. People have been getting in touch with me to tell me their 'story'. One person told me that my story was almost a carbon copy of his and another person who ...