More and more often today we are hearing about people who suffer with Mental Health Issues, and it is highlighted in a variety of different ways, with many different methods of advertising and bringing it to our attention, even by our own Royal Family, and quite often, that Mental Health problem is in the form of Anxiety. And so I have created this page for a couple of reasons, first of all, I want to share my experiences of living with Anxiety so people know how things are, and what life is like, both for someone who has suffered, or is suffering from this condition, as I can comment on both.

I suffered and suffered quite severely with Anxiety in the early days, which will all become more apparent as my story continues. My Anxiety was brought on by falling off a bike while out cycling with friends on a Welsh hillside. Initially being knocked unconscious and then being diagnosed with bleeding on my brain, and so my trauma injury and my PTSD, and the onset of Anxiety. And that was just the start, as time went by I had hoped the Anxiety had gone, but over the years it stayed with me, it has disappeared and reappeared, and these days it still resurfaces, and that will all be explained, and when it resurfaces these days, I generally have no-one to blame but me!

But PTSD? As ex-forces I associated this condition with the effect war zones has on our serving or ex-serving personnel, and let me quote from an online search:

‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.’

Let’s be honest – I fell off a bike doing about 4/5 mph, it doesn’t quite fit into those categories does it?

So why am I doing this? Well, I hope I can help someone or some people, maybe help them understand a little better what Anxiety is all about. And if it helps a sufferer or sufferers, or if it helps someone or some people who live with, or who knows someone who has the condition, then that will make it worthwhile.

The first and most important thing is that whatever your problem may be, whether it be Anxiety or any other Mental Health Issue, there is professional help out there and usually starting with your GP. Some experienced organisations and charities can help you too, and today they are easily found on most forms of social media, especially my favourite, the one with the little bluebird. But if you think you or someone you know needs help, these are your starting points. Please talk to someone and use them if you need help. An essential part of any Mental Health Issue is this – ‘it’s good to talk,’ and you need to try to find someone to help you.

The second reason for starting this page is my love of writing, and it is a hobby and something I have enjoyed doing since my school days, although I haven’t taken it as seriously as I should have, or done as much with my writing as I would have liked. And so I hope to do both, that is to share my experiences and to maybe help someone while doing something I love, but first and foremost ‘help and some knowledge’ is the main reason.

I will not give you advice as I have recently been taught that, but I will provide an opinion, and that opinion is just mine. If you use the synonyms option with either of those two words, ‘opinion & advice’ the other does not appear. So importantly, this is not advice, it is my opinions, and they are mine with my outlook and experiences. And in any form of writing or on any page we all have our opinions – giving advice is different.  

The field that is Mental Health Issues is a complicated, complex and fascinating area, and there is a variety of different types of Mental Health Issues.

I had, and occasionally still have Anxiety. There are different Anxiety Disorders; there is Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and the type I experienced, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and more.

There are other types of mental health conditions such as Depression or Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Phobia’s, and there is Psychosis. And for me to learn all about all of these things as with a lot of people would be impossible, and so I am going to concentrate on what I know, and that is Anxiety brought on by a trauma injury.

However, what I have also learned recently is that symptoms that are usually associated with one form of Anxiety can easily be found in another form. One sign is not necessarily loyal to one specific type of Anxiety. But more importantly, what we see in Depression or Psychosis, can also be found in Anxiety or other Mental Health Issues, as mentioned there seems to be no loyalties in the area of Mental Health where symptoms are concerned. In fact, complicated is probably an understatement in this area of our body and mind. 

Would you believe that some people can reduce their Anxiety levels, only for them to increase in another way, and as an example? People may have a problem that brings on Anxiety, and so using my situation as an example, it could have been my cycling. By stopping cycling, the situation that caused my accident and condition, then that may have reduced my Anxiety levels, as it won’t happen again if I don’t do any more cycling. However, by not seeing my friend(s), not having the enjoyment and not having that freedom and regular exercise that cycling brought me, it may bring back or increase my Anxiety levels. Maybe that’s not the best of examples, but I hope you understand and get the essence of my explanation.

And so even Anxiety on its own is too complicated for me to fully understand and certainly too complicated for me to explain adequately. That is why you need to appreciate this is just my story, my opinions, my experiences and fact, which I suppose we can say is the same thing.

My problems started some 35 days before my 50th Birthday through a freak cycling accident, and it changed my life. Not just through PTSD and suffering from Anxiety, but the direction my life took afterwards because of the fall, and subsequent decisions made. None of this would have happened had I been able to stay on my bike! For me a life-changing moment in more ways than one!

Even though I often hope the condition has left me, I have to say I’m not so sure. I’ll be honest and say I know it hasn’t completely gone, but hopefully, all will become clearer as I write my story. What I do know and that an important fact is this, we often think we are OK, and we tell people we are OK, when in fact we are not, and again I will explain this as my story continues.

It would be easy to write my actual story in a few weeks, and take extracts from the book I started to write not long after my accident, so when I say ‘My Story’ it is not just about the journey I have taken since the 6th January 2013. I want to side-track into how things are in my life that I believe stems from the accident and the condition that I did have quite bad, and still occasionally have. As mentioned, my life took a different direction because of the accident, that direction in itself caused me problems, brought on by me and pretty much me alone! Still, it is never as bad as those horrible dark days that I experienced not long after the accident. There is an insight into how things are from the strange mind that was and is mine, and which I believe has mostly stemmed from the fall and my condition. It is also about how present-day situations can be related to my problem too, so an all-round look at my world and problems

What I have also read recently is that people suffering from PTSD would avoid situations that bring back memories of the trauma, yet I was back on my bike within a couple of weeks of the accident without concern, the trouble was I suppose that at that time I didn’t know I had or was about to start having Anxiety, as it didn’t get diagnosed for some time after my accident. But even after I was diagnosed I cycled for many years after that, and it was only in 2019 that I eventually sold my bike and gave up with cycling, and that was mainly due to the area we moved to because it had very few cycling paths and pretty much only main roads which I rarely cycled on previously and never enjoyed. (Here in 2021 I have bought a new bike and am happily cycling again.)

Anxiety is such a complicated matter, but I also want to write about life, and what goes on in the world today, because writing is a diversion for me, again something else that will become clearer as time goes by. I also want to comment on our lifestyle today, as I believe it now brings us some of those Mental Health Issues, including Anxiety. I will tell you now, my experience is simply life and Anxiety! I have no qualifications or even involvement in the line of work relating to Mental Health or the issues that come with it. (Since posting this I have become a Mental Health First Aider). Still, I have life experiences and logical thinking (sometimes). Unfortunately, I have also had bad Anxiety, and it is still occasionally there even if on a smaller or reduced and probably a part-time basis. And so there will be no expert facts, expert opinions or advice, just my stories and experiences, thoughts and opinions, and there are no medical remedies either. These stories and views and I suppose my beliefs, are mine from my experience with life and the condition. Medical experts may even disagree with what I say, and I guess I can’t argue with that, as long as they too understand that as I have mentioned, I have my opinions which I am entitled to have. I will never write anything to deceive anyone!

My opinions, therefore, are based on my understanding of life and those opinions which we all have, with or without Anxiety and nothing more. You may not agree with them, so please realise these opinions are just my thoughts on life itself, and you may not even like some of them. I won’t apologise for that but ask that you understand them. We are all entitled to have opinions, and we will never all agree, it’s how we put them across to everyone else that matters. Every time someone thinks it’s OK to do something, there will be someone who thinks it’s not OK! Every time someone thinks it’s not OK to do something, there will be someone who thinks it is, and again something I will touch on in future posts, there are lots of different opinions which we need to respect.

The main thing is I will never, ever write anything to offend anyone or everyone deliberately. I have made a promise to myself early on never to write while angry – as mentioned; it is just my opinion. But I will say that I will write about and comment on today’s society and stories that are out there in the press for everyone to read, as not only do some of those stories concern me but they frustrate me as well, as does some of today’s society itself but that’s just me. I think when you have lived through two completely different generations as I have, you can maybe understand what I mean!

I remember our first TV which only had three channels, and it was an old fashioned black and white one. I remember getting our first landline phone, and our number only had three digits, I remember walking 2 miles to catch a school bus then there was a 9-mile trip each way to get to the school and back to the bus stop, and occasionally a 2-mile walk home again after being dropped off in the late afternoon. Yes, I know children will travel further today, but we now live in a world where children get driven 500 yards to and from school, I used to know of a family who did it! And I remember all the things coming into our society, such as computers and laptops, mobile phones, satellite TV, microwave ovens, the World Wide Web, and many, many other items that today’s younger generation take for granted and some possibly couldn’t live without!

With regards to my situation and experiences with Anxiety, I do have life experience as my story will show you, I mix in the good, the bad and yes the ugly too, and what I have learned along the way. And I want to help, I want to help anyone who needs help. And to that extent should anyone wish to do so, I will communicate on a one-to-one basis and do whatever I can to ensure I pass on my knowledge, experiences and opinions in case they can help you.

If you have a problem with Anxiety if you know someone who has the condition and needs help, or if you would like to hear my opinions on any life matter I may be able to help you, so if you do need help, please get in touch, and I will see what I can do for you. Please remember I have no professional qualifications, in the areas of Mental Health, Counselling, Psychology, Psychiatry, or any other related sector, but since writing this page I have become a Mental Health First Aider, which taught me more. Still, I have my life experiences, and I have had Anxiety. So if you would like to hear things from an outsider, a stranger and someone who can give that slightly different viewpoint without the emotional attachment then I will always try to help you!

First and foremost if I can’t help you, I will tell you from the start, so we both know how things are and where we stand, there are no promises. Still, just as my counsellor does for me, I will give you an unbiased, straightforward opinion on how I believe things are, how I think things should be or what you should maybe consider doing. But first and foremost look at the professional options that are out there, starting with your GP.

Importantly, thank you for reading this and apologies if at times it sounds a little repetitive, but it is all connected along the way. I hope you can enjoy my other writing and the main part which is ‘My Story’, my main reason for starting this page and apologies for the mistakes in the writing that will occasionally be there, it is new to me.

This is ‘My Story’ – thank you for reading.

All rights reserved – no copying without permission

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