In 2018 my mental health took a bad turn and I shut down. Physically and mentally my life became a sort of empty well in which each day was another day at the bottom looking up at the unreachable sky above.

I've struggled and tried various services to help but the best help I found was by accident. My daughter mentioned that Pret a Manger (a UK coffee chain) was offering a monthly subscription for £20 and for that you could have anything made by the barista. Crazily they were also offering the first month free. I had hardly left the house in 3 years for anything other than fetching the weekly groceries. Going to town for a coffee was beyond my financial means and quickly became beyond the scope of my awkwardness due to social anxieties and mental health. Discovering this subscription felt like a potential turning point. I would be able to leave the house, without having to see anyone, walk to town and get up to 5 free coffees each day without forking out any cash. I was sold.

Suddenly, instead of my phone telling me I'd walked a meagre 0.1 miles in a day (which was the norm for over 2 years), I was walking two, three or four miles nearly every day. I was feeling better about leaving the house and so far I hadn't spent a single penny on coffee.

Of course the first month ended and although my initial enthusiasm for getting out the house was waning a little I opted to keep the subscription for a second month and pay the £20 fee. I'll be honest, I haven't used it as much or got out the house as much as I'd like. Grief has played a large part in that with a very close friend having passed just recently. But I know I need, I want, to get better. I want to break those shackles of depression that have been stopping me from moving forward, stopping me from sharing my poetry with magazines in the hope of being published, stopping me from sending out a manuscript of poems. It's seriously just been stopping me from being me.

And folks, that sh*t has got to stop.

So I'm here, creating this site and sharing my journey. Sharing the difficulties and sharing the nice things too. I'm lucky to have a supportive family that understands my mental health and, if you've read this far, I'm extremely lucky to have you joining me on the journey forward.

Come back soon. There'll be more.

Rob x

PS. If you want to throw a few quid my way, you can Buy Me A Coffee below, or visit the home page of my blog here and become a member for some extra perks. :)