The Social Life of an Anxious, Depressed Guy

Oh hi. It’s been a while. I was meant to write all about my journey through volunteering but then I moved to the other side of the world and just completely forgot to blog. I ended up a little busy so we’re going to just roll with the punches and write about whatever is on my mind tonight!

I was searching for a job for a few months. During that time I spent as much time as I could with my best friend and she ended up becoming my girlfriend which is incredible exciting. I’ve been getting accustomed to my new life in Australia by learning as much as I can about the charity sector here and getting stuck in working for an emergency food relief charity, learning the lingo and getting used to the systems in place in an Australian workplace.

All the while though, I’ve been trying to adjust to a new kind of social life. I have a couple really great friends here who I am 100% comfortable with and really love being around them, but I do (obviously) still miss all my friends in the UK. My friends in the UK and I have years and years of history, jokes and shared experiences and it was easy.

Now, however, I have to make a conscious effort to try to make friends which, for someone with anxiety and depression, is incredibly exhausting. My depression likes to remind me that I don’t really have friends over here and prevents me from going out to meet people because it convinces me that people would never want to get to know me anyway. On the days that my depression isn’t kicking my ass, my anxiety just makes me terrified to talk to people, to make conversation, scared to say the wrong things or anything at all.

All that aside, I’m very happy and very lucky. I have the most supportive, wonderful friends and girlfriend both here in Australia and back home in the UK and slowly, I’m re-learning to deal with my mental health in a brand new environment and with fewer of my usual support networks.

This might sound like I’m miserable here, but it’s actually quite the opposite. I feel more comfortable and at home here than I have felt in London for a long time, despite knowing less people. I’m able to explore a country with one of the unique landscapes and wildlife in the world. I get to spend time with people that I rarely ever got to see when I lived in the UK. Mostly though, no matter how down I get about missing the UK, I am so proud that I took the risk, the blind leap to come here because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to experience all this side of the world has to offer, I wouldn’t have got together with my best friend and I wouldn’t be in the best mental place I’ve been in a long time.

Trying to find a new social life in a new country is tough, exhausting and anxiety inducing but for me, at least, it’s worth that struggle to be able to say that I have two places that I can call home.


Happy New Year! So Long 2018!

Good lord, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything on here hasn’t it??

We’re only a few hours from 2019 so for all those who like to celebrate, Happy New Year!

I can’t believe that 2018 has gone so quickly. It feels like yesterday that I ran away to the other side of the world for a month and had the best time. I can’t believe Christmas is over already. Generally I love Christmas, people are happier, everything in London looks amazing and there’s just something magical about how the country reacts to Christmas. That said, Christmas time also leaves me feeling a little alone and quite stressed out.

Through no fault of their own, I always feel like a bit of an outcast with my family. I have nothing in common with any of them and we just don’t share the same interests. They’re all great but I always feel super uncomfortable at family gatherings. It’s hard to explain but it’s a thing. On top of that, the idea of Christmas parties, forced fun and interaction and everyone getting absolutely smashed does not add up to a particularly fun time for me. But, like I said, it’s almost over and I can look forward to 2019

This year coming up, I’m heading back to Australia. For more than a month. I’m going to be going for a year or two. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now but obviously didn’t want to talk about it until everything was sorted out! 🙂

For me, I felt so at home in Australia. My friends and family there made me feel super relaxed and welcome. The weather genuinely helped me feel more positive about life (apart from the constant sweat stains) and really made my mood jump up.

2019 is a huge year for me and I can’t wait to get out there and see if I can start a new life across the world, take some banging photos and make some sort of difference in another country.

So, once again, Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to a 2019 full of adventures and exciting times! 🙂



Adulthood is a weird thing. I’m turning 27 pretty soon and I have achieved very few of the things I wanted to when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty proud of the things I have achieved but lets be honest, how many of us can ever say that we’ve achieved everything that we wanted to by the time we’d “grown up”?

When I was a kid, I expected to have done all of these things by the time I was 25:

  1. Own my own house
  2. Own a car
  3. Be married
  4. Have a kid on the way
  5. Have a super high paying job where I didn’t have to be in an office but also didn’t have to do much work. (I didn’t understand how jobs worked back when I was 8)
  6. Go on 2 holidays a year
  7. Have a group of friends like in F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Now looking at my wishlist today, it’s kinda funny to think about how few of these I’ve managed to achieve. I am no where near owning my own house (I live in London and work in the charity sector. I’ve basically given up on owning a house in London…). I have no need for a car living and working where I do. I’ve been single for years which pretty much ruins the whole “be married and have a kid on the way” thing and I currently have a job where I’m currently in an office and do a lot of work and get paid less than I’d like. I only went on my first holiday in 10 years this March. I don’t really have a single specific group of friends but I do have incredible friends all over the country.

Some of these I’m more fussed about not achieving them than others. Some I’m kinda glad about not achieving and some, I have mixed feelings about.

Going on a few holidays a year was definitely something I’d have loved to do. But I spent years focused on trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I still haven’t figured it out so I’m pretty sure I wasted a bunch of years just waiting around.

I really wanted to own my own house. Or at the very least, I wanted to be living away. That said, I tried it and I didn’t do so well. I don’t think I’m the kind of person who was built to live with other humans. I would much prefer to have my own place where I could invite people round if I wanted to but also have my own space if I wanted to as well.

I’m super stoked about the friends I have so I’m not fussed about number 7 at all. I also don’t have the most well paid job in the world but the work that I’ve chosen to do is important and is hopefully making an impact on the world.

I’m single as someone can get and have been for a while. But for a long time, I wanted to be in a relationship because other people were in them. Now, I just don’t care. If I end up in a relationship, awesome, I’d be stoked. If I don’t, that means I can use all of my time and money and energy focused on myself and take risks and do what I want, when I want.

Adulthood is nothing like I expected it to be. I never expected to have mental health issues as an adult. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that my childhood views of adulthood were warped. I set myself a time limit and was disappointed when I didn’t meet them. But why are we all in such a rush to grow up? Why do we feel like we have to have done certain things by certain times? So what if someone you know is already married? So what if someone else has their own car? That doesn’t make your life any less awesome as it is.

The only thing that I’m super disappointed about in my life is that I’ve played it safe. I have played almost every part of my life safe for over a decade. The one thing that I need to learn to do is take more risks. And that is definitely something that I’m going to be working on this year.

My main message for this meandering, rambly post though is don’t be disappointed that you haven’t achieved everything that you wanted to at this point in your life. Life isn’t that easy. It throws curveballs your way all the time. There is no time limit for success. You can define success any way you like. Just don’t judge whether or not you’re successful based on other people’s lives.


Australia Part 1

So after over a decade I finally got myself out of the UK for a little while. I’m currently staying with my uncle and cousin in Sydney, Australia. I very rarely get to see them so I’m super stoked to be spending some time with them all. It’s only been a few days and jet lag has made things a bit slow but I’m getting the hang of things over here and learning a bit more about the city. So here are the things I’ve learned already.

  1. People are very considerate in public.

In my three days here so far I have barely seen anyone smoking in the street. I’ve been told that people just don’t smoke in the street or in public unless they’re away from other pedestrians. It’s not a law apparently. It’s just good manners.

2. Its very clean.

Alongside that, the city is remarkably clean considering how many people and tourists go through the city every day. The suburbs are even spotless. It seems that people just don’t litter as much and/or the waste management teams in Sydney are fantastic. Either way it’s great.

3. The shops are fucking great.

It was a little bit rainy today so I went and did some shopping instead of doing all the sites. (I want the weather to be banging so that I can get some dope pics for the gram). The three main stores that I went to were EB Games, JB Hi Fi and Books Kinokuniya. By comparison the stores in the UK might as well be a car boot sale. Kinokuniya and JB were particularly impressive. I’ve never seen a bookstore with such variety before. Western literature was abundant as per, but the thing that surprised me was the selection of comic books, manga, merchandise, and entire Japanese and Chinese sections to the store. JB Hi Fi is a strange mish mash of different things. Video games, dvds, PC gaming peripherals, phones, tablets, laptops, drones, cd’s, vinyl. You name it they had it. Also they had some banging deals on so I bought an iPad which I’m typing this on right now!

4. Nature is scary, brilliant and annoying.

On my visit to Toronga Zoo, I learned about a lot of different creatures. From the cute to the demonic. The Lyre Bird can mimic the sound of anything it hears. It is fantastic. The variety of snakes and spiders that can kill you is pretty special. But most notably are the lorikeets who are so obnoxiously loud (as my cousin put it) that they wake me up every morning at sunrise.

5. The beaches are more amazing than I imagined.

No words. Just look at these photos.


nyway, it’s early days yet. I’m going to Melbourne soon and will be in Australia until the end of the month so I’ll be sure to share my learnings with you.


The Inexplicable Rage of Alex

So recently with all that’s been going on in my life I’ve noticed a bit of a change in myself which I’m not particularly happy with. I’ve found myself becoming angry over some of the smallest things. I feel like my senses have grown more sensitive to smells, light, sound and touch. So whether I’m sitting in my office or on my train I’ve been keeping my sunglasses and my headphones on to try to block out as many external factors as possible.

I think I know some of the factors that are really affecting me are the crazy personal circumstances that I’ve got going on right now and the distinct lack of quality sleep. Insomnia is a big factor but even the nights where I’m able to sleep I wake up several times. Even though I know the issue, I’m finding it pretty hard to manage it and it’s affected how I deal with regular every day situations. It’s made me grumpy AF (that’s what the cool kids say right?).

So here are some of the regular every day things that I am finding rage inducing at the moment.

  1. Being able to hear people eat even if they’re quiet.
  2. Having to speak to pretty much anyone.
  3. Someone sitting next to me on the train.
  4. Said person being inconsiderate enough to repeatedly hit me with her bag and constantly nudge me as she gorged on the worlds biggest bag of crisps.
  5. Every time anyone in the office says anything.
  6. People saying literally anything that I disagree with even slightly.
  7. People who walk slower than me in the street.
  8. The sound of a train approaching the platform.
  9. Trains.
  10. Not being able to decide what to have for lunch.

So yeah, some of these things are pretty irritating. But while I haven’t had any outbursts yet, I get very very agitated over them. Disproportionately agitated. The loathing I feel for the people/objects is unreal. I’m trying really hard to manage this anger and make sure that I don’t lose it in public but that’s proving very very difficult.

My question to you all is, if you’re ever feeling angry about the smallest things, how do you calm yourself down?


Introverts, Extroverts And The Weird Ones In Between

So I’m up in Newcastle at the moment, staying with some friends over the next few days to catch up, relax and enjoy the city that I love so much. The people here that I’m visiting are amazing. I love them like they’re my own brothers and sisters. They ground me, lift my confidence and my spirits but are also not afraid to take me down a peg or two if I’m being a knob. They’re perfect friends. I met almost all of them through my old volunteering days and those are the days that made me do a whole lot of thinking.


Seriously, look how majestic this place is. 

As I’m sure you’ve read in the title, I want to talk about the types of personality there are. Particularly introverts and extroverts. Now, a lot of people just think that extroverts are highly social party animals and introverts are recluses who don’t mix well with other human beings. Occasionally that can be true but I personally feel like it’s a little more complex than that.

I cannot for the life of me remember where I read it (it was most likely on a random post on Facebook) but the post said that extroverts get their energy from other people while introverts get their energy from themselves. I like this way of thinking about it. Extroverts are in their element when they’re around other extroverts and sometimes may struggle to spend extended periods of time in their own company. Introverts relish their time alone and that gives them a sense of comfort and contentment, but again, they may struggle when dropped in a large group setting.

Almost all the people who know me would consider me an extrovert. When I’m around people, I’m generally very chatty, I can be loud, brash and a little rowdy (especially after a few pints). I’ve always considered myself an introvert. It may be due to my mental ill-health, it may not be. I love my time alone. I make sure that I give myself time to just be with my thoughts or to do simple little things just for myself. Sometimes, if I’m already at home, I flat out won’t make plans so I can stay at home. When someone else cancels plans with me, I’m almost always pretty pleased about it as I can throw on my pajamas and watch a film. Obviously I’d have loved to have seen the person or else I wouldn’t have made the plans but cancelled plans just means I have more me time. I’m not even a fan of texting or calling people anymore. Like, I won’t flat out ignore anyone, but I’ll avoid checking my messages for a few days at a time.

Recently though, I’ve begun to think about myself as an ambivert. A nice balance between the two. At work I’m usually upbeat and lively, especially if I’m delivering a session/working with a large group. And even though my anxiety usually skyrockets and eventually leaves me physically and emotionally drained, for a short period, I get my energy from being around those people and working with them. But then as soon as I get home, I just want to eat, play some games and sleep with no more contact from the outside world.

I’m not sure if I’m making any sense right now as it’s 11pm and I’m half asleep, but to me, being an ambivert (or at the very least, moving from introverted to ambiverted) strikes a perfect balance. It’s what I’m working towards. I am not naturally extroverted, despite what others may say about me so I’m trying to learn to be that way. It’ll allow me to meet more amazing people, experience new things. I’m also trying to stay true to my introverted roots by allowing myself to shut away from the rest of humanity.

When I was volunteering, I was super introverted at first. I never approached anyone until I got to know them. There were 100 of us at a training weekend and that terrified me. I waited for people to approach me and was even more scared that no one would approach me. Luckily I attracted amazing people, the people I’m visiting right now. They managed to start pulling the extrovert out of me and I’m grateful for it. Without them I’d not be transforming into an ambivert and to be honest I’d probably be a proper hermit by now.

There’s nothing wrong with being either an introvert or an extrovert, but for me, I am really looking forward to being someone in the middle. It’s a fine line for me, but I’m prepared to walk that line if it means it’ll help me become a better, more rounded and braver person.

Also I need people to go see films with and eat nice food with. Mainly that.