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Mental Health

All aboard the 'Extra Mile'

All aboard the 'Extra Mile'

The train leaves every morning at 7 36 am. Some days it might be late due to a whinge about how far and hard we’ve already swum and a negotiation about how far we’ve got to go. The old rattler is called the ‘Extra Mile’ and it all stations to a channel somewhere.

Telling Stories

Telling Stories

I have come out twice in my life. Once at 40 with bipolar disorder and once at 50 as gay. I hope at 60 all I have to declare is that my prostrate is a bit doggy.

By far the hardest was telling my wife of 28 years and my 4 teenage children the truth about my sexuality but the hardest to navigate publicly has been my mental illness

Winning = 2H + 1E

Winning = 2H + 1E

Two hard, one easy. It’s a formula employed by swimming coaches and mental health therapists alike.

At the pool its purpose is to break down a tedious 4.5km session into manageable tasks – two laps swum hard followed by one lap easy is more palatable than swimming three laps at a moderate pace and then repeating that for an hour and a half.

When Anxiety calls

When Anxiety calls

Anxiety called last week. She always does before something big.

She’s nothing if not persuasive and within minutes had me convinced I couldn’t go on with my second Oceans 7 swim, the Catalina Channel in just under 2 months.

I’ve been poked… just in time

I’ve been poked… just in time

Yesterday, a stick poked me. So named for his insect like build, Stick’s a mate of my eldest son, Luke and he interviewed me for a university radio piece on mental health.

Hi, I live, I write!

Hi, I live, I write!

It’s a little over two weeks now since my swim, and I am well and truly rested and relaxed. Thanks to all my readers, family, friends and donors. Your support has been overwhelming.

Living from feed to feed, and surviving

Living from feed to feed, and surviving

The advice of seasoned channel swimmers and coaches is consistent, don’t think of France, don’t look back at the white cliffs, swim from feed to feed and eventually you run out of water.

So there'll be no need for any rope

So there'll be no need for any rope

My brush with suicide was fleeting. It was many years ago, and before I was diagnosed and treated for Bipolar 2.

I had been brutally and quite personally done over in a boardroom stoush the day before and hadn’t slept well reliving the experience over an over in my mind. With each replay my sense of frustration and injustice was intensified and my self worth diminished.

What happens when no one is watching?

What happens when no one is watching?

English Channel world recorder holder, Trent Grimsey (6 hrs 55 mins, 6 Sept 12) describes Brisbane’s Sutton’s Beach on his website, ‘Great one day, perfect the next’. I must have been at a different Suttons Beach the day I swam there in what was to become my defining channel training swim.

We're all bananas

We're all bananas

In the family of mood disorders Bipolar 2 is the middle child, often misunderstood and struggling for its own identity.

Classically defined B2 is a psychiatric illness marked by distinct periods of extreme euphoria (hypomania), and sadness or hopelessness (depression).

Dad, I’ve left my run a bit late… again

Dad, I’ve left my run a bit late… again

Some months ago as I was dragging my sorry ass through some heavy waters somewhere preparing for the English Channel crossing almost upon me, I invoked the spirit of my late father, Bob to carry me the distance. He never let me down when he was alive, and didn’t that day either.