Yes, I am one of these types who do not like being taken for a moaner… I caught myself adding ‘but it’s all good’ or ‘everything will be fine’ after each negative comment I make!

Ah yes, because I subconsciously assume that nobody wants to hear some negative comments about my life. Nobody would like to be friend if I am negative! Ultimately, I would be rejected…

I guess there is a bit of truth in that… And that is why it is so, so hard to come out of depression…

Recently, I have been in touch with my friend A. who helped someone who was in a difficult situation. B. was a very intelligent and creative man who had recently landed in Britain and was looking for a job and accommodation. A. helped him out by putting him up for a few months. B. had been suffering from poor mental health for years and eventually admitted that he could not go on like this (he attempted suicide a few times). Not wanting to resort to anti-depressants or to visit a GP, he followed my friend’s suggestion and visited a therapist.

With this treatment, B. felt a few sparks of life and gradually better, but he was still struggling with his self-confidence. He was taking part in a cultural activity every Saturday. Unfortunately, he had to face other people’s gossips while socialising there. What really saddens me in this story is the fact that people commented that he was merely taking advantage of my friend. Although B. was looking physically fit, he was feeling ill inside and he needed help. Instead of celebrating an act of kindness they preferred to find a condemnable deed!

It is the same kind of story for another friend of mine who lived all his life in a remote place in a fishing community. He suffered badly by the death of his mother and develop chronic depression from that time onwards. He told me that no one in his family provided him with support and his brother simply put on the macho mask and told him to ‘pull himself together’. And he is still struggling with this today…

I think that it is actually much easier to give help than ask for it! Sharing your problems and asking for help is a real act of bravery! I remember a story of someone who was a famous professor/philosopher. He was giving a talk. Unfortunately, he suffered from the early onset of Alzheimer’s and he ran into a blank mind. So instead of apologizing to the audience and leaving the stage, he went through all the feelings and the physical symptoms he was experiencing … embarrassment, fear, etc.

That is what I call a hero!

Thank you for listening to my complaint!


One thing you can do to help improve your mental wellbeing is get outdoors.  If you’d like to get involved with the Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s Wild Ways Well project then get in touch.

Wild Ways Well is a partnership project between The Conservation Volunteers and The Scottish Wildlife Trust, delivered by Cumbernauld Living Landscape and funded by the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund and Transport Scotland with the support of Scottish Natural Heritage.

Claire Bailly – Senior Project Officer, The Conservation Volunteers.

Paul Barclay