Mental health has become a bit of a ‘buzz word’ recently. From something that nobody ever talked about – to something that everybody is aware of …. within a few months – it’s amazing a what social media can do if given a topic of value.

It’s obviously something that has been an issue for years but somehow it never made it into polite work conversation as most people felt embarrassed about being labelled with a word that might damage their career.

Since I had my heart attack 12 months ago, I can say I’ve had a few ‘issues’.

I went from being this indestructible force of confidence and bravado – to a nervous wreck. I was basically worrying that every slight twinge or pain was the onset of what would be a fatal heart attack.

My wife suggested that I try ‘therapy’.

Ha – Mike Clough having therapy…???

Not a phrase I would ever have thought would be applied to me. I’ve got to be honest – in the past when I’ve heard of people having a session with a….’therapist’ ….my eyes have rolled in my head and I’ve thought… ‘jeez – bloody new age crap – get a life you idiot …’

However, given that my wife is usually right with most things, I decided to give it a try.

It’s easy enough to Google and you will be amazed at how many ‘therapists’ there are registered in your local area. You will find pages and pages of qualified, experienced professionals who will be able to help with whatever your issues are.

The first session was a little awkward, but once I got the hang of ‘talking about my feelings’ – it was very eye opening. Various problems that I was experiencing were considered ‘normal’ and much of my anxiety was very much typical for somebody who has been though a ‘near death’ experience.

Twelve sessions later I can safely say it’s been a real help with pretty much all of my issues.

The ‘bananas*’ reference is my ‘key word’.

Whenever I feel myself going down a certain thought process I say ‘bananas’ in my head …. I don’t suggest that this is something that would work for everyone – but it works for me – this then triggers positive thoughts that I’ve pre-registered in my head and I turn a corner and come back to positivity.

Seems to help – and I no longer spend time thinking about dying.

Mike C

* Note – my therapist wasn’t happy with my use of the word ‘bananas’ – negative connotations for mental health…. but somehow it works for me.


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