In this moment, what are you most thankful for? Today is my 50th birthday. I feel nothing but gratitude to be here. To all of you beautiful souls that I have met along the way, thank you.

Today, I feel nothing but gratitude for the privilege of being alive to see this day, of all days. Today (Saturday 4 March 2023) is my 50th birthday.

I am amazed to have made it this far. I am delighted to be here. For some reason I have always looked forward to being in my 50s. And now, at last, they are here.

I feel immense gratitude for how different life feels than it did this time last year. This time last year, I was not in a good place. Almost exactly 12 months ago, I embarked on an unexpected mental health journey. As I wrote in Mental health: Six things I’ve learnt in 2022:

“At the start of all this, I felt overwhelmed by and unable to cope with the turmoil in my mind, and sought medical help. The doctor diagnosed me as suffering with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder (I didn’t know that you could stack up mental health conditions in this way, but it turns out you very much can). I was prescribed antidepressants for the first time in my life. A few months later, when the anxiety came back strong, I was additionally prescribed heart medication. I continue to take both to this day.”

I resolved at the start of this mental health journey to be open and honest about it in my writing on this blog. In this spirit, it frightens me to venture such an idea in case I am tempting fate… but I do wonder if recovery is moving slowly into sight.

Twelve months into this journey, I feel as if I am in a much better place than I might have believed or dared to hope was possible at its beginning. Of course, this mental health journey is anything but predictable. Progress comes in fits and starts. What at first feel like great strides forward can be abruptly reversed. I don’t know how much the medication that I continue to take might be contributing to the overall positive feeling.

But today, I am where I am. For this, I feel nothing but gratitude.

So many beautiful souls


So many beautiful souls have helped me through the difficult times over this past year.

I feel the fullest and hugest gratitude to my wife. We will reach 23 years together later this month. I love her more than anything or anyone in this world. I think it’s safe to say that I would not have made it to today without her love and support.

I am thankful beyond what words can express to every person that took time out of their own busy lives to give me words of encouragement, support or sympathy over the past year. It seems that so many souls have been down this path before me. So many of them were selfless in sharing their time and their wisdom with me.

To all of you beautiful souls that I have met along the way, thank you.

To express some tiny fraction of my general feeling gratitude to be here today, I have made a donation to the Billable Hour campaign that was started by my dear friend Séan Jones. If you are able to, I would like to ask that you might consider giving to this wonderful cause.

I would also like to express my gratitude to you, gentle reader, for taking the time in your day to read these words. You do not know how much it means to me to be able to share my thoughts with you in this way. I will do my utmost to keep the words flowing regularly, this year and beyond.

May you be nothing but kind today, to yourself and to others.

May today be nothing but kind to you and yours.



  • Mental health (NHS) Information and support for your mental health from the NHS.
  • Information and support (Mind) Resources from Mind, the UK mental health charity.
  • NAMI Homefront (NAMI) Online resources from US charity NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
  • SANE Australia Visit the site of this “national mental health charity making a real difference in the lives of people affected by complex mental health issues”.


* I  have written about my ongoing mental health journey in the following posts: Into the infinity of thoughtsRenewal; and No words?Mental health first responseGlorifyIn our darkest hours; and At the heart of thingsNo feeling is finalRelax harder.; and Anxiety: Your own worst enemyAll these moments; and Mental health: Six things I’ve learnt in 2022; Coping?; and The sun will return.



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