Guest Post: Andy N- Podcast

Reading and following Katy’s blog recently on a regular basis has been a reminder what good can really come out of things when things really hit rock bottom. Certainly in my case reading it brought back memories of my first major dealings with mental health all the way back when I was 21. Back then in my case, I was working for a public relations department for a then well known mail order firm just outside the centre of Manchester. I had got placed there on a Youth Training Scheme when I was 18 against my best wishes (I’ve no interest in Public Relations I can clearly remember saying at the time) and had got on okay I guess with the two people I worked with when I first went there.

However, that changed when I got to 20 and both of them left within two weeks of each other. After they both left I ended up working alongside a whole team of people I didn’t really know and without realising at the time because of my youth got bullied out of that role as my face didn’t fit with all of the graduates there that they were bringing in. I ended up in a much lesser role that I didn’t want to do and then took me four years to get out eventually leading with me going to university to study creative writing.

Although I had wrote all the way from when I was very young (around 10), studying at university proved the making of my writing and led me into eventually writing my first poetry book ‘Return to Kemptown. Five years after that a second book ‘The End of Summer’ then followed and most recently my current book ‘The Birth of Autumn’ in ways that is perhaps hard to explain when discussing about Mental Health and any kind of link to what happened to me when I was 21 but there is a link.

Both ‘The Birth of Autumn’ as much as ‘The End of Summer’ was likely a turning point in my life when my health took a sidewise step (I was registered as Diabetic) but the seeds of both of these books came from when I was 21. Certainly the 21 year old me wouldn’t have been able to cope with the condition (the 38 year struggled it had to be said) let alone write the way I do know but a lot of them simply came from experience plain as simple and I had to go through when I was 21 simply to get to the stage I did now with my writing.

In hindsight, I am not sure whether I went the right way I did about things with a few things in my life then, let alone work that then led to the breakdown I suffered at 21. However, whatever I look at now it proved to be a turning point (although it took me likely 6 or 7 years to realise this) and from the bottom I dug myself out and am still digging me out of different holes ever since in my writing and whatever I try to do next creative wise and most importantly never give up.

Andy N is the author of three full-length poetry collections ‘Return to Kemptown’, 'The End of Summer' and 'The Birth of Autumn’. He is the co-host of the pod cast ‘Reading in Bed’ and is the presenter and creator of 'Spoken Label’.


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