I expect you’re not here to read about some rags to riches story or how I faced adversity to triumph over whatever trials and tribulations life has thrown at me…
Well I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that’s not going to happen.
What I want to do is work with you to break the stigma of Men’s Mental Health and share stuff with you that I think will be helpful and useful for you. All this on the assumption you want help to make a real change in your life.
If you’re reading this then chances are you want to find out more about your mental health and how you can improve to live a happier life. Mental health is something we all share in common, we all have it.
Mental Health shouldn’t be something we only take care of when we are at crisis point.
Also to discover ways to help yourself become more positive and have that positivity impact those around you.
I’ll be honest, there are lots of ways to do this and more and more people are starting to talk about mental health which is great! But if you are like me, you need some help finding where to start and work out what is best for you.
Before we go any further, let me warn you from the off, I am going to be frank and honest with you. Making real changes in your life is not an easy quick fix, but don’t be put off. It is something that any of us can achieve with a little guidance and support.
It is also important for you to know that I am not a qualified mental health expert, I never went to university, in fact I only just scraped through sixth form college and didn’t do very well.
I am a survivor of depression and anxiety and still very much on my journey.
If you want a typical online quick fix to all your problems, I’m not your man.
So who is Dave Crompton?
I was born and raised in Southport, UK, in 1981.
I grew up the middle of 3 brothers and my Mum and Dad split when I was in my mid 20s, which was something I never really dealt with. They’re both now happily remarried.
During my school life I did OK, I was the “he’s smart enough to do well but doesn’t apply himself enough” guy.
I left education after sixth form college at the age of 17. I didn’t do very well and only just managed to finish the final year (my mum wasn’t too impressed with being called in and being told I may be thrown out but hey).
I decided not to pursue further education and looked for a job. After several jobs in retail, labouring and working for a friend fitting fireplaces, I got an office job, just till I found something else – I’m still there 19 years later.
At 27 my wife and I (not married at the time) got pregnant with our wonderful daughter and the same year (smack bang in the middle of the credit crunch!!!) managed very luckily to get a mortgage and buy our first house – all this after we had a mortgage pulled on us at the very last minute! Oh and I was also going for a promotion at work which with the added pressure of a kid on the way and a mortgage was quite a stressful time for me.
I remember now having what I can only assume was a panic attack at that time.
I remember the doctor asking me “are you stressed at the moment?” In a typical manly style I said “no?” I didn’t think stress was something I would ever have, after all I was strong and ‘manly’…I now realise that a child on the way, moving house and going for a new job are probably 3 of the top stressors in life, but of course I knew better.
My wife and I got married at 29 and had our son at 30.
Over the next few years I pushed for more promotions, I guess because that was expected of me and as the ‘strong man of the house’ and the weighing burden of having to provide for my family.
By the way, all these pressures were ones I had put upon myself, not put there by anyone else.
Skipping forward a few years, and it’s so much easier to see now looking back, but I started to lose my passion in life. I am a keen musician, singer and songwriter who performed live, however I’d stopped playing my guitar and piano and hadn’t gigged for about 2 years.
I’d even lost the passion for my first love, football. Stopped playing, and again looking back wasn’t that bothered about watching either.
I was tired with going out for drinks and mixing socially, I would much rather stay in on the couch and drink – before you say it, yes that could have been to do with me getting older!
In 2018 I knew things weren’t right in my head, but I thought I should probably just get on with things.
I had started to have suicidal thoughts but convinced myself that everyone has them from time to time. Later that year I had my first of what I like to call, my suicidal episodes. Even at this point I didn’t tell anyone, not even my wife. I didn’t want to be seen as weak or crazy.
After my second episode there was no way I could hide what was happening to me anymore.
My wife knew something serious was going on and my boss told me to take some time off work. My wife convinced me to go to my GP and seek help. Undoubtedly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – to finally tell someone about what was going on inside my head.
Even after seeking help and reaching out to close family and friends, my depression had one last pop at me.
In the chaos of my life at this point, I started to realise that it did help to talk – something that had always been a big no no for me – and that there were other men having the exact same thoughts and issues as me…I wasn’t alone!
Also that some of the things I had previously thought about mental health and the things you can do to improve it, weren’t just for others but were things I could do for myself and it wasn’t strange or weird.
It’s now six months later, and with support from my wife and kids, close family and friends and six months of counselling! I’m in such a better place, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
I was chatting with my wife and thought how cool it would be to provide somewhere online for others like me and share things that have helped me.
So I launched Huckleberry Grove. This site and project is a new adventure for me. I have lots of thoughts and ideas for it, but if you do too, let me know in the “Contact Me” section on this site.
The inspiration for Huckleberry Grove comes from a song by a band called Ocean Colour Scene. To my wife and I it means a place of fun, kindness and love, no arguing and “…where the music plays into tomorrow night.”
So what about you?
First of all it is important to be clear that if you think you are suffering from mental health issues it is so important that you seek professional help. There are numerous ways to do this confidentially like calling free phone lines such as the Samaritans or contacting your GP.
You are not alone, help is out there. Alternatively please do contact me through this site. I can’t stress how important it is to make the first step and talk to someone.
Secondly there are some people I can’t help.
If you are looking to improve your mental health, after a quick fix and not willing to invest time in yourself, I cant help you. But don’t let that put you off seeing what Huckleberry Grove has to offer.
You do however need to have something inside you saying “I want to make a positive difference to my mental health and my life” – and its totally OK if like I was, you have this burning desire but simply don’t know where to start.
Are you still with me? Here’s how I can help:
In my experience, poor mental health and conditions like depression and anxiety are caused by a million and one different things – our lives are all so complex and different.
There are also lots of different ways to improve our mental health, it’s quite a personal thing for us.
However one common thing we all share is that we all have mental health and it is vitally important that we take care of it.
For some businesses this might be where they throw in the ‘sales pitch’.
But as I’ve already said, I want to be honest with you from the start.
I don’t hold any qualifications in the world of mental health. Mental Health professionals do amazing work and should be contacted if you think you have issues.
I do however have first hand experience as a 30 something male who has suffered with bad mental health, depression, anxiety, social anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
I know what did and didn’t work for me to get me through this painful period in my life.
I don’t think for one minute that my experience is exactly the same as someone else, but what if there was a place online that can be discretely visited by you to find support and guidance on ways you can make a real positive change in your life.
If this is something you are looking for, the questions are “are you ready to make a change and do you want my help?”
If so then lets explore the possibility of working together.