After witnessing an online tip from a US Army General, every day the first thing I undertake is to make my bed. The psychology behind this being, by doing so you immediately achieve something within your day.

This inaugural undertaking providing a spark of positivity with which to feed upon during the upcoming day. This pre-cursor an initial step into a day that will develop into a dozen, or so, hours of multiple other achievements.

As someone afflicted with recurring depressive disorder, though, that re-arranging of bed pillows and quilt can occasionally be my second achievement of a new dawn. My first being the act of physical getting out of the flaming thing.

Footnote – The addition of the adjective flaming was in place of a curse word. Quite clearly, if the bed was actually in flames I’d be far keener to leave my mattress.

When the dark clouds gather in GJ Strachan’s mind, it takes every last morsel of energy to vacate that comfy pit. The mattress becoming my sanctuary from the world, which at that juncture in time, I really don’t want to face.

Like Donald Trump clinging onto the White House door knob while he endeavours to delay the inevitable, I really don’t want my day to involve anything more than laying in bed and eating pizza.

Footnote – The latter dependent on locating a pizza company who, as part of the delivery service, are prepared to launch the food through my open bedroom window.

Thankfully the voice in my head which tells me to get my ass outta bed possesses better influencing skills than the one advocating I stay, and not worry about the tomato sauce and pepperoni stains.

Consequently, I always drag myself out of my pit, make my bed and arrive downstairs with a little more esprit than before the more pragmatic of my many personalities intervened.

Today is ‘International Men’s Day,’ which a friend, when asked the objective of this celebration, advised me unconvincingly “Erm…… Well, it’s just like International Women’s Day, but for men.”

When I asked someone with a bit more sense, they advised it’s a day to raise awareness of male fitness and health issues. Along with celebrating strong male role models, and the message it’s ok to display candour in relation to your mental health problems.

Incidentally, yours truly isn’t for one moment floating any suggestion I’m a role model. I do, though, make observations about males openly discussing mental health issues from an informed position.

I’m by no means an expert, but I’d venture decades of being afflicted by depressive episodes does give me insight into the abyss sufferers sporadically plummet. Along with solutions which yours truly. finds beneficial.

One thing I’ve learned with some degree of certainty is bottling up the demons torturing your mind will have no positive bearing on that suffering. God knows, I undertook that futile approach to my torment for well over a decade.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing remotely beneficial from burying your head in the sand. You don’t even get a visage exfoliation, which if the term was taken literally would at least be one boon.

It’s reputed by non-believers that showing your darker feelings, or being afflicted with mental health issues, is weak……. Is it balls!!!…… You’re no weaker than a man who, through nature or nurture, is afflicted by recurring back problems.

After all, you can’t see the actual injury impacting someone with chronic back pain. However, individuals who’re suffering with that particular malaise are ordinarily afforded the courtesy of not being dubbed weak.

A decency not always granted to those with recurring mental health problems. This despite the trauma being as stark, and sometimes leading to far darker consequences for both sufferer and their families.

Happy International Men’s Day, fellas!….. I intend to celebrate my health awareness with a curry, a few beers and a zoom quiz with some buddies.