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What is 'normal' anyway.

624f67643bdf37b458085aee294c870d?s=47 Craig Abbott
October 03, 2017

What is 'normal' anyway.

A talk based on my blog post of the same name: http://www.craigabbott.co.uk/what-is-normal-anyway.

It talks about dealing with mental health and my personal journey.

This talk was delivered at:
- Geek Mental Help Newcastle on 3rd October 2017.


Craig Abbott

October 03, 2017


  1. What is ‘normal’ anyway?

  2. What is ‘normal’ anyway? 11.8K 192 19.3K 5,840 Craig Abbott

    @abbott567 Interaction Designer at @DWPDigital. Lover of cats and code. David Attenborough is my hero. #Vegan Newcastle upon Tyne
  3. “I just want to be normal” @abbott567

  4. I have depression and anxiety issues… so right now, I’m

    anxious as hell! @abbott567
  5. I rarely talk about these issues @abbott567

  6. “Cheer up mate.” “What do you have to be down

    about?” “Things can’t be that bad!” @abbott567
  7. I’ve always had a need to fit in @abbott567

  8. @abbott567 I’ve changed my identity repeatedly

  9. @abbott567 The emo phase

  10. @abbott567 The skater phase

  11. @abbott567 The indie phase

  12. @abbott567 The gym phase

  13. @abbott567 I chose the wrong career

  14. My first place of work was not a safe place,

    I was bullied every day for almost a decade. @abbott567
  15. I experienced burnout for almost 3 years because I didn’t

    want to let anybody down @abbott567
  16. @abbott567 The ‘party capital’. The home of Geordie Shore.

  17. I hated clubbing, it made me anxious but I didn’t

    want to be ‘boring’ @abbott567
  18. Anxiety is exhausting @abbott567

  19. Getting wasted helped me escape. I’d just get my brain

    too messed-up to think about anything. @abbott567
  20. I’d find ways to numb what I was feeling, rather

    than actually feeling it. @abbott567
  21. I became selfish, angry and unapproachable @abbott567

  22. Boys are conditioned to ignore their feelings. And so anger

    became the only way I could express anything. @abbott567
  23. This behaviour made me hate myself @abbott567

  24. My entire life had been doing stuff because of fear

    and guilt, with zero support. @abbott567
  25. @abbott567 I was always seeking validation from others

  26. @abbott567 I over analyse everything. I always see how things

    could have been better. How I should have been better.
  27. @abbott567 Creative people are far more likely to dwell on

    the detail.
  28. Attention to detail is the difference between painting a picture

    and a masterpiece. But it’s also the reason why we ruminate. @abbott567
  29. In this industry, it is rare for you to come

    up with anything on your own @abbott567
  30. Imposter syndrome An inability to internalise ones accomplishments. A persistent

    fear of being exposed as a fraud. @abbott567
  31. At the age of 31, I realised I have no

    idea who I am. @abbott567
  32. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people. @abbott567

  33. DWP is the first job I’ve had where I feel

    truly supported. Where I’m encouraged to be individual and to challenge the status quo. @abbott567
  34. “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless

    it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” - Goi Nasu. @abbott567
  35. @abbott567 Stop overworking. You’re good enough.

  36. Overworking is a fallacy. It’s not sustainable. @abbott567

  37. We’re so obsessed with managing our time, that we forget

    to take time to just be. @abbott567
  38. You’re unique, like everyone else. @abbott567

  39. If you don’t think you’ve progressed as a person, go

    back 5 years on one of your social media profiles… Then cringe. @abbott567
  40. @abbott567

  41. @abbott567

  42. Discover what makes you happy @abbott567

  43. @abbott567

  44. Don’t suffer in silence @abbott567

  45. @abbott567

  46. Don’t conform. Be true to yourself. @abbott567

  47. @abbott567 We’re all a bit broken. But broken crayons still

    colour the same.
  48. KTHXBAI Twitter: @abbott567 Email: craig@craigabbott.co.uk North East Counselling Services: https://www.necounselling.org.uk

    Blog post: http://www.craigabbott.co.uk/what-is-normal-anyway 5 year journal: http://abtt.co/5-year-journal