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.
What is ‘normal’ anyway?
What is ‘normal’ anyway?
11.8K 192 19.3K 5,840
Interaction Designer at @DWPDigital.
Lover of cats and code.
David Attenborough is my hero.
Newcastle upon Tyne
“I just want to be normal”
I have depression
and anxiety issues…
so right now, I’m anxious as hell!
I rarely talk about
“Cheer up mate.”
“What do you have to be down about?”
“Things can’t be that bad!”
I’ve always had a need to ﬁt in
I’ve changed my
The emo phase
The skater phase
The indie phase
The gym phase
I chose the wrong career
My ﬁrst place of work was not a safe place,
I was bullied every day for almost a decade.
I experienced burnout for almost 3 years
because I didn’t want to let anybody down
The ‘party capital’.
The home of Geordie Shore.
I hated clubbing, it made me anxious
but I didn’t want to be ‘boring’
Anxiety is exhausting
Getting wasted helped me escape.
I’d just get my brain too messed-up
to think about anything.
I’d ﬁnd ways to numb
what I was feeling, rather
than actually feeling it.
I became selﬁsh, angry
Boys are conditioned to ignore their feelings.
And so anger became the only way I could
This behaviour made me hate myself
My entire life had been doing
stuﬀ because of fear and guilt,
with zero support.
I was always seeking
validation from others
I over analyse everything.
I always see how things could have been better.
How I should have been better.
Creative people are far more likely
to dwell on the detail.
Attention to detail is the
diﬀerence between painting a
picture and a masterpiece. But it’s
also the reason why we ruminate.
In this industry, it is rare for you to
come up with anything on your own
An inability to internalise ones
accomplishments. A persistent fear of being
exposed as a fraud.
At the age of 31, I realised
I have no idea who I am.
Surround yourself with
positive, like-minded people.
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.
“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
- Goi Nasu.
You’re good enough.
Overworking is a fallacy.
It’s not sustainable.
We’re so obsessed with
managing our time, that we
forget to take time to just be.
You’re unique, like everyone else.
If you don’t think you’ve progressed
as a person, go back 5 years on one
of your social media proﬁles…
Discover what makes you happy
Don’t suﬀer in silence
Be true to yourself.
We’re all a bit broken.
But broken crayons still
colour the same.
Email: [email protected]
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