IT is no secret that the fallout of the pandemic has had a significant impact on the collective mental health of people all around the UK.
But Mossley ex-serviceman Jack Horner hopes his new book, ‘Talking Myself Out of Trouble’, will help sufferers of all forms of mental health disorder to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Horner, 50, was diagnosed with PTSD after incidents in his 10-year service as a soldier in the British Army caused him to have a breakdown in 2019.
As part of his recovery, he turned to writing down his darkest thoughts and words that came into his head while taking walks on the Saddleworth Moors.He said: “I’d been out of the army for nearly 20 years before I started to get these very dark thoughts. It was the culmination of years of bottling up my emotions.
“In hindsight, looking back, I was displaying a lot of symptoms of anxiety, lots of physiological symptoms like headaches and grinding teeth, and I was binge drinking frequently.
“It all came to a head a couple of years ago when I finally plucked up the courage to go to the doctor and I just broke down because I couldn’t take it anymore, I was bordering on suicidal.
“The nurse who saw me first suggested that I should get out walking and clear my head so I started walking on Saddleworth Moors.
“It was while I was up there that I would keep a journal of my thoughts and when I would come home, I would start forming pieces and speeches from my notes.
“I showed them to my friends and family, and they were so supportive and they suggested performing them at open mic nights.”
It was only six months after his breakdown that Jack stood on stage for his first open mic event, a decision which he believes was a real turning point in his recovery.
He continued: “It was just like a therapy session. Getting up there and reading my material felt like all those years of bottled-up emotions were finally being released, but in a healthy way.
“And I was getting such a good reception from people that promoters at more and more venues started to approach me to ask if I wanted to perform.
“I had so much material that the idea of compiling it into a book was becoming more appealing and I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
“In discovering my own creativity, it has helped me to face my inner demons and that is something I know can and will help others who are suffering.
“And if there’s one thing I hope to achieve through this book, it’s to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health issues but also to inspire other sufferers to seek out help.”
A percentage of the profits of ‘Talking Myself Out of Trouble’ will be donated to local branch of Emmaus, a charity dedicated to helping homeless people.
• Copies are available for purchase online at thepigfarmer.art