The most insidious thing about anxiety is it tears you from everything you love. It isolates you and you convince yourself, or misbelieve, it is good to be alone. Everything you enjoyed previously goes. In my case, it even stopped me from listening to music in my own home because of the memories, and the negative thoughts you associated with the music.

I used to watch football in the pub and on the terraces for years, and I spent 10 years attending at least 12 concerts a year enjoying myself apart from 2 and both were Oasis. Then I’ve spent a decade doing neither. I couldn’t really tell you who plays for the team I use to watch. No live music for me long before covid saw to it no one watched live music. In that time, I have grown out of the ashes and put a lot of this behind me.

 In the summer I went to a friendly match a Prenton Park the home of my now local club Tranmere Rovers, I chose this so I could breathe and enjoy a game of football on a pleasant evening. Then I took in a league game, and I was hooked. From the moment you arrive in the car, the staff cannot do enough to help, and I didn’t advertise my mental history to anyone there you don’t need to. Everyone gets a smile.  When the crowd behind the goal is in full voice and the lads on the drum drive the singing and the atmosphere, working as hard as the lads on the pitch, I wonder why I gave it up because in that moment the net bursts and we all go mad it’s an amazing feeling. So, I’m here to stay I don’t miss a home game, I go with my lad or even on my own I feel that confident. What Tranmere does off the pitch is astonishing, the work they do in the community and with mental health is first-class from a club in league 2. I admire the chairman and his wife for that. I love it under the lights it is a special night. Thank you, Rovers, carry on smiling because you don’t know the difference you make.

So, this week marks my first concert and when I think of it it makes me nervous. I know I will be fine it’s just my amygdala kicking in and so I take deep breathes. The feeling to be able to break two monkeys off my back will be fantastic for me because after all I want to enjoy life and mix and not feel I must stay in or constantly have I can’t, I can’t, I can’t be the mantra. I have some way to go I know but I’m doing OK.

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