Thank you for taking the time to look at this page. Please keep scrolling down.
I’m extremely proud of the positive feedback messages I get, in the tuff times when my demons tell me “you’re not making a difference, anything you ever do is a total waste of time” getting a new message saying I’ve helped someone or I’m ‘brave‘ or ‘inspirational‘ genuinely keeps me going. This page may seem very self indulgent and it probably is but I recommend to people all the time they should make a note of the positive stuff in their lives cus it’s so easy to be taken completely over by the negative….
I do all I do with no financial support at all, this has forced me to setup a PayPal account, if you can help support my work financially it will help take some of the unnecessary pressure off. If you have time please read this blog post “Cards on the table” in it I explain my situation in more detail. (Those of you who have read my stuff before will be aware of my ‘individual‘ writing style….)
7 April 2018
as always I’m very proud to be able to add a few new things to this page. I got this message from a guy I met face to face a week or so ago, I wonder if the “professionals” can get this sort of a result after a single 45 minute chat??
I found receiving the above message particularly rewarding and uplifting as I’ve been receiving a few really negative, critical messages of late….
The vote for the Mayor’s Pride of Dudley Awards closed yesterday, so I’m keeping everything crossed but also wish Mary Stevens Hospice and The Retreat Cafe the best of luck, I look forward to meeting you and others at the Mayors Ball and Civic Awards on the 20th April….
ooh…. Got a mention on the front page of the Halesowen News 😃😃
You might notice I’ve included the story with the headline “Alcohol overdose of a homeless man” and asked the question “I wonder?…. Was this story put here by design or by coincidence?” I’m currently talking to various bodies about the complexities of homelessness that resorts in people remaining living rough when there are options available to help them off the streets, when and if you dig deeper into the homelessnes issues you very quickly find out that people have very complex stories and backgrounds and to me it seems as soon as there is any complexity (including people choosing to remain homeless) no one is willing or able to take full responsibility for the issue…. (This is by no means a criticism pointed at anyone, it’s just my opinion….)
3 April 2018
As always when I update this page I am very proud!!
I’ve been nominated for the Mayor’s Pride of Dudley Award as per this article in the Halesowen News (Halesowen counsellor? 😂) I need your votes and the votes of all your friends and family please. Vote Here
31 March 2018
its not very often I’m lost for words but seeing this has left me struggling for words and very proud, thank you Laura xx
20th March 2018
another proud moment, thanks Debs for taking the time to comment, comments like yours genuinely keep me doing what I do….
I was having a FB chat with someone recently and I found myself typing something I’ve said many times for the first time, I’d like to share it with you…. (As always I’ve asked permission to use the individual in questions words, I have also made it anonymous….)
I’m asked on a regular basis “how do you manage to cope with your mental illness” I cope by making sure I understand what I can about what’s happening in my noggin and quite often if I can’t understand I simply make something up that helps me understand it in a useful, effective, more positive way. Managing mental illness doesn’t have to be rocket science, look inside yourself the answers for your recovery progress are within you…. Whilst trying to understand stuff I don’t over think it as we all know “Thunking is overrated” and as to the question “Why?” Bollox to “Why?” It could be one thing, it could be many things and in the end the only actual true answer to the pointless question “Why?” Is “cus you have an illness….”.
With all the unnecessary waffle above its always worth bearing in mind 5 very small but extremely powerful words…. “It is what it is….”
Also a very important tool in my kit bag for coping with my mental illness is the stuff I do as “exboozehound” and will continue to do with 2day2gether, yes sometimes is makes me unwell cus I get tired, tiredness is one of my biggest issues/triggers, being as open and honest as I am leads to people (I like to call exboozehound’ers) posting stuff like this….
…. Stuff like this, support like this genuinely keeps me doing what I do. We can’t make a difference by ourselves, we have to work together and do that work today, not pencil it in for 2 months time…. Hence 2day2gether….
22 February 2018
Part of a text I received recently, another proud moment….
13 February 2018
still buzzing about West Midlands Combined Authority #ThriveAward18. Here’s something I find interesting…. One of the congratulations messages I got included the words “I hope you can live up to the high standard you’ve set for yourself” …. Amongst all the massively positive stuff my demons choose to remember this sentence and find a way to beat me with it…. Well I found it interesting anyway…. All is cool, the demons have gotta be cleverer than that to get at me….
to combat those demons and their sneaky, manipulative ways let’s add some more stuff to this page, a page I’m extremely proud of….
The above is a screen grab of my bit of the Express & Star piece about the West Midlands Combined Authority #ThriveAwards18, here’s a link to the full article.
Heres a link to a video on WMCA’s YouTube channel of me being interviewed after receiving the award.
31 January 2018
Extremely proud to be West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Commission “Mental Health Star – Dudley” 2018
I’m also extremely proud to be part of WMCA Mental Health Commission Citizens Jury, last year the WMCA published an action plan for Mental Health and Wellbeing “Thrive West Midlands” I think people know me well enough that I’m very honest, sometimes too honest, I don’t agree with everything within this document but I can tell you that this “Action Plan” isn’t just another one of those glossy false promises…. THE STUFF IN THE “ACTION PLAN” IS ACTUALY HAPPENING AND WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN THROUGH 2018….
(It may seem unwise to say I don’t agree with everything within this document, but hopefully it goes some way to showing people just how honest I’m being when I say “stuff is actually happening” if it wasn’t I would say….)
Right back to being proud, I’m very proud to receive messages like these, they genuinely keep me doing what I do…. (as always I’ve made sure it’s ok to use these messages and made anonymous where appropriate)
30 January 2018
Udpadtimg this page with new stuff makes me very proud….
DM received recently from a friend….
….”Keep inspiring your posts have helped me….”
very proud I’ve inspired you and my posts have helped you dude X
and below a couple of Facebook messages from John (part of 2day2gether). Quite often John will send me stuff that basically leaves me a bit speechless…. Reading this again just sent a cold shiver through me…. thank you John and thank you for working so hard pulling 2day2gether together….
19 January 2018
Not a bad start to 2018, I’ve been nominated and shortlisted for an award from West Midlands Combined Authority really proud of this and although I understand that being nominated and shortlisted makes me a winner already I REALLY wanna bring the award home for me and for 2day2gether….
Whilst I’m mentioning 2day2gether I think it’s time that John Healy and Ken McAuley get a mention on this page cus there the guys that are making 2day2gether move forward really positively. I recently had an email off Jazz Janagle from Dudley Rethink, really the email was for Ken and John and I was copied in, the last line of this email said….
“Jon M – you’ve got a really sound couple of guys there supporting you, really positive and really supportive – I’m excited for what you guys are gonna do!”
my reply to Jazz at Rethink was….
I’m extremely proud of what John and Ken are achieving, this week they became NHS EBE’s (Experts by Experience) and they are enrolling on lots of useful training courses. Those who know me know that learning really ain’t my bag, plus I’ve achieved a lot over the last 4 years my own way and I will continue to do so. John and Ken really are the future of 2day2gether and exboozehound, cheers guys x
11 January 2018
Thank you Nicolas, definitely had to add this to my proud moments. For everyone else just to stress what Nicolas said “Jon knows a lot about mental ill health and associated issues than many others”
it’s obvious to me that Nicolas is an incredibly intelligent and perceptive gentleman and an outstanding judge of character.
9 January 2018
Towards the end of last year we at 2day2gether started investigating if we could work closely with Rethink Mental Illness. Those who know me will be very surprised I even considered this, however I met with Mark Woodward – Group Development Officer – West Midlands and Jazz Janagle – Service Manager Birmingham Wellness Project. Dudley Emotional Support Line, Dudley Carers Support Service and found them both to be the sort of people I am happy to work with. I’ve said “we” and “I” what I mean is John and Ken who are the future of 2day2gether. I asked Jazz to give me some feedback from our first meeting and was very happy to receive the below. 2018 is the year that 2day2gether and Rethink change the world together….. 😉
19 December 2017
as always I’m extremely proud to have updates to my “I Likes It” page….
thank you Lee, comments like yours genuinely keep me going, at times when I wanna give up I come to this page to remind me that perhaps I have made a difference.
I think the next one pretty much speaks for itself….. Lol
I received a phone call from a guy called Anthony Ruben and he said “thought I’d let let you know it was really uplifting to hear your name mentioned yesterday on Black Country Radio” I had absolutely no idea I had been mentioned but I tracked it down…. Listen
7 December 2017
as a result of currently watching The Walking Dead this quote came into my life….
I don’t think I understand the above, but I know I want to understand it better so I looked it up and posted on Twitter and Facebook. One of the guys I’ve been sorta mentoring, John Healy, who is currently working along side Ken McAuley in the name of 2day2gether doing various good things including working with Rethink Mental Illness creating a new “Peer Support” group in Dudley came back straight away on Facebook with….
“It’s referred to as the tyranny of time….”
Unfortunately I don’t really understand that either, lol. The following text conversation ended up with John sending me the following texts….
I was a bit lost for words so all I had to reply was “Holy Shit!!!!”
Both John and Ken won’t be at today’s meet at The Hope Centre cus John has been speaking with the NHS and today is telling his story to a board of NHS people and Ken is going with him. I’m extremely proud to get the above texts from John and extremely proud of John and Ken who are making awesome things happen in the name of exboozehound, 2day2gether and more importantly in ther own names!!!!
4 December 2017
as always I’ve very proud to be able to post the following comments from people I am now officially calling “exboozehound’ers“. Genuinely it is stuff like this and the rest of what’s on this page that keeps me going, Thank you xx
(I have asked each person who’s commented if it’s ok to post their comments, I always do, you will see some comments are kept anonymous)
Thank you so much “exboozehound’ers”
22 November 2017
Suicide is not a nice subject to talk about but we must work harder to make discussing suicide something that we can talk about.
I had this text this week, (I must stress I’ve spoken to this person since and they are ok with me sharing this text as it might help someone else). Obviously I’m hugely proud and thankful that I stopped this person taking their own lives, but sharing it is more about what they say in the text. Making life with mental illness more manageable isn’t rocket science, it’s actually very simple….
”your comments & just the simple ones like ‘one day at a time’ made me stop what I was doing….”
”it’s made me realise that people are around me who care”
Very simple stuff like “one day at a time” which every time I say it I cringe cus I’ve said it so often “it is what it is” and my motto “enjoy the good and ride out the bad” are very simple but my motto has stopped me taking my own life, people have quoted my motto back to me. Doing what I do as exboozehound and moving forward with 2day2gether at times gets very difficult, mentally, physically and financially but none of that matters cus I know I’ve saved lives. If I achieve nothing else in life then knowing people are alive because of me is about as good as it can get. The point of me saying this about myself isn’t about me saying “I’m awesome” it’s about stressing that if I can do this then so can you…. FACT!!!!
21st November 2017
a couple more very proud moments to add to the blog….
Star and I have been linked on Twitter for a long time, she has been amazingly supportive sharing my stuff over social media, thank you Star x
I first met Chris Johnson when I won a Dudley CVS award back in 2015, I’m very proud of having people like Chris on my “VIP’s List” and looking forward to working with him and his colleagues moving forward…. #WorkingWithTheRozzers
14 November 2017
if you follow me and my stuff y’ll know that when my demons are strong I, like many people with mental health issues, hate who I am, hate not being able to cope with “conventional” life. This is partly why I have this page to remind me I am helping people, I am making a difference and rather that hating who I am being proud of who I am and proud of the work I’ve done over the last 4 years.
So, finding out that this Facebook post written by one of the best birds I know, bought me close to tears, good tears…. Thank you D X
9th November 2017
just logged into Twitter and found this DM, another proud moment that allows me to tell my demons “there is a point to me” and “I do make a difference”. Stuff like this message really does keep me going
8th November 2017
after posting this on Instagram, I was very proud to receive the comment from Damian
I still find it odd that people use the word “inspiration” about me, but I’ve learned to accept it as a massive compliment and fuel to keep me fighting for myself and others who can’t fight,
6th November 2017
for a while now I’ve been at a bit of a crossroads with what direction I’m moving in, in a recen blog post “Small Fish Humongous Pond” I mention wanting to leave a positive legacy. It hadn’t occurred to me that perhaps I already have….
It’s also just occurred to me that everything on this page is about that positive legacy….. (Food for thought eh Jon? (This is me talking to myself and my demons))
2nd November 2017
on Saturday I did an impromptu Vlog as I was struggling, I did the vlog partly cus I wanted to hear what I said and partly cus I think it’s important I Vlog when things ain’t good cus it’s real and hopefully people can see me struggling as they do, I always bounce back and hopefully people can believe they can bounce back if I can.
some reactions to this vlog (as always I’ve checked first that people are happy for me to share their comments)
24th October 2017
After a crappy week, on a weekend when I was considering giving it all up I logged onto Twitter and had these DM’s
this one is from a friend in New York, from time to time in a Starbucks in New York the name exboozehound is mentioned…. how bonkers is that!!!!
Another friend in America sent me this….
If I’ve inspired people and continue to inspire people I have to get my noggin back in line and continue what I’ve been doing!!!!
And a tweet reply from closer to home….
Ignoring the talk about strap on’s (erm….)
“slowly but sure getting there to open up about things thanks to u”
So to all the demons in my head currently telling me to give up and go into self destruct mode, bollox to ya, I am still making a difference and once I’ve got out of this sizeable blip I’ll be back stronger than ever!!!!
11th October 2017
logged into Twitter today to see this DM, having my motto quoted back to me…. Weird but VERY awesome….
10th October 2017 (World Mental Health Day)
3rd October 2017
after a Dudley CCG meeting last week I posted….
One of the responses I got was another proud moment for me, thank you Ade, thank you Bec
Another proud moment following the “Working with the rozzers” Vlog, the person who tweeted this asked to remain anonymous, I always ask permission to put stuff on this page.
22nd September 2017
Another proud moment, thank you John for running the group yesterday and your reply to this Facebook post.
Another 6th September
just received this via Twitter DM, proving my global status, I’m talked about in NYC….. Woohoo!!! (yes global status is a little OTT but what the hell…. Even mentalists can big themselves up now and then)
Recieved this email this week, another proud moment….
19th August 2017
I don’t know Patrick at all but he tweeted me a reply recently with something I’ve said a lot to others over the years but very often forget myself…. the power of social media means you never have to struggle alone with your mental illness issues…. thank you Patrick
11th August 2017
stuff like this genuinely keeps me going.
I know I’ve helped people and I know I should be proud of that, but the demons don’t allow me to believe I’m a good person, sad but true. I’m sure a lot of people will identify with that. My noggins been wallowing in negativity recently, but today I spent a couple of hours supporting 5 or 6 people, as I left the place a thought popped into my mind “Fuck me, I’m fucking good at what I do” may sound a bit egotistical but sometimes we must find a way to believe in ourselves.
2nd August 2017 Another moment of pride, I bump into Jim in Halesowen as we often do as an English pleasantry we all say “you look well” both I and Jim did the usual and then Jim said “you’ve got a good tan” my response was “I don’t work do I so I get to make the most of the weather when we get it” Jim then said “you do some amazing work, I follow your updates, I may not comment but I and others follow your amazing work”. As always I asked Jim’s permission to share this, the reason I like to update my “I Likes it” page is stuff like this really keeps me going when my demons are telling me to give it all up. Thank you Jim, you’re now part of ‘exboozehound’ I might be exboozehound the person but anyone who supports me like you did that day becomes part of the strength that keeps ‘exboozehound’ going and will keep the progress of 2day2gether moving forward helping more and more people.
21st July 2017
Sam Billingham from @SODANationwide (Survivors of Domestic Abuse) shadowed me recently and tweeted the following. Thank you Sam it was my pleasure I take this as a huge compliment from someone like yourself who does such amazing work. Looking forward to shadowing you in the near future
3rd July 2017
More evidence of what a friend with mental health issues themselves called “the exboozehound method” and how I should patent it. What I’ve done and we do as exboozehound and 2day2gether works and actually changes lives for the better.
26th June 2017
Another huge moment of pride from an email over the weekend. Emails like this really are what drives me to keep trying to do what I do even though it quite often causes me pain. Thank you Jacqui I look forward to working with you.
11th June 2017
last night I was contemplating what was the point of me and the stuff I do as exboozehound and plan to do with 2day2gether, I was thinking I might have to try and write a blog post to see if I could work out what was wrong in my noggin at the moment (still might do this). Today I was teetering on the edge of madness then I received this DM on Facebook:-
Firstly this message shows “Peer Support” working and just how powerful it can be, someone I ‘support‘ is ‘supporting‘ me with unbelievable feedback, this gives me a reason to keep going against all the odds.
Secondly please make note that this person has been in the mental health ‘system’ for 30 years and something run by a non professional who has no financial support is “the most therapeutic approach to mental health I’ve ever experienced” again this person has been in the mental health system for 30 YEARS!!
Thirdly take the above feedback in conjunction with the email I received, below, from a professional with many years experience of Mental Health support services and all the other feedback, awards etc and tell me what more evidence do I need to provide that the ‘exboozehound method’ (not my words, words from the above DM) works and needs to be supported financially before I get to the point of packing it all in because my life is on hold as long as I continue to help others???!
Making an actual difference IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE….
25th May 2017
Another extremely proud moment:-
contents of a Facebook post earlier today
8 guys in group today at the Hope Centre one new guy. Having a week off next week cus I’ve got a few other things on and it’s half term. Very proud of this group and the support all the guys give each other. Here’s an email I had a while back when we had our first professional visitor attend the group
22nd May 2017
another amazingly proud moment for me, this message just popped up on my Facebook page from a lady I’ve never met. I’ve done too much over the last couple of weeks and it’s damaged my current mental stability, messages like this make me know I’ve got something to get better for, so thank you RM your message means the world to me
Really important to me messages received:-
Text received after a recent meeting with Superintendent Sean Russell Director of Implementation at West Midlands Mental Health Commission
From a new friend on Twitter
From one of the guys from the men’s group I run at the Hope Centre Halesowen
another proud moment, will be adding more soon, I’ve picked this one out today cus it can be fairly rare for people to thank me openly cus of the #Stigma attached to Mental Health and addiction. I get a lot of messages in private that people want to keep anonymous, which I totally get and always respect. Thank you CM x
21st March 2017
I’m so lucky to receive messages from people thanking me for what I do, genuinely messages like these next few and the others on this page keep me going, thank you all for taking the time to let me know.
As always i have asked permission to post these messages and made them anonymous when asked to
1st March 2017
Another proud moment, honestly stuff like this makes me stronger and helps me keep doing what I do (also quite cool to be called a “legend” 😉 )
1st February 2017
I’m very fortunate from time to time to receive simply amazing direct messages from people, these messages keep me going and whilst my demons enjoy telling me how pointless I am, how pointless my life has been and always will be these messages tell me another story. If you scroll down you will see other messages I’ve received and other things that I’m proud of, I also ask the sender for permission to post their message, and keep them ananymous, quite often people don’t want their private messages shared even though it’s completely anonymous, for me this proves just how powerful the #Stigma still is. #Stigma cannot be beaten by individuals it can only be beaten by individuals coming together and fighting against it….
This message was from a lady in America and the quote I’d just sent her was
I sent this message with my message saying
I also received this message from the same person
I try to put into words how much these messages mean to me but it’s difficult cus they get right to my soul and keep me wanting to keep going with exboozehound and this year 2day2gether also on Facebook and Twitter @2day2gether
I’ve received another amazing message today as well, this time from a lady in the UK
Receiving this message today helped me with my current low, I struggled to get out of bed this morning and when I did get out of bed my noggin wanted me to go back to bed or at least spend the day hiding away. This message gave me the strength to make an effort to get out of the house and in doing this another positive happened. I drove past my brothers house and spotted he was outside doing some work, I turned around and went back, he was outside with his brother-in-law and Ted, the daft dog. As always Ted wanted to greet me by jumping up always aiming for the plums, I protected my plums, as you do, but Ted had muddy paws which made me smile and laugh, now this might seem very insignificant but for me is was a significant moment cus it was an involuntary, natural “human moment” my demons were switched off and I was reacting to a simple moment in time. I was only at me brothers for a couple of minutes cus I didn’t want to get in the way but I drove away from there smiling, simply fist bumping with my brother and his brother-in-law and protecting my plums from Ted the path of the day changed for the better. So once again THANK YOU to the lady who sent the message this morning, you made a real difference to my day.
I believe the fact that I’m totally open and honest about my mental illness I get amazing support from friends, family and even people I’ve never met. I was very proud and possibly a little emotional about comments I received on a recent Facebook post. I understand it can be very very difficult to open up to people about your mental health but if you do my money would be on people being a lot more supportive than you would think, and if they don’t support you then they ain’t worth a second thought….
You will notice on this post from Facebook the comment is made by someone called “Exboozehound Ken”. I haven’t known Ken long. I’m sort of mentoring him, he is going to be a driving force with my new project @2day2gether. Ken can now openly talk about his childhood and how he was physically and sexually abused. Obviously this is a huge subject at the moment with the extremely brave ex-footballers speaking out, I think many guys out there will have been watching the news and hopefully will find the strength to speak about their abusive childhoods and I know Ken will be able to help and support anyone that comes to us at 2day2gether.
DM recently received on Twitter, stuff like this keeps me doing what I do…. So proud
Getting things together before I start working on my new project 2day2gether also on Facebook and Twitter (@2day2gether). exboozehound started November 2013 with the blogging and since then I have built quite an amazing network of people that are willing to listen to me. exboozehound has probably kept me alive as it gave me a purpose but on occasion exboozehound has caused me unnecessary pain and turmoil (all the pain and turmoil has been worth it and as usual I’m not looking for sympathy, just saying how it is)
Some links below that make me proud and can and have opened doors. Most of the newspapers pieces are the same, initially I though I was only in the Halesowen News I then found out I was in quite a few other papers, I have listed the ones I can find as it helps me understand how many people might of read about me. (Bit egotistical perhaps?)
Chief Inspector Sean Russell – this is great news, I met Sean at Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Triage with Sarah Norman (Chief Executive of Dudley Council) and Norman Lamb MP. Sean is an awesome choice for the position. Sean has also on a number of occasions helped me directly help people in desperate situations, top top man.
As above I met Norman Lamb at Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Triage, I know Norman and Sean working together will make a difference. Norman Retweets some of my stuff and is happy (I think?) to receive direct messages on Twitter. If either Norman or Sean asked for my help I would say “yes” before I knew what they wanted from me.
West Midlands Police Crime Commission Awards 2016
Since the awards Judy Foster (assistant Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner) has met me at the Hope Centre to speak with myself and the wonderful Camilla and Wendy who run the Hope Centre.
Governance International PDF (page 9) all in German so no idea what it’s about
Google Translate (Blogs and self-help group of the expert “aka Exboozehound” on mental health topics such as depression, crisis management and self-help:) “expert” wow!!