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My experiences in Depressionville

Time to start writing again.

With no ulterior motive.

Not for bums on mailing list seats.

Not for sales of a book, a mastermind program, an online course.

Ignoring keywords and SEO.

Just writing.

For me. For others. For no one.


I’m Darrel. I’m 54 (as I write). I’ve been ‘reluctantly’ entrepreneurial most of my life. (‘Reluctantly’ might require some further explanation one day.) In November 2018 I had tests. I was experiencing ‘chronic fatigue’ and a ‘depressed mood.’ What followed was two and a half years of burnout and depression. From which (as I write) I am slowly…

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It’s 10.50 am, and I’m in pain.

I’ve had my fair share of toothaches over the years. A sweet tooth is partly to blame. Equally to blame (or so I claim) was an unsympathetic dentist who treated an abscess I had when I was six. The trauma of that experience meant I refused to visit a dentist until I was fourteen years old and the pain of toothache became too great to ignore.

Consequently, my mouth now resembles an ancient ruin. (A national treasure, perhaps?) Thankfully, my front teeth — the teeth that are typically seen on the occasions when…

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Dear Diary,

Last night a friend had a launch event for a charity. I bought a ticket a month ago and had every intention of attending. Until the day of the event, that is. I awoke on Saturday knowing it was going to be a bit of a Black Dog Day. They’re rarer than they used to be and arguably less intense. Nonetheless, they tend to rob me of the desire to do anything much at all. Except, perhaps, write. Writing — particularly short stories — has become a kind of therapy for me, allowing me…

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

‘We have a number of new and exciting opportunities for driven professionals.’

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Dear Diary,

I saw the above statement in an ad on LinkedIn today and I want to go on record as someone who hates the word ‘driven.’

I mean, I really hate it.

We live in a world where it’s no longer enough just to be talented. We must be talented and driven just to get by, it seems.

But what does talented and driven look like in practice? How does the employer — the creator of the ad — interpret the term?


Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

I remember Karen’s disappointment. She was so excited about moving to Australia. Only to discover that the grass isn’t always greener elsewhere. In fact, it very rarely is. It’s usually just a different shade of green. Karen didn’t adjust well to life Down Under and returned to the UK, somewhat disillusioned by the whole experience — one of the 7,000 Boomerang Poms a year who’ve given Australian living a try but eventually return to the UK for good.

Entrepreneurship can be similar. What’s not to love about being your own boss, right? But entrepreneurship should come with a (mental) health…

I used to run a bit. Truth be told, I miss it. A lot. (But just so we’re clear — not enough to do anything about it right now, okay?)

Running was my brother’s idea. Jas suggested we support our mate Waz, who’d entered the UK’s 2007 (or was it 2008?) Great South Run to support a cystic fibrosis charity (a condition which his wife suffered from — and still does to this day, I believe). Rather than look like a couple of mid-forties’ running lightweights, we decided the least we could do was actually train a bit beforehand. So…

Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash

Reluctantly, he handed over the key.

He couldn’t believe it. This was the third time his hardware store had been robbed in less than a year. But the others had been break-ins: this was the first time he’d been held up while closing the shop. ‘That’ll teach me for staying late to do the bookkeeping,’ he thought to himself.

The cold night air was giving him a headache and chafing his lips. (The least of his worries.) “There’s an alarm,” he warned as the thieves fumbled to unlock the door — thinking they might actually thank him for alerting them…

It’s likely we’re all familiar with the story by now. (Heck, the film’s over twenty years old already.)

In The Matrix, rebel leader Morpheus gives the movie’s main character, Neo, a choice.

A choice between a blue pill existence of blissful ignorance and a red pill existence of truth:

“You take the blue pill: the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill: you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

If you’re familiar with the movie, you’ll know Neo chooses the…

Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

“Hey, John, how are things?”

“Great thanks, Mark — super-busy!”

Busyness. The comfort blanket of western society.

Yes, busyness can be a blessing. It can be a sign that we’re ‘doing well’ — depending on how we define ‘well.’

I’ve known people — mainly men, let’s be honest — who wear busyness as a badge of honour. Take the Managing Director of a company I used to work for. He was also Sales Manager for the company and took great pride in the fact that he was always top of the pile when it came to sales results — sometimes…

Photo by Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Dear Diary,

(I wonder how many milk farmers have typed Dear Dairy? That’s kinda random, Darrel…)

It’s 7.10 am. I’m awake because the kids are awake — and they don’t do less than three-quarters volume — ever.

I immediately feel The Guilt returning. I hear the taunting voice of the internal Super Entrepreneur, accusingly yelling in my face like a Sargeant Major in a movie: I should’ve been up at 5 am for a 5 km run, followed by a shower and healthy breakfast. Like all the ‘real’ Super Entrepreneurs out there.

Darrel Griffin

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