Paul’s account of the way his mind works in relation to what others think of him is both scary and reassuring in its similarity to my experiences. Some sage advice which I’m going to revisit in this ongoing battle.


First published by Young Minds UK

When I was a small boy, my granddad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

“I want to be Paul Brook,” I answered firmly and decisively. It sounds a pretty easy ambition for someone called Paul Brook to achieve, doesn’t it? But only now that I am nearly 36 and have my own children, who are the same age as I was when I made that statement, do I realise how hard – and how important – it is just to be myself.

I’m slowly emerging from two-and-a-half years of depression, during which time I lost myself in a downward spiral of stress, worry, anger, self-loathing and negative thinking. This is the dark underside of my character ruled by Paul Brookes, my evil misspelt alter-ego. I’m blessed and cursed with a vivid imagination. The blessing is that I have a creative…

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