I received a phone call early on Monday afternoon, inviting me to be interviewed live on BBC Radio Tees about the 40Fify challenge and my own personal experiences of anxiety and depression. Whilst I had e-mailed to ask if the station would be interested in my story, I hadn’t really anticipated a positive reply, but the response was so quick and unexpected that I didn’t have time to say “no”!
Writing about what are essentially personal experiences isn’t easy, but something you do get used to: talking about them (essentially to strangers) is another thing altogether. But if I’m going to do this challenge justice, then certain things I’d probably prefer to avoid need to be faced head-on. And this was one.
I did make a few crib notes beforehand, in case the words dried up when I was faced with a microphone and I will admit to being far more nervous than I’d expected – I checked my pulse because it felt fast. It was fast.
I was to appear on Mike Parr’s morning show, and I was shown to the studio by one of the producers, Donna Haynes. Mike and Donna made me feel more at ease, but when the music stopped and Mike introduced me, there was a moment’s panic as to whether any words would emerge and be picked up by this bloody great big blue thing right in front of my face.
The words did come... thankfully and we discussed some of the challenges before moving onto the more serious part of the conversation. I must admit that talking so openly wasn’t as difficult as I’d imagined – perhaps that had more to do with me knowing about the subject, rather than the actual nature of the subject?
Our chat was interrupted by some travel news (I think), which totally passed me by, before a brief resumption and a chance to give out my web and Just Giving addresses. And that was just about that. It was all over really quickly and both Mike (who was sat opposite) and Donna who was listening in the adjoining studio, both said that if I’d been feeling nervous, it didn’t come across during the inter-view. There was just time for a quick photo with Mike, before he returned to the airwaves... and I returned to my car.
On reflection, I can say that I actually quite enjoyed the experience of appearing on live radio and talking about something so important. It was incredibly kind of Mike and Donna to give valuable air time to someone like me, and to show an interest in what I am doing. I know one or two people who listened to the broadcast – thank you! – and I hope I came across reasonably well.
So, having done a pre-recorded segment for Miskin Radio, I can now include this live BBC Radio Tees appearance to effectively complete challenge no.10 twice – which is brilliant, but not a precedent because anything remotely reptilian is definitely one time only. If you want to listen to the interview, here is the link – I’m on around 2:07:35 (give or take):