A few years ago, I was lucky to meet my friend Matt, we met a training course to become volunteers and I remember thinking what a great guy he was. A few years on we lost touch but then I found out about his new company – Behind A Smile. Inspired by his experiences he set it up to help reach out to those who feel alone, with 100% of the profits made going back into mental health charities.
I wanted to introduce him to you guys because I think you’ll really like him and everything he stands for!
So I’ll stop rambling and let him do the talking…
Hi Matt, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I can tell you a tiny bit about myself course – my name is Matt I am 30, I come from Wigan. I started out as a blogger under the name ibeatdee about 3 years ago and then I founded clothing brand Behind a Smile. I still write things for Mental Movement (check them out…after you have read this of course haha).
What are your experiences with Anxiety and Depression?
My own experiances with depression and anxiety are that about 3 years ago when my life became very … not stressful but chaotic I started to not feel like myself. I went to the doctors and was told that I had reactive depression, this basically ment that I had become ill due to my circumstances. For the past 3 years now around the same time I become depressed for no reason or reason that I can put my finger on, so at the moment my depression is a bit unknown.
Anxiety for me is worse than depression, it ruins your mood no matter where you are or what you are doing you cannot enjoy it as you feel like you have an elephant sat on your chest. I really sympathise with people who have anxiety on a regular basis it really is horrible.
Can you introduce Behind a Smile for those who haven’t heard about it?
I would love to tell you all about Behind a Smile but there is so much it will probably be easier to go to our website behindasmile.co.uk
and take a look. I can tell you how I came up with the idea – I have always been interested in brands and what power they have over society, how people go mad for somethings just because of they are the latest on trend thing. I also really like Oddballs who use their products to raise money and awaerness fro testicular cancer, they try to make a bold statement which isn’t really my style. Behind a Smile trys to combine both in so much as it is great to look at and stands alone on its designs and also is giving away profits to the charities we work with. So far we have raised £600+ which isn’t alot but for a volunteer team of 4 who all have 9-5’s that isn’t bad.
What are your tips for making it through those bad days?
In all honestly I get through my bad days because of people who are with me and for that I am lucky – you must surround yourself with people who want to help you. If your friend or family member keeps saying they don’t want to leave the house or see you then don’t accept that if you turn up at their door they may be shocked at first even angry but they will thank you in the long run. If a person who you are close to suddenly stops wanting to go out or see you then something is troubling them and you need to find out what it is.
Other things for me are watching funny films, nothing serious which may make me worry or become anxious – I like taking my dog for a walk and just trying to slow my mind down. Chocolate is also my go to but it is important not to self medicate with anything whever it be chocolate or alcohol try not to over do it to improve your mood.
So that’s Matt and his amazing company, helping to reach out to people but also giving back. And the message is clear, reach out and talk. Make sure you check out Behind A Smile and tweet me at @ASoSblog when you do!