Comments: 34

Like many people, I’ve always struggled with anxiety. It’s been the case ever since I can remember. I have always been an ‘over-thinker’ and that has lead to catastrophizing every-day situations.

If you’ve never heard of catastrophizing, you may already know the concept…

It’s where a negative automatic thought comes into your head. It could be, Oh no, I don’t think I turned the iron off (when you’re already half way to work). Catastrophizing is where you escalate the situation in your mind:

‘What happens if the dog walks past, catches the iron cable and knocks it onto the floor and it burns the carpet and then it starts a house fire and the dog perishes in the fire and I lose everything I own and where will I live, I’ll probably be homeless on the streets and end up dead in an alleyway!’

Ok, so that’s exaggerated for impact, but is it Just me that does this sort of thing?

While all this is going on, you’ve turned the car around and driven half an hour back to the house like a maniac in a cold sweat. Feeling all the stress and emotions, as if everything you’ve thought of has actually happened.

You pull up outside the house (it’s still there!) and open the door to find the iron switched off.

You’ve just lived the last half hour in a ‘life and death’ situation ‘in your head’ and even though it’s only in your head, your body doesn’t know the difference between a real situation and a vividly imagined one. So you now have all the stress chemicals running around your body of someone who was faced with a wild animal and thought their death was imminent. But nothing has actually happened outside of your head!

I thought this kind of thinking was normal and therefore never spoke to anyone about it. It turns out, that, although there’s no such thing as normal, there is such a thing as ‘damaging’.

You see, as a bit of background (and a little pop psychology!), YOU don’t choose YOUR thoughts, you really don’t. They come to you automatically, based upon a whole heap of external and internal stimuli.

Well, if you have no control over your own thoughts, even when they are damaging to your life and mental wellbeing, then fighting your thoughts is a waste of energy. The trick is to let them appear, like cars driving down a busy street and instead of reacting to them, just watch them go by. They’ll soon be replaced by another one that you’ve also got no control over!

If you’re reacting to them, it’s a bit like that dog sat at the side of the road, barking at every car that drives past… What’s the point??

The problem is, that a lifetime of this kind of thinking and reacting to it, takes it’s toll. That’s why these kind of anxiety issues don’t really surface ‘big time’ until people are in their thirties and forties. They’ve always been happening, but drop by drop, they fill up the bath tub in your mind and then one day, it overflows!

My Mum would have called it a nervous breakdown…

And that’s what happened to me in 2014.

I hit the floor!

It took me about 12 months to recover and during that time, I hit a real low. I’ve never been that far down. Even losing my Mum at 19 didn’t do that to me! When I was at my lowest, I just couldn’t recognise myself. It was like I was living somebody else’s life and just looking in on it. I was numb…empty…and it felt like it would never end.

There were many things that got me out of the deepest darkest hole I’ve ever been in. Friends, Family, Counselling, coping methods, learning to recognise the triggers, learning to stop barking at the passing cars!

But the biggest, was music…

A little while before I had hit rock bottom, I had begun to write songs again for the first time in about 15 years. First of all on my own, and then as luck would have it, I met Tony…and what a blessing that was! Songwriting became my sanctuary. It saved me. The music is a way of expressing emotions that aren’t always easy to express in any other way. You’re a music fan… you know exactly what I mean.

And what we found as our fanbase grew, was just how many people out there are also silently struggling and to our genuine amazement, our music became their sanctuary too. We know that, because you tell us. All the time!

This led us to write a song together about mental health, we called it ‘VOICES’.

We decided to release it to raise awareness for Men’s Mental Health and also to raise funds for The Mental Health Foundation Charity.

It got picked up by local radio stations and several larger networks including the BBC and we even ended up with a film crew from Channel 5 TV coming to Tony’s house and we sat in his kitchen playing the song live on TV!!

A couple of film students created an animated video for the song and I’ve shared it below in case you’d like to take a listen.

If any of this is story is familiar to you or you are in a dark place, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE talk to someone about it. Friends and family are great, but sometimes it’s easier to open up and be honest with someone you don’t know very well. A good counsellor is perfect for this. They’re not very judgy!

You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel. Or at least, you may feel like your starting to take a step in the right direction.

If you are in the depths of it at the moment, please also know that you can and will come out of the other side and when you do, you will be a stronger, more self-aware, more compassionate human being for the experience.

We have an amazing supportive community on our Facebook Page, so please check out our groups. Don’t get me wrong, they’re about music, but we know a lot of supportive friendships have been developed within these groups.

Remember…If you’re struggling, talk to someone.

Pete x


Some helpful links if you need them:

UK – Samaritans Helpline

US – Samaritans Helpline


  • cynthia allan says:

    Bless your heart Pete. Not nice to go through, you’re now past the worst, the low experience you had helps with your outlook on life, understand helps with the music and lyrics.. it’s as if you had to go there,to become who you are. A caring thoughtful man xx

  • Lorraine says:

    I was on the way down but then I found you lads and life looks so much brighter now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. X

  • Lucy Pappas says:

    Love your honesty, Pete. Having been through something similar, I know how important friends are as well as those working in mental health. It’s my friends who notice the signs of me crashing again, before I’m even aware of it.
    I’m delighted that you’re well now x

  • Tangie says:

    Pete, I can’t thank you enough for being so open and sharing. I now know after recent revalations, that mental issues were rampant in my family. No one spoke of it, everyone’s life was affected by it. Now, knowing more, I see that even my children have issues. My daughter was smart enough to see it and researched coping skills and tools. She deals with anxiety daily and I admire her strength as I do yours. Bringing issues into the the light will help for clarity and understanding, at least in my opinion.

  • Pat johnson says:

    Bless you pete that’s a wonderful thing you’ve done there,I’m so glad you came thru it and can only say your such a lovley guy who makes such amazing music that touches the soul!!Thankyou ❤

  • Lynne Dennis says:

    Pete, I’m full of admiration of your ability to post without restraint about your anxiety. In 2009, I too was in that place you found yourself in 2014 and couldn’t agree more with what you have said. Realising “it’s OK to not be OK” is a long road, practicing mindfulness helped me immensely. “Mindfulness can help interrupt the stress cycle to allow space to respond instead of react”…. a mantra I believe in 🙂

  • Kathy Miller says:

    I totally understand Pete, I also suffer with depression and anxiety, which is why this song resonated with me. Fair play to you for admitting this. You two have been my constant companions as I don’t have friends or family. Keep up the great work guys. Xxx

  • Gill says:

    Bless you Pete for being so honest.you have come a long way and should be very proud. You and Tony are just amazing.love listening to you.xx

  • Maggie Richardson says:

    So poignant. This is something that most people in life suffer in life in these days. Thankfully there is more help out there these days. Glad to hear you have come out the other side. Keep doing what you do. X

  • Richard Hall says:

    Pete I won’t proclaim to understand the situation you have been in, because I don’t, but I can see the pain you must have endured and how this would debilitate your life. This also allows me to realise how wonderful this must feel coming out the other side. So I guess congratulations are in order, well done buddy. I love the conversations we have periodically and how random they get. You have some great life experiences and this is just one of them. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger don’t they say! You just need tat break and being the genuine blokes you are I could not wish this to happen for anyone more. Keep going guys and hopefully we can get together again soon. Rich

  • Barbara Dziedzic says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. My brother suffered from PTSD and was hospitalized on several occasions. He could never talk about it. I’m so glad people are reaching out because people are now sharing. Thank you for leading the way.

  • Bobbie J Franklin says:

    Thank you Pete for sharing your Struggle I am so glad you found the help that you needed. I would like for you read Psalm 139 in the Bible you will see what your Heavenly Father have to say about you. Also Proverbs 31., and Numbers 6 verses 24-26.
    You have a beautiful Gift that God has given you and Tony, Your Music is so beautiful, and easy to listen to, I am 67 years old and most people my age and older find it hard to find Modern Music we like.

  • Robert Kleimann says:

    I am so proud of you Pete and I am so proud of Tony I am proud of your band you’ve been through a lot of stuff Pete and I’m going to a lot of stuff myself so I can relate to your story I’m thinking about writing a book about my life we have a lot in common Peter I’ve got a 12-year-old daughter getting ready to turn 13 going through some serious stuff it’s just a big mess so I’m proud of you for writing a feelings into a song because that is the key when you write a song that is opening a door to your heart and soul in mind it is a self-expression music is what makes the world go around and what brings people together so I’m very proud of all of you keep up the good work

  • I suffer with depression and anxiety..I also have pain attacks if I have to go out. This lockdown has been so hard on all of us. Your songs make me feel so happy and I love you both loads your Awesome xxxx

  • Christine Morrison says:

    I,m so glad you found the strength within and of course found Tony !

    Sometimes you do need to talk and like you say it can be so difficult to talk to family and fully agree it can be easier talking to a stranger.

    I always like to think that instead of having maniac thoughts of what if this happens etc. I,m forward thinking and that prevention is always better than cure in most circumstances.

    You guys produce wonderful work I wish to continued health, wealth and happiness always , God Bless, Christine x

  • Melissa Dawn Faulkner says:

    I can relate to you and this my friend. I to suffer from anxiety and depression. May God always be with you and us all that does ?❤?

  • Kathleen Johnston says:

    What a story Pete. Glad that you were in the right place at the right time and met Tony. onwards and upwards,sharing your fantastic music and songs that are wrote from the heart. They all have stories behind them,some heartbreaking but people can relate to them because there about real life. Fantastic music and words.

  • Gillian says:

    Hi pete , thankyou for sharing your experience it had a very familiar ring to it , mental health is very close to my heart as it runs in my family , my beautiful daughter Lisa suffered what would of been called a breakdown and many scicotic episodes unfortunately she used alcohol to drown out the voices and she said which cost her her life at the age of 31?? I myself have suffered dark low times but have always managed to find solice in music and talking to people that understand and not too close to heart as you say it is easier to off load to a stranger or someone who is not emotionally attached ,the song is wonderful as all your songs seem to tell a story and for that I thank Tony and yourself for getting stories across so beautifully ??

  • Wendy paterson says:

    Hi Pete and Tony
    Your songs and music bring along of joy to me. I live along way from the U.K. but love your patrons club chats. Please keep the faith. I have all five of your cd’s and play them all the time. Stay saf.
    Wendy Paterson

  • Shona Smith says:

    Bravely shared Pete. Inspiring too. Gives hope that you can come back from this. Not easy but it can be done especially with the right prople around you. And of course…. Music xx

  • vickie says:

    Wow Pete i think it was just amazing that you shared your inner self for all to see. Thank you ever so much for being so open and inspiring to us all. From the very 1st moment i listened to the Condriacs i knew there was alot of special going on. You guys are truly amazing and are loved by many thank you from the heart for being who you are.

  • Doris Wilkinson says:

    Thanks for sharing Pete, your post could be a Lifeline to someone….anxiety and depression are real and we need to talk about it. God bless.

  • Donna Johnson says:

    Wow your story and this song, I can’t wait for my son to hear this, I love all your music, God blessed you both with a awesome skill, thanks for touching many lives..❤❤❤

  • Goldie says:

    Thanku Pete for your honesty it only goes to show none of us are immune and you just never know what’s going on inside other peoples heads no matter how they may outwardly appear five years ago I found myself in that dark place and a couple of years ago I hit rock bottom no one really new just how bad things had got apart from a couple of close friends because it’s easier to hide than share then I was just starting to climb that dam hill then lock down came which put me in an isolated place my support bubble couldn’t be there in the same way and then I stumbled across you guys I can’t tell you just how much your music lifted my spirits and being part of the family has truly kept me going thankyou ?xGoldie

  • Jan Taylor says:

    Hi Pete.
    So beautifully put, for something that can be so debilitating.
    I had minor issues in my late teens, treated by my GP with Valium, which made me feel worse. So I just ‘dealt with it’.
    But I think the tipping point for me, was losing my daughter in the late stages of my pregnancy.
    I don’t remember much of the following two months. Apart from music, I wore headphones to keep the thoughts out, and music in.
    I do remember standing on the doorstep, in my dressing gown at about 3 in the morning, with my car keys in my hand ! And I realised this was the ‘fine line’ that some people cross.
    At that point, something clicked.
    Losing my daughter was not a choice I made.
    So now I make my own choices.
    Don’t want to do it ? Don’t.
    Want to do it ? Do it.
    Somebody else’s drama ? Not my circus, not my monkeys.
    I’m not saying I don’t have bad days anymore, but I deal with them differently.
    The only constant in my life ?
    Music, always music. ?❤️

  • Darlene Narducci says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am a very spiritual person and tend to always apply it to everything and especially music. All things work together for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. I can see how all those things you went through are being used in your purpose and calling. Your gift of song will help to bring others who have gone through this out of the darkness. For me that one was Jesus, in your song ‘ When I needed a friend you were there, you were the Joy in my life.” That was the Lord for me. I pray that your gifting heals many. Love ya oodles n Gobs.

  • Barbara Fergus says:

    I’m proud of you for having the courage to share your experience with us,Pete. I’m a very experienced catastrophiser and I’ve been low so many times. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. You and Tony are very dear to your fans. You bring us do much joy with your music. More power to you ?❤

    • Pete & Tony says:

      It definitely needs to be talked about. There’s no shame. Why do we accept that our bodies sometimes don’t work properly and hide the fact that our minds aren’t healthy?

  • Teriah says:

    Your awesome

  • Laine says:

    Such an inspiration and again honest and genuine to the core. Thankyou for being so honest and that shows what a strong person you are.
    You’ve touched so many peoples lives throughout you’re journey so far. Plus helped more than you’ll ever know.
    Finding you guys has helped me with my situation over the last few months. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a patron and watching you work you’re magic.
    Such an inspiration and I wish you all the success in the world.
    Looking forward to watching your journey ?❤️

    • Pete & Tony says:

      Thank you Laine with the wonderful name!

      Bless you! We feel so fortunate to have you and the rest of the patrons family supporting us. You have no idea how much this all means to me and tony xxx

  • JaroldDene Mae West says:

    You guys are great together

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