Alex Rothwell

Feeling Funny – November / December 2015

FFpicture“I’m Alex and I’m from Gloucestershire, but moved to Liverpool 5 years ago as a student and stayed here once I finished my degree to avoid facing the realities of grown up life and so I could keep using my student card to get a free cheeseburger with every McDonald’s meal.

 I went to a talk a while back at the Uni of Liverpool about mental health in men which got me thinking about whether I could be doing more to help myself, I then received an email about the comedy course and thought I’d give it a go! I’d never done anything like it before in my life which was probably painfully obvious to those who were present but I was surprised by what I got out of it.

 I had no preconceptions about the course but found the thing which I enjoyed most was just being around people every week who obviously understood why everyone else was there and to some extent what they were going/ had been through, but without it ever needing to be said. While we were all aware we could speak about mental health issues it was never forced upon us or made a requirement of the course, which was a really important point for me. To be honest, I found that just being around understanding people in a positive environment was a cathartic (or suitable synonym which Dan deems acceptable) experience in itself, it made me realise I wasn’t alone.

 The course has given me an experience I never thought I would have in my life which I’m really grateful for, but it’s also given me a strong platform to think more clearly about my own mental health in a way I don’t think I could have done by myself. Being in such a positive environment and around people who understand the issues made me look at things differently. Mental illness, as with any other illness, shouldn’t be something that defines us and considering the subject in a really positive environment changed my outlook on things.

 I’d thoroughly recommend the course to anyone! I’d never considered stand up comedy before in my life and I expect I’ll never do it ever again (unless The Apollo finally reply to my email), but I had a great time and met some great people. If you’re considering it; just go for it, you never now what you might get out of it.”

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