The Heavy Mental Podcast

The End Of The Party with James Walker

Episode Summary

Our guest this week is James Walker — a stand-up comedian and amateur MMA fighter hailing from Newport, South Wales. In this episode, James talks about his mental health journey after university, and how he “kept the uni party going” for many years, even after it had stopped for many of those around him. James talks about how he played “a character” during this period; one that he inadvertently and subconsciously created as a sort of coping mechanism. He describes this person as “a hillbilly looking dude that would always drink beers…was always fun…and was always a really good time to be around”. But, after turning 30, James was at a crossroads in his life and had the sudden realisation, “I don’t know if I want to do this anymore”, so change in the right direction became a necessity. James began taking steps to rediscover who he was, and for him, this involved being punched in the face by cage fighters and standing up in front of crowds of people trying to make them laugh…he’s a braver man than me! He goes on to talk about eventually getting diagnosed with clinical depression and being prescribed medication that allowed his mental health to stabilise. In terms of themes here, there are a load: growing up, alcohol misuse, wearing masks, finding purpose and meaning, rediscovering yourself and editing your life. There’s a lot to learn from James’ story and we’re thankful that he spent the time to come hang out and chat to us. Rhys X