Who on earth are you?
I’m Bryony, and I’m an alcoholic. I’m also a journalist, author and mental health campaigner from London. Oh, and a mum. I started writing about my experiences with OCD and depression 12 years ago, in an act of desperation, to try and find other people like me. It changed my life, and now I try as much as possible to write on the things that make me feel bad about myself… in the hope it will make others feel good about themselves.
I have been a journalist at the Telegraph for 23 years, which makes me feel very old. I started on the trainee programme, became a feature writer, and am now a columnist and podcaster there. I have had seven books published, all but one non-fiction. Five of them were Sunday Times Bestsellers, two were NUMBER ONE Sunday Times Bestsellers, and I’m breaking into a sweat as I write this because even though I am 43 I *still* feel embarrassed when I write down my achievements. But, you know, needs must… So in that spirit: in 2017, I won the Mind Charity Making A Difference award for my work in changing the perception of mental health in the media. That year I also won a British Journalism Award for Campaign of the Year. In 2019, I won a Stylist Remarkable Woman award for my mental health campaigning, and in 2020 I was given the Journalist’s Charity Special Award for my writing about mental illness. In November 2023 I was awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for my work in mental health.
In 2016, I founded Mental Health Mates, a peer support group that exists all over the UK. I have interviewed numerous people about their mental health on my podcast Mad World, from royalty to politicians to president’s sons… to people just like you and me.
I also like to do crazy things to promote body positivity - I once ran a marathon in my underwear, to show that exercise is for ALL body types, and a year later I got 1,000 women to run through the streets of London in their bra and pants, as part of an amazing running initiative called Celebrate You. Last year I ran ten 10ks in ten days, and raised £10,000 for Mental Health Mates. I have another crazy challenge up my sleeve for next year. Because why not?
Each week, I will send out the Dazzle, a free email which features all the things that have been raising my spirits in the previous seven days. If you want to support my work and campaigning, you can opt to upgrade to a paid subscription, which will give you access to my protected community of joy, or become a Founding Member, which will give you access to exclusive annual meet ups.
Why ‘All is Well, My Darling’?
Because it was something someone very wise said to me in the early days of sobriety, and it makes me feel better. My hope is that this Substack will make you feel the same!