Nick Livesey, 45


“The mountains speak to a part of me I don’t quite understand.”

I started suffering from anxiety and depression in my teens, discovered dope and started self-medicating. I became so paranoid that I wouldn’t answer the phone or the door. I felt that I didn’t have a place on Earth and didn’t know what to do about it. Then I knew things had to change.

When I found a copy of Wales by WA Poucher in my local library I was astonished. I thought, ‘Good God, look at this beauty,’ and became obsessed with mountain books.

My first trip was momentous. I persuaded two friends to come with me and that walk changed my life – there was a great deal of camaraderie. I found it challenging physically, mentally and emotionally, but knew I’d found a way out of my distress. I had felt incredibly disconnected so when I got to commune with nature on the hill it simplified everything.

It slowed it down and helped me to be present rather than wondering about the future or worrying about things I’d done. The mountains, especially the Rhinogydd in Snowdonia, speak to a part of me that I don’t quite understand. There’s genuine beauty out there, it’s healing and I’m very happy with life now.

Oli Reed