Affording an honest and positive voice amid the persistent presence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Clockwork Junkie podcast continues to gain in popularity, listener numbers steadily increasing as the topical series approaches 100 episodes.
Central to the Clockwork Junkie podcast is host, Athlone native, Mark McCormack, who, during the imposition of the inaugural Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, sought to create a social media environment in which topical issues such as mental health could be discussed in a conversational and relaxed manner.
The inaugural Clockwork Junkie podcast was aired on June 18 2020 and with bi-weekly episodes now a regular occurrence, Mark will host the milestone media social media occasion on April 28.
Immensely proud of the podcast journey travelled to date, Mark recalls the recording of his first Clockwork Junkie episode and detailed his own personal experience with mental health issues.
“When Covid-19 impacted in March 2020 I was one of many to lose my job. Although initially disappointed, the loss of employment was a source of opportunity in one regard as it allowed me time to cultivate the idea of starting a podcast which would broach personal issues such as mental health.
“I have suffered from mental health issues and I make no issue in making this public knowledge. There are many means to describe the detrimental impact of mental health but from a personal perspective, I just was not completely happy with my lot in life.
“As I describe it at times on various podcasts, suffering from mental health issues was like ‘death by 1,000 cuts’. I could not pinpoint one particular reason as to why I was suffering in this regard but I never achieve job satisfaction and believe that this had a role to play in affecting my mental health status,” Mark stated.
Referencing his professional career, Mark noted that any job for which he was employed did not afford longevity attraction and he soon became bored after a number of months before seeking an alternative role.
“This soon began to impact me on a daily basis to the point where black clouds were continuously hovering and I just could not physically move outside the house,” Mark remarked.
To combat such feelings, Mark initiated the Clockwork Junkie podcast and immediately felt a sense of comfort within his new self-employment environment.
“That first episode entitled ‘Life is Hard’ was recorded into my iPhone and was a mere 26 minutes in length but it gave me the confidence to proceed. While I was affording the listeners my thoughts on certain issues, I believed that the podcast needed more input and so I started to seek interviewees who have positively impacted the quality of the production,” Mark commented.
Renowned Irish comedienne Alison Spittle was a recent guest of the podcast as she detailed her life and career to date. Longford native, Lynsey Bennett, has also guested, narrating her cancer story following an initial misdiagnosis, while broadcaster and author, Meghan Scully, discussed the topic of grief with Mark during episode 93 of Clockwork Junkie.
“I always want to keep the listener engaged on all the important issues we address on the podcast. This is my core belief - to engage on a personal level in a conversational flow for the duration of each episode.
“Such issues must be addressed and there is no shame to sit behind a microphone with an interviewee and speak of personal situations and the manner in which they have been impacted by the many tribulations of life,” Mark continued.
Hoping to hone a professional podcast career from his weekly endeavours, Mark has received numerous messages of appreciation and gratitude since his dulcet tones first graced social media channels.
“Thankfully, the podcast appears to be gaining popularity with each episode and the positive feedback boosts confidence as I look to the future. I wish to maintain a consistent podcast presence.
“Currently, I am recording and editing all episodes from a room in my home in College Park and with a recent decision to start broadcasting Clockwork Junkie episodes on YouTube I am hopeful that such a development may lead to increased viewing traction and potential advertising sponsorship to enable evolve my dream role,” Mark concluded.
To those who wish to support Mark in his enlightening and informative podcast content endeavours, his PayPal donation account is paypal.me/clockworkjunkie