Now then! Matt, here, 36 year old ‘bloke’ – now, I’m not the the blokeist of blokes, but I’m sure surrounded on a daily basis of proper ‘geezers’ I’ve worked on building sites and generally male-dominated areas since leaving college. I love me some football and, in my younger years, liked to think I was a midfielder general of sorts.
I’m 6 ft and as wide as a door. I’ve never been afraid of walking around so-called 'dodgy' areas and pubs. I’ve been round the block a few times in my life and love a good old session in the pub. I've never been in fight, but sure has hell been close. I do the old 'act-hard' trick very well so it soon calms down. What I’m trying to say is that, from the outside, I could be classed as a blokey bloke and do you know what compounds that more? It's that I didn’t talk about them things us blokes like to think we aint got….feelings. Yeah, that's right... I said it - I’ve got feelings! Ewww!
Now, last year keeping these feelings bottled up nearly ended my life! What are we actually saying, when you’d rather kill yourself rather than tell those nearest and dearest to you that you’re struggling with this wonderful thing called life. WTF? Just because I’m a bloke and this isn’t meant to be happening to me? Fuck that!
This paragraph might get a bit tricky to read for some, but with my new found abilities of talking about anything and everything I’m gonna write it anyways. I aint afraid of death or dying, it comes to us all sooner or later.
What I am afraid of is the fact the mind in its own wonderful way will tell you it’s the only way out. Whilst, at the same time, it's telling you not to tell anybody because hey, you’re a bloke and that’s not what blokes do. Do that blokey thing, keep it bottled up until it becomes too much or, in worst case scenarios, too late!
Now, I’m not saying you have to walk around telling everyone you see what’s going on in that head of yours, but if someone asks “how you doing, dude” and it's shit, just say “shit”.
Believe me when I say, the instant, albeit maybe a tinniest of bits, relief you’ll feel instead of lying and say “all is good, cheers dude” then going back to your shitty thoughts is amazing. With one little word “shit” you’re opening yourself to your mate who may be worried about you and let it progress from there.
It’s taken me some time to be able to do this and it certainly won’t happen overnight. Yes I still keep it bottled up at times, but I now have a select few I go to when the intrusive thoughts start.
As soon as you start talking, you start feeling those feelings lift. You start seeing hope again. You start seeing clearly again. In the midst of an ‘attack’, nothing is clear, everything is dark and grey.
I've even become a sorta Dr. Phil to my group of friends and it's fucking fantastic. I’m not professional, but I’ll sit, listen and reply the best I can. You may even notice it brings you closer to others who are friends of friends or just that guy you play footy with once a week.
I’m sold. I’m all in. It's 100% #BetterToShare. Yes, I’m sure I’ll have my blips, but that’s something I'm working on. Hi, I’m Matt, I’ve got feelings and I’ll talk about them.
Peace and love x (that’s right, a kiss)
The kiss might be a little presumptuous (we'll forgive him for that), but the rest of Matt's words are absolutely spot on. It's not just to Matt's own friends that he can be a shoulder to lean on or an ear to bend. That same wonderful blokey-bloke also hosts our very own #SpeakEasy group for the men of Grimsby. If you want to go along and spend an hour talking things over with like-minded men, then you'll need the details which you can find by clicking right here.