Tears of a clown...

I've posted before about my mental health and the breakdown of my marriage.. That was a few months ago and I've had a bit of a time out from Hive, mainly because I didn't have a load of content, and the fact that I've had to turn a shit tip of a house, into my home...

With that done, I've had a chill time... cos I deserved it lol.

I'e had this idea in my head for a long time - I've suffered with the head for a good number of years, but it's kinda manifested and come to a head with the break-up of my marriage.....

So, back in February, When the shit hit the fan I decided I NEEDED to do something to help myself because I was on a slippery slope..

I had already 'bailed' out of committing suicide a few months earlier (not many know about that). So I looked up for help...

I tried my doctor - 7 1/2 months down the line, I'm still fucking waiting for a call back from them... But Monday 13th Feb, I walked through the doors of a group called Andy's Man Club...

These coupled with some CBT Therapy have really helped me... and its a very very simple concept.. JUST TALK!!!!

The thing with men is that we just don't talk or speak about our feelings... this is probably one of the reasons me and the wife split.. I just used to clam up and stay quiet about stuff... or try to be the joker.. make people laugh while all the time you are hurting inside.

And this is where Andy's Man Club comes into its own.... It's a peer to peer support group.. Theres no therapy or counselling.. The guys there are just normal men that have also been through a tough time and use the group themselves to talk about stuff.... This gets others talking and it's far easier to open up to strangers than it is your own family at times... it's the fear of being judged..... at AMC there is no judgement.. cos we've all been there.

Every Monday evening we meet, there's 150 groups up and down the UK and an online offering.. 7-9pm and we have 5 questions each week.. The 1st 3 questions are the same each week, and then the last 2 change and are a bit more light hearted..

I remember the first week I went, I was in tears before I even got to the door.. I cried each time I spoke, but god it was a weight off my shoulders when I did talk...

But it's also as important to listen to the other guys... You realise you are not alone, and perversely sometimes you also think "thank god I'm not that bloke" cos sometimes we hear some real deep stuff... stuff that puts your own problems into insignificance.. It grounds and humbles you.

But don't think that its all gloom.... It's not!!! We have such a laugh as well, during the meetings and on our online chats... We also have plenty of social events going off to promote the club and get the message across that #ITSOKAYTOTALK

Since joining back in Feb, I became a facilitator in May and I'm now putting a lot of time into the group to get more men through the doors.. Because its good to pay it back.... And if I can get one man to get the same help that I've had, then its all been worth it.

Only 3 weeks ago, a man come in for the first time.... I was stood outside as I usually do... doing what others did for me.... helping me through the door for the first time - cos that's the scariest bit.!

The guy was visibly upset and was struggling to hold it together (just like I was - so I immediately related to him) I just put my hand on his shoulder and told him that he didn't need to hold it together... It is alright to cry and break down... nobody there would think anything of it...

With the numbers we had through the door that night, we had to run 2 groups and I was in the other group to this guy... But when I saw him at the end of the session, you could visibly see the relief in him and the weight off his shoulders... That night will stay with me til I die I reckon..

If you are in the UK, male and over 18, and think that AMC could help you.. why not try it out.. It's free, you don't need any referral - just rock up and take part.. You don't need to suffering with any mental issues, you may feel fine... It's just a good place to have a brew with men and put the world to rights...
find your local group here https://andysmanclub.co.uk/find-your-nearest-group/

No clowns were harmed in this shoot.

About me:
Big lad with 2 moons orbiting him.. Usually found sat in front of a laptop screen bloody editing. Takes photo's of People, Military aviation and sometimes products.

48 year old bloke - I have a penis.. Act's more like an immature 15 year old.. Cos I can.

Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/richardgaynorphotography
IG = https://www.instagram.com/richardgaynorphotography

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