Posted in Mental Health

Things I’ve learnt – Reflections on my 2012

I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the last 12 months. There have been some harsh lessons and some surprising revelations in “the year of me”. Here then, are my 12 for 2012:

12 things about myself

– I have had periods of depression throughout my life
– Things in the distant past still affect me
– When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up – this in essence is why I did not jump
– I am stronger than I think I am
– Self-esteem is easy to break and difficult to repair
– A small success can go a long way in raising my mental state
– Running is a great way to work off anxiety and frustration
– I’m still struggling with trust
– I constantly need goals to work toward
– Feeling that I cannot cope – and a determination to prove myself wrong – is not a healthy way to drive my life successes
– Treating and rewarding myself – no matter how small – is vital to my mental well-being
– I needed to get out of that house and should have done it sooner

12 things about other people

– True friends will always understand and stick by you through thick and thin
– Sometimes people get it horrifically wrong
– My family do not get me. I should stop trying to get them to understand and accept that they never will
– My ex-wife is still the only person who ever understood me 100%
– Most people do not understand why and how an ex husband and wife can develop strong friendship after separation/divorce
– Subscribers to this blog offer valuable new perspectives
– Needy people are incredibly manipulative
– Needy people are, effectively, bullies
– I prefer people who are straight with me. A harsh truth is always better than a comforting lie
– If people do not want to make time for me, that is their problem and not mine
– People you think you know will always surprise you in good ways
– People you think you know will always surprise you in bad ways

12 things I learnt about dating

– I can get dates
– The average man sends one message every day he is signed up to a dating site and will get approximately one response for every 20 messages he sends
– Going on a date isn’t that scary
– Have no expectations and you can’t be disappointed
– Even the most confident, attractive and successful women get nervous before a date
– The three most important things to me are: an intellectual match, a sense of humour and passion for something. If a woman has all three of those things I won’t care what she looks like
– I prefer an educated woman with a clear idea of who she is and what she wants
– I really like redheads (fully over 50% of the women I’ve approached on POF and OKC have had red hair)
– I have a clear idea of the sort of person I don’t want to be with
– I’m still drawn to complicated women
– You need to be pragmatic, realistic and know what you are looking for to make it work for you
– I’m not interested in anyone under 30 or anyone over 40 – going by the age range of the approaches I have already made

And 2013? I intend this to be “The year I go from strength to strength”. I’m expecting bad times. I’m expecting to hit rough patches and at worst I’m expecting to be on and off anti-depressants. But so long as I am demonstrating an upward trend, this will be acceptable and maybe even welcomed.

13 goals and hopes for 2013:

– To reach a healthy weight
– Maintain it all year
– Participate in at least two 10k runs
– Be in a relationship – but it must be with a person who is right for me
– Don’t waste my time on people who are not willing to put the effort in
– Identify when bad patches are about to hit / have arrived and act on them accordingly
– Stand up to people more often – that includes family, friends and colleagues instead of being the peacemaker
– Realise that “fortune favours the brave”
– Re-gain the trust I have in people
– Continue making new friends
– Take up new interests or resume an interest I let fall by the wayside
– Visit some new places
– A new job

Happy New Year everyone!



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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