When I started my first blog 30 something and breaking up, it was just to chronicle the breakdown of my marriage, to follow it’s painful path to its natural conclusion – separation and divorce. I didn’t care whether people were reading it. Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t want readers but the reason I wrote about it was mostly for myself… to get my thoughts and feelings out into the open – to speak to the universe I suppose.
But several other things happened. People were reading and commenting. Men in a similar situation to me (having been cheated on by their wife who then subsequently blamed them) were offering advice and making me realise that I wasn’t alone. Brothers in arms was a relief.
I started to realise my underlying mental health problems were a major issue that needed to be dealt with while I moved on and not afterward. I felt I was destined to be alone, that nobody else had ever wanted me and therefore nobody ever would. I’d had nasty experiences when much younger that made me feel that I was weird, creepy, boring. Who would ever choose short, fat and ugly over tall, dark and handsome? It didn’t matter that I was highly educated, ambitious, approachable, friendly, funny and have a good heart (these are words used by others to describe me). This was matter of fact – no woman in her right mind would ever choose me. The relationship therapist my ex wife and I used is also a qualified psychosexual counsellor so I arranged a series of one-on-one sessions with her to try to work through some of these problems. So that old blog soon became about mental health and as I got used to the idea that my marriage was over, reading through a lot of the posts became painful. It had also run its course, served its purpose. I now needed a new blog and a new title to take me forward into a new life.
Chin Up, Chest High! was born to chronicle my therapy, and at the time, the self-help book that had come highly recommended by mental health professionals in the NHS. It was to be a journey of self-discovery as I moved on in life, talking about divorce and eventually, dating as a divorcee. Since then it has become a mish-mash of dating, running, weight loss and mental health.
I feel another change coming on now. A lot of the web hits I get are clearly from men (based on the search terms) concerned about the same sort of issues I have had to deal with. I need to get back to those issues of mental health for myself and for anybody else who might be going through the same problems. It has become too much of a mosaic. Therefore:
- I will discuss men’s mental health issues far more – it is a tragedy when anybody feels they must suffer in silence and have nowhere to turn. However, suicide rates for men are far higher than women and the biggest cited mental health problem for men centres around sexual dysfunction
- I will still talk about dating but the tips and discussion will stop (things like “how not to write a profile”, “why coffee is the perfect first date”) and it will talk about social dysfunction, feelings of sexual inadequacy and human relationships more though expect persistent personal dating stories
- Weight loss and running might cease altogether. I am reaching my target weight and running regularly and don’t feel I have much to say about either subject any more. I run to keep fit and because I enjoy it – I no longer see it as a big part of this blog. However, I may focus on the scientific issues of exercise and mental well-being
- Though it will be primarily dedicated to men’s health it categorically will not – nor will I allow it to – become a warzone between “ultra feminists” and “MRA” (men’s rights activists). So I won’t use terms like “feminazis”, “mangina”, and no discussions of red pills, blue pills or “alphas” or “betas”. Leave the pseudopsychology at the door thank you.
Basically, it will centre far more on mental health so I hope those of you who came here because of running, because of weight loss, because of divorce, separation or dating do stick around for this tweaking of format. I value everybody’s input and will continue to do so!