I am a male in my 40s, living in England, divorced. I go by the name of “Frank Speaking” but obviously that is not my real name. I’ve had a lifetime of low self-esteem, low self-worth and other low-level mental health issues – I feel I had bouts of depression as a child but this was undiagnosed because my father chose to perceive it as “self pity”. In part, this fuelled the chronic low self-esteem that characterised my life until my marriage broke down in 2011 and brought everything to a head.
I had contemplated suicide on more than one occasion and in September 2012 I came within a hair’s breadth of ending it all. Ever on watch against The Crash and mindful that I may one day again need anti-depressants, it is an ongoing battle not to let my negative thought patterns get the better of me to the point where it stops me in the course of my life. I accept negative thoughts is a normal part of being human, there is nothing wrong with that but mine have stopped me doing things in the past and I now have the tools to fight against my most common negative thoughts when they do get out of hand. I expect to have bad days but will they ever be as bad again? This is part of the journey.
Some details will be altered to protect the guilty.
About this blog
My first blog – 30 something and breaking up – closed in April 2012. It chronicled the breakdown of my marriage but on that journey I went through a period of depression fuelled by not just low self-esteem but body dysmorphic disorder, sexual inadequacy and feeling unworthy of relationships. These things resurfaced and so began the process of dealing with some lifelong experiences that I thought were buried – it was the first step on the journey to recovery and rediscovering myself.
I started Chin Up, Chest High! to chronicle my recovery, self-discovery, divorce, dating and eventually finding love again (I have been in a relationship since December 2013). I changed the name to In the Mind of Men as I took a greater interest in male mental health issues generally, particularly as they pertained to my own life experiences. This is a place for men to come and talk about their mental health, to share their experiences. It is also a place for women to come to understand what goes on In the Mind of Men.
I do not tolerate man-bashing or woman-bashing. I am not an MRA but neither am I a male feminist. I have criticised both MRAs and feminists on this site and will continue to do so rationally and fairly. I am part of what I see as a rational middle (what The Amazing Atheist calls A “Universal Human Self Determinist”) trying to have intelligent conversations on gender issues, primarily from a male mental health perspective, without the mudslinging and one-upmanship of “my gender suffers worse”. No belief system will be ring-fenced here.
With that in mind, feminists may consider my site a “male safe space”. If you don’t think there is a need for such a place, then my blog is not for you. If you think your opinion should trump everybody else’s, then my blog is not for you. If you think that men do not suffer difficulty in life, then my blog is not for you.
With that in mind, welcome and happy reading!