26th November 2016 – The plan for today was to head to a friends who kindly offered a bed for the night (oh and yummy dinner) and has recently upgraded the boiler in his house and had a virtually brand new boiler going spare. The boiler at home is over 30 years old, a retro free standing boiler and in need of replacing so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to upgrade this without breaking the bank. It was a plan that ticked all the boxes for a weekend like this.

It was a plan which involved positive practical improvements, it was a plan that got me out of the house and it was a plan that filled several units of time where I could have been alone and feeling sorry for myself. First things first I raked up as many leaves from the garden as I could fit in the green bin and gathered together the rubbish from the garage. To make the most of the car journey I loaded the car up with the rubbish for the tip, which I offloaded on the way. I then headed for Central London.

I knew the traffic would be stop start on a Saturday but it was a good chance to catch up on some phone calls, so I wasn’t too bothered. The only problem was seeing all the trappings of Christmas and seeing all the people out ‘enjoying’ themselves. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I would love to be there with my wife and little boy. Watching him enjoy the magic of it all and all the excitement. But now all I want to do is hide. All I want to do is bury my head in the hope that it will all go away or I will wake up from this nightmare and the family will be back together. I’ve always enjoyed Christmas and the last few years have been magical with my little boy. It has always been the time where nearly everybody gets some down time and for me the emails truly dry up for a few days and I can start to relax. But I know this won’t be the case this year and I will resign myself to using up units of time in the best ways I can. I won’t be looking at Christmas through my own eyes this year and try as I might I will struggle to look at Christmas through the eyes of my son. I will go out of my way to be upbeat about things and make it special for my family but I know, already, this will be an act and any positivity will be superficial.

Once at my friends house I was instantly more relaxed. I got a really welcoming hug from his other half and as we wondered out in to the Central London ‘buzz’  to buy some food and do a bit of window shopping a bit of my old, playful self could be seen. This only lasted briefly and thankfully we head back inside to dig in for the evening fairly soon. The food was amazing. Steak, Sweet Potato and Greens with soft fruits and Yoghurt to follow. I am definitely getting so much better at eating healthily and today there was not even the temptation to wash it down with any wine or anything else. I am with friends of mine who are very in to their health and wellbeing with a tablet or powder for everything and the research to back up the theory in their head. But because they are eating healthily and are very chilled out I am instantly comfortable doing the same. There is a huge element of social norming here and I realize we are all heavily influenced by those around us. Dinner is washed down with some Peppermint Tea and some stimulating conversation.

I’m guessing some men turn to booze, nights out on the town or worse to try and numb the pain from this sort of situation. I know I am fortunate to have such a good support network but I can easily relate and see how easy it would be for me to go properly off the rails right now. As men, we aren’t supposed to have feelings or show emotion. But my life is filled with them at the moment. I do hope that this blog helps me to stay out of the darkness and find a way back to happiness. I am sure there are plenty of men out there who would benefit from the support of the people and experiences I’ve had over the last few months and wonder also what techniques and processes they have used to help themselves? I also wonder how long before the darkness will lift and if indeed it will be the same happy place I was living in before I became embroiled in accounting scandals at work and everything else.

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