Monday 17th July 2017 – It’s been a funny old weekend. I had a beer with friends on Friday evening. I had an amazing run in the park and then helped a friend who has been instrumental in helping me over the last year by erecting some garden decking. I’ve ridden my bike, tidied my garden and generally been active and outdoors. Slowly but surely my life is taking on a new rhythm and with it I’m getting fitter and stronger. That strength is both a physical and a mental strength and I can see that life continues on.

This afternoon I sat in the office with one of the people that works for me. We’ve both worked for the same company for years, spoken often but never really had a ‘meaningful’ conversation. This afternoon we shared everything. His story is incredible. His ex wife was an alcoholic and she used to beat him and blame him for everything when she was drinking. Numerous times she has tried to commit suicide by slashing her wrists, taking tablets and the kids, the poor kids! He shared everything, how he blamed himself, the worthlessness, the feelings of failure and how he has dragged himself through it all. It has been 7 years of hell for him and he is just coming out the other side.

The one thing that has got him through it is his sport. The running, the cycling the swimming. His job, on a daily basis is to deal with customer complaints. Not little ones but the really irate customers. How the hell he managed to keep his cool and not explode down the telephone I will never know.

I shared my feelings and to his credit he told me he had always looked up to me at work and for my sporting achievements. I felt humble. Here is a man who has gone through my hell on steroids and come out the other side. He has suffered the same self blame, the same self doubts and on top has had to deal with the horrific abuse of himself and watch the same of another.

This year I have truly become a man. I know I will never understand another until I have really got to know their story and allowed them to open their heart to me and I to them.

Life goes on and it isn’t about new cars, fancy clothes or our Facebook Status. Life goes on and it so much deeper than that. We are made who we are because of what we go through and as I reflect on all the things he said the most important thing was to start each day and make it count as if it was our last…………………………….


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