The So Called 'Mid-Life Crisis' - #mansprouts blog

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In this new series of blogs I want to explore male mental health and, in particular, the cliche that is the male 'mid-life crisis.'  

This ties in with my intention to write a book on the subject, so, in a way, these blogs are my way of chunking down the writing of that book into self-contained sections to get you to think, reflect and, hopefully, take some action to reclaim your own man sprouts.

Why 'reclaim your man sprouts'?  Well, I will elaborate ahead, but for now, the short answer is that I believe many of us struggle with our sense of place, purpose and identity as a man.  What does it mean for each of us as individual men?  The reclaiming of our own man sprouts is, I feel a critical part of life as we journey on through the various stages from childhood through to manhood.  Yes man sprouts is a euphemism, but it is also intended to represent that sense of male identity that resonates with each one of us.  Don't forget to check out my Man Sprouts Podcast to find out more and join me on the journey to explore a more positive sproutlook (ahem) on male mental health. Episode Zero in particular lays out more of the context for the show and these blogs.

So, I will share my writing over the coming weeks and months.  I do so, hoping to allow me to create the basis for the book, but also to allow you, the reader, to share your thoughts, questions, perspectives and feedback.  That will, I hope help me to shape the book and make it as relevant and meaningful to the intended audience - blokes and/ or those who care for a bloke who is struggling with their own 'mid-life crisis.'

The working, and possibly finished title for the book will be:

Reclaim your Man Sprouts

Your Guide to Positive Mid-Life Crisis Management

(I am copyrighting the title and phrase 'mid-life crisis management' as I feel it is a useful way to look at what has become a cliche, and to many a joke.  I do, however, take issue with the phrase in my writing, acknowledging it's value as a phrase, but also providing alternative perspectives and viewpoints.)

So, today, I will tease the next blog in which I will introduce why it matters to me and what I hope to get out of the process of writing the book, and, most importantly why I hope it will be of value to others...

Reclaim Your Man Sprouts - Introduction

It was 3.44am.  Again.  Why was it that I always seemed to wake and notice the clock at that time?  And it was just a stirring and then back off to sleep.  Like previous mornings, I found myself wide awake.  

And thinking the same thoughts.

I can’t do this anymore.  That familiar clamp like feeling down the left side of my face, ever present lately, felt so heavy I felt crushed.  

That was it.  Crushed.  Physically it was like my head was being ground into the dust between the jaws of a heavy iron vice.  And it represented how I felt inside too.  I say felt.  I kind of felt nothing in one sense.  Nothing other than an icy grip on my persona.  On who I was.  

As I lay there, I tried to think about that.  Who am I?  Did I ever know?  Where along the way have I lost me?

I looked at the clock again, and felt a sense of dread seeping past the vice like clamp of despair.  I would have to be up and away to work for five thirty to start my shift.  I closed my eyes again and prayed.  Please God, help me.  Give me a way out of this.  I don’t know what to do!  I can’t do this even one more day.

I lay in quiet desperation as the Pink Floyd song so brilliantly describes the ‘English way, in their song ‘Time.  Hoping for someone or something to show _me  _the way.

More in next week's blog...

Dave

PS - Don't forget to visit the man sprouts page to find the latest podcast episodes and to sign up to the man sprouts movement - intended to promote a positive sproutlook on male mental health.

Contact Dave to share feedback and questions, or learn more about his work in developing resilience and enhancing wellbeing. 

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If you need professional support and help...

As a word of advice for any one experiencing their own sense of desperation, loss or crisis, please, don't endure it alone.  Seek help.  From family, trusted friends and professionals.  Your own Doctor or GP is a great place to start.  Or there are great services provided by organisations such as the Samaritans.  For further advice on professional support and advice check out the NHS resources.  

This series of blogs is intended to encourage reflection on your own wellbeing and mental health.  It seeks to encourage you to speak up and get help where needed and take hope that you things can be better.  It is not intended as therapy or a replacement for professional help and advice.

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