Welcome to The Men’s Table
The first Mens Table (MT1) began when 3 blokes over a coffee started talking about their struggles with the black dog.. namely depression. They realised that it didn’t come easily or naturally to reach out to others, and that they didn’t have a group of men they felt connected with to share how they felt. A call was put out and initially 15 men showed up for the next couple of months. They set their meeting date as 3rd Wednesday of the month. Within the first 6 months, 12 men committed to sticking around and growing old together. 11 of the original men are still at MT1, and another bloke joined them.
Mens Table 2 began when 2 friends connected to one of the MT1 recognised their need for more regular, and deeper connection with a group of guys. They were both expats, and despite having formed friendships in Australia, felt a lack of depth in most of their relationships with other men. Their initial meeting began with 7 men. They are now putting the word out to others to get their numbers up to 12
I was in bed with my partner asleep next to me. On my phone I was checking the train timetable to take me up to the Blue Mountains as I planned to jump off a cliff. I worked out the buses and the trains and I was ready to do it the next week.
Looking back now, thank God I didn’t. The old cliché is that everything passes, and it does! To get to that level of desperation, I had isolated myself from my mates, (the few close ones I had), my business was struggling and the finances were bad. I had gone past the point ofreason,“I can’t do it because I will hurt the people I love” to a point where the pain and turmoil was overwhelming.
When I look back through to being young, I think I have always suffered from depression. What I’m learning is it’s about managing it. I doubt if it will ever go away but I can learn the signs and I can learn what helps.
Talking helps. Talking helps because when I open up, I realise I am not alone. I recognise that other men go through the same thing. And I’ve found that if I talk, it opens the door for other men to feel comfortable talking. Then I start feeling like I can help them. And helping them gives me more reasons to stick around.
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