In early 2021 I went through a traumatic marriage break up. As a consequence of that I lost contact with my kids and almost all of the friends I thought I had.
A large part of my life just disappeared.
I felt a huge void and complete loneliness. Those that were still in my life, all seemed to be experts and they all wanted to tell me what I should do. They were well intentioned, but none of them said what I really wanted to hear. No one said, “how are you feeling? Would you like to talk?”
Also, I didn’t have the confidence or courage to initiate that conversation. The only time I could talk about my feelings was when I visited my psychologist. With his guidance I mustered up the courage to call TMT.
My call was answered by Ben. As soon as I started telling him what had transpired, I couldn’t control myself. I broke down sobbing.
Ben listened to me and said something comforting. I can’t remember exactly what he said but I remember feeling a sense of hope after I had spoken with him. Straight after the call, Ben sent me a text message, thanking me for having the courage to reach out and invited me to an Entrée.
That phone call to TMT was a major turning point in my life. I felt as though there was hope that I could start something new in my life that involved connecting with other men. Perhaps there were others that had similar experiences or even different experiences. Men that wanted to connect with me as much as I wanted to connect with them.
So, I registered to attend an online Entrée. I remember feeling excited as the Entrée approached. I thought, “finally I can tell my story and how I feel”.
The Entrée was hosted by David. There were about 10 men participating that night. When I started to share my story, I let it all out. I got on a roll and couldn’t stop. I remember thinking whilst I was talking “am I making a fool of myself? Do these people really care?”
Afterwards David thanked me for sharing and was supportive. I remember feeling a great sense of relief. Some of the other men on the call that night sent me messages of support through the chat. Those messages along with the relief I felt, assured me that I was on the right path.
I was then invited to join MT26. At first, I met up with 2 of the men for a drink and once again I told my story. Again, I was listened to with empathy. That felt so good. I instantly connected well with them. At my first Table meeting, I could feel the empathy from the men listening to me. That was very comforting. So, by the end of that meeting, I had told my story for the fourth time. And I’m sure I repeated myself a few more times in subsequent months. But every time I repeated my story, it felt like another layer of pain peeling off.
Sharing my story at my Men’s Table taught me to have the courage to open up with other people in my life. I was then able to strengthen the relationships with my siblings, which had been strained for many years. I was able to reach out and reconnect with friends that I hadn’t seen for decades. I became more confident in my dealings with people, I was more positive in my work and was starting to feel more positive in my life as a whole.
I had gone through a massive transformation. My problems were still the same, but I didn’t feel as miserable about them. I realised that stress and worry only creates more stress and worry. I learned that in life I will always have problems that I can’t control but what I can control is how I react to them.
The Men’s Table wasn’t all of my recovery, but it was certainly the start of my recovery and everything else flowed on from there.
Now MT26 is part of my life and I look forward to every meeting. Life will always have its ups and downs. Sharing them at my Table makes the highs are more exciting and the lows don’t seem so bad.
I have always been very grateful for the way The Men’s Table helped me recover. Thank you, Ben and David, thank you to MT26. Thank you to The Men’s Table.