Ex/serving Soldiers

This is a man's world

Every day men have 'big deals' to contend with.  Be it work, family, relationship, finances, confidence or whatever the situation is that contributes to us being unhappy, stressed, unmotivated and frankly feeling shit about ourselves.  We men struggle with multiple situations and responsibilities either put on us, or a lot the time, that we put on ourselves.

This can't be right?

I served in the military, in stressful and hostile situations at a young age, but it never came close to stress I would later experience as a business owner, father, husband.
The pressure of maintaining composure in high risk situations, without it effecting our family or loved one's is incredibly tough.  We don't want to show any signs of weakness in front of colleagues, friends or family, but I'm familiar with the build up of pressure.  It builds and it builds, until it finally breaks us.   I've been there.  I been through a divorce and left my then 3 year old child.  I've fallen out with 'friends'/business partners (which was like another two divorces).   I've been 3 weeks away from bankruptcy.  At one point I was sleeping rough; and I lived on separate continents, 7000miles apart from my now girlfriend, the only person that understood me.

Home for a couple of months

In my early 30's I'd be considered a fit-healthy young man with everything going for me.  I drove a nice car, had a growing business, a beautiful baby boy and a loving wife.  But alone I was going mad. I've been in tears in my car in the before going into the house, because I hated going to my home life. To make up for the unhappiness, I'd drink to a state of unconsciouness. I was unfaithful.  I without any reason, resented my baby.  I fell out with friends and distanced myself from family.

I've was affected physically with angina, experienced blackouts and panic attacks, on the floor of my office. At my lowest point, when I felt so alone, I was on the bridge, looking down on the drop below, considering suicide.  I wouldn't ever give up. I would never seek professional help. I would never admit I had 'depression', (as I didn't and still won't, believe in it).  "What the fuck was going on?  I've been in three war zones for fuck sake!"

Top left: with mates/biz partners. Top right: Rudy Blu Snowden. Bottom left: The businessman.  Bottom right: Afghanistan 2005

In my experience

I've worked with and spoke confidentially with, so many men that have encountered similar situations.   The 3 Ds (Down, Desperate and Defeated) effects lots of good men (and I'm actually experiencing it with younger and younger men too), that feel lost and alone with no way out. They've resorted to drugs, violence, drinking, eating shite, cheating on their partner, all in an attempt to escape.
  • Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than women
  • In 2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male
  • In the UK the average age of suicide amongst men is 45-49 
  • Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent
  • Men are more likely to use (and die from) illegal drugs
  • Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women
  • 87% of rough sleepers are men
  • Men have measurably lower access to the social support of friends, relatives and community 34% would be embarrassed or ashamed to take time off work for mental health concern such as anxiety or depression compared to 13% for a physical injury. (Amongst men with mental health concerns, 46% are embarrassed or ashamed.)
  • 38% of men are concerned that their employer would think badly of them if they took time off work for a mental health concern – compared to 26% for a physical injury. 
What's the point of these stats?  Well, to prove you are not alone guys.  There are lots of other men out there, that are like you, in pain and that are searching for help and some way out.  It shouldn't have to come to you doing something you'll regret in the morning, or more importantly, a loss of life.  

I was very fortunate I had exercise, but it wasn't enough for me.  Pushing my heart so hard whilst training, I hoped it would stop.  I read and remained intellectual, in some way hoping for an answer but found none I wanted to hear.  I invested in coaching (which frankly turned into pathetic-moany, pity party and the coach wasn't for me), but still I couldn't escape my own head.

With great help from a friend and mentor, as well as my girlfriend, I took a sabbatical from the business, to chill out and 'find myself' in Singapore.  I cleared so much junk from my head and moved on to the next chapter, surrounded by exciting opportunities.

What can you do now?

You want to do well for yourself and for your family.  But, with all the madness going on in your life right now, you feel that you're not making progress-like swimming against the tide.  You read and learn to keep yourself intellectual.  You're constantly driving yourself,  business or team forwards, but you feel like no one understands you.  It's frustrating right?  You work so hard, conform to the 'norm' (what is the 'norm' anyway?  Who came up with that reality?), but there's something deep in you, that doesn't feel right.  'Norm' doesn't suit you, it hasn't for a long time.  You probably feel it to the bone and in your gut, what you want to achieve in the long run, you're just having a hard time working out what to do right now.  Is it driving you mad?  Do you feel like your head's a blender?  Do you want to talk to someone, but can't?

You need a mate-a mate that you can trust.  A male, that listens to you get shit off your chest.  A mate that wants to help, but doesn't need to be involved.  A mate that you don't have to feel embarrassed, ashamed, judged or hesitant to talk too.

I want to help men feel better about themselves, it's as simple as that.  Whether it be to rant and get shit off your chest.  Train and eat better.  Set goals and make positive changes in their life, I want to be that mate to battle the challenges with you, to help you achieve those 'wants'.

To start with, it will be a bit of a 'pity party', that's cool, it's good to talk it out.  But it's no good keeping the party going and that's where I step in.  I'll work with you to progress yourself.  I hold you accountable, until you take ownership and I'll chase you for your commitments.  It's not a bollocking and it's not counselling, it's empowerment.  Like I say,  I work with men to get them out of the shit, not to sink in it.

Procrastination and decision making is a mother fucker and can cripple you, I've been there.  I can only say, with hand on heart, once you make the decision and then commit, things get a whole lot better.  Sights become more beautiful.  Love becomes stronger. Tastes and sounds become satisfying.  Exercise becomes fun and work turns into a game and you'll most importantly, be Happy.

I look forward to speaking with you, once you've made that decision to stop sinking.  Just fill out the 'contact form' in the top right, or contact me directly via email: phil@thefatlossandperformancecoach.com.

Keep it real men.

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