Self Image


Mind MattersI’ll be the first to admit, I’m a bit of an exhibitionist; whether it’s participating in #SinfulSunday, or sprawling bollock naked on a beach in the sun, I’m very much at ease. I’m fortunate that I’ve never really had what you might call body issues.

I’m no Adonis, by any means; I’m a 47 year old, slightly balding, more than slightly greying, former rugby player who enjoyed the social side of his sport (rugby was strictly amateur in my playing days) probably even more than the sporting side, and one who, when forced into retirement through injury, promptly exchanged his 6-pack for a keg.

That’s not to say there aren’t bits of me I wouldn’t change. I never did make it to 6′ (I’m, 5’9½ – and ask any guy, that ½” makes all the difference, and not just when it comes to height), I could probably do with shedding a few pounds (I’m about 196lbs – the UK version). And, since I’m a bloke, and I’m being honest, I wouldn’t complain if my cock was a little bit longer, but I digress. The fact is, I get lots of lovely, appreciative feedback on my #SinfulSunday offerings; from the male participants as well as the female, and it positively reinforces my feelings about that aspect of myself. The #SinfulSunday community is, without doubt, the most supportive and enabling bunch of people I have ever had the good fortune to encounter (and, in some case, meet).

But physical body image is only part of the story. No discussion on self-image is complete without pausing on a person’s mental reflection of themselves. That’s where things take a massive downhill plunge for me.

If you follow me on Twitter, then you you will probably know me as someone who is (I hope) witty, smutty, flirty and generally friendly. Someone who is fiercely protective and loyal to his friends. Someone who has a dry, wry, sardonic and frequently self-deprecating sense of humour. I am also someone prone to bouts of black depression.

In real life, I have battled depression for nearly 30 years. My exhibitionist streak aside, I am not overly blessed with self-confidence, I am socially awkward, I am, believe it or not, painfully, almost delbilitatingly shy around strangers and I am often given to prolonged periods of self-loathing. In work, and indeed out of it, I have developed a mask of easy-going, self confidence and competence that is completely at odds with how I view myself. I am constantly waiting to be found out. Pretty much every day is a struggle; first to get out of bed, then to leave the house, then to make it into work. I come home at the end of the day exhausted from the effort of keeping the mask in place.

Inevitably, sometimes the mask slips. This, naturally, only makes me feel worse. It makes me feel a kind of nakedness that I never feel simply from not having any clothes on.

And yet, I am completely open about my illness. I believe it’s only fair that family, friends and colleagues should know so that they can identify the signs (even sometimes when I’m ignoring them) and take account. I don’t want people make special allowances for my illness, that would only make me feel worse, and I never hide behind it, but I do believe that it’s better to be open about it. Nobody likes being the elephant in the room after all (unless that’s a complimentary comment directed at the size of my cock).

ZeN

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10 thoughts on “Self Image

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  1. Thanks for this, I’ve depression for what seems like forever and just when I think I’m getting a handle on it, up it pops again. One of the reasons I wanted to start a blog was because I love how supportive everyone is. No judgement and none of the nastiness that seems so prevalent everywhere these days. I’m shy, I have body and image issues and I’m determined to share pictures of myself just because I can. And I know that I can talk about things and not be judged or criticised.

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  2. This was a beautifully honest post. You are so sexy and flirty on Twitter, when you share a dark moment, it’s shocking at first but then lovely. Because you’re showing us your true self, which is a beautiful, nuanced, lovely thing. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful and honest post, giving us a peek behind your mask. It just goes to show that we never know everything about people around us. Not all is what it seems or looks like on the surface. Thank you for sharing this!

    Rebel xox

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a brave share. I think so often we really do have a very different view of ourselves than the one we present to the world, and it definitely gets hard to keep the mask on sometimes. Thank you for courageously sharing all sides of you here, and beautifully. XX-J

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  5. Seriously, your 3rd to last paragraph…I could have written that for myself. I think a lot of us “writerly” types have similar issues. I know it’s a stereotype, and definitely a generalization…but I think it’s terribly common. I get it. I sympathize. And I’m glad you wrote this. The more of us that write openly and honestly about it, the better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think this is a brave and beautiful post. It is lovely to find out more about you, good and not so good. I love the analogy of the mask, it resonates with me. Thank you for writing and sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

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