Blokes don’t like admitting that do they? I was certainly raised with the maxim ‘big boys don’t cry’, reinforced during my time in the forces and police service with that ‘grin and bear it’ mentality. On reflection it served me well, I masked my emotions and got on with whatever was thrown at me.
It wasn’t until many years later after a couple of significant life events I sought help in the form of Rachael, a phenomenal individual and counsellor. During our sessions and whilst discussing personal matters, she would regularly ask me, “How did you feel about that”? All too often I would reply, “OK”, “It didn’t trouble me too much”, or similar. I had to be reminded that I was being asked about how I ‘felt’, she was of course referring to emotions, such as being happy, sad, angry, bored etc. I’m reliably informed there are 25 of them!
Now maybe you can see why the strapline on the book says ‘one man’s story of emotional enlightment’. Because for years I wasn’t in touch with very many of my emotions at all. It wasn’t the done thing in the forces or the police.
I last saw Rachael in 2010 but occasionally checked in with her via messages on social media. I haven’t done so for a while, so thought it would be a nice gesture to send her a copy of my book with a few words in it.
Today I received an email from her, which appears in italics below, I’ve removed parts of it, as it is unfair of me to leave anything else in the message that would identify her.
I’m not ashamed to say that I read her response and cried. A lovely, warm person clearly suffering and unable to do what she loves to do, help people. It reminded me to be grateful for my own health, and to live every day as if it is your last, it’s all too easy to forget that.
Not only that though, a realisation that the written word is so powerful. I hope ‘Mastering the Wolf’ will be able to bring some joy to Rachael at a very difficult time in her own life, because she was there for me when I needed support.
It’s important to be in touch with your emotions and for the blokes reading this, it’s normal, embrace it.
Good evening Colin,
I am in the middle of hospital treatment at the moment (and have been unable to work for, what will be two years in May – it is a huge challenge and I’m very sad that I’m unable to work, but won’t do it half-heartedly).
I tell you all this, because it is background to the arrival of your wonderful book! Yesterday I got back from hospital and was resting when I had an amazing surprise drop through the letterbox.
I tend to rest a lot at the moment to give my body time to heal, so I can’t tell you what a huge uplifting experience it was to receive your book.
I was SO moved by your gesture and kindness. It was an honour to work with you, and you also had a big impact on me. I feel very humbled to be mentioned in your book.
My response was to have a huge cry! This was a grieving of all sorts and coupled with huge joy and admiration for you. Thank you (these words are not enough). What a huge journey you’ve been on and what an incredible person it takes to take responsibility and keep moving forwards as you did.
So far I’ve “dabbled”, but I will be reading properly. Your writing style is so connecting. I’m so delighted for you and in awe of your openness, courage, determination and tremendous spirit.
Thank you so much. This is one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received.
Sending you very warm wishes and huge gratitude.