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Self-Serving But With A Genuine Message To Close

Here is the post I had hoped to run with last night, but was probably best left for a day, as things turn out. It is a bit me, me, me for a while I’m afraid, but it’s an international break so there isn’t much fresh football news to discuss, and eventually it reaches a point I hope will resonate with many of you.

By now most of you will know I have not been at my best of late and it is beholden on me me first and foremost to thank so, so very many of you for your good wishes and uplifting messages which have kept me out of dark places while with your great help I have been dealing with things. That seems particularly fitting on World Mental Health Day. If you know anyone who shows signs of suffering as such be available to talk to them.

Today I have taken a phone call that has changed entirely my perception of where the investigations I have undergone were I thought leading me. However I am a very lucky individual. The diagnosis I expected required that I change my diet and give up alcohol which I did a fortnight ago. By complete good fortune the actual diagnosis requires exactly the same, so I have a head start on the future.

Which leads me in a roundabout way to the world of social media. Stick with me, I think it will be worth it. It will be evident to my followers that my time on Twitter (I really was a rare dipper-in to Facebook anyway) has been massively reduced. The reasons are many and varied. First and foremost I am not suffering fools gladly right now and for all that I have handpicked who I follow, so many lovely people, I do get utter lamebrains retweeted onto my timeline.

I don’t blame those who do this. Some of the nonsense on there is incredulous and I understand astonished folk sharing what they find unbelievable. I also tend to get dragged into political stuff that I try to ignore but cannot if utter tripes being tweeted. I get and respect we have different views of the world, possibly better than most as a once one nation Tory who believed in a property owning democracy now utterly appalled by the far right rabble who have assumed power and are so busy abusing it. I digress.

In the early hours of the morning i try to catch up with who is saying what in case it provides a talking point for the blog, footballistically as it were. I see people who share my new hours and wonder what they are going through. On the odd occasion I’ll drop a friend a line to check all is ok, for this is where social media can do great good. So we reach a segway.

Last season when Crystal Palace came to The Arsenal they followed up on a walk they had already made to an away match. At Fulham as it happens. The organiser, Paul, a friendly, energetic young soul wanted to know if I would help to promote the walk and possibly get Arsenal supporters to join their Palace counterparts along the way. The cause was not fund-raising as such, but to raise awareness of mental health issues in  young men who tend to bottle things, and often end up paying the ultimate price.

Not only was I happy to help, but I also expressed a desire to join at least a part of the walk and shake his hand. Even then, although I didn’t have a clue why, that proved beyond me. “I’ll join you next season” I said, if it is run again. Little did I know what lay ahead at that point.

It is happening again, and this time Paul has acquired the backing of the Samaritans and CALM, thoroughly deserved endorsements. You’ll see a graphic below which sums the event up better than ever I could. I will add but this. Indeed a number of ours did join last years event, making for a better atmosphere, new friendships, and a different and thoroughly enjoyable pre-match experience.

Perhaps it is something you might consider? (Apologies, I am unable to shrink the graphic to fit the page size but check out @HC15OnTour on Twitter for the whole image. Thank you.)

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