Welcome Sir or Madam
Let me introduce myself - I am Benjamin Chappell the Chairman of the Golden Knights Whisky Club. Who are we? We are a Whisky club but with a big difference.
I believe back in the day, Gentlemen talked more about life, business and their personal problems because they had somewhere to go, relax, slow life down and take a break from all their worries and problems for awhile with a good drink and maybe a smoke.
Why did I want to set up a Whisky club and why team up with CALM?
So, the club. I have always loved Whisky and having a pipe now and then helps to slow down time in this crazy modern life we live in and helps a man think.
“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” - Albert Einstein.
Now, I know Whisky is sometimes a drink that is associated with depression and alcoholics but this should not be the case. Whisky is a very elite drink, from how's it is made to how its presented, the story behind every bottle and how great Legends are associated with it. The likes of, Mark Twain, Sir Winston Churchill and the famous Frank Sinatra!
As a club we believe, if more men could sit around a table, discuss life problems, help each other out, be there, be equal and not judge maybe there wouldn’t be so much depression.
I Benjamin Chappell feel very strongly about this and I quote "I want gentlemen to not only feel good about themselves but to appreciate life. How a man feels when he walks out of a Barbershop is the same experience I want for my club members and I have told CALM not only will my club members enjoy fine Whisky but we will also support The Campaign Against Living Miserably."
To my members and others this is my story:
Now this is not easy, a man talking about his feelings but I am telling you now, it's a good thing.
It all began on a train journey home - the journey that changed my life!
Sit back, pour yourself your favourite drink and read on:
I'm in Cardiff, Wales and was not feeling myself. I had so much going on in mind. Unfortunately I have a young family member who is very unwell. A woman I loved with my whole heart had recently left me and to be honest I felt like no one really understands me or could see how broken I was.
I ended up having a big argument with some family members. I know I was in the wrong but depression makes you act in a way that's not your true self and all I kept getting was how horrible and how disrepectful I was and let me tell you, when you're that depressed and broken you don't need that. What you do need is someone to say, come on this is not you, you are amazing, it's just that depression is winning at the moment but you will be alright and I will be here. We are in this storm together.
Over the years I have learnt to leave a situation when you're not feeling yourself and that's what I did that day.
So I get into in a taxi the driver says "where to Sir?" I said "just get me home" He is driving me now to the train station and asks "what's the matter Sir you seem upset" I start telling him my story and the tears start to fall. He goes "you are a Lion who has stepped on a thorn but is still a Lion" that made me smile and then we get to the station. I paid and said "thank you, you have made me feel a little better. He said "you will be alright my friend and stay strong. I shook his hand and went on my way.
Now I have my ticket home sitting on a bench waiting for my train. I just remember being so lost, crying so much and thinking to myself what's the point I just want to stop my life for awhile just so I can not feel anything. No pain, No emotions, No heartake and people don't care.
A Gentleman comes up to me sits down next to me, put his arm round me and says, "you ok mate, no you're not are you" he didn't say much and I remember him giving me his lunch, sticking by my side and made sure I got on the right train home. .
I am now on my train journey home and the same thing happens. I have my head in my hands and crying so much. I remember saying to myself "come on Ben this is ridiculous now, you know crying is not what men do, it's time to man up!" But I will tell you, I have never felt this broken before or this upset and there was nothing I could do to hold in my emotions.
Now I met two different women on my way home and both just like the Gentleman at the station, showed me support and gave me the comfort I needed and I will never forget these words that they said to me "it's fine for a man to cry and if more men showed their emotions maybe they wouldnt't do silly things" We chatted nearly all the way to my final destination and now we are all really good friends and chat daily.
I have many friends and a beautiful dog who stuck by me through the good times and the bad ones.
Now with the help of others I am building a club that will not only change the way men enjoy whisky but will also help other men who are going through hard times and need a place to chill and TALK
One last thing I would like to say, music is very poweful and can change the way you act and feel. So my friend try this, if you are feeling a little low. I would recommend listening to the Legend Frank Sinatra. He was a Gentlemen who went through really hard times and even to this day is a Legend and honestly helped me build this club to what it is..
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all, all so amusing" - Frank Sinatra
I am no professional and if you need help and support please contact CALM, details are below. If you would like to contact me personally to have a chat and talk about life or Whisky, here is my email my friend.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. Our goal is a life less miserable for you, your friends, your family and for all men.CALM PROVIDES>A free and anonymous helpline 0800 585858 and webchat (5pm-12am daily) staffed by trained professionals>Bereavement support >A website www.theCALMzone.net with inspiring content by men for men>Campaigns tackling stereotypes of masculinity, suicide and male mental health. Help us save lives.