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This blog is personal, as a result it’s not your typical read on Notts County and I thought that I should warn potential readers before – if you prefer the regular variety of opinions be sure to have a read of our home page otherwise I would suggest clicking away from this blog. Towards the end of last season I decided to make changes, I wasn’t all that happy with things and as most fans (who know me) will have seen I started using my real name. It was more of a positive change than I had thought, but I was worried about trolls. Despite this I was actually pleased, as I made the change for the right reasons – some fans didn’t know if they should call me Joe or Chris and the confusion really started to impact how I felt inside. I’m not going to dwell on the mental side of my feelings, despite people claiming to understand depression – I find most don’t have the foggiest and take to judging rather than offering support which does help to heal. So, I cast my mind back to the remaining league home games – a point where I started to realise that the regular fans that I grew to enjoy speaking with, well, the numbers had dwindled despite the new ownership. I wanted things to be different, I wanted to feel happier and I realised at this point avoiding things only impacted how I felt. Those people who warned me about others, the idiots who would send me stupid messages and the likes of a certain fan who has received a lot of media attention for being the tool that he is – really take no bearing on me. I ended the 2016-2017 season promising myself that I would try harder to be more sociable, I mean I don’t avoid it but I tend to be busy. I’m not the biggest user of social media, I write my thoughts and feelings – rather than reforming to the standard form, popularity really doesn’t concern me. Yet I did want to try and break some of the anxiety that I felt inside. There’s people who only see the confident, fairly outgoing Chris – who don’t understand remotely why at times I find it hard to even speak. And again this comes back to the ‘judgemental’ side of things, though it is something I have been trying to tackle head on. In my private life, I try to occupy myself as the close season I have fewer things to do and this is the time I fall into traps about what I think about, and how I feel. My wife’s has been a great support, as we have made a lot of home improvements – and things feel homely. The house had been left in a very bad state by the former owners, plus teens and thieves who had vandalised the property and stole all the lead or mental in the house. It’s funny how little things, such as blinds or just having the kitchen in a more finished state changes how you see things – again this is something I felt I would take notice of with match days which is a good release for me. Though I wished my son would attend more games, there’s many who ask about him and it’s not the same but I do respect his decision. This season I feel I’ve been doing the right things, as I use Fridays to focus on my health and the weekend as a way to just to enjoy without the pressure of having to do things. That said, match days are extremely busy for me but if I wanted – I could make it easier. I’m hoping to get back on the road once things settle, I can’t justify spending money away from my family and I really do need to choose which away games I make carefully – fingers crossed I can get to Mansfield as I haven’t yet been to the One-Call Stadium.