Apologies are certainly in order. While I’m under no illusions that my failure to post anything of substance for the last two years is unlikely to cause a global internet meltdown – it has nonetheless, been a deep regret that I have allowed myself to become a victim of circumstance, succumbing to heavy bouts of depression and self-doubt – all of which have been able to gain further traction thanks in part to unfolding events in my life and of course that certain spiky-bodied pathogen that tries to ‘keep it’ casual by identifying itself as a casual brew 😉
As anyone who has experienced either crushing anxiety and/or debilitating depression can share – it can seem that you’re being condemned to watch the disintegration of your life from the side-lines. Just passively watching on as the foundations of your life burn to the ground, unable to heed the warnings that others give. To build on this already clichéd analogy – imagine the most annoying TV series where the lead protagonist makes all the most obvious errors – now understand that just as no amount of armchair yelling will change the downward trajectory of that show’s character from bumbling around and messing up – in deep depression/anxiety ‘you’ are ‘that’ annoying character.
As we continue to see more effort being put into raising awareness of mental health then slowly the stigma that often surrounds and blocks those from getting the help they need gradually wanes. This is in turn helping to grease the wheels for change. Understanding that those unique differences that give us our strength and define our individuality can also be some of the powerful forces that hold us back from recovery.
As a male I find it incredibly difficult to come forward and discuss how I feel, what I have experienced and so on. I still have trouble opening-up to loved ones – in fact the majority of many of my close friends assume that the reason they haven’t heard from me for years now must be due to my failure to place a high enough value on our friendship, when in reality; my absence has been the result of a deep sense of shame and fear of miscommunication.
This has honed my own hypersensitivity towards others who may not be ready to admit or face their poor state of mental health. I’m reminded that many males who suffer from mental health issues in particular are statistically more likely than their female peers to bottle what they are experiencing, turn to self-medication of drugs/alcohol – substances which are prone to bringing about further psychological issues to those already in harm’s way and in many cases may act as a catalyst for self-destruction, including but not limited to, ending their own lives as a means to release them from a desperate, doomed cycle of suffering.
Personally, I have a long way to go, my road to recovery just started the moment I began typing this apology to you, my fictitious audience group (no delusions of grandeur or self-importance to be found here ;-).
But as someone who has been tagged an ‘empath’ by others (which admittedly makes it sound like I have psychic super-powers, something I’m completely cool with 😉 but which is really only another way of saying that I’m probably a little too sensitive to the actions of others in this world – I am very conscious of the power we all wield, power that can so completely and utterly destroy another with our words and malicious doings. The new ‘cool’ in a world where we can say or do almost anything is indeed ‘kindness’. It’s the sign of rebellion in this cyber era, just as the punk movement was the antidote to excesses of mainstream culture in the late 70s. So go then, get out there both digitally and physically and kill ‘em all with kindness J
In terms of this blog, the good news is that I will be returning to regular posting on a range of topics from entertainment, music and technology to outdoor pursuits and gear guru guides to name but a few. Being trapped in my Ron Burgundy ‘glass case of emotion’ has it seems not stopped the flow of ideas and inspiration – even if the desire to transform these into useful and valuable content has been lacking until now.
So, let’s get the most mileage and use out of the end of this year and embrace the blank page, fresh start that is 2022’s imminent arrival.
Handy mental health resources, advice and guidance below [UK and International – no hidden or obscure links – full transparency] :