Hey guys! It’s certainly been quiet from me in the last year, hasn’t it?
I know you must have been eagerly awaiting my unexpected adventures around the world that I undertook in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, they have been very few and far between the last year.
But this will change. For that, I will be returning to the world of blogging after I’ve gone through a life change in the last couple of months.
I’m pretty excited and I’m sure you are, too.
But why have I been AWOL from RexyEdventures only posting an article at least one article every two months?
It’s simple. I just didn’t have the time and quite frankly, RexyEdventures was pretty low on my priority list in the second half of 2017 and in the last few months.
My first utmost priority is my family. Since August, both of my parents fell extremely ill and every weekend, I would be travelling up and down from London to Hull to make sure they were looked after. Both of them landed in hospital at various points and I simply had to abandon everything else to care for them. I was the only one available to do so. It got to a point where I was utterly exhausted and having to do a full-time job whilst worrying about them and worrying about my finances thanks to crippling train fares ended up having a huge impact on my mental health.
Just having an adventure in Europe simply wasn’t on the cards. I couldn’t even think about it. I had so many sleepless nights and more often than not on evenings, I would have to navigate the bureaucracy of the NHS and the Social Care system to get the right support that my family so desperately needed. Communication wasn’t a strong point in those teams especially with each other and usually I would have to co-ordinate them together until one of them makes an assumption and starts a process without consulting with me for the wrong reasons.
It’s extremely tough. I wasn’t my usual self. I became withdrawn, depressed and negative inside, often exasperated. Other factors in my life soon turned badly and at one point, I was soon suffering regular panic attacks. Panic attacks aren’t nice, particularly when you wake up to one with your heart racing making your chest hurt, your mind starts blackening amid all the sweating, and you’re fighting for breath as you try to take control of the sense of terror that envelopes you.
What could I do?
So, I decided to make a decision after many attempts to further the improvement of my family’s and also, my life.
I quit my job in London and moved back to Hull, my hometown, to become a full-time carer.
Yes, it would help out my parents massively now that I would be home everyday but also it would drastically improve my mental health. I could now sort things out in person, rather than struggling on the phone, due to my deafness, at the other side of the country.
Mental health is important particularly for men. I have felt that there’s still a stigma about male mental health. As much as I tried with much bravado that I had things on top because men shouldn’t let their feelings overcome them, I failed. With that sense of failure, I felt I failed as a man. That deeply cut through me. With internal feelings overcoming me, I became withdrawn. I didn’t want to do anything, I felt worthless and I became a shell of who I am. I didn’t want to share what I thought because I felt I would be treated so much differently from my loved ones. I’m usually known for my sunny deposition and every time I felt low, people would usually brusquely tell me off that I’m not being myself and cheer up. I felt even worse thinking I was letting them down. My close friends would tell me that I can talk to them anytime but I simply didn’t know where to start whilst thinking, I don’t want to bore them with what I’m thinking and taking up their time.
But it shouldn’t have to be this way.
Why shouldn’t men have feelings that they can share? The mind boggles.
It wasn’t until a moment of deep unhappiness and extreme loneliness made me reach for the phone and ring the Samaritans. I just wanted to vent and someone to listen. It was that phone call in the middle of the night just before Christmas that things just clicked into place. Thanks to the advisor at the other end of the phone, I began to realise that it’s not a shame to admit that I’m struggling. I can take control. I can start thinking things through constructively. I can reach out for help.
All it took for me was one phone call.
Sharing my feelings, I began to feel so much better. Thinking things through constructively, I knew that coming home was the first step to my mental recovery.
I’m glad I did.
For the last two months, I’ve been living at home taking each day as it comes, supporting my parents, but also giving myself space to relax and be on the mend.
Now that I feel suitably recovered enough, I now want to turn to my passions – and one of them is travel blogging. Putting ‘pen to paper’ is so therapeutic, allows you to share your feelings, enjoy what you are looking forward to and more importantly, is what makes me happy.
So, how about we start writing about the few adventures I took in the last year and start looking forward to the future?
If you would like to know more about Male Mental Health, check out the following links below: