Real Mean Talk Feel;ngs.

BACK TO NORMALITY.

By that I mean WE BOUGHT A HOUSE, had a mad few months fixing up the old one, moving in and fixing up the new house, then catching up to the modern ages BY FINALLY GETTING WIFI. STRESS. FULL.

Glad you could join us here the modern ages, Martin.

I was gutted I didn’t get to write for Mental Health Week, but it was equally nice to sit and be a fan of all of the campaigns, read loads of great tweets, articles, and posts from loads of people over the world. I also was able to write for the Travellers’ Voice and Travellers’ Times upcoming editions (which you can read here and here). That’s the thing though, for me and so many people who experience not just the mental effects of a mental illness, but also the physical elements of stress, anxiety, and depression, every week is Mental Health Week.

I’ll always talk about my brain and the nasty stuff I have to put up with in everyday life so that someone can see that it is fine to talk about it and get help about what is going on in their own head. Since my last post, I have been a MESS. That is obviously down to life, buying a house, kids, being an idiot and all of that. There were days when I was excited to buy a new place with someone, but then I’d be so snappy and hard to be around, to the point where I wondered why was Chloe even was chosing to do it. Those are the days where it is important to just say “Look, I’m having a shit day, please ignore me if I’m being an idiot and let me have a minunte if I walk off or ask for it”, or whatever thing you need. As always, I was lucky to have people who can notice when I’m down and were there for me to talk to when I needed it.

This time around I noticed that I had more time alone to work out how to calm myself down than before. It helped, but I don’t want that being something that is a go to response to depressed days. I found messaging close family and having the control of when to take a break from the conversation helped. I was able to type read their advice support, but then I was able to smash my head against the wall without them seeing. Win-win, I guess!

The worst day for it was in work one day, and I had to bury my head in my arms and listen to thing that came up on Youtube when I searched for “HOW TO STOP PANIC ATTACKS”. Youtube really need to look at their adverts for those videos, last thing I need when I’m melting and thinking I’m going to die is an advert for fresh salmon fillet from ASDA.

With life though, it does bring that stress that takes control over the things my brain makes me see during the day, horrible thoughts that appear with no warning, ‘needing a minute’ when I should be in the garden with my family and friends enjoying the BBQ, or Chelsea beating Man U in the FA Cup Final.You find that when it goes away, you begin to understand it how bad it actually affected you.

SO. I’m starting to feel good now that we’re all settling in somewhere again, it is nice seeing Mabli getting older and more perceptive, Noah becoming more and more funnier, and smarter, ( although I am saving the RAGING post about Noah’s new sassy attitude for the next post, don’t you worry about that), and now the move is all done, I can’t wait to be writing more again.

What I did notice whilst being online this Mental Health Week, was that the conversation was a little quiet from my community. I know Tyson Fury was vocal about mental health and the importance of speaking out about it, which is great. I hope that people can look at what he says and talk about what is going on in their lives and minds.

Speaking of strong men, I was reading this week marked 19 years since Owen Hart’s accident that saw him die in a WWF ring. Like every teenager who watched Stone Cold, The Rock and other giants beat the crap out of each other, it was different to see them on the next night’s show in tears, not showing off how big their muscles were, but how much that this loss hurt them and how much they loved this man. I was a break from the scripted rivalries, and we saw how human these ‘monsters amongst men’ were.

Years later, I stumbled upon a small tribute video from a wrestler named Mark Henry, aptly named ‘The World’s Strongest Man’.

Mark Henry P-856

THE SIZE OF HIM.

“You feel the burn when you cry.
It starts to come when someone dies.
The pain you feel as your eyes swell
And the tears will up in the wells.
The burn starts to choke you up.
The words come out slow and shaken.
You close your eyes and wonder why
There is a burn when you cry.
When Owen left it felt like hands across my throat.
I couldn’t talk I couldn’t see.
The burn overwhelmed me.
My heart is heavy, this is why
You get the burn when you cry.
It digs down deep, you cannot sleep.
You toss and turn in your sheets.
Awaken with sobs and wet pillow cases.
You wander aimlessly looking to the sky.
You feel the burn when you cry.”

Mark Henry.

Here… have a tissue.

It was hard not to wipe my eyes the first time I heard Mark Henry read that poem, and also see the genuine pain he went through whilst reading it. Obviously losing someone is different to someone having a mental illness, but feelings are feelings.

Imagine not being able to say how the loss of a friend, or family member can feel like it phyiscally hurts, or even chokes you? Or just needing to tell the world how amazing a person they were, to the people who didn’t know, (or even did know!). That feeling is how it feels when you’re at the bottom, when your mind is falling apart behind your very eyes and you have nobody who will listen, or take you serious because you’re a man, and you don’t about talk things like that. You can hate the fact you have a pulse, but have no control of what you brain is making you think, or feel but can’t talk about it because you’re just not supposed to feel like that because you’re a guy, or belong to a certain group of people.

It sounds a bit dark that, doesn’t it.

Change will happen when being big, strong and macho isn’t as important as being healthy, happy and alive. One day a person talking about their depression will be seen as strong as someone with a 12 pack, no neck and a 100 fights behind them.

Feelings are feelings and real men talk about them… Just ask ‘The World’s Strongest Man’.

Mart;n ❤

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#ThankyouBrain

Another train to Cardiff, another blog idea (finally). I’ve been writing articles for magazines, which is pretty crazy. Being ‘printed’ was a bucket list entry I didn’t even know I wanted to tick off! I’ve also seen the number of blog posts and social media stuff other bloggers post on a daily basis. It’s crazy! Fair play to them though. I couldn’t blog about me and my brain that much, or I’d definitely question the point of doing anything at all.

Anyway – first update. The Vuelio blog awards were awesome! Loads of fun, an incredible comedian in Ellie Taylor, who destroyed us, and loads free wine, which RUINED Chloe. She decided to sleep in our suitcase that night. She’s too cool for a bed. and very cool people and ‘talent’ to meet.

Secondly, Vuelio has featured ‘Learning to Dad’ in their Top 10 UK Mental Health blogs! Happy Christmas to me! ❤

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YEAH!

So yeah, that’s cool, isn’t it? I’m an ‘influencer’… Awesome.

Anyway – most of the time in these blog posts, I sit and I focus on all of the bad stuff that happens in my head, but I’ve never really sat back and thought about the good things that have happened because of my poor brain.

So yeah, basically all year I’ve been a dick to my brain. Now I’m saying sorry.

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Just look at her.

Back when I saw Chloe for the first time, I could have had someone else’s brain in my skull, giving me the WORST ideas on how to approach and talk to her. I could now be single, but I’m not. Instead, my brain is charming and smooth as hell and I ended up making a family with this beautiful person.

If you’ve ever popped over to my Instagram, you’d see that I do have a lot of good things to look forward to coming home to. Noah being crazy with my (now ruined) guitars, he and Riley and their love-hate relationship with food and toy balls. It isn’t a portrayal of ‘look at my perfect family’, there isn’t any such thing, but now I look at it as a letter to myself to appreciate who and what I have in my life.

I’m also very, very lucky to have the musical experiences I did. I managed to do Radio 1 Live Lounge sessions, tour the country, do sessions at Abbey  Road, confuse the hell out of Zane Lowe enough to tell the nation they should love the track as am “an Irish Traveller from a fighting family”.

True story.

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Just popping out for a pint.

I was surrounded by people who I’d love to tour with again, but I have memories of hundreds of people singing the lyrics my brain came up with and having fun with us, just to enjoy ideas that I wrote down.

And I do take for granted the ideas  I get and the buzz of it when that stupid idea ends up being a blog, or a song or something funny to post.

I know that this post has pretty much been me blowing smoke up my own ass for a while, but there’s something about heavy snow and fresh starts. So, for Christmas this year, I’m going to stop being so hard on my brain. Because of it, I have a load of memories that I can laugh and smile about, and no matter what you offered me, I would never change them. and whatever happens in the future.

I hope that when you’re feeling stressed, or crap and low, that you can take a step back, and appreciate where you and your brain are now, and everything you’ve done in your life and more importantly, where you’ll get up to in the future.

I hope you enjoy Christmas and New Year! If I don’t post before then, I hope you all get a good haul. I have kids now, so a bottle of Jack Daniels will be the equivalent to a Lottery win.

“Wow! You’re Clean for a Gypsy.”

HELLO! I’ve had a week away from thinking about anything last week because it was my birthday and I was pretty busy doing everything aside from enjoying it.

Except on Saturday, I became 78% Jägermeister on Saturday and I’m not sure I’ve sobered up yet.

So last week was ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ and to continue the trend, this week is ‘Hate Crime Awareness Week‘. What is ‘hate crime’? Click here to learn more. For anyone who knows me or has read any recent posts, you’ll know that I believe that hate crime/discrimination/prejudice is directly linked the mental health issues found in the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. GRT children learn at a young age that a lot of people won’t like them because they are different. I first realised this in primary school in London, where I’d be embarrassed to get a dropped off in a pick-up truck, (I’ve no idea why, I was a charmer and had like five girlfriends before I was 10 years old, #ladykiller) but I was. I first realised the extent of how we were disliked, whilst watching my dad play in a pool team that visited different pubs each week for their league matches, and most of those weeks when they were playing away, landlords and bouncers wouldn’t let my dad and I in. The team had to argue that he had done nothing wrong as was there to play pool. We’d be watched, and sometimes kicked out as soon as my dad played his match. All of those pubs in London always had the huge “NO DOGS or NO TRAVELLERS ALLOWED (*BECAUSE I’M A RACIST IDIOT)” sign, and I always thought we were breaking a law by entering these pubs, just turns out those landlords were.

So, anyway, let me point you back to the post title, “You Look Very Clean for a Gypsy” for a second. I would love to know where your own minds take you when you read that quote. For those who are still curious, let me blow your minds.

Three years ago, my wife and I had the idea to start a charity to help Gypsies, Roma and Travellers with things like advocacy, advice and basic skills try to have a more significant relationship with their councils and MPs. So off my wife and I went to an organisation that supports start-ups to meet an officer from a well known charity, who would be able to help with starting up this idea. The meeting was what you would expect at a professional meeting, up until he asked me how our idea would relevant and link in with the community the charity was aimed for. I told him that I am an Irish Traveller, and I also have ties with the local community and have lived in the area for over a decade or so.

So, are you ready for this bit?

He just looked at me and said, “You look very clean for a gypsy”.

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You what, mate?

As you probably could imagine, I was busy re-attaching my jaw back to my face and trying not to jump over the table and throw him in the bin.

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Get in there, you fool.


Note: 
I was intending for this post to be on the lighter side, but it had to have a change of direction as I received a call from someone asking if the police would do anything about a 15-year-old who was shouting at their kids, (aged between 5-9) that they are “smelly gypsies and they should f*** off back to their caravan” in front of the children’s friends.

Yep, we know people don’t like us. We read, see or hear about it every day in a million different ways. But when young children hear things like this before they can even understand the differences that people in the world have, how can we be expected to even want to integrate with people like that scumbag teenager and the people they learned this mentality from and the other adults that influence their societal views? Why would we even want to?

I’m glad you can see my point.

I firmly believe that scenarios like this can have an effect on children’s anxieties, worries and things that develop into mental health issues and a negative outlook on the society they live in. How could it not, when teenagers feel they are able to racially abuse a child as young as five years old.

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One of many horrible findings from a recent YouGov poll.

This then asks questions of all people fighting for equality, the feminists, the LGBT equality groups and the other ‘social justice warriors’ who are allowing the MPs, the TV personalities and people in everyday life to racially abuse and discriminate this protected ethnicity in every which way, quite regularly:

Why aren’t there more people fighting for Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller equal rights?
Are we not as important as other communities?
Does the fight for equality just stop at certain characteristics?

Equality will never, ever exist until all people have the same treatment as every other minority group. Our voice is the most silenced and our views are met with racial stereotyping and myths, essentially undermining any fight for equality we are trying to win. Until we have more support, more children will want to retreat to our families and communities just to get some respite from the daily vitriol and hate that goes unchallenged.

If you are being threatened or attacked because of your race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability or any other protected characteristicsplease make sure you call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

Gypsies, Roma and Irish Travellers have specialist services that you can report any hate crimes, get advice on how to report them, such as:

 

Thanks for reading, don’t stand by and let inequality grow, help out your fellow humans, whoever they may be.

Martin

P.S. *I wish it did say that. It definitely should do for all racist idiots.

There Are Good Days And There Are Bad Days…

Week two of work is over, and Noah is still pissing on us to keep his nappy dry and Mabli laughs her head off whenever Noah is crying, which is a bit scary.

I’ll stop pretending that I’m not depressed.

TODAY I AM FUCKING MISERABLE. AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

My head has been completely taken over by a ‘fog’ that has come out of nowhere. No outgoing flights, everything is cancelled, no refunds. Not going to punch in some humour, because having your smile taken away almost immediately after having a good day with your family is shit. Plus I can’t think of anything funny right now and I’m sick of saying “I’m tired” whenever someone asks me how I am.

Imagine having a proper laugh with your children, feeling like a decent dad, making them laugh and all that stuff, then you get home, look at yourself in the mirror and the colours of the world get sucked into the eyes you’re looking into and you feel worthless for no reason. Kind of like #Mondays.

I have never contemplated suicide, ever. I am PETRIFIED of death. I’d happily be a vampire in The Originals and party forever. Or be an immortal Morrissey, forever making miserable SOUND SO GOOD for generations to come. No, death scares the shit out of me. I have though, tried to put myself in the shoes of those who have attempted, or committed suicide, to try and understand what they were feeling and thinking, as I’m assuming some of you have done. How low must someone be to accept that they’re going to go through with it? How down must a person feel if their family, wealth and whatever else a person may have can’t stop it? depresion026-jpg

After Chester Bennington’s suicide, that really hit me hard. The man had everything, a gorgeous family, money, adulation, loved by millions through his creativity, and it wasn’t enough. So through that reflection, I realised that I don’t get enthusiastic about many things at all. I’m in physical pain trying to give a shit about someone talking to me about religion or something during general day to day conversation.

If God really did make us in his image, he (or she) would get a very bad review on Amazon by the person he sent me out to. “DON’T TRUST THIS SELLER, SOLD ME A HUMAN THAT DOESN’T WORK AND WILL NOT GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK. AVOID.”

I obviously get excited and the warm buzz when I see my family or when I’m nearly home to see them. I cry when Mufasa dies, (who doesn’t?) but other than that? My stupid brain switched off that feeling long ago.

For those who are severely depressed, the notion of having nothing at all to look forward to in their life, for the rest of their life, is a really scary thought.

My family and closest friends have always and will keep me from reaching that degree of ‘darkness’, but it can make you sad trying to understand just what people with depression have to think through from day to day. I am fortunate that I have never gotten to the place that, unfortunately, other people have.

Earlier this week, it was great to see Ben Bennett off of ‘Gypsy Kids’ given a huge platform to talk about his experiences with racism and discrimination in schools and communities. His story is easily a template for hundreds of us when we were children, and even worse so nowadays. This leads to bullying and discrimination, violence and self-defense and unfortunately, protecting yourself and your family gets you branded a “thug”. It is a nasty vicious cycle. Pretty much like every Liverpool FC game this season. We are taught how to box for the reason that we need to look after ourselves and our family, we also have a competitive nature that makes boxing addictive.

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Something that I have thought about since looking at Mind UK’s statistic of 1 in 4 people has mental health issues, is that a lot of the UK population aren’t included in that sample, but also even more of the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller community wouldn’t be either. Now linking this to another statistic that GRT males are six times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the UK population, and females seven times more likely, how would the “1 in 4” change if we take that into account, and also the fact that GRT young people have the same pressures that other young people have, (appearance, reputation, ‘fitting in etc), but also have to prepare themselves for daily racism and discrimination from teachers, students and other institutions and the communities they live in. Then having to react to having race and ethnicity challenged, despite legislation and policy that protects us. Then after that, having to deal with violence coming your way. Like when police set their dogs on a person without provocation, or Johnny Delaney, who was murdered “because he was a Gypsy”.  My kids will have to know how to protect themselves if this attitude is still accepted, which I am fearful it may be.

My own brain shit probably could have originated from going through this as I grew up, but depression was only something you heard of when talking about suicide. I’ve had people walking out of a pub announcing out loud, “I’m not drinking here, there are gyppos on the pool table” to a reception of the whole pub who turned to laugh at us. We were a group of two 16-year-olds, and our 14-year-old brothers just playing some pool, watching some football. We did follow that guy into another pub and challenged him, (not like the videos you see on Facebook), but through conversation. No macho story here, I shit myself. The guy was a very, very tall, fat man, who had to crane his neck like a dinosaur would have so he could shove his face into mine as I asked him if he would not say stuff like that again, as there was no need for it, and if adults were there, we wouldn’t know what would have happened but we definitely know who was getting the blame.

There I was, looking like a 58kg Hercules, (the skinny one from the Disney movie) standing up to one of the Titans who wanted to smell my face before he ate it. To be fair to that guy, he apologised and shook my hand and said something about ‘respect’ that I didn’t hear because I was figuring out how the fuck I would fight this dude without it looking like Andre the Giant vs Mr. Bean at Wrestlemania 3. But, that conversation did mean that it didn’t happen again, (in front of us anyway).

With stories like these, that statistic from Mind UK looks like it could be a little bit lower, doesn’t it?

As many human rights campaigners have said, educating the people who are happy to discriminate and persecute will be one of the ways to change their mentality, not all I know, but I am hoping that I get to see a world where I see positive change for us before I die, but I’m not sure that I will get to see it.

Now That is Over With…

I’ve not even thought about writing since my last post, mainly because of UNIVERSITY. After writing this I definitely felt that I had been shoving a lot of things right down in the name of ‘plodding on’. So caution – I haven’t written in a while and hopefully, it doesn’t bum you out.

My final year was pretty hard and made me sacrifice things I really loved, and my music was the main loss. After six fun, (but hard) years with Falls, we were broke and too poor to afford the push to the ‘next level’. Which was a shame, but a thing that definitely needed to happen for me to graduate, but also to prevent myself hating the three people I considered close, if not best friends. That’s not even me trying to pop a joke. I daydreamed about hurting people in my brain, through ‘daydreams’ that I have no control over. I’d laugh with them one minute, and see myself smashing my guitar in someone’s face the next. For what reason? No idea. Probably because Ben wouldn’t stop for a McDonald’s at 3am and I had to hold a wee wee in. I know, right? What a dick.

A funny thing happened during that conversation where I told the guys I was ‘done’. I told them that I needed to really work on the last six months of my degree, otherwise I’d have a massive debt for a degree that I may have failed because of stress of touring and other distractions. I also said that I couldn’t carry on, in case we have more babies. That night, after I told Chloe about what I feared was a rash decision, she told me that she was pregnant with Mabli, who is now here and she is very beautiful. Things like that let you know that you made the right decision. My magical, psychic #GypsyPowers never fail me.

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Mabli is now two months old, (or thereabouts) and I’ve not thought about writing as firstly, I’m not a stay at home dad anymore, well, from 11th Sept I’ll be working with a charity to provide advocacy for GRT communities around North Wales. Secondly, thinking about writing with any form of correct punctuation instead of, “cloooooo my belly is sore and I have a ouchy tum tum 😦 xox”, made me want to dive headfirst into a wall. Thirdly, and most notably, I think that my brain sank back into a patch of being a pill-zombie again, plodding along trying to keep two kids and my wife happy, whilst ‘I’ am watching from inside the shell, not really caring until I’m allowed to be reckless and stupid. I also get angry at things that I shouldn’t, and haven’t in the past and only realise it upon reflection. I hate that I don’t see it all the time so I can shut that shit down and stop from pissing people off, or embarrassing myself. I also haven’t left auto pilot for a long, long time. I’m constantly ready to jump to stop Noah do something stupid like, stand barefoot in dog shit, or be ready to change the weird ‘Donald Trump kills the Mexicans’ episode of Peppa Pig that some weird, fucking idiot decided to sit in his stupid bedroom and then have the great idea to let other humans see it.

That is just being a parent I guess, but trying to force yourself into burying your head into things you don’t even like isn’t part of what’s ‘normal’. ‘Me time’ is exactly that. I lose interest in everything I enjoy. At the time I could being having a GREAT TIME, but running parallel is my stupid brain trying to bum out the vibe. It’s like having the really annoying person you avoid on a night out trapped in your head. You’d love to punch him, but you’d really regret it in the morning.

I sound like I’m really miserable. I’m actually not. I’m relying on writing to clear my brain which now feels like it belongs to somebody else. This isn’t the same brain I had ten years ago when being ‘down and depressed’ was realising you were in a shit relationship, and when you were finally single, you could do anything. Maybe as I get older and turn into the person I think a dad of two should be, I have to learn and get to know how ‘he’ works and accept some aspects of life are different. You’d never know that from a chat with me, as sarcasm and humour are masks I use regularly because I like seeing people laugh. But then Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell (to name but two ‘high profile’ people to recently leave) were able to bring happines on a global scale throigh their music and sometimes, it sadly isn’t enough. I guess being awake at 1am on Sunday makes you think of these things. I can’t wait to drink whisky again.

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“The thing I love about writing is that by the end of whatever the heck I was going about before, I find things I need to understand for the future ahead.”
Me, right now.

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I know I feel down sometimes. I am not alone in this, nobody should feel that way. I am lucky that I don’t notice it because I’m laughing at Noah throughout the day, or spending time avoiding projectile vomit, or trying to make Mabli laugh with One Direction songs. I am fortunate that I see light in my future when others don’t, or haven’t. I am lucky to have a two year old spark of life who makes me laugh at 5:58am and makes my heart melt right before he drifts off, singing songs in his sleep. And now I get to be excited for what he and Mabli will get up to together to make Chloe and I laugh in the months to come, and in the years that precede that, I hope they will help me understand myself, as we try to help them understand who they are and who they want to be.

Thanks for stopping by, I promise I won’t leave it so long next time.

 

I’m Tired.

Noah tells me he’s tired a lot nowadays. When he’s pissed off, when he’s down and sometimes when he’s actually tired.

I’m writing this from a Hate Crime Forum in London which is attended by many people, activists and staff from all over the UK, all interested in working with us from the GRT community. Whilst I should be excited that mate people are engaged, (I am), I am just very tired.

It wasn’t the 3am wake up from the kids, or the painful infection in my eyeball, (not going to lie, I wouldn’t mind being a beta tester for a Google Eyeball to replace my gammy eye with, TBH). I am tired, because instead of people talking about what should be done, or recommendations given to a roomful of activists I want to see the people who can make change, and being as appalled as I am at a murder case, or hate crime case study against GRT people. I want them to feel the pain in my chest when I see and read comments from cowards and scum who raid GRT profiles and post pictures of their kids wishing (and almost instigating) harm to befall them.

I’m tired of hearing, year upon year “Hate Crime stats have risen” or “We will do more to prosecute and protect”, when you have mainstream media and politicians stating that they don’t want GRT sites around them tell their councils that, “We should behead them all instead”.

I’m thinking of my kids and their futures when I work for equality and genuinely hope that they will see *true* equality. However, I believe I will be long dead before I see it. Hopefully I’m wrong.

Still, I’m tired.

Like Noah, I’m getting tired of fighting how miserable I get at conferences like this. I’m tired of being depressed and thinking of how and what I can do, apart from begging friends and family to help me fight for equality and political wars that need to be fought. Like Noah I’m pissed off at how far down in the gutter I’m made to feel I am. I’m sick of tokenism and want to see the power-holders take in GRT lifestyle, accept it as part of World Culture and treat it as any other way of life, rather that adding to the criminalisation of it. I’m sick of hearing someone tell me that my family are criminals and then get made that I’ve “made them feel racist” when I point out that I’m an Irish Traveller, (true story).

Yeah, I’m tired. Maybe I’m just more sensitive today because I’m feeling down and this is a topic that depresses the heck out of me.

However, hope is a big thing we hold on to. I’m surrounded by many people who are interested in learning about us. More are here hoping that they can help us. Same as I am. It may take many years, I may never see equality in my lifetime, but I can work towards it, even if it is a small contribution.

I am very tired, but get me a cup of tea with two sugars, and like every Traveller, we’ll get on with the job ahead.

Take care.

A Call to Action! 

Another ‘Day’, another blog! 

I’ve been pretty busy writing but not for the blog, I was fortunate to get printed! So thank to Travellers’ Voice and all of you for the comments that’s made me want to keep writing, it means a lot!

Thanks Travellers’ Voice!

So I’ve seen International Men’s Day campaigns that include many men’s stories, which is great! One particular campaign showed men posing for their Instagram, or Twitter selfies with hashtags that gave their followers a sense of their perfect lives –
#Perfectfamily.
#Bestdayever.
#Happy.
#Livingthedream.
#Lifegoals.

The campaign then reveals that the men, who are smiling with their families, showing off their incredible physiques or expensive belongings actually took their lives weeks after those posts.

One thing that I’ve had happen to me, on many occasion is that people tell me that I have “the perfect life”, and this has made me and Chloe think about how we portray ourselves on social media. We have a *happy* life I think, yeah, I am annoying asshole to be around sometimes, and when I’m in a dark spot, and I am stubborn, petty, lose patience with Noah and THE STUPID ‘DADDY FINGERS’ VIDEOS THAT HAVE CRYING BABIES ON LOOP and plenty of other things, but we definitely don’t fit in to the ‘perfect’ category.

I remember back when people were on MySpace or MSN Messenger, (I know, right?) and posted bulletins with lyrics that let people know how they felt, and a lot of the time they were really dark words that people were using to find a friend to talk to. We also have changed to make our friends to think that “my life is perfect too” and the feeling of needing to keep up the facade of a ‘perfect life’ because you feel that people only follow you on Facebook to watch you slip up. Instead of being truthful, and being able to live without social pressure and anxiety/paranoia always in your mind.

So I’m going to talk to everyone, a call of action to the protectors of your houses and realms, (Game of Thrones withdrawal there, sorry) who need to also protect themselves, (and obviously not just men).

Be truthful. Use real hashtags that describe how you’re feeling behind the pictures.
 
#Ineedamate
#Mykidsdomyheadin
#Imnothappy
#Needtotalk
#Ineedhelp
#Iamfeelinglow
#Ifeeldown for example.

I’ve always felt that being open about mental health is important for people to find help to work with and live with their mental illnesses, as 1 in 4 people has one, and they lead to many, many suicides yearly.

It is time to talk to your friends and family. Be there for them, ask them how they are feeling, whoever they are, it could be exactly what they needed.
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Who Pisses in their Granola?!

So week one of my new job is done, and the worst thing about me having money, (even if I don’t have any yet) is that I suddenly think I am a MILLIONAIRE. I normally get so angry when Christmas is advertised before Halloween and my birthday, (also in October), but for the past few years, I’ve been doing my degree whilst being at home with Noah. Now I have money… I’ve realised I am a filthy consumer, starting a Rocky-esque training routine to be ready to delete anybody trying to get something I didn’t even know I wanted. I can’t wait.

Speaking of spending all my money, I came across a company named UncommonGoods who stock some incredible things for those who are fans of unique gift ideas, and for those who prefer to shop with eco-friendly and ‘green’ companies, who also look after their staff is something I’m a fan of. I mean, I am a bigger fan of getting presents from places such as this, (AHEM, Chloe) and anyone who knows me, knows that a personalised whiskey barrel and loads of handy tools to make guitar playing easier, and loads of other cool men’s Christmas gifts is all I need if a zombie apocalypse ever did happen.

Being a bit less selfish, Chloe and I noticed Noah was having a hard time with me being away as much for the first time, so we decided to look for something personalised that both of the kids would love, and found this…

UGNOAH

I mean, how could I not?

I didn’t really think about how Noah could react to me being away so much for the first time in his life, and over the week, our phone calls went like this:

First day in work, 10am…
Chloe: “How’s it going?”
Me: “Not bad, just the usual first week-nerves, but it is going well!”
Chloe: “That’s good, I’ll speak to you later, love you, bye!”

Later, during a tea break…
Me: “You all ok?
Chloe: “Yeah, we’re not too ba-NOAH! POO IN THE POTTY PLEASE! Callyoubackbye.”

Chloe: “Sorry about that, Noah missed the potty when he was pooing, ran away from me trying to catch it as it was falling out and he slipped on it, now he has shit all over him”
Me (laughing): “Oh that’s gross. Hold on, just need a top of hot chocolate, it is proper good, you should come try some.”
Chloe: “Fuck off, Martin. Bye.”

Later that week…
Me: “Hiya, you good?”
Chloe: “NO. I’m not good. Mabli has shit all over me again, Noah decided to piss in his granola, WHO PISSES IN THIER GRANOLA? And I don’t even know whether he ate it or not. He is being a nightma-NOAH! STOP PAINTING YOUR WILLY BLUE! Got to go, love you.”

I felt bad not being there to help, (I didn’t, I was sat in a gorgeous restaurant in Colwyn Bay each day drinking hot chocolate), and Chloe’s first week as a stay at home mother must have been harder as she has two baby humans to raise.

I didn’t really think about how Noah would react to me being away for most of the day, I know it sounds silly, but for two years I’ve been around every day. As soon as I set foot out of the door to drive to work, I cried and wanted to do those two years back, and do them better. Your children grow up so fast, (as you probably well know) and for someone like me, it really got me down that I’ll never have that time again. On the flipside, I am excited to about where I am now, and the things that I get to see Noah and Mabli do, and also how Chloe and I have grown with it, and I’m even more excited (even with my anxiety) to see where we go next.

I am away next week in Cardiff, so I’ll be doing some vlog uploads to keep me from getting drunk/in trouble/spotted on stage at a burlesque show, (I SO hope that happens) out of boredom.

Thank you for the support, as usual, (sorry for the tech problems, which meant I had to re-post – THANKS WordPress), and have a great week!

Martin
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