As you may have noticed, my blog has been on a hiatus for a long time now. The reason behind that is simply the mere fact that there are only 24 hours to a day and I would need the double. The month of May is also referred to as Mental Health Awareness month and the activities throughout this month made me ponder about why the break has been so long. Here goes.
First of all, let me start of by revealing an interesting, but terrifying fact: Men are still much more interested in their appearance than their mental health. There is a deep underlying thought among many people that it’s the outside that counts and mental health is something ugly, something bad, even a failure if you will. There is so much stigma regarding mental health and it needs to be de-stigmatized. I mean, seriously. Would you say the same about any other health conidition? Would you, for example, consider someone suffering from cancer being a “lazy person who just needs to get their shit together and man up”? That’s what I thought, you wouldn’t. When it comes to mental health that however is exactly the case, people who for one reason or another cannot do something due to an underlying mental health issue is considered weak, lazy, unmotivated and even stupid. Let me shed you some light on how I see it.
When it comes to my life, I have had my ups and downs with mental health. You have read about my past struggles with alcoholism as well as other things in life during this journey I’ve undertaken as a blogger. Last year was crazy. Crazy good. A bit too good.
Things got out of hands. I was working 300% percent or busy doing something 24/7. I did not live in the present, nor the past, but always in the future. Always grasping for what’s next. That lead to a mental overload. At then end of it I didn’t know who I was anymore and barely remembered what I had been doing all year long as I had 90 something flights last year. That’s 90 flight days out of 365. It felt like I’ve spent more time up in the air than on the ground, both literally and with my head in the clouds. That is probably why I also lost it and didn’t touch base anymore. My feet had left the ground.
Like mentioned, last year was crazy. I could be on three different continents in one week and not even reflect upon things such as sleep, rest, not to mention food. I lived for working, experiencing, doing. I couldn’t and didn’t stop. People around me were worried about my pace, but I just said I’m fine. In fact, I even believed that myself. I thought I was perfectly fine, whereas my body and my mind were telling me a completely different story. At the end of 2017 my mind started to deteriorate, to finally give up in the beginning of 2018. As you can read in my last post from months ago, I still kept telling myself I was fine. I had had a few bumps on the road, sure, but according to me I was still fine. How tricky our brains can be.
This is when I realized I need a timeout. My mental health was not anywhere close to where it should be. I didn’t exist as a person. I existed as Thomas, the fashion editor, the blogger and successful at that, not as Thomas, the person who has a balanced life. These past months I’ve been working hard on myself. If you’re following me on Instagram you have noticed that I am back in the game there, not posting daily anymore however, but in a pace that suits me. As for my role as Fashion Editor for Candid Magazine that is what has kept me busy, but also kept me going. I simply love what I am doing.
My bag could equally well say ‘Blind for Life’. It’s not like I haven’t loved what I have been doing before, it’s just that I haven’t set any limits. There have been no boundaries what so ever and I haven’t listened to my body and mind nor people around me. Today I do exactly that. It might sound funny, but I actually ask my body on a daily basis: how much can you handle today? If the answer is quite a bit, go for it, work your ass off. If not, I am allowed to actually decline a job or simply not do anything at all. Doing nothing at all is actually quite hard and demanding, but ever so important. It has been a long hiatus, but now I’m finally back and dictating the terms of my life in a pace that suits me.
So what was all this about? It’s about me telling you, not only why I’ve been gone from here, but also to tell you I’ve felt like crap for ages, but haven’t taken it seriously. From now on I will focus on ME. Whatever else out there can wait, I am the most important person in my life, that precious life we only get to live once. Taking care of your mental health should be as obvious and equally important as taking care of your body by exercising. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I urge you all to take a step back and reflect on your life and take necessary actions to actually live life to the fullest, not just a life without any depth or purpose to it. A life filled with friends, working, not working, working out, but most of all: giving yourself the time to enjoy things and allowing yourself the freedom to do nothing at all. This time I am back on my own terms and boy, it feels good!