From a young age, I’ve been accustomed to getting on with things. Dwelling on adversity would have been easy to do. In reality, I always wanted to however never got the chance to. Situations never allowed me to do such things. Of course, there were moments where I did dwell, but it would’ve only been a short time.

You see, time was never on my side when it came to getting on with it, what we now call “cracking on”. It was a race to deal with the next event that came along; so, I just cracked on.

I dealt with things, one after another; this could have been helping my mum take her meds, sometimes administering them for her; she’d get hypoglycemia on a regular basis, following the removal of her pancreas in 1996. This was no mean feat for a 10-year-old. I soon became an expert, only to want to hide away when this would happen. Watching a loved one in that condition can be far from fun. Maybe another post on that subject.

Anyway, so with the above, this would be continual throughout my teens and 20’s, admittedly, the frequency was less in the late teens after she remarried.

So, mid-teens, the fight moved across the parental road. Before I go a little into this, I’d like to say, my father battled with alcohol issues since the early 90’s and this continued up until 2012. I probably recall 3 occasions since 2012 where he has drunk. Now, if this does not make me proud of him, I’m not sure what will. What a bloke. To stop after all these years, hats off to him and I dam well know I am GRATEFUL to have him around. I recall my brother one day saying, whilst in his hospital bed, “this is how it all began, the 4 of us”. Both parents, my brother and I, all stood together, just the 4 of us. This would’ve been the first time in probably 25 years maybe (Parents split up in 1990 but remained friends) Back to my point, so yes, I’m grateful because out of original 4, remain 2, so to have him around, is a blessing. I’m blessed also blessed with 2 half brothers who I’m proud to be the elder brother for.

I’m going off on one – back to the hype title. So, I cracked on. Mid-teens, dad got in a little trouble, on a daily basis. I had to take it upon me to be the “Man”, I was 15. Kicking down doors of the house he would be sat in, getting trolleyed. This would typically be followed by a right hook to a bloke who would come at me, then typically followed by me saying “Dad, lets go”. He would comply. Who wouldn’t? The boss had just walked in and kicked ass. I wouldn’t be alone, my best mate, who I wont name (I’m admitting to some offences here), would typically follow my right hook with one of his own to another bloke, to sit him back down. That was the life. That very same evening however, I could sometimes spend in the hospital, throughout the night, as the trouble maker father of mine would get very very drunk. Anyway, enough about him; everyone has a mischievous side to them. I’m still very proud to call him dad

I’ve gone off on one again! The hype – people would always say, “Rishi, you’re doing so well” or “Rishi, you’re so strong”. I never believed anyone. I was doing so well because I would bottle shit up. I would look so strong because I would put up a mask and pretend to be the person I wanted to be without the hurt. I’d stay at the hospital until late, sometimes all night, and then go school or college; and just crack on!

Was I ok – far from ok! I started getting therapy when I was 17. Nobody at college knew this. I would shoot off like I’m going to get treatment on a wound. I’d be excited but also scared. I used to look forward to those sessions. I knew things needed to be out in the open. During some sessions, as soon as my therapist would ask me how I’m doing, I’d burst into tears, this would last for 2-3 minutes followed by me embarrassingly smiling, wiping my tears, apologizing for crying and wasting her time. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been apologizing, I was just embarrassed. Never ever apologize for crying. Up until my early twenties, I’d always ask for a female therapist, I was too ashamed to speak to a bloke about my hurt and my feelings. I always thought I was week for feeling the way I did and the fact I’d cry like I did, was not manly. I had a very tough exterior, hard on the face, as people suggested. But inside, I was sensitive, and still am. I just wanted to let it all out. This was an ongoing theme for the next 6-8 years. I’d be fine for a number of months, sometimes years, and then boom…it’d get too much. My mum’s illness never got any better. I’d still be kicking down doors and swinging right hooks for my dad.

I would always give my all. Where ever I went to work, I’d make a name for myself, I would excel. This was me. I still say, give it your all or don’t give anything. Employers would always tell me how well I was doing; family would also tell me this; friends would also tell me this. I didn’t believe it. To me, I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing. These days, people want a gold medal for doing their job or just doing an “ok” job – like honestly, most people can do “OK” – It’s about excelling for me, that’s what I do. But even now, I don’t believe I’m doing as good as people say I am. I guess that’s just in my nature, to not believe the hype; no not get comfortable; to not rest on my laurels. It’s very easy to do that. At times, I would get comfortable in a task / job, I would then recognize my work ethic dropping. I would simply have a quiet word with myself, change my mindset and remind myself I either want this or I don’t.

I now strongly believe, if you can’t deal with something, don’t do it. If you want to moan about a task, don’t do it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it. If you don’t like your job, leave. If you get given tasks to do as part of your work, and it’s out of your control, just do it, it won’t change by having a moan. What you can change though is how you react to it and / or, what you do next; you crack on or you don’t! The point I’m trying to make (I do trash talk) – take control of your own life and situations! Don’t leave it in someone else’s hands – not all hands are capable

Enough about this. Plenty more to come; I’m not going anywhere.

Thanks, as ever for reading,

Rishi

Take The Next Step

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