“Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes” – Johnny Mandel.
First of all, thank you to anyone who didn’t want me to die. It’s as blunt a message as that. Thank you to all of you who messaged me, messaged my family, shared my plea for help, helped my family and friends when I was nowhere in sight the last few weeks and indeed since early July when depression kicked in, the worst depression in my adult life so far. Whatever went on in my mind, kept me alive and kicking somewhere somehow. Mostly thanks to Mum, Dad, Lock in Lee and the un-named Lady A. And hugely to the football supporters of Northern Ireland (Our Wee Country/The Green and White Army), AFC Bournemouth and Glentoran FC who offered genuine warmth and support and did not want me to die. I felt the love when I saw the posts and messages from the football family. And everyone that said they didn’t want me to die and wanted me to beat depression and eat regularly again, thanks. I am grateful. I have tried to reply to you all now individually as a way to thank you. It was tough and it continues to be tough in my mind. What’s done is done.
“You’ll never change what’s been and gone” – Noel Gallagher.
Second of all, I am really really depressed today, it is a low in my life, it’s Wednesday 26th October 2016. I have had 16 weeks of severe depression now and no sign of improvement other than I am not dead. In this outsidely wonderful story of my travel life on this blog, I don’t want to dress things up as amazing, backpacking can be a cover up for the real dramas in your mind. It is so tough to explain to people but finally after 4-5 weeks, I have posted this, it’s a start. I suffer from depression and little tiny things that may not matter to others – they get me down and they get me depressed. While I don’t want to focus only on sadness and despair, please know that I will write about whatever I want. It is just good that I can write something again, know this – I am a writer – it comes natural for me to write, so to have gone a month almost without posting on here, that is severe but I wasn’t ready to write. Please understand – I made mistakes, people make mistakes, but I am a man of people, peace, love and honesty. People love to make a fool out of me for whatever reason, I always become the victim. If I was dead, people would be dancing having a party (in the travel blogging world for sure everyone hates this cultured real Northern Irish approach, and also I was so angry that two people in particular couldn’t simply message me to say “please don’t die, we want you to live”) and lots of you reading know it. Sometimes you don’t need to stay alive. This time, I had to keep myself alive. I took control myself. Days were not worth living. The irony of the website’s title came into play. As if I care. #dontstopliving
“Don’t stop living” – Toronto based High School Graffiti Artist, CANADA 2001.
Fact – I shared my own suicide post to keep myself alive (and then clicked “hide from timeline”). Idiots saw this as some kind of publicity or marketing stunt to get people to read a travel blog. Total idiots with no education or common sense. I still can’t explain this one easily to those who don’t understand. Depression is individual to each person that has it. What works, works. Money does not matter, neither does business or white middle class capitalist cow excrement.
This blog is so public, it’s international. Yet in 2007 when I started writing about sky diving in New Zealand or drinking in New York, I was only really turning my private daily travel diary into an online blog bereft of too much personal emotion. But that soon changed. We forget how public it becomes on the internet and how real my story has been – anyone who followed the story saw the highs and lows and the development of myself as a perpetual tourist. But we see what really happened to a person. Especially when we are crying in a dark room in Herzegovina for two days wishing death to hit us. There’s no need to hide. I suicided my life to you all and I still cannot explain or get my message of depression across. Even this post below which was a cry for help and honesty, became people’s reason to hate me and want me dead. Remember, in my mind this is how it felt – to your mind, probably a little different. Who cares anyway. it was all what was in my mind at that particular time.
“In the beginning when we were winning, when the smiles were genuine” – Nicky Wire.
“Who wouldn’t date you Jonny – you’re too cute” – Known person, will remain my anonymous fan.
Today, here, rather than me just Facebooking a post to say thank you to people, this is a blog post to do that but mostly a quick bit of an explanation, so it’s on here for people to read and go back to – and for those who don’t use Facebook but saw my sadness out in the open. I might also edit bits of this article depending on feedback. Those that really care about me – thanks for standing by me the last 4 months. I can’t really keep this short, and will live to tell the full story sometime. There is too much depth in this story – with three girls playing a huge part in my decline, those close to me are aware of it. They may not know it – what they did to me – they have caused my depression, aided the ruining of my travel blog and nice story and we lost ourselves in evil emotions. I actually hope that two of those girls can read this and see how they made me feel suicidal through through lies, nothing else. I suffer from depression, this is hard to explain to everyday happy people. This explains part of my depression, in a fast way.
I arrived back in Gdańsk, Poland in July 2016. It was my fourth time in this country, third time to be writing about it and I had some nice projects lined up as I waited on my Kaliningrad visa. Two local girls who were my travel friends, they had already invited me to visit Gdańsk and agreed to show me round the sights, help me with Polish and things would be good. I was here to meet them, do some writing and visit places like Kaliningrad, Malbork, Stutthof, Leba and Pelplin. When I saw how cool the city of Gdansk looked and went on a cycle and food tour in my first week, I expected life to be so happy here and was going to stay. I got a bit lonely even though I met cool people in the Hostel Cycle On, my first base here. Having lived in Hong Kong and Australia mostly the last 7 years, this would be my first real European city to live in since 2009 (the previous one was Bournemouth in England).
“Maybe the strangeness only ever was, to hide ourselves from some kind of happiness” – Nicky Wire (again).
But things went downhill in lots of ways. On the same day, my visa for Kaliningrad was rejected, one of the girls lied to me, refusing to meet and show me the sights, but didn’t lie to her other friends. It was the first time on my travels that one of my travel friends had done this to me in their home town – I remember going to Colombia and Julio showed me round, same happened in Israel with Haya and Natalia, same thing in Barcelona with Paul and Nuria. Friends and family had always met up and helped me settle. But instead of saying they didn’t want to help me, lies arrived. The lies became pretty bad, so extreme I was baffled by their reasoning for lying as I was here to work and promote this region, which I did with a real passion. When I considered that they could do this to me and not others, I realised I must have been the most horrible person they had ever met. In depression little things affect me and those that lie, are the worst people to be around when you feel depressed. I felt like Hitler or Stalin to them, I had become some kind of evil person and travel blogger that should be lied to and humiliated, a lot more went on than this of course, I skim the surface. Bloggers started questioning my authenticity as well – but they have always done that. Despite the fact I am ONE OF THE ORIGINAL hobby travel bloggers – remember this blog was free and bereft of income for FIVE and a half years (2007 – 2012). It is a blog of passion rather than money. I have 3,000 travel stories on here from the goodness of my heart, not my bank account. The fact that I am more communist and people based than capitalist and building based should be enough for anyone to work that out. I rave about the cultures of Transnistria, China and North Korea. At the time, I pretended not to care and tried to shake it off and leave them to be rude and nasty. But my mood swings shifted and I sook help with with two local psychologists. Nightly I cried basins of eye water into sinks, I stopped eating properly, stopped working, stopped caring for anything. I did write about some of this on Facebook and on the blog – this post in early August was the sign of things to come. The oddest thing was – I loved Gdansk – I now had a good city at least to live in amidst my mental horror. I have toyed with writing about all of this as there is a charming love story to it as well – but with macabre parts. There was an angel to help me – Lady A. When Lady A stepped in to help, it was clear that Lady B and Lady C were to blame. But still, deeply nobody understood my depression or my rationale.
The entire month was dark. These girls lies started off as simple ones – pretending not to see my messages, pretending to read them later, pretending to be happy about my tours of Pomerania, offering fake support in depression. One of them decided to ignore my tour to their town despite the fact it was their invite initially which took me there. A nice “enjoy your trip” would have been too much to expect. When I bought wine and chocolate to one of them when we met for smoothies without a thank you, I now felt like the biggest asshole on earth. Lady A was standing watching it all, giving the best advice ever. At least I had a new best friend. My Polish doctors were good at listening, but again, nobody could understand.
“The drugs don’t work, they just make you worse and I know I’ll see your face again” – Richard Ashcroft (the Verve).
Even in depression, work was always high priority for me – I am good. I am hard working. My tours were going well though and I got front page news in the local paper next to an Olympic gold medal winner. But that didn’t even make me happy now. I got 4 star hotels asking me to do reviews and I declined. I wasn’t happy. I stopped working. I closed the book on it.
To relieve my despair, my best friend Millwall Neil visited me in Gdańsk. He was a gem for doing this, and we had a great time – we toured the Wall Murals of Zaspa and a sombre trip out to Westerplatte where World War 2 began. But rather than easing my depression and suicidal thoughts, Neil’s journey merely delayed it. Nothing to do with Neil of course.
I was happy when Neil and I had 5 days together. During this time, again some of the local “friends” I had made refused to meet us and lied to me. It was hard to take. I turned to football again but it was lonely and shit – I went to watch the local football Lechia Gdańsk for the first time – we play in green and white and won 2-1 against Lech Poznan. All of these were covers up for my nightly despair.
I also had a new, gorgeous flat in the district of Brzezno, Gdańsk. Anywhere with a B for town and B for beach really – Bangor, Ballyholme, Bournemouth, Brzezno. I moved in and things would be fine now. I had a local WiFi cafe and I took walks on the gorgeous pier and beach. People on the outside thought my life must be amazing – wow – Northern Irish blogger, cool, happy guy gets a new flat, has an article in the Polish newspaper, working for Polish travel magazines and he smiles. “swap ye” says the Ulsterman. No, you won’t want to.
But later the lies got extreme, my days became mundane and with no apology in sight, my days became foodless. I didn’t need to eat. I still drank tea and coffee. I lay on the beach or pier on my own, wishing someone might come and help, and see me, and talk to me. I had a brief release from my depression when I toured Malbork, Elblag and Stutthof with two friends. Around the same time, some jealous newbie travel bloggers including “fake Afghanistan tourist Derek Freal” (a blogger who emailed me asking advice about Afghanistan for his trip in March 2016 that he never went on – can’t stand fakes) reported one of my websites for “a promoted article on sex”. Himself having an article on being in prison and kissing an Asian girl!! The article I had done was written for free in 2012 as a joke, it was pure fire Northern Irish humour and for the record, I owned all the photos on the post and they are me and my friends in them. These bloggers even accused me of promoting sex tourism in South East Asia. I was baffled. Idiots with no intelligence. It’s a well known fact that I hate south east asia and I abhorr sex tourism or any kind of female exploitation (or indeed male exploitation). Except for when depression kicks in, I try to be a model gentleman. Everybody also knows that I had a girlfriend who I was engaged to for 5 years of this blog’s existence. She knows the truth (she doesn’t want me to mention her name on here anymore but you know who she is – wondergirl). But I was depressed, suicidal and now angry – just to keep these ill educated bloggers happy, I removed the article but my website as a business was over. Maybe a blessing in disguise though, in the long run, who knows? The same week I lay on tram tracks in a suicide bid and later fell out of a tree hurting my back. I didn’t want to be here.
“When your day is long and the night is yours alone” – Michael Stipe.
One day it got too bad – I posted a final request on Facebook and sat back on my new bed. I turned my computer off, packed a quick bag, wrote a suicide note (which the Polish police never found or cared t0 find – they were useless at even locating my flat with their old school “offline methodology”) and got the next train to Warszawa. With no plans on what to do except escape my mind’s thoughts.
“Life lies a slow suicide, everywhere death row; everyone’s a victim” – Richey James Edwards.
There are gaps to fill in but now – nothing has changed. After I left Poland for Slovakia, the next day, the lies continued and my parents came to Gdansk to meet me. I wasn’t there and I wasn’t online for the first 5 days. I had no idea, or notion of what might be happening in Poland. I didn’t meet them or know they were in Gdansk. I took the first 5 days offline completely. By now, I was in Serbia. Disterbia. I found out later that the girls involved were now lying to the police, lying to my friends and probably most deeply upsetting – when they couldn’t even reply to my own mother to offer a reason or an apology. At least I was still alive, but I didn’t need friends or family or anyone – I wanted to cut off from everything. If I died, I didn’t care, if I survived then I would feel like I had beaten something again. The depression hasn’t eased and this story is very hazy and incomplete but I’m here. The fact remains though – only ONE person clicked share on my suicide post after 10 days and this felt horrible to me – I saw it on day 5 and again on day 10 and because I wasn’t logging in, I felt so unwanted. So when I got back online properly on day 12, I shared it myself (and then clicked “hide from timeline”) and then I paid a marketing company to add fake “sads” and “likes” to it, to keep myself alive. I was ridiculed for demanding this by those who have no humanity in them. I had also previously paid for mental health specialists, yes I paid money for doctors (it is not about promoting blogs – it is about health), if I needed a certain type of tea at that time and it cost $100 US< I would pay it. These people think that mental health and death is all about selling adverts on a blog – this is probably because they come from a commercial mindset in a capitalist country. Here, in my communist retort, I was merely trying to keep myself alive. I would pay money to anyone to keep me alive – money or marketing is of no element here. I just needed to see that physical number of shares and sads/likes that wanted me to stay alive then I could feel wanted. Once I got it and saw it, I then pretended it was done by the public. And it gave me a smile again. While trying to explain this to others, they were too stupid to understand that I ended up giving up on explaining it. Only Carlo Cretaro from Next Step Who Knows (a true gentleman) understood me as we met for a chat in Budapest. Even now, most don’t understand it. But the situation is – money is nothing on life. If someone suicidal wants something that is easily done – do it for them. Do it. It will work. I added 149 shares of my own until Facebook banned me from sharing the post. It made me feel more wanted than the conniving 200 sneaky private messages or shares of a supermarket. If you really care about someone – you will do it in public. You will not be ashamed to say “I hope you stay alive Jonny. Do not die” and do it on my own suicide post, not on someone elses. I will even do that for my enemies as I am a man of peace and love. If someone asks me to say “I don’t hate Southampton FC” to keep them alive, yes yes I will do it for them. My Cherries mates are cringing now, but I will do it and so should they.
Now for the horrible part, the nasty people:
And now for the “No thanks to the stupid ones”, because I’m not a forced white middle class United States travel blogger that left my hometown to start a website only to make money and for promotion. These are travel bloggers to not only avoid, but it seems they genuinely wished death upon me, and don’t care at all about mental health or understand me or my story. Remember this website is only a personal travel blog, it’s wasn’t meant or made to be some kind of fake business or marketing stunt like the other buck eeejits. I’ll say it again – I’ve been a travel writer since 1991 (my first trip to the Netherlands) and an online travel writer since 2007. I do it for passion, not for marketing or money you idiots. The first 5 years of this site, I lost time and money on it and loved it!! Good luck if any of their closer than me friends and family ever get ill in life. Then you’ll know what depression is and how serious suicide and mental health can be. These bloggers, when I was suicidal and fasting myself, they really did all this:
1.Anna Lysakowska (allegedly she is Polish – oh the irony as I live here, yet she writes in English) – she saw my post and decided not to share it??? Suspecting that depression and suicide is a “publicity stunt”? This is mental health, mental illness. Yes, maybe we should make it a publicity stunt then, now that she mentions it. But publicity stunt for what?? To make people visit my stupid travel blog page or my website?? I think not. Another western white lady whose entire blog looks like she is only doing it for publicity yet my blog is of course only a personal diary from my pen since 1991. The mind boggles.
Nasty comments? I bring peace and love and honesty. If my honesty is nasty, at least it didn’t wish people dead or refuse to share health posts because you are too cool for them. How can people be so cruel? (answer – because they don’t understand depression or passionate travel blogging when money is not involved).
2.Justin Tarmac (United States travel blogger with very, very poor English – what is the word ya?) This guy actually took time out to complain about my depression and criticise me for it, I couldn’t believe some of the things he says, so I screen grabbed them just to show how horrible humans can be. Stalin and Hitler have nothing on this guy:
“Ya man, ya it’s bad”. Ya ya ya. What does “ya man” mean? He must have a great travel blog. And making up stories about my “it never happened 2015 suicide bid”?? When did I ever disappear in 2015 and then popped up a week later? This is the most lunatical thing I have ever read. “His mom flew to Poland and started a search” – you mean “His mother and father” flew to Poland to keep me alive.
“What a piece of shit” – he is either talking about me or my mother here. Enough said – horrible man who again, has no idea about depression. But because I have depression most of my life, I am a “piece of shit” or my mother is. I don’t call people “a piece of shit” because it’s offensive. It’s nasty and it’s inhumane.
And why would I “apologise to my my friends for scaring them”. In depression you never think of things like this – you are depressed! The only person scared is the person depressed. We are trying to stay alive, we are not thinking of scaring others, he has obviously never had depression or even understands it.
- I also wanted to mention about my “friend” Magda Łabuda here – Magda started agreeing with Justin and ridiculing me for sharing my own post 149 times to stay alive. Magda – Magda – I am depressed – if you were depressed and needed this I would do it for you, without question!! Please can you understand this? Come on Magda, you even blocked me on Instagram because of this? And I’m one of your fans!
“Whoa. This is pretty unreal.” – NO it is not – it is very very real. Depression and mental health are huge issues in life.
Next you’ll be telling me that a Mental Health and Suicide company paid me to write this and fake my scars and days without food just to create a silly story for buck eejit travel bloggers. For what purpose? To save 1,000 lives? No idea.
“Oh my bloggers would actually stoop to THIS level for publicity” – seriously Nellie, she wrote that!!! Is she completely stupid?? The numbers on the blog post did not have to be PUBLIC, or publicity – they were physical numbers for my head, they could be private only for me to see it and feel wanted. And you can click “hide from timeline” after doing it. I have never met any of these people of course but they are clearly very badly educated with happy families that never had a problem in life. Mental health is real. My doctors are fake too I assume? I paid them for nothing, did I?
Yes of course I will tell people I am depressed and mentally unstable, and ready to die, but to class it as publicity because I tell people? It almost sounds like she thinks I was putting it in public for a stupid reason. I actually feel it was a good thing to publicise it! If I didn’t tell people my problems, then nobody knows. It may even help others talk about depression, so perhaps even publicly doing it and publicity isn’t even a bad thing. It has NOTHING to do with earning money or getting people to visit stupid websites. It is ONLY about self survival. I still have no idea if these people will ever understand this, but at least I have tried one last time.
I still haven’t received any “get well soon” messages or apologies from these “humans”. Maybe they should read my real life non commercial horror stories on my tours to Saddam Hussein’s house in Iraq or the concentration camps in Cambodia and Poland. Those are nasty people in our history. I only brought you peace and love, all for free and because I went backpacking around the world with some Bangor seaside charm.
I cannot write any more now as this is so sad for me but these four “travel bloggers” were not the only ones – I got a lot of hate mail and didn’t bother to screen grab it all. I’m going to ignore it from now on, unless it is from an intelligent person. But I had to vest this anger out tonight as my depression has been accelerated by these people, who cannot understand mental health.
I am so depressed right now but don’t worry about it because the whole thing is just a full invented idea for my whole adult life just so that buck eejits will click on a travel blog post about backpacking through Karakalpakstan (don’t click on that – it’s for show only).
“Jonny Blair shared this then clicked ‘hide from timeline’ ” – I did it to save my own life.
Best wishes, peace and love, even to those who hate me.
Your number one pure, culture hungry, non-capitalistic, passionate backpacking Northern Irishman.
“We got a love between us and it’s like electricity” – Suede.