The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

“You’ll never change what’s been and gone” – Noel Gallagher.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I have tried to explain my depression to thousands of people over the last 13 months and still the only person who gets it and understands it is ME. It is frustrating but good that I know who I am and I won’t change for anyone. I am pure and honest to the core, always have been, always will be. I made mistakes. I admitted them. I apologised in public and in private. I told the world on live radio about my depression, when on International Radio Poznan earlier in 2017. As for my mistakes. I won’t make them again. That’s done.

“Leave the past for another day. Please no more talk today.” – Dubstar.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I sincerely hope and pray this is the last time I ever have to write this. It won’t change my daily suicide thoughts though. I know that now. I want to die everyday because of this one event on my travels. In the last 13 months all I have needed to escape this daily depression is for the culprit to come forward with their reasons and admit their guilt. But now, I am resigned to the fact that for whatever reason, they currently don’t have the guts or willpower to apologise to me or to admit their mistakes.

“You’ll never know how much you hurt me” – Mick Hucknall.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I have read a lot recently about compulsive lying, lying to friends and I have realised it is also a mental disorder just like my mental pain daily. We both have issues and hence why i have forgiven this person despite the fact they never apologised. There is still no response from them and I assume the culprit is still alive and hopefully healthy. If you read this then please finally understand how and why lying to friends is morally wrong. It causes mental problems which will never go away. I am just honest. It’s a long story but I have to tell it true without mentioning names and places. I wanted to mention names and places as I am honest and pure and hate hiding things but I got slated before for naming and shaming so this time my story with the anonymous person. Gutted. But this is the story.

Backpacking in Romania: Top 5 Sights in Bucharest

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I met this person travelling. We were good friends, I thought. But she lied. We met up in three countries, we ate, we drank, we talked travel together. It was fun for me! I assumed (obviously wrongly despite my wisdom) that it was also fun for the other person. Now I guess it wasn’t fun for them but I wasn’t to know that as their actions and words spoke otherwise. They faked this friendship, again for what motive (personal gain, free travel tips, free postcards?) I will never know.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I first met this person in an unnamed country in 2014. We gelled on our love for travel and adventure, and there was another meeting in late 2014 and again we kept touch and met up during 2015. During the first 18 months of being “friends”, I had always invited that person to visit Northern Ireland one day and I meant it. I tell it to all my close friends from my journey. That person in turn had also invited me to their town and country. So of course me being the perpetual tourist at the time, it was obvious that sooner or later I would visit their town to meet for drinks and food tour the sights and write about it.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I was as excited about that person’s town as I was about all my other travel friends towns. In fact at the time I was comparing our friendship to these other travel friends from my journey. This time I’ve named them. If they want their names removed, I will do it for them.

My Colombian mate who worked with me years ago (2004 – 2005). I kept my promise and visited his town. He had time to meet me. He showed me sights. We ate and drank together. I wrote about it. He didn’t lie to me. I class him as a friend. Here are my stories from Julio’s remote towns in rural Colombia:

Touring Sopo, Colombia
Touring Chia, Colombia
Touring Guasca, Colombia
Touring Guatavita, Colombia
Milking Cows in Santa Ana Alta, Colombia

guatavita colombia amazing

The boys are back in town! Julio Felipe and I touring Guatavita in COLOMBIA. I visited his remote towns and wrote about them.

My English friend who now lives in Sweden where he is married and a father. I kept my promise and visited his new town in Sweden. He had time to meet me. He showed me sights. We ate and drank together. I wrote about it. We even toured a Wacaday Republic together – Ladonia! He didn’t lie to me. I class him as a friend. Here are my stories from my reunions with Daniel:

Touring Nimis in Ladonia
Crossing from Sweden to Ladonia
Touring Helsingor, Denmark
My Reunion with Daniel and backpacking Angelholm

Daniel and I reunited and out backpacking again – here in Helsingor, Denmark

3. Haya.
I kept my promise and visited Haya’s town in Israel. She had time to meet me. She showed me sights and even though she was busy organising a wedding, she gave me travel tips. We ate and drank together. I wrote about it. She didn’t lie to me. I class her as a friend. Here are some of my stories from my time with Haya:

Touring Masada, Israel
My time at Mizra Kibbutz, Israel
Touring Nazareth, Israel

Touring Afula with Mayrav and Haya

I kept my promise and visited my German friend Rene in 2007. He had time to meet me. He showed me sights. We ate and drank together and in the end also visited 4 countries together. I wrote about it. Here are some of my stories from my reunions with Rene:

Driving through Belgium
Hangovers in Hannover, Germany
Touring Magdeberg, Germany
Tiny Osterweddingen, Germany
Touring Eiffel Tower with Rene in France

Good old times with my travel buddy Rene in Paris – backpacking our way to the top of the Eiffel Tower!

These are just four examples of real travel friends who were honest and didn’t lie to me. In the instances when I visited my travel friend’s towns and they were not around (which happened with Lief when I backpacked Norway in 2015), they usually sent me travel tips or even sent a friend to show me the sights. This happened countless time son my journey. It’s what I did for years. I made friends with over 2,000 people. I made a point of visiting their remote towns and villages to meet them and write about them. I buzzed off the crazy places! Another example from Israel was Alex and Natali who took me to the Druze Village of Isfiya in 2013!

isfiya druze religion

Posing in Isfiya, Israel with the Druze flag and our tour guide Badeea Mansour, a member of the Druze religion.

So in 2016, I was a fool to think that another travel friend (who I classed wrongly in the same breath as Daniel, Haya, Rene etc.) would do the same. I wanted to visit their remote town, meet up for coffee, tour the sights and write about it. If that person wasn’t there, I was sure they would give me travel tips for my blog. If they couldn’t do that, I was sure they could maybe send me details of a friend they had in that town who would be able to meet or in the worst instance give me travel tips. I was so wrong, and the cruel lies that followed from this false friend started 13 months (and counting) of daily suicidal thoughts and depression.

What caused 13 months of depression

What followed ahead of my visit to their town astounded me. Instead of being excited about my visit and ready to show me the sights etc. that person chose a nasty alternative – lying. They lied. They pretended not to be in their town during my visit. They promised travel tips which never came. They went from being a false friend to completely blanking and ignoring my messages, and even worse pretending not to know I was in their town. The problem was I now had proof of the lies and couldn’t believe it. This was just the tip of the iceberg. I wasn’t even given tips on a hotel I could stay in, the bus routes, anything. As a foreign tourist in their town, it felt like they didn’t care and wanted me to die. Remember, travelling can be daunting and dangerous and though I haven’t mentioned the person, the town/village/city, the country or even the exact month, they should have at least told me the dangers, some useful tips. If they were a real friend, they would do that right? All my other friends did – on a 14 year journey outside Northern Ireland. None of my other friends gave me nasty lies. I couldn’t believe it and broke down one night. And incidentally the photos on this post will not give away the location either so don’t look for clues. I have now had to hide the person’s name and their country/city.

The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

I broke down and was suicidal every night from the day the lies started. Why was I being lied to while at the same time, this person was claiming to be good friends. And having already visited their city, I was STILL awaiting their travel tips for my blog. I actually blogged about their town anyway despite not having the tips. It was really sad. Then, two weeks after my visit to their town, a message from that (now clearly fake) friend said “Hey Jonny. How was your trip to my town? We are still friends. If you need any tips let me know”. It was all a lie. They hadn’t cared about my trip, they felt guilty about their lies and for whatever reason they were now digging deeper lies. Many more lies followed before and after and I won’t go into all of them – some were pure nasty. On receipt of that message I cut my wrists I shaved my body hair off and fasted for a day. I was doomed. I was humiliated. I was embarrassed. It was a huge insult to my blogging, my sightseeing, my touring, my writing, our friendship. It was all a lie. If they cared about my trip, why didn’t they meet me? If they really couldn’t meet me (it happens) then why couldn’t they have sent a sibling or a friend to meet me instead? If they couldn’t even do that why couldn’t they give me some travel tips. They knew I was covering that city for my blog, and I later wrote about it for other websites and apps. I now realised I couldn’t trust my friends ever again. I didn’t want to travel ever again, I hated myself for trusting people. Why was I the victim? Why couldn’t the person have just given me the travel tips or met me? Why did Haya and Rene meet me and this person didn’t? I was so confused.

Sunset at the Kaluts Desert, Iran – they were mere memories now.

My real friends suffered.

I missed Daniel’s wedding.

I missed Jody’s wedding.

Those were two of the main events in my 2016 life and I missed them.

It wasn’t my fault – it was all down to the liar.

I missed every Northern Ireland match and for the first time in 5 years, I didn’t attend even one AFC Bournemouth or Glentoran home match. My life turned on its head. I lay on the tram tracks in Gdansk in Poland not long after I finally made it there in July 2016. I went missing in September 2016 and was reported to the Polish police. I was in the news, news I realised later had been all over Northern Ireland and Poland. Even my best Polish friend Rafal saw me in the national newspaper. This time for really sad reasons instead of being a travel writer. I was a goner. I wanted to die.

Belfast Live

Even my local football club were looking for me

Wyborcza – Poland’s National Newspaper

13 months on, those lies are still the sole reason for my depression. (Yes, later another false friend also lied to me, but I coped better as it was my second experience of it now. And even later, an outsider to the story and wannabe “GuruGod” intervened into the story knowing nothing about my friendship to the people involved, or even Haya, Daniel and my travel style of writing. Nothing good was coming out of this. Not even suicide awareness. I lost weight, I cried my eyes out nightly. I went back to my flat in Brzezno in Gdansk in October 2016 and cut myself off from the world. As I write this 13 months on, nothing has changed. I still pray that the person involved is alive, healthy and happy but also that they understand what they did wrong. You don’t pretend to be friends with someone (especially not a travel writer going to write about their towns!) and humiliate them. The friendship was a huge lie for 3 years. I won’t trust anyone ever again after this. I guess I grew up in an honest family who admits our wrongs. I am truly sad every day now, and life goes slowly on.

Stay strong.

“Suicide is painless” – J,o,h,n-n,y Mandel.

On the pier in Brzezno, Gdańsk. Very suicidal.

16 thoughts on “The Reason For My 13 Months of Depression and Daily Suicidal Thoughts

  • Hi Pavel, thanks for your comment. Yes I agree with you in some way with that and also appreciate your honesty. The only thing I will say is at least I am honest and admitted that travel can have negative consequences too. My life has been an open book or ups and downs. The depression and suicidal thoughts were caused by people I met on the journey who faked a friendship then told me nasty lies, spiralling me into depression. I am trying to beat this problem and get through it. Best wishes to you. Jonny

  • Hi Jonny,

    Don’t you think it’s slightly unfair to place sole blame for your depression and suicide attempts on one person? Based on what you said – that they simply ghosted you and didn’t want to meet up with you – this seems hugely out of proportion. I’ve had people drop out of my life plenty of times, and I admit being ignored is never nice, but to fall into a 13 month depression because of it and blame multiple suicide attempts on them seems way over the line. I concede you might have omitted information but based on what you’ve written this seems very self-pitying.

    What the mystery person did was wrong, but not so wrong as to provoke such a vicious and extensive response. People get injured, oppressed, mugged, abused, raped, and killed everyday – if someone you met twice lying to you is the worst thing that ever happened to you then you need to get some perspective.

  • Hi Regan, Thanks for the comment. We have never met (unless you are using a fake name). Sadly it is not unfair as that single person, on their own has now caused what is 20 months of depression and daily suicidal thoughts. Something is keeping me alive and I don’t know what it is. I have nothing to live for because of them, the person who I now call only “NASTY”. You don’t know the full story here and while I’ve shared it many times in various ways – the fact is – I have backpacked the world for 15 years. I TRUSTED people too much. I made a lot of friends, REAL friends. If those friends EVER lied to me, I would always call them up on it and ask them if they lied and to admit it. ALL of them admitted their lies, apologised and my depression was gone. When I confronted NASTY about their lies, (that I had proof of), they claimed they weren’t lying. They were so so nasty about it, even lying to my parents, the Police and one of ,my best friends. Yes – NASTY lied to the Police. All I asked NASTY for was to apologise and admit they were wrong to me. They forged a three year “friendship” with me, in fact even NASTY’s last message to me still claims we are friends. It is horrendous to treat an enemy like that, never mind a friends. I am not sure what you mean about someone I met twice – are you referring to someone other than NASTY? I met NASTY many more times than twice, in fact we met and travelled in four countries together and I trusted them. They owe me a lot of money,m but worse, they owe me a HUGE apology and admission. But they have no BALLS or STRENGTH to apologise. How I am still alive I will never know. And of course it is self pity, I feel sorry and sad every day that a person could fake a 3 year friendship. As a result, I blocked and deleted any other FAKE friends who had lied. Anyone who lies to me again, I will end the friendship immediately before they turn the way NASTY did with their horrific spate of lies. I am so sad about it. I just wish one day before I die that NASTY will come forward and say SORRY. It’s a small ask. I would do it for ANYONE if I was in the wrong or I lied. Best wishes. 🙁 Jonny

  • Hi Jonny,

    Firstly, just want to say I am a huge fan of the site and the blog. Like yourself I am from Northern Ireland, I have lived abroad in a number of places and have traveled a moderate amount. I stumbled across site by accident as I was trying to figure out which countries it is better to use either my Irish or UK passport for visas. I have been hooked ever since and admire the effort you put into this site.

    I must say it is really sad to hear you have been experiencing severe depression. It takes guts to air it in a public forum and I can imagine it’s hell at the minute. As others have alighted, being duped by some snake you met travelling does seem unfair but it’s surprising that it has ignited at 2 year depression spell. Obviously it’s subjective and I’m sure there was more to the story that you can’t get into.

    However, as you have said there are good and bad experiences while traveling. Im sure if you were to think of all of your experiences on the road the majority would be positive? Perhaps getting the head down and into a new travelling project would be healthy?

    I have been in some dark places myself, it may not seem like it but it will get better.

    ‘Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors’.

    Take care,

  • Sometimes you have to find enough strength in yourself to forgive. I know it’s hard to forget about the wrongs. That it’s hard to just accept it. But it has already happened. It is already behind you. Yes, you have been betrayed, cheated but not all people are like those. Do not lose faith in people. There are a lot of great people. You are one of them. You’re great, Jonny. And no fake friend will change it. You’re wonderful! I followed your blog when you visited my town in Poland. And I was very sad because of your depression. And I understand that it hurts you what happened to you. But believe me, there are many wonderful moments ahead of you. And these moments depend on you. These moments do not depend on whether you get an apology. Maybe you will never get them. But that does not change who you are and how important you are to many other people. I know that your wounds still hurt. But burying them will not help. Perhaps it is worth admitting to yourself and to God that you have been hurt, that it hurts you and just accept it? Because it happened, but your life goes on. Your life is worth living. Do it for yourself. Your life does not depend on these people or people. Their loss is that they have lost the possibility of being with you through lies. You are worth it to be happy. And your luck does not depend on them. Many great people and moments in life are waiting for you. Whenever we meet someone we risk a lot. We give something away and we can lose even more. This is the relationship. This is a risk. But we must never give up! You are wonderful and good. you are important for God, for parents, for real friends. You are important for fans of your travels. You’re sensitive, warm, smart. You’re a nice guy. These people do not define who you are. You are what you want to be. You decide. Choose life, Jonny. Because life is a gift and a wonderful thing. Your life is wonderful. You are wonderful. It’s a waste of time for these people. It’s your life. And it is worth to smile, raise your head and fight. Today can be the start of your new life. No less regret for these months. I know that you suffered. But today is a new day. You fight, you are strong. Keep fighting. Do not give up Jonny. Stand up!
    I do not know English well. I write with the help of an interpreter. I hope you understand what I wrote.

    I wish you health

  • My personal experience with depression has never been as simple as “if this person apologizes”, I will be cured.

    Depression is a mental illness that doesn’t need a reason to be. I don’t doubt that you are depressed and that their actions might have been a trigger, but it is naive to believe that a simple apology or acknowledgment will fix anything.

    Fighting the black dog – and it is is very much a fight – is an intensely personal journey that I applaud you for sharing, but I think you’re doing yourself a disservice by pinning it all on one person’s actions – however cruel they might have been.

    My own battle with depression will never be over, but I made immense strides when I began to acknowledge that it was every bit as ‘blameless’ as cancer or a cold. You have depression and may never get rid of it, so the best you can do is manage the symptoms and minimize your contact with negative influences that might exacerbate it.

    Be strong, brother.

  • Czesc Lucyna, Thanks so much for your kind and warm hearted message, especially that you are Polish as I live in Poland now and love your country! Your message made me smile a lot, thanks for being so nice to me. I guess my problem is that I come from an honest family who always forgive and forget, we make mistakes but we apologise, especially when we know how it can affect others. There were a total of three people who let me down – one was a very nasty liar, another was sending messages to my Mum, my friends pretending to be a friend of mine (they were really nasty) and the third person was actually nice in the end – they wrote to me to say they wouldn’t apologise which was at least a reply. Perhaps one day in Poland, I will meet you, and many similar people to you – nice, honest, warm, fun people. I have a new blog now here – but it’s sad for me that Don’t Stop Living almost had 9,000 fans in 2016 and was popular, yet it was ruined by others who chose lies and betrayal. I fight on, I am alive. Peace, hope, love and happiness to you too. Jonny

  • Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. I really wasn’t aware of your depression too, thanks for sharing it. When you are in the public eye even through a blog, it can also be tough fighting it with others judging and wondering how you are. I have received over 1,000 messages from people I don’t know, yet I would replace them all with one message from the liar saying “Hi Jonny, I lied. I’m sorry. I did it because [insert real honest reason]. Bye, That liar”. It’s really tough to get through it, a lot of what your say is right but it was triggered by that person’s lies, unfortunately. I was happy until they lied. Best wishes to you! Jonny

  • Hi Ryan, thanks for the comment, I wasn’t checking my comment or emails for ages due to depression called by liars. I left Northern Ireland in 2003, expecting to return but yet that was it – 15 years later and I am still abroad. I did share most of the story publically back in 2016 when I exposed 2 liars and a wannabe Guru God and at the time I was suicidal and in deep depression. The depression hasn’t eased but I’m still alive and backpack when I can. I found a good base in Poland which helps keeps my bills down now. Yes, I also have a new project now called Northern Irishman in Poland – Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Jonny

    Well, I’m not in your situation, so I can’t give advice. But I was once in a hard time when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that was uncurable

    At that very day, I felt hopeless, and wanted to commit suicide. But I decided to live on.

    Sometimes all it takes is a decision to keep living, and my only thought that time was :”Anyone can commit suicide at my situation, anyone can, but I just … can’t”.

    I knew the way forward could be painful (it is) , I scared to death, but I accepted it anyway (I bursted into tears when I thought about it). Because I know death would come to me, but I’d rather let God do it when the time is right, now now.

    I live with it, I knew the illness is within me, but I’m fine with it. I can always talk to my friends, but as it turns out, I’m the one who can make myself feels better.

    I wish you the strength to keep on living, because you know, life is about taking pain and growing stronger, taking more pain. The moment you decide to live, and to take more pain, is the moment of courage.
    Ryan Smith recently posted…The 7 Best Cameras for Backpacking in 2019My Profile

  • Hi Ryan, it has been a really tough time and I even didn’t want to expose the liars and GuruGods who caused my depression, but I asked them on numerous occasions to admit their lies and apologise and they refused, especially a character who is so unimportant in life yet somehow helped to deliberately ruin my life, my blog and send me into long term depression, suicidal thoughts and wacaday feelings. Days are a struggle. If an apology came, I’d feel better but they burnt their bridges and left me in the gutter.

    I agree that God will control our death date – I have so much more to give the world than the liar or their lies so perhaps one day I can really smile again.

    Best wishes. Jonny

  • I stumbled upon your site accidentally today, at the bottom of the article I was reading it said you were no longer writing because of this incident. I was intrigued to read further and surprised that such a small incident has caused all this trouble for you.
    If you are depressed and suicidal it is not because of this mystery person. You need a doctor, if you aren’t seeing one already.

  • Hi Liam, thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay. I was suffering from depression and only now I am checking all comments, meesages and blog emails. It wasn’t a small incident, it was a nasty liar that caused the depression, that much is true 100%. If I didn’t meet theat person, I have ZERO depression, it’s fact. I wasted thousands of pounds on doctors and medication so that will definitely not help, in fact it worsened it and plunged me into debt. Money I will never get back. What kept me alive is waiting and waiting for the apology from nasty, one day that person will know what they did to me and maybe have the strength to admit it. I live for that, I don’t live for anything else, hope has been and gone… Stay safe, Jonny

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