I have never really hidden who I am or what I go through, its obvious to anyone who knows me that I am the living dead, my life died but I am still alive here at home, stuck indoors 95% or more of the time.

I am a man, a broken man but no less a man and I still have that “chest out macho attitude”, I have recently stopped shaving and my goatee is now engulfed in a thick inch or so long beard and a beard is supposed to signify a strong man. I have been seeking info on how to tend to my facial hair and it has led me to join a group for bearded men, I have now encountered people who don’t know me and so like most men you have that pride and the need to appear strong.


I am 6′ 4″ and 20 plus stone and yet I am weak, pain has broken me as has the way was treated several years back when I lost my job, my friends, my respect. Of course there is no doubt that anyone who crosses me is likely to be told exactly how I feel and exactly how I will react if things continue.

The general view is that anyone who isn’t working is a scrounger, this adds to the pressure of coping with chronic pain every minute of every day and I miss going to work and being a proud man and I miss the comradeship that you get when you work with other means I miss the humour of a group of working men.

The one thing I won’t do is hide what is happening to me, I am honest and I share what my life is like and I’m not afraid to admit that pain has often reduced me to tears and the fact that I think about suicide at least once a week, I won’t do anything though because my life belongs to my wife and children and I won’t take the easy way out.

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

13 thought on “Virtual me”
  1. In some ways, I think it’s harder for men to deal with chronic pain, because of how society is. I understand your humiliation and missing a working life amongst others. I’m disabled too from the physical trauma 8 years ago (the docs didn’t correctly diagnose a partial dislocation of my hip – 8 months later a private physio realigned my hips). I can only walk a few steps on a good day. If you don’t mind me saying, you need to find something to be passionate about, something that’s yours. Crafting in my early days saved my sanity. If you ever want to talk, I’m here, Hugs.

      1. I once had this boyfriend, a very macho type: big, strong, ex-army…he has ptsd from those army days and the child abuse he suffered. He once ‘admitted’ to me that he did x stitching / cross stitching as a kind of craft therapy.

          1. I have had many jobs, I worked for the MoD doing proof and experimental work on ammunition and weapons, I then trained and worked as a firefighter with the MoD, I worked as a contract aircraft engineer and last repairing medical endoscopes. I also did 8 years unpaid work as a Pastoral assistant in the Roman Catholic Church, it was more involved than it should have been as the Priest was, let’s say he was distracted and so I baptised, led services, prayer, led groups for those wanting to become a full member of the RC church, conformation and 1st Holy communion.
            So a varied life

          2. You led a rich life. I’ve had many different jobs too, and am trying to get a degree in design at the age of 42. Are you able to do a little work in whatever capacity now? Btw I’m having a pain flare up and exhaustion since yesterday…because of the cold English weather? Take care.

          3. Ah yes, the British weather gives me a good kick. No I’m not able to do anything now, I get out of bed and lay on the settee and then go to bed, that is about 95% of my life. I do occasionally push round the shops in my chair and then it causes a flare up, its just gradual decline that has left me here.
            I hope your flare up calms down soon, I take it you are a writer?

          4. You sound like you must get bored. I live on the east coast, in a village in Norfolk. We get biting cold winds – didn’t bother me too much before, when well! I’ve got a mobility scooter which fiance is good enough to lug about when we do go somewhere. I love writing, always have done. But now I’ve really the chance to do it. Hope to speak later with you 🙂 I’m having to sleep now. Take care. Thanks for the good wishes.

          5. Have you thought about an electric chair? Those are great. They’re more in tune with your body than a mobility scooter (which is what I’ve got). What are your top three films?

          6. I have a lightweight manual chair, RGK. I have a bike attachment for it that also has an electric function, its handy.
            Top 3 films? Not sure about top 3 but I love Star Wars, Bond, Marvel. Oh and animation, I do enjoy films I’ve watched many times when I’m in flare up, that way I don’t have to pay 100% attention. What about you?

          7. Just had a search on your chair, it looks nice! I like the large wheels, it folds, it looks lightweight too, aluminium? The Force Awakens is out soon, I really want to see that in the cinema. John (fiance) is a DC comics fan, especially Batman – he collects a lot on that. I think The Shining (Kubrick) is my number one film, followed by Dawn of The Dead (I love George Romero…Night of The Living Dead; Land of The Dead too). I also love the Mexican director, Guillermo Del Toro – everything he does, he is magic! I like Hitchcock; other classics like the old Miss Marples, starring Margaret Rutherford; The Thin Man series; The Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (and the current Sherlock); Sapphire and Steel from my childhood… Another fave film is Legend (1984), is a beautifully done fantasy starring a young Tom Cruise, do you know it? It’s on a par with Labrynth. I like children’s films too, The Stuart Littles; ‘bug’ animation, A Bug’s Life; Aardman animation. And, so much more! I sometimes watch them whilst doing embroidery or sewing or drawing for uni.

          8. Yes it’s an aluminium frame, it doesn’t fold but the wheels come off. I haven’t seen Legend, will have to have a look for it. Wow yes Sapphire and steel, forgot about that, I still occasionally watch the Professionals.
            I’m on twitter @satonmybutt

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