It was around 1996 when I realised I wanted to be different. I realised at the age of 10 that I had already seen too much pain. I had witnessed too much hurt. Abuse, whether it was self inflicted or inflicted to my loved ones by others, was a norm. Stability was inconsistent. The hardest thing was to accept the people around me had accepted the pain and couldn’t find a way out or didn’t want to.

I made a decision I will be different. I made a decision I didn’t want to live a life full of pain. I knew this will not be a quick fix. I was hurting knowing that this could take decades of work and only then I would live without the constant hurt. But from a very young age, as you see in the photo, I knew I had an ‘Epic origin’ to keep taking ‘my next step’ and go beyondSix. Please do ignore my epic dress code.

Over the coming years into my teens and late teens life didn’t get any easier. With one hurt ending, another would begin. From one ill parent who had no choice with illness other than to keep taking her next step and remaining positive, to another parent who decided to go down the route of alcohol which ultimately left to numerous suicide attempts. This by the age of 16. This didn’t stop. But I still had my ‘epic origin’. I knew I had to take my next. I wanted to be beyondsix. Nobody at school would have had a clue about what I was living. They’d see a, in my mums own words, a “happy go lucky boy”. I would be the happy one. I would be the shoulder for others. I would make the most of situations. Why…i wanted to be different. But the pain was inside. I didn’t know to show it. I had no other option but to seek help at the age of 16. I say no option because I made that clear to me, it was get help and only this option existed. Again, nobody knew. Not even my mother. The sponge within couldn’t soak up any more. I was filled with hurt and pain. Not a quick sharp pain but over 10 years worth of pain. I continued into my late teens in and out of therapy. Early twenties were no different. Illness, suicide attempts and past trauma seemed to be something that would keep creeping back in. I was not to be defeated, I still had my ‘epic origin’ and the ability to take my next step beyond six. At the age of 33, I’m still taking my next step.

Thank you for reading.

Rishi ‘taking his next step’

#epicorigin #tyns365 #beyondSIX