Hi, I’m Joe and I’m the Founder of Reconnect Wellness Club. Given that you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you or someone you care about is having a difficult time. I went through a challenging time too and didn’t know what to do. Everyone said to see my GP, so I did that. She told me I had ‘Clinical Depression’ caused by a chemical imbalance. It didn’t seem to add up to me, but trusting in her experience I followed her instructions. One question bugged me though, how could she diagnose me with a chemical imbalance without ever doing a blood test or a brain scan?
I see myself as one of the lucky ones though, I met an amazing therapist who helped guide me through my troubles (cheers, Keith). Through Keith’s guidance and book recommendations, I realised that there was no scientific evidence to suggest I was mentally ill. If this is the case, why did so many organisations and services treat me like I was? No one seemed to want to listen to me and understand. Working with Keith helped me to see that my feelings were there for a reason and I wasn’t broken. There was no need to worry about stigma, because I wasn’t broken.
I felt like a detective having to read books, visit often seedy feeling rooms in community centres and explore through therapy what was really going on with me. It seemed to me that my doctor and a large part of society had taken away my hope, by telling me I’m mentally ill, instead of helping me to talk and understand, I was encouraged to number ‘symptoms’.
When COVID took over, another question came to mind… everyone was talking about the mental health epidemic and the rise in ‘Mental Illness’, does this mean more people have realised they’ve got a chemical imbalance in their brains? Or, could it be, that people are understandably struggling with the isolation, financial uncertainty and worry for the health of themselves and their loved ones? The answer seemed obvious to me but again, society and medicalised views of our suffering seemed to be causing more people confusion.
I realised that my purpose in life is to guide people through the confusion and misunderstanding and help them to grow from life’s challenges. Most importantly, I want to support people in restoring their hope for the future. My experience has shown me that understanding, support, friendship and community are what really helped me through what people might call my mental health crisis. I’m not a guru and don’t see myself as an expert (I mean, until someone can explain consciousness, who’s really a ‘mental health’ expert?). I’m a really normal bloke who just wants to make sure people don’t have to go through what I did.
I’m so incredibly lucky to have an amazing team helping me, so we can bring Reconnect Wellness Club’s to people in need, around the world. We’ve started in London but our plans are huge. If you find yourself asking similar questions to me, feeling lost or lonely then come and join us. We’re here to help you Reconnect.