Toxic Masculinity Made My ME Much More Punishing

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By Jack Croxall in #MEAction.

 

I came to on the floor of a supermarket in an affluent London borough. I was staring up at a paneled ceiling, half-blinded by piercing white lights. After a groggy moment of confusion, panic set in. I leapt up, finding myself in the middle of a queue winding towards one of the tills. A family of three was standing next to me, the father shielding his wife and child from me with an outstretched arm. Perhaps he thought I was drunk, perhaps he thought it was beyond his family’s remit to help a fellow Londoner in trouble. Whatever he thought, it didn’t change the fact that I was an extremely ill twenty-something who had just passed out whilst doing his shopping. I only have the faintest memory of what happened next; being at the till a few minutes after, the cashier content to watch as I struggled to pack my bags on my own.

Two weeks later and I was lying on the floor again. This time, in the toilet of a doctor’s waiting room. I wasn’t in London anymore, I had moved back into my parents’ house because I was so inexplicably sick. A month prior, I would have thought nothing of cycling twenty miles in an afternoon, before heading out with friends for a night of bar-hopping. But now, even sitting through the five-minute car journey to my doctor’s office had my muscles screaming for relief, and I was too ashamed of my weakened condition to lay on the busy waiting room floor in full view. So, I went to the toilet, and I lay in a cubicle until I knew it was nearly time for my appointment.

 

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