After much thought and an incredible amount of feedback from supporters (regarding the tremendous want for more of my writings), Here we are! I’ve been told a thousand times to write a book about all I’ve seen behind the mask of Spider-Man. To further dive into the details of what it feels like to be there when children fight for life with all their might alongside parents and family who watch and submit to the lack of control; grasping only to their faith and hope. I used social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook as an outlet to write but, like my followers, I also felt that wasn’t enough. One day I will begin the book everyone seems to desire but for now, lets begin with this blog!
As you may or may not know, I’ve been visiting children in need, of all kinds, for the past three and a half years behind the mask of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. There’s been so many highs and countless lows but at end of June 2017, things came crashing down. It all began with the passing of a nine year old little girl named Zamora Moon. After traveling to the other side of the world to meet her, (Twice!), I found myself holding her hand as she took her final breath within the presence of her family and confines of her childhood home. Two weeks later (To the day), on July 2nd, I held a good friend and brother of mine, named Darryl Aikens, as he passed away. Leading up to the 25th of July, three more children I was extremely close to passed away; making the total in just a month, FIVE children. The weight was more than I could bare, but I forged forward. After multiple other factors came in to play (my best friends moving to Florida, me suddenly living alone, me taking on more financial responsibility, and more), the hero everyone looked up to….finally fell.
July 26th 2017 is a day I’ll never forget. Its the day that God reminded me, I’m human. As I sat in my barbers chair, I began feeling odd. The walls started closing in, I couldn’t breathe, and I felt faint. I was sweating profusely and had to ask my barber to pause. After drinking water and taking a moment to gather myself, I gritted my teeth through the remainder of that haircut only to finish and find myself shaking in my car. Little did I know what I was in for. After seeing over 10,000 kids worldwide and taking care of everyone but myself, July 26th marked the day my PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression began. A month later (after trying to deny it), I was officially diagnosed with all of the above and ordered to schedule time off, therapy, and a follow up with my doctor.
Here we are almost nine months after my initial experience with PTSD and truth be told, Its better, yet still difficult. In all, I’ve only taken 2 months off ( September 2017 and January 2018). When it all began, the only word to describe it was “HELL”! I didn’t think I’d ever suit up again. I thought it was all over and I believed all the lies my anxiety spoke into my thoughts. There were days I couldn’t even leave my house and would feel so frustrated that I’d bury my face in the pillow only to muffle my screaming in anger, confusion, and pain. That same pillow caught all my tears and laid soaked in everything I kept locked inside the previous three years.
Yup, the hero, the invincible, the indestructible man everyone (including myself), thought I was, felt defeated. Somehow, I managed to regain enough strength to rise again. To put that suit back on and get back in those hospitals and bring hope to little ones who need it most. With that being said, its not without my struggles. It’s harder now. It takes more prep, more effort, and more God. That’s what this whole blog is all about. “My Life, The Message”. I’ve come to realize that its my purpose to share with you all, not only what the children go through and face, but also to give you access to the very depths of my mind and its thoughts in hopes it helps someone reading. I was born to push the envelope and struggle so maybe you don’t have to. Life is such a beautiful portrait of love and what value would it have if it were to just be buried with me one day; unseen?
This blog is the culmination of what my life and my unique experiences have led me to be. This will be real and it will be raw.
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” ―Denis Waitley
– Ricky Mena