*Written in May 2017, Sydney
It’s Wednesday night here in (cold!) Bondi Beach. Just three morning runs (and four more sleeps!) until the big day; Sunday 21st May 2017 – my first ever Half Marathon.
I committed to the run around seven weeks ago; thinking it was a great focus for me, while I stopped drinking.
But I wanted to make this more than just about my fitness goals and personal challenges – I wanted to make a difference.
I decided to run for the Livin – It ain’t weak to speak charity.
Why I chose to fundraise for Livin
I randomly met some of the guys behind the charity back at the start of summer. We shared a table at the Coogee pavilion one glorious Sydney Sunday and got chatting.
One of the group had a Livin t-shirt on … the conversation quickly turned to the charity they were all a part of. I’ve followed the charity via Instagram @_livin_dl ever since.
Livin offers help to people suffering with mental health issues, including anxiety, bipolar and depression …
People I love have mental health issues
- One of my best friends has had their life changed forever through anxiety and depression.
- My nan has lived with depression for most of her adult life, certainly for the 31 years I’ve known her.
- Another of my best friends goes to regular therapy sessions to help keep balanced when juggling the string of obstacles life continually throws gets too much.
These three wonderful people are three of the most important people in my whole life. As I have grown older, closer to each of them (even though I haven’t seen two of them physically for years), I have taken a more serious note of mental health issues.
Because they are very real, they are all around us and they come in various forms. Mental health issues deserve to be treated with respect.
I have mental health issues
I have most definitely experienced a number of worrying ‘episodes’ in my life. Most of which have happened during the last two years (age 30 & 31), when I stopped moving around and ‘real-life’ kicked in.
Losing money in the wrong jobs, coming to terms with the fact I upped and left my whole family behind, missing my little sisters growing up, dealing with fall outs with friends and men, knowing I’ve let myself be used, coping with rejection, physically burning my body out only to feel the real burn in my mind, accepting that life isn’t actually a merry-go-round of traveling the world and parties … my ‘bad times’ list runs pretty far and wide.
I have spoken to my doctor (just once) about anxiety and depression issues and have the phone number for a therapist kept away safely in my room. As yet, I haven’t felt the need to make that call but I will if I need to. If I need help I won’t be ashamed.
During these last seven weeks of clean living and more running I have become acutely aware of my mental health state.
I am placing a lot more focus on actively seeking ways to look after my whole self more, to remain balanced and not just focus on how I look physically.
You have to take note of what’s going on internally. Be kind to yourself.
Practicing: It ain’t weak to speak
It took a lot for me to tell my doctor my worries, because when you don’t feel like ‘you’ its downright frightening – how can you not feel ‘at home’ in your own head right?!.
And that’s me saying that – me who finds it easy to talk to pretty much anyone, from all walks of life, about any given subject.
But not everyone is like me – many find it hard to talk about their problems and this is one point where things can escalate.
The charity mantra ‘It ain’t weak to speak’ really hits home and is something we should always bear in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to talk if you are in trouble.
- Don’t be afraid to offer your support if you are worried about a loved one.
So much can happen with just one conversation – so let’s spread some more awareness for the work Livin do!
So far we’re nearly at $500 (amazing!), if you have donated, I thank you so much – if you would like to donate please click here to donate directly on my charity page.
Thank you for reading.