Movember – Sean

“I never really understood why I felt that way. I didn’t really have any issues in my life. I had a pretty privileged childhood, but I began to feel low and depressed more and more often. I never told anyone because I was embarrassed. I grew up in quite a masculine environment and I wasn’t comfortable with sharing my feelings with those around me. It felt too vulnerable. Throughout my teens, I had been self-harming. That pain gave me an instant release from what was going on in my head, but gradually, my mental health just got worst. During that time, I would learn to hide my scars quite well and, for the longest time, nobody knew what was going on. Eventually, after ignoring and hiding it for long enough, everything bubbled to the surface around 2017, when I began experiencing panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. I was in a relationship at the time and things were going well enough that I was able to open up for her. She helped me to reach out for professional help. But opening up about all of this made me feel more lost and depressed than I ever was. To the point that I stopped wanting to be alive. I was regularly going to counselling and on a lot of different medications. Despite all of this, I reached a point where my counsellor deemed that I was a danger to my own life, so I was admitted to St. Pats. I don’t think I knew what was involved in being hospitalised for mental health. I remember somebody saying that I could still leave the next day to collect belongings that I had left at home. That was obviously not true. I was very scared for the first weekend, but then slowly things started to get better as I began to see the doctors and my counselling began. I suppose everyone’s experiences are different going through something like this, but for me, I could see the progress coming from it. The main thing for me was that it kept me safe from myself, while being able to start dealing with it all.”

2/2 ”Since 2018, I gradually got better. It took me a lot of work to get to where I am today and I now know that the issues with my mental health will never really just go away. I still have bad days, but I am now armed with tools and coping mechanisms that enable me to manage these episodes myself. My journey made me more outspoken about my mental health. This year is definitely the most I’ve gotten involved in talking about it. It’s not easy to open up about something like this. But the one thing I have learned is the importance of opening up in the first place. I’ve decided to raise awareness for mental health this year by running 30 marathons in 30 days. I want to create an impact. I don’t think any point of this challenge will be half as bad as the things I went through. I will be out there for the guts of five hours each day running. There is going to be a start and a finish for each day and a finish line at the end of the 30 days for when it’s over. For someone who is dealing with mental health issues, they don’t have that finish line at the end of the day. They don’t even see a finish line at the end of the month. I am going to run for those folks.”

This post was highlighted by @Movember. Join the Movember community in having fun doing good. Support his running journey HERE