This is one of the posts that I had in draft form but did not finish. As today is Bell Let’s Talk day I thought I would publish it now. Sometime in the fall one of my Aunts posted the following picture on her FB and it got me thinking about mental health. To provide a bit of history there was a period in my life a few years ago where the stresses and daily grind got to me to the point where I realized I could not handle them anymore. I want to make perfectly clear that I did not at any point consider suicide but I did need help. I was seeing a councilor for a while and she was the one who brought it to my attention. At one point she said the following. “Before when you came to see me you were stressed but you were able to deal with it. Now I see that you are stressed and you are not able to deal with it.” I knew I was not in good shape but this one of the points where I realized I had to do something about it. The instance that seal it was when I came home one day and the Brita jug was empty on the counter and I lost my freaking mind. I am pretty sure I may have been foaming at the mouth ;). In the middle of my tirade I actually stopped looked my self in the mirror and actually told myself out loud something like this. “Shit dude something is wrong. We better do something about it”. I knew to listen because I recognized the voice.
Eventually I saw my doctor and had anti-depressants prescribed and they really helped to turn things around. Eventually the stresses that were the cause of this went away and I was able to take myself off of the medication.
Why am I telling you this today? Well it goes back to the quote in the above picture. Physical activity is great for the mind and soul. It will relieve you of stress and invigorate you in ways you may not even imagine. This is in no way taking away from anyone with mental health issues. I cannot say if I was physically active during that period I would not have had to take the meds (I am pretty sure I still would have). I can say that it would have been a lot less. This may be one day which the spot light is on mental health but everyone should keep it in mind all year.
I showed this post to my wife before I decided to post it to get her thoughts, and she asked me if I wanted to post it as it is personal. I felt that yes it is very personal but if people feel that they cannot express what is going on in their personal lives then nothing gets better and people suffer in silence. If my post helps one person speak out then that is a great accomplishment. Please feel free to share this post.
Finally I will say this. Here is Newfoundland winter is here, which means crappy weather, short days and trapped in your home. It is easy for anyone to get in a funk under these conditions. If you find that life is getting to stressful, crazy and you are not able to handle it then talk to someone, anyone! Call a partner, friend, family or councilor. Hell you can even message me. The important thing is to realize that you need assistance and seek it out.