Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's time to speak up

One week tomorrow will be my first Master's swim meet.  I feel like I'm in an alright place a week out hitting some decent times in practice so hoping they will transfer into some decent swims.  The meet is at the Etobicoke Olympian and that kind of brings things in a full circle.  I've swam at this pool many times over the course of 20+ years of swimming but it was where provincials were held the first time I qualified in 1994.  It was a bitter sweet experience as I was over the moon that I had qualified and was there with the best swimmers in the province but I came dead last!  The week leading up my dad and I made a quick trip up to our family cottage and we rebuilt the dock and the hammering of a thousand or so nails didn't leave my arms feeling all that great and resulted in not the results I wanted but it's where the fire was lit that I would be back.
Biking and running has been going pretty good.  Just been putting in the time getting ready for the half that is 4 weeks out now.  

I feel like its time that I open up about something I've been dealing with the better part of my life.  For the past dozen or so years I've been dealing with depression.  It's something I've kept pretty private only sharing bits and pieces with 2-3 people.  I know a lot of people suffer from some sort of mental illness and I'm a big fan of Clara Hughes and the work she's done over the past couple of years trying to erase the stigma that goes along with it.  I've been to some pretty dark places over the years and have considered if life is worth living anymore and have come very close to taking my own life.  It's hard to talk about these things with people and it's only been just recently I've felt comfortable enough talking about it with someone in my life and I'm very thankful they are there and willing to help me fight the voices that tell me I'm not good enough and nobody cares.  There are millions of people in Canada alone that suffer everyday from mental illness and I guarantee everyone knows someone who is suffering whether you know it or not.  I encourage everyone to do a bit of readying and find out some of the key signs so you can possible help someone in need.  You could literally be saving their life.  I know I'm very grateful for that person I finally felt comfortable talking to noticed something was wrong and is willing to fight with me.
Here are just a few signs and symptoms to look for:
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
  • Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

No comments: