I’m taking on Adelaide Coastrek!
On Friday 20 September, I'll be taking part in Adelaide Coastrek, the ultimate team trekking and fundraising challenge, proudly supporting Beyond Blue.
Did you know that three million people in Australia are living with anxiety and depression?
Every donation helps and makes a significant impact to mental health and wellbeing in Australia, so thank you for your generosity.
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Motivation for this Trek
I am doing this Trek to raise funds for Beyond Blue and awareness of mental health.
1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 men will experience depression in their lifetime.
Over 2 million people in Australia experience anxiety every year.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44
My first experience of depression and anxiety was when I had a “major depressive episode” at the age of 23. This came out of nowhere and took over my life and that of those close to me for about 12 months. At the time I was so unwell I couldn’t see it, let alone fight it.
I lost my will or ability to take care of myself and spent countless hours battling to eat, sleep, get out of bed and function, the biggest battle being with my head that was trying to convince me that I, and the rest of the world would be better off if I was dead. I am fairly certain I would not have survived this episode had I been dealing with it alone. It took an army of family, friends, extended family, acquaintances, medical professionals and alternative medicine practitioners to get me through it and out the other side.
Thankfully since then I have only had a few mild episodes generally triggered by one of life’s curve balls but sometimes triggered by nothing.
There are a number of differences I notice in myself during these times: I question my ability at work, I lose confidence, I can’t make decisions, I can’t make sense of my thoughts and feelings, I lose my appetite, I have no motivation, I repeat negative thoughts or reiterate negative experiences, I stop answering phonecalls, I withdraw from social outings, I'm exhausted all day and yet when it is time to sleep my mind is racing and I’m awake all night, only to start the cycle again. The list goes on...... During these times, life is a battle and each day feels like a lifetime. Thankfully as time goes on I get better at noticing and managing these symptoms meaning my life is less and less impacted.
Following each episode is a reflective period of both grief and gratitude. Grief that once again I have suffered a period of time in this state, at the reminder that this illness is still with me and again has impacted my life and those around me. Gratitude that I am once again feeling myself and able to cope with the world and that I have an amazing group of family and friends that support me through these times without judgement. Each episode reminds me to be positive and see the good in the world and I emerge with a resolve to appreciate what I have, do whatever I can to manage my illness and live my life to the fullest!
I now have a “tool box” of knowledge, resources and support people that help me get through each episode minimising the impact each time. I spend less time concerned about when the next episode will be because I know (hope) that I am strong enough to get through it as I have before and I have the right support and resources in place when I need them.
More and More I hear of other people who have been touched by mental illness, personally or via someone close to them. Most are much more serious and severe than my personal experience.
I share a glimpse into this side of my life so that others may feel ok to talk, support their loved ones through it and know that things will get better. You are not alone and you should never be afraid to ask for help.
Thank you to my Sponsors