I’m taking on Melbourne Coastrek!
On Friday 22 May, I'll be taking part in Melbourne Coastrek, the ultimate team trekking
Did you know that three million people in Australia are living with anxiety and depression?
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Why I’m trekking 30km for Beyond Blue and why I’d appreciate your sponsorship
Mental illness is STILL a taboo subject amongst Australian communities.
People whom suffer from the debilitating symptoms of mental illness may feel isolated, shame, guilt, misunderstood and misrepresented.
Living with mental illness may lead them to feel as though they are not living, but merely existing and sometimes in a drastic moment they no longer wish to exist at all.
I write of this as one of two children growing up in a household where we were exposed to the everyday challenges of a parent experiencing significant mental illness.
The other parent was often overwhelmed and took their frustrations out on the mental health sufferer and to an abusive level, the children.
It was an unspoken rule that we literally did not speak of this to anyone and so my sibling and I never told a so called ‘close relative’, friend, let alone a support service!
What would my parents, who I love/d think? Would I be betraying them? Afterall they were/are my parents, and like an abused puppy that keeps showing loyalty to it’s owner because they don’t know any better, nor did I/we.
I’m not a child anymore. I’m 42, married to a man that has come to know of the white elephant in my family quite well, even if it is hard for him to understand how it could remain unaddressed for so long.
I have a 5 year old son. May he always feel, safe, unconditionally loved and accepted and never have to hide an insidious family secret.
As I train for the 30km trek I am flooded with memories from my childhood and scenarios still ongoing amongst my immediate family from the impact of mental illness unguided by support services such as Beyond Blue.
Come May 22 with each step that I take I know exactly why I’m walking.