Part of my long term dream is to encourage more and more people to talk openly about their own anxiety and depression.
Last year I applied, and after an hour long phone interview, was invited to take part in training to become a speaker and ambassador for beyondblue. I had my first speaking event at the end of September this year, and it was a humbling and amazing experience. I was proud of myself for not cancelling (something that I would normally do when I was dealing with anxiety) and for telling my story to a room full of strangers.
My story is not hard for me to tell. I have told it a million times over, and is a part of who I am. I have even written it in down in my book for every one in the world to read.
Being a speaker and ambassador for beyondblue does make me feel proud inside. I have accomplished a goal of mine, and in times of anxiousness, I will hold onto this as a badge of honour.
This morning I met with a writer friend, who has interviewed me about my Oxfam trail walker experience. For those of you who don’t know, I participated in the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker at the end of September this year. It was an amazing experience and one that has had a major impact on me.
I did not finish. I retired from the walk at checkpoint 3. Just 43kms or 15 hours into the walk.
To tell you the truth – this is the reason for my anxiety and depression of late. In the honesty of this month, I thought I had dealt with these feelings, but the reality is – I am majorly disappointed and angry with myself for not crossing the finish line.
This is the first time I have admitted this.
I am angry because I feel as though my doubt got the better of me. My mental toughness was not there on the day. The darkness of the night made me give up, throw in the towel and pull out of the event.
My knees were swollen and sore, and I admit the recovery took me some time following the event. Yet I can not let go of the feeling I gave up too easily. I can repeat to people over and over that my knees where what took me down, but in truth, in my heart I believe it was my brain that gave in.
On a different day, could I have just kept on going? Would it of changed the result? Would I be feel proud of myself instead of holding onto this gut wrenching feeling of regret?
It is these feelings that have been swarming around in my head. Subconsciously, and now consciously, for weeks on end.
How do I deal with these feelings? How do I move past them and learn from my experience? This I am not sure of yet. I know that in time this will come and I will look back on the walk as a fantastic life experience.
I have my beyondblue ambassador role to keep me in touch with knowing that even when I am feeling low, my whole purpose is to show people that these feelings are all ok. They are a normal part of everyday life, it is just how you bounce back from them that shows your true strength.
I am proud to say that I will be representing beyondblue at the National Bounce Back Day Pogo-thon next Friday.
Just like life, pogo stick riding can take you high, low and even have you fall over but we can BOUNCE BACK! The National Bounce Back Pogo-thon is all about getting children to understand that we all have low days but we can bounce back and be RESILIENT.
They are raising much needed funds for beyondblue in their efforts and if you would like to donate you can so here – https://give.everydayhero.com/au/national-bounce-back-day-pogo-thon