I’m stepping up to defeat mental illness!
Mental illness effects 1 in 5 Canadians. Most of you don't know it, but I am one of them. I've been trying to deal with this by myself for the past couple of years, but last year that became impossible for me. In August 2017 I had a 50th wedding anniversary to photograph. I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack sitting in the parking lot before the event, it took an extreme amount of will power to leave my truck and enter the facility hosting the party. When I left after taking pictures the first thing I did was text my wife telling her about my anxiety (up until that point NOBODY, not even Shannon had a clue about it). That was my 1st real step towards getting help.
2017 was a tough year for me, we had to put our 15 year old dog to sleep and 30 days later our 14 year old dog died while sleeping on my chest (I had taken the Friday off work because he was sick and i didnt leave his side until after he passed away at 4am Sunday). Not long after that work wound down on The construction site and I was laid off.
That's when my anxiety started to spike. 24/7 I was dealing with anxiety, some times it was simple things like not being able to concentrate (even the smallest tasks felt enormous and impossible to accomplish, so I would set tasks asside). Then The panic attacks went from feeling extra nervous to absolutely crushing. Had I not been laid off I think I would be able to cope with work, because the one thing I never stopped doing was taking my son to train martial arts (I am still able to bring him without an anxiety attack). I had stopped training myself to recover from a knee injury and even though I'm at the gym on training nights I can't bring myself to hop on the mats, anxiety gets The better of me and my Gi (Jiu Jitsu uniform) stays home.
I've been seeing the Nurse Practitioner at my Doctor's office since August 25th 2017 and with her help and the awesome support of my family as well as help from my union (the IUPAT) I have made improvement (although not enough yet to lead a 'normal' life) and can hopefully soon get my life back on track.
The CAMH One Brave Night for Mental Health challenge is a Canada-wide challenge to inspire hope for Canadians living with mental illness.
I took the #OneBraveNight challenge because I want to inspire hope for people living with mental illness now – and to defeat mental illness. By making a donation to my One Brave Night, you are helping CAMH improve access to care, conduct research to find better treatments, and build more spaces for healing.
This is our chance to step up! Please donate generously and help me reach my fundraising goal.