David's Story

Growing up, I never thought about my mental health. I excelled in school, I played National League Basketball for my hometown and tried out for Youth Team GB in Athletics. I'm lucky to say, I've always had a supportive family to guide me through life. As I've gotten older, I've become more aware of mental health. For the last 10 years, I have gone through multiple failed start-ups, multiple layoffs, and what seemed like endless job hunting. Struggling with the thought of not "doing my part" and providing my share for life (bills, groceries, rent, etc.) really took its toll on me as I went through cycles of depression, thoughts of suicide, lack of self confidence and self worth, feeling stuck and sometimes drowning.

Fortunately, I can say that those very dark times are behind me. I have a great set of cheerleaders in my family, friends, and most importantly, my partner. We've recently taken up running together and often enter races that support mental health initiatives. We are also running 1,000km in 2019 to raise awareness and donations for multiple mental health charities in Canada and the UK. I find that doing this with her becomes my escape from the daily grind. If I'm happy - celebrate and go for a run. If I'm feeling low energy - recharge by going for a run. If I'm feeling frustrated - let it go and run it off. Plus getting into shape has its benefits too.

To me, it is building up my mental strength, my health, and improving my life one step at a time. I also want to do my part wherever I can, be it in a race, posting on social media, educating myself on how to help others and maybe be that support system for someone else. Because, I can honestly say that without my own support system and routine, I definitely wouldn't be here to talk about it.

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