Good Luck…..

This took me several weeks to upload because I wanted to be sure I was taking the right angle by getting the real story. As accurate as possible. Also our professional life took a pivot around the same time as I started writing this, and I found myself with zero time to blog.

So although this particular story may be a bit outdated, the topic of mental illness never is.

With that said, here we go:

Last month Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, abruptly announced his retirement from the sport.

And some Colts fans lost their minds. Luck was actually booed off the field after a preseason game as word spread of his impending announcement.

And that really pisses me off.

Some theorize that there was booing because the commentators made the announcement prior to Luck’s official statement slated for after the game. So the booing could have been directed at them.

While others theorize that fans were angry that he chose to no longer be on the team and that will hurt the Colts and put them further away from the Superbowl this year. Or that the Colts had done him dirty by never letting him have adequate coverage.

The facts appear to be that Luck has been so injured in the last few seasons that it was starting to affect his mental health. And so he made the choice, instead of earning millions of dollars playing football, to retire and spend time with his family and let his body truly heal.

The issue of mental health is not something that is regularly discussed in the arena of professional sports. The emphasis is mostly on one’s physical health and the ability to win games. So the thought that Luck is retiring to focus on his mental health is groundbreaking.

And I’m here for it.

For the first time that I can remember, and I may be forgetting a few instances, a professional athlete is walking away from the sport and job they love to concentrate in part on their mental health. Although it’s entirely possible that reason has been buried under the guise of, “stepping back from my career to spend more time with my family.”

And it’s sad that the real reason is hidden due to the stigma mental illness still has in our society.

But I get it because talking about mental illness isn’t fun. It’s messy and awkward and uncomfortable. I know because I’ve been living with mental illness since high school. And with anything in life, there are highs and lows.

At one point recently when I was between jobs, I experienced a mental breakdown so severe that at one point I had to be monitored for 24 hours. And I’m not a high profile person, so I can’t begin to imagine the amount of pressure and stress Luck was under.

And making the choice to quit the sport and job that you love is bad enough, but when it’s met with boos and criticism, that makes things even harder. And can actually have the opposite effect of pushing the person further down the spiral of mental illness to the point where they want to end their life.

Because they aren’t meeting up with others expectations.

And that can make some people spiral back down to the pit of depression and suicidal thoughts.

So maybe instead of booing Luck off the field, we all need to stand up and applaud. Applaud his decision to forgo millions of dollars to work on his mental and physical health. Applaud his decision to focus more time on his family. 

And wish him good luck. 

Cheers!

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Blogging Through The Darkness: #EndTheStigma

I began writing this blog at 3:30 this morning as insomnia was kicking my butt. You are correct that there was no Wednesday blog this week, and there almost wasn’t a Thursday blog.

Seems I’m going through a bit of a depression period. And it sucks. I haven’t been motivated to do much lately which isn’t helping to improve things. And normally when I am going through a depressive time, I don’t blog. But I had a thought just now….

I write a blog on anxiety and mental illness and the times I am going through a depression I don’t choose to blog because I guess on some level I think depression isn’t uplifting or inspiring. And perhaps I worry about dragging my readers down with me.

And I just read that last sentence and realize how much bullshit it contained.

I mean, why am I afraid of blogging while I’m depressed? Bumming people out? Being too vulnerable? At the end of the day this fear does nothing but further stigmatize my mental illness.

So I’m pressing on.

I think my depression is a combination of things. Chad has been working some crazy hours lately and so we don’t see each other as much as we’d like. I also blame this stupid presidential election. Seeing it everyday in my news feed and watching all the debates (that blessedly wrapped up earlier tonight. Praise the good Lord! 😛 ) has really got me fired up. And worried about the future.

And honestly the worry still remains no matter which candidate I imagine winning.

But back to the lack of motivation. I think that’s the thing that sucks the most when I’m going through a depressive episode. Not having motivation to get things down makes things literally pile up around the house and then on top of being depressed I feel guilty that I haven’t gotten stuff done.

And the cycle continues.

I hate feeling this way and would give anything to not. I feel like one of those people in the antidepressant commercials, you know the ones where the people look detached and sad as a list of side effects flashes under the screen.

But the one thing that I hold on to during these times of depression, the thing that helps get me through, is to know that I always come out on the other side.

I will be OK.

Dear reader, if you are feeling depressed at the moment, you are NOT alone. As Victor Hugo once eloquently wrote, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise!”

Amen!