One random night, while I was home for break back in the little town of Snohomish, I was feeling upset and discouraged. I was beaten down from hiding parts of myself I was too scared to say out loud. So, I wrote and I kept writing until my eyes couldn’t help but close. I never expected to publish it, or even let anyone else read it, but for some reason I decided to hit the publish button on January 3, 2017. That blog, “Being a Student-Athlete and Living with Mental Illness” ended up changing my life for the better in more ways than I could have ever imagined.
A few weeks, and a few thousands page views later, I got a message from a reporter at ESPNW who wanted to write a story about me. I was shocked and concerned, aware that not all stories painted their subjects in the best light, but I said sure and a few days later I was on the phone with Mirin Fader for hours as we delve into my background and spoke about topics I would have been too afraid to mention in passing years before.
A year later, ESPNW asked me to write a follow-up to Mirin’s original article for World Mental Health Day. For someone’s first op-ed, it wasn’t too shabby. Kidding, of course.
If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from this journey, it’s that people will surprise you. The amount of former college athletes, friends, and family members who have talked to me about their own struggles has astounded me and made me rethink all the interactions I’ve had in the past. While I’m not perfect & have issues that I’m dealing with every day, I’m happy that I’m still here.
Here are a few organizations I love and admire for their mission to help others that were in the same position as myself. Reach out to them for help (they have incredible resources) and if you’re able, donate money or your time to help others find their way through the darkness. Trust me, there’s always something to live for.