I am getting back in the saddle, and it's been a while due to COVID. This year once again, I ride to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness and to support mental health programs at Children's Hospital of Colorado
I have shared in the past the struggles my daughter has with depression and anxiety. She also suffers from OCD and disordered eating. It all blends and blurs, and it overwhelms me. Her diagnoses overwhelm me because I also suffer from depression. The difference is that I try to hide it because I was raised in a time of deep stigma. We did not talk about mental health, and when I tried, I could not find the help that I desperately needed.
In college, a roommate told me that I was such a drag to be around because I was so sad. I took that to heart and began doing my best to hide my depression. I wanted people to like me, so I needed to be happy and positive. There are people that are close to me and know my struggle, but I still perpetuate the stigma by hiding my struggle from the world. That ends today.
Thankfully, I found help, and I continue to find ways to manage my depression. However, the truth is that sometimes my depression manages me.
As I look to my daughter heading off to college on the other side of the country, I am filled with fear, sadness, and also some hope. Most days the sadness wins. Exercise helps, but depression makes it really hard - almost downright impossible - to exercise. And so, when I take on the Courage Classic again this summer, I want to show up as my best self. The one that can enjoy life and do something positive for others. The one who can accomplish really hard things. But more importantly, I will ride for the many kids who need the help I could not find.
For now, I ask that you donate if you are able. I would also appreciate your encouragement as I try to pull myself out of the funk to prepare for this difficult race. I'm already behind, but I can do it. :)
Thank you for your support!