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Mental Health Day: My Personal Battle

Today World Mental Health Day and for this day, I wanted to greet all our readers and tell a story, my story.

Before diving into this I just want to preface this by saying, I am extremely thankful that my battle with mental health was better than what most people face. I am not trying to discredit anyone or make it seem that dealing with mental health is light and easy and not that serious. I am merely just trying to tell the story of my personal battle with mental health. What I hope to accomplish is by the end of this is you may have a better understanding how deeply mental health can affect someone. Without more to say, let’s dive into it. 

This story comes from playing the sport of football. I have been playing for 3 and half years now and I have to say it has been the greatest experience I could ever ask for. 

It wasn’t always like that though, as the last year or so had been the most challenging for me. Every game we played that year, I never played a second in any, and at first glance anyone would say big whoop right. Who cares? I used to think that, but this was before I realized how much this could personally affect me.

Here is some background information on what goes into the preparation of the season, for the summer we train everyday Monday-Friday. Eventually when we finally get our equipment, we practice for about 3 hours a day every day. 

Safe to say if you play a sport, there is not much time to have a life outside of it. So, my point is that when you invest all your time and energy into something, you want to see it payoff.

For a whole year it didn’t. I just stood on the sidelines and was a glorified fan. Before I continue, I fully understand that on sports teams the best player will play. That’s just how it is.

The fact of the matter is that this past year really got to my head. The small and seemingly insignificant thoughts made a huge impact  on my overall wellbeing. I occasionally thought, “I wish I could get in and play.” 

Very quickly it started to bother me even more. I soon started to not even care about being at the games. I viewed them as me wasting two hours just standing and watching. 

It kept evolving to being even worse at home. I was very distraught and I really did not want to talk; it was eating me up from the inside and leaving an immense impact. 

When it came time to go to practice, I hated it. I didn’t want to go and it was quickly becoming a place of unhappiness for me. Then I started to just get down on myself and have tremendous self-doubt.

I began to tell myself that maybe I am just bad at football, and maybe I just suck. The toughest part about this was losing all the confidence I had in myself. 

However, I had an obligation to finish the season that was my duty, and so I went. Every day, even though I wanted to be elsewhere, I went. I thought that I was pretty good at hiding from people that something was bothering me. To everyone else, I was my normal self.

Towards the end of the year my dad kept it blunt that he knew what was bothering me and he offered some short advice. He said, “When you do something that you are supposed to enjoy and it’s not fun anymore, it’s time to walk away.” 

Those words stuck with me for months as I took the offseason to better myself mentally and to change my outlook on everything. 

I wanted to make sure above all else that a sport I love would be fun and that’s what I did. I found myself and was finally able to move forward. 

As hard of a decision as it was to not walk away, I decided to go back after being broken and I wanted to go back. Not to prove anything to anyone but to prove to myself that I could do it.

Like I said earlier this was not to downplay the seriousness of mental health but to just share a personal story. I am grateful that my situation was much better than what most people face.

Take mental health seriously and check in on close friends. Always make sure that personally, you are doing alright. Whenever you are down in life, because everyone always has a down moment, keep fighting and never give up.

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