Today & Everyday, Let’s Talk.

By Mandi Lavers

I’ve been thinking a lot about mental health and what exactly I wanted to talk about. Every year, in January, we focus on changing stigma associated with mental health. For one day. But, what if we didn’t focus on it? What if it wasn’t ONE day? What if we worked every day to reverse the negative image that’s associated with mental health? What if, and here me out here, what if we treated those with anxiety and depression and BPD like human beings who are sick. There’s no difference between needing insulin and an anti-depressant, right?

In 2011, I suffered a brain injury, and in that fog I wanted to die. For some still unknown reason, I decided to go for a run instead. It was January and it was very cold. I was alone and I didn’t have any running gear, I just felt compelled to run. That run saved my life.

In 2015, after I’d lost my dad to mental illness, I too wanted to die. I’d distanced myself from the sport that saved me. I was so deep into my grief, into that fog, that I couldn’t see any light. A small voice, in the form of a family friend urged me to go for a run. Any distance, any pace. ANYTHING. It was summer and very humid. I was very depressed, had just started therapy and felt it wasn’t working. And so, I got up at 5am for a run. That run, with that friend, saved my life.

I have seen the darkness. I have felt the loneliness. I have been ashamed of my illness. I have done talk therapy and found group therapy in running.

Today, and every day, I am open about the things I have been through – to share my struggles.

“I fall down so often, it might as well be an Olympic sport.”

I fall down so often, it might as well be an Olympic sport. But, I’m stubborn, so I get back up. And I’ll keep getting back up.

Today, and every day I’ll talk. Because any action counts. Today, and everyday, let’s talk.