The following is part of a series of “I Walk Because…” posts. To find out about joining one of AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks, click here.
April 12, 2017 – I participate in AFSP’s Overnight Walks because depression and mental illness are a part of being human. Most of us are faced with it at some point in our lives, whether we struggle ourselves, or know someone who does. Yet as humans, we often think it best not to talk about it, just hoping it will go away.
My own personal struggle with depression, particularly postpartum depression, gave me an understanding of the obstacles we face when trying to move beyond the darkness. It felt as if I was at the bottom of a tall mountain I had to climb to get through first the fog, then the clouds, before seeing any glimmer of light.
But before even making that first step onto the base of that mountain, many must first get over the wall of stigma, break through the barrier of insurance issues, navigate the map of therapists, and simply…admit…we…need…help. It is exhausting to even prepare for the climb, which stops many people from even making the journey.
I walk because AFSP is striving to make sure those who are struggling will no longer face those roadblocks ahead, so the true focus will lie on the climb to recovery. Fundraising events like The Overnight Walk give us the opportunity to collectively raise our voices to drown out the stigma, fear, misconception, and doubt that so often surrounds suicide and mental illness.
I walk because I do not want to lose another friend or family member to suicide. I do not want to watch another friend or family member attempt suicide. I do not want to feel hopeless and lost within my own skin ever again.
I want to see everyone yell from the top of that mountain that they are human, and flawed, and that they used every bit of help that was needed to get them there.
This is why I walk. I hope you will join me.
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