I’m not an athlete which is clearly evident by the fact that I fall off my bike more often than most toddlers fall off their push bikes and in November, I unfortunately didn’t bounce back - I broke my shoulder, but pushed through the discomfort, the pain and the lack of confidence that this experience causes me. As an A-type personality who specialises in multi-tasking and normally operates at the top of her game, this is unusual and highly uncomfortable territory. However, this discomfort brings home to me the pain that young adults suffering from mental illness go through every single day. My sister suffers from bipolar and anorexia and has attempted suicide multiple times. She is smart (has a PhD in medical research) and has the support of a loving family, but lives with the torturous symptoms of mental illness which unless you have experienced them, you cannot begin to understand. She regularly self harms to gain relief from the extreme suffering she endures from the voices in her head. So little is understood about the human brain, but more research and more support for those suffering from mental health disorders, especially the youth, can only make the much needed difference.
I chose to use my Achilles heel, my poor athletic ability, to sit in this discomfort and I hope to raise much needed funds for Youth Focus, supporting young people and their mental health.
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