For me, in my alone time I regularly felt unmoved, unmotivated, frozen and unable to articulate what it all meant, I knew I wasn’t physically hurt or sick. I wasn’t the only one going through battles. Better for me to keep quiet and avoid appearing self-absorbed or self-victimised. If I wasn’t sick, why couldn’t I breathe? Why did I feel this way long before the name COVID-19 was around? Why was it amplified when I was alone?
My inner dialogue piped in: “Cat, no one wants to hear your problems; you have nothing to be worried about, look at yourself, so many people are worse off than you, you’re being overdramatic”.
The few interactions I did have were with a few of my closest friends and the people I work with. I continued my old self-medicating method of comfort food, cigarettes and alcohol. When that too failed me, I convinced my doctor I needed heavier prescription drugs. Anything to aide my chest from hurting. During that dark-period I chose to shut myself off, Isolation was my friend, I preferred to be alone, immobile alongside my companions. [Self-deprecation, Anxiety, Alcohol, Meds & Cigarettes] Whenever I was with friends, in order to continue my public façade that masked my private despair, they too were always present.
I know first-hand how mental health and anxiety can grip at you, consume you. Creep its ugly self towards you with that familiar icy grip that tightens around your chest, the endless voice of insecurity and injustice drowning your mind in a constant wave of negativity, lack of purpose and confusion through every breath.
At my lowest point, I did something that changed everything, I learnt how to accept what was and through self-help, mind work and therapy. I began opening up to friends and family. I finally allowed myself the space to accept and show forgiveness. I accepted and forgave past hurts, trauma and failed relationships.
But most of all, the strongest moment was when I found the place in that alone time and quiet to finally forgive myself.
I forgave myself for being where I was, upset and unmoved, medicated and unhappy, I chose to continue my journey of healing and self love. Through this forgiveness I found a way to show up for myself. I finally allowed myself to accept that I was never alone.
When this happened, things slowly started getting better, I started feeling lighter, my chest started feeling calmer...
And then, when I chose to evict my unfriendly companions of self-medication. I began showing up, in my way and in my time. I started feeling happier.
So… this is where my journey with Corporate Fighter began.
It was during this process that I wanted something big to motivate me, shock me towards something and offer me purpose and joy. Then to learn Corporate Fighters chosen charity was Beyond Blue for mental health awareness, became my full-circle moment.
This journey now holds more meaning to me than just showing up for myself. I’m doing this to show up for myself and anyone else like me who faces their own battles with mental illness, without stigma, prejudice and discrimination. We are not alone.
Beyond Blue are constantly breaking down those barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out.
So, with all that being said… I’m proud to say On March 26th, I am entering a boxing ring at Luna Park as a Corporate Fighter to help raise much needed funds for Beyond Blue, who work tirelessly to equip everyone with the knowledge and skills to protect their own mental health.
Funds will help me get to the ring and donate towards a wonderful cause which is Mental Health awareness
Thanks in advance
- Adrian Summerfield
- Emma Richardson
- Ben de Klerk
- Claire Thompson
- Peter Pippen
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