• endurelifenow

"Before getting help, mental illness pushed me away from the world" - Fireside with Justin

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Meet Justin: A father of two that has a serious running problem!



Q.) How has mental health/illness impacted your life?

A.) Before getting help, mental illness pushed me away from the world. It made me feel alone. It made me feel like something was wrong with me in a world where everyone else was perfectly fine.

Q.) What are your positive outlets and how did you discover them?

A.) Physical activity and spending time with people who care about me — all of me — especially my daughters.

Running has been a part of my life for years and it took me a long time to realize exactly how therapeutic it was. Once I began to truly appreciate the time I was able to spend with myself while keeping my body active, or time spent just talking to someone else while getting in some miles, running became an ever bigger part of my life.

My girls have always been the world and always will be. Period. They're my everything.

Q.) Do you think nature plays an important part in recovering from mental illnesses?

A.) Absolutely. Being in relative solitude while surrounded by nature's beauty is an incredibly relaxing experience. You can be physically alone, but everywhere around you is life in its purest form and that energy can do amazing things for your spirit.

Q.) Who/what do you endure for?

A.) I endure for myself, my children, and my closest friends. They are my reason to be, the reason I get up every morning, and the reason I keep going.

Q.) How do you feel that social media is impacting people’s mental health?

A.) For me, it has shown me that I am not alone. Through people, organizations, and companies that speak out about mental health, I've found a wealth of knowledge, strength, and companionship.

Q.) What’s your favorite National Park, and why? Or what place have you always wanted to visit?

A.) Tahoe National Park. Endless forests, snowcapped mountains, and absolutely gorgeous lakes. It's got everything.

Q.) Do you prefer to explore the forest, ocean, desert, etc?

A.) I'm an ocean person, for sure. When I sit on a beach and the crashing waves are so loud that they drown out all other sound, I'm in complete serenity. Just me, my thoughts, and the rhythmic sound of water against the shore.

I'll never turn down a hike through the forest, though. The ambient sounds of nature you can only find in a forest are instantly relaxing.

Q.) What is something that someone has said to you that has always stuck with you when overcoming hard times?

A.) My best friend once told me, "Your kids deserve the best you, and the best you is the one that is happy."

I repeat this to myself every day.

Q.) What advice would you give someone that is struggling?

A.) Don't forget that you are not alone. There are people in your life that care, and if you feel there aren't, there are plentiful resources available, many of which can be utilized for free.

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