Hi friends, I hope you’re all well. I wanted to make this post to talk about why myself and three close friends of mine, Ben, Adam and Aled, will be taking part in Movember 2018. (Donation page here if you can’t be assed reading all the way to the bottom)
So Movember is a month of growing moustaches and fun facial hair in support of the Movember Foundation, which seeks to combat prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues and the high suicide rate within men- over 75% of suicides are committed by men, with men in their 40’s being the highest at risk.
However, as mental health couldn’t give less of a shit about your sex or gender identity, we are also supporting the charity Mind. Mind is fantastic, their work to combat mental health cannot be understated and they are helping out where the Government is failing, though I hear some more funding is coming through in that area, so we’ll see how that goes.
Like every bloody millennial ever, and because the world is a steaming pile of shit, I’ve struggled with my mental health, especially in my twenties, however as a teen I was riddled by feelings of anxiety and worthlessness for a good while too. 2017 was pretty rough for me at times, the thing was, I was working with nice people, living in the city I’d dreamed of living in and was filling my time with travelling and my favourite hobbies. I became increasingly stressed, constantly down and unable to appreciate the good things going on in my life.
I began to get physically ill, constantly exhausted and unable to get out of bed in the morning for lack of feeling absolutely ruined. I had to take time off of work for doctor’s appointments and blood tests, I was so tired that I would come home from work, fall asleep and end up missing plans I’d made, which made me feel much worse. My GP was a massive help, and once she realised that I was in perfect physical health, she referred me to see someone else. Of course, the subsequent department lost all of my information and cancelled my appointment, then due to them consistently scheduling appointments at times I couldn’t make and refusing to change them, I never ended up taking it further.
However, this year has been a lot better. I took a step back, sorta changed my life up a bit and made sure to take much better care of myself, to focus on being healthy, not focus on achieving goals and what’s not going on in my life, rather focus on all the cool shit that is going on.
Suicide is something that has affected my family, it’s something I never really thought or talked about until I began to have some shitty mental health myself.
When I was 8 years old, my uncle who had battled with depression for many years took his own life. He was a man aged 42, in the age range most likely to commit suicide. He was a brilliant man, he lived all over the world, he was smart beyond belief and his worked changed technology forever. Sounds like an exaggeration but he worked on creating the CD ROM, something that really revolutionised the world. To this day I still think of him every time I see CD, which is all the time because CDs are fucking everywhere. It feels pretty cool to be related to someone that incredible, and he’s definitely the smartest one in the family.
It’s funny, now I’m an uncle and I think about how I want to seem cool to my nieces one day, I hope they’re proud to be related to who they are and I want to entertain them with fun stories from my life, like climbing a mountain infested with snakes in Japan, getting lost in traffic in the middle of Lima, moving across the country alone at 21. I now wonder whether he had the same thoughts about myself, my sisters and my cousin. Whether he wanted to be the ‘cool’ uncle, or whether he didn’t really give a shit about that at all.
I was only 8 at the time, and whilst I didn’t understand the situation, I remember that day quite clearly. I wish I remembered him clearly, but like a few other family members that passed when I was younger, I can’t really form a real image of him, what I remember has been built upon stories from my mum and pictures that I’ve seen.
This is why we’re doing this ‘challenge’ this month if us having dumb moustaches can make some people laugh and have a good time, and get people together to donate money for a good cause, then we should do it.
We’re also completing a 10km Movember run, this is important to me as running is how I deal with stress and anxiety. Exercise is proven to help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, and it definitely does for me. I never think as clearly as I do when pushing myself to the absolute limit, feeling my heart push against my chest and struggle to breathe. I feel fantastic during and after, and I’ve never been in better shape than during my exam periods in uni.
If you want to donate or to just share our page, you can do so here.