The success of StansfieldGolf.com has allowed me to use it as a platform to create an awareness for mental health and help to end the stigma attached to mental illness.
In sharing my story, specifically my battle with being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and ADHD, it’s my hope that I can not only help to end the stigma attached to mental illness but provide inspiration for others to share their stories and know that they’re never alone.
I was in Grade 5 the first time I’d attempted to take my own life; going to school became my nightmare and crying myself to sleep every night became my nightly routine. We had just moved to Kelowna from Vancouver two years prior and my struggles were passed off as challenges transitioning into a new school/life and kids being kids. As the years went on, however, it became evident that my struggles were more serious than just challenges transitioning into life in Kelowna.
There were visits to a cognitive behavioural therapist, visits to the Doctor and stretches of being on anti-depressants but the feelings of hopelessness grew deeper and deeper. The only feelings I recognized were of hopelessness and of anger… the worse my battle became, the more I shut myself off from the world and the more I created a world that when viewed from the outside, everything appeared to be improving.
I put my body through its own form of torture and continuously hit rock bottom but the days, months and years continued to pass by and I was still here. It should’ve been a sign that I was meant to be here… I wanted to believe that, unfortunately, the only thing I wanted was for it to be over. I didn’t have anymore fight in me, I was exhausted and I didn’t see an end in sight.
That was never more true than losing my Dad to cancer after a six year battle with multiple myeloma. How could I cope with him not being here when I could barely cope with my mental health before he died? The answer to that question came in the reality of needing to be here for my Mom, my Brothers and my family. I couldn’t take the easy way out… I couldn’t put this family through more loss. I needed to silence the feelings of darkness in a way that didn’t result in my being a statistic of suicide.
It’s been an unbelievable struggle and continues to be. I’ve ended up in the ER room when I promised myself that I wouldn’t become a statistic or put my family through more loss. I’ve been in and out of the psychiatric wards, underwent ECT treatment, talked to more Doctors and will continue seeking treatment. Most importantly, I’ll continue talking about it and sharing my story via The LAB Project. It slowly becomes easier to talk about, I add more chapters to my story that I couldn’t share before and I become increasingly more involved in mental health awareness and helping to end the stigma attached to those who like me battle mental health on a daily basis.
There’s adversity everyday that you’ll face and it’s not always going to be easy. With that being said, it’s better than the alternative and you’ll slowly be able to cope better each and every day… you’re never alone and no one ever deserves to suffer in silence.
Thanks for swinging by,