Re blogged from my old site... but still relevant
Was asked earlier why am I raising money for Black Dog Ride?
There isnt a simple answer, but a very complex one on many levels, I hope this answers your question. Apologies in advance for those that find this all a bit much.
For most of my life I have lived with depression, un-diagnosed for the most part, and heavily medicated with alcohol throughout my adult life.
Since i gave up the booze a couple of years ago, the black dog bit hard, and took to me to dark places I didn't think I would ever go. There were options I had never thought I would consider ...
I know many people out there wont understand, that depression isn't just feeling down, and to be honest I don't want to go into detail about it all, suffice to say i wasn't in a good place, emotionally or mentally.
Thankfully I have some good people around me that have been very supportive, and with the aid of my doctor, a shrink, and those that love me I have managed for the most part to beat it back with a big stick and (mostly) live a "normal" life, without the black cloud hanging around too much.
Unfortunately I know of too many people that have chosen to end their suffering prematurely, Darren, Michael, & Paul all come to mind, they didn't get help, the options weren't there for them. And thier lives ended, all under 30. Darren & Paul had young families.
They needed help, and for whatever reason didn't get it.
I got help when I needed it the most... Why me? Why am I so special? Why didn't they? So many questions, not enough answers, & that's because the organisations that help with this are without exception underfunded. Lifeline, SANE, Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Call Back Service, Beyond Blue, Mens Line, Kids Help line, & LIFE just to name a few. How can I support all these different organisations???
That's when I stumbled across The Black Dog Ride an organisation that's primary purpose is to Raise Awareness about Depression & Suicide. A group of motorcyclists were riding across the USA to Raise Awareness about Depression & Suicide Prevention, at the same time raising money for Mental Health Training for First Responders. PTSD is a very real & common threat among our service men/ women & emergency personnel.
Most Suicides are preventable, if the signs are noticed and action taken. Simply asking if someone is ok might be enough,
So to find an organisation that combines 2 things I am passionate about, and all I have to do is ride my bike, take some photos, and "spread the word" that's not too hard. Even I can manage that. So now the beast is growing, my thoughts of raising awareness, have turned to making a difference, especially given the events of the last couple of weeks. (amazing how a near death experience alters your outlook on life)
So in a nutshell, and its a pretty big nutshell, thats why I am raising money for Black Dog Ride. Please share the hell out of this post, share the link to my fundraising page, but most of all GIVE MONEY NOW. Simply click here. Then when someone you love, (& someone you love is already living with a mental health issues) rings Lifeline, there will be someone there to answer the phone & make a difference to their life.
This insidious disease, takes on many forms, and people suffering from it, will hide it, will deal with it in many different ways. Some good and most not so good. Alcohol & drug abuse, self harm, become reclusive, and so on. In my case alcohol was the numbing agent i used.
Don't worry too much about me, I'm getting better.
Thanks to everyone that has helped me (& continue to do so)
To raise awareness I have set up a facebook page for Winston Field you can see some of his adventures here
If you or someone you know is depressed please contact Lifeline 13 11 14