one of my friends contacted me recently and said one of his friends was suffering from depression, and had attempted suicide.
(i just read my blog back and realised that was quite a punchy start, it will get more positive i promise!)
my friend then told me that this friend was a very skilled writer, and used to make a living writing, but after his issues, this career came to an end.
i said that i would look out for any opportunities for him where he could get back to writing, but in the meantime offered him the opportunity to write a piece for my blog.
my thoughts were he could write a piece about absolutely anything, not specifically his problems, and hopefully that would allow him to bring anything that stimulated him onto the page, and then fingers crossed, his excellence in what he is skilled at would shine through, and we would get some feedback from you the bigmoose gang, which we could then share with him, and we would start the positive process of getting him to believe in himself with the love we could share with him.
in my mind this was a soft approach to getting him back into the creative process, and i anticipated seeing what he wrote.
unfortunately, he has decided he doesn't want to do this.
this has started me thinking, about how deep his mental problems must be, and how very low he must be feeling, so i think it is my responsibility as a human to try in some way to help him, and try to get him some professional help, which i am going to try to do.
the other thing that has come to mind, is how prevalent this terrible problem is, i myself know people who suffer from tremendous anxiety, fear of social events, dependency on alcohol, and know a number that are now taking prescription medication such as anti depressants, and the more people i tell about our aim to raise awareness of mental health issues at this years cardiff half marathon, the more i am discovering people that seem on the surface to be holding down good jobs, living happy successful lives, and their social media profiles exude happiness.
i personally use social media for vocalising what bigmoose is up to, and have seen amazing results from all over the world, and think that as a medium for being evangelical about our exploits it is second to none, and it plays a huge part in getting traction on all projects we launch.
however, the pressure that is on people at the moment to live perfect, shiney lives is great, and we all know how some peoples social media feeds are full of success, happy and smiling full of social activity, which can act as a pressure in itself, as striving to live a similar life online is a massive challenge, and probably is a bit of a lie, and although i know personally i do some fun stuff, 95% of the time my life is super boring, and not worthy of sharing with the world, so i don't, however i am acutely aware of how addictive social media is.
i have recently come across a talk by simon sinek which addresses some of these addictions.
sinek, has written the book 'start with why' which i often use to challenge myself with what i do, and when i am consulting with clients i challenge them to ask themselves why they are doing certain things, and if their answers are solid it probably means it's a goer, but if the why is weak or wishy washy, then the idea probably doesn't warrant action at that time or at all.
sinek is a pretty wise chap in my book, and there is a short and a long version of his talk, and if you have time this weekend indulge yourself in the long one, but if not go with the shorter appetiser, and come back to the longer one.
i feel sure we will all recognise certain characteristics he talks of, and if he helps us all be a little more engaged, and disconnected, then it's gotta be worth our investment of time watching, let me know if you recognise you in any of what he talks about, i feel sure you will, i certainly did.
short version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL8AsaEJDdo
long version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU3R0ot18bg&t=38s
social media and the internet are issues for debate, but i think what is more certain, and is not debatable is that we now have a very high number of people leading lives where they aren't happy, and as sinek says chasing that dopamine hit, which is very addictive.
my thoughts are on this that physical activity seems to provide a similar dopamine rush, and i am witnessing amazing affects from mobilising the runners that we have within our cardiff half crew, and i am sure that there are many reasons why this activity seems to help, but i have seen a number of bigmoose crew members telling me how getting out their front door running is really helping them, and entering the half is giving them a purpose, and allowing them to be around people that don't judge, and are able to share their stories, which i am finding truly amazing.
sometimes with bigmoose we stumble across something that we think will be good, and our gut tells us it will be, but we have to just buckle up and follow that instinct, hoping it pans out.
running seems to be one of those things, and the answer to sineks 'why?' is it just feels good, and the effects of that are that the dopamine kicks in, and having been analysing our training runs we have been holding, i am very aware that there is such a happy vibe within our runners.
no judgement, all shapes and sizes and ages are welcomed gleefully, not in a cultish way, but more an innocent, raw, happy way, which reflects when at the end of the session we take a snap of the moment, and the smiles look really wide and real, dopamine central baby!
i hope i am right, and by encouraging folk to simply run, no agendas, we can help people overcome some of their angst's for the period they are running, and when i recently asked a friend if he meditated, of which i am a big fan of, he replied he 'meditates when he runs', and i agree running provides that time away from the clutches of day to day life, and just allows our minds to escape, mull things over, fantasise, dream, create, and design things for our lives moving forward, or is that just me?
as i type this i have just remembered two of the schools that we have recently visited, i think i mentioned before, that are now doing their 'one mile before lessons everyday' which is literally just that, and the results that are now filtering through are amazing with the pupils attention spans and academic results being off the scale, and i wonder why the government hasn't introduced this across the country yet, but perhaps we are witnessing the first green shoots which will slowly filter through, i hope so.
so my challenge today bigmoose gang is to you to go out this weekend and do something active, run a mile, cycle two miles, walk three miles, swim some laps, but do something you haven't done for some time, and push yourself a little.
go to that lovely park near you, check out the recently refurbished sports centre, be brave, take a yoga class you have been promising to do for years, break off the shackles, as humans we fear meeting new people who normally end up being lovely, and as somebody once famously said just do it.
finally today, we have been to visit the site for the coffee shop we are dreaming of getting, and our hopefully future landlords have stripped the building back to its raw state, and there are now some pretty cool features which i think will look fantastic when we get our design heads on the scheme, so keep your fingers crossed for us, we are very close to getting it, and when we do, we would love you to get involved, and be a part of this dream, i am so excited!!!
so until next week, have a great one, do something that scares you, help people around you if you can, and keep in touch we love hearing what you are up to.