I’m pleased to let you know that on 29th May 2017 I will be taking part in the Vitality London 10K for the mental health charity Mind.
My motivation for running stems from my own personal experiences of mental health issues which I briefly outlined in my first blog post and you can read more about via my fundraising link – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobEarl
I have never run a 10k before and I will use this blog to keep you updated on my training and any developments over the next few months!
Aside from the challenge of the run, it has been an even bigger challenge for me announcing my mental health conditions to the world and especially to friends, family & colleagues who have known me for years but have been unaware of my situation previously. It is a big step to go from feeling ashamed of my mental health to being proactive in putting myself out there to try and raise money for a cause I am hugely passionate about. As you can see from the comments & donations I have received on my page though, everyone has been so overwhelmingly supportive and that means a huge amount to me.
I know that a lot of people out there will be struggling with mental health conditions and would never consider in a million years telling people about it. You probably think that people will judge you and that they will think less of you for it but I can honestly say that I have found it has been the complete opposite. People have really respected and admired my honesty on the subject and I hope that telling my story encourages other people to do the same. I think it is vital that people feel able to talk and feel empowered to approach their family, friends, doctors or employers with the issues which they experience as facing these problems directly is the only way to come out of the other side with the ability to manage your conditions.
As I say on my fundraising page, it is possible to achieve the things you want to achieve in life despite facing the difficulties of mental health issues. However, the only way you can achieve that is by being honest with yourself and others about the challenges you face.