I needed them.

Like it says, I needed them.

Little did they know exactly how much I needed them.

This may be fairly long but hear me out, k?

I’m going to get, real, raw, and vulnerable you with because I need to share my story and hope that it will not only help, but also inspire, another runner to keep going.

My mental health struggles started way back in the late 1990s, before we had smart phones and tablets, Facebook and Instagram. A lot had happened to me in my 12 years of life – things that I still struggle to cope with to this day and impact who I am – and I felt hopeless. I was sad and angry and it was the first time I had thoughts of leaving this world behind.

I kept going though, and I think that has a lot to do with my relationship with my brother. He always looked out for me and took care of me, and I always wanted to make him proud.

I struggled again when I was 18, but this time I let some of the demons slip out, and fortunately I had friends and a special teacher who reached out and helped me. It’s actually one of the huge influences in my life that made me become a teacher. She is also a runner.

This time I got help – but it wasn’t sustained help. It was a bunch of pills given to me without a second thought, no follow up, no desire to treat the issue but manage the symptoms.

This pattern of on again off again behaviour plagued me until I was about 25.

Then, I found running 🙏🏻

I made a choice in February 2013 to run my first ever run, and it was the Bluenose Marathon 10km. It remains my PB to this day for that distance. My brother flew down from Ontario to run and cheer me on as I crossed the finish line.

Shortly after that I tried to manage my depression and anxiety with running, and with the approval of my doctor I weened myself off my meds. It was short lived as I started new ones in 2016 – but they were not for me and I stopped in 2017.

So here we are, May 2019.

Still reading? Awesome.

Oh, the changes ✨

I’ve been seeing a therapist since January of this year. It was one of the best choices I made to take care of myself 🧠 I still struggle – but I’m open and honest and not ashamed. My POD cheers me on through smiles and tears alike, and I know I’ll be okay.

The other choice? I decided to apply for Team Myles – after initially thinking the application was too long and exiting it. How silly 🙄

I’ll never be able to express in words how much I needed Team Myles in my life and the mentor who chose me for her POD.

Team Myles has given me hope during the dark, stormy days 🌫
Team Myles has given me a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other on our runs when I think I can’t do another minute 🏃🏻‍♀️
Team Myles has given me friends who I know will always be in my heart, and hopefully in my life 💚
Team Myles has given me a running community that I am happy and humble to be a part of 🥰
Team Myles has given me the ability to believe in myself and achieve goals that I once thought were impossible 💃🏻
Team Myles has given me ME 🙋🏻‍♀️

Oh, how I needed them. More than they will ever know.

They say “find your tribe and love them hard” and I know I’ve found mind.

*This small disclaimer is just to say that this is my story and my struggles with mental health and success with running. Please don’t ever start or stop medication without the approval of a health care professional.

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