“The question I always get is why?
I have never had depression nor anxiety and never have I been addicted to anything. Yet I always get asked why?
I can’t answer that question, because its not a question that needs to be answered. A fellow human should be able to be there to help a fellow human without the need to receive anything back or to have an ulterior motive. A human being should see a fellow human and be there to pick them up and bring them higher than they have ever been before.
Together with 2 amazing people we created a mental health awareness night, raising money for a mental health organisation. This is where I was asked for the first time, why? Why would I be apart of something like this that helped to bring to light something no one ever talks about, which is mental illness?
I had a good childhood, loving family, yet in the space of 2 weeks I lost 2 mates. Nothing in life prepares you for that type of situation. Nothing in this world can train you on the emotion or the amount of feelings that you would feel on those days, through those weeks and through the years to come.
Inside myself something changed. No longer would I look at the negative of the world but find the positive everywhere I would go, to live each day as if it was the last one I would ever have.
So why be apart of a night and a message like that. Because I wanted to bring others up and not push them down. Not to put more stigma on a situation where no stigma is needed. Because the world is cruel enough without us as human beings pushing others down when they already feel down on themselves. Because everyone should know that its ok not to be ok, and if you are not ok, then we are here for them, and here to help in anyway we can, even if it’s a smile.
We succeeded and the emotion I felt watching the 7 amazing people who were brave enough to tell their stories, of their lives, their ups and downs, face their fear, that’s all I needed. To this day I look at photos of that first night and cry. 10 kids from the suburbs changed over 750 peoples mindsets.
But why? Why when approached by anyone to volunteer your time do you go out of your way to help people in fitness, in their mindset?
Why not? I learnt this one for myself after a massive personal loss. I asked myself why not?
To this day, I still ask why not for so many things. Why not get tattoos? Why not help that person with their technique in the gym? Why not go out with your mates? You only live once.
Nothing prepares you for life’s lessons. One minute you can be waiting for your mate to turn up to train, the next you are receiving a message asking you if you have heard.
Your mate is gone, suicide.
That was it, that’s how I found out one of my best mates had committed suicide. No one came to my door, no one called me, I got a message, that’s how I found out. Life still hadn’t prepared me for the minutes, hours, days, weeks or years after that. Life doesn’t have a manual on how to handle that situation. It is hard to explain the emotional rollercoaster one goes through straight after that and in the following weeks and years. Having been so close to them right until the end, it’s hard not to blame yourself and ask what more I could have done, if I had of done this maybe they would still be here. I knew this wasn’t helping so I decided that I would jump right in to helping in anyway I could with organisations in the mental health industry.
I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of organisations and a number of amazing people who are changing so many lives not just in the mental health industry but also in addiction and violence.
Being contacted by a person I will always hold close to my heart to get involved with Jake and Outside the Locker Room was an offer I know I would not be able to pass up as I would regret not being involved with them and the foundation. I can say I am over whelmed with the support I have received in my short time with the OTLR team and look forward to what the future holds for this amazing foundation.
All these people that you encounter, all these people you meet for 3 minutes but you have a laugh or share a smile with, they show you to remember how short this gift of life is. How tomorrow we may never see them again and how you might not be able to get one more hug and I love you off your Mum.
The question is always why. The question should always be, why not?
Now, you ask yourself why not?
If 1 smile, 1 word, 1 conversation can save 1 life, then why not do it?
Written by Todd Morgan.
If you or anyone close to you is experiencing a difficult time or feeling suicidal, please call our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14. Otherwise please contact us via our website for help.