I’m Proud of You- The Mental toll Lockdown has had on the Aussie Sport Community
267; A significant number that symbolises what has been a bleak, wistful and strenuous period for Melbournians.
With the recent lockdown extension, Melbourne is guaranteed to become the most locked down city in the world next month, passing Buenos Aires who currently holds the record with 245 days.
We are nearly three weeks since we celebrated ‘R U OK’ day, and it is continuously important to recognise and acknowledge the reality of mental health, especially with how difficult these last two years have been for everyone.
My name is Nash and I am a 21-year-old from the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. As someone who is extremely passionate about mental health, I am comfortable about being open with my feelings and I am constantly seeking out ways to help those around me who need it.
These last two years have been draining; we have been in and out of lockdown more times than we can count on one hand and have had periods where we believed everything was going to be okay.
Whilst I am in no way, shape or form a psychologist or psychiatrist, I truly believe it is important to ensure that everyone has access to the resources that can enable them to seek help if they are struggling mentally.
There is nothing shameful about having a mental illness; nothing you experience is ever silly so do not hesitate to speak up. A problem told, is a problem halved.
As someone who experiences anxiety and has for a lot of their life, I often explain it to people like this.
Anxiety is a monster in our brain that thrives on any negative or irrational thought. It will continue to chop and eat at whatever horrible idea we have in our head which is what creates the anxiety. 9 times out of 10, the horrible idea that we create is irrational and we know it in our heart of hearts but sometimes struggle to see it for what it truly is.
It is important to take a step back, gather your thoughts and tell yourself that this idea is 100% irrational because both you and I know that it is.
To our fellow committee members, volunteers, clubs, and anyone associated with our organisation or anyone that happens to come across this piece of writing, my message for any of you who are struggling right now; I am so proud of anyone that is fighting a tough and extreme battle in their own head. I believe in every single one of you and I know that it may seem like you are stuck in a hopeless and desolated, pitch black tunnel but I will forever hold in my heart that you can emerge from that darkness and arise out of it into a beautiful light.
We are so close to returning to doing all the things that we love; I know I can’t wait to get back to playing sport and going from the pub to the packed and electric home of football that is our beloved MCG.
Continue to keep safe and check in with your friends and family. The Sports Community family is sending love to everyone and we cannot wait to return to normal and see the community’s friendly faces!
-Nash, Sports Community Intern