It is possible to achieve amazing things, even when living with depression. 

By Chris, First posted on http://www.beyondblue.org
I am a 54 year old male and I have suffered from depression since my teens and was in active alcohol addiction from the age of 15 until I was 51. I have now been sober for over 31 months. I was a civil engineer for over 30 years, but lost my job on medical grounds in 2014 whilst I was in rehab. In addition to the clinical depression, upon completing the rehab programme, I learnt that I needed both of my hips replaced due to osteoarthritis.

The surgeries were carried out last year. On the weekend of 5-6 March 2016, I completed the CBR100 Challenge (a 100km walk around Canberra) in 27 hours 26 min. This was the first of a series of events that I am planning to do this year to raise funds for beyondblue, which may include the Canberra Times 10km run in September and the Sydney to the Gong Bike a Ride in November.

I have created a group which is aimed at getting persons with lived experience (or their carers) involved in exercise. I have found that exercise has been my default recovery mechanism since my teens and was important during my time in rehab.

I am a consumer representative on three committees and involved in a local Health Consumer Network. I have recently completed a Cert IV in Mental Health/Drug & Alcohol studies. I am currently studying for a Cert IV in Fitness and hope to take personal training into rehab centres to help facilitate recovery. I intend to then study for a Diploma in either Drug & Alcohol or Mental Health Studies and (hopefully) a degree in psychology, but I need a job first! I currently receive salary continuance insurance but I am very fearful of returning to the workforce and suffering a relapse and losing all income! My hope is to get work in a rehab facility and to use my fitness training experience to facilitate recovery. I recently completed workplace experience in a mental health service and exercise played a major role in their programme.

I hope that by sharing my story, I can show that there is hope and that it is possible to achieve amazing things, even when living with depression.

The effects of Gun violence, stop the killing.

I honestly don’t know where to begin, I guess my depression started when I lost my older brother 3 years ago in September 2014 to gun violence, even though we grew up in different households we were always very close to each other. We have the same father and different mother he was always there for me to talk too about any and everything. Me and Ali were always close but after my brother passed away she started to come back around more , Ali was always there for me when I felt like I had no one to talk to or turn too for advice she was like a little sister and best friend all in one growing up since elementary, middle and high school she grew very close too my family and they grew to love her as one of their own and there all hurt so bad over it we love you Ali! When I heard the news I cried for days, can’t sleep more than a few hours a day or constraint on anything without thinking about Ali and tearing up and thinking about what happened to my brother all over again just thinking praying when is this going to stop, my life has been in a downward spiral ever since I lost my brother depression is something else I tell you.

– Tavon Brown.