A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with OCD, depression, and anxiety. Throughout my life I knew something was different about me. I would do things in my head (count or read things a certain amount of times) without anyone knowing. I was confused and not sure if this was a “normal” thing.

About 3 years ago I moved on my own to a new state for a change and hoping my depression would get better. It didn’t and only got worse. I ended up getting a job teaching kids with autism. Later in the beginning of my 3rd year of teaching I started getting horrible thoughts of hurting others and myself. I was scared and depressed all the time. I went to my best friend and co-worker for help to explain my thoughts and the fear of possibly hurting my students. She ended up telling the police and I was later fired (over my thoughts).

I lost everything. My job, friends, and worse – I lost the chance to help others. I also got help through counseling and medication.

As a long distance runner I decided that I could persevere and take this as a opportunity to motivate myself and help others. Last September I ended up running and winning my 1st ultra marathon. I ran for 12 hours straight completing 62.5 miles in honor of people with mental illness. After the race I won $500 and donated it to help the people in my community with mental health issues. In the future I will continue to live my life to help others who suffer from mental illness.

Hopefully my story can help others show that know matter what you are going through you can overcome it and help others in the process.

2 responses to “Craig”

  1. Barbarita says:

    So inspiring. I have struggled with depression since I was 16 and, after having children, have discovered that mental illness runs in the family. Thank you for your commitment to helping others after having gone through so much yourself.

  2. robin m says:

    Hi Craig,,
    So sorry you lost your job and students to fear of thoughts. I too lost my children, when post partum depression turned into post- partum psychosis. I shared whirling snowballing thoughts/questions of just what could the human mind be capable of? It was so scary for me thinking “what if” I were to drive my children into a lake, drown them, or some God awful thing like that. I began to think everyone around me was monitoring my every move. Paranoia set in after sharing it with my husband. When he over reacted and left me sitting alone and abandoned, and in the psychiatric ward, I was put out of my own home and devastated. An emotional fatigue came upon me immobilizing me to my daily routines.It was indeed a “long walk home” to anywhere near healthy. That was in 1994 and I still struggle to find love and acceptance from my now grown children. God only knows what my ex-husband told them over the years.
    In my heart of hearts I know I was never a danger to them, it was merely the fear and stigma wrapped around mental illness Charged, judged, convicted, and sentenced in my now ex husbands mind, all over thoughts… sad!
    Sounds like you’re running yourself healthy now! Congratulations, one day at a time you can do this. I wish you wellness and great joy my friend. Keep a good understanding support system around you and above all love, trust, and accept yourself and your limitations…but only some of them!

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