In the span of my 26 years, I have lived in nine different Canadian “cities” encompassed within three provinces and two territories – varying on a spectrum between the country’s capital and a First Nations reserve in the Yukon populated by less than 300 people. Within these places I have moved a total of 11 times. The longest I’ve ever lived in once place is five years.
There are rational fears. There are irrational fears. There is biology and there is psychology. Fear leaves us awake at night. Fear makes us run. Fear can consume us. Predominately, fear keeps us safe.
I’ll be honest – I tend to be a bit of a stubborn person, and for quite some time I liked to think that I (alone) could take the bull by the horns and handle whatever life threw my way. Over the years, I have come to realize that sometimes the bull can get a bit rowdy, and asking for a hand to reign him in is probably better than getting stabbed in the stomach by a bull horn. Put simply – it’s okay to ask for help.
Since moving to this incredible province, I have found a true passion for the outdoors (the kind of passion where you walk up a mountain with 60 pounds on your back to sleep on the ground, drink lake water, and pee in the forest) - but for me it’s about more than getting outside for some exercise and sunshine. As someone who battles anxiety and depression on a daily basis, for me the mountains have become my medicine.
Mark Twain hit the nail on the head. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. Factor in the culture of today’s social media oriented society, and the ‘life highlight reel’ of others is constantly shoved in our faces. Needless to say, if you’re having a bad day or struggling with personal hardships, constantly seeing everyone’s best self makes it very difficult to come out on top.
The prioritization of physical health versus mental health is an issue of contention in today’s society. Despite a shift towards mental health literacy, it is evident that regardless of our education, background, or personal experiences, when comparing mental to physical health, many of us (myself included) are guilty of favouring physical illness as a more legitimate form of disability.