Hike for Mental Health
My Bipolar Journey
This journey isn’t only about me.
So, in true broke-ass hippie fashion, funding my thru-hike is an issue. I’ve heard about people making money blogging/vlogging but the reality is that it takes time to build a reputation and a following. But I’m an optimist. I googled the heck out of “how to find sponsors for your thru-hike” and “how to score free gear to review.” Let me tell you, dear friends, I commend those with the dedication to send all of those emails and letters just to get ignored or rejected. With my bipolar disorder, that kind of negative association to my hike and what it really means to me wouldn’t put me in the “you can do this” frame of mind. But…
In all my hours of googling, I kept seeing the same site pop up that didn’t look like what I needed. Then, due to the grace of karma, or divine intervention, or whatever you want to call it, I saw an FB post and was introduced to Tom Kennedy, the vice president for the same organization.
Finally, I clicked on the link and I read about hikeformentalhealth.org. It took me all of three seconds to know that this was my next “Why.” The more I read about the organization and what they do to support not only research for treatment but also help to fight the stigma that always goes with a mental illness diagnosis. And a portion of the proceeds go to the AT and PCT? I registered immediately!
It’s not enough to find my own peace on the AT. This has to be about more than just healing me. There are so many others who suffer, most of the time silently, from any number of debilitating mental illnesses.
This journey started out all about finding myself and learning to manage my bipolar disorder. Very quickly I realized that I wanted to tell my story so that other people like me would potentially stop hiding from their dreams. Now I’ve found my real purpose. To fully support those in need like me and so many of my friends and family.
There is no shame in your diagnosis. You are not your diagnosis. Your diagnosis doesn’t have to stop you from doing amazing things!
Now for the tug to your heartstrings, dear friends. One in four people has some form of mental illness. From anxiety to depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Most go undiagnosed and we aren’t even close to providing any real and lasting treatment. Many, like me, go through years of medication changes and dealing with side effects of those medications trying to figure out what particular cocktail will make us feel “normal.” We have made some improvements over the last decade, but we aren’t done yet!
I need your support, dear friends!! Please, go to my page and sponsor my hike! I do not get even one red cent of your donation. 100% goes directly to hike for mental health, a registered 501(c)(3) https://secure.hikeformentalhealth.org/np/clients/hike/np/campaign.jsp?campaign=100&fundraiser=12550&
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