By S. Lawrence Bueno
The subject of mental health is often shrouded in taboo and stigma. People never want to really talk about it. This may be my thorough critical thinking kicking in, but that was my perception when diagnosed with depression.
Depression is loneliness, intense sadness. It can be the end of things, but it can also be your ticket to a better life. People can come out of it stronger than they’ve ever been.
One thing that certainly helped me get out of depression was sport. I’m not going to lie, it’s not as easy and quick as it seems. Being motivated is tough and it won’t happen from one day to another. On the other hand, it’s important to praise small achievements. Even if you just show up and don’t really participate in a training session, or just do a few minutes of practice, acknowledge your effort. Everything counts. Small steps progress to a vast and profitable journey.
Another huge benefit sport has brought me was to enjoy a sense of community, both from my coach and teammates. My coach helped me like no one before, but what impacted me the most was the fact that she never gave up on me. Even when I thought I had given up on basketball, she was always there to talk to, to give me a hug, to encourage me.
And as for my teammates, they are people I will cherish for life. I wish to have a lifelong friendship with them, and for us to continue learning from each other.
All of this reflects upon a well-known saying written by John Donne, an English poet. He states that “No Man is an Island”, meaning that no one is fully self-sufficient, everyone should rely on others. “Donne essentially argues that people need each other and are better together than they are in isolation, because every individual is one piece of the greater whole that is humanity itself.”
Working together is key for mental well-being. Having people to count on is crucial.
On a final note, I would just like to suggest that if you are going through tough times and your mental health has not been at its finest, talk to someone. Get involved in sporting activities.
Life is difficult, things get hard.
But you are not alone, and you can get through whatever you may be going through. Sport will help!