Mental health issues are nothing new to America or even action sports. There have been several articles about mental health issues and suicides within the community.
Sometimes mental health issues go under the radar. People don't talk about it, people don't ask about it, and life continues on fine and dandy until it isn't.
I don't think most people are particularly stoked on the current situation but personally, it sucks. I'm usually treading a pretty thin line to hold it all together and keep trucking. The ability to move around but have consistent employment helps me hold things together. Having the mountain there to make some turns, a job where I can be creative, and the ability to dip the fuck out for the southern hemisphere season helps me feel normal. Being locked down, with no current job, summer job or creative hobby, has been tough. I know I'm not the only one in a rough spot though.
That's why I wanted to write this to reach out. A way to say "What's up, how's it going?", and make sure you're alright. There are people in all kinds of situations out there. My goal is to reach out to the fellow community members and say hello. Are you doing alright? No seriously, are you doing alright? My inbox is always open and as expected I have quite a bit of time on my hands. Personal shit, and mental health issues can be tough to talk about. This covid situation is keeping people isolated, but I want you to feel free to reach out. I'm not an expert, I don't have any magic words, I don't know what the future holds, but I have time and I'm down to listen. I'm down to shoot the shit, talk about skiing, the good years, the bad years, injuries, movies and edits, the past, and the future.
In this situation social distancing is important, but it's also important that nobody feel left alone. We're in this together, you're not alone, and we'll all be getting some turns in the fall.
Personally I've never done anything about my mental health issues. I've been off health insurance since I was 26 and in high school I came across people that made me distrust the system. I've been moving toward a place to change that and hopefully change the trajectory or my life the last few years. I have terrible anxiety issues as well as some learning disabilities. I struggle with forms, paperwork, people, even talking about things with friends. My friends are cool as fuck. They mention that they are there for people, but I don't engage. I stay slumped away in the corner smiling and telling jokes, sipping some whiskey and pretending everything is fine.
Sometimes everything isn't fine though. I deal with some fucked up shit. I struggle. I grind through it with work and routine and ignore it for the most part like many people. The problem is, that it doesn't solve things. You keep pushing through, "I can make it, I'll make it" and you keep trucking along. Maybe it's admirable but probably not. I've seen too many friends vanish through suicide, od's, or life long benders with drugs and alcohol. It's a fucked up pattern. People judge them, they yell that they should have sought help, they should have done something. Honestly it comes across as selfish sometimes. Our health care system is a fucking rodeo. Sure you can get help if you have the patience and right contacts but it isn't in anyway easy. Even looking into yourself and admitting there are issues is fucking tough, telling that to another person can feel almost impossible. Jumping through the hoops of our health care system can be too much,
I'm sure this is a little clunky but I'd rather that than be cheesy. I want to be real as this is a real issue that impacts a ton of us. I posted some pretty personal stuff on this. I usually shy away from anything on the topic outside of random forum posts. I felt this was needed though. A member randomly messaged me making sure I was alright the other day. I didn't bore him with first world problems but just having somebody reach out to me made a difference. I live my life on a teeter totter more than I have my shit together. I don't think I'm the only one, in fact I know I'm not.
My goal is to put any personal worries or respect aside and legitimately make sure you guys are alright. This stupid website has become a home for me. I've gone on road trips, crashed with people, drank with people from this site. I've posted my deepest secrets openly in the forums. I've shot the shit about park setups, the hottest edit, the website, life, and anything in between. This place means a ton to me, and could be a big reason why I never really left.
It's hard for people to put themselves out there, it's not a fun topic to discuss. Unfortunately that lack of discussion leads people to think that they really are alone. That's something that isn't true. This is a community, we're all in this together, and we'll make it through.
So I'll shut the hell up, I'll leave you to your quarantine life. But I want to ask you again. How are you doing? Are you alright? Do you want to talk? These are legitimate questions I feel and I'm down to engage in a long discussion about them or even something trivial in the ski world.
Thanks for reading. Keep your friends close, keep your ski friends closer. We'll get through this together. Love you guys!