A former Revelstoke resident shares about his struggles with anxiety and depression. (File photo)

Revy Let’s Talk: ‘Slowly I started realizing that I didn’t feel great, like just icky’

Stacie Byrne shares a former resident’s story

Stacie Byrne is the project lead for the Revelstoke CYMHSU Local Action Team. (File photo)

We received a story through our online form from an individual wanting to share his story.

It’s an important story to share and highlights the struggle that both men and women in Revelstoke face.

He talks about the things that not many people talk about, including mistreatment at work, his relationship with his doctor, and the forces around him that keep holding him down when he tries to get back on his feet.

But here it is in his own words.

“I moved to Revy in ‘07 for the obvious reasons. I was living the dream, skiing and climbing mainly.

“Working the fun jobs that didn’t pay. Slowly I started realizing that I didn’t feel great, like just icky.

“The lack of friends and relationships and not seeming to be able to maintain interest in work really started wearing on me. I think this was in 2013 or 14.

“The full-on panic attacks and depression really hit hard. I didn’t even want to go skiing.

“All I would do was sleep and work my 30 hours a week. I would maybe eat once every other day.

“Eventually I was able to drag myself in for help and saw someone at Community Connections.

READ MORE: Revy Let’s Talk: There are people who care

“Things seemed to get better for a while and I mean a few years. As things happen, I fell off the meds but was felling okay.

“And then in about February 2017 thinks got even worse than before.

“The not fitting in, feeling like you have no friends, no one loves you or cares about you one bit. And I did a bunch of nothing for a long time.

“And then a co-worker told me about a new doctor in town and was able to get me in for help somehow in maybe March or April 2018. She was/is great.

“Then my employer took advantage of my mental health and I no longer had a job.

“First time being fired at age 33 and for mental health.

”It was so bad I actually needed to leave town. I’m sad to say Revelstoke became toxic for me.

“So, I left town for the summer and worked. In the fall I had an opportunity to move to another city for a great job.

“It was going so good. ‘Was’ is the key word.

“I was let go as I was having panic attacks at work caused by work that was affecting my productivity after one year and 12 days of working for them.

“The thing that apparently legally is not allowed to happen has happened to me again.

“I’ve moved again, am lucky to have a couple of Revelstoke friends living here near me. They are my saving grace right now.

“I’m the most overwhelmed I’ve ever been in my life sitting on the couch balling my eyes out. Wondering what to do.

“Do I come back to Revy where my doctor is and people I know, but not fitting in or being able to afford rent. Or do I go somewhere else where my doctor isn’t and with people I don’t know at all, not fitting in, waiting to see what punch in the face is coming next?”

This was the last line he shared.

His feeling of hopelessness to have the life that he needs is apparent through his words.

We need a system that instills hopefulness; a feeling that things will get better.

For anyone who has gone through this themselves, I’m sure they know the combination of feelings that make everything else so much more complicated.

If you are struggling, you’re not alone.

Reach out for support, talk to your doctor, and connect to the resources you have.

Want to find out about resources in town? Head to revelstokelife.ca or revelstokecymhsu.ca.

And if you’re one of the ones reading this and not currently struggling, consider what someone else might be going through and lend a helping hand if you can.

Show your support at our upcoming events including World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10. Find out more on our Facebook page RevelstokeCYMHSU. Let people know they’re not alone.

If you have an experience to share, use our anonymous online form or send us an email at revelstokecymhsu@gmail.com.

Stacie Byrne is the project lead for the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use (CYMHSU) Local Action Team, which is a part of a larger provincial collaborative working together to support people between the ages of six and 24 and their families with mental health and substance use challenges. The collaborative works with service providers and the community to share how all of the pieces of the recovery puzzle fit together and what is available within and outside of Revelstoke.

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