Sending Big Mike some good vibes

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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
May 7, 2014 - 02:25am PT
No worries man. Thanks! I'll try to take you up on that sometime!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 7, 2014 - 10:28am PT
Damn....too bad you didn't get down a week or two earlier!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 7, 2014 - 11:15am PT
Good to see you back on the rock Big Mike. That's an inspiring recovery. Woke up to 50-some degrees in SoCal, ya'll could have come down here and done some JTree big walls...they're all of 3 pitches, lol. Be up and down before lunch. None of that shitting in bags and cuddling with some smelly hippie who's prone to wearing chicks pants, just sunshine and dodging the meth freaks in town.

Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:01am PT
Lol. El Cap i'll take u up on that sometime!!

I posted this on the depression thread but i'd originally promised to post it here. So here it is again.

I've suffered from depression for most of my life too. I was going to write this post this sping on my recovery thread but I never got around to it. Depression is a tough thing to write about. You don't even want to think about it when you're up and actually feel like being productive...


As a kid i experienced a lot of teasing and bullying, thanks to my size, as well as joining a tight knit group of kids who had been together since kindergarten in a small community that i had just moved to. I was never really accepted by them and was teased constantly. I ended up in the principal's office regularily for fighting back.

I thought often about killing myself often during all this, and it was always tough to find happiness. Most of my classmates who i did end up making friends with would always seem like they didn't want to be seen with me when the cool kids were around...

By grade six i had developed a pretty tough shell, and had learned to not care about others bullshit opinons... I became a loner pretty much, except for my best friend who had moved to my home town that year. He was a god send. I honestly don't know if i could have turned my life around without his compainonship.

Junior high got easier, as i devolped my shell more and more. By high school i simply didn't give a fvck about anyone else's opinion. I found snowboarding, my first real love. This gave me much joy.

Moving to Whistler was probably the best thing i could have done for my mental state after high school. Meeting new people with no pre concieved idea of who i was and making friends who actually seemed like they had my back. Riding a 100+ days a season and partying all the time, kept me distracted from my mental issues, but i would have lows during summers before i discovered mountain biking. The lows weren't as low anymore though, i don't remember any time during my twenties or early thirties where i actaully thought about pulling the trigger.

Then I broke my back. I knew from past experience that i simply could not let myself slide down that road. My counsellor, physios, nurses, and doctors, kept me going physically and emotionally and progress, and my friends and family plus all the great people who took the time to talk to me on my recovery thread really boosted my spirits. I know i walked out of Gf Strong because of this support, so thanks again supertopo for that!!!

When i got home though.. It was a different story... Life beat me down. Bigtime. I tried to remain postive but the false reality was cracking at the seams. I could not function as i used to and everything was now harder. I worked with a friend of sandra's who is a physical trainer at meadow park, which helped a lot. She got me motivated to get to the gym and train to get my body stronger. Then she hurt herself and couldn't train with me for awhile, and i crashed hard this time.

I sat at home all day, while the boys went to work. I was barely able to bring myself to do the required admin stuff to keep my business running. I smoked way too much and this fed into my apathy. I started to entertain thoughts of suicide again. What kept me from them was knowing how sad all my friends and family and the not wanting to disapoint the kind people at supertopo after all the supoort they had given.

Sandra tried to get me to see a shrink but i just never got there. I've always been suspect about them.. I know it could help but i'm pretty damn stubborn sometimes.

Finally one of my employees called me out on it and said "just come to work." "You need to get out of the house and you'll feel better." So i did. At first it really sucked, but then i did start to feel better and day to day stuff was easier.

Then we went to Yosemite for facelift, which was fun, but also annoying cause Sandra was sick and stressted to the max the whole time and i was limited in what i could actually accomplish and still dealing with a lot of pain issues. When i got home i kind slipped into a lull again. Not as bad as before, and when i started snowboarding again that helped a bit.

I no longer entertained thoughts of death but it was hard for me to get motivated to get up in the morning or if i did get out of bed, leave the general vicinity of my couch. Once again smoking just perpetuated the cycle. a couple things happened that helped break this spell. First, Tricouni called out of the blue to see how i was doing. That was definitely a shot in the arm as i've always enjoyed talking to glenn. We talked a bit about my depression and he told me to keep me chin up. Then chuck started bugging me about the nose, and i realized i had better get training if i was going to have a decent shot at that goal.

So i booked my personal trainer again for a month and got off my ass and got stronger. Then i went to Yosemite and met Chuck. After hanging out together and having lots of fun in the valley my brain had clicked. I never noticed when it happened but i've been stoked ever since.

I've had my ups and downs for sure, but never that low, don't care feeling i had all last winter.

I feel very lucky that my depression doesn't seem as severe as Juan's was, or Tobia's is. It's still there though, and i still have to deal with it. Luckily i've figured out some coping measures..
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:18am PT
Brave story Mike.
It can be a heavy burden when you are inspiring to so many people on ST and elsewhere I'm sure.
Looking forward to seeing you in September.

Susan

Edit:
Luckily i've figured out some coping measures..
I'm sure glad you have!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:42am PT
What is happening in September?









































wink, wink
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, or In What Time Zone Am I?
Aug 13, 2014 - 09:49am PT
What is happening in September?
wink, wink

Ahhhhh... Facelift?????

Goodness I'm old enough to be Big Mike's mother. And Sandra is one of the loveliest people I know!

Susan
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 13, 2014 - 10:21am PT
Thanks Susan!

John i really would like to meet you this year!! We're going to be in cali for two and a half weeks at the end of september!'
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Aug 13, 2014 - 10:27am PT
Big Mike.... When you getting down to Stoney Point??????

Local craggin too

Ill buy you Los Toros, special #5, and a Margrita.

Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Aug 13, 2014 - 11:58am PT
Guyman!!!

La?? Hmm.. Don't think i'm going to make it there this trip... I do wanna come hang with u and katie tho! Maybe sometime this winter when the weather sux here and rules down there?
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